100-year-old employees may soon be part of the workforce, says expert

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Melbourne, May 3 (ANI): With more employees delaying their retirement, the coming decades might see a workforce consisting of tech savvy 100-year-olds, says a leading ageing expert.

John Beard, director of the World Health Organisation's department of ageing and life course, said businesses should prepare for a rapid ageing population boom.

And employees should be allowed to keep working long past the traditional retirement age - if they are willing and fit to keep on working, he said.

As far as the figures go, by 2050, one in four Australians will be over 65. The number of Australians over 80 by that time will be more than double.

The trend has worried governments as they funnel money into hospitals and retirement savings, but for Beard, the ageing population is a grand opportunity.

"Ageing is too often portrayed as a burden on society," News.com.au quoted him as saying.

"Sure, there will be impacts on health service delivery and pensions, but society overlooks the skills and experiences of older people.

"By marginalising them, we force them to become dependent on younger generations," he added.

Beard envisions an older generation that is plugged in to the latest technology as people in their 80s and 90s choose to stay at work.

While the idea of an employed internet-surfing 100-year-old may terrify those who have already toiled for decades to reach retirement age, Beard has cited a US survey that found only 20 per cent of retired workers were actually happy with giving up on their morning commute.

Instead, the majority wanted to stay employed in some capacity, perhaps through more flexible working hours.

Future generations could one day be taking years off work to raise a child, travel or go back to school and then find themselves still working at 100, said Beard.

"I don't think it will be norm, but I think people will be working until quite late in life. An ageing of the population will allow that," he said.

Beard presented his views before the Global Federation on Ageing conference opened in Melbourne. (ANI)

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