Podcast #201 – A Discussion with Chris Farrell on The 50+ Economy
This week I interview Chris Farrell, economics and personal finance expert. I wanted his take on what is happening and his predictions about it all. It was as always when I speak with Chris, a fascinating conversation.
Let me read you his bio from his website chrisfarrell.net:
Chris is currently a senior economics contributor at Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio business and economic program. He is also an economics commentator for Minnesota Public Radio and host of its series Conversations on the Creative Economy as well as a columnist for PBS Next Avenue and the Star Tribune. He has published five books on personal finance and the economy including, most recently, Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness is the Second Half of Life. For which I interviewed Chris last year.
This episode is sponsored by Career Pivot. Check out the Career Pivot Community. Make sure and pick up my latest book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition
Now on to the podcast…
The core issue is work. Retirement accounts have done well as have the housing market.
The 50+ community has been hit hard with this pandemic but Chris reminds us that the impact has been across the board. Every generational group has been hit.
The low-interest environment and the work situation have come together to make it difficult for the 50+ community.
The Digital Economy
The digital economy has been around for quite a while. This pandemic has accelerated the rise of the digital economy.
The acceleration of the digital economy has brought about more remote work which could be good for older workers.
Telehealth has been opened up in a way that makes it more accessible which is made possible by changes in the HIPAA guidelines.
Management Styles Will Change
Remote onboarding has become the norm. This will require new management styles.
Companies are adjusting for lower revenue. This means many companies will not be bringing back the employees that they laid off anytime soon. Chris references the NY Times article, July is the new January: More companies delay a return to the office. This means that remote work is no longer a transitional phase but will be with us for a while.
The federal government defines a small business as having 500 employees or less. 85% of small businesses have fewer than 20 employees. Many small businesses have only a few weeks of cash flow in the bank. The Payroll Protection Program targeted medium-size businesses.
Small businesses employ a lot of people 60+. The health of small businesses is tied to the 50+ employment job market.
Starting a small business has a much lower financial threshold. The big impediment is health insurance. Unleashing entrepreneurship would be encouraged by removing the tie of health insurance to your employer. Any easy solution is to lower Medicare eligibility to age 60. Check out the following podcast, Biden’s plan to drop the Medicare age to 60 is a small step in the right direction.
Chris says it is reasonable to say we will see an investment boom. One of the problems with our economy is that business investment has been weak. Given the massive tax cut and the low-interest-rate environment. The digital economy adoption should trigger this investment boom.
Chris hopes that this business investment boom will lead to the deep inequities in our society that are broken. This business investment will come around when there is confidence in a vaccine.
You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
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