Financial News of the Future: The News 20 Years from Now!

Back in the late 1960’s, the classic TV show Laugh-In featured a segment that was called “News of the Future”. It was supposed to be just humor but amazingly their predictions of what would happen hit the mark quite a few times and when you look back on it you might even say “yeah, I could have seen that coming!”

Today I'm bringing you the financial news of the future, 20 years in advance! Imagine what you could do if you knew what was yet to come.

It would be so cool to actually be able to predict things in the future. First of all, you could make a living at it because just about everyone would be interested in it if you actually could deliver. But further, you could make yourself a small fortune placing your bets on things like stocks and bonds, gambling events, and sporting events, parlaying your abilities into big profits!

So speaking of your own very “real” secret powers of prognostication, I’m pretty sure I know of several things that are bound to happen in the future. The signs are everywhere and I think you will be in full agreement on some of them. So here are 10 of my financial predictions that will happen, over the next 20 years. You can thank me later when you get your profits from some of the surefire winners in the business world!

Financial News of the Future*

1. Driverless cars will be everywhere

It’s already begun and the testing and development is making real progress. You can bet that between now and 2037 you will be buying a driverless car! While it does sound a bit scary now and there are certainly some additional kinks to be worked out, the eco-friendly tech uber car is going to be a big part of the yet-to-be-born next generation’s travel habits. If you have the money, investing in this technology is a definite profit maker.

2. Printed materials will almost totally disappear

There will be no newspapers on the corner stand and things like printed magazines will cease to exist by 2037. The combination of the widespread use of electronic media information combined with the efforts and desire to preserve our planet will curtail the use of printing on paper to almost extinction. All of our news, sports, and weather will come from services we wear on our wrist when not at home or on our computers in whatever form they will exist in the year 2037.

3. In 2037 computer voting is now perfected and secured

Every citizen can easily register and vote by computer from home or work saving millions on the election process and having record turnouts! The cyber companies contracted with the government become some of the largest players in the computing world and make a killing in the stock market.

4. Cash is no longer produced or used for retail transactions in the US and around the world

Instead of cash, a system of debits and credits à la the original Star Trek television series in the 1960’s replaces money. All of your “banking” is done in cyberspace. The convenience and cost savings on the use of the alternate payment methods keeps increasing until money becomes obsolete.  Start collecting coins now because in 2037 and beyond they will be valuable artifacts. Oh and the phrase, “Daddy, what’s a penny” will be heard in homes all over the country!

5. Almost everyone will be multilingual

Learning a foreign language is no longer an option by 2037. With the rise of India and China and their populations nearing 2 billion people each, they dominate business and politics to such a degree that kids are now required to learn those languages in school. To be a success, learning as many languages as possible is essential in the global economy.

6. The average daily temperature breaks all-time records in 2037 for the 17th year in a row

For environmental protection, scientific solutions and the rollout of alternative methods for pollution controls finally become worldwide standards and regulations that are administered by the United Nations. After a huge debate and vote, numerous sanctions for non-compliance are enacted. American companies lead the way in the control and the now disparate attempt at reversing climate change.

7. College tuitions are finally eliminated for US students

After a 20-year debate, the schools are supported by contracts that students make to pay for the cost of their higher education. Through a term of repayment after graduation and employment begins, students pay a percentage of their annual salary until the contract is completed, with no interest charges. Technology helps in transforming the educational process by reducing both the cost and time so a degree can be earned in just 1 year. Advanced degrees take a second year to complete and by 2037 over 80% of all US adults have at least one degree.

8. California finally secedes from the union

After a 20 year battle over immigration regulation, the US government reels from the effect that most of the artistically talented and technologically educated people in the country are now no longer U.S. citizens.  California becomes completely self-supporting. Its population grows to 50 million by 2037.

9. Travel into space becomes a common vacation option

In 2030, the first “space tourists” are flown to the moon and back with regularly scheduled flights from 12 different locations around the world. The business is run at first by a government agency, but by 2037 the private sector begins to completely take over the industry. By 2050, they will have complete control of tourism in space. Buy into these companies as soon as they are available!

10. The US Post Office officially closes

After struggling for years, the post office finally closes its doors for good. The business of mailing letters, bills, and advertising had declined to the point that it just isn’t necessary any more. Those are all sent electronically by 2037 and the post office didn’t adjust for the changes over time. Drone deliveries dominate home and business shipping. Private companies continue to prosper when it comes to delivering supplies and packages as this portion of the business flourishes greater than ever before!

While I am certain that there are many who fear the future as being one with serious problems, that has always been the case, hasn’t it? We as humans have always faced difficulties throughout the generations either because of natural occurrences or man-made ones. The truth of the matter is we all need to do the best we can about building the future and in most cases we can do something about our own lives and fate.

