Read reviews of “Working Longer”

The New York Times, July 20, 2008

“Who Wants to Retire Later? (Don’t Laugh)”

By Harry Hurt III

Work longer and retire later? The very idea sounds depressing, especially to overworked, underpaid, aging baby boomers like me. But we may have no choice if we want to avoid a precipitous decline in our accustomed standard of living. That is the basic thesis of Working Longer

View full text of The New York Times review.


The Economist, May 29, 2008

“Making it Happen”

By Paul Wallace

Live longer, work longer: the cure for population ageing is self-evident, if unpalatable. What is far from obvious is whether such a future will emerge under current arrangements and, if not, how the remedy can be achieved. The merit of “Working Longer”, which focuses on America, is that it grasps this thorny issue. The book provides both a concise summary of a wealth of evidence about retirement decisions and a handy guide for middle-aged Americans on how to stay well-off when they hang up their shoes…

View full text of The Economist review.


The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2008

“Older Staffers Get Uneasy Embrace”

By David Wessel

…There’s a lot of happy talk around that we’re going to have slowing in the rate of growth in young workers and, therefore, employers are going to want to hire older workers just at the time that older workers are going to want to work,” says Boston College economist Alicia Munnell, co-author of Working Longer…”We think it’s much less clear than that.

View full text of the Wall Street Journal review.

EconomicPrincipals.com, a weekly independent April 27, 2008

“A Longer Goodbye?”

By David Warsh

…As for the complicated matter of how Americans, in particular, are dealing with swiftly-changing expectations of what constitutes a “normal” retirement, a much more reliable guide is Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge, by Alicia Munnell and Steven Sass…Here there is no gauzy portrayal of the joys of elder statesmanship. Instead, there is the bruising reality of the ongoing attempt to shift upwards the entitlement frontier from the once-magical age of 62…

View full text of the EconomicPrincipals.com review.

The New York Review of Books,March 20, 2008

“The Specter Haunting Old Age”

By Jeff Madrick

…even if Social Security is made solvent, its benefits as a proportion of a worker’s average income over a lifetime will recede significantly in the next two decades… As a result, Alicia Munnell and Steven Sass, of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, predict in their book, Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge, that Social Security benefits will, on average, replace only 30 percent of pre-retirement income for a retiree in the middle of the income distribution by 2030, compared to 40 percent today. This “replacement state” may in fact be less than 30 percent because the reductions do not include the premiums retirees will have to pay for the new Social Security drug prescription plan.

View full text of the New York Review of Books review.