couple at breakfast

On the Web

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 form 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.

Squared Away writer Kim Blanton invites you to follow us on Twitter @SquaredAwayBC. To stay current on our blog, please join our free email list. You’ll receive just one email each week – with links to the two new posts for that week – when you sign up here.  

7 Responses to Retirement – Ripped from the Headlines!

  1. Ken Pidcock says:

    If you’re trying to stay away from paywalls, MarketWatch runs a lot of retirement articles, including a rather provocative March 5 piece from Alicia Munnell, “A new idea: Mandatory retirement accounts to help workers delay claiming Social Security.”

    • Marjorie says:

      Right, Ken. Marketwatch is a good source and their sponsor, Wall Street Journal, has a monthly section on Mondays called Encore with great information for retirees.

  2. Russ Kamp says:

    Always appreciate your emails. Thank you for keeping me informed!

  3. Paul Brustowicz says:

    Wow! Seven years of great blogging! Keep it up!

  4. Marjorie says:

    A MarketWatch contributor, Henry K. (Bud) Hebeler offers wonderful free advice through his Analyze Now website.

    He is now deceased, but his website is still up and found his writings on when to file for Social Security invaluable.

  5. Thanks for posting this great collection of articles on retirement. I found the New Yorker piece truly shocking!

    Remember when employers used to take care of their employees with benefits and health care into retirement? My parents made a $60,000 nest egg last more than three decades thanks to great benefits from General Motors as I noted here:

    Those were truly the good old days!

  6. Den says:

    Thanks for posting this great collection of articles on retirement. I have a question: what should we look forward to doing the most during our retirement years?