Had an enlightening conversation with Elizabeth White, author of Fifty-Five, Unemployed, and Faking Normal. Her article, You Know Her, first appeared on the Next Avenue website. She noted that no one she knew was traveling the world, or buying condos, and most were just one crisis away from insolvency.
Many responded as they saw their friends, sisters, daughters and themselves in her article. This motivated her to write this book. She quotes many popular statistics throughout this book, mainly to assure us that this situation is not primarily our fault. She encourages us to emerge from our self-inflicted shame or shell shock and to start groups to talk about what’s going on to resist the temptation toward isolation and disempowerment.
In every chapter, she offers opportunities for self-reflection and makes many recommendations. Not only does she offer solutions that are available, or have been available (up until now), she also offers great advice for making sense of a new way to live and work in the world. She encourages us to realize that even though we did not grow up with an entrepreneurial mindset that navigating the new economy is going to be challenging, but not impossible.
She talks about housing security being a necessary requirement for retirement security. In the wake of the combination of reduced earnings, excessive costs, and lack of affordable options, these are the root cause of the housing crisis.
She references the fact that there have been major advancements in medical care so that we are living longer, but the infrastructure does not exist to support us into that longevity.
There are quotes throughout the book from individuals who are living this life every day and case studies as real-life examples well.
This book is a must-read for every individual who is asking themselves ‘What Next?’ no matter what their age. The sub-title of this book is ‘Your Guide to a Better Retirement Life’ because it’s not just for retirees. We’re all going to retire someday, let’s figure out what to do before we get there.