Decades ago, baseball legend Yogi Berra said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
That statement still rings true, said Ric Edelman, CEO of Edelman Financial Services, one of the nation’s leading financial advising firms, and author of the new book “The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later.“
Berra’s words remind us that “everything you think about the future is probably wrong,” Edelman told Business Insider in a recent Facebook Live interview.
That’s because in the 21st century, “exponential technologies” like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, 3D printing, robotics, bioinformatics, bionics, and nanotechnology are changing the way we work and live, he said.
For example, he said, “It’s hard for a lot of us to remember that the smartphone is only 10 years old. That’s really astonishing. Can you remember life without it? Can you imagine life without it?” And yet, according to Edelman, 300,000 Americans work full-time earning an average of $100,000 a year developing smartphone apps — an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago. At the same time, travel agents have become virtually obsolete, he said, as the internet makes it easier than ever to book travel and accommodation without human interaction.
“This is an illustration of how we’re seeing radical changes in the economic environment through investment opportunity, career opportunity, as well as the risks to what it is you studied in college, and is that field going to remain viable or is it going to be replaced by artificial intelligence and robotics?” he said.
New tech makes it near impossible to predict what skills will be in demand in 10 or 20 years. Coupled with longer life expectancy, we’re going to be forced to alter the way we work, live, and play.
Edelman said we will begin to exchange linear life patterns — we’re born, we go to school, join the workforce, retire, and eventually, die — for cyclical life patterns, where we “engage in learning, employment, and leisure, on a repeating cycle” for our entire lives.
But rest assured, Edelman said, working well into our 80s or 90s won’t be as “horrific” as it may seem, because medical technology will keep us healthy longer and the shared economy will make it “easier than ever to earn a living.”
But rather than saving up enough money to retire at 65 and last for the next 20 years, he says, we’ll be saving for several short-term goals that will allow us to integrate leisure into our extended lifetimes, like taking a two-year sabbatical from work, for instance.
“It’s going to be fun, and it’s going to be enjoyable, and it’s going to be beneficial for the community as well — what’s not to love?”
Watch Business Insider’s full interview with Ric Edelman below: