Retirement | St. Louis Public Radio


From left, Paulette Sankofa, Arthur Culbert and Madeline Franklin joined Thursday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

May is Older Americans Month, and senior citizens currently make up the fastest-growing age group in the U.S. Expanding along with their numerical ranks is a movement among older adults committed to enabling people to age in place – in communities of their choosing.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Evie Hemphill talked with three St. Louisans who are deeply invested in efforts to help seniors thrive right where they are.

Marcus Butt | Getty Images

When Mike McClain pictured retirement, he thought of deserts and canyons.

The 66-year-old had planned to leave the workforce this year and spend more time outdoors, hiking and camping. That was before he was laid off from his job in telecommunications in 2009.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Some trustees for the St. Louis Public School Retirement System have been traveling extensively on the system’s dime and answered questions at Monday's board meeting about the benefits of such trips.

The seeming infighting among members of the board, which controls the pension fund for about 10,000 current and retired employees, stems from two trustees racking up the bulk of the nearly $117,000 in travel expenses from 2012 to 2016.

Office of Sen. McCaskill

Almost half of working-aged Americans are at risk of having a lower standard of living in retirement than they now enjoy, according to a new study by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

“This retirement security crisis is very real,” said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the ranking member on the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging. “In Missouri, only 45 percent of private sector workers are participating in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and that is not an anomaly.”

Vince Schoemehl, former St. Louis mayor and president of Grand Center Inc., talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 12, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

Weighing in on how to keep the St. Louis Rams from moving back to Los Angeles, former St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl supports building a new stadium for the team. But the proposed location is wrong, he said.

via Wikimedia Commons

According to the Pew Research Center, hundreds of thousands of Americans could live to see 100 by the year 2050. Women in France, Japan and the United States have already lived past the age of 114. With the now realistic possibility that individuals may live into the triple digits, planning ahead for retirement becomes both more important, and more challenging.

Living Longer

Ill. Voters File Lawsuit Challenging Retirement Benefits Ballot Question

Oct 18, 2012
(via Flickr/aperte)

A group of voters is challenging the validity of a measure on this fall's ballot that would make it more difficult to improve retirement benefits for public employees.

In a statement Thursday, Republican state Senate candidate John Bambenek, of Champaign, said he and 10 other Illinois residents filed a lawsuit arguing the question is unconstitutional.

Retirements leave gap at Ill. state parks

Aug 25, 2012
Wallula Junction / Flickr

Since late last year, almost a quarter of Illinois state park superintendents have retired, taking with them in many cases 30 or more years of experience that will be hard to replace.
The loss of that institutional knowledge is one more cost of the state's deep financial crisis. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is among state agencies hit hard by years of budget cuts.

Ill. House: End free health insurance for retired longtime state employees

May 9, 2012
(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Guy Stephens and Brian Mackey was used in this report.

Longtime state employees would no longer be able get free health insurance when they retire under legislation approved by the Illinois House today.

The vote is part of a push to cut pension benefits for government retirees. The governor, House speaker and other officials want to save money by cutting pensions, health care and other costs.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross says it's the first of many difficult votes to come.

Illinois House panel targets retiree health care

May 2, 2012
(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

An Illinois House committee wants to take away a perk for government retirees who get a big break on health insurance.

State employees who work for 20 years pay no insurance premium in retirement. A measure to end that benefit cleared the  House Executive Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, without opposition Wednesday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees opposes the legislation.

Twelve former employees of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have sued the paper, saying corporate officials lied to them about the benefits the employees would receive after taking an early retirement offer in 2007.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 25, 2011 - Ernie Edelmann needs a job.

She's a licensed professional counselor, has worked for 25 years with victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, and she's 75.

"It would be easier if I had a part-time job," she says.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 18, 2011 - The Clayton School District spends about $3 million a year on employee health insurance. Because the expense has doubled in a decade, the district's chief financial officer, Mark Stockwell, is always on the lookout for savings. He's pleased to make even a small dent.

That explains why he's grateful that the district is getting $119,000 from the federal Early Retiree Reinsurance Program to help the district and its retirees offset their health expenses.

Kit Bond to announce new job in private sector

Jan 3, 2011

Looks like Kit Bond isn't just moving out of national politics when he retires, but is moving on -- to the private sector.

Bond announced today, via a press release, that he will be having a morning press conference tomorrow in St. Louis to share the details of his next step. A location for the press conference was not listed, but will be announced at 8 a.m.

The website "" mentioned 10 states that retirees should avoid based on fiscal health, taxation and climate.  Topping the list? Illinois. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 28, 2009 - After nearly a decade working as an occupational therapist, Jeanne Hahn retired several years ago when she became eligible to receive Social Security. She sold her home, gave away most of her possessions and moved into a mobile home with her husband.

Through the social service agency Kingdom House, Hahn has earned a stipend by being a companion to a 103-year-old woman. But recently, the Fenton resident decided that her limited income wasn't enough.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 28, 2008- A few mornings a week, between 5:30 and 6, the soft ring of a cell phone pulls Robin S. Davis out of sleep. It sits on the night stand beside her bed.

Davis tries to compose herself, pushing the sleepiness out of her voice.