The student loan trap
Play • 24 min

Jessie Suren grew up hearing the same advice over and over: College would be her ticket to the middle class, even if it meant taking out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. But when the job she applied for after graduation fell through, she ended up working at a call center to hound people who had fallen behind on their loan payments. She feared she was staring at a window into her future, and she would spend the rest of her twenties doing whatever it took to get her balance to zero.

Death, Sex & Money
Death, Sex & Money
WNYC Studios
Just Ask Us: Your Stories About Life After 60
A few months ago, we asked our listeners over 60 to tell us about their experiences of getting older, especially during the past year. And it turns out, you had a lot to say about it. The United States is a country that’s rapidly aging. According to Census Bureau estimates, the number of people over 65 in the U.S. will nearly double over the next 40 years. Americans are also working later, living alone more frequently, and facing greater financial hardship. And of course, there’s the pandemic. 80% of COVID-related deaths in the United States have been among people over 65. But despite all of these commonly-cited statistics, we don't hear much about what it's actually like to be over 60. We don't talk enough about getting older in our society, and when we do, we don’t often do it well. So in this episode, we hope to break down some of that silence around aging. We hear from listeners about unexpected health challenges and financial instability; feelings of isolation, invisibility and freedom; the responsibilities that come with being caregivers to parents, children and grandchildren; and shifting relationships with friends and loved ones. Hear Your Stories About Life After 60: We're having these conversations with the help of veteran public radio broadcaster Jo Ann Allen—who also hosts her own podcast, Been There Done That, all about the Baby Boom generation. As Jo Ann told us when we had her on Death, Sex & Money back in the fall, even as she's navigated uncertainty about financial stability and her fears of COVID-19, she wouldn't trade this period of life for anything. "I am 67 years old, and I am really into older people!" she says. "I love, without a doubt, up and down, over and under, in and out, being an older person and getting older." To read a transcript of this episode, click here. If you're not yet 60, but know someone who is and might not know about our show, please forward it on to them! Click the link below to send them a special email with a link to this episode. Share this episode with a friend! Did you know only 22% of people over 55 listen to podcasts regularly? Let's change that! We've rounded up some of our favorite recent reading and listening about people over 60 here, including reflections on living through the pandemic, a handy guide on how to care for older people in your life right now, and a deep dive on ageism. Update: Due to breaking news, we are postponing our live call-in show about aging. We'll keep you posted about when it will be rescheduled! We often hear from our listeners that some of their favorite past Death, Sex & Money episodes are those that feature guests who are over 60. Here are just a few of our favorites: Loading...
49 min
How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
Gimlet
Meet Your New Climate Czar
Gina McCarthy will serve as the first-ever National Climate Advisor, heading up the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. So, who is she? We spent time with her before the nomination and talked about her relentless fight to link environmental policy with public health. From her early days inspecting septic systems, to her time leading the Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration. Get to know Gina McCarthy. Calls to Action Read up on Joe Biden’s clean energy and environmental justice plans to prepare to push this team to make those promises real If you want to learn the story of how a bunch of outsiders pushed Joe Biden to adopt the most ambitious climate platform in U.S. history, listen to our episode How 2020 Became a Climate Election Learn more about the executive climate actions the Biden-Harris administration is committed to pursuing right off the bat, and what experts suggest they prioritize Check out Gina’s essay, “Public Service for Public Health,” and Maggie’s essay, “The Politics of Policy,” in the climate anthology that Ayana co-edited, All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, at allwecansave.earth If you take an action we recommend in one of our episodes, do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how it went and what it felt like. Record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us at howtosaveaplanet@spotify.com. We might use it in an upcoming episode. How to Save a Planet is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production. You can follow us @how2saveaplanet on Twitter and Instagram, and email us at howtosaveaplanet@spotify.com. How to Save a Planet is hosted by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg. Our reporters and producers are Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz, Anna Ladd, and Felix Poon. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music by Emma Munger. Our fact checker this episode is Claudia Geib.
48 min
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