In an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said he is intent on alleviating the “shock and pain” that is causing some people to believe it’s no longer possible to achieve the American dream.

“Our answer at AARP has been: We can’t let that happen,” Rand said. “We must make sure the American dream continues as it always has.”

To that end, AARP is promoting the benefits of hiring older workers, in an effort to help those in or near retirement who lost a considerable amount of their savings. And to help older Americans continue to feel useful, AARP is also encouraging those who don’t need to work to volunteer.

Health care is another big concern of AARP, Rand said, which is why AARP is encouraging the government “to study every possible way to cut healthcare costs and simplify the overall system.”

And given the tremendous decline in the markets over the past year, AARP is very glad the government did not privatize Social Security, which AARP lobbied against, Rand said. “Just imagine where Americans would be today if Social Security were in the same shape as their 401(k)s,” he said.

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