Will new retirement income strategies be needed because of the gig economy? This is a question a lot of very serious people are starting to ask. The reason is the middle class is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession.

Welcome to the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander, Enterprise Architect at SubscriptionMaker.net. If you like this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast, then hit the subscribe button or try out some of the other episodes.

A lot of people thought things would be more comfortable. They played by the rules. Their retirement income strategy consisted of saving what they could and putting much of it into the stock market. The problem is that they did not see the Great Recession coming.

Recessions happen. You learn to live with them.  You keep your head down, and you find a way to grind out value. Unfortunately, the next big thing on the horizon for Americans was the Great Confluence. You can think of the Great Confluence as the place where market fragmentation meets accelerated techno-economic change. And you remember that real subscription makers don’t starve.

Should retirement income strategies change?

Self-reliance and economic resilience were terms that were bandied about by people on the lunatic fringe. They weren’t terms that were discussed by good upstanding middle-class people who played by rules. People who regularly sacrificed to ensure company profits.

Unfortunately, you must navigate the Great Confluence. The Great Confluence changes everything. Simply doing what your parents did to survive won’t work. The reason is that the rate of tech-economic change is increasing. So, picking a strategy and putting it on auto-pilot won’t help.

You’ve got to stay engaged. You’ve got to keep in mind that everything is getting cheaper because there is less physical content in most products. And this fact ripples through the entire economy in subtle ways.

Commentators on cable news will lament about the price of everything going up. And some will even talk about how this will affect your retirement income strategies. What they fail to talk about are the profits that transnational corporations bank because of the reduction of physical content.

Retirement income strategies should change to reflect changes in society and the increased rate of techno-economic advances. Also, no one’s going to wait on middle-class Americans to adjust their mindsets and join the 21st century.

Can subscription services provide for retirement?

The question all subscription makers should ask themselves, “Will your subscription service provide you with enough retirement income to survive the Great Confluence?” To answer this question, you have to consider the real cost of things that affect your lifestyle.

Most of the goods and services that you use every day are getting both simpler and cheaper. You could make the case that this is because of the disruptive influence of small companies.  For example, small companies don’t have sprawling corporate campuses. You won’t have to pay extra so that some corporate big shot has a beautifully manicured lawn.

Price is a very peculiar thing. You can manipulate to suit your needs. You can reduce it to goose sales and increase it to create scarcity. The only thing that you count on when it comes to price is that it will have very little to do with the actual cost.

What this means for subscription makers is that there will always be another low-cost provider trying to eat your lunch. So you have got to position yourself to appeal to subscribers who are less price sensitive. Your subscribers have to know and like you enough not to develop a wandering eye at the slightest misstep.

Should retirement income strategies include non-financial goals?

For the record, non-financial goals should be the reason that you choose a retirement income strategy. Once you have satisfied your basic needs, then your lifestyle is your most important consideration.

When I say lifestyle, you should hear connectedness. You should hear engagement. A while back, my wife and I visited one of her relatives in a retirement home. Everything went well. However, as we were leaving, we ran across an elderly gentleman staring out into the parking lot.

He said, “What do think that is shining out, yonder?” We stopped to consider what the man was pointing to in the distance. As we talked with the man, it became evident that he knew exactly what we were looking at in the parking lot.

As a resident of the retirement home, he knew the direct routes to get to any location in the facility. He knew the rooms of all the other guests. So, he knew where we would have to go to walk my wife’s relative back to the room. Complicating his calculations was the fact that he couldn’t make it there before we did unless he left early.

So, you can imagine this man leaving the common room early. Walking with great effort to take up a position that he knew we would pass. Him sitting there waiting by himself for us to happen on him by accident.

No one should live like this. Everyone should be apart of this society for long as they care to be. This is why retirement income strategies matter. This is also why you should include non-financial goals.


Retirement income strategies need to reflect the changes brought on by an increasingly fragmented marketplace and an accelerated rate of techno-economic change. Also, in the end, it’s the non-financial goals that matter.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander. If you like this episode, please hit the subscribe button or try a couple of other episodes.