Retirement Baby Boomer Style

In the late 1960’s, consumer research firm Yankelovich coined the term baby boomers.  These are the folks born primarily in Western nations between 1946 and 1964.   They are a huge bubble of somewhat egocentric individuals; who were born after World War 11 soldiers came home.  Throughout their lives, baby boomers have had a phenomenal influence on the world, proving that there is strength in numbers.  

First Wave Baby Boomers

The first wave of baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1954, have a particularly strong impact on the world.  They were the hippies of the sixties, the soldiers who marched off to Viet Nam, or the draft dodgers who fled to Canada.  They were the first generation to use credit cards extensively, and the first to invest in mutual funds.

When they were young, first wave baby boomer women demanded legalized abortions, used birth control, campaigned for equal rights, and stayed in the workforce while raising children.

When they were twenty, baby boomers thought forty was old; at fifty they thought six-five was old, and now that they are turning sixty-five they think eighty is old.   They’re saying sixty is the new forty.  

First Wave Baby Boomers – Youthful Seniors

As baby boomers enter senior citizenry, the average man can look forward to living an additional 17 years, and the average woman an additional 20.  But, that’s on average.  Let’s suppose you’re living a healthy lifestyle and your body mass index is what it should be.  You could live a lot longer.

Here’s a list of lifestyle choices that could extend your life:

 *I f you’re a nonsmoker

* if you  drink moderately

* if you don’t eat packaged or fast foods 

* if your diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables

And, if your family history doesn’t include heart disease, diabetes, or certain forms of  cancer, then it’s reasonable to assume you could live into your nineties. 

Furthermore, in 1982 twenty-six percent of people over sixty-five suffered chronic illness, now only nineteen percent do.  So, not only will you live a long time after sixty-five, but the quality of your life might be very good for a long time.  Sixty isn’t the new forty.  Sixty is the new sixty. 

There’s a new life stage emerging.  People between 60 and 80 are the young seniors, or elder middle-agers or the between years, too old for middle age and too young for the rocking chair on the front porch.

A New Way to Retire

If you’re in the waning years of your career, or you’ve recently retired you might be wondering, what you’re going to do with these between years?  

Maybe you’re one of the large group of early baby boomers who doesn’t have enough money for the next thirty years.  If you have enough money, maybe you’re too young to be old, and need to feel productive.  Maybe your sick of your job, want out, but don’t know what to do next.  Perhaps you love your job, but it’s obvious that your employer would like to replace you with younger blood.

Most early wave baby boomers don’t want total retirement, but want freedom from the daily grind.  Some want to cycle between periods of work and leisure.  Others desire part-time work, while still others would like to start their own business.

Many young seniors are reinventing themselves for these twenty or so years before old age hits.  It’s a new age.