There’s no denying that tech influences and impacts our daily lives. It’s changed the way we do many things, including the way we retire. The baby boomer generation continues to retire at rapid rates. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there was another “boom” as more of that generation left their jobs permanently. Generation X isn’t far behind, with many reaching retirement age in the next 10 years.
What can retirees expect when they’re no longer in the working world? How has tech changed the way people retire and the way seniors live?
Like almost everything else tech touches, there are some positive and negative aspects. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the ways technology is changing retirement, so you can be prepared and “in the know” when you’re ready to leave your career.
It’s Making Healthcare More Accessible
Telehealth isn’t something new. It was already on the rise before COVID-19 hit. But, thanks to the pandemic it became even more popular and prominent than ever.
As you age, you become more at risk for certain health conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Eye problems
Some conditions require in-person visits with your physician. But general wellness visits can often be done via telehealth. It’s changed the way people interact with doctors – in many cases, for the better. For seniors, telemedicine is a way to make getting to the doctor more accessible. If you have mobility issues, live in a rural area, or have a busy schedule, telehealth appointments are convenient, easy, and much less stressful than going to an appointment in person. All you need is a strong internet connection and some free time to set up an appointment.
Telemedicine allows your doctor to spend more time interacting with you. Many physicians also have their own portals that allow for remote patient monitoring, quick communication, and technical support that makes it easy to stay connected at any time. Getting the care you need from the comfort of your own home can make a big difference in how often you “see” your doctor, and how much you make your health a priority.
It’s Combating Isolation
Isolation is often a huge problem among seniors. According to the University of California, more than 40% of seniors regularly feel lonely and isolated. That’s more than just a sad statistic. Isolation can lead to a variety of health issues and can even increase your mortality rate by 26%.
Technology can provide huge benefits when it comes to fighting isolation. Family members and friends are just a FaceTime call away. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how easy it is to connect with people. Live video conferences became the norm for both business and personal use, but there are other ways to creatively connect, too. Consider trying your hand at online gaming. Many games are multiplayer and allow you to connect with others around the world. Or, look online for different hobby groups on things you’re interested in. You can find like-minded people to connect with and feel like you’re a part of something bigger.
Of course, connecting with someone behind a screen isn’t the same as in person. Don’t let yourself get drawn into digital connections if you can interact with friends and family face-to-face. Tech makes things very convenient, but nothing can replace real interaction whenever it’s possible.
It’s Making It Easier to Manage Your Finances
One of the biggest concerns retirees often have is how to survive, financially. Ideally, you’ll have enough money in savings, or a retirement plan lined up to live comfortably during your golden years. But no one wants to feel constrained to a tight budget forever.
Technology has made it easier than ever to manage your finances and get involved with investing. One study found that 85% of people want even more access to technological solutions to their financial challenges. Thankfully, there are already multiple apps, services, and platforms out there that can:
- Automatically transfer funds into a savings account
- Make smart investment choices
- Alert you when there are changes to your bank account
- Help you make a feasible budget
- Keep track of your current investments
When managing your finances is as easy as opening your phone or computer, you’ll be less stressed about what you’re spending throughout your retirement. You may even be able to start investing for the first time with confidence since there is so much information out there about where you should and shouldn’t put your money. For example, you might think it’s a good idea to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But, that crypto bubble could easily burst. It may be better to invest in tangible assets where there’s more certainty.
Tech is obviously here to stay. While the baby boomer generation might be stereotyped when it comes to using it, don’t be afraid to dive in and try different things. If utilizing technology can make your retirement years easier and more convenient, it’s well worth it to embrace what it has to offer.