Here we are–2012! The first year of baby boomers reach the new retirement age! From 1946-1964, a generation of people were born in the United States as a big jump in the birthing of babies accompanied the return of the troops from their fields of combat in World War II. They have the distinct pleasure of being called Baby Boomers and those born in that first year, 1946, turn sixty-six this year. Over the course of the next two decades, an average of over 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement every day. In fact, some already have due to changes in the retirement age.
Many of these boomers are looking for a place to park, having paid their dues, earned their stripes and fought their battles. In spite of the data supporting the conclusion that the decade of the sixties is the most productive in your life, many boomers have dreamed of sitting down, cutting back, finding leisure and letting someone else run the world upon which they have put such an indelible mark!
But something happened to the dream! With certain exceptions, many baby boomers are now finding themselves feeling the weight of responsibility for four generations, whether a perceived or actual weight is unclear. But consider this.
Aging Parents. If you are a boomer, it is highly likely that you are now caregiver for aging parents and face tremendous difficulties in knowing how to do right by them.
Adult Children. Also, you now have adult children, with their own lives of course, but you have not figured out how to love them without getting mixed up in their lives! Double incomes are needed for young couples to try to care for their kids, pay for their overpriced, oversized homes, figure out how to stay married and what they have to do to survive till tomorrow…and you feel you must help somehow.
Grandchildren. Then there are the grandchildren! How many boomers do you know who are now rearing another set of kids, this time the kids of their kids (and in some cases great-grandchildren!)?
So if you feel worn out, stressed, frustrated, confused and uncertain about what to expect next, it is very likely that you are surrounded by peers in your generation who feel the same way.
What I would like to ask you to do is this. I am exploring writing a book on the boomer experience with all the issues I noted above, and as only you know, many others besides! If you are not a boomer, would you pass this request on to someone who is?
Here is the request…would you send me your stories, tell me about the problems you are facing, if possible the solutions you are finding or if not, the answers you are seeking? How is being a boomer facing retirement age different from what you once thought? What have you found most helpful in dealing with the multi-generational responsibilities?
We will start by asking you to include your thoughts in a comment to this post and if we need to do so, set up an email account to which you can send your more extensive thoughts. I need your help, but if I can do this project well, we can help each other and perhaps the younger half of the boomers with what we discover. Please don’t let me down!
One important note…retirement does not actually appear as a biblical idea. We run the race well all the way through the tape, according to Paul. But the pace of the run does change, but what we value in the run should never diminish–we are running for the glory of the God who created us. Thanks in advance for your help…and remember to comment whether you have a story or not, and then pass this on, forward it, ask your friends to help you help me!