In 2018, the Wall Street Journal ran an eleven-part series on 'boomers and their star-crossed retirement called "unprepared". Their basic take, elaborated through dozens of graphs and tables and anecdotes, was "boomers be fukt, yo."
They have chosen to revisit this intractable problem with ambivalence.
- As the pandemic wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health, it is also quietly reshaping how Americans will face retirement and old age in the years to come.
The virus is bringing sweeping change, mainly by “accelerating developments already under way,” says physician and entrepreneur Bill Thomas. For example, “isolation of older people has long been a problem, but Covid is focusing attention on the issue and adding urgency” to address it.
Some changes in store will be stressful. Rising government deficits and falling bond yields are creating so much uncertainty about financing retirement that most people who can continue to work will—and for as long as possible, says Laura Carstensen, director of Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
“It’s going to make people rethink retirement altogether,” she says.
Other developments will be welcome. For instance, more people will age at home, where most adults say they want to remain. There will be a boom in innovations improving life in later years. And with Covid giving us a reason to reflect on mortality, we will plan how we want to live and die more deliberately.
Lessons learned from the virus may even help us combat ageism. Surveys and studies indicate that older adults are coping emotionally better than younger generations, says Prof. Carstensen, which may help us “recognize the resilience and strength of older adults.”
"It's going to make people rethink retirement altogether" is a great way to say "retirement is over, old people gnna die, this is the face of your doom, have some cartoons."
Let us begin.