I'm Senior Vice President of AARP's Research Center, and am focused on fostering understanding of the interests and concerns of people age 50+ and their families. Before coming to AARP, I served as the Vice President of Global Market Research & Guest Satisfaction for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Can a Healthy Body Equal a Healthy Brain?

AARP is celebrating health living for April. Overall, Americans perceive their health to be excellent or good, and our research shows perceived health declines only 7 percentage points over a 45-year age range (72 percent among those ages 35-39, 67 percent among those ages 55-59, and 65 percent ages 75 to 80). In AARP’s Happiness Study, when asked about serious health conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) 12 percent of those ages 35-39 had two or more …

Is the Polar Vortex Worse Than Preparing Your Tax Return?

Why does the worst part of winter hit at the same time most Americans start preparing their taxes? Must be misery is better when it comes all at once. The average 50-plus household makes about $50,000, so with no deductions that household will owe $6,100, or about 13 percent. In the United States, every paycheck until April 21, 2014, went to paying taxes. This day actually has a name: Tax Freedom Day, i.e., when the nation as a whole has …

Brain Health Is Important Today…and Even More So Tomorrow

The average person lives to be 78 today, which is three decades longer than a century ago. Scientists say they will soon be able to extend life well beyond 120. Many billionaires, particularly from Silicon Valley, are spending millions annually to disrupt death. Even Google set up Calico (California Life Co.) in September 2013 to reverse-engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.” The longer we live, the higher the …

There’s a Good Reason April in Paris Spells Romance

As we just start to hit the depths of winter in most parts of the United States, I long for spring. I am sure many of you have heard that the best time to go to Paris is in April. The recent AARP Romantic Getaways Survey shows springtime (35 percent) is the most anticipated season for romantic travel, and 30 percent of those romancers want to go to Europe, specifically France (13 percent). The top two activities romantic travelers engage …

I’m Celebrating With a Vacation This Summer, and It Turns Out I’m Not Alone

I have to admit I am one of those people who never uses all my vacation time each year. I feel like work will pile up when I’m gone, and I’ll be more frazzled on my return than before I left. I’m not alone in leaving my vacation time on the table, either. The average worker in the U.S. gets 13 days of paid vacation a year, but only 57 percent of Americans use it all. But this past June, I …

50+ Shopping: Do YOU fit the profile?

Our latest Getting to Know the 50+ fact sheet profiles 50+ Americans’ shopping habits in a couple areas. I decided to see how well our average American shopper matched up with my own habits. Car shopping Sixty percent of adults 50+ have two or more cars. This may come as a surprise to some, but not if you are in the car business. The 50+ are this industry’s “bread and butter,” as 63 percent of new cars in 2012 were …