What will you be talking about over Thanksgiving dinner this year?
Our suggestion: financial longevity. Talking about money is normally a dicey proposition at family gatherings. But in this polarizing political year, raising the issue of finances could actually be a refreshingly neutral change of subject. While family and friends are assembled, you have the rare opportunity to explore an often-overlooked facet of life – namely, how money has shaped family history, and how it is shaping people’s lives now:
- What is your family’s financial story? What were the major financial events that shaped your family’s fortunes? How has your story changed in recent years?
- Do the people who are ages 50+ feel prepared for the financial challenges they face now? What do they wish for? What do they fear?
- How are the family elders faring? Do they worry about managing their money as they age – or about losing control over it?
- How are you creating a legacy, both in terms of knowledge and actual wealth?
- What would people like help with in relationship to managing money, achieving life goals, and aging with grace and dignity? Could innovation help solve these problems?
If your discussion happens to lead to inspiration, go directly to the THINK Prize 16 Financial Longevity Challenge page and submit your idea. You and your family could win a share of the $10,000 THINK Prize 16.
But that being said, creating a viable product idea isn’t really the objective on Thanksgiving. Instead, talking about financial goals and challenges, dreams and obligations can be an important way to connect with your friends and family members. How are the people you care about really doing? How can you learn from your shared history and help each other moving forward? Human-centered design – the basis for so many smart, relevant products – begins with the very human act of asking and answering, listening and sharing.
Let us be thankful for each other.
Share your ideas with fellow innovators in the THINK Prize 16 Challenge
The THINK Prize 16: Financial Longevity Challenge is currently in the Ideas phase. On OpenIDEO’s online collaborative platform, innovators are sharing ideas around the question: “How might we create financial services that support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?”
Check out the ideas that have been posted; offer insights or expertise; and contribute your own entry now. Click here.