The future is here, but do you know about it? We have a remarkable amount of technology available now to help retirees that previous generations only saw in sci-fi movies.
The problem in the past is that those who could use it most usually aren’t aware of it. Fortunately, most of you reading this will be ‘baby-boomers’. You’re known as the most tech savvy generation to have retired/be retiring EVER. So let us introduce 5 technologies that could really help you out in the coming years.
1 – Delayed retirement thanks to remote working
The first question is…do you even have to retire ‘on time’ anymore? Stopping work has always been seen as one of the most jarring experiences and not everyone takes to it well.
Remote working (aka ‘working from home’) has been around for quite a while now and, with most jobs these days involving a computer, the majority of us could probably do most of our work from home. Infrastructure has come on leaps and bounds in the last 5 years alone, meaning that if you struggle with the commute or long office hours you may not have to participate anymore.
Ask your manager or IT department about how your organisation can help you squeeze out a few extra years of full income from your armchair!
2 – ‘Smart’ energy
‘Smart’ anything means an item with a computer built into it that is capable of some autonomous actions . These days that can be you’re whole house! Well, almost.
NEST offer solutions that can turn your home into a futuristic (and incredibly convenient) place to live. Their smart thermostat is a market leader. After installation, you use it for a week and it learns your schedule. It can detect when you’re out the house via your phones location, and you can control it completely remotely. You can then see exactly how much energy you’re using and how much money you’ve saved by going smart.
3 – ‘Smart’ appliances
Samsung’s Family Hub smart fridge is something of any foodie’s fantasies. Features include:
- Cameras inside that beam photos to your phone so you know what you have and what you need while you’re at the shops
- Integrated entertainment system on the front if you’re spending extended amounts of time kitchen-bound
- Flexible sections that can be turned from fridge into freezer at the touch of a button
- A ‘family hub’ which lets you leave notes and display photos and a calendar (magnets no more!)
- The ability to place a food order….from the fridge!
Is it cheap? Errr….no, not at all in fact. Touching $6000 (£4,200), this is out of most peoples reach. However, with the pace of technology, expect affordable versions in the next 3-5 years.
4 – Home Voice controls
Using your voice to control your home is now a very achievable feat. From lights, to heating to your entertainment systems – most things can be turned into voice controlled appliances if you use the right hub.
Amazon’s Echo is currently making waves as a voice controlled ‘personal assistant’ in the US and is due for a UK release shortly.
Watch this demonstration on controlling lights ans thermostats using the Echo:
5 – Staying connected for free
Adoption of services that help retirees communicate with their families is fairly high. Programs like Skype allow you to video call from your home internet connection for free, and can vastly reduce the sense of isolation some may encounter while retired.
These days, smart phones have apps that can be used for free communication too, as long as you are connected to the internet. The most popular is ‘whatsapp’, which allows users to communicate via text and share pictures and videos. Look for it in your phones app store.