Meet Chris Gatto, a 49-year-old New Yorker and sharing economy double threat, tasking by day with TaskRabbit and hosting by night with Airbnb.
Gatto is one of the 600,000 (and counting) people in the on-demand workforce, according to new research from Alan Krueger of Princeton University and Lawrence Katz of Harvard University.
Consequently, he’s also one of the many Americans who is living and working without some of the employer-sponsored benefits traditional 9-to-5ers are accustomed to: namely health insurance, retirement, disability insurance and life insurance. On the whole, independent contractors, temps and other non-traditional workers are about two-thirds less likely than traditional workers to have access to an employer-provided retirement plan, according to a 2015 General Accounting Office report.
Whether you call it gig, sharing or on-demand, this new and growing way to work may offer more freedom and flexibility — but both of these can come at a cost, says Joseph Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, especially if you’re not proactive about preparing for the unexpected as well as your future.