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“We work day after day, not to finish things; but to make the future better… because we will spend the rest of our lives there.”    
— Charles F. Kettering

Aging, Debt, Automation and the Future of Work

We are on the cusp of unprecedented economic and demographic change. By 2025, for the first time in history, the retired age population will equal the working age population. By 2030, the number of seniors will skyrocket and by 2050 comprise over 20% of the population.

Today's seniors are the most financially unprepared in history, with 90% of those with any type of retirement account having less than $100K saved. Many are still paying off mortgages and even student loan debt. How will they fund their retirements? Will they return to work, and if so, where? What impact does this have on younger employment-age generations? 

American student loan debt has reached record levels, at $1.53 trillion and counting. In 2018, around 2.5 million owed at least $100,000, or 6% of the overall debt bill. Add to the mix that the graduate loan borrowers in particular also had parents with increasing debt rates on par with their own, creating a multi-generational student debt problem. 

Skyrocketing education costs have caused a decline in college enrollment, with students seeking other avenues for learning. What does this mean for the future of education and recruitment? And what does this picture look like with the looming threat of ten million present-day jobs lost to automation by 2025?

The 2050 Project seeks to answer these questions and more. Through market research, trend analysis and innovative solutioning, our #1 goal is the dissemination of information to individuals, businesses and communities to influence process, policy and decision-making for the betterment of the future.


Founder and CEO

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Shannon Gaydos is a Fortune 50 global strategist and futurist who believes in combining stats, trends and intuition to ask the right questions and build business landscapes that address future problems. A globe trotter and nighttime thinker, you can most likely find her wide awake in another country pondering the possibilities of the next fifty years. Follow her on LinkedIn and on Twitter @the_2050project.

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