Some insurance is short term in nature, but things like Annuities, Long Term Care and Life Insurance require forecasts far into the future, often 30 to even 50 years! 30 years ago there were no smart phones, no YouTube videos of cats, and "Googol" meant a really large number. (10 with 100 zeroes after it).
The forecasting models we use are not as advanced as Doc's DeLorean.
To be honest, Actuaries don't know what exactly will happen in the future. Although I played with this idea in my more humorous posts (Scenario 241 Sucks and Actuary Accidentally Invents Time Travel). The models are basically advanced tools to see how many times you'll get snake-eyes on the craps table if you played once a month for the next three decades. Thankfully, most insurance risks are predictable in the long run.
But, financial mathematicians have also had to eat some crow when the unpredictable happens and models fail.
For me, I think that running a predictive model without considering what the future might look like is like a meteorologist predicting the weather using a computer and never looking out the window. For instance, I think the recent study from the Global Challenges Foundation on 12 Risks With Infinite Impact should be mandatory reading. Full report here, summary here.
I therefore submit for your consideration some predictions of events (good and bad) that will occur over the next 30 years (or sooner!):
The Age of Robotics and Automation
Health and Education Will be Dramatically Different
Waterworld Meets Mad Max
People Will Live in Space
Whether in orbit, or on Mars, or elsewhere, portions of the world will choose to move into the next frontier. Perhaps to get away from pestilence and overcrowding, or maybe to find some utopia.
The Zombie Apocalypse
No, we will not see the walking dead in our neighborhood. Instead some mass pestilence/super-bug will take a heavy toll on the world's impoverished, young, and elderly. There will be some controversial quarantine practices if the pandemic is severe enough.
On the other hand, death as we know it will change. Life extension, whether through cryogenics, or manufactured replacement organs, will have continued influence on human longevity.
We Will All Be Cyborgs
- Artificial Intelligence for example is equally inspiring and terrifying.
- I also imagine the human consciousness will expand to some sort of telepathy or shared collective consciousness
- There will be a new political party in the USA.