If you were born between 1946-1964, you belong to the baby boomers that rock club:
“The wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time.” (Wikipedia.)
Unlike our parent’s generation, today’s baby boomers are looking forward to starting something meaningful to them, something they are passionate about, and reinventing themselves.
Sitting indoors and watching TV (which in my opinion is dumbing us down daily) or crocheting or playing golf, are not so much the aspirations of today’s baby boomers. No, we are searching for something meaningful, a second career, travel and adventure. (Well, there are some exceptions, but I’m talking about the boomers that rock.)
For generations, the dream retirement was one spent in warmer climates, on the beach relaxing. Things have changed, and according to Chris Farrell, author of Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community and the Good Life.
“As people are living longer and in better health, they’re working longer, too. And opportunities for the 55 and up group are going way beyond the stereotypical part-time gig at the local supermarket, he says.
Chris Farrell, says that what scares people most about getting older isn’t aging — it’s retirement. Why is that?
- Many baby boomers haven’t saved enough money for retirement
- Many private sector workers don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work
- It’s expensive to educate your kids
Today’s boomers are asking:
- What does retirement mean? What does my last third of life mean?
- People are essentially more open to the idea that working later in life doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Farrell believes that we need a sabbatical to think about what to do next.
“People don’t want to walk away from their skills or knowledge. But they don’t necessarily want to work a 40 to 50 hour workweek either.” Washington Post.
So that explains why the Rotary Clubs and Peace Corps are experiencing a larger percentage of boomers showing interest than ever before. Rotary’s philosophy is to “find your passion” and, once a member has developed a project, Rotary provides volunteers and financial support.
In 2012, a new program was formed called Peace Corps Response; a program that may be more appealing to older adults because it requires a shorter time commitment, three months to a year instead of the traditional 27-month commitment. In 2014, more than a third of people who applied for Peace Corps Response positions were 50 and older.
The New York Times has an article on, “Rotary and Peace Corps Find Relevance With Retirees.”
“Rotary was the original social network, way before Facebook,” said John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International.
“We have Rotarians in their 70s and 80s traveling to Nigeria to work on polio and traveling to Bolivia to work on a water project,” Mr. Hewko said. “For our retiree members, it’s incredibly important to stay engaged with people, to be out and about, and to be giving back.”
Like Rotary, the Peace Corps is also working to enlist older American volunteers. The corps, established in 1961 by an executive order signed by President John F. Kennedy, is still predominantly a younger person’s game, but 7 percent of its volunteers are 50 or older.
“I would like to see that closer to 15 percent,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the Peace Corps’ director.
So the trend I see happening is that of connecting with other like-minded boomers, who want to do something creative, adventurous and meaningful.
Take for example, Margaret Manning, who together with her team is developing Boomerly.
“I have been building the Sixty and Me community, which now reaches over 100,000 baby boomers every month. During this time, my mission was to inspire our members to live better lives.” Margaret Manning with Boomerly.
Boomerly is a new way for baby boomers to meet like-minded people, build friendships and make meaningful connections. It’s not a social network or a dating site. It’s an easy-to-use messaging service that makes it easy to find and talk with people just like you.
By the way, writing a commercial book, and promoting it, is another trait of baby boomers that rock, and I know many in my circle of friends. You know who you are.
So do you consider yourself a boomer that rocks? If so why? Please leave your comment below.