Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy

Univ. of Chicago. Mar. 2024. 264p. ISBN 9780226831466. $25. POL SCI
Labor economist and recognized retirement expert Ghilarducci (economics and policy analysis, New Sch. for Social Research; Rescuing Retirement) presents a grim view of the current ominous realities of retirement in the United States and offers recommendations for improvement. Many aging Americans have abandoned their dreams of a dignified retirement and must continue to work as long as their health allows. The overly simplified answer to the retirement crisis, that people just need to work longer, fails Ghilarducci’s litmus test; she believes this fallacious reasoning endangers workers’ health and discriminates against people in low-wage occupations. She shares true stories of people locked into jobs not because they love to work but because they must, and her meticulous research analyzes how working longer does little to improve retirement security and inadequate pensions. Her solutions include improving jobs and pensions for older workers.
VERDICT This highly recommended book focuses on middle- and lower-income people who do not have millions in their retirement accounts and who are particularly concerned about the retirement possibilities that their children and grandchildren will have. It nicely updates Dora L. Costa’s The Evolution of Retirement and will appeal to fans of Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland.
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