We’re living longer these days, which is a good thing. With added longevity, we may be working longer by choice or necessity. So, what does it take to be “employed for life”? The following Part II of the Q&A from my interview with Grace Trafton of “The Better Part”, in this series you will find out about this pertinent topic presented here on the Examiner, in four parts.
GT- Since we are living longer these days, how has our extended longevity reshaped the concept of retirement and the possibility of multiple careers in a lifetime?
TW- The book Employed for Life addresses life realities.
· First we are Living longer (100) which means we are Working longer- 60 + years.
· Second, firm longevity is decreasing (15 years is new norm) while job change velocity has increased 4.4 years for Gen X and Boomers, 2 years for millennial. The reality for most Americans is that you will not work for one firm for life.
· Third, Americans are not able to afford retirement so this puts pressure on us to strategize on how to be employable for life. For many this may mean to age 80.
GF- Do you think that retirement at age 65 is now outdated?
TW- Yes you might be reading the press lines today that 80 is the new 60 and 50 is the new 30. People are very vibrant today well into their 90’s.
GF -Are Americans prepared to financially support themselves through retirement and maybe support themselves up to the age of 100?
TW- Sadly here are some of the common statistics published today
- 36% of Americans have $1000 or less in savings.
- At age 62 only 30% will be prepared for retirement.
- 55% will have trouble covering retirement expenses housing, food, and health.
- 2/3 Americans retiring today have $12,000 in savings.
- Now 80 is the new 60 when it comes to retirement.
GF- Is technology both creating and displacing jobs? What are jobs technology is creating?
TW- Yes technology is creating and displacing jobs. There are statistics I hear bantered about in Silicon Valley that for every 1 tech job a tech firm creates up to 7 additional jobs are created. For example the Apple iPhone and Google Android created new mini sectors in App development and mobile marketing. These industries and jobs such as digital marketer, SEO expert (search engine optimization) did not exist before.
GF- What are some of the jobs that technology is displacing?
TW- I think we have to reflect on what part of our jobs can be automated by either hardware or software. For example the bank teller and the ATM machine, the airline ticket agent with on line ticketing, or a cashier year with a barcode checkout. In the future automated cars will eliminate drivers. In fact you see that at the airports already with people movers. In many cases pieces of our work can be automated such as calculations of numbers by an accountant with excel or quicken. The key is to continue to develop a higher level of skills so that you continue to value add as parts of your job is automated.
Stay tuned for Part III here on the Examiner, August 8th
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More information on this interview:
Host: Grace Trafton, “The Better Place” KMVT TV