The information in this article could change your life. The exciting and unprecedented developments already happening in longevity science will forever change our understanding of the whole concept of “ageing”.
Changes that require the developed world to start redefining retirement and its deeply rooted negative beliefs about older people and definitions of exactly what we mean when we talk about aging and retirement.
I decided to open by quoting from a recent report published by the “International Longevity Center – USA”, firstly because it is a highly credible source, and secondly because I believe it encapsulates the key messages you need to receive and understand.
In his preface to the report “Media Takes: On Aging” Robert N. Butler, M.D. President and CEO of “International Longevity Center – USA” made these observations:
“With the longevity revolution, humankind is entering a new and unprecedented stage of development, the impact of which has been made greater because of its rapidity. –today, we are no longer limited to a life view that must accommodate itself to the historic brevity of life, to random and premature illness and death. With centenarians the most rapidly increasing age group and weekly media reports about progress in medical technology, people realistically expect longer and healthier lives.
The advent of a possible means to delay aging and extend longevity is a great intellectual and social as well as medical achievement.
The added years of life that are now available for so many is requiring that we, as a society, change obsolete mindsets and attitudes about growing old.
The social construct of old age, — is now subject to review and revision. The very words we use to describe people are undergoing greater scrutiny.
It is ironic, then, that at the same time Americans are beginning to see an unfolding of the entire life cycle for a majority; we continue to have embedded in our culture a fear of growing old, manifest by negative stereotypes and language that belittles the very nature of growing old, its complexities and tremendous variability.”
Robert Butler is a world leader on the subject of aging and retirement, and his observations above are, in my opinion, profound. So if you are serious about designing a long, happy and healthy life for you and your family in your third life phase (i.e. 60 and over), I recommend you read them again to make sure you fully understand and absorb the key messages they contain and to answer the big question “What is the Future of Retirement for me and my family?”.
So What Does This Mean for You and Me?
Well, put simply, as people over 50 living in a developed nation at this time, we are very lucky. The longevity revolution has provided us with an opportunity for a longer healthier life.
If you want to maximise that opportunity, your first step is to understand what is happening and the opportunity available to you if you choose to take action:
You can live a longer healthier, wealthier life and continue to contribute both economically and socially to your family and to society in general.
The other world-changing technological event happening right now and affecting the lives of us all is the internet revolution, which is creating many new ways to communicate and to market products to a worldwide audience.
When it comes to earning additional income in your “retirement” years, the internet revolution has changed everything. This will be very important for many older people for 3 main reasons:
- With the exciting prospect of a longer healthier life, you will need to review whether your savings and pension will be sufficient for you and your family to make the most of those additional years,
- It has created many opportunities for you to have an internet based business of your own after retiring from your career (it can be built to suit you personally – part-time or full-time) that will not only provide additional income, but will also help you to maintain your sense of purpose in life and fill the gap created when you left full-time employment after 35 or more years, and your children moved on to their own adult life and family, so will no longer be dependent on you, and
- Of equal concern right now is the fact that the aging of the baby-boomer generation, moving into their mid 60’s progressively over the next 15 years, is creating a demographic shift in population, with more people over 60 than ever before and fewer people earning income (as a percentage of the total population). The resulting burden on the social security systems, in just about every developed nation, will be so great that there is a real possibility of a financial melt-down that could put government’s ability to pay pension entitlements at risk; so right now, it would be unwise to rely on your pension to fund your later years. This threat is real and has been acknowledged by many governments that are grappling to find a solution.
As Robert Butler said in his speech “The added years of life that are now available for so many is requiring that we, as a society, change obsolete mindsets and attitudes about growing old”
To quote from My Mission – we need:
To change the predominant beliefs of the governments and people of the developed nations that older people are no longer valuable members of society, able to make an economic contribution to Society and to their Nation.
Having reached the age of 68, I am still fit, healthy, active and enthusiastic. To be honest, I have not even considered retirement. Like many mature men I believe I still have much to offer and contribute; valuable knowledge, skills and experience and heaps of energy and ideas; and that’s what I am doing and will continue to do for at least the next 25 years.
Importantly, I still need a purpose in my life to make it truly meaningful and enjoyable.
Redefining Retirement – Everything Has Changed
So, what is the future of retirement? Technology is redefining retirement. The Longevity revolution and the Internet and digital revolutions have caused a paradigm shift, and that shift has only just begun.
The good news for all of us is that when it comes to life expectancy and retirement “Everything has changed”. There is every chance you will live a much longer, happier and healthier life than you expected, and there will be many new opportunities for you to make your third life phase (ie over 60) better than has ever been possible in the past.
Average life expectancy in developed countries has increased by more than 25 years, or 50% in the last 100 years. Yet, in most developed countries, the retirement age has remained unchanged, or even gone down. I believe that the system is outmoded as it has not kept pace with the reality of longer life expectancy.
In this new age, your only limitations are your own beliefs about what you are capable of doing. You need to get rid of those limiting beliefs, which were never real in the first place.
My mission through my “Design Your New Life” website is to provide you with the knowledge and tools that will make that possible. So, it is your “one-stop shop” to design a better life for your third life phase.
I realised that I could use my own experience and the knowledge that I have gained on my journey to help men just like you and I to make the most of their third life phase. The rest will be up to you. At the end of the day only you can take action based on the knowledge and experiences I share with you.
The longevity revolution already happening in biotechnology, genetics, nanotechnology, 3D Printing and medical science, is going to result in a quantum leap in our lifespan; but equally important – how long we will stay healthy (i.e. our healthspan).
This is good news for us personally, and for Humanity in general. The world cannot afford to waste the vastly under-utilised and under-rated resource that experienced and highly trained older people possess.
Unfortunately, to a large extent, the developed nations are still ignoring these dramatic changes and consigning people to the scrap-heap to become a potential burden on their social security systems when they could be continuing to contribute, to earn money and reduce this looming burden on society that has every government in the developed world worried about how they will fund the increasing social security and medical costs.
Redefining Retirement – this is really just the beginning.
Speculating on the changes that will occur in the next 10 years, as computing power and communications speeds continue to increase at ever faster rates, and our knowledge of the human body and mind continues to grow, is almost impossible; because right now we don’t know what we don’t know. This applies particularly in longevity science where new discoveries are being made in all fields of research almost daily. The one certainty is that there will be dramatic and exciting developments that can only enhance the potential for us to design a long, happy, healthy and wealthy life.
A whole new and exciting world lies ahead for you; all you need to do is understand the opportunity and develop the right mindset to go out and make it happen. The opportunities are there and they are enormous.
My mission through my “Design Your New Life” website is to provide you with the knowledge and tools that will make that possible. It is your “one-stop shop” to a better life in your third life phase. The rest will be up to you.
I will provide the tools and ongoing updates as things continue to develop and change-as they will.
What you need to do is to take action. Without action, knowledge is useles
So get started today, whilst you are still motivated by what you have just read. There is no obligation, no cost and no catches.
I have just released my new eBook “How to Design a Long, Healthy and Wealthy Retirement Life” which covers all the topics in the Design Your New Life 4 Part System including how to earn additional income in your retirement years. You can get your personal copy by clicking on the link below:
I hope you have enjoyed this article, please feel free to let me know if you have any comments or questions by posting a comment below in this or any other article in the “Have Your Say” Box.
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I am excited to be sharing this journey with you and I look forward to getting to know you better.
You can view the next “Introduction and Overview” article here Retiring the Word Retirement
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Gallup Poll Workers Intentions to Work Past Retirement Age:
Harvard Business review Article: A New Vision for Retirement
Huffington Post articles by Arianna Huffington: