According to Pew research, the majority of human jobs could be automated by 2065. The process has begun, and many jobs are at risk today. This isn’t just a possibility –it’s something that should worry people. The robots can replace your job and destroy your retirement planning, especially if you’re already late career. Millennials have time to pick up the pieces and start over again. You don’t.
Don’t worry though, you can survive the looming collapse. Here’s how to cope with the robots replacing your job.
Don’t let your job define who you are.
Some people are their careers. Their job is their purpose, and it’s where they find all satisfaction and happiness. Then when they retire, they’re depressed by the realization that it’s all over. How do they matter now?
The same thing will happen when the robots replace your job, unless you act first. Make a commitment to deriving satisfaction out of things other than your job. Because it turns out any of us could be fired eventually.
Accept that robots will replace your job.
Not every corporate worker will lose their job to machines and destroy their retirement planning in the process. There are some jobs robots will never do. But this is happening now, and it’s happening to a lot of people. Research from Oxford University says transportation and administration are the most at risk industries in the short term.
So be smart, and don’t hold onto the illusion that your paycheck and your pension will carry you through the next ten years. Be frugal and proactive about your retirement planning by making smart investments. You never know when robots will replace your job, and your main income stream will disappear.
Think of ways to monetize your skills (or something else).
Even if a robot replaces your job, there are plenty of ways to go out on your own and earn income. Think of ways to monetize your existing skills or knowledge, then become a consultant or freelancer online.
If all your skills really are obsolete (which I doubt), you can still make money by developing ideas or even products to bring in fresh income.
This is something you can get started on today, to protect yourself when the robots come. I recommend finding a way to bring in new income online. You can buy a domain and learn as you go, like a lot of late-career entrepreneurs do. Or you can start building new skills you’ll need to succeed with online digital marketing and sales courses. It’s never too late to learn.
Even if you only earn a few hundred dollars a month from a side business, it can add up to a lot over time. Make smart investments for your retirement planning and you’ll end up alright when robots replace your job.
Actually enjoy your job, or quit.
If you do a job you love, there are a lot of reasons to keep it. You can build up your 401K and make your retirement planning even stronger. You still might lose it eventually, but at least you’re happy.
If you already hate your corporate job, which I know a lot of people do, there’s no reason to wait around for the robots to take it from you.
If you sever ties now, you can have more time to move onto your second career, or try your hand at entrepreneurship. By being proactive and not clinging to a dying industry, you can make sure your retirement planning stays on track long term.
The point is, even if the robots replace your job, it’s not the end of the world. There are a lot of ways to cope, recover from the loss, and keep your retirement planning on track.
Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.