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Unretirement    by Chris Farrell order for
by Chris Farrell
Order:  USA  Can
Bloomsbury, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

Hope for the Baby Boom Generation ...

Finally, an author doesn't think the Baby Boomer generation is going to bankrupt the nation. Why should they? They are working longer, they are innovating, they are doing things differently. They are better educated, and they enjoy better health. According to this author, Chris Farrell, 'Social Security taxes generated by five additional years of work by nondisabled older Americans would offset more than half of the Social Security Trust Fund deficit in 2045.' What a contrast from the naysayers who preach that the boomer generation is on a course to bankrupt not only Social Security but Medicare as well.

This author is a positive voice above the gloom. We not only have people working longer, they want to work longer and stay active. They enjoy social interaction and satisfaction from work. An innovative group, they are developing all sorts of small and large businesses.

Farrell makes a great case for a longer working career for many people. He tells us that a worker with thirty thousand in income can double his/her social security by working an additional eight years. He describes boomers as breaking the chains of the past and as developing a creative economy. It's all a matter of good economics.

Of course there are problems. Stereotypes abound. He notes a study on women that demonstrated that women under fifty will be 40% more likely to be called on resumes than women over fifty. There are weight issues and health issues for many. Available and affordable health insurance is mandatory. He speaks of people being shackled by job lock. This means they can't change jobs or they will lose health insurance or retirement benefits. Been there.

Change isn't easy, but it is coming and defying the negative voices. The author says that 25% of the workforce will be over 55 by the year 2020. They are not greedy geezers. They are breaking the chains of the old order and entering retie-ment. He makes a great case for delaying retirement for those with that choice.

Yes, there are exceptions. There's burnout, health issues, and money issues. As always, the lower educated enduring low-income work do not fare well. But, for those who love their jobs, he recommends keeping them. For those who are unemployed or forced to retire, become entrepreneurs, he says. Also consider part-time positions, even if they are at much lower wages. That income helps pay the bills and keeps you connected to the working world. He also recommends positions serving older persons, which makes total sense. Even funeral homes provide lots of jobs. I have a friend in her eighties who has been a funeral home receptionist for twenty-five years and survived cancer and M.S. in the process. She's a caring individual.

Encore jobs are the future for senior workers. Networking is critical because half of all jobs come from persons we know or have met. This, and delaying social security, will remove any money crises for both the government and us as individuals. Finally, Farrell quotes Ben Bernanke who noted that change is the only constant. Times are changing, and they are for the better. What a breath of fresh air here.

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