Duty Free

DUTY FREE

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ABOUT THE FILM

After a 75 year-old immigrant mother gets fired from her job as a hotel housekeeper, her son takes her on a bucket-list adventure to reclaim her life. As she struggles to find work, he documents a journey that uncovers the betrayals plaguing her past and the economic insecurity shaping not only her future, but that of an entire generation.

Rebecca AND sian-Pierre

Rebecca worked every day of her life as a hotel housekeeper to give her two sons, Sian-Pierre and Gabriel, every opportunity life could afford. When it was time for Sian-Pierre to go to college, she even cashed out her 401K to give him the best education possible. But when she was suddenly fired from her job at 75, Rebecca was left with nothing...no savings, no safety net, and no future job prospects. Now, Sian-Pierre is giving her back the life she sacrificed, and helping her to reclaim her future, one adventure at a time.

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REBECCA’S BUCKET LIST

Rebecca and Sian-Pierre completed one bucket-list item per month for a year. While not all of their adventures made it into the film, they were all a part of the story of their lives together. Some include:

  • Taking a hip-hop dance class

  • Skydiving in Hawaii

  • Visiting the gravesite of Rebecca’s sister, Elsie

  • Milking a cow

AGEISM IN AMERICA

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Ageism and Financial Insecurity in America are pervasive. Older folks are invisible in their communities, in the workplace, and, sometimes, within their own families. An estimated 25 million won’t have enough money to get through retirement age. We hope to engage in an intergenerational conversation around aging, financial security, and, most importantly, the power of love.

Here are the facts.

FINANCIAL INSECURITY

  • In 2016, about 3 in 10 adults over 55 had not one penny saved for retirement.

  • The average monthly social Security benefit of approx. $1,400 is not enough for low-income older adults to solely rely on.

  • 7 in 10 baby boomers workers expect to or are already working past age 65 or do not plan to retire.

  • 40% of baby boomers worry that they will not be able to meet the family’s basic financial needs in retirement.

  • 45% of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings; 55% have some and, of those, 28% have less than $100,000. Thus, approximately half of retirees are, or will be, living off of their Social Security benefits.”

  • The average monthly social Security benefit of approx. $1,400 is not enough for low-income older adults to solely rely on.

  • Baby boomers have median savings of a little over $150,000 to get through what could be a 30-year retirement.

  • 50% of older Americans are dipping into their retirement savings to help their grown children.

TECHNOLOGY

Just 26% of internet users ages 65 and over say they feel confident when using computers, smartphones or other electronic devices to do the things they need to do online.

UNEMPLOYMENT

If an older worker is laid off, only 1 in 10 ever again earn as much as they did before their employment setbacks.

PENSION

“General Electric will freeze pension plans for 20k US employees and offer pension buyouts to another 100k former employees. Its pension programs face a roughly $22B deficit. By freezing its pension program, GE will force formerly pensioned employees to join its 401(k) program instead. GE joins a number of other big businesses that have rolled back their pension promises in recent years: UPS, AIG, IBM, Boeing, and The Washington Post all changed pension plans since 2014.”