Freud said it best: “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” We’ll leave the amatory advice for another time, but it looks like it would be a boon to the economy for us to keep toiling until at least 70 (A bit at odds with the above piece about 61 being the average retirement age, no?). As baby boomers age, the 65+ population will grow from about 13 percent of America’s population in 2010 to 20 percent by 2030. If we work, so some economists argue, we could stimulate economic growth. Maybe more meaning and more money? Time will tell. Well, work is nice if you can get it, but you can’t always, even if you try. The Huffington Post calls being older an “elephant in the room” for many job seekers. Go here.
No less an authority than Gallup has determined that the current average age for retiring in our country is 61—UP from 57 in the early 1990s. On the other hand, see below for how older adults are being encouraged to work till their 70s (if they can find jobs!). And if you hold to the strategy of trying to keep you money "safe" in Certificates of Deposit, surprise, surprise, many CDs pay only .25% these days. Low interest rates are not the only factor that’s making retirement, a period heretofore identified with rest and relaxation, stressful.
It would be nice to think that as the 76-milllion-strong baby-boom generation marches into older age, it will trample age discrimination into the dust. Don’t hold your breath. While some say there are signs of incremental improvement—the bias may be a little less blatant than in decades past — it’s also true that mature folks probably are as likely as anyone to demonstrate a bias against people their own age. Surprised? Disappointed? Or, smart you, you figured that was the case? Here’s the full story.
They did start the fire. Nancy Henkin, Executive Director of Temple University’s Intergenerational Center, and Willo Carey, well-known WHYY TV personality and development executive. They “birthed" Coming of Age with two other visionary women. Nancy was honored last week in New York City by Elders Share the Arts for her “extraordinary leadership and vision in helping communities bring together generations with innovative strategies.” And Willo (pictured on the left and no doubt familiar to many from those WHYY on-air fundraisers) will be honored at the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Annual “Bright Star of Aging” luncheon on June 6. An apt title for our Ms. Carey.
Could be. The summer is going to be a busy time for Coming of Age nationally. The next community to have a Coming of Age initiative: Tampa. That’ll bring us up to 10 in the Coming of Age network (plus five other communities that present our programs). And it all started here in Philly. We’re also taking our show on the road… to Harrisburg. Commissioned by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, we’ll be training representatives from Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) from counties from across the state on how to engage older adults as volunteers. We’re also working at the Smithsonian in Washington, D. C. and training more folks to deliver Explore Your Future in Kansas City.
Memorial Day has come and gone. A long (and probably very hot) summer is in the offing. So to keep cool, we're thinking about the fall. Are men in their 60s and older in Philadelphia a special breed? They’re doing what we’ve been told for years they never would—come together to talk about their feelings—in this case about the next phase of their lives (that they’re either in or contemplating). Our first Encore Men’s Group this spring filled up almost as fast as a Bono concert. We’re starting another, come the fall. If you’re a man and interested, go here, and we’ll let you know when the group gets going. Also, coming this fall, our popular Explore Your Future program. Email info@CominofAge.org if you want the deets.
We took to the airwaves recently, invited by WWDB Boomer Generation Radio talk show host Richard Address-- that's him on the left-- to let his listeners know what Coming of Age is up to in Philly. It’s all been memorialized via a podcast that you can check out here. Also, the current issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report includes an article featuring Coming of Age. Alas, there’s no online version, but if you have a subscription, we’re on the page one in “Try Something New with an Encore Career.”