What Boomers want in retirement 1
What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life's Third Age, by Ken Dychtwald, Robert Morison a book I recommend for those who want to understand the impact boomers are having on retirement.
What Retirees Want” is justified because the authors surveyed over 100,000 boomers. The authors round the bases tagging critical facets of retirement—family, financial security, health, housing, leisure, philanthropy, work, and yes, happiness. And, of course, they address the culture of ageism that older adults confront daily.
Not surprisingly the authors talk about the fact that we boomers have reshaped every stage of life we inhabited. They go on to cite some examples of the changes we brought to society. They cite the market boom in baby products, the hippie movement, and the unprecedented numbers of women who moved into the workforce.
The authors, I think, believe that all Boomers were interested from the start in discovering themselves and finding purpose. However, that was only true for a small percentage of us. Most of us were concerned with getting jobs, careers getting married and making a good living. The major causes we grew up civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, opposition to war happened because the larger society wanted to address these. The Boomers were not the major leaders, but our large numbers helped define these as important.
One of the defining life events not discussed is the fact that as a group, we grew up with the idea of Nuclear war being an extraordinarily strong possibility. I still remember “Duck and Cover Drills” to protect us from “the bomb.” I think most of us lived life and in our teenage years, we thought we would not live to our thirties. The election of John Kennedy brought us new hope, but his assassination and that of his brother, and Dr. Martin Luther King took that hope away. So, the rebellious freedom of Woodstock and the wonder of the moon landing were important to us because they gave us a ray of hope.We want our retirement to be “more interesting, active, passion-filled, and exciting, remember we never expected to live this long, and we really don’t want to become “old” people, certainly not by conventional definition. Lucky for us, we are, when compared with previous generations of older adults, better educated, more high-spirited, more willing to experiment, more willing to change things, because we never believed that we would survive. As a result, many of us have had an ambitious appetite for breaking rules of all sorts and experimenting with a diverse range of lifestyles. Our sheer numbers make this impact on society seem bigger than it is.
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