March 8, 2018
Retirement – Ripped from the Headlines!
When Squared Away first went live almost seven years ago, few reporters in the mainstream media wrote regularly about retirement. Things have really changed.
The Washington Post recently declared a “new reality of old age in America.” The New York Times and The Boston Globe have regular retirement writers. Even The New Yorker – the go-to read for the aging but still hip – dived in and investigated an abhorrent case involving an abused elderly woman.
Retirement is a hot topic, because some 10,000 boomers have been retiring daily for years – in fact, the media frequently cite this statistic – and an unprecedented number of the boomers who still work are thinking a lot about whether or when to stop.
This blog publishes twice a week, and I don’t have time for the in-depth investigations I did as a Boston Globe reporter. But plenty of newspaper and magazine reporters are exploring retirement issues in great detail.
Here are five of the best articles in recent months:
The New Yorker: “How the Elderly Lose their Rights”:
Metropolitan newspapers often cover local nursing homes charged with elder abuse. This lengthy article is about one government-appointed guardian’s abuse of one elderly woman. This extreme case carries a larger message: how readily some people take advantage of the most vulnerable elderly.
The New York Times: “There’s Community and Consensus. But it’s No Commune.”
Here’s some good news: rather than funnel older people into housing strictly for the elderly, multigenerational “co-housing” developments offer children of the 1960s a place to live, where they can remain engaged with younger people – and society.
The Atlantic: “This is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like”:
Analyses by our research center here at Boston College find that about half of working Americans should have enough money to retire. But the other half of retirees will rely solely on their Social Security. This woman, age 76, had to go to work at a grocery store to supplement her income.
The Boston Globe: “For Some, the Later Years Signal it’s Time for a Life Change”:
Change, in the reform of retirement, can be hard. “I just literally quit [work] with nothing to do,” said the retiree in this article, which shows the remarkable ways that baby boomers are reinventing themselves in their golden years.
The Washington Post: “The New Reality of Old Age in America”:
“I’m going to work until I die, if I can, because I need the money,” said another elderly woman profiled; she is 74-years-old. A report by the Stanford University Center on Longevity expands on the idea of a new retirement reality. No coincidence this and The Atlantic’s story above are about women – they usually live longer and don’t always have consistent work histories but need more money to fund more years in retirement.
The New York Times: “In Oregon, You Can Now Save for Retirement. Unless You Object”:
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College helped Oregon design the first retirement savings plan for all workers in a state with, as the Times reports, a heavy concentration of small businesses. One owner of a Portland hair salon who’d looked into plans offered by financial companies felt their fees were “too high.” The state-operated OregonSaves plan is “genius,” she said, “because people are [automatically] signed up” and can opt out.
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