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The 100-Year Life

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The 100-Year Life

Living and Working in an Age of Longevity


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A longer life can be a blessing if you know how to prepare for your future.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Celebrating a 100th birthday used to be a rare occurrence. But as of 2016, half the children born in the West have a life expectancy of 105 years. These extra years will likely be healthy, as morbidity rates are predicted to decrease in many parts of the world. Yet, the gift of a long life brings unexpected complications. In this well-researched, comprehensive if academic overview, London Business School professors Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott address some of these issues, including supporting yourself during an extended retirement, maintaining beneficial relationships, staying healthy, and periodically updating your skills and knowledge. While end-of-chapter summaries or bullet points might have been helpful, getAbstract finds that this in-depth analysis will help everyone hoping to spend an extra decade or two on Earth and anyone seeking to hire them, invest in them or sell to them.


Live Long and Prosper

Children born in the US in 2016 can anticipate reaching their 100th birthdays. The last two centuries have seen an increase in life expectancy of two years per decade. Unforeseen or unfortunate circumstances aside, you will live longer than your parents and grandparents, and your children will live longer than you. For some, a long life is a burden. Others see it as a gift of endless possibility. In the future, people will continue to work into their eighth and ninth decades. The job market will change and evolve, requiring new skills and knowledge. While finances will play an obviously crucial role, nonfinancial assets such as relationships, health and happiness are equally important. People will move away from the traditional “three-stage” life of education, career and retirement toward a life of multiple stages. In such a “multistage” life, people may have several careers, undergo various transitions, and take breaks to recharge or learn new skills. These life transitions evoke flexibility, discovery, new perspectives, wider networks and new relationships.

“Re-creation will be more important than recreation,” as people invest in learning and...

About the Authors

Management practice professor Lynda Gratton received the 2015 award for best teacher at the London Business School, where Andrew Scott is an economics professor. He previously taught at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

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