- Dedi Grigoroiu/Shutterstock.com
- Thanks to technology, human lifespans are expected to increase in the near future. To stay healthy, active, and financially secure, people will need to work well past the typical retirement age of 65. In fact, they may eschew the notion of retirement altogether, in favor of mini-retirements that look like sabbaticals.
Ric Edelman thinks you have many, many years of work ahead of you.
And you’ll like it.
In a Facebook Live interview with Business Insider, Edelman, founder and executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services, one of the nation’s leading financial advising firms, and author of the new book “The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later,” said “the notion of retirement is gone.”
“The notion that you’re born, go to school, get a job, retire, die – that’s gone,” he said. “You’re not going to do that anymore.” He said technology will likely keep humans healthier longer, enabling us to live decades beyond our current lifespans – “meaning you may very well live to 110 or 120.”
He continued: “You’re going to work until you’re 75, 85, 95, 105. And don’t worry about it. It’s not as horrific as it sounds, because you’re going to want to do that.”
Scientists are currently debating the potential for human lifespan, Business Insider’s Kevin Loria previously reported. While some think it tops out around age 120, others think the potential for longevity is unlimited. “Many of today’s current anti-aging researchers are focused on the idea of improving what’s called healthspan as much as they are on improving lifespan,” Loria wrote.
Physician Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, who was 105 when he died in July, said in an interview with the Japan Times that people shouldn’t ever retire – or if they must, they should do it well after age 65.
“In the interview he explained that the retirement age in Japan was set at 65 years old back when the average life expectancy was 68,” wrote Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett. “Now, people are living much longer – the average life expectancy in Japan as of 2015 was almost 84 years – and so they should be retiring much later in life too.”
Hinohara’s believed that staying active for longer increased quality of life.
So Edelman isn’t alone in expecting that we could – or should – work years past the age we do today. He attributes our future willingness to two factors:
1. You’re going to be healthy enough to do it. “You’re going to be as healthy at age 100 as you are at age 40 or 50, and that means you’re going to want to remain viable and a participant in the economy and in the community to be a valued member of the community,” Edelman said.
2. It’s going to be easier than ever to make money. Edelman said this is because of “the shared economy, the gig economy, the notion of part-time work, working through the internet. It’s going to be easier than ever to earn a living. You’re not going to have to work 40 or 50 hours a week, and you’re not going to have to make 100 or 200 grand a year to do it.”
So rather than saving up enough money to retire at 65 and last for the next 20 years, he says, we’ll be saving for several short-term goals that will allow us to integrate leisure into our extended lifetimes. A trend will emerge where where people “retire early and often.”
“We call them sabbaticals right now, where you go off of work for a month, schoolteachers do it for three months every summer, but, in fact, most workers are now going to take sabbaticals that don’t last a few weeks, they will last a few years. So you’ll go to school, you’ll get a job and then you’ll take a couple of years off, go back to school and emerge with a totally new career,” he explained.