Author Talks About ‘New Normal’ of Financial Instability Before Retirement

Stephen Henderson speaks with Elizabeth White, author of “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal.”

Elizabeth White

For much of the 20th Century, the American middle class expected to be able to retire comfortably when they reached retirement age.

But, by the new millennium, economic disruption — the Great Recession, the housing crisis, rising cost of living — and strains on our social safety nets put that all in jeopardy. 

Elizabeth White found that by the time she approached retirement age, her future seemed bleak. She wrote a book about her experience, titled, “55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal.”

A description of the book reads:

“(White) started a business that failed and then tried to re-enter the work force in her mid-fifties, only to learn that there is little demand for workers her age, even with her outstanding resume. Her retirement savings account was largely depleted by her business. For a while Elizabeth lived in denial, but then had to begin to adjust to her new reality, shedding the gym membership, getting a roommate, forgoing restaurant meals, and so on. She soon learned she wasn’t alone: there are millions of Americans in her predicament and worse, exhausted trying to survive and overcome every day.”

White joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about her experience and her book. 

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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