Cognitive age has been an important construct in studies of older consumers. The present study builds upon previous research by providing theory-based antecedents of cognitive age. The results suggest that differences in cognitive age do not merely reflect differences in chronological age, and that a person's cognitive age is influenced by his or her experiences of life events that serve as markers of transitions into social roles people are expected to enact at different stages in life. In addition, the experiences of health-related events, such as chronic conditions, make people aware of their aging, affecting their cognitive age. The influence of cognitive age on consumer-behavior variables is also examined, and directions for future research are suggested. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.