Visit my show at the PSCCU Credit Union, Vashon, Washington May, June 2024 

Chris Farrell: Creating a new story about un-retirement

screen-shot-2016-04-22-at-9-19-59-amWe live within stories, some personal, some cultural.  One of those stories is about retirement – that supposedly magical time of life when one crosses over a threshold and leaves the work world forever. Yet for increasing numbers of us, that story doesn’t work at all.

Maybe we want to keep working because it offers us a way to stay creative and contributing. Maybe we need to work to finance our later years. Or maybe we want to pursue an interest we’ve always had, or pursue a new volunteer or service opportunity.

Maybe what we need is just a break.

Chris Farrell is creating a new story about working past sixty which he calls “unretirement,” the subject of his book by the same  name.

Drawing from his background as a journalist and an economist, Chris systematically busts up the prevailing gloom and doom thinking about what’s going to happen as baby boomers hit the social security age.  With persuasive statistics he debunks the idea that the boomers will bleed the economy dry and bankrupt social security.  Instead, he argues that working just a little longer (whether paid or unpaid) is good for individuals and good for the economy as well.

In this interview, Chris shares his informed and optimistic view of the future for baby boomers and what they can contribute to the economy.

A gem from the interview:

“If the majority of boomers can continue to work a couple of extra years…part time, halft time, t has a dramatic impact on the economy, it has a dramatic impact on the health of our communities and I think it has a dramatic impact on the health of the individual and the household, both financially and  physically and mentally.”

Listen to these reflections on the show:

How the fact that people are working longer is changing the economy.

Why so many people come back from retirement.

Where the unretirement conversation is taking off on a grassroots level.

What millenials and boomers share in common – and how expanding the economy for older adults expands it for all of us.


And the full episode:



Or listen to episode 52 in ITunes (and please leave a rating and review!)

About my guest

Chris Farrell

Chris has spent much of his professional life reporting and writing on economics and helping people make the most of their money. He’s currently senior economics contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and personal finance programs. He’s also economics commentator for Minnesota Public Radio. He writes regular columns on economics and public policy for Bloomberg Businessweek and on personal finance for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Chris is economics editor of Marketplace Money, a nationally syndicated one-hour weekly personal finance show produced by American Public Media.

He’s is the author of three books: Right on the Money: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances, and Deflation: What Happens When Prices Fall and Unretirement.

Chris is a graduate of Stanford and the London School of Economics.

After Stanford, he worked for four years as a merchant seaman working in the engine room, going through the Suez and Panama canals, steaming past the Rock of Gibraltar under a full moon at midnight, saving money to finance his graduate degree from the London School of Economics.


The Show Notes

Read Chris’ book

Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life

or website:



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