Blurred Lines of the Budget Debate

The title of the undisputed hit song of this past summer, before the government shutdown, Blurred Lines,* lacks a reference to Congress (or rest assured it would have been a dud). But it captures what politicians and others in Washington have done in the hopes that voters don’t catch them causing damage to our lives and the broader economy. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter Last week economist and former Obama administration official Jared Bernstein wrote in the …

Dear Abby Weighs In on Older Workers Debate

The debate over older workers staying on the job longer, and crowding out younger employees, won’t go away. In a recent Dear Abby column, “Disgusted in Columbus, Ohio,” blasted older workers for hanging onto their jobs “so they can live lavish lifestyles” at the expense of younger workers who don’t advance in the workplace, or worse, get laid off. Yet as Dear Abby pointed out, many older adults stay on the job these days just to survive.  During the financial crisis and …

Saving Jobs in Hard Times

Is there a way to protect some workers – younger as well as older – from job loss during economic downturns? Some might be helped during the next recession if more employers have access to and use what is known as short-time compensation or work sharing. Work sharing is exactly what it sounds like – the sharing or spreading around of the available work when times are tough. Work sharing is not to be confused with job sharing, which is …

In Banking, Americans Lean Local

I won’t tell you the name of my bank, but I will tell you this: it’s the oldest in the state; it didn’t use account numbers until the Federal Reserve forced it to; it has 25 branches, all within easy driving distance of one another; and every employee at the branch I use – from manager to teller – knows me by name. Not only that, the tellers all have baskets of lollipops and bags of dog biscuits at the …

Where’s Home Sweet Home? Probably Where You Are

Americans stayed put in record low numbers from 2005 until 2010, according to a new Census Bureau study. Only 35.4 percent of people moved during the period, the lowest rate ever recorded by the Census Current Population Survey, and 4.1 percent lower than during the previous five-year period. Older Americans, who generally relocate less often than younger adults, followed the trend. Less than 14 percent of people 65 and older moved – compared with more than 18 percent from 2000 …

Ready, Set, Retire. Or Not.

How can we be brave enough to retire when our nest eggs aren’t moving in the right direction fast enough? Many of us older workers are still smarting from financial crisis and the toll it took on our net worth. We watched our retirement savings fall and start to inch their way back. But we’ve also been told, time and again by financial experts, that we need to stay on the job longer to save as much as we can so …