The shock of another massive job cut and store closings by the big box retailer, Macy’s ran rampant across the internet this afternoon. It caught many by surprise after closing a couple hundred stores a couple of years ago. But, this time we cannot blame it on a failing economy. This time is different and its unavoidable.
We are experiencing something extraordinarily wonderful at this very moment. We are seeing it everywhere, but most are not comprehending the magnitude of the changes that are coming, and they are coming faster than we think. The disruption of industries came out of nowhere with companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon. But, this is only the beginning.
If you think Macy’s cutting jobs is shocking just wait for the next ten years. We are in a point in time when technology is going to multiply exponentially, and it will catch many more of us by surprise. This age we are living will render the last 50 years of technological advancement obsolete and this will be named “The Birth” of technology.
The Inevitable Change That is Coming
You have probably seen on TV, Youtube, and other social media outlets the improved technology we are seeing. The Internet of Things (iOT), AI, robotics, self-driving cars, stem cell research, heck even the race into space; this is all part of what is happening. If you think we are decades from all this seeing any real progress put to work in our daily lives, guess again.
You better believe the ultra-rich are investing heavily in every single one of these technologies and there is some real progress being made. Just yesterday I read an article that claimed solar energy is actually becoming affordable now. Seven years ago, I looked into this technology for residential use and the prices did not make it feasible. In just seven years we are now at a point where we can actually harness our own solar energy at home and it will only improve.
If you do not understand what I mean when I say technology will grow exponentially in the next ten years let me describe it here. The easiest way I’ve heard it explained is like this, let’s say you are playing golf with a buddy and you agree to bet one dollar per hole and doubling the amount on every hole. On the first hole you will bet one dollar. The second hole will double that at two dollars. Hole number three doubles again at four dollars. I am not a golf pro, but I believe there are 18 holes in most professional golf courses so for the sake of simplicity I have done the numbers below:
Do I have your attention yet? At hindsight one dollar does not seem like much but by the end of the round of golf we are talking big numbers. So, how does this relate to technology? Pay attention to the amounts of holes 1-15, that represents advancement in technology over the past 50 years and doubling every year since then. Now take a look at hole 16, that is where we are at this very moment in terms of technology.
I have also added line graph in case you are a visual person. Do you see the curve at the base of the line? That is us right now. Now look at what happens after the curve. That my friends will happen in the next ten years to technology. Are you starting to get the picture? And, what does this have to do with Macy’s cutting jobs?
What This Means to Your Money
What is happening around us is inescapable. There is no way to stop this. We have started a course where there is no turning back. My intention in this article is not to alarm you or raise any conspiracies. Even though, this inevitable advancement has its supporters and opponents I agree with the argument from supporters of the changes that are coming, but with awareness and caution.
We are already seeing this type of change with companies like Uber and Airbnb. But, this is not going be something that affects just the automobile or travel industries. Like I have been saying this is only the beginning. You can expect for these changes to spill over into education and service industries with AI being at the forefront. I am talking about Teachers being replaced by robot-like instructors and there is even talk of implanting hard drive type memory cells into your brain to download whatever it is you want to learn. Note: I know I may not have the right terminology on that last sentence, so I ask you to forgive me in advanced; but you get the picture. That is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have not already seen the Black Mirror series on Netflix I recommend you binge on it for a weekend. A lot of what you see on that series is not too farfetched.
Still, I am not talking dooms day here. Yes, there is a big push by the ultra-rich/philanthropic entrepreneurs that want to use this technology to give many of these services for free back to the public like free education. There are two inevitable outcomes from this. One outcome we are already seeing with job cuts from big box retailer like Macy’s and Wal-Mart who is expanding their self-serve registers. The other outcome will be that the wealth gap will only get wider. There is this certain unavoidable outcome when we get something for nothing. It makes us dependent. We tend to depend on those free things. I strongly believe in our capitalist economy because it has brought us this far for the past couple of centuries. It has made us hard working, driven and innovative, but I do believe the coming changes will disrupt capitalism whether we like it or not.
It is likely that we will see over thirty percent of jobs we see today disappear in the next ten years. Remember I said we are at the birth stage of this? This is good news because there is time to make the right changes. We can adapt and overcome.
How to Prepare for the Next Decade
The plain and simple answer is financial freedom. I do not want this to be taken as raunchy advertisement. I mean an actual debt and financially free life but with purpose. If you rid yourself of debt you will be able to use your financial freedom to get at the forefront of these changes. This means you will take your hard-earned money and put it to work where you will not be left behind. You will be part of the new rich. And, you will have the opportunity to disrupt industries yourself. The Ubers, The Lifts, and The Amazons did not start as the mega companies they are today. They were started by entrepreneurs who took control of their lives and put their money to work for a bigger purpose.
I am going to list the simple steps inspired by Dave Ramsey’s baby steps to earn that freedom and prepare you and your family for the changes that are coming in the next ten years:
1. Change your mind set about money
I strongly believe in long lasting change before being efficient with money.
2. Save $500
This is only a stepping stone toward new habits. It is meant to give you a sense of pride and empowerment that you can do this.
3. Payoff all your debt
We need to pay all of our debt and the best method I have found has been through the snowball effect.
4. Max out your emergency fund
We need 6-9 months of emergency funds for, so we don’t fall back into bad habits of maxing out our credit cards.
5. Invest in the future
This is where it gets fun and you will be able to be part of disruptive change in the future.
6. Start your legacy
We will be starting a legacy for our children and our children’s children.
7. Payoff your mortgage
A mortgage is still debt regardless of what most people say, and we must pay it off to be truly debt free.
8. Build Wealth
When we build wealth, we will be reaping the rewards of our hard earned money.
9. Give Back
Tony Robbins says success without fulfillment is failure and there is not better way to feel fulfilled than to give back. At this point you will be living like the new rich.
Conquer the Future
Macy’s job cuts should serve as a rude awaking of what’s to come. The last thing you want to do is panic, roll over, and let the future pass you by. There is no doubt there will be those that are left behind by the massive changes. You have control of your life and you choose the road you take in the next ten years.