Well, that convention is about to get turned on its head, according to Ric Edelman, founder and executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services, one of the United States’ leading financial advising firms and author of the book The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later.
“The notion of going to university and emerging at age 22 with a degree in a field and an expertise that you’re going to engage in for the rest of your working career is gone,” Mr Edelman told Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview. “Instead, it’s no longer about a university degree, it’s now about lifelong learning.”
Mr Edelman says this shift is thanks to technology that will soon keep humans healthier longer, enabling us to live decades beyond our current lifespans, meaning no more traditional retirement. Advancements in technology also mean the skills and knowledge we’re taught in university – specifically those relating to science and technology – will become obsolete much quicker than in the past, he says.
To remain viable in the working world, Mr Edelman said, we will begin to adopt cyclical life patterns, where we “engage in learning, employment and leisure, on a repeating cycle” for our entire lives.
“We call them sabbaticals right now, where you go off of work for a month ... most workers are now going to take sabbaticals that don’t last a few weeks, they will last a few years,” he said. “So you’ll go to school, you’ll get a job and then you’ll take a couple of years off, go back to school and emerge with a totally new career.”
While Mr Edelman says this new lifestyle is ultimately going to be beneficial for everyone, it’ll force us to “completely rethink” our future.
But we shouldn’t worry about affording it, says Mr Edelman. For one, “it’s going to be easier than ever to make money” because of the shared or gig economy.
“You’ll be able to supplement your income, $20,000 (£16,200), $30,000, $40,000 a year working on a part-time basis doing whatever you feel like doing, it’s going to be easy to make money,” Mr Edelman said.
Secondly, rather than saving up all your money to sustain you for 20 years of retirement, you’ll be saving up some money for specific goals, like going back to school or attending a workshop or class to obtain new skills and another pot of money for a much, much later retirement.
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