tv Interview with Jo- Ann Jenkins CSPAN October 30, 2016 7:30am-7:44am EDT
aging", joanne jenkins who also serves as ceo of aarp. ms. jenkin, 60 is the new 40, right >> ms. jenkins, 60 has been afforded, right? >> no, that is not true. 50 years ago 50 and it looks good. that is part of what "disrupt aging" is all about. the way we are a genus changing and 50 is not the 30th 60 is not the new 40. it is okay and we ought to be c comfortable with what age we are, that middle age is really extending well beyond 60 and 65 but this increased longevity. people are living centaur make him a 30 years than they ever anticipated. >> what does that mean public policy wise >> what does that mean publicly pop-- public policy wise? >> huge application, not only for here in the us, but around the world. when social security was
originally put in place some 80 years ago, life expectancy, work expectancy was around 62. you would work till you were 62 and then you are likely to die when you're 67 or 68, so today, the fastest growing age group is -- in this country is people over the age of 85 and the second is over the age of 100, so we are living really 20, 30 years longer than our parents or grandparents did, so as we think about public policies, about not only social security and medicare, but mobility and this whole wealth of brainpower that is just sitting there in their 60s and 70s and 80s. how can we as a society engage the 50 plus generation in helping us to solve some of our ills in this country? host: why is it that we are living longer? guest: i think it is a lot to do with our advances we have made
in medicine and technology. we are also hopefully eating healthier and exercising. we know that people who have a better eating habits and are both physically and mentally active, that they tend to live longer and if you feel good about what you are doing our latest research says you will live another six or seven years longer if you have real meaning and purpose in your life , so i think all of those things add up to this increased longevity that we are all experiencing. host: from your book, over half of all households nearing retirement have absolutely no retirement savings and to social security provides most of the retirement income for about half of the household 65 and older. guest: huge implications. in my hometown and state of alabama, over 50% of those folks who rely on social security, their social security payments
are less than $13000 a year. i don't know anyone that can live in $13000 a year, so it's an opportunity for us to rethink these policies, to look at what increases longevity and what it will mean for social support system and the way we are building up communities. i think about the large mansions that the building industry has built over the last 10, 15 years and so many of us went to downsize or relocate because the house week grew up in is too big for us and it needs to be retrofit, so part of what we talked about in "disrupt aging" is how do we build a housing community that lives with us through our life stages so that we don't necessarily have to move, that we can anticipate that and we know that what is good for the old is usually good for the young. when we were doing research about how do we build safe sidewalks, our biggest partner were mothers with strollers.
that access to what was good for the elderly or good for people with disabilities had also the same effect on young mothers who were trying to use their strollers, so i like to call it creating an ageless society, so we are grading long-term solutions that help all of us as we age. host: is there a policy that aarp would like to see done with social security? guest: well, we have been very engaged with our take a stand campaign, take a stand is around getting the presidential candidates to focus on telling us how they are going to make sure that social security is, not only there, but adequate and so we have been following both candidates around her trying to make sure they tell us what their plans are. we will be at the debates monday to see if we can get a social security question asked at the presidential debate, but i think it is important for our
social support system in this country for us to, not but these problems linger. i think we all know that we have to make some adjustments to social security in order for it to be there not only for our kids, but our kids kids. host: joanne jenkins, how is aarp set up? there's an insurance aspect, is a not-for-profit, for-profit, how is it? guest: it is a for nonprofit and we also have aarp foundation, which is our charitable arms that focuses solely on serving the needs of vulnerable people across the country and we haven't come because asi services, which is our for-profit company which provides product and services, insurance being one of them. i always like to remind people that our founder was the first female principle in the state of california. she went to visit a friend who she heard was ill and found her living
in a chicken coop in someone's backyard and that began aarp's association with insurance. she went to 42 insurance companies try to get them to provide an insurance plan for retired teachers, so 58 years ago this woman started the american association of retired teachers and aarp and so here i am, 58, following in her footsteps. the first permit women to be in that job since our founder. host: from your book, today it is socially unacceptable to ignore ridicule or stereotype someone based on their gender, race or sexual orientation. so, why is it still acceptable to do this to people based on their age? guest: i think that is so profound because we still allow communities-- comedians, we make jokes about our own age whether it's around your birthday, over the hill and so my thought is
why do we still allow this? why do we still judge people by how old they are rather than what they bring to the table? so, "disrupt aging" is really trying to get us to focus on that positive aspects of aging and that 50 today is very different that it was 10, 20 years ago. i know that becoming into this role as ceo, one of the reasons why i wrote the book was because i was living a very different 57, 58, then what people would say, you should be retired, home of vacationing, doing whatever and it's about letting people decide how they want to age, whether they want to stay active, whether they want to retire. aarp dropped american association of retired persons some 12, 13 years ago because a lot of our members are not retiring. they want to stay engaged, stay active whether it's full-time or part-time or whether
it's volunteering and i think that is what disrupt a gene is all about, letting people decide how they want to live their lives and for me, try to figure out how we can engage the 50 plus community in the volunteering, in providing support services in our schools, in our healthcare area, caregiving. there is such a great need out there to do that. host: joined jenkins, how has the workforce changed as we age as a society and stay healthier? guest: i will take you that some companies today have five generations work in the workforce at one time. that's very different and very unique and what we are finding is in our marketing research is that people who are in their 50s and older, the boomers have more things like with millennial's than they do with any other generation. that 85% of millennial's when asked, who was your best friend, 85% of them cite one of their
parents. we know that they are influencing each other's purchasing power and decisions that they make in life and so in the workforce we know that the economy is changing very differently and that people used to have one or two different places they worked. now, they will have 10 to 15 different places they work in two or three different careers and this whole idea of permanent employment at work, i think, in the next five or 10 years will go away and people will be doing more self-employed project -based, which actually bodes very well for millennial's as well as people who are 50 and older who may not want to work a full-time gig, but released engaged and do projects, management and do projects based employment to be able to do that, so i think it will have huge implications for the workforce of the future and how we engage five
generations in the workplace at the same time. i like to think it's the next phase of diversity and gender, changes going on in the workplace. the women's issues as well as gay, lesbian issues and now the aging issue in the workplace and how do we make sure we are getting the best out of our-- all of our employees regardless of how old they are. host: what is your connection here to the national book festival? guest: i'm excited because in 2001, when laura bush became the first lady she was the first library into ever be in the white house and so we went to her. i happen to be the chief operating officer at the library of congress at the time to talk about what project might we do with her as the national library here in this town and it was to establish the next national book festival, so here we are 16 years later.
our goal in 2001, was to have 5000 people pick last year i think they had over 100,000 people and i think from what we see here on these three floors, fully expect that they will exceed that target again this year, but i think it's an exciting time for book lovers and people who enjoy reading, whether a paperback or online and i am pleads-- please to come full circle from helping twos been an author this afternoon. host: joanne jenkins, he worked at the department press rotation i department, chief operating officer, how did you get to washington from alabama? guest: i actually threw a smalltime mobile alabama, political science major, had to doing internship. came to washington, interned in washington, went home, graduated and came back to work for the reagan campaign and i have actually been here in this town since
1980 and very fortunate to be working with a number of people in this town. .. "distrupt aging: a bold new path to living your best life at every age" it is the new 50. thank you or been on both tv. >> is a look at upcoming book or some festivals. november 5th and 6, live from boston for the texas book festival with authors such as former attorney general alberto gonzales