While I am a huge Apple fan I am increasingly concerned with a fundamental flaw in their products – the description. It started with the i-Phone. This product was always far more than just a phone but 10 years on ‘making a call’ doesn’t even feature in the top 10 uses for the device. Then came Watch – yes it tells the time, but many people would be happier if it didn’t – that would give them an excuse to wear their ‘good’ watch and still benefit from everything else the Apple device offers.
‘Retirement’ is a term that now falls in to the same category. For our grandparents retirement was that short period between finishing work and ‘checking out’ that the lucky few enjoyed. For their children retirement was a surprise. The ‘few years’ they had hoped for turned in to 20 or more and many regretted that they didn’t make more of this unexpected gift. Their children – the Baby Boomers – aren’t making the same mistake. They have Bucket Lists and SKI clubs (Spending the Kids Inheritance) world cruises and adventure holidays are all well planned.
But what next? State retirement ages are increasing rapidly around the world and those starting out in life face the prospect of 70+ years of working life with no gold plated pensions to fund an extended retirement. Their life ‘game plan’ must change to reflect this new reality and while I can’t know for certain here are some of the changes I expect to see:
‘Retirement’ will revert to the original meaning – starting much later it will describe those last few years of life
During the 70+ years of working life people will enjoy multiple careers that may be interspersed with extended periods of retraining and re-invention.
They will still enjoy ‘adventures’, but these will not be at the end of life but spread throughout their working lives.
Knowing they are likely to live longer this generation will plan for it, managing their finances, looking after their health and planning for a life that will last a century.
They can expect a very different experience in later life – maybe we should call it i-Retirement!