If we look back at just the past 20 years, we see so many changes in our lives brought on by technological achievements alone and these changes keep occurring faster and faster. There’s no telling what the years ahead may really be like. One could predict cures for various long time diseases like cancers and HIV, transportation breakthroughs like hovercrafts, flying cars, and teleportation devices like we saw in Star Trek. Perhaps that could happen in the 21st century.

What do you think life will be like for the world in the year 2037, or beyond?

*Note: While anyone can guess at what will happen 20 years from now, sadly I have no guaranteed powers of fortune-telling. So please accept this post as humorous and don’t consider it actual investing advice!


  1. I can’t disagree that any of this are far off. Maybe #8, having family in CA I agree the left Coasts likes to do things differently, but I’m not sure they’d take it that far.

    I think the big gains will be on the technology side and conveniences. “Internet of things” (IoT) is gaining steam.

    1. Technology is certainly the main ingredient to changes in our future. It has been that way since the wheel was invented. I’m hopeful that the technology will be all benefit and not what a small percentage of people feel will be more of a doomsday occurrence for human interaction and prosperity. Thanks for your input.

  2. I recall a recurring segment in Laugh-In with Goldie Hawn singing “Ladies and gents, Laugh-In looks at the news – Here’s Dan!” Is that it?

    1, 2, 3 and 10 are destined to happen. And I sure hope the same goes for #7. Mr. Groovy and I are happily looking forward to having access to driverless cars in our lifetime.

    1. Yes, Goldie was the intro to that segment on Laugh-In which is so memorable. My gut tells me that most of those things on my list will actually occur, if not in 20 years, certainly at some point in the 21st century. The anticipation for things like space travel may not be in my lifetime, but it is definitely coming. Thanks so much for your comments.

  3. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    I’m seriously wondering about #4, I guess because I have a fair amount of exposure to unbanked folks through work. If the banks choose not to serve everyone, and can’t serve certain individuals easily because of the Know Your Customer rules, then how can everything move to electronic transactions?

    A non-cash society is one of those things that sounds obvious to me as a middle-class white woman with access to technology and banking services, but completely terrifying to poor folks with neither.

    My big question is does the health care industry reform or collapse under its own weight over the next 20 years? I don’t think it’s sustainable on its current trajectory.

    1. In the future, there’s a possibility that either employers, government agencies, or other sources of income will provide accounts and debit cards to everyone, whether they want them or not. Not unlike Social Security, which requires you to receive a “direct deposit” for your benefits. At least that’s what I envision.

      When it comes to the healthcare system, I’m not sure what will happen, but I don’t believe that we’re going to be without a healthcare system. So my guess is reform, perhaps even more than one time, will be necessary to sustain it for future generations. You raise a good question and thanks for that.

  4. Fruclassity (Ruth)

    I think 3, 5, and 6 are going to happen – but I hope that 2 doesn’t. I like my books printed. And if #1 happens, I’m not sure I’ll actually ever trust a driverless car. I remember Laugh In! I’ll have to look up the episode you’re talking about : )

    1. I’m not certain, but I don’t think you’re alone in your trepidations about what might happen in the future. I’m sure some of the things on my list will be really exciting and people are looking forward to them. But when it comes to driverless cars, that does scare me. We’ll have to see what happens. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ruth.

  5. I actually suspect we won’t have driverless cars. The legal hurdles concern me way more then the technology. I see us in a similar situation now to in the sixties with flying cars, and yet here we are fifty years later with it still being a weird niche. The reason imho comes back to the same thing, legality not technology.

    I do suspect college will be largely remote and online by then, so I agree costs of college will drop like a stone. I just suspect the cause to be different.

    1. I disagree with you on both counts. I think driverless cars aren’t that big a leap and would allow people with long commutes to utilize that time to do something other than drive. There is an economic incentive for car makers to pursue the technology. With colleges, the ones who could change the system are the ones who stand to lose the most. My state’s universities are hurting for money and are underutilized but most of them are a major economic force in the towns where they are located, so those towns and regions fight to keep them open. People with PhDs in Victorian literature have worked hard to get them–and they are of little use outside a university, so they have no reason to push the development of programs that will need fewer faculty members. We are seeing online programs today but they are generally in career-specific fields and aimed at working adults. There are a lot of college-aged kids who want the “college experience” and parents who want that for their kids. I think we will end up with more alternatives to the traditional college but I think there are too many people with too much invested for the traditional college to dissapear in the next thirty years.

