Technology Changing Retirement in Multiple Directions
Technology changing retirement should come as no surprise. Technology changing retirement impacting the way retirees spend their so-called golden years — in a favorable way, for the most part.
That was a major takeaway from a session at the GRP Advisor Alliance Finnovation Conference in San Diego, as recently covered in 401kspecialist. The focal point of this year’s conference was financial technology, more commonly known as fintech.
Befittingly, technology was the topic of a presentation given by Bill McManus, Director Strategic Markets, Hartford Funds. According to Mr. McManus, technology is forever changing the way people age. He said older people aren’t actually afraid to embrace technology — a commonly held belief. Quite the opposite — older people are spending more time figuring out how to embrace technology to maximize its benefits and usefulness to their lives.
In addition, Mr. McManus opined, older people might need technology changing retirement more than their younger counterparts. For example, as people age and aren’t able to drive anymore, they can instead turn to apps and services like Uber, Lyft, AmazonPrime, Instacart and Taskrabbit to get around and procure the things they need. Retirees who can’t drive can still get around by mastering rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. Or, if they can’t drive to the store, they can rely on AmazonPrime and Instacart to deliver essentials to their door. Or a retiree might not be able to do their own home repairs, but they can call a TaskRabbit to come to fix a plumbing or electrical issue, for example.
Technology like these apps and services is a good thing because according to AAA data Mr. McManus cited in his presentation, seniors who have stopped driving are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression, and five times as likely to enter a long-term care facility. Technology can help mitigate the negative impacts of not being able to drive anymore, decreasing the likelihood that such a change will cause depression.
Self-diagnostic wearable technology like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch is also an area where technology changing retirement may also help older Americans to live better in their retirement years. While many seniors are reluctant to wear health monitoring alert necklaces or bracelets, they are less averse to wearing technology devices that not only look stylish and fashionable, but that is also able to detect falls in addition to keeping tabs on their health.
Financial advisors may be able to engage older people by using technology changing retirement strategies. Showing retirees some of their own favorite apps and explaining their benefits in making life easier and better is a perfect example of technology changing retirement. They might also identify apps that could help make this demographic’s lives easier, such as ridesharing, service providers or online learning.
According to 401kspecialist, “As people live longer and typically want to “age in place,” technology can play a crucial role in helping them stay connected and healthy.” Indeed, seniors today have many more options available to them than ever before. Using technology, retirees can enjoy their post-work years in ways we couldn’t even fathom 10, 15 or 20 years ago. Technology is changing the world at a rapid pace, especially for seniors — in a very good way.