These are the conclusions of London Business School’s Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott in their recently published book The 100-year life.
“For every 10 years you live, your life expectancy is growing by two years,” explains Lynda Gratton. While someone born in the 1940s was likely to work for 40 years and live a further eight years in retirement, someone born in the late 1990s who chooses to work the same 40 years, will have to fund and fill around 35 years once they finish earning. We are simply living a lot longer.
Funding a thirty-five-year retirement will be unaffordable for most. For many it will be undesirable.
For ever 10 years you live, your life expectancy is growing by two years.
Staying connected to the workforce past retirement age has social and health benefits, as well as financial. A longitudinal study in the US released in 2015 say that the risk of dying is reduced by 11 percent for healthy people and by 9 percent for for unhealthy people, for each year they delay their retirement.
Nor will long retirements be encouraged by governments. UK pensions expert, Dr Ros Altmann, has calculated that £16 billion or 1 per cent would be added to the economy if everyone in the UK workforce worked just one year longer.
But there’s a curve ball. At the same time as our lives – and our working lives – are extending, the pace of technological change has been rapid and unpredictable. Developments in artificial intelligence and robotics in particular are leading to a hollowing out of the workforce. Middle-skilled jobs are disappearing.