"Consider the simplest case of needing to work for a few years beyond retirement," says Discovery Invest's Head of R&D, Craig Sher, "healthier people are better able to summon the energy to satisfy their current employer, or find other work. And studies show that older adults who are physically active have a better working memory and visuospatial attention."
Could artificial intelligence (AI) and automation threaten job security?
A World Economic Forum report states that nearly 50% of companies expect automation to reduce their existing fulltime workforce by 2022. It also states that over half the workforce will need significant upskilling. Many people will lose their jobs due to the replacement of an entire occupation by AI and automation, long before they aim to retire. How does one plan for that?
"For starters," says Sher, "we all need to take more responsibility for lifelong learning and career development, and put ourselves in the best possible position to adapt to the evolving demands of the labour market. But even if you have skills that are still relevant, it's challenging to find a new employer or transition into the gig economy at retirement age." Working for longer is not a lever that is guaranteed to work.
Good health enables you to pull the 'work for longer' lever
By the time a person reaches 65, longevity expectations could have changed so dramatically that many more years of work are required, but the healthier you are, the more able you are to compete and succeed in what will undoubtedly be a highly competitive and challenging job market. "So if by the time you reach retirement, your job is made obsolete by technology - you can adapt much better with good health. The point is this: healthy people have options," says Sher.
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