Impact of Age on Board Decisions

December 2021

We all age.  With age comes insight, wisdom, experience, improved judgement … and decline.

At some point our ability to make good decisions declines.  We can delay this to some extent but decline is inevitable.  It starts slowly at about 52 years old and escalates in our 70s and 80s.

There is data to support this.  Looking at inventors and Nobel winners the largest proportion is in their late 30s.  After 70 an inventor or Nobel winner is exceptionally rare.  In baseball the best umpires are 23 years younger and have nearly two decades less experience than the worst-performing umpires who have an average age of 56.  The same is seen among air traffic controllers where there is a mandatory retirement age of 56.  Investment studies have found that older investors earn lower returns.

This presents a conundrum for condominium owners.  Older individuals have more leisure time, experience, and are willing to dedicate more time to the community, but with declining decision making skills.  Younger directors lack in time and experience but possess better decision making skills.

Best practice is to ensure a condo board is comprised of different aged individuals with a diversity of skills and talents.