The World Economic Forum is underway in Davos and aside from the hot topics of Brexit and the forthcoming inauguration of Donald Trump, the consequences of living for longer is featuring highly on the agenda.
It seems increasingly likely that most babies born since 2000 in developed countries such as the UK, US, Canada, France and Germany, will live beyond 100. This longer life expectancy, of course, brings with it numerous challenges – one of which is the need to pay for it.
Retiring in your early to mid-sixties is already pretty much a thing of the past for the majority of workers and according to one Davos participant, Lynda Gratton, people are going to have to constantly retrain and change careers to maintain their working lives. She notes that as people work for longer, new situations and questions arise such as whether an older employee is going to comfortably report to a younger manager. Similar workplace developments are likely to require a period of adjustment.
Another key issue is people’s health. We might be living for longer, but health and energy levels can certainly decline with age. Diseases such as dementia are going to need increased research in order to find new treatments to grapple with the effects. And people of the previous retirement age having to care for increasingly older relatives.
It is likely that many older people will take on part-time roles or mentoring positions as they start to wind down towards retirement – whatever that comes to mean. To work part-time means that one’s finances need to be in good shape.
This is a good time to talk to your clients about their plans for a later retirement – they may have little choice.