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This is a truncated version of the EFA Chicagoland Chapter News. If you would like to read the full e-newsletter, visit the archive, where you can also subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox monthly.



Are You Saving for Retirement?

Let’s face it: We really only have two choices in life—die young or grow really, really old. If you’re past a certain age (and you likely are), that leaves you with the latter choice. Becoming “elderly” (*whimper*) is bad enough, but facing that old age without retirement savings would make it worse.

And here’s the really terrifying part: According to Pew Charitable Trusts, only 13% of self-employed (SE) people age 50 or older in single-person firms save for retirement.

If you don’t yet have a retirement account or are ready to change account types, Bill Bischoff at MarketWatch recently wrote a two-part series detailing differences, pros, and cons of available SE accounts.

We put his main points in the table below for easier comparison. Bischoff goes into much more detail in the articles, including examples with sample SE incomes (he does the math for ya!). Part 1 covers uncomplicated SEP and SIMPLE IRA accounts. Part 2 discusses solo 401(k)s and defined-benefit contribution plans, which are more complex to set up.

As with all complicated and somewhat scary things, Bischoff recommends getting professional advice before deciding which option is best for you.

In the meantime, we wish you luck on your impending decrepitude. We’ll see you at shuffleboard.

Inclusive Language Projects Help Ensure Fairness, Accuracy

Language is alive. Constantly changing, developing, and occasionally disappointing, a couple new projects seek to not only fill in the gaps in our lexicon, but to also give us wordy types the tools we need to ensure language is inclusive, fair, and accurate.

The first is a new dictionary project announced by Oxford Dictionaries: The Oxford Dictionary of African American English (ODAAE).

In partnership with Hutchins Center African American studies scholars, the project will “produce a groundbreaking work of scholarship that will serve as a cornerstone of new research into African American language, history, and culture.”

ODAAE is supported by a three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation and “will be an authoritative record of African American English.”

The second development was announced at the ACES conference in April. AP Stylebook added a new inclusive storytelling chapter to the 56th edition of the style guide, which will be published June 1.

The new AP chapter “emphasizes the importance of inclusive reporting and editing in ensuring accuracy and fairness, and offers guidance to recognize and overcome unconscious biases; use thoughtful and precise language; include necessary context and background; avoid tokenism; and make content accessible.”

Other let’s-think-about-what-we-say resources that have recently come to our attention include:

If you’d like to hear more about the Oxford dictionary, the “That Word Chat“ podcast will speak with Danica Salazar, executive editor for World Englishes at Oxford Languages, May 3.


By Amy Spungen

  • The Joyful Freelancer. There’s a new kid on the block: “The Joyful Freelancer” launched last month, hosted by veteran freelance writer Katherine Gustafson. Melanie Padgett Powers is the podcast’s first guest, discussing “Autonomy: the Power of Being Your Own Boss.“ It’s interesting to hear Padgett Powers on the other side of the microphone, answering questions about freelancing instead of asking them on her own podcast (see below). (April 18)
  • Deliberate Freelancer. It’s all about “Money, Money, Money“ when Padgett Powers interviews pricing mentor Susie Jackson. Unlike many freelancers, Jackson is comfortable with the financial side the freelance world and helps freelancers figure out what to charge to earn a decent living—and how to manage those tricky business finances. Lots of great tips here! (April 28)
  • The Writers’ Co-op. Whether you seek freelance editing jobs or writing gigs, the episode “Werk It“ is packed with helpful advice for landing good freelance assignments. Co-host Jenni Gritters has freelanced as both an editor and writer, so her perspective covers both sides of the fence (though given the podcast’s focus, it leans a bit more toward writing). She and co-host Wudan Yan focus on “soft” networking to eliminate the sleaze factor. This rebroadcast from April 18 originally aired in March 2020 and is one of their most popular episodes.


For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.