By Chris Adams
As the population ages and computing power increases exponentially, the retirement reality for society will be radically different – which has a major impact on how people prepare for it.
“It’s very likely that you’ll live to be well over 100,” said Ric Edelman, executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services and a best-selling author and radio and talk show host. “We are going to be older chronologically but younger physiologically.”
A major part of that is due to exponential technology: the rapidly accelerating developments in computing power that are producing 3-D printing, wearable medical devices and home appliances that talk to each other. Another byproduct is Bitcoin and the “block chain” technology that underpins it; the block chain is the digital structure that records information and executes transactions. It could radically alter commerce – as well as the notion of money.
“Some are projecting that within the next 15 years, the only place you’ll see currency is a museum,” Edelman said.
In a wide-ranging overview of financial and technological topics, Edelman talked about how these profound changes could expand life, boost health and make “retirement” obsolete.
“The notion that you’re going to retire at 65 and live to 95 is gone,” Edelman said (Scientists have already noted longer lifespans for people, and some think medical advances could expand it much more – maybe as long as 150 years.) Given that, it is implausible somebody can fund a retirement for as long as they will live.
Instead, “We’re changing dramatically from a linear lifeline to a cyclical one,” he said. What that means: People will cycle through several different careers – working for a while, going back to school, pursuing a different career, going back to school, etc.
Edelman also covered more-immediate personal finance issues, including his favorable views on the fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor proposal that is set to be phased in in 2017 and would require financial services professionals to work in clients’ best interest when handling their retirement accounts.