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The Gig Economy and Retirement


A growing number of workers are participating in non-traditional, freelance or contractor style jobs, a trend that's being referred to as the gig, or 1099, economy. While participating in the gig economy offers many benefits-most notably independence and flexibility-there's also a big downside: in most cases, workers don't have access to an employee-sponsored retirement plan.

If you are a part of the gig economy, check out WISER's blog to learn more about ways you can still save towards retirement.

money in piggy bank

The Older Americans Act and Why It`s Important

Woman in window

On April 19th, the Older Americans Act (OAA) was reauthorized and signed into law by President Obama. The Older Americans Act was originally enacted in 1965 and since that time has provided funds for critical services that keep older adults healthy and independent; services like meals, job training, senior centers, caregiver support, transportation, health promotion, benefits enrollment, and more. 

Learn more about what the Older Americans Act supports and check out this fact sheet from the OAA's 50th anniversary.

New Research: The Appalachian Savings Project

Creating Opportunity Cover

WISER recently released the final report for our Appalachian Savings Project. This project created a matched savings program for self-employed childcare workers in rural Ohio and West Virginia. After a year of saving, project participants averaged $1,150 in savings, or 5.5% of their income.

This project demonstrates that despite all the financial barriers and competing demands, lower- and moderate-income workers, self-employed workers and small business operators can save regularly, and savings incentives help people overcome inertia and significantly boost their level of cash assets. Read WISER's summary of the project, and visit our research page for the full data evaluation report.


PBS Documentary: When I`m 65

PBS doc


This one-hour TV documentary from Detroit Public TV, called When I'm 65: Rethinking Retirement in America, is a great show for all ages. The documentary takes an honest look at the struggle many Americans face when funding their retirement and includes some helpful retirement planning ideas. It's beginning to air across the country on PBS stations and you can also watch the show anytime online. WISER President Cindy Hounsell is a featured speaker in the documentary. Learn more about why the show is worth watching in this recent article from Next Avenue.


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Use WISER's calculator to determine when you should start saving for retirement and how much you can really afford to save. (Excel file).