1-Sentence-Summary: The 100-Year Life teaches you how to be resourceful and prepare ahead of time for a world in which people not only live longer but reach an age in the triple-digits, and talks about what you should be doing right now to ensure you have enough money for retirement.
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Favorite quote from the author:
You don’t know how long your life is going to be, but science might have an answer for that. According to many scientists, who have given the concept the perfectly hokey name “longevity escape velocity”, by 2030, people on average will live past 100 years old.
If this is right, then living well into your late-90s and even triple digits should be something that almost everyone alive today can expect. For this reason, The 100-Year Life by Lynda Gratton delves into the idea of extended longevity and teaches you how to resourcefully prepare for old age ahead of time.
Here are three of my most favorite lessons from the book:
- Nutrition and developments in medicine help us live longer, more fulfilling lives.
- A good way to prepare for your seniority is to learn new skills and adapt to economic conditions.
- Retirement implies financial independence, exploration stages, and self-growth.
Let’s learn more about each lesson by exploring them one by one below.
Lesson 1: Medical advancements and in-depth research about lifestyle choices shaped a world of increased longevity.
If you take a look back in history, the world was much different than we know it today. Without accounting for worse economic conditions or wars, medicine and technological advancements were nowhere near the standards we know today.
On top of that, people had poorer perceptions regarding nutrition, medical conditions, old age, and other similar aspects of life. Smoking was a social norm, sugar was on every table, and nutrition was about losing weight.
Essentially, nothing was as we know it today, and that is reflected in the average lifespan. Nowadays, every decade brings breakthrough discoveries in all industries, and with them, added years to our lives.
Infants are no longer dying. Diseases like cancer, Alzheimers, smallpox or any other illness are no longer killing as many people as they used to. And people are overall more health-conscious. Great news, right?
Well, yes and no. As we advance in these fields and medicine breaks through new layers of knowledge, our life span increases substantially.
This fact poses a new issue for humans: what are we going to do once we’re approaching the triple-digit age? Will our resources suffice? How will our social lives look? Or tour professional careers – will they still come to an end as we’re moving past the age of 60? Guess we’ll live and see!
Lesson 2: People should prepare for old age by learning new skills in demand.
We’ve all seen at least one futuristic, sci-fi movie where the characters end up in a future ruled by AI-driven robots, flying cars, machine humans, and dynamic buildings. While we can’t promise the flying cars part, we surely do notice the increasingly growing role AI plays in our everyday lives already.
AI-driven machines are taking over automatized intellectual and physical processes while delivering error-free results. Soon, most probably in our lifetime, people will have to adapt to these changes and learn skills that are in demand, which implies working alongside robots.
Creative work and jobs that probably haven’t even been discovered yet will take over the current professional environments. Therefore, in order to secure an income, we’ll have to switch the focus to computer skills, innovative and lateral thinking, social skills, and other similar fields.
Other areas of improvement that will prove worthwhile in our life include self-awareness and health. Focusing on nutrition and fitness will be invaluable in the long run. Focusing on mental health and the ability to learn fast helps too. While right now it may not seem like a big thing, try thinking ahead. How would your 80-something-year-old like to live? Healthy and active, or passive and bored?
Lesson 3: Building financial strength comes from trying, failing, and exploring.
The world has changed for the better. And that means that you have the flexibility to live a life like no one before you. No one expects us to go to college, find a job at 20-something-years-old, stay with the company till we retire, and then die. Frankly, a life spent working for big corporations doesn’t sound appealing to the masses anymore.
Instead, newer generations are aiming for independence, remote work, years off to explore new cultures and countries, and freelance gigs. This is good news, as it allows people to explore themselves more, learn about life in depth and get to know the world while they’re also learning about themselves.
As we have more time to live and there’s less pressure to join a career movement, people find that life is much more about exploring than earning. In fact, it’s recommended to take some time to do so in your twenties, in your mid-forties, and again in your seventies. These stages of life are usually marked by big changes.
Financial independence also comes from these stages of exploration, and more importantly, from a continuous trial-and-error process. When learning these new skills in demand, it’s important to try them out and see how you can monetize them. This can take years to get done, but it’s all for the better – for a safe old age.
The 100-Year Life Review
If you’re thinking about retirement, or simply have an interest in growing old with longevity in mind, then this is a book for you.
The 100-Year Life is more about thinking about retirement in the first place. As a society, our definition of retirement is still archaic, and we need to rethink things for tomorrow’s retirees.
As life expectancy goes up and people live longer, you need to make changes to your life now. So that when you do retire it’s a little less stressful.
Overall, the book is an excellent read. It’s well-written, comprehensive, and offers a compelling look at what life could be like over the next 100 years, with the increasing elderly population.
Who would I recommend The 100-Year Life summary to?
The 30-year-old person who is slowly starting to look at their retirement and plan it, the 50-year-old who lost faith in the Social Security System and wants to find a way to provide for their future self, or the 25-year-old person who’s interested in the effects of longevity on the retirement and the world as we know it.
Last Updated on October 6, 2022