Tired of the same, old retirement advice that's difficult to follow and makes you feel worse about your own saving? So are we. Instead, The New School’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) hears from real people about what it's like to save for retirement in a system that only works for the privileged few. Host Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and professor, talks to people of all ages - millennials, mid-career professionals, and near and longtime retirees. We learn how everyday life events can derail even the best laid plans, how people cope, and how we can create a system that works everyone.
#105 - Where Do We Go from Here?
Over the last four episodes, we’ve explored how individuals fare in today’s retirement system. In the final episode of our first season, we ask: where do we go from here?
We speak with baby boomer and literature professor Ira and millennial and PhD student Owen to explore how both younger and older generations are affected by our retirement system.
Next, we hear from our expert round table, including host Teresa Ghilarducci and guests Beth Finkel, the state director of AARP New York, and New School economist Tony Webb, for a discussion of the future of retirement policy. From age discrimination to a lack of retirement plan coverage, Teresa, Beth, and Tony talk about the policies we need to make a better system for everyone a reality. Finally, we highlight research showing millennials are ready to take action and a group working to inject retirement security into the 2020 presidential campaign.
#104 - How Long Can We Work?
One of the warning signs of the oncoming retirement crisis is that people are often told they can make up for a lack of retirement savings by working longer. But even if people have the health and strength to keep working past traditional retirement ages, there’s no guarantee they will be able to find a job. Instead, our retirement system abandons older people in an unfriendly labor market at the moment they are most vulnerable to age discrimination. In the fourth episode of Reset Retirement, we take a deeper dive into how the common advice to work longer plays out in real life.
First, we hear from Mikhail, a lawyer, and Stephanie, a former advertising professional. They both describe running into unexpected career disruptions in their late 40s and early 50s, revealing to them how age discrimination is a barrier to both keeping career jobs as you age as well as finding another one after a layoff. Next, we hear from our expert round table, including host Teresa Ghilarducci and our guests, Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, and economist Tony Webb. Together, they lay bare the harsh realities of aging in the American workforce, how age discrimination interacts with low retirement savings, and the importance of the right to retire. Finally, we highlight those leading the charge against age discrimination in the courts.
#103 - Do We Get Shamed by the Retirement System?
In the United States, 8.5 million older people will fall from being middle-class into poverty when they retire if we don’t do anything. With so many at risk, why do people feel alone? They feel like they’re the only ones who struggle to save when life happens. But this isn’t about an individual’s fault. We all live in the same retirement system that works for spreadsheets, not real people—and when we believe it’s our fault, we are shamed by a failing system.
On today’s episode, we explore what this conflict looks like in real life. First, we meet Archer, an English professor who reflects on his early saving experiences and expresses feelings of regret. Then, we talk to Barbara, a single mother working at a non-profit, to discuss how job loss and divorce led her to deal with feelings of shame and eventually to financial empowerment.
After their stories, we hear from our expert round table, including host Teresa Ghilarducci and our guests, economist Tony Webb and author Helaine Olen, for a discussion on the role of shame in our retirement system. Finally, we highlight workers who have taken action to recover savings lost to high and often hidden fees in typical 401k plans.
#102 - Can I Live on Social Security Alone?
We are often told that our retirement system is a three-legged stool made up of Social Security, savings from employer-sponsored retirement plans, and private savings. But this model no longer matches today’s reality where 60 percent of workers don’t have a retirement plan at work. Coupled with life events like job loss, divorce and sickness that can easily wipe out private savings or 401k accounts, that leaves just one leg of the stool: Social Security. But can you really live on Social Security alone?
On today’s episode, we are first joined by David, a veteran journalist and playwright, to discuss the realities of living on Social Security after a lifetime of working in a gig economy. Next, our expert roundtable, featuring host Teresa Ghilarducci and guest economists Anthony Webb and Rick McGahey, convenes to clear up misconceptions about our Social Security system: who it serves, how it’s funded, and where it can be strengthened. Finally, we close by shining a spotlight on upcoming Congressional hearings that will look at how to expand the Social Security system, the first in 50 years.
#101 - Are You Alone in Your Retirement Fears?
Have you ever worried about being poor in retirement?
If you have, you’re not alone. Our first episode dives into one of the most widespread fears about retirement: running out of money and falling into poverty. We meet Henry and Bridget, two employees at The New School university. They share these same fears, yet have different savings options based on the nature of their jobs. Henry is part of a union, which gives him access to a traditional pension. Bridget, on the other hand, isn’t a union member and instead receives a defined contribution plan, a 401(k), from her employer.
Next, experts look at how Henry and Bridget’s stories relate to what’s happening across the nation. Featuring host Teresa Ghilarducci and guest economists from the Retirement Equity Lab at The New School, the round table diagnoses systemic challenges and dwindling access to savings plans in the workplace, and presents the concept of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, a bold new idea for a better future. Finally, we close by highlighting a successful state retirement program that proves both the need and the possibility for needed reform.
#100 - Welcome to Reset Retirement
Our modern retirement system is so important but so few of us understand how broken it actually is. On Reset Retirement, host Teresa Ghilarducci and her colleagues from The New School's Retirement Equity Lab peel back the layers of complexity and misperception to learn what retirement actually looks like for most Americans.
Theresa is my hero
I’m only 39 and already feel panicked about “being behind” in retirement saving. Theresa pulls me back to the reality that this is a systemic problem, not an individual one, as so many insidious forces would like us all to believe.
Enjoyable, but One Sided
Enjoyed the podcast and hoping that they produce more. Especially interesting are those interviews of people brave enough to reveal their financial health.
Although the podcast is one sided it is openly so. The producers did a great job of outlining their position. Would be interesting to hear future podcasts that deal with the opposing side’s questions like;
- social security takes about 15% from our paychecks through worker and employer taxes, and most believe SS benefits stink. So how much more are people supposed to give?
- Can people trust the government with our retirement?
- Baby Boomers lived through one of the most prosperous times in history, why should the younger generations feel sorry for them because they didn’t save and invest like their parents did?
I can’t stop listening to this. It’s fascinating and educational.