The Faces of Aging
Aging in America has many different faces. For those whose pensions and 401(k)s provided a soft cushion of security, retirement can be about travel and leisure and discovering new friends in The Villages. But for many older Americans who may have seen their retirement funds decimated in 2008, retirement now looks very different. In Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first Century, author Jessica Bruder chronicles the lives of those Americans who lost their safety net and find themselves in the perilous position of having to be employed—at least part time—to survive.
Early retirement, coupled with good health and longevity, could mean that one is “retired” for more years than one has worked! What kind of savings and frugality will be needed to make those last years comfortable and secure? Thousands of Americans whose jobs have been relocated or terminated tell me that they can’t retire. And what of the millennials who struggle with college debt and a constantly changing job market? How will they prepare for retirement?
The need for all of us to think seriously—and creatively—about these issues as we age provides the baby boomer generation with one more challenge: In what ways might those now entering retirement create new opportunities for the next generation? How might those of us in retirement today create a bright, new vision for aging in America? Join the conversation.