2020 Best of Year Winner for Social Impact

Photography by James Steinkamp.

Communities across the U.S. need superb branch libraries, and they also need affordable housing for seniors. A twofer project by the Chicago office of Perkins and Will shows how to accomplish both—and add arresting design to the Windy City in the process. The 65,000-square-foot building for a neighborhood north of downtown weaves two forms together in a single composition. On the street level, a community room and a learning lab for teens bookend the double-height glazed library. Perched above, two floors of apartments occupy a sinuous volume, accented with fluorescent green, that curves around an outdoor terrace on the library’s roof. But integration, not segregation, is the goal. To ensure that public housing residents mix with the larger community, the library and apartments share the same lobby, where a mural by a local artist celebrates the neighborhood’s diverse culture.

Photography by James Steinkamp.

Project Team: Ralph Johnson; Doug Smith; Mark Walsh; Julie Michiels; Sally Cathcart; Daniel Robinson; Jeff Saad; Adam Lund; Alan Mui; Andrew Sommerville; Lara Zakhem; Shannon Gedey; Andrew Broderick.

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020

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How Real Estate Investment Can Boost Retirement When Pensions, 401(k)s And Social Security Fall Short

Bruce W. McNeilage, CEO Kinloch Partners.

There was a time in the United States where the norm went something like this: Graduate from high school or college, and then work 30 to 40 years with the same company and retire with a pension and a gold watch.

But that’s not the way it works today.

Those pensions? For most Americans, they are history. In 1980, 60{ac967ad544075fb2f6bcea1234f8d91da186cac15e616dc329e302b7c7326b8c} of American workers had access to a defined benefit (company-funded) retirement plan. Today, the percentage of workers in the private sector with a defined benefit retirement plan has plummeted to 4{ac967ad544075fb2f6bcea1234f8d91da186cac15e616dc329e302b7c7326b8c}, according to CNNMoney.

Defined contribution (self-funded) retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, have helped pick up some of the slack, but these plans are often underutilized. According to a 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the median retirement savings for Americans ages 55 to 64 was $104,000. If invested in an inflation-protected annuity, this would equate to a $310 monthly payment.

How about Social Security? The average Social Security benefit was $1,503 per month in December 2020. The maximum possible Social Security benefit for someone who retired at the full retirement age of 66 or 67 is $3,148 in 2020. This

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