February 2019 Investor Insights

Part 1 of Technology in Retirement Series

5 Ways Technology Will Impact How We Age


IT WILL HELP US STAY MOBILE WITH TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

Cars increasingly offer technology to provide assistance with parking, collision prevention, and lane-departure warnings. These additional safety features may extend the driving capabilities for aging drivers.

In addition, ride-hailing services (Uber, Lyft) provide options for rides and even part-time employment for retirees. 


Finally, get ready to experience driverless cars – imagine the independence this will give to those otherwise unable to drive.


IT WILL BE EASIER TO WORK AND EARN INCOME LONGER

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With some retirees considering working part time during retirement, technology can help in a variety of ways. 

  • Remote working is one way. 
  • Online education to learn new skills is another way. 
  • Finally, providing services in the “on demand” economy can also provide employment – though in a non-traditional way. Examples include renting out one’s home or rooms through AirBnB or driving via services such as Uber and Lyft.


IT WILL BE EASIER TO MAINTAIN AND GROW SOCIAL NETWORKS

Loneliness is a health risk at all ages. Retirement and the death of a spouse are two life events where many find that their built-in social network diminishes. Technology has already made a difference connecting friends and family members – through FaceTime and Skype video calls. Other social networks such as Facebook and even senior specific dating sites such as OurTime, help connect like-minded people, and reduce the loneliness that many may feel.



IT WILL ENABLE AGING IN PLACE THROUGH CONNECTED HOMES

According to AARP, nearly 90% of homeowners approaching retirement want to stay in their homes as they age – commonly referred to as Aging in Place.  Apps such as Handy and TaskRabbit can help with home maintenance by pre-screening handymen or contractors for projects. 


Grocery delivery is becoming much more common and widely available. Raley’s delivers through FoodJets and SaveMart through ClickCartInstaCart is now readily available and supports stores including Safeway, Sprouts, Smart & Final, Costco, CVS, Petco, BevMo and Smart Foodservices. 


Food Delivery apps are a huge help. DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates give people the opportunity to have a gourmet meal delivered at home without the hassle of driving, parking, or reservations. 


Finally, Amazon Echo and Google Home are activated by your voice, enabling individuals with restricted movement to access many apps and services. 



IT WILL FACILITATE MONITORING OUR HEALTH WHILE AT HOME

A big part in enabling Aging in Place is the use of technology to monitor our health. Instead of needing to be in a facility or travel to an institution for tests, devices and apps can reduce the need for many out of home care needs. Smart toilets can measure weight. Smart watches are already tracking activity. Developers are working to extend these to clothing and carpet – to detect falls or changes or problems. When outside help is needed, existing apps like Honor provide trained health care professionals to help clients resolve issues immediately.


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