What will retirement look like for the children of today’s Millennials and Gen Zers?
In 50 years, retirement is likely to look quite different. With average life expectancy increasing, more people working past the age of 65 and fewer people getting married and having kids, we need to prepare for a new normal. To get an idea of where the future is heading, we asked four HESTA employees from a range of specialties to predict what retirement might look like in 2070.
Husna Jamal | Member Engagement Team Leader, WA
Who says we have to retire? In a world of Instagram Influencers and self-made entrepreneurs, never have we been more equipped to love life and get paid in the process. I say in the year 2070, the term retirement will simply not exist; rather, we’ll be living life in different stages!
We ‘work’ or shall I say live!! from home engaging in an online market/workplace, conducting virtual meetings and ‘travelling’ to distant locations from the comfort of our own homes.
Advancements in the medical field will not only see us feeling healthier and living longer but looking younger than ever before. Call on Dr Google to pay you a virtual visit, use your 3D printer to print off a new hip and engage your robot to perform the surgery.
Overpopulation may see us sharing our homes with our loved ones or not having ‘permanent homes’ at all. The advancement of technology will provide us with robotic assistance in almost all aspects of our lives, providing convenience and security.
The possibilities are endless! And so too are the effects of climate change. Without adequate change our lives could be wrought with catastrophic weather events deeming the cities that we live in and love…uninhabitable. For us to dream of ‘retirement’ would be to drastically shift the way we currently live.
Louise Andrews | Experience Design Specialist
I see automated everything. Voice activation will be everywhere and countries will seem closer than they have ever been before. There will be hologram style ways of displaying information and everywhere there will be robots, robots, robots. As people live longer and the world gets closer by how we travel, there will be more people going on holidays to places further away, for longer.
Retirees will access their super and advice by voice control and they will be investing in all sorts of assets online. Government pensions may not be around and I think super will become more like a savings account that the government will contribute into. Living to 100 will be the new normal, but I do wonder what that will mean for health costs and quality of life.
Robots will do the heavy lifting in aged care and people will be around to form the basis of emotional connection. Houses will be smart - like Bill Gates’ house times 1,000, where I see companies like Amazon (or its successor) dropping shopping to your door via flying drones. I don’t think the concept of retirement as we know it will exist. Rather, retirement will be just another life stage or different era of work.
Jen Harding | General Manager, Advice Development and Growth
It’s easy to imagine that by the time the millennial generation hits retirement age, we’ll all be living in some sci-fi realm where health care is less complicated and robots take care of the elderly. But in the real world, enjoying your golden years requires careful planning long before you reach them.
And that planning takes on new urgency when you consider the fact that retirement a half-century from now will almost certainly look different from retirement today. Life expectancy is getting longer, climate change is threatening many popular retirement destinations, people are less likely to get married or have kids, and more people are working past the age of 65 just to get by. Here are the major things you should consider as you begin to outline your road map to retirement.
The babies of today’s Millennials and Gen Zers will be socially responsible, but they won’t actually retire. They will engage in fewer regular work-related activities that fill them with purpose and sustain their social needs – and organisations had better articulate their social value proposition in order to gain access to their skills.
Those in their “active retirement phase” won’t be anchored to their home, town or employer but will have the ability to contribute anytime to any cause, from anywhere. More retirees will not have one home base, but home “bases” through home sharing arrangements. There will be sustainable retirement villages where retirees access food and accommodation in return for their contribution to the village – through skills or labour.
Longevity will continue to be a major social and economic issue, with demand outstripping supply for those in their “passive retirement phase”. The government pension will remain for our most vulnerable community members, but the regulatory system has evolved to the extent that 95% of retirees are self-funded with lifetime annuities that top up their community living arrangements.
Akaash Sachdeva | Senior Responsible Investment Adviser, Investment Execution
Given that the impacts of climate change are already being felt, even if the world gets its act together and decarbonises, we can still expect a warmer and more volatile climate in 2070. The implication for retirees is challenging, as the elderly are often most severely affected by heatwaves in particular.
Socially, an aging population and declining birth rates may mean people defer full time retirement and spend more time in the workforce. I think there will be a blurring of the lines between working life and retirement, as technology enables people to work for longer and in more flexible ways.
These extra years of earning could become essential as life-spans extend and savings/super/pensions are needed to provide for people living to 100 and potentially beyond.
Extending life spans would also have a significant impact on aged care as the cohort of elderly people with declining cognitive function grows... although between now and then Artificial Intelligence (AI) could come to the rescue. Nowadays to replace a knee or hip joint is commonplace, it could be that one day, replacing synapses with AI is also possible.
We can only guess what the future will hold, but our superannuation calculator can give you a good idea of where your super will be.