Life is long, and it’s getting longer every year. If you were born in the 19th Century, your life span would have been short. If you were an adult in 1935 when Social Security started your life expectancy wasn’t even 65 years old.
Today, if you’re 65 years old, there is a very good chance you will live to 80, 90 or even 100 years old. That’s a long time to be in retirement without having something that keeps your mind and body young.
When I speak with people about having a 100 year life, they often tell me it’s not for them. I then ask what would happen if you could live to 100, be healthy with your mind fully working? When I put it that way more often than not people say I’m in.
Then, I ask… “What do you plan to do with all of that time you will have between retirement and leaving this world?” The answer I get is often a shrug and then an anxious look.
One question I’ll ask right after I ask after we go from no to yes to worried is, “What did you love doing and for whatever reason let it go?”
That’s what we will talk about today. So, let’s jump right in.
Life is long and getting longer.
This is the first thing you need to realize. Life extension is real and with what’s going on in the world of again research it will get longer.
You might look at that fact with fear or your might look at it with anticipation of opportunities that abound. I hope that you’re looking at life extension as an opportunity and not something to fear.
Having a long life for many will force us to rethink our concept of retirement. For most of us, living to 90 or 100 years old will mean a real need to delay what we think of as retirement.
That means before we reach 60 to 65 years old we will need to retool our skills so we can still stay active in the job market. My guess is you must take responsibility for this yourself… at least if you turn 60 in the next ten to fifteen years. It will take the Government a long time to figure out seniors need to work longer and having Governmental help is years away… just my guess.
For some you must earn money after 65
Most financial planners will do a plan out to 90 years old. Most of the time, I see plans crash in the mid 80s. At least it does for people who try to retire at 55 to 65 years old.
This doesn’t mean there aren't many people who will have saved enough to stay retired for 35 or 40 years.
When we look at savings rates for people in the US for the vast majority, there is no way a retirement at 65 will provide enough access to cash for a comfortable retirement.
The fun thing here is if you’re aware you must work past 65, it might just be part-time work you need or it could be something you don’t need to earn a great big paycheck from. You’ll likely have an opportunity to work for love. Doesn’t that sound like something you might get interested in?
Doing the same thing for 40, 50 or 60 years will get boring
I know that in my business career, about every twenty years I find it’s time for me to learn some brand new skills and move my life in a different direction. At 44 I sold my first company and went into the wealth management business. At 65 I started thinking about working with business owners on a one-to-many basis instead of a one-to-one relationship.
For the past two years I’ve been learning what I need to know to make that change. What do you want to do for your second, third or fourth career? What will you need to learn and how will you go about doing that?
These are all questions you will need to answer to have a great and long life.
As a senior you can make better decisions about how to spend your time.
This is something that is important and for me. When we’re young, we take whatever comes our way. We need a job and often we’ll take the first job we see.
Too often that first job ended up being something we didn’t really love. But, we kept at it because we didn’t think there were any other options.
When we get older, we no longer have to think this way. Instead, we can more thoughtful about what makes a good working situation and then go for it. We might decide we want to work in a non-profit. Or, maybe it’s time to start a business that you can run from wherever you are.
By the time you reach 60 you’ll have had a life that has ups and downs. You can learn from your experience and design that last job to be one that gives you joy and flexibility. My belief is that employers will figure out that this can be a win for you, the senior and for the company that employs you… that is if you stay an employee.
Without passion life can be empty.
I believe this third act job should be something you have passion for. Too often we live a passionless life. I want you to have lots of passion in your life and it can start with how you spend your time.
Find something that really floats your boat. Then, figure out a way for you to spend lots of time in that area. If you do this, work is no longer work and you get to integrate your 3rd act work with other things you find interesting in your life.
I predict work will change and there will be a place for seniors.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably saying, “Josh, this is fine, but the amount of age discrimination that’s out there just won’t let us live the life we want.” Yes, there is ageism in our world. I predict that this issue will eventually go to a dull roar that you’ll be able to ignore.
Our low unemployment rate has been demographically predicted, which means employers will look to seniors to fill their work roles. Most work today does not require any strength.
Seniors know how to get things done. If you’re a senior, you already know this. If not, you’ll learn soon enough.
What do you think? Are you willing to think about the 3rd act? Are you willing to let your passion and imagination run wild? I bet if you do, you’ll be richly rewarded.
While you’re thinking about this, why don’t you scroll down and let me know what you think about having a passion job instead of just a job that pays you some money?