We’re the generation that broke the mold, quite literally. There were just so many of us and society has been figuring out what to do with all of us since. In an article by Laura Contensen, The New Age of a Much Older Age, she points out the need for society to keep moving in a direction of change and yet again, Boomers are leading the way.
The NIA explains that although most babies born in 1900 did not live past age 50, life expectancy at birth now exceeds at least 80 in most developed countries. Life spans have increased by over 20 years since 1925. That being understood why do we still live in a 1950’s model created and maintained by our parents and grandparents?
The entire model of childhood, school, work while raising a family then head off into the retirement and beyond must be reevaluated, given the blessing of those extra 20 or 30 years of life that we now have. Ms. Contensen expounds on the subject saying, “we might also trade retirement for new models of working longer, so that parents spend more time with young children, sabbaticals become commonplace and – imagine this – workers experience periods of leisure before they reach old age…(so) that we can build a world where people arrive at old age mentally sharp, physically fit and financially secure.”
The Boomers are changing this model and will continue to be the generation that changes the world and challenges the status quo. The age of 65 simply isn’t what it used to be. Not to be cliche, but this is why those catchy little sayings are so funny but also relevant – “40 is the new 30” and even “50 is the new 30,” as Michelle Obama recently put it.
The age of what it means to be “old” is in motion and retirement is becoming about reevaluating what was, in order to reinvent ourselves for a new chapter. That chapter no longer requires us to lose valuable skills, trading in the Dow Jones for a golf cart or our business suits for a muumuu, while another generation takes over.
We are the Boomers and we’re once again creating a new and radical way of American living. We have become so much more than a cliche: we are energetic, vibrant and full of ongoing and future contributions.