On January 1st, the first of over 77 million baby boomers will turn 60,
and growing older will never be the same. Seniors are healthier,
wealthier and more innovated and their aim is to make aging more
comfortable, convenient and rewarding than ever before.
It isn’t always about golf! Research shows that baby boomers are interested in more than just retirement from the workplace and they are looking forward to finding new ways to stay productive. A good 75% of the boomers plan to do volunteer work, keep working or even launch new careers.
An increasing number of single, divorced and widowed people are looking for a lifestyle that is more affordable, social and supportive than living alone and retreating into the woodwork. Some may settle in neighborhoods where everyone shares a common interest, some buy houses together or rent out rooms in their own homes. Co-housing developments, in which residents live in private homes but share a central common area, are becoming increasing popular as seniors recognize that social isolation is not a good thing. A lot of people talk about aging in place but it can be very isolating. Some folks opt for living in a huge apartment complex with friendly neighbors, a cruise ship, retirement communities or apartments that are adjacent to universities as they seek social and intellectual stimulation.
Universal design and a myriad of other personal technologies are cropping up every day to assist in their quest for productivity and independence.
Ken Dychtwald in his book The Power Years, talks about boomers and the movement embraces a “mold shattering period of personal growth and reinvention”. Boomers are striving to find a new balance between satisfying work and enjoyable leisure. The focus is on a positive message and touts new choices and opportunities that are available after retirement. The emphasis is on friends, family, learning and fun.
The baby boomer generation has had a profound effect on how we think and how we do things. Professionals across the country have been tracking every aspect of their influences from gerontologists to marketers. Figuring out the boomers’ wants and needs as they move into there 60s is a whole new ball game. The sky is the limit!
Source: “When We’re All 64” by Kelly Greene. The Wall Street Journal. Monday, September 26, 2005 R1