The time when a job was tied to a formal employee retirement plan is long gone. The world as you know it has changed.
For the people who don’t recognize that fact, it will be the worst of times. For the people who do and take action, it will be the best of times.
Over the last 100 years, an interesting phenomenon occurred. The rise of the corporation became the standard in society.
The safe and respected place for people to exist in the workplace was as an employee.
Step one: Go to school to learn how to be an employee.
Step two: Find a company that will employ you.
Step three: Work for that company for 40 years.
Step four: Retire home and live off their employee retirement plan.
In recent decades, the promise of being rewarded by the company for your loyalty and hard work has been exposed as a myth.
People began to realize the loyalty they were giving to their company was not being given in return. So a different process evolved.
Step one: Go to school to learn to be an employee.
Step two: Find a company that will employ you.
Step three: Switch companies for various political and economic reasons every three to five years over the course of your career.
Step four: Find that you can’t survive comfortably off an employee retirement plan after 40 years, so you keep working.
And now we are going through the biggest shift in any of our lifetimes. For a century, companies have paid people by the hour, by the week, or by the year. That’s changing on a global level.
The world is moving toward a performance economy. And it’s already happening.
Here’s what that means: In the future, you’re only going to be paid for performance. You won’t be paid for your time anymore.
Servers in the food industry already live in this model. They get a very low hourly wage required by law and they make their living through tips, based on their performance.
If you can imagine the same model being applied to virtually every job in the world, you will see what is coming.
The person cleaning the rooms in a hotel won’t be paid by the hour anymore. They’ll be paid per room.
For office workers, here’s an example. A person has a $60,000 annual salary.
Step one: The company will lower that salary to something like $50,000 because with today’s marketplace there are other people to take the job for a lower amount.
Step two: They will reduce their “base” salary to something like $20,000 a year.
Step three: They will tell that person that they can get an additional $30,000 over the year if they hit certain performance benchmarks on a monthly basis.
In other words, if they hit their numbers, they can make an additional $2,500 a month.
Now the pressure is on, and the company is loving it because even a basic employee retirement plan is money they wish to save . If you don’t hit your numbers they can save even more money.
If you DO hit your numbers, guess what’s in your future? They are going to raise your requirements.
Unless you are extremely specialized, this will happen to you if it hasn’t already. Count on it. And it will happen in every single profession worldwide. The evolution has begun.
One, it’s a better model for the company. They’ll get better results with less expense.
Two, the New Economy needs fewer people, so the company has more people competing for fewer and fewer jobs.
Let me explain why the New Economy needs fewer people. The exponential rise of technology has changed everything.
Over 100 years ago, 90% of the population worked in agriculture. Today, because of dramatic efficiencies, it’s less than 1%, and the farming jobs are gone.
Remember customer service call centers where you talked to people? Today, you talk to a machine and those jobs are gone.
Remember when companies had a massive amount of salespeople? Now people order online and those sales jobs are gone.
Remember Blockbuster video and all of its employees? Now people watch movies on their handheld or tablet devices, and those jobs are gone.
I love books, but go to your local bookstore while you can. They will be history soon, and so will the jobs provided by those stores.
I could go on and on through virtually every work category in the world.
Technology and efficiency are eliminating jobs every single day and the system of an employee retirement plan has gone with the old jobs. There is nothing we can do to stop it. In fact, it’s only going to accelerate.
If you are sitting there waiting for the economy to bounce back and for jobs to return, don’t. They aren’t coming back.
Just like the children of farmers saw the handwriting on the wall and left farming for new vocations, the same thing is happening for people working in Old Economy jobs.
To survive, they’ll need to open their eyes to this reality and find something new.
It is better we leave the past where is belonged and embrace the new world of entrepreneurship.
Return from New Economy to Retirement investment plan