An average person usually retires at around 60, after working for around 40 years.
But the human lifespan is becoming longer, and it’s no longer a dream to live till 120, with new technologies that help cure fatal diseases, print 3D organs and even regenerate brain cells.
I always regard the idea of retiring and stopping working completely when one reaches 60 is unthinkable.
Most people are still very healthy at that age. Some actually find their health conditions deteriorate after they stopped working.
The 100-Year Life, a best-seller, talks about how to retouch our life plans as people tend to live a century.
Being able to live longer indeed brings new troubles. For starters, the extra years could be a huge financial burden for both the individual and society if the retirement age remains unchanged.
In the past, people work for the same company the whole life. But even in Japan, the system of lifetime employment is fading out.
The fast-evolving technology of artificial technology would transform the job market in coming decades. People might be forced to retire even before 60.
How should we deal with a longer life and a rapidly changing job market?
Peter Drucker, known as “the father of modern management”, encouraged people to develop a “parallel career”.
I believe we can apply this concept to life planning as well.
For example, youngsters can explore their passions while working. They can try different paths.
When they turn 40 or 50, they can then shift to a second career. It could be something like video production, becoming a KOL (key opinion leader or influencer), or starting a new business.
You might argue that starting a business after retirement seems too risky and costly.
This is no longer the case. In the era of internet, running an online operation can be done with a small budget.
Even a one-man setup can function well. If, say, you are into videos, equipment is much cheaper now.
Leveraging on past experiences, knowledge and network, it’s possible to build an online business that generates steady income after retirement.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 3
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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