How working life has changed: future-proofing your finances

The working landscape has changed immensely in the past 50 years, and in many ways is unrecognisable from that of a generation or two ago.

Types of jobs
There are high-frequency job titles that didn’t exist a generation ago, many of them arising from the internet and the rise of technology – web developer, digital marketer, social media manager, SEO specialist and so on – but also elsewhere, such as Zumba instructor, dietician or app builder.

While few job titles have actually bitten the dust, some common in the 60s or 70s are getting more and more harder to find – the ‘traditional’ office secretary, typesetters, milkmen, high street travel agents.

Working hours
Working hours are different, although it’s not necessarily something everyone is happy with. On one hand, employers in general are a lot more flexible these days with their staff, with work-life balance a priority for many people. Women in particular are better catered for than in times gone by, with parenting duties often taken into consideration with part-time or flexible hours.

On the other hand, the rise of ‘zero hours’ contracts, in which the employer has no obligation to provide any minimum working hours, has left many workers without the security of knowing how much basic income they will have or how secure their work is.

Where to work
Commuting has been the norm ever since public transport came to newly-built city suburbs many decades ago, but even that has changed. Spiralling house prices in urban areas have driven many people to live further away from their place of work, often travelling 1-2 hours to reach it.

Conversely, many people nowadays choose to work from home, even if only for part of their week – it may fit around their lives more, or their employers feel they’ll be more productive, or maybe they have the freedom of being self-employed or a freelance.

The future of work
So will we all be begging for internships, or telecommuting from our bedrooms? With so much uncertainty over careers it’s not easy to say. There are probably jobs not yet invented that the next generation will be trained for, that may seem as baffling to us as an Information Architect might be to the over-60s now.

Future-proofing your finances
Future-proofing your finances means helping to you’re prepared for life-changing events like starting a family, retirement and the probable loss of disposable income that these things may bring.

Almost half (44%) the people asked in a recent Experian survey of over-55s* say they are concerned about their financial future, with over half (56%) worrying about not having enough savings and (55%) not having disposable income.  40% have concerns over high monthly bills.

Things like saving a bit of money every month – enough not to notice – while you’re still young, independent and without too many financial responsibilities could help you prepare for what you may need in the future. If you end up not needing it, it could be a nice bonus one day but you may thank yourself for it.

* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1051 adults aged 55+. Fieldwork was undertaken between  4th – 7th April 2016.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 55+).

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