Few events have posed as many challenges for retirement and retirement policy as the crisis of the late 2000s. At the end of the last decade, the United States experienced the Great Recession—a combination of unprecedented wealth losses and historically high unemployment increases that marked the longest economic recession since the Great Depression. These adverse economic shocks coincided with the burgeoning entry into retirement by the baby boomer generation, those born in the United States between 1946 and 1964. The confluence of these trends meant that retirees may have faced greater economic insecurity than at any point since World War II.
This book brings together a number of influential researchers whose work is focused on economic policies and their impacts on retirement income security. They come from both academic and policy backgrounds. Specifically, half of the eight contributors are academics, while the other four come from think tanks in Washington, DC. This book is thus intended to combine research and policy.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Aging and Social Policy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Christian E. Weller 2. Prelude to a RIF: Older Workers, Part-Time Hours and Unemployment Jeremy Reynolds and Jeffrey B. Wenger 3. The Impact of the Housing Crash on the Wealth of the Baby Boom Cohorts David Rosnick and Dean Baker 4. What Will Happen to Retirement Income for 401(k) Participants After the Market Decline? Jack VanDerhei 5. Did Retirees Save Enough to Compensate for the Increase in Individual Risk Exposure? Christian E. Weller 6. Early Retiree and Near-Elderly Health Insurance in Recession Elise Gould and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez 7. The (Interconnected) Reasons that Elder Americans File Consumer Bankruptcy Deborah Thorne 8. Reforming Retirement: Values and Self-Interest Drive Support for Policy Reform in Opposite Directions David Madland 9. How to Supplement Social Security Fairly and Effectively Teresa Ghilarducci
Christian E. Weller, PhD, is an associate professor of public policy at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. Professor Weller’s research interests and expertise include pensions, Social Security, macroeconomics, and international finance. Professor Weller has published more than 100 academic and popular articles in addition to more than 200 policy reports and short policy commentaries. He is frequently cited in the press.