A practical plan for the millions of people in their fifties and sixties who find themselves out of work, unable to find a job, and financially incapable of retiring, Elizabeth White shows how to get past any blame or shame, overcome denial, and find a path to a new normal.
Elizabeth White has an impressive resume, which includes advanced degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins and a distinguished employment history. She started a business that failed and then tried to reenter the work force in her mid-fifties, only to learn that there is little demand for workers her age. For a while Elizabeth lived in denial, but then had 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 from trying to survive and overcome every day.
In 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal, Elizabeth invites you to look beyond your immediate circumstances to what is possible in the new normal of financial insecurity. You’re in your fifties and sixties, and may have saved nothing or not nearly enough to retire. It’s too late for blame or shame—and it wouldn’t help anyway. What you want to know is what you can do now to have a shot at a decent retirement.
“This relevant and well-researched book will appeal not only to those 55 plus, but to the generation coming right behind them who may face similar issues” (Booklist, starred review). 55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal is a must-have for anyone whose income has suddenly diminished or even disappeared. “Providing practical solutions with a focus on retirement and maximizing savings, White maintains authority with a realistic, empathetic tone throughout. This deeply useful work will resonate with aging readers of all income levels and situations” (Publishers Weekly). If you’re ready to get serious about feeling good again, this book is for you.
This instructive debut from White, a former executive at the World Bank, explains how those in the later stages of their careers can survive unemployment and underemployment. White starts by laying bare her own struggles, which began at age 55 during the Great Recession after she unsuccessfully tried to start her own business and then realized the job market wasn't as ripe for her talents as she imagined. Calling herself "the poster child for broke baby boomers," she reveals personally tested strategies for surviving during tight times, including downsizing housing and possessions, accepting lower-paid positions, and considering entrepreneurship. White also considers how "faking normal" moments (ordering a glass of wine rather than water) for a financially struggling person become insidious habits that put finances even more deeply in jeopardy and advises tactics for gracefully considering cost during social settings. White includes many constructive tactics for surviving difficult situations large and small, including asking for help from friends or government programs, or even leaving the country for somewhere with a lower cost of living. Providing practical solutions with a focus on retirement and maximizing savings, White maintains authority with a realistic, empathetic tone throughout. This deeply useful work will resonate with aging readers of all income levels and situations.