November 29, 2019 — In case you hear this comment from a millennial, Gen X, or Yer, it is NOT a compliment. It is a dismissal, as in, “OK, baby boomer, you have a lot to say, but your day is over. Kindly step aside.” Younger folks tend to use this term on social media to respond to anybody over 30 who says something condescending about young people .
Perhaps we deserve it, justice served a generation later. Certainly we baby boomers are awfully proud of how we changed things back in the day – our music, rebellions, cultural shifts. Today we seem to think we know everything and have strong opinions – millennials are lazy, the younger generation doesn’t know about hard work, etc. Sound familiar: Remember how we were convinced, back in the day, that our parents knew nothing and we knew it all.
June 26, 2018 — One of the pillars of Social Security funding is that each working generation pays the retirement benefits of those whose working years are over. A key assumption is that there will be plenty of working age people paying into the system to pay those benefits. Unfortunately, the ratio of working age adults to those on Social Security is going in the wrong direction. Back in 1980 there were 19 U.S. adults age 65 and over for every 100 Americans of working age. Thirty years later, that old-age dependency ratio had hardly changed; it was 21 retiree-aged Americans per 100 workers in 2010.
Declining birth rates since 1970 and the retirements of millions of baby boomer have changed that equilibrium – fast. The retirement segment to working population ratio was 25 to 100 last (more…)
January 26 — As a baby boomer we confess to a certain pride in belonging to the largest single age demographic group in world history. A tidal wave that crashed on the shore in 1946, we overflowed the hospitals we were born in. That continued through our childhood as new schools had to be built to accommodate our numbers. We were responsible for a revolution in music and other aspects of culture, and the Vietnam War was in many ways our defining period. The workplace changed dramatically during our working years. And even now we are redefining retirement.
Like it or not, it looks like the days of our numerical superiority is over. The Census Bureau reports that in 2015 millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, total 83.1 Americans, almost 8 million more than there are baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). Millennials also outnumber members of Generation X (1965-1980), who total 65 million.
Note the generation born after 2000 does not yet have a name. To solve that problem Jonah Bromwich of the New York Times is asking for suggestions. If you have an idea, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the Subject heading: “Naming the Next Generation.”
So back to us baby boomers. Maybe we have had the stage long enough. Time to stop boring our children with how great it was back in the days of Woodstock and let the next generation(s) take over, whatever they end up being called. It was a great run though!
Comments: Anybody care to comment – please use the Comments section below.
Note: This is a followup to the Reunion Survey and results article we published in 2015. In that poll we found an even split between those looking forward to their 50th reunion, and those who said they either had no plans to attend, or were undecided. Many who said they would not come based their decision on bad memories or a need to move on from those days of old. Here is the link to the original article, Baby Boomers Look Forward to Their 50th Reunions with Optimism and …
— July 26, 2016. Your editor just had the pleasure of experiencing his 50th high school reunion. And, for how he felt about it, he agreed with the 62% in our previous survey who rated their reunion experience as (more…)
January 19, 2016 — The 4th leg of last week’s Retirement Plan on a 3 X 5 Index Card was the question: How will you stay busy all day? The point seemed to resonate with many folks. Some have great plans and never expect a dull moment, others are clearly worried that the close of their working days will mean the end of mental stimulation. Today’s article focuses on how lifelong learning programs help hundreds of thousands of retirees keep their minds sharp while learning all kinds of interesting and useful stuff.
We know of at least 4 great ways to get involved in lifelong (more…)
April 1, 2015 — We were surprised recently by a group of commenters who took umbrage at the notion that you can work and also be retired. Their more traditional view was that if you are retired, you don’t work, period. A few even quoted dictionary definitions to support their case. But an increasing body of evidence points to an overwhelming trend in the opposite direction – that retirement is often going to be anything but traditional or predictable. It is more likely to be a transition than it is stopping work. Instead of just cashing pension and Social Security checks and having morning coffee or golf with the guys, it might mean a change of career or a part time or volunteer job. The trend is toward more of a highly personal, very customizable (more…)
March 3, 2015 — Note: Last year the class of 1964, the group that kicked off the baby boom when they arrived on the planet in 1946, had their 50th high school reunions.
Thank you to the almost 300 members who took the time to contribute your valuable insights to last week’s “50th Reunion” survey. We now have a much fuller idea of your intentions and attitudes towards these impending celebrations. As always, it is your insights and comments that are the most interesting part of these surveys. So as promised, here is a detailed report on the findings. At the end of this article you will also find many of the fascinating comments you provided in the open ended parts of each question – we think you will enjoy them. A list of our previous survey reports is provided at the end of the article. A followup we did on our own 50th reunion is here, “An Anatomy of a 50th High School Reunion“.
This survey was one of our more whimsical ones, so we hope you enjoy (more…)
February 23, 2015 — There will be a LOT of baby boomers getting invitations to 50th high reunions in the next few years. In fact the first parties happened last year, when the class of 1964 got back together again. That group, which launched the baby boom with their arrival on the planet in 1946, is demographic proof of the return of American GIs from WWII. Those born in 1947, the class of 1965, will have their reunions this year. Interestingly enough the last birth year for baby boomers was 1964 – the same year the first contingent graduated from high school! Those baby boomer youngsters will blow the lights out on the baby boomer reunion party bonanza in 2032.
We confess to a mild obsession about the whole topic, which we hope is shared by a few others. In the hope that it might make an interesting article for our Topretirements members, we have constructed a simple 5 question survey that we hope you will complete. We’ll take your input on questions like, do you plan on attending (and why or why not), and write up a summary on the Blog. Although reunions aren’t exactly on topic for retirement – almost all of the folks getting these invitations will be retired by the time they get them.
January 10, 2015 — A lot of people have big plans for the exciting things they are going to do when they retire. Undoubtedly many of these will be memorable experiences and a source of pleasure. Now a new study puts a different perspective on that pursuit. The study looks at the kinds of experiences – ordinary vs. extraordinary – that create the most long term happiness. The biggest finding was this – as we age we tend to get just as much satisfaction from ordinary experiences as we do those extraordinary ones.
The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research, “Happiness from Ordinary and Extraordinary Experiences“. Using analysis from Facebook posts, the authors of the study found some some surprising answers. It also mentioned earlier research that shows that experiences provide people with much more happiness than material possessions. (more…)
December 21, 2014 — Welcome back to the 50’s! Your editor had the good fortune to visit Cuba this November, only a few weeks before news of the normalization of relations was announced by the President. We found Cuba to be a fascinating country of many contradictions. Our visit was educational (we went with the Florida TREE Institute) and extremely interesting.
One of the definite highlights of the trip was the chance to be surrounded by, and even ride in, countless cars of our baby boomer youth. We’d like to share this nostalgia through some musings and photos. As an interactive exercise, we’d like to enlist your help in identifying some cars that defy our cataloging skills. At the end of this article we will share a few brief observations about Cuba, if you care to read on.
Those glorious American cars of the 50s
This might be a guy thing, but when your editor was growing up in the 1950s cars were a significant (more…)