A WorkingBoomer’s Baby Boomer Dream

Retirement dreams can changes. Working Boomer shares her dream for this year.

Martin Luther King, said many years ago, “I have a dream.”  At the age of 63 and a member of the baby boomer generation, I have a dream.  It may come true or it may not.  That is how dreams work.  In the sixty three years of my life, as it has been in the lives of all baby boomers, we have had many dreams.  Some of us dreamed up retirement and living the life of luxury.  Others dreamed of good health, close families, love, security, wealth, and all that the outside world has to offer.  Many have dreamed of world peace or a way out of poverty.  Homeless children have dreamed of a loving family.  The  elderly  have dreamed of an escape from loneliness and a caring hand or touch.  Business owners have dreamed of prosperity.  Then there are those with mental illness in nursing homes, hospitals and institutions that may have lost their ability to dream. There are baby boomers and youth that are dreaming of a job soon to come.  There are those looking for ways to get a good education and are holding onto the dream of success someday.  Scientist are looking for a cure for aging, cancer, global warming, and more ways to conserve energy.  The dreams go on.

A dream must be accompanied by hope.  Words of encouragement are important.  They can be found in books.  Words can be spoken by each of us or written in some form.  Actions can be seen.  We all, no matter what our circumstance, have something that we can give.  There may be times that our thinking may get a little off track.  You can inspire another by reaching out and listening or just giving a word of encouragement.

Last year I dreamed of retirement and living the easy life.  Dreams can change as our circumstances change.  This year, I have a new dream.  It may or may not come true but I have hope.  I would like to live and work in a senior facility helping the elderly.  I would like to watch them smile, listen to their stories, and give them encouragement during their final days.  I would like to give them a hug and allow them to hug me back.

Is it too late?  I think not.  It is never too late if you have HOPE!   I will always believe, and that is a choice, that Love is stronger than fear! As Martin Luther King said way back during the beginning of the baby boomer generation, ” I have a dream!”  Times may be different but with hope we have the ability to make our dreams or someone else’s a reality. I encourage each of you to not turn loose of your dreams.  Put action with your words, share your experience, strength and hope and make a dream come true.  After looking deep into your heart, take a moment and share with us all your very special dream.  Yes, baby boomers, we are aging but we still have the ability to dream and touch the lives of others in a positive way.

May each of you experience a special dream that comes true in your life during the year of 2012. Peace and love be with you as we continue in our baby boomer retirement age years.

Originally posted 2011-12-26 00:12:50.

Baby Boomer Generation Retirement

Baby boomers are not all the same and we do not all fit in one box. We have different needs and wants.

We are each different individuals.  This is true of Baby Boomers, Generation X and every human being on earth.  I have never been one to fit in another person’s box.  Lately in the news, I have read articles encouraging Baby boomers to continue working.  I have read articles telling us that we may live to be one hundred.  The economy is uncertain.  There are many opinions about social security and the health care system.  The housing market is up and down.  Jobs are not plentiful.  Budgets are being cut.   Then someone writes about why we should work until we are eighty years old.  There seems to be a lot of loose ends.  We are not all the same.

Those before us had worries too.  We are just experiencing life as it is today.  Therefore each of us can take what we want and leave the rest.  Some have good suggestions but we must evaluate our own situation when making a retirement decision.  No one knows the exact moment that one is going to die.  There is no guarantee about tomorrow and there never was.

I am one that has to keep it simple and fit in my own box.  Therefore my choices may differ from yours.  The one thing that is true is, each of us has but one life to live and that living moment is Now.  This is my box today which contains needs and wants.  Some things I have control over and others I can strive to obtain.  I have thrown away the crystal ball because it serves no purpose.  The main ingredients for this list is hope, perseverance, wisdom and the will to accept life on life’s terms knowing that my needs are far most the most important.  If you can use any of these things then please do.  If not then make your own box because in the end it is your life and it is up to you live it.

  • Work!  Yes, I want to work as long as possible but not full time but it might be necessary for me to do that.  As a single boomer, that is where I am.  My dream would be to have a home of my own near the ocean or in a peaceful place near nature.  I have seen these places in many states as I viewed houses for sale in 55 plus communities.  They offer a life style that I would love to experience such as activities for boomers and seniors.  As we all know, it is important to engage in these activities as we age.  It is a way to meet new friends and enjoy life.  This is not in my box due to my financial situation so I am looking at other alternatives such as apartment living for seniors 62 and older.  Hopefully this need will come true.  I am doing my part to fit it into my box.  If you can do it though then maybe you should.  Why not?  You earned it.
  • Reality today is that I must have health care.  It is a few years before I am eligible for Medicare.