Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Retirees—Part Two


As we discussed in the first article, AI technologies are rapidly becoming part of normal life. They are also revolutionizing industries and reshaping how we work, live, and even plan for and live in retirement.

You could consider this a part of God’s common grace, and I think it is. The problem is that humans have a long track record of using God’s good gifts for things that don’t please, honor, or glorify Him (Rom. 1:22-31).

Of particular concern would be an “AI as salvation” perspective that so many secularists seem to be adopting. Here’s a quote from an article that appeared on

”When you ponder spiritual concepts or think about higher powers, you might find yourself more receptive to advice from AI, even in situations where you’d usually trust human judgment. A recent study suggests that focusing on spiritual matters could make us more aware of our limitations as humans and, thus more open to technological guidance. Reflect on times when you’ve felt connected to something greater than yourself. Did you notice a change in how you viewed technology’s input?”

Could AI become the ”higher power” that people want to connect to instead of the one, true, living God (Rom. 1:25)? I think that’s a strong possibility for many who are looking to technology as their ‘savior.’

Hopefully, for the rest of us, AI will provide more practical day-to-day help to those who choose to use it.

Applications abound

In my first article about AI, I provided some (very) general descriptions and examples, as well as the potential for misuse and abuse of the technologies in light of biblical teachings, values, ethics, and beliefs.

As we saw, AI encompasses a spectrum of technologies, ranging from narrow AI, which is designed to perform specific tasks (the USAA chatbot is in this category), to AGI, a hypothetical system with human-level intelligence and reasoning abilities—perhaps a path to the “transhumans” and “posthumans” of the future.

Some of the more sophisticated LLMs, like Chat GPT, excel in processing and generating text-based content. These AI systems analyze vast amounts of data (in some cases, everything on the Internet related to a topic), identify patterns, and then respond to questions or inquiries based on the ‘most likely’ accurate response with a high degree of probability.

Robotics is another application of AI that has been around for a while but is advancing rapidly. A Stanford University report states that robotics is undergoing significant advancements driven by new learning techniques and a focus on human-robot interaction.

While they are (obviously) still far from achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI), LLMs and robotics represent a significant leap forward in AI capabilities.

This raises important opportunities and questions about their implications for retirement planning, investment strategies, and assisting those living in retirement.

Help managing finances

When people talk about retirement, the conversation inevitably turns to finances—saving and investing for retirement and optimally generating retirement income.

Banks and other financial companies are already in the game, using AI-driven algorithms to execute trades quickly and accurately. This algorithmic trading, often called “quant” trading, has reshaped financial markets, influencing real-time asset prices and market dynamics.

(And we thought we could beat the market with our tiny human brains!)

Another significant development in recent years has been AI-powered robo-advisors. They have become a popular choice for individuals seeking automated investment management solutions.

These digital platforms leverage AI to assess investors’ risk profiles, allocate assets, and rebalance portfolios automatically, offering cost-effective and convenient alternatives to traditional financial advisors.

These same benefits are offered to retirees but are utilized less than you might think. According to a 2023 survey by  Investopedia,

”Our survey revealed that the majority of respondents are most likely to use these digital wealth management platforms to invest for large purchases, rather than for retirement. In fact, when asked to choose up to three of the most popular investment goals, 50% of investors said they would most likely use robo-advisors to invest to buy a home, 42% said to invest to buy a vehicle, 29% selected investing for travel, and 20% said they’d use their robo-advisor to invest to pay for college. Surprisingly, our survey found that just 16% said they use these digital wealth management platforms to build wealth for retirement, and 9% of respondents said they’d use a robo-advisor to build long-term wealth.”

The study did find that more Investors in Their 20s Are Using Robo-Advisors Than Investors in Their 50s:

“Of the robo-advisor users we surveyed, about 86% are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, compared to 14% of respondents who said they are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. The majority of the robo-advisor users we surveyed are in their 30s (49.8%).”

For retirees, the rise of robo-advisors presents an opportunity to access personalized investment strategies tailored to their unique financial goals and risk tolerances. AI’s impact will also likely extend beyond investment management to encompass broader financial planning considerations.

It’s already being used to analyze individuals’ financial data, assess retirement readiness, and recommend strategies for optimizing Social Security benefits, minimizing taxes, and managing healthcare costs in retirement—all major financial planning areas.

We can also imagine a future scenario where your friendly AI financial advisor (who hopefully doesn’t charge huge fees or a big commission whenever you summon him or her) can give you real-time financial status reports and market commentary and offer new investment strategies and opportunities if you need them.

It may also be able to develop and implement a retirement income plan, track spending, and routinely balance investments while looking for the best-performing, lowest-cost investment vehicles.

