Did you know that Americans today can expect to live about 30 years longer than our 20th century ancestors? That’s according to findings published in The Gift of Time, a survey conducted by the Allianz Longevity Project in collaboration with the Stanford Center on Longevity.
So what will you do with all your extra time?
No surprise, most people surveyed are quite upbeat about living longer, provided of course that they have their health and enough money.
There were nine interesting Discovery Points in the report, but I’d like to highlight two that indicate people are more ready than ever to transform work-life balance and redefine outdated notions about career and “retirement.”
Discovery 3 – A third of Americans regret their major life choices
"If given the chance to begin again, a change in profession is the top choice: 32% of Boomers, 35% of Gen Xers, and 33% of Millenials."
Discovery 4 – There’s plenty of acceptance for alternative approaches
"49% of Americans would choose an alternative model [of work-life balance] that fits their interests, instead of a traditional one.”
"What’s more, 46% of our audience is open to working longer and retiring a little later if it means fewer hours and generous breaks—so that they can devote more time to other things, such as raising their children and pursuing other interests."
Tom and Connie Betts, owners of Cascade Alpacas of Oregon, were profiled as a couple who took the plunge with this alternative approach...and succeeded.
All this is completely consistent with what we’re observing in the Encore Career movement and what I’m calling SecondHalf Entrepreneurs™. Folks in those movements are taking a different path, either because it provides the career fulfillment they didn’t previously have (Discovery 3), or it gives them the flexibility to devote their time to the people they love and interests they enjoy most (Discovery 4).
The Allianz-Stanford study is also in line with the EPIC Retirement video regarding the balance between vacation and vocation ("Integration"). None of us were meant for a 30-year vacation. We need engagement, purpose, relevance, and challenge. Otherwise, we shrivel and die.
Let me know what you think. If you've been pondering a redefinition of your career or "retirement"--or you're already in process--I'd love to hear from you.