Doc and I were having a pretty interesting conversation earlier.
It stemmed around one central issue that often goes unaddressed in our society: Things change.
More specifically, let’s look at the things that are seen as static or finite: retirement and education.
The way our society is evolving, both of these traditionally solid avenues are moving in a direction I don’t think enough people comprehend.
Of course, the old custom is that you get a college degree and use that to secure a position at a company that will pay you a pension when you retire. Don’t forget the gold watch, too.
But, these days, that model is all but dead.
42% of adults aren’t saving for retirement at all, according to a new report by the Center for Financial Services Innovation.
Only 2% of us rely on pensions to retire.
More than 40 percent of college graduates take a job out of school that didn’t require a degree.
More than 1 in 5 college grads still aren’t working a degree-demanding job a decade after leaving school.
Clearly, this is a bleak picture.
Or is it?
To me, this highlights the rise of the gig economy.
With the rise of Uber, Lyft, Etsy, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Freelancer.com, Ebay, and others, more and more workers are doing part-time work, side hustles, as they are often called, and are joining the “Gig Economy”.
More than 36% of all US workers are currently in the gig economy, according to a Gallup poll.
There are two types of gig workers. There are “independent” and “contingent” workers, the former being people who are truly their own “boss”, and the latter being the group that work for another company just like a regular employee might, minus the security and all the other benefits that come with being a full-fledged employee.
But let’s look at this from more than just the job numbers, as interesting as those are.
For example, retirement.
The number one reason people have second jobs is that they lack savings for retirement, according to Betterment’s 2018 report on the gig economy and retirement.
This is where access to capital vehicles like cryptocurrency and STOs will be critical over the coming decades. I believe the future of saving for retirement will be powered by technology. Artificial intelligence, for example, could improve the way people save while making saving more accessible.
Speaking of intelligence, I think this also represents a demographic shift in the way we receive and utilize education. Currently, education is a relic of an age where people were trained to do one job and do it for their entire productive life.
But, as it is so clear now, our needs have changed, and so education will change too.
It will become very apparent in the coming years that receiving a degree will be outdated, or at least archaic. Instead, people will need to constantly re-tool themselves to stay competitive in an age of automation and artificial intelligence.
Thankfully, the democratization of education through platforms like Youtube will help make this transition. Why have one person teach 30 in a classroom when that same person can reach thousands through the internet?
Better yet, the concept of a “Digital Socrates” has always intrigued me. Ultimately, the best education is 1 on 1; tuned to the specific needs and learning style of the student.
With a robust education AI, we could make sure that every student is granted the very best education for them.
And so, I think this is just a taste of what is to come.
We are living in a time of change. Our society will adapt to these new concepts and be better for it.
The only question is: How are you preparing for the future?