The 100 Year Life: Living & Working in the Age of Longevity with Lynda Gratton


12 Hay Hill, London. July 26th 2016

Living to 100 years. A terrifying or exciting thought? 50% of those aged 20 today are expected to reach 100, and this shift in life expectancy will affect us all.

Professor Lynda Gratton from London Business School came to tell us what to expect from this elongated life, a subject explored in her new book ‘The 100 Yr Life’. Beyond the thought-provoking talk Lynda gave us over dinner at the beautiful 12 Hay Hill, Lynda’s own achievements are incredibly inspiring. Lynda was named amongst the 15 top thought leaders in the Thinkers50 ranking, and has had a fascinating and varied career: a wonderful role model for us all.

Here are 10 things we learned last night that
this increased longevity means for young women today:

1. We will need to work until our late 70s (at least!) and the
retirement age will go up, but no political party will tell us this as
it’s not something the electorate wants to hear.

2. This is likely to shift the traditional linear three-stage life
(full time education, full time work, retirement) to a multi-stage

3. This means a life that might include portfolio careers, as well as
periods as ‘independent producers’ and ‘adventurers’ (gap years won’t
be just for 19 year olds!)

4. These stages will order differently for each of us and so age
becomes less important. We’ll become more age agnostic with our
friendships and working relationships, as we work for longer and
retire later

5. The lengthening of life is simple for men, it stretches out evenly.
As women, think about it like an elastic band, where the only time
that isn’t stretching is the period in which you can have babies. It’s
life post-babies that gets longer, and that’s an opportunity!

6. For women, does going back to work soon after having babies buy us
an option for the future? Just think you working future might be 20
years longer than it was for your mother. Dual income households have
become the norm

7. Money allows you to retire early (do invest in these tangible
assets), but intangible assets allow you to keep working for longer.
These are productive assets (skills and reputation), vitality assets
(health and friendships) and transformational assets (self knowledge,
diverse networks and openness to experience)

8. Friendships and relationships play a hugely important role in
happiness. Remember, you can be the richest person in the world but
money can’t buy a 50-year friendship

9. Build those intangible assets, but don’t be overly focused on one.
They can build up over time. However don’t allow any of these
intangible assets to deplete for a long period of time

10. We’re living in a period in which technology is drastically
changing the world of work. Technology is hollowing out the labour
market, replacing unskilled jobs and augmenting skilled ones. Learn to
be a specialist in something, not a generalist; go deep into what
you’re interested in to differentiate from the pack

And the number one piece of advice for a long life…? SLEEP!

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