Do you want to work forever?

If you don’t think that you’re going to live to 100, it’s quite possible that your children or grandchildren will. Current trends suggest most babies born since 2000 in developed countries such as the UK, Us, Canada, France & Germany, will live past their 100th birthday. In other words, for every 10 years since the 19th Century, life expectancy has increased by two and a half years, according to Jim Vaupel from Max Planck Institute of Demography, who has tracked global changes over the past 150 years.

This to you, may sound wonderful, especially if you hoping to live a long life however, the reality of this is that we may be working for as long as possible to be able to pay for those extra years!

Lynda Gratton, a psychologist and professor of management of practice at the London Business School said, “If we live 30 years longer, then to retire at 60 we would have to save five times as much during our working lives. It’s the end of retirement as we know it”.  Rather than the three traditional stages of life: education, work and retirement, Ms Gratton expects people to have to constantly retrain as they shift careers and focus.

Counter-intuitively, she suggests that a positive of having a longer career could mean a better work-life balance. “If you’re working for longer, then taking a couple of years to look after children or ageing parents, won’t be such a big deal when your career lasts for 60 plus years”.

Jo Ann Jenkins, chief executive at non-profit group AARP – the influential lobby group for older Americans – says working longer is already a reality for many in the US. “People used to think middle age started around 35. Now, most people think it’s late 40s or early 50s. Same thing with one’s working years. Someone who was 55 or 60 often used to be seen as over the hill. That’s not the case today,” says Ms Jenkins.

What are your views on this? Do you think working for longer will be better or worse for us? Let us know by commenting below!

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