WSJ takes a look at retirement
With the first Baby Boomers now turning 60, the topic of retirement is hotter than ever. The Wall Street Journal recognized this trend and capitalized on it far before it became the topic du jour, according to an interview on the Newsroom Confidential web site.
Nine years ago, Glenn Ruffenach volunteered to head up a one-time special report on retirement only to find that readers’ appetites for the subject were far larger than expected. Thus the special section “Encore” was born, and this year its frequency upped from quarterly to bi-monthly.
Ruffenach says the supplement takes a broad approach to the subject encompassing not only money and estate planning stories but those that touch on travel, health and lifestyle as well.
“In the beginning there was not a lot of financial support because I think we were a bit ahead of the curve,” he says. “But the interest in this subject has just exploded.”
He describes the guide’s approach as constructive. “This is very much news you can use. We have very practical articles filled with lots of advice for people thinking about retirement or those who have already retired.”
At 54, Ruffenach’s own perspective leads to many of the story ideas. “A lot of stories start with questions I have about retirement and what’s waiting for me and my colleagues here at the paper.”
Additionally, he says, readers provide tremendous feedback.
Ruffenach works from the paper’s Atlanta bureau with Kelly Greene, who not only contributes to the special section but also pens a weekly question and answer column on retirement that runs in the Journal’s year-old Saturday edition. Other Journal staffers and retired Journal staffers also contribute.
Listen to the interview here.