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Addressing Inequities to Promote Health, Productive Aging, and Retirement: A Conversation with U.S. Policymakers

Authors: Gonzales, Ernest
Keywords: Productive Aging;Equity;Retirement
Issue Date: Apr-2024
Abstract: This chapter summarizes discussions on productive activities and retirement with the Senate Committee on Aging in 2023. While the Senators were particularly interested in age discrimination in the workplace, our conversations also focused on extended human longevity – and inequities in economic, health, and social conditions – which have profound implications on social insurance programs, economic security and growth, and extended health and purpose in later life. Participation in the labor force is a dynamic process, dependent on resources, cultural norms, family dynamics, punctuated with periods of rest. Equity and intersectional perspectives are applied to this material to help clarify the interplay between employment, caregiving, civic engagement, and retirement among a very diverse U.S. population. I first review discrimination within the workplace and how it undermines health, work, and retirement. This section also reviews how ageism intersects with other forms of bias – racism, sexism, ableism, and a confluence of other identities – within the workplace. The second section reviews research on tensions between family caregiving, employment, and retirement. The third section introduces civic engagement to maintain health, social ties, and purpose in later life and how it can be leveraged to promote flexible options with paid and non-paid activities. Each section reviews social policy solutions.
Appears in Collections:Ernest Gonzales' Collection

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