JOE, John Stole, United States discussed on WSJ The Future of Everything


That was our reporter Sara Castellanos so you get hired you work and at at sixty five. You have a big party and you retire right well. Maybe in an era when many big thinkers are lamenting the breakdown of our cultural institutions work is being floated as the new religion and columnist. John still has some thoughts about that. My financial planner and I do these annual asset reviews where we talk talk about fun stuff like my retirement savings. It took about six reviews to confront a big question. I spent my entire adult life socking away enough money so I could quit working by the time. I'm sixty five in my planner. His name is Joe. Wanted to know if I thought I'd even want to retire. It's a fair question. I'm a forty two year old writer with pretty engaging job being a journalist offers me travel opportunities intellectual challenge and lots of social connections. I've only got a few hobbies and I don't like to the sit still for very long. So Yeah Joe's right. My comfortable retirement may indeed more work than rest. Most people spend time wondering if they'll have the means means to retire but we often ignore the equally important question. Do we really have the will to retire. Our modern concepts of retirement Tirmizi forged around the Great Depression. The one starting in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine and lasting into the nineteen thirties. That's when social security was established as an insurance plan to pay guaranteed benefits benefit. Those who couldn't work after age sixty five at that time the majority of Americans who made it to adulthood could expect to live at least that long men eligible for social security typically drew benefits for almost thirteen years after that on average women a bit longer. By the time I was born in the late nineteen seventies sixty. I five was hardly considered elderly even if it fit to technical definition growing up in Michigan. We're automotive jobs. Disappearing and pensions were being taken away. The thirty year in out career in the car business was no longer automatic by the late. Nineteen Ninety S gold-plated retiree benefit plans were beginning to be phased out at the same time. Lifespans kept kept getting longer along with advancements in personal health today the average life expectancy in the US is seventy eight up from seventy one in one thousand nine hundred seventy. Aw consider my dad. He still sells cars three days a week at the dealership where he's been working for thirty years at age seventy four if there's a poster child for Sixty Z.. Being the new forty my dad's been candidate for quite some time to be sure. Many people do still leave the workforce by age sixty five but that's almost a luxury life insurance companies and pension funds are projecting that people entering the workforce right now could live to be one hundred twenty five and a popular demographer even says that the baby who will live to be two hundred years old has already been born. The government now considers sixty seven to be the official age of retirement for social security purposes and many economists arguing for an even even older threshold. So that the plan doesn't go broke. Americans aren't protesting in the streets about this in a recent survey by the TRANSAMERICA Center for retirement studies. Half of the more than sixty three hundred workers interviewed said. They didn't expect to retire before they turned sixty five. That's three times as many as nineteen ninety. Five and thirteen percent. said they'll never retire. That's especially true. For millennials. People who began reaching adult at the turn of the twentieth century. Aren't starting their careers with the end in mind. I talked to a lot of twenty. somethings thirty somethings who aren't yet planning for retirement. It's not because they're pessimistic or lazy for one. They may lack the resources. After racking up pilot student debt and two younger people are foremost among the Americans considering the lifelong benefits of work one twenty six year old I talked to for instance since expects to dice up his work life into twenty year increments potentially devoted to completely different areas of interest. He reckons take a sabbatical others. I talked to say they'll work work part-time or even go back to school later in life and it makes sense if you enter the workforce in the twenty twenties believing that you could very well be alive in the next century turns over. Shouldn't that shape. You probably think about planning your career or careers. I'm not in that category of people thinking I'll work until I die but I have no problem buying into this notion of working at least as long long as my father with five kids of my own under the age of fourteen I currently view my job is one of the responsibilities to tackle in the day at some point as my kids make their way into college. You can start careers. I reckon. I'll be able to revisit. Some of the professional goals that are currently out of reach their also benefits to sticking it out in the workforce. Of course you'll earn more if you work longer but you could also live more Boston. College research suggests even a few extra years of working beyond sixty five can extend lifespan and lower the risk of dementia depression and obesity. And there's another aspect the workplace is filling an emotional and even spiritual ovoid think of how often you've heard so and so having a work life or how many people talk about their work family. Many of the people I consider my closest friends are those icy and our midtown in Manhattan offices or people. I visit traveling report out stories or have standing lunch. Meetings with part of the reason for that is because people are working longer hours a half hour longer everyday redick compared to twelve years ago according to government data. US birth rates are falling and so as church membership. Our jobs are often taking the place. Once occupied by children religious it just institutions and community organisations so people want to stay in their jobs for the money for personal satisfaction and and to keep their social connections. Luckily that make it easier in the future partly because today is less well work working with computers on a smartphone or in some kind of artificial intelligence has replaced many of the manufacturing tasks or manual labor requirements that define the workplace. People have more gas left in the tank. Thank at the end of their careers. Don't tell employer but after twenty years of this journalism thing I feel like I'm just getting started. I use my brain a lot but like many Americans. I have the hands of typist artist. And not a tradesman. They're also technological developments. That will aid. In older workforce driverless cars could make commuting easier there will be more automated processes. This is that reduced physical or mental demands and there are an abundance of retraining programs being implemented at companies and employers are becoming more welcoming to their graying employs always one company. I talked to Patagonia calls employees entering the later stages of their careers elders and it offers them opportunities to stick around around on a so-called glide path. The company's longtime editor for instance has left her day to day role editing company materials and is now teaching younger charges. How to right in the Patagonia voice other spend time in the archive room at the company headquarters passing down stories traveling the world lecturing on the company's culture or conducting concessions on the environment? Okay so where does this all. Leave me I'm treating in worrying about whether I can retire at sixty five with a new strategy here it is. I'll pursue financial flexibility with JOE that financial planner. who asked me to think about whether I really want to call it quits instead? I want him to to advise me on how to achieve some wiggle room in my budget within the next quarter of a century by that point. I want to be able to do the work I like to do with the people. I like to work with on my own terms terms even if it means making a lot less money that was Wall Street Street Journal columnist. John Stole the future of everything is a production of the Wall Street Journal. This episode was reported by Hilton Shaman. Sarah Castellanos Lanos and John Stole. Jabeen is our senior producer. Stephanie Ilgenfritz is the editorial director of the future of everything and our technical director. Is Jacob. Gorski I'm Terry Yokum. Thanks for listening..

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