Why Won't The Old Folks Let You Be Great?


As many of you prepare for a holiday weekend filled with fun, family, and food is a side-eye in order for some of your older relatives?

Possibly if you object to the fact that your parents, auntie, paw-paw, nanny, and that uncle you always felt was shifty won’t retire.


Indeed the New York Times reports that despite older people settling into retirement in other parts of the developed world, those working stateside are not retiring as planned.

For the 14 million Americans looking for work — a figure that is expected to jump once Friday’s job report for August is released — the lack of turnover makes it more difficult for you and your cousins to get ahead in the job market.

However, to be fair to our older relatives and their fellow older workers, many can’t help but renege on retirement plans. Most were waiting on state and corporate pensions to help sustain them as they enter a new era in their lives.

With 401k's obliterated by the market, social security payments lowering for millions and their private savings taken a beating within the last 18 months, older Americans don’t have the financial security typically afforded to them.

A Pew Research survey scheduled for Thursday release found that nearly four in 10 workers over age 62 say they have delayed their retirement because of the recession.

Last year in the United States, almost a third of people ages 65 to 69 were still in the labor force; by contrast only 4 percent in this same age group were working or trying to in France. Feel free to insert your French-bashing comment here, but needless to say, if you’re older, chances are you’re leading a much leisurely life if your native tongue is French.


Older workers, I’d love to hear from you.

Have you had to push back retirement due to the state of the economy?

Also, the New York Times article raised a great question about the way the government handles retirement.


In America, the average citizen only nets roughly 45 percent of his preretirement earnings through Social Security. By contrast a worker in Denmark can retire with a state pension that is 91 percent of his salary.

Are you open to “socialized retirement savings?”

Leave your feedback below and send your recession stories to me at therecessiondiaries@gmail.com.


P.S. I’m totally being facetious in the title of this post. I respect my elders. Yes ma’am, yes sir.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.