Statement by NJAAW Executive Director Cathy Rowe, DrPH at Virtual Signing of Governor’s Bill for S397 / A681
TRENTON, NJ (October 5, 2021) NJAAW Executive Director Cathy Rowe, DrPH, was invited to speak at the governor’s virtual signing of Bill S397 / A681 to extend protections against discrimination based on age.
“I am honored to be here to celebrate the signing of this bill into NJ law,” said Dr Rowe.
“The notion of 65 as a magical retirement age dates back to a time when most Americans worked for one employer for most of their careers, large companies guaranteed generous retirement plans, we never expected to live. that five to 10 years after retirement and let’s say remember that most women were not in the paid workforce. So much has changed, and our ideas about when to work and when to retire must change as well.
“Aging well is everyone’s goal. And the ability to work as long as we want and are able to work is an important part of making New Jersey a age-friendly state. Employment of older people is recognized by the World Health Organization, the International Federation on Aging and AARP as part of healthy aging for several reasons.
“Of course, employment provides income and economic security. The 2019 NJ Seniors’ Economic Security Index shows that many of our residents over 65 live far too close to the poverty line to meet their housing, health and basic needs if they don’t. not work. While Social Security was never intended to be a sole source of income, it is, in reality, the only income for a significant portion of older New Jersey residents.
“But employment also offers much more. Whether it’s a part-time job or a long career, the job has positive impacts on a person’s overall well-being by providing social connections and purpose, and it empowers people people to share years of experience and expertise. Many find that their vocation is an essential part of their identity which has fascinated them for years. We also need to look to the near future, where by 2030 we will have more residents over the age of 60 than in our schools. This will have a profound impact on our labor pool and our employment practices.
“NJAAW applauds the passage of this bill which eliminates the mandatory retirement age. We applaud him for recognizing aging as we work for diversity, equity and inclusion. We applaud that this removes the possibility of discriminating against an individual purely on the basis of their age, and we look forward to the positive impact this will have on so many in our condition. Thank you.”
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NJ Advocates for Aging Well (NJAAW, njaaw.org), formerly NJ Foundation for Aging, has been at the forefront of the aging experience revolution since 1998. It is the only non-profit organization in the world. statewide focused solely on leadership in public policy and education to enable older people to live with independence and dignity in their communities. NJAAW’s advocacy issues include housing for the elderly and hunger, economic security for the elderly, older workers, and transportation. The award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly newscast produced by NJAAW, connects caregivers, seniors and their families with community services and resources. The show is available on NJAAW’s YouTube channel, website, and over 70 public access stations across NJ (check local listings for channels and times). NJAAW also presents educational forums and an annual conference offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals responsible for caring for aging adults.
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