CRR Releases Brief on Cognitive Aging

Feb 24, 2017 / Michael Natalie, Horsesmouth Associate Editor

According to Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, aging affects cognition - “the act or process of knowing” in some counterintuitive ways.

Unsurprisingly, our ability to learn entirely new skills diminishes over time. However, the news is not all bad: our “crystallized intelligence,” or stock of useful knowledge, generally improves with age.

This growing stock enables us to continue making good decisions as we age through our 50s and 60s, remaining largely competitive with younger cohorts—despite generally needing more time to learn new skills. And though the risk of cognitive impairment increases as we age beyond 70, a majority of senior citizens remain qualified to manage financial decisions.

Future CRR briefs will provide a deeper dive into the problems of cognitive decline in old age, as well as their consequences for financial decisions.


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