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Value Creation Blog

Are You Ready To Live Be 100 Years Old?

Posted by Josh Patrick

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I’m reading the book, The 100 Year Life. It’s a bit of a slog and it brings up some great questions that we need to be thinking about.

The life our parents and grandparents had is not something that will work for us. It makes no sense to think about youth and education, work and retirement at 65 anymore. The reason is simple. Instead of dying at 70 someone born in 2010 will probably live to 100 years old.

Most of us just don’t have the resources or the ability to save enough for us to be in retirement for 35 years. Instead, we will have to think about a different model that we can use.

There’s a reason we’re waiting longer to establish families.

Many of contemporaries (I’m 67 years old) complain about their children waiting a long time to settle down, get married and start families. When I grew up life expectancy was in the 70’s. Today it’s in the 80’s and our children are looking at lives that will go for 90 or more years.

It makes sense that our children are not in a rush to do the things we did in our early twenties. They feel they have time and the truth is, they do. The one fly in the ointment is that fertility ages don’t seem to have advanced that much.  When our children delay having children into their late 30’s or early 40’s biology gets in the way.

I expect that as a result of this fact, we’ll be seeing many more alternative ways of having children than existed when we were young. Being a single parent doesn’t carry nearly the negative baggage that it did even twenty year ago.

I don’t think you'll have the same career for fifty or more years.

I can’t imagine doing the same work for fifty years or more. Yet, that’s exactly the work span that our children need to be thinking about. In fact, for those being born in 2020 a sixty year work span is more than possible, it’s probable.

This means that life will not be childhood with education, work and then retirement. It’s more likely be childhood with education, work for a period, time for more education and changing careers, back to full-time work. This might be where the saying of "wash, rinse and repeat" three or four times during our children’s working life fits in.

We have an opportunity to help coach our children and grandchildren to be thinking about their life in a very different way than we did. If we don’t there will be some very unhappy lives that will have to figure it out on their own.

Keeping social circles alive is becoming more of a challenge.

I know that as I’ve gotten older my social circle has gotten smaller. It becomes a bigger challenge keeping social relationships alive as we age. It’s no longer you’re hanging out at bars or doing things that naturally put us in a position to meet people when we were in our twenties. Now we have to make an effort to stay in touch with people and FaceBook doesn’t make it.

I know that I actively think about how I will keep relationships going as I age. I have to reach out to those who have similar interests to me and find places they hang out and then go there myself. So far I’ve not done a great job of this. I know that if I don’t, when I reach my 80s my life will be much less full than it is today.

The skills you learned at 21 will not serve you at 55 or 60… or for that matter 40.

The wold is changing. For some of us it’s changing way too fast. That doesn’t mean it’s going to slow down. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t find ways of renewing your knowledge base and even expanding it, you’re going to have a hard time with a 60 year work cycle.

I can promise you that over a sixty-year period you will need to at least refresh what you know at least every twenty years. As you get older that refresh cycle becomes more and more difficult. I know that I’ve been struggling with learning about online learning and how to put a business together that provides that service.

Even ten years ago, there was no such thing as the online learning industry. Today it’s huge and I’m sure it will look different twenty years from today than it does now.

What are you doing to keep your skills current? What about learning new things that would allow you to change your career? Make sure you are able to avoid boredom with the sixty year work cycle.

The social contract with government will have to change.

This has already changed, but not very much. The age that you can get full social security has increased to 67 years old at the worst. This is not nearly enough. Our social network is just not designed to last for 35 years of retirement.

I’m not sure what the answer is here. The one thing I know is that it will change. The question just becomes how much and in what way.

The longer you work, the less you have to save.

Most of my work is with owners of privately held businesses. Too often these people believe their business will get them to retirement by themselves. Unfortunately, this is not true and I have an easy way to prove it. Just click here and take our simple quiz that will help you know if you’re on the road to being financially free from your business.

What I am saying to many of my business owner clients is forget selling your business at 65. Think about selling art 75 and changing your relationship with your business. This is a very viable way to think about retirement for a private business owner.

The same thought process exists for those of us who have jobs working for others. We need to think about how we can earn money at least into our 70s. And, that’s today. Tomorrow it will be much older.

What do you think about living to 100? Is this something you find attractive? Are you ready for the changes in your life that you must make? Why don’t you leave a comment below and let me know what you think? If you own a business, take our 4 boxes quiz. You just might find some interesting information when you’re done.

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Topics: financial planning, wealth management, longlife, life long learning, 100 year life

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