I was asked to speak at the NAIC fall conference in Washington on the topic of senior decision making. My message was that the research says our decision-making powers decline sometime after age 65, but there are things that can be done so that decisions of a 75-year-old are as good
as a 35-year-old.
Why decision-making skills worsen
Working memory declines so seniors can hold less new data in their heads at one time and the speed of processing the data slows. This means seniors get easily overwhelmed by too many choices and too much data, and seniors use mental shortcuts that often do not result in good decisions. They mistake quantity for quality, they ignore the true risk of a situation and they tend to choose what they recognize instead of what is best.
And how to improve
Give seniors enough time because when seniors are given more time to study and remember new data they perform as well as young adults.