  6. Ann

    I can see how many of those predictions could come true. Some of them are already headed in those directions. I would like to see the college tuition be eliminated…or at least greatly reduced. There shouldn’t be a financial barrier to higher education. It benefits us all as a country and individuals in the long-run.

    1. Mary

      With all the other technologies in development, it seems college industry could be upended completely, foregoing the need to live on a campus (1/2 or more of our cost), and online books and learning. I loved the college immersive experience but is increasingly inaccessible to so many. None of my five neices/nephews got degrees and all of my siblings did.

      1. Part of my college experience was living on campus and that’s one way I definitely learned to live on my own and support myself. But consider the fact that utilizing computer-based learning and condensing the time for higher education in the future will enable younger people to get out into the real world sooner than ever before. I feel that there’s a positive outcome for college education in our future.

  7. I’m not so sure about college going that way. It’s such a huge business and with many colleges being in the back pocket of high school counselors, it would take some major changes for it to be that different in 20 years. That said, bigger businesses have failed, right?

    Driverless cars scare me, but my husband says I’m a laggard. I prefer to be the last person on Earth to use new technology. haha

    1. Jamie, I hope that my list isn’t too far fetched. It’s really important that our country become more well educated and the financial burden of college tuition is preventing so many from reaching their potential. As far as the driverless cars go, I believe that the safety factors and the potential liability claims are the only thing that can slow down its ultimate institution. Thank you so much for your comments.

  8. Jax

    It’s a lot of fun to think about the changes that can/will/should happen in the next twenty years, especially if you consider how far we’ve come in the past 20. I like the idea of driverless cars but I am not sure about how much I’d like the reality. Plus, what would I do with all my anger I reserve for bad drivers?! Just kidding!

  9. I like tip #7: you sorta have a contract/apprenticeship if you have a military ROTC scholarship & it’s the way people did vocations in prior centuries.

    I think the challenge is keeping our social mobility that we enjoy instead of the old way where you were a blacksmith because your last name is Smith, etc.

  10. Miss Balance

    I’m hoping #3 becomes a thing. There were big issues trying to get the whole country (Australia) to do an online census together online, we absolutely weren’t ready for that, but have hopefully learned from it and will make voting online a possibility in future.
    #5 would be fantastic. I believe everyone needs to learn a second language. Mandarin is becoming more popular in schools here now. Hopefully I’m not too old to learn when it happens 😉
    The way I’ve read #7 sounds exactly like what we have here. The government holds onto the loan for you until you are earning above a threshold and then takes back a percentage of your wage until it is all paid off (or you die). While I still think free education for all would be a much better concept, having the option to attend university and pay it back later is definitely a step in the right direction.
    Thanks for a fun post 🙂

    1. Thanks, Miss Balance, for your comments. I believe we’re destined for online voting procedures as soon as the security aspect becomes 100% secure. The multilingual needs are huge here in America. Many of our states are multilingual in Spanish, particularly these days in Florida, Texas, and the Southwest. I see both Indian and Chinese languages definitely on the rise. I’m glad to learn that in Australia, you are more progressive about repayment for college. Here it is still a tremendous burden when it comes to repayment. But I am optimistic that in the 21st century global economy, we will find a way to relieve that burden.

  11. It’s fun to think of what it’ll be like in 20 years. I was recently updating my retirement calculations and creating a theoretical budget for my retirement years. When it came to transportation costs, it made me realize that 1) I have absolutely no idea what it will cost me by then, as I don’t think there will actually be a need to personally own cars once the driverless cars gain traction (the technology is already there and it’s so awesome!) and 2) I think there’s never been a better time to get old, as there are so many things to make life easier (driverless cars included!)

    1. When you mention retirement planning and trying to project so many years into the future of what you might need, it’s a real challenge. When I was in my 20’s and earning about $7k per year, I contributed to an IRA every paycheck. It was probably just a few dollars, and yet somehow I felt confident that 40+ years later, that money would comfort me in my old age. Did I know that inflation over a 40 year period would cause things to be 300-400% more expensive? Not really. I agree with your comment about getting old in the 21st century being a good thing. We have the opportunity to live longer and hopefully healthier, but there’s always that scary question about how you will pay for it all. Thanks so much for your comments.

  12. Not to be a ‘gloom & doomer,’ but by 2037 I think coastal areas worldwide will be permanently underwater, and everything we think important today will have pretty much faded away, displaced by the crush of the consequences of global warming.

    1. I understand your fears, Kurt. Anyone who doesn’t think that climate change is real is living in an alternative universe. Here in New Jersey, people are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy and the damage it did to our shoreline. Let’s hope we all come to our senses and do something about it soon. Thanks for your comments.

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