Saturday, March 2, 2019

10 Things On the Horizon

Planning for the future is part of preparedness.  Here are ten things that, while they may not be happening now, are on the horizon and should be part of your preparedness top-of-mind:

  1. 5g.  This is a new and faster cell phone service which will require new cell phones and maybe new cell service (although TMobile has already said they won't raise rates).  I'm not an early adapter to tech since there are usually quite a few bugs to work out--and the exorbitant costs of new tech, remember $1000 VCRs?--which means I will wait for a bit after release until prices drop and any glitches are worked out.
  2. Presidential election.  Although the actual presidential election will not take place until November 2020, caucuses and primaries will begin in early 2020.  Registering to vote and getting everyone you know to do the same is a good way to prepare for this.
  3. Taxes.  If you owed taxes when you filed your federal tax return this year, now is a great time to adjust your withholdings so that you won't have this same issue next year.
  4. Social media.  These days, people are regurgitating their entire lives via their social media posts.  No big deal in the US you say?  While I would hope we won't go the way of China, this is an idea of what can happen in the future if you aren't careful today.
  5. Health.  Today you may be young, (relatively) healthy, chowing down on fast food, and gaming every spare moment of your day but while young people are pretty invincible, a decade or so from now, the health decisions you make today may come back to haunt you.  Pay attention to your health, what and how you eat, and how often you exercise.  I did a 10k today with a couple who were in their late 70s, vegans, they exercise a couple hours everyday, and they could run circles around many younger people in the event; that sort of health is something to aspire to.
  6. Job skills.  Hopefully your job will be safe and secure until you retire, technology and AI, however, may prevent this.  The AI revolution is coming, and even FedEx is getting into the "delivery by bot" thing beginning this summer.
  7. Recession.  The economy is cyclical so a future recession is a good possibility.  See yesterday's post and become recession-proof.
  8. Vehicles.  I believe completely self-driving cars are on the not-too-distant horizon.  Tesla is working on this (albeit with a lot of legal skirmishes to work through) and trucking jobs are now in the cross hairs of autonomous driving tech as I write this; such news can impact everything from what jobs people train for (truck driver?  meh) to how often they buy new cars (I'm driving mine until it dies, hopefully when this happens self-driving tech will be fully functional).
  9. Healthcare.  This will be an interesting "futurology" topic as the drive towards universal healthcare kicks up in the next election, the innovations being made in healthcare keep growing exponentially, and the US (as well as many other countries) face a shortage of elder care options in the future.  Again, the best way to avoid many of these problems is to be healthy, see #5 above.
  10. UBI.  Something that may or may not happen in the future but which has been tossed around quite frequently, is the possibility of a Universal Basic Income.  With thousands of jobs being cut regularly, the AI situation mentioned above (#6), and income inequality continuing to grow, UBI may be something that happens in our future.  While this may sound like a nice way to live, surviving on only UBI (just like surviving on only Social Security) is not a great idea so plan accordingly.

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