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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Future

Posted by Dave on February 5, 2013

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

Much to the chagrin of my wife, I get overly excited about new technology and the way it would impact both us and the world as a whole in the future.  There have been a couple of instances I’ve read about which I can see (maybe) having an impact on the future, and may impact my retirement years.

Self-Driving Cars

If this technology takes hold,  it is going to significantly to change the landscape of both people’s lifestyle as well as the North American economy as a whole.  Already, there are states in the US writing laws to allow for these kind of cars.

Besides making for an easier lifestyle and allowing for more mobility for me later in life, there is the added safety in traveling.  With improved battery technology coming (again, maybe), this  transportation change could cause a significant shift in how people will travel.  If it works out to be a reasonably cheap and risk-free way to get around, it would revolutionize road trips and getting around North America.

On the flip-side of being able to get to Florida in a 24-hour period and getting plenty of sleep on the way, is the downside.  One user on Reddit outlined some of these possibilities, including a total shift in the North American economy.  There is the possibility, especially in urban areas that demand for cars will be further reduced from current levels (which are already declining in younger age groups).

The user on Reddit points out that in the not-so-near future, there will be a much more efficient use of vehicles.  The possibility of being able to use your smartphone to “order” a car to you from a rental agency or having transport trucks which can drive 24-hours straight compared to the 8 to 10 hours they’re going now is going to change how many of these vehicles are going to be churned out of factories.

From a retirement perspective, I’m excited for this technology, I’m hoping it will come sooner rather than later and will be a useful tool to both travel plans as well as “vehicular efficiency” of my household.

3D Printing

If you haven’t seen anything about 3D or “additive” printing, this is some serious Sci-Fi stuff.  From making skin and other medical uses to printing out entire bicycles, this is just a really cool technology, think Star Trek, using either a scan from a camera or pre-made plans, you can make something from nothing.

This is really a technology in it’s infancy when it comes to consumer goods, but I think may also have a significant impact on both the manufacturing, shipping, and sales of any number of goods.

Besides the coolness factor of these technologies (which I probably think too much about) it also leads to some questions about future investment opportunities (for a very small portion of my portfolio anyways as a speculative investment).   I mostly like the possibilities that the technology will bring and the neat stuff that may be available at some point in the future.

Are you “into” technology?  Do you think it will help you in the future?  What impact do you think future technology will have in your retirement?

Comments

3 Responses to “The Future”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    I work in a high tech industry (research and computer development). I can definitely see the motion capture technology that is being developed becoming main stream during my lifetime. Hopefully it will increase the effectiveness of health care (and keep me employed until my retirement)

  2. Alex says:

    Lots of changes in health care, from drugs developed specifically for each individual, to real-time health monitoring via a myriad of sensors inside your body, to Watson-like AI doctors running on home computers and mobile devices. Think of the best medical specialist in the world that can devote 24 hours a day of his time to you.

  3. Hazy says:

    It is one of the challenges of early retirement planning.
    How does one account for needs and wants that have yet to be invented?
    If they come up with a way to extend my lifespan too much,I may run out of nest egg….that would suck.

    I suspect as I age,I will adopt some of the new things that come down the pipe,but I also think I’ll try holding on some old stuff as well.But I guess that is what most people do when they get older.

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