Actually 50 year old techs tend to be very efficient. When I was in my 20s, I was often impressed with their troubleshooting abilities. One of them had worked on TIROS satellites, the first weather satellites, so he could diagnose video problems instantly. It’s the salaries that are the killer, especially at firms that basically resell tech labor. If its all about the hours, you want the cheapest hours you can resell. There’s also the enthusiasm and gullibility gap since even 30 year old techies are likely to have seen the wheel of tech fashion rotate a full 360 degrees at least once and are also likely to have been through one failed start up grinder.
You should also encourage young people to be more politically skeptical and politically active. Your remark about Social Security may be true, but that’s only because of the concerted Republican war against it. They’ve already raised the retirement age, and they’ve just proposed raising the age of Medicare eligibility. They should be lowering both of them. It’s not like we can’t afford them if we went back to taxing the extremely rich and corporations. As you said, it pays to reverse engineer what you need for a successful retirement and work from there.