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Will technology offer a market for skills in retirement? October 11, 2010

Posted by Mark Hillary in Outsourcing.
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The idea of retirement is changing forever. The government in Britain – and other EU nations – is increasing the age at which state retirement benefits will commence. Many see it as unfair because they will have to continue working for longer than the past generation – probably for less generous benefits from the state. But this idea of a third age where you sit back on a pot of retirement savings and state benefits has really only been a reality for half a century or so.

Perhaps we are reverting back to a different age, though not one where we all die before retirement! Is there a smarter way?

There is an issue in living longer; we can’t realistically expect to just play golf for the last 30 years of life, unless the funds to do that are from our own endeavour – the state won’t bear that kind of support. But technology is now changing the way that we all work, offering many home-based opportunities. Not just call centre agents based from home, but allowing anyone to use their skills and to sell those skills over the Internet to a global market.

Websites like freelancer.com and odesk.com have tapped into this market for individuals who want to sell their skills, but have they considered how it might work to market those in their senior years? And should that even matter? An editor selling his expertise online on a freelance basis would probably benefit from having more, rather than less, experience. As would an accountant, as would a consultant.

So are we missing a trick by not exploring a national way to tap into this resource pool of expertise?

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