Baby Boomers are not ready to "go quietly into the night". They are no longer retiring at 65 years of age but, if anything, are working longer. This generation is eating better, exercising and, finally, benefiting from modern medicine that assists with their aging and, arguably, is slowing it down.
Born after World War II, Baby Boomers exploded on the world stage between the years of 1946 to 1964. With over 80 million in the United States alone, this largest of all the generations are now in the driver's seat when it comes to demanding services, medical attention, and even changes to the retirement rules.
Why? Because they do not think of themselves as old and refuse to be pigeon-holed into the typical definition of "senior citizen". They may consider themselves an "experienced citizen" or maybe even a "mature citizen". But they do not like to be called senior, old, or "nursing home material". It's interesting to note that some don't even like to be called a baby boomer because that name itself evokes images of the other names.
So what are Baby Boomers doing to "live younger"?
- Health and fitness are a major focus and, therefore, a huge industry for this crowd. It may be that in their second set of 50 years they are realizing that they will need to take care of themselves to live longer. Also, many are now what is referred to as "empty nesters" and, with the kids gone, can now focus on their own appetites and exercise.
- Working smarter and, if necessary, changing careers. With their vast knowledge and experience, Baby Boomers are finding that they have become the steadying influence at work and are often looked to for their wisdom and advice. Recognizing the importance of work / life balance, they are giving themselves permission to "leave work at work" and go out and find people or events to get involved with.
- Adult-living communities have also become a vibrant way of life for Baby Boomers. Being able to live in the same communities as others their age is a great opportunity to develop new connections and friends. In addition, many of these adult communities offer yard and waste care as well as security for those that live there. Adult-living communities will, by extension, include Retirement Communities even though many haven't yet retired. Often, only one marital partner needs to be retired in order to qualify.
- Exotic and out of the way travel destinations have become a keen interest of Baby Boomers. No longer restricted to the continent on which they live, they are heading overseas to experience other cultures, adventures, and challenges. Travel agencies and resorts are exploding with promotions and opportunities to meet the specific wants and desires of this large, and affluent, generation. Many offer vacations packages targeted at Baby Boomers only and promote this group vacationing with others from the same generation.
- There are many causes around the world that Baby Boomers are getting involved with and are making a difference. Just think of the changes a very focused group of 80 million Americans could make on the world stage to right a wrong or bring hope to a country or issue in need.
There are obviously ramifications for all generations in society given that Baby Boomers are living longer. Whether it's that they're seen as keeping the best jobs, draining the medical system, or even running retirement plans dry these millions of mature citizens are often seen as a drain on society. However, because of their contributions to society and, specifically, their communities throughout their lives, this is an unfair categorization of such a large portion of society.
Yes, Baby Boomers are learning to live younger because … they don't accept the alternative! Thanks for reading.