NEW YORK, NY – Retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci is advocating for a “Gray New Deal” to improve job and pension prospects for older Americans. Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School for Social Research, asserts that older adults should not feel ashamed about the size of their retirement accounts and should not be required to work during retirement.
According to Ghilarducci, the current U.S. retirement system is failing employees, particularly those in middle- and lower-income brackets. With a significant percentage of older adults lacking retirement savings, Ghilarducci argues for the implementation of a public-policy imperative, The Gray New Deal. She emphasizes the need to rethink retirement and work-related policies while ensuring a dignified old age for all Americans.
Ghilarducci’s latest book, “Work, Retire, Repeat: The Uncertainty of Retirement in the New Economy,” delves into the complexities of the broken U.S. retirement system and the adverse effects of the societal push for individuals to work longer. She argues that this push disproportionately impacts those in physically demanding jobs and, subsequently, exacerbates social and financial inequalities in retirement.
With women and men between the ages of 55 and 66 facing a lack of retirement savings, Ghilarducci calls for a comprehensive public approach to retirement planning. She asserts that the current “do-it-yourself” retirement system, which relies on 401(k)s and personal savings, is not sufficient. Ghilarducci emphasizes the need for policy makers to address the retirement crisis, ensuring retirement security for all Americans as part of public policy.
Ghilarducci’s advocacy for a reevaluation of retirement policies aligns with the demographic shift known as “Peak 65,” as an increasing number of individuals reach retirement age. She believes that this shift will prompt a significant reevaluation of retirement savings, influencing the views on Social Security and employer-sponsored retirement plans. As longevity continues to increase, Ghilarducci anticipates a rise in senior poverty unless proper policy measures are put in place.
The implications of “Peak 65” extend beyond financial considerations, as older individuals become a significant voting bloc. The growing electorate of younger individuals, as well as those grappling with caring for older parents, underscores the urgent need for policy changes to support retirement security.
Ghilarducci highlights the need for political will to address the impending insolvency of Social Security trust funds in the coming years. She stresses that potential cuts to Social Security benefits would jeopardize the financial well-being of older adults. To remedy the situation, she advocates for public-policy measures that address the solvency of Social Security without burdening older Americans.
In her reflections on retirement and the future of Social Security, Ghilarducci emphasizes that all Americans deserve a dignified retirement, regardless of their financial circumstances. She dismisses the notion that working longer is the solution and advocates for policy changes that prioritize retirement security.