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Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.

TEDCRED 500+

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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our lifespans in the developed world, the current model in which we work until age 65 +/- and then "retire" seems sadly outdated.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 7 2012: I would like to be able to follow in my father's footsteps regarding this.

    He is 66 now. When he retired at 55, he had superannuation to rely on, so he was in the fortunate position of being able to go back to university and study what he wanted to. He studied optics first, and did a whole lot of astronomy stuff, up to and including building his own telescopes (which is not as expensive a hobby as you might think, since he ground his own mirrors, etc.) He also worked part time, more to keep busy than because he needed the money, as a sales assistant at an outdoors store.

    His health is failing now, so he has changed track, and is now silversmithing and jewellery making.

    I'm on disability, but I'm hoping that that's the sort of thing I'll be able to do then. As I am in Australia, I can work part time on disability, so I'm studying computer programming and plan to do some work in that field - I may still be doing that when I hit 60, if I keep up with all the changes :)
    • Jul 15 2012: Your father is fortunate he was able to retire on sufficient superannuation to make ends meet- I can't do that, nor am I eligible for a pension for another 5 years. It is the difficult circumstance of being motivated to work for a wage & not being able to find anything psychologically satisfying that bothers me at 60. Therefore I can't see life in front of me at all. If I must be dependent on someone else's income for support when it is the opposite to all my values, life is not worth living. I have lots of hobbies & interests but cannot do most of them because of lack of money for raw materials. I can't go to the theatre or ballet or travel to enjoy myself like people with income can do. It is quite discouraging. I hope you are able to keep up with things over the years so that you enjoy your time between 60 and 100!

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