Why the Retirement Age Will Keep Going Up

by Vault Careers | December 15, 2010

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Are you ready to work beyond the current retirement age? Into your 70s or 80s? For many, that's likely to be the reality, according to Jim O'Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In an interview with the Economist, O'Neill discussed his predictions for the coming 25 years—and the age question featured prominently among them:

"I think the big picture outcome of [the aging crisis] is relatively clear. It's going to be painful, but we're all going to work for longer. You're already seeing in some countries in Europe this issue starting to play out—obviously there's a lot of turbulence about it in France at the moment—but it seems to me as our health improves and we all live longer the only real solution to these issues is that we all choose happily to work longer."

"I can't imagine why, given longevity, why people would want to retire as early as they have done in the past."

That’s something that will have an obvious effect on the concept of career planning: if you're factoring in an extra 5 or 10 years of work, it makes sense that you'd want them to be in a field that you'll be happy working in—and that won’t take a toll on your aging body.

Listen to the full interview (comments on aging come at 10:00 onwards):

Jim O'Neill on the new BRICs

Other takeaways from the interview:

  • • O'Neill is the man who coined the term "BRICs" as a descriptor for the leading emerging markets.
  • • He thinks the Chinese economy will surpass the U.S. as the world's largest in 2027, but that U.S. leaders shouldn't be disheartened: "A healthy way of thinking about it: Why isn't a country of 1.3 billion people the largest economy in the world?"
  • • He thinks the next countries with the potential to join the BRICs are "Indonesia, Turkey and possibly Mexico." Also "Nigeria could be a surprise."
  • • He's mostly optimistic about the survival of the Euro, but thinks that if European policy makers don't "solve some of the serious dilemmas and shift more towards genuine economic reform {…} there is a small risk that EMU might not survive the next 25 years."

Extra Insight:

How BMW is Dealing with an Aging Workforce
The Case for Age Diversity
On Strike: Career Advice From Across the Pond

--Phil Stott, Vault.com 

Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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