Briefing Notes: We’re Living – and Working – Longer

Published: January 19, 2020

If you could be at your mental peak for an extra 20 years, imagine what you could contribute to society. —Peter Diamandis


If you live in the US, you may have heard about the famous meme “Ok Boomer” making it to the Supreme Court last week. Justice John Roberts mulled over whether it would be actionable if, during a job application process, a hiring manager says “Ok Boomer” to the applicant.

(Not familiar with the phrase? Here’s what the brouhaha is all about.)

Let’s not attempt to answer Justice Roberts’ question here. Let’s instead look at the underlying scenario of this Supreme Court case. A longtime clinical pharmacist alleges that he faced age discrimination after more than a decade of excellent performance reviews.

Age discrimination is not a NEW issue.

But within the context of our world today – where more and more people choose to work beyond the retirement age – how older workers are viewed in the marketplace has new implications.

More retirement-age Americans are working today than ever before, but it’s not because they need the money. The largest increase [..] has been among those in the best shape for retirement: highly educated people with high incomes. The biggest reason for working longer? They’re healthier than they’ve ever been.

You may be thinking, “But I’m not that age yet. I have a long way to go. I don’t have to worry about this.” Consider then that what’s happening with the Boomers is a harbinger of the age of un-retirement.

We are living longer. Continued advances in medical technology help us stay healthy and productive. And we’re going to want to do something more meaningful than play golf all day.

“I have no intention of retiring.” — Sir Richard Branson

The question then becomes how we navigate the changing work landscape, remain relevant in the new economy, and continuously reinvent ourselves.

Here are a couple of things we can focus on:

  1. Invest in our professional development
  2. Embrace career reinvention


Tips to Combat Subtle Age Discrimination. Age discrimination, often a matter of unconscious bias, occurs in many workplaces. While employers can take steps to guard against age discrimination, much of the onus belongs to us. If you work and you’re over age 40, discrimination is a possibility. We can’t change the attitudes and beliefs of other coworkers, but we can combat subtle age discrimination by our actions.


The biotech revolution is on. Many scientists now view aging as a disease — the implication being it is something that can be cured as opposed to an inevitability. The longevity economy is thriving. One of the voices I follow closely is Peter Diamandis and in this YouTube video, he talks about his views on Human Longevity and the Future.

(Fair Warning: Diamandis is a futurist and his POV can sound sci-fi’ish if you’re not following technology advancements that closely. 😊)


The latest on Second Breaks: From Idea to Side Business to Full-Time Gig. Zoha Abbas was a casualty of a recent round of layoffs. Good thing she had already been working on a side project for three years. Though earlier than planned, she took the event to go all-in and transition her side gig to her full-time thing. Listen to Ep 119 on your mobile device. Or check the show notes here.


“I think one of the greatest economic boons would be to have people live longer. If you could be at your mental peak for an extra 20 years, imagine what you could contribute to society.” — Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder of Singularity University


The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity*
by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
Drawing on the unique pairing of their experience in psychology and economics, Gratton and Scott offer a broad-ranging analysis and solutions, showing how to rethink your finances, your education, your career, and your relationships and create a fulfilling 100-year life.

*This is an Amazon Affiliate Link. Thank you for your support.


Nicole Karon, Transformation Coach and Mentor. She helps moms discover and nurture their best selves through the journey of life and motherhood.


In an effort to contribute to my own longevity 😉 I am trying on a new habit — celery juice. Yes, I’ve joined the #celeryjuicemovement. I’m on a 14-day sprint to take it straight, every day, on an empty stomach. I’ll let you know if I make it to the end of the sprint!

Best wishes for an awesome week ahead. Send over any comments, Boomer stories, and longevity hacks.


A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Briefing Notes and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on helping experienced professionals navigate an evolving work landscape so they can continue their impact and relevance in a changing world.

The world of work is changing.

Stay smart about it.

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