What will work and life look like 30 years from now?

santa clarita robo advisorThirty years ago, the sci-fi comedy Back to the Future sent its hero, Marty McFly, back in time to 1955 to meet his parents. We won’t spoil the plot, but a good part of the movie’s adventures involve helping Marty and his eccentric friend Doc find their way back to 1985.

In this article, we look ahead 30 years to imagine how the future of work and life might differ from the past, and what impact this might have on your finances.

  1. You’ll likely work later in life, but fewer hours.
    One in five of all Americans are working past age 65. That’s the most older people with a job since the early 1960s. What’s driving this trend? Some do it because they need the money, others because they like to stay active.1 Sentiment also has been steadily shifting toward a shorter workweek.2   A growing number of studies show that cutting back would actually improve productivity—and our quality of life.3
  2. You’ll probably enjoy greater work-life balance.  The percentage of women with young children who work is now 71.6%,4 up from 45% in 1965.5 With competing demands on time, both women and men are likely to gravitate to companies whose policies enable greater work- life balance. Plus, many of us are caring for aging parents, putting pressure on organizations to reshape their work structures.
  3. You’ll be able to explore multiple careers and learning opportunities.  With more free time, more of us will have the opportunity to switch careers, or create hybrid jobs based on our interests. You can see this trend reflected in the 33% increase in older students enrolling in distance learning courses between 2012 and 2014.6 Career mobility and leisure time are also likely to increase as smarter machines continue to replace workers in certain job areas.
  4. You’ll have opportunities for gap years and sabbaticals between jobs.  According to Monster.com, 20% of employers now encourage their employees to take advantage of unpaid gap years and sabbaticals.7 Progressive companies know that encouraging you to travel and explore the world can spark renewed creativity and energy.

As the workplace becomes more fluid, financial planning takes on new importance. No matter how the future looks, your savings likely will need to support changing workstyles, education expenses and gap-year experiences. When going back to the future, the key is not to limit your thinking for what’s possible!

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1  Bloomberg.com http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-13/-i-ll-never-retire-americans-break-record-for-working-past-65

2  Dorothy Sue Cobble, “The Future of Work: Shorter Hours, Higher Pay,” Pacific Standard, August 20, 2015. https://psmag.com/the-future-of-work-shorter-hours-higher-pay-62643260b339#.gj10m9eiq

3  Brookings Institution. “Time for a shorter work week?” https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/time-for-a-shorter-work-week/

4  “Women in the labor force: a databook,” BLS Reports (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1059: December 2015), p. 20. http://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-databook/archive/women-in-the-labor-force-a-databook-2015.pdf

5  Suzanne Bianchi, Vanessa Wight and Sara Raley, “Maternal Employment and Family Caregiving: Rethinking Time with Children in the ATUS,” Paper prepared for the ATUS Early Results Conference, Bethesda, MD, December 9, 2005.

6  Babson Survey Research Group, 2015 Survey of Online Learning. http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/news_item/babson-study-distance-education-enrollment-growth-continues-2/

7  Source: Monster.com. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/take-a-sabbatical-without-derailing

Disclosure: This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal or investment advice. LPL Financial and its advisors are providing educational services only and are not able to provide participants with investment advice specific to their particular needs. If you are seeking investment advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.

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© 2017 Kmotion, Inc. This newsletter is a publication of Kmotion, Inc., whose role is solely that of publisher. The articles and opinions in this newsletter are those of Kmotion. The articles and opinions are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Nothing in this publication shall be construed as providing investment counseling or directing employees to participate in any investment program in any way. Please consult your financial advisor or other appropriate professional for further assistance with regard to your individual situation.