Together we can change the trajectory of those who deserve fair treatment
after long lives of hard work and contribution.
“Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize!”
Folk singer Joe Hill
For years a growing chorus of analysts and advocates has warned of the impending retirement crisis and the need to re-think the way our society treats its aging workers. Today tens of millions of able contributors are facing the future described by the Wall Street Journal: A Generation of Americans is Entering Old Age the Least Prepared in Decades.
This impending and disturbing future will not be changed by endless talk and hand wringing. The faithful companion of unaffordable retirement is unacceptable resignation. We can either act individually and together to make the changes that matter—or we will experience the gift of our new longevity as an unexpected burden. The time to act is now.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
Respectful Exits is creating a robust and spirited national organization that implements our Longevity Agenda through education, persuasion, and, when needed, pressure. Significant change will happen when we commit to the following activities.
Become a Supporter
Help us build Respectful Exits by becoming an ongoing supporter, staying informed about this issue, and joining your voice with the millions of at-risk employees who face an uncertain future.
Make an Investment
In all campaigns, money matters. Our donation page describes several levels of commitment, each one a valuable investment in your and our collective future. We will all benefit directly and significantly from our success. Please give what you can and as often as you can.
Tell Your Story
Millions of us have experienced both supportive and dismissive practices in our workplaces, but our powerful stories have rarely been told. The challenges we face and the solutions offered by some employers need to be shared. We ask you to reach out to the rest of us by telling your story.
Take Our Surveys
Regular surveys and polls of current and potential supporters help shape our campaign and amplify the voice of aging workers. Please take our current survey and encourage your friends and co-workers to do so.
Educate Your Employer
You can help your employer understand the value of implementing our agenda by educating its leaders. Expose your HR team and major decision-makers to the Respectful Exits website. Contact us for support materials that make the business case for the Longevity Agenda.
Sign Our Open Letter
We are collecting signatures on an open letter to U.S. employers asking them to adopt our Longevity Agenda. The letter is maintained on this site and will be released with with first names and last name initial only. Let your voices be heard!
Form a Longevity Forum
We encourage employees to join together in their workplaces and with like-minded aging workers in other settings to build support for the Longevity Agenda. Contact us for suggested tools and activities to implement elements of the Longevity Agenda.
Negotiate Your Future
While you join others in transforming policy and practice, there are steps you can take now to chart your own future. Consider using our Phased Retirement guidance to make a business-based proposal to your employer to create your own flexible path to retirement.
Our greatest challenge is overcoming the isolation, resignation, and powerlessness that comes from thinking we are facing our uncertain futures alone. Our power begins with bringing this issue out of the shadows, clarifying the problem, posing straightforward solutions—and acting together to advance our agenda. We are all connected in many ways—at work, in community groups, and through social media, list servs and email.
Use the buttons below and throughout the site as a quick and easy way to share the campaign. Help us spread the word!
“If not us,who? If not now, when?”
Insightful employers take the long view while analyzing facts in front of them. Yesterday’s assumptions and practices about the nature and value of talent have been thrown up in the air. Today’s challenges of tight labor markets plus the loss of vital knowledge embedded in the massive Boomer exodus are leading some employers to revise their approach to aging workers.
Many spent the past few decades cutting costs by terminating pension plans, restraining wage growth and using early retirement to jettison “expensive workers.” Aging workers absorbed the impacts while companies prospered. Today’s record stock markets and profits and the recent tax bill have strengthened already healthy balance sheets. The question now looms: will employers reward shareholders alone or now address the needs of all stakeholders?
MAKE THE CHANGE
To advance the goals of all stakeholders and build win-win outcomes for employers and their aging workers, Respectful Exits urges all employers to adopt the changes in policy and practice that we define as the Longevity Agenda:
- End the 65 “sell-by” date as a mandatory or informal “retirement age”
- Practice career-long development and training of all staff
- Encourage robust flexible scheduling for employees of all ages
- Provide ongoing, on-demand financial wellness counseling
- Implement and promote flexible and phased retirement options
None of these changes can occur overnight. But all have been done in whole or in part by forward-leaning employers. We call on every employer to embark on the following steps.
Sign Colleague Letter
We are asking supportive employers to sign an open letter to their peers stating their intentions and asking others to adopt the Longevity Agenda. The letter is maintained on this web site and will be featured in our ongoing work.
Make a Contribution
Companies who support the mission of Respectful Exits understand that resources are essential in getting our message out to the employers and employees whose collaboration can make change happen. In addition to the steps suggested below, contributions can multiply impact.
End Retirement Age
Many organizations have already retired formal and automatic retirement ages. There is no clearer result of our new longevity than the fact that millions need, can and want to work beyond the traditional sell-by dates. It is time to end both the formal and informal versions.
Ensure Ongoing Training
As the pace of technological change speeds up and new fields of knowledge emerge, constant training and retraining are vital to grow workers’ skills and value. Much training is focused on early careers. Employers need to offer training to mid-career and older employees.
Formalize Flexible Schedules
Flexible work—flextime, work-at-home, job sharing, etc.—was driven by the needs of young employees juggling work and family demands. Its availability to older workers varies greatly. Negative attitudes toward aging workers limit access at a vital time; formal programs can help.
Strengthen Financial Wellness
A major contributor to the underfunded retirement years facing aging workers has been the near-elimination of private sector pensions. Far-sighted and socially responsive employers have an opportunity to invest in ongoing financial counseling as part of a broader wellness effort.
Implement Phased Retirement
Dozens of employee surveys rate “flexible and phased retirement” as a highly desirable option, but few companies offer it. These practices are invaluable tools to enable longer work. Employers should explore the myths and realities surrounding their value and feasibility.
Support Longevity Forums
It is both possible and desirable for aging workers and their employers to collaborate on mutually beneficial activities that will build healthy longevity in the workforce. Companies can support self-organizing groups that strengthen training, flexibility and financial wellness.
We challenge 65 as the widely assumed ‘sell-by’ date.
Milk curdles; people don’t.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
Join to help us transform retirement in our lifetime and to stay informed about our campaign.