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our lifespans in the developed world, the current model in which we work until age 65 +/- and then "retire" seems sadly outdated.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 22 2012: Interesting conversation. At 70 I've just unretired for the 5th time because people keep asking for help in their gardens. I beautify people's properties and try to make them functional. Its very hard heavy work but extremely satisfying. ( half days are enough now. ) The aim is to activate people's senses where they live via sniffing many wonderful fragrances, the last sense to go, creating a palette of color for the entire year, bringing sounds like running water or rustling leaves, touching the various textures of plants such as brushing along tall grasses, tasting the herbs and fruits or vegetables which can be an integral part of a garden.
    I suppose this isn't going to last forever for my body is already objecting. However, the joy of gardening will never leave and the ability to inspire others to create a beautiful environment where they live has to be my life's work. Teaching them to see the opportunities that surround them by opening their senses is an incredible rush.
    The bonus is that I get paid for this work, which allows us to travel for a month every year.
    Enjoy life while you can.
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      Jul 22 2012: hats off to you sir your words are truly inspiring
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      Jul 22 2012: What a beautiful continuing contribution!

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