Case Study



Addressing the racial wealth gap among seniors.


Wealth is a powerful, polarizing marker of security and opportunity in America, instrumental in concepts like the American Dream and illustrated in values like personal responsibility.

This reality makes the concept not only rife with emotion but teeming with tensions, most visible in those around the wealth gap:
1) the contrasting perspectives around the role of the individual vs. societal systems in fueling the gap, and
2) the disparity in lived experiences. ​

​AARP wanted to dig deeper and gain foundational understanding of the racial wealth gap in the U.S. today among those age 50 or older.


We conducted a consumer panel involving 2,004 respondents aged 50 or older with quotas for gender, ethnicity, income and geographic region. To allow for richer subgroup analysis, we interviewed additional Black and Hispanic respondents.


We found an opportunity where AARP can close the gap in perception and understanding of systemic realities central to this issue by educating people through building an emotional bridge so that the racial wealth gap and its impact is recognized and well-understood.

We recommended three foundational territories that educate while building the emotional bridge: building empathy through relatable experiences, acknowledging that we’re all in this together and elevating the outcome of building wealth for all.

This resulted in AARP’s messaging strategy focused on empathy and human connections that transcend wealth and economic status.