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Retirement in America

The journey continues...

The average American worker’s dream is to work at a good job for a large portion of their life and then happily retire at the end of their career. However, the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2017 Retirement Confidence Survey says, 21% of retirees said they had less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Most people only get an average of $1,340 per month for Social Security, which is only a little more than $16,000 per year. The numbers and data about retirement are astonishing and it is surprising that people are still able to retire. Retirement in America focuses on physical and emotional aspects of retirement in America through various perspectives.


It’s easy for society focus solely on people’s livelihoods, however what a person may do after their career is as equally important as to what they do during their career. This project documents daily routines and activities of John Wu, a retired New York City Policeman, Dennis O’Connor, a retired High School Teacher, Nancy Gypson, a retired teacher’s assistant for special ed, and Ken Gypson, a retired salesperson. This series represents a conversation describing the complex journey to retirement and aspects of retirement, while also acknowledging and shedding light on the subject’s past careers.


Giving a retired citizen a voice, where in society someone of age may no longer have a voice, was another important part of this project. While the photographs depict the tasks and activities the subjects go through everyday, the audio component will give deeper insight to the subjects feelings and connections to their activities as well as giving them a voice. About 58% of Americans are actively saving for retirement and achieving that goal is becoming harder and harder. Although the subjects enjoy their retirement, this documentation of their lifestyle and their stories may shed light on thoughts of planning for the future.

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