Unretirement | Chris Farrell

Summary of: Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life
By: Chris Farrell


Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life by Chris Farrell discusses the current challenges faced by our ageing society, and how the concept of unretirement can reshape the way we think about our careers and retirement. The book takes us through the historical concept of retirement and its implications, as well as how unretirement offers the well-educated and healthy population the opportunity to work past traditional retirement age, creating social and economic benefits. Unretirement guides us on how to balance work and life, and the role it plays in addressing today’s demographic crisis.

The Evolution of Retirement

Retirement is a concept that has evolved over time. Initially, only a few groups received pensions, while others without family support were expected to work until they died. Retirement options emerged over time but were largely private incentives by companies to keep workers. The US government only started providing support during the Great Depression through the Social Security Act. The idea of retirement soon evolved into an idyllic lifestyle, but many people still struggled without insurance or benefits. Today, retirement dreams remain, but the reality is that not everyone can afford them.

Retirement and Aging

Are you ready for retirement? The changing demographics show that the social system may no longer be able to support us after we retire. With an aging population and fewer young people working, Social Security and Medicare are estimated to cost half of federal expenditure in 2030. Therefore, it is essential to save more and prepare ourselves adequately for retirement. The book suggests that an alternative approach could change the perspective of aging from a frightening prospect to an opportunity for personal fulfillment.

Embracing Unretirement for a Fulfilling Third Chapter

Aging doesn’t have to mean retirement. Unretirement provides a new approach for healthy and educated individuals to continue working past the traditional retirement age. By embracing their passions and skills in a new career, older workers can live the third chapter of their lives to the fullest. Overcoming prejudices against older workers is necessary to recognize their potential in addressing our demographic crisis. Keeping people in the workforce for longer has predicted benefits, including tax generation that can keep the social system solvent till 2045. With experience, credibility, and well-developed professional networks, older workers can bring productivity boost to the workforce. Unretirement is a new way to ensure that individuals’ productive years are not squandered on the golf course, and older workers can continue to make valuable contributions to society.

The Benefits of Unretirement

Unretirement will not affect young people’s job opportunities negatively. Just like the inclusion of women in the workforce impacted positively on the economy, the inclusion of the elderly will result in more income, spending, wealth, and ultimately, more job creation. Additionally, older workers value variety and flexibility, which means that if employers adjust work environments to suit them, younger workers will also benefit from the new professional climate. This is because investing in older workers pays off as demonstrated by BMW, who saw a seven percent increase in productivity of their 47-year-old workers after accommodating their needs. Thus, the inclusion of older workers in the workforce would yield an array of benefits for both young people and employers.

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