May 5, 2021 — For baby boomers, nothing was more exciting than getting our first driver’s license. The freedom that lay ahead. Just as exciting, maybe even more, was the prospect of getting your first car. So we would like to hear about your first wheels – whether your parents gave you a brand new car (so jealous), or if you saved your part-time job earnings and bought a used jalopy. Please use the comments section to describe your first chariot to freedom. We will try to add your pictures (one of your own, we can’t accept other photos for copyright reasons) to the gallery at the end of the article. Send the photo.
As for your editor, my first was a 1962 Renault Dauphine, bought in partnership with my 14 year old brother, funded with our house painting money ($350). Unfortunately for Mike, he never got to drive it legally because it died due to me hitting a curb and its own (serious) mechanical failings. He does like to tell the story of younger brother abuse though. My second was a 1965 Dodge Dart (Slant 6!) that was a wonderful reliable car (sold it to Mike later and he got better use of it). Then as I entered the Army, a 1 year old MGB – maybe my favorite car of all time (and the least reliable).
February 22, 2021 — Seventy five years ago last summer GIs from America and around the world starting returning home after fighting WWII. It didn’t take them long to resume normal life, where they quickly produced a wave of newborns the likes of which had never been seen before – the baby boom. Fast forward to 2021, where we are beginning to celebrate the seventy-fifth birthdays of that first crop of baby boomers. Happy birthday everybody.
We don’t know what it was like in your elementary school classrooms, but in ours the impact of the baby boom was immediate and obvious. Our older sisters, created on shore leave, arrived in 1944 and 1945. Their classrooms had half the number of pupils of our 1946 born brother, and every other class after that. Our classrooms were jammed with kids.
March 21, 2020 — This is an extraordinary time – a significant number of Americans have been ordered to stay in their homes. While painful and anxiety producing, at least with the Internet and TV we actually have it better than when we were kids and claimed to be “sick”. Our mother, if she felt we weren’t that ill, would make us lick green stamps and put them in the redemption book. If we were lucky, we got to watch Jack Bailey on “Queen for a Day”. As for “Secret Storm” or “Search for Tomorrow”, we had no idea why anyone would want to watch those soaps. Now at least, there are things worth watching. Today we have more high quality shows than we will ever have the time to view on Netflix, cable TV, HBO, Showtime, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sling – and more.
So in the spirit of trying to have some fun and chase away the gloom, here are some TV show recommendations. Hopefully you will get some new ideas, watch the shows and movies you have always wanted to see (maybe again), and share in a discussion here. We would really like to hear from you: what shows do you love? This is also a great time to read a book. We would love to hear your favorite reads as well. One suggestion we enjoyed recently: “Educated” by Tara Westover.
New shows your editor has seen:
HBO just launched the third season of Westworld, a sci-fi western which some critics like a lot better than the first two seasons.
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 email@example.com. 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…)