In today’s show we dig deep into the forgotten history of retirement. Have you ever wondered how we wound up with the retirement system today? Have you ever wondered what political movements led to the creation of things like mandatory retirement and the Social Security system?
Although I certainly can’t answer all the questions in one show, today we roll up our sleeves and dig deep into some of the academic research, using William Graebner’s book “A History of Retirement” as our primary source.
Join us to find out:
- Who was William Osler and why did he say that men over 40 years of age are “useless” and that men 60 years of age should have a “peaceful departure [from life] by chloroform?”
- Why was retirement the first institutionalization of age discrimination?
- How was retirement used and marketed to destroy the systems of permanence that employees had built into their jobs?
- How was retirement used to break down the social interaction in our society in order to make society less personal?
- Why was retirement one of the primary tools used by politicians to reduce unemployment in our society (by removing all old people from the ranks of “available workers”)?
Today’s show is not “fluffy” or light. It’s deep and has a lot of academic language. But it will provide a valuable basis in fact to help judge your own retirement goals.
Resources cited today:
- The Greatest Retirement Crisis in American History in Forbes
- A History of Retirement by William Graebner on Amazon
- Review cited for “A History of Retirement” on jstor
- The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History by Dora Costa on Amazon
- PDF of “The Evolution of Retirement” on NBER site