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The 100 year life

July 6, 2017

I read an article in Professional Pensions last week that really got me thinking.

It was all about how Britain needs to start planning for the ‘100 year life’, because that’s where we’re headed with medical advancements and improved quality of life.

I’m 42, I’ve got a gammy knee and I am probably a little bit overweight but if we’re living to 100, I’m not even halfway.

According to the economist Andrew Scott, improvements in longevity means individuals must think creatively about how they might spend their time in later life.

So, standing aside the not insignificant issue of having enough money to live to 100 (comfortably) this raises the issue of what you are going to do in your (longer than expected) retirement.

My point is a lot of people know what they want to move away from when they retire (usually their job, their boss, the commute, etc) but very few people know what they are moving towards.

Time stretching out endlessly in front seems very enticing when you are stuck in the rat race but it does come with significant challenges.

I have witnessed many clients take to retirement like a duck to the proverbial water but others have found it more challenging.

One way of mitigating the “cliff edge” approach of working one day and retiring the next is to phase out of work by reducing working hours over time.

Now clearly some jobs will allow this and other will not. But from what I have seen this phasing helps with the process of transition into retirement. It also helps with keeping the little grey cells working, which is another challenge in full retirement.

With the constant onslaught of longevity maybe we need to reconsider the concept of “life is too short”. Maybe by the time I get there, robots will be doing everyone so the concept of working will have been redefined too.

Phil

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