TED Conversations

Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.


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How will you spend your time and/or make a living between ages 60 and 100?

As improved medicine and machinery continue to expand our lifespans in the developed world, the current model in which we work until age 65 +/- and then "retire" seems sadly outdated. New questions begin to arise, though, when we reflect on how we will each make a living and how we will make a life. I am excited to see what kind of ideas you all come up with.

One particular question related to the model is this: if someone goes back to school to re-tool for a whole new career at, say, 50, will they get hired into career-track positions where they could work for 20 years?


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  • Jul 15 2012: To Robert & the others who want me to take the checkout operator position in spite of my fears that I will top myself after the first day- I just can't do it. I don't depend on money/job/career purely for survival. I have a partner with a job who can just manage to pay for our food, mortgage & utilities. I need something that will occupy my overactive mind & also stop me from feeling trapped by being financially dependent on another human being. I deliberately never married because the thought of being legally bound to someone else's income repulsed me in the extreme. Now the law has changed so that I am legally required to depend on a partner or live on the streets. To Teja: thank you for some creativity in your reply! I must try again to meditate/be mindful and believe more in continuity. Perhaps I could teach others about the experiences of ageing, although that is theoretically a university subject in psychology that is over-populated with academics! I might offer something more on what young people might do while young to avoid my current predicament! However, I think part of it will be overcoming the handicaps of upbringing before trying to make a definite choice of job or profession.

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