Economic Program | Report

The Next Phase: Ushering in a New Era of American Retirement

by John C. Scott

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How do we ensure American middle class prosperity in an era of ever-intensifying globalization and technological upheaval? That is the question we are trying to answer with NEXT, a new project at Third Way in which we tap into some of the leading thinkers in academia and plumb new research that uncovers the trends that will shape America. Our aim is to challenge, and ultimately change, some of the prevailing assumptions that routinely define, and often constrain, progressive economic and social policy debates. In so doing, our hope is to push the conversation towards a new, more modern understanding of America’s middle class challenges – and spur fresh ideas for a new era.

This first NEXT paper, “The Next Phase: Ushering in a New Era of American Retirement,” unlocks the potentially powerful idea of “phased retirement.” In this paper, author John C. Scott shows how the actions of those nearing retirement may open up new policy ideas to help government afford the coming demographic bulge.

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