UW Retirement Association

The Future of Aging

The aging baby boomer generation is often described as a “tsunami,” with accompanying alarms about the capacity of Medicare and Social Security to contain the flood. But what about the strengths and potential contributions baby boomers bring into retirement? Join us for a series of lectures and conversations centered on how this newest generation of older adults is forever altering the aging experience.

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New Issues in a New World
Tuesday, November 10 | 1:30–3 pm | Join HERE

The experience of aging is neither universal nor static. Aging is a biological process that is greatly influenced by the social world in which individuals spend their lives. Social forces such as political movements, scientific advancement, and technological change impact the experience of aging for each generation. We will discuss the social changes that most affect current cohorts of older adults as well as the ways that biology has changed among this population, and ask how those factors impact our experience of retirement and aging.

Eileen Crimmins, PhD
AARP Chair in Gerontology and specialist in the demography of older populations, University of Southern California


  • Sara Curran, PhD, Professor and Director, UW Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology
  • Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, PhD, Professor and Director, Healthy Generations, UW School of Social Work
  • Eric Larson, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Advancing Research on the Health and Well-being of Sexual and Gender Minority Elders
Thursday, November 12 | 1:30–2:30 pm | Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, PhD

LGBTQ elders are at a greater risk of health disparities and social isolation in later life. Professor Karen Fredriksen Goldsen explores the landmark longitudinal project, “Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender Study,” and how its research findings have encouraged the development of community evidence-based interventions and policy changes to address these issues. Such research can provide innovative solutions to complex social problems, promoting equity to create a future for all to reach their full age, health, and potential.

How Boomers Might Transform the Future

Tuesday, November 17 | 1:30–2:30 pm | Eric Larson, MD, MPH

The Baby Boom generation’s impact on society, from birth to young adult to retirement, cannot be understated. How can a generation that is living longer and more actively than any preceding generation impact aging? Drawing from the long running “Adult Changes in Thought” study, Dr. Larson argues that an “enlightened” approach to aging that builds resilience for a long, active life is possible. All that’s needed is a generation keen for knowledge and acceptance of the mental, physical, and social changes that aging brings.

Imagining Possibilities in the Demography of Diversity

Thursday, November 19 | 1:30–2:30 pm | Sara Curran, PhD

As the average age of King County residents climbs, the older adult cohort brings an increasingly varied array of life experiences. Sara Curran, Professor and Director of the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, will speak on recent research on the growing diversity of the older generation in King County and the impact of demographic factors on the experience of aging.

The symposium is produced by the University of Washington Retirement Association in partnership with our co-sponsors.