By Beth Pinyerd
If Hula hoops, Barbie dolls, slinkies, Easy Bake Ovens, Mr. Potato Head, frisbees, the Mickey Mouse Club television show and Tonka trucks still stir good memories, you might be considered to be a Baby Boomer.
To clearly define who Baby Boomers are, if you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are considered to be a Baby Boomer. I am a Baby Boomer because I was born in 1952 and we are considered “post World War II babies.”
Some Baby Boomer qualities include the respect of an individual’s choice, community involvement, goal-oriented, positive attitudes, striving to be healthy and well and team building.
Baby Boomers are being strongly reminded that retirement is right around the corner. Research shows us that the largest generation (approximately 80 million) are preparing to retire! How are we Baby Boomers going to “do” retirement? Our thoughts and beliefs on retirement may be different than those of our parents and the previous generation.
Some normal reactions about the reality of retirement might be excitement, curiosity or even anxiety.
All through our lives we pass through developmental life stages such as birth, child, teenager, young adult, middle age and old age. Each stage brings with it memorable events such as being an adolescence and leaving home for the first time, marriage and the birth of children.
Through sit and chats and being in friendship circles with Baby Boomers, the topic of retirement comes up in the conversations quite often. Emotional responses such as:
How will I cope with the changes that come with retirement?
Will I be able to say goodbye to fellow workers, friends and the schedule and structure of the work world?
So many times our identity is tied up with our work identity. Will my sense of worth be lost when I retire?
How can I plan for the unknown such as health and finances?
The stages of life are a process. This is true about retirement, it is a process. We Baby Boomers are embarking on the planning phase of retirement even when we are still working. Too, it is important for baby boomers to anticipate how retirement can take on a new role in their lives.
They can investigate new interests, learn new and different skills for postretirement work. Retirement will no longer be defined as a stage in life where “we are not working and are enjoying our rocking chairs”
Retirement for the upcoming “Baby Boomer” will be defined in consisting of purpose driven activities and meaningful relationships as we live our lives well.