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"Unretirement" Author Chris Farrell at Poynter Institute Wednesday

    

Author Chris Farrell wants to change the conversation about aging and how we spend the last third or even half of our lives. He's a senior economics contributor at Marketplace, among other things. 

In his view, there is a quiet revolution taking place that has flown under the view of Washington, D.C. and even the people who serve in various state leadership roles. "There are some fundamental changes in our society, in our economy, in our personal behavior, that means the 'doom and gloom' stories about an aging population are wrong," Farrell said.

"If people work longer, well into the traditional retirement years, it has a powerful impact on household finances and a power impact on our economy for the better," Farrell added.

He said he wants to alter the negative stereotypes that "...vastly underestimates the creativity of ordinary people. It says, once you hit 60, you are useless...that is fundamentally wrong, and we know that's fundamentally wrong," Farrell said. 

Farrell said there is a grassroots movement among the former "Me Generation," where people are talking about "marrying a passion or a purpose with a paycheck." He said this grassroots movement is transforming the way we look at the later stages of life and it involves both non-profits and for-profit organizations.  

So what are some guideposts for people entering this period of "unretirement?"

In the past few decades Farrell said the conversation surrounding retirement has been about "asset allocation, 401k's, diversification...what is my number? Do I have enough savings?" And he said savings are important, but people are asking more and more, "what do I want to do next?"  

He said the most valuable asset any older worker has is the people who know them. So, he said, "Tap into your network." 

Farrell will discuss his new book, Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think about Work, Community and the Good Life, at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg Wednesday night (May 20th).  It's a workshop hosted by Life Reimagined and community partner Encore Tampa Bay discussing the "new work reality," from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. You can find out more about the event here.

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