Date finished: 2016-07-18
As the Baby Boomers enter retirement, a frequent suggestion is that they'll redefine what "old age" means. Here Jacoby tackles that idea, arguing that sunny talk about endless retirement fun and medical advances to extend lifespan is coming from people with something to sell and isn't borne out by the actual facts. Many people are not saving enough to pay for an idle retirement and the Western social safety net isn't complete enough to make up for it.
Jacoby draws a distinction between the "young old", who are in their late 50s through early 70s and can travel, volunteer, and participate in social activities, and the "old old", the increasingly fragile people in their 80s who find their activities and mobility restricted by failing bodies or minds. It's a useful distinction to keep in mind: get stuff done in your 60s, because later on you likely won't be able to.
More things she talks about in this wide-ranging book:
This is a thoughtful book, and one to re-visit: I should make a point of re-reading it when I turn 60.
%T Never Say Die %S The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age %A Jacoby, Susan %K society %G ISBN 978-0-307-37794-4 %I Pantheon %C New York %P 314pp %D 2011 %@ 2016-07-18