Preparing for a 100-year life 👵💃💥

Did you know that life expectancy increased at the rate of 2 to 3 years every decade? There’s all kinds of implications of living a longer life: we get to spend more time with our families and explore unforeseen hobbies in retirement (have you read about the 89-year-old Russian grandmother brazenly travelling the world? Respect). But there’s also the more complex issue of financially planning our longer future: living for 100 years hasn’t exactly been the norm in previous generations, so we don’t have a clear blueprint to follow. Andrew Scott and Lynda Gratton’s ‘The 100-Year Life’ provides exactly such a blueprint;helping us tackle the exciting but ever so slightly terrifying prospect of living longer than ever.

The key takeaways from ‘The 100-Year Life’:

  • In order to support a longer life and your financial assets, you will need to work longer and save more. However, while working into your late 70’s may help you have more security, it also creates an imbalance in your other, less tangible assets.
  • The ‘intangible’ assets reflect your vitality, productivity and transformational abilities. In essence, this means that by simply extending the amount of years spent in the workforce you will tick the box of ‘financial security’ but will probably not be very happy (or relevant). It’s actually quite logical: if you graduate at 21, how likely is it that the skills you learnt then will still apply when you’re 70?
  • Can you imagine working at one company, or, even, the same industry for 60 years? The sheer thought of spending that long at one place is exhausting. Working for that long is likely to impact your relationships, health and mental well being - and not in a good way. So, what to do?
  • A multi-stage life approach is one way to solve these conundrums. Take the multiple-career perspective as an example: each career stage will differ in terms of sector and role as well as motivation. You may spend the early years of your career motivated by financial rewards; and towards a later stage, you might want to switch to more socially rewarding work instead.
  • In short, we’ll need to make sure we take care of our skills and our knowledge(perhaps in the form of re-training, short courses or vocational degrees), our mental and physical health and adapt to rapidly evolving technological advances. It’s time to bid farewell to a linear approach to life, and welcome the era of fluidity!


Have you read the 100-Year Life? Do you think you would be able to adapt to the demands that come with longevity? How do you see your life in retirement?

Credit image: Giphy.