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Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The budget battles of recent years have amplified the warnings of demographic doomsayers who predicted that a wave of baby boomers would bleed America dry, bankrupting Social Security and Medicare as they faded into an impoverished old age. On the contrary, argues award-winning journalist Chris Farrell, we are instead on the verge of a broad, positive transformation of our ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury Press
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 ·  116 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Clif Hostetler
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-events
Boomer crash! Have you heard? The boomer generation is retiring, and they're going to drain the Social Security and Medicare systems dry.
"Deficit! Aging! Retirement crisis! Economic stagnation! Intergenerational warfare!"
False alarm. No need to worry. I was just trying to get your attention. Chris Farrell, author of this book, says there's no problem because the Boomer generation is going to unretire (i.e. keep working) which will keep money flowing into the FICA fund. The rest of the book spin
Nov 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Nothing new in this book. Filled with pedantic anecdotes of post/near retirement go-getters, who may be laudable as individuals, but can't seriously represent a model of post retirement. Face it, most over 50 years old ain't going to start up a company, find venture capital, or become independent consultants.

The book beats you over the head with: "We are going to have to work in our old age." Oh, and it will be fun! It's so pollyanna, that I just wanted to throw the book across the room.

For exam
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, retirement
"Unretirement" describes the future where traditional retirement-of-leisure is replaced for many with a retirement-of-next-careers. Sorry, I'm 51, and I was sort of looking forward to the leisure version. So my take on this concept is nowhere near as upbeat as Farrell is throughout the book. He is really selling the concept like a consultant. The examples seem very "cherry-picked" to make the case. The book comes across as a bit too something for my sensibilities. Populist? Minnesotan? Overly po ...more
Madigan Mirza
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Farrell cheerily and chirpily informs readers that there is no retirement crisis at hand... if Boomers plan to work well into their 70's, they'll be all that much better prepared for eventual retirement by age 80!
I suppose there's a certain sense to this - if people can routinely begin to expect to live to the century mark, and if your average 65 year old is still feeling healthy, mentally sharp and eager to continue contributing to society, then yes, why not keep working?
Later chapters take a s
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I did't finish this book. The subject matter of course caught my eye but the book didn't keep my attention enough and I found myself slogging through it because I don't like to not finish a book. But when reading this one I found myself just reading the words while thinking about totally other things. I'll keep it on my shelf and maybe I'll try reading it again someday. ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good book that I found matched my believes well. Reinforced a philosophy that I have embraced over the past several years that the boomers will continue to work, contribute and thrive on their own terms well into their later years.
Ruth Feathers
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it
We're not working after 65 because we want to. we're working until we're 75 or older because we have to. ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Full disclosure: I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Perhaps I expected too much from this book. The theme of the book is that baby boomers will continue to work past the traditional retirement age because they need to economically, but also as a lifestyle choice. Farrell cites some research studies that indicate Americans are working longer and gives numerous anecdotal examples of baby boomers choosing to delay retirement, taking on "encore careers," working part-time for non-pr
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it

Gloom and doom naysayers have been saying for years that as the Baby Boomers retire they will suck Social Security and Medicare dry. This book tends to differ with that premise. Farrell states that many people enjoy the purpose, feeling of community and continued learning that working brings. People are healthier and living longer than ever before and want to keep working. Farrell entreats people to work for an extra six to eight years to really have a comfortable amount of savings for retiremen
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Denise by: 154
Shelves: first-reads
Full disclosure: I was chosen a First Reads winner, and received an Advance Reading Copy of Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life
by Chris Farrell.

The concept behind this book -- as given in the title -- is "unretirement." Since those in the boomer generation are expected to live longer and healthier lives, they are also expected to be working longer, changing to new careers, starting small businesses and other entrepreneurial ventur
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Received this book through Goodreads Give-Away program.

This book has some practical and hopeful advice, but you can get the drift of the entire book early on. I agree with Farrell that people should read about what others are doing. We all need to do research. Problem is many do not start early enough.

He provides a lot of hopeful information, but those working into their 80's are not doing it because they want to, but because they must to make ends meet. Those that are fortunate to be able to en
Steve Stanton
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This fanciful and repetitive study highlights the dire and depressing state of affairs for aging baby boomers in America. Mixing anecdotal data and selective research, the author hopes to cheerlead elderly readers to get back to work in order to save the Social Security system from collapse. Many success stories are presented as evidence of “unretirement” and certainly many seniors today are working to stave off bankruptcy in the midst of terrible circumstance, but even highly educated professio ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it liked it
There was not much new in this book for me EXCEPT his optimism regarding baby boomers readiness for the kind of retirement they want, which often includes some sort of paid work. He refutes the many gloom-and-doom reports of peeps not having saved enough, the stereotypes about working longer as retail store greeters, etc. He also addresses the lower-income segment of boomers, which so few articles mention. So if you want some optimistic factoids about the giant cohort of retirees coming along th ...more
John Tarnoff
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: boomers
This is a must-read for anyone starting in their 50s who is concerned about what's going to happen to their lives and careers as they approach traditional retirement age.

Chris Farrell is a savvy economics writer who presents the full picture of how business practices have changed over the past 30 years or so, and how the ideas that we were brought up with about retirement are just no longer valid.

"Unretirement" is a prescription for how to rethink this whole phase of our lives, and to plan intel
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think I'll buy this one and read it without feeling pressed to do it by a certain time (the situation I faced when I borrowed it from the library). It's highly informative, but rather dry for my taste, so it takes a cycle of reading and not reading to get through it. I recommend it for the information contained. ...more
deleted d
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't know retirement is a recent idea started in the 1930's.

I was expecting him also to talk about how working is good for your well being, not just to make money and support society.

It's interesting how we live in a world where people are starting to live too long and society isn't sure what to do with them
Lori Cox
Sep 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
In summery: Continue to work as long as you are able. It is good for the economy, good for your finances, good for your health, as well as good for your emotional and physical well-being. Got the point in the first few chapters and then just skimmed the rest of the book.
Alex Devero
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting view on an early retirement and on the economy with historical background. Book offers a more positive alternative called “Unretirement” where older workers reorient themselves to more pleasant careers instead of quiting.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. The subject matter is interesting, but Chris did not make it interesting enough. Too many examples, most of which were less than inspiring.
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Work to age 70, save live frugally and you will be ok in retirement is the message of this book filled with anecdotes.
Irene G
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Don't know if my staff was scared or heartened when I took this book out.
Got the drift in first 100 pages and just skimmed to the end.
Thomas Ernst
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
not as good as the Big Shift by Marc Freedman
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20 likes · 6 comments
“The rise of unretirement is good news for the economy’s vitality, the material well-being of individuals in life’s third stage, and for shoring up the financial health of the social safety net.” 1 likes
“It is notorious that the insatiable factory wears out its workers with great rapidity. As it scraps machinery so it scraps human beings. The young, the vigorous, the adaptable, the supple of limb, the alert of mind, are in demand,” wrote economist Edward Devine in 1909. “Middle age is old age, and the wornout worker, if he has no children and if he has no savings, becomes an item in the aggregate of the unemployed.” 0 likes
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