In this age of increased longevity, The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity serves as a guide to navigating the changing goal posts represented by an aging society. Adjusting to longer lives will affect everything from how we manage our health care to careers, our finances and relationships. Based on their experience in the fields of economics and psychology, the authors sound the call to action. We need to prepare ourselves for the changing lifespan which affects so many elements of our lives.
This highly relevant book starts out by pointing to the phenomenon of our much extended lifespan and the overwhelming consequences for the entire world. In the first world now have twenty or thirty more years of life than was the typical pattern forty of fifty years ago. Living to a hundred years used to be an outstanding milestone that had the Queen send letters of congratulation to subjects who celebrated their centennial birthday. This number is now steadily increasing. Globally, the over 65 population group is growing faster than any other.
The authors, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, say that life used to be seen in more or less three stages. One for education, one for a working career, and one for retirement. What lies ahead now is the probability of more stages. Splitting categories with labels such as Late Teenage, Young Adulthood and Older Adult will become more ways that we will define ourselves in addition to generational terms we already use, like Millennials and Generation X.
Why you should read it
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity gives useful advice on how to adjust to these changes and how to manage the inevitable confusion that it will generate. It also shows how society is going to change and how this will affect institutions like marriage and family life based on new needs. There will be new jobs types and unique skills. People will work more easily from home and there will be greater originality in the way careers are to change. Companies will have to adjust and HR departments are in for many challenges.
Older age used to be something to lament, or even to curse. In our youth focused culture, a long life has not, until now, seemed all that attractive. But this is changing and with a longer time perspective ahead of them, people are now becoming creative and more willing to see the positive side of elderhood. There is no need to plan your life in lockstep with everyone else. A hundred year life is possible now for many people. Also, for our children and, in due course, their children. It is a gift and will probably become the expectation rather than the exception. One question we ask is how will this affect retirement? Already, retiring at around sixty-five seems to be an outdated corporate policy.
We perch on an interesting cusp where societal views on aging will need to change in order to accommodate the shifting demographics. Though we still face rampant agism and live in age segregation unlike any previous generation, we can adapt to changing circumstances and lead the charge in changing attitudes about aging.
This book is suitable for people at all stages of life and will provide a compelling perspective on the future effects of longevity.
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