I Do Not Plan On Ever Retiring

I don’t think retiring as some know it (work a bunch of years and then retire after a certain age or amount of money) is going to exist in many places by 2050. Why? A few reasons.

1.) Climate change. Climate is going to get hotter, more extreme, more unpredictable for a while. I don’t think there will be enough systemic change before we hit 2 Celsius, though I am hopeful enough that I think a lot of systemic changes will happen once we hit 2C. Not because of magic, but because there’s going to be a lot of political unrest, people will be completely fed up, and politicians will have fewer safer places to go. That also changes retirement plans. I don’t think a lot of the coastal cities are going to be viable to live in if we exceed 2C. With rising sea level, you will literally have fewer places to go to. Also, this is not even mentioning places that are already hard hit from climate change and are already having political unrest from that.

2.) Capitalism beginning to break down. With the point above, I don’t think capitalism as we know it is going to survive in its current form by 2100. Will it be completely gone? I do not think so. However, I think climate change is going to force many folks to begin to shift to other economic modes besides capitalism (like bartering) whether they like it or not. On the note of capitalism and economic production, let’s go to point 3.

3.) Population shifts. Annual world growth in terms of percentage has actually been going down for decades, contrary to what some racist eugenic folks would have you believe. That directly messes with capitalism. If you want concrete examples of this messing with capitalism, see what’s happening in South Korea and Japan. I think a lot of programs specifically for elderly people are going to get scrapped because of what they were modeled on (a continuously growing population) will become more and more untrue. Other models could possibly show up that doesn’t depend on this. If you go on the most idealistic end, there could be a systemic effort of everyone supporting older people (including older people themselves). Don’t write off this possibility- some cultures are structured like that and it’s not impossible to do this. If you’re already in a culture like this, this could further intensify.

4.) Global instability. I think with the slow breakdown of capitalism and climate change that there will be global instability not only in terms of climate, economy, and politics, but also in terms of supply. Think what happened at the beginning of COVID, but more intense and more permanent. Unstable shipping. Longer delays on shipping. More food spoilage. Things like that. It’s not all gloom and doom, it’ll just be less reliable.

5.) Mass disabling events. We are seeing this with COVID with millions being disabled. Given that anti-vaxxer and anti-mask sentiment have increase since the start of COVID, I have absolutely no faith that another pandemic of this scale won’t happen between now and 2050. In fact, I think it’s very well possible that multiple pandemics of this scale could happen in the next 25 years. My personal bet is on 2, but I hope to be proven wrong (zero please)!

I could go on, but I’m trying to not sound like a total doomer. I don’t think it’s all gloom and doom, I just think we’ll be in for a rough time but that long long term that we’ll wind up much better. I think very long term that we’ll respect Indigenous folks a lot more, that we will be a lot more accepting of others, and that we will accept some mistakes of the past if only for self-preservation. Just because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to retire does not mean that I do not plan on saving money. I will save what I can, but my bigger focus is going to be on making the communities I live in as best prepared as possible for the shift and that not all is doom.

You would think that since I think things will be significantly more unstable (especially academia) that I would not go for academia, but I want to see the dying gasps of neoliberal academia for myself. Even though I think academia will be one of the first fields impacted by the stability and have quite a few universities shut down as a result, I want to see this up close and personal. I think if academia collapses or has a partial collapse then much of industry is only going to be 5 to 10 years from doing the same thing because of the sustainability. Anyways, I’m going to live the best life possible for myself and others.

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