Weekend Reading: ‘Everything Is Terrible, But I’m Fine’

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading social pessimism individual optimism Weekend reading social pessimism individual optimism
Weekend Reading

As author Derek Thompson sums it up, if America’s current emotions were placed on a license plate, it might read: EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE, BUT I’M FINE. According to a recent Gallup study, the satisfaction Americans are feeling as far as their personal life goes is at a near 40-year high. On the other hand, their feelings toward “the way things are going in the U.S.” is nearing a 40-year low.


The gloom and the good: How are we experiencing two extreme emotions synonymously? For many, our natural state is “individually optimistic and socially pessimistic”, which draws down to our tendency to be “catastrophically gloomy” in regard to the direction of the country, despite feeling content about our own household’s future. This means the Fed and national government have their work cut out for them in bridging the gap of optimism. While the financial well-being of many are high, negative news stories on repeat are setting the tone for a “perma-gloom” state of the world that is hard to shake.

Intentionality is bliss: In my opinion, your reality is the one you should spend your time living in. As my mentor says, “When I turn off the news, life is good, and so are the people I’m surrounded by.”