Of course, there are already many tools for retirement planning. Most use mathematical algorithms to analyze data you provide, including assumptions about stocks, inflation, spending, etc., to make recommendations.

According to US News and World Report, some financial firms are augmenting those tools with AI. For example, JPMorgan Chase has an AI financial advisory product called “IndexGPT,” and Morgan Stanley is rolling out an Open AI-powered chatbot for its financial advisors.

The company I use, Fidelity Investments, rolled out AMP, its automated digital advice platform, in 2017. They plan to continue to leverage AI and machine learning to analyze data and make investment recommendations for their clients.

Whether these AI investor bots will ever displace financial advisors remains to be seen. (Why buy the advisor when you can buy the bot service advising them?)

Still, an “on-demand” AI advisor could be there when you most need them: when you need a quick answer to an important question, or when the market is tanking (for the umpteenth time), and you’re tempted to sell all your investments and hide them under your AI-temperature-and-elevation-controlled mattress.

Help managing health

Beyond investment management, AI holds promise in transforming healthcare, which is particularly relevant and important to retirees.

Machine learning algorithms are being deployed to analyze medical imaging, diagnose diseases, and develop personalized treatment plans, potentially improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs.

Some have suggested that AI could be more precise in diagnosing and treating diseases in the future than physicians. However, most people don’t yet seem ready to ditch their physician for a medical AI chatbot.

According to an article in Scientific American,

“A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that around 60 percent of Americans “would feel uncomfortable if their own health care provider relied on artificial intelligence to do things like diagnose disease and recommend treatments.”

In other research, the researchers found that users trusted the chatbot to answer simple medical questions, ”But the more complex the question became—and the higher the risk or complexity involved—the less willing they were to trust the chatbot’s diagnosis.”

For those of you who think your doctor is a chatbot, there may be no hope for either of you (just kidding). My doctor (and friend), who just retired, will never be bested by a chatbot (that’s for you, Skip, as I know you might be reading this).

Because mobility and access to care are challenges for many retirees, AI-driven virtual assistants and telemedicine platforms offer them greater access to healthcare services from the comfort of their homes, enhancing convenience and efficiency.

The assistive and medical robotics fields are also growing rapidly. Robots can interpret and enhance human behavior, amplifying human skills.

A good example is da Vinci surgery, a minimally invasive robotic surgery that has been around for a while. Another example is teleoperated surgery, which allows surgeons to perform certain procedures remotely.

Help with everyday tasks

Then there’s the everyday things. AI may help with that as well.

We already have robotic lawnmowers and vacuums, and “personal robots” are also showing up.

If Apple has its way, you may soon have a personal robot following you around the house. According to the reports, the robot,

“. . . could offer the company a new way to leverage artificial intelligence and have a foothold in people’s homes. While Apple has been taking things slow regarding deploying AI in its products and services, it could leverage advancements in that area to boost its rumored robotics offerings.

Amazon already sells a $1,600 home robot called Astro, which can deliver snacks, patrol your home, and follow you around while you’re on a video call. I like the “deliver snacks” idea! Apple’s robot may be able to do chores like washing dishes.

Kidding aside, these kinds of things might be very helpful for some elderly people. But I also imagine that many will be very suspicious of their houseguest from Apple.

AI assistants could also help with other things. They could remind you to take medication, detect when you’re low, and automatically reorder it for you.

Mobility and driving are other areas where AI may help. Though viewed with much suspicion right now, autonomous vehicles will become more capable of operating independently.

Emergency assistance is a biggie for older people. I have a friend who was recently in a car crash. His phone sent an “SOS” to multiple family members and also called 911 without him even knowing it.

This is an early-generation implementation, but AI-enabled smart wearable devices and smart home technologies may offer retirees greater autonomy, independence, and wellness throughout their later years.

Long road ahead

The rise of artificial intelligence represents a paradigm shift with far-reaching implications. As this technology continues to evolve, many, including retirees and older people in general, may benefit.

As Christians, we can hope and pray that society will use AI-enabled innovations responsibly, morally, and ethically. We must also use wisdom in evaluating and implementing them in our lives.

Still, it would be naive to think that it would happen in our broken and fallen world. Like many other technologies, it will be used for good and evil.


👋 Hi, I’m Chris Cagle, the founder of Retirement Stewardship, a blog that focuses on the various aspects of retirement from a Christian stewardship perspective (1 Peter 4:10).

I write as a retiree who is dealing with the things I write about. I base most of the articles on my research and experience applying it to my situation and how it might apply to yours.

If you’re new here, check out the site introduction for an overview. You can also learn more about me.


My Books

Redeeming Retirement: A Practical Guide to Catch Up (2021)
The Minister’s Retirement (2020)
Reimagine Retirement: Planning and Living for the Glory of God (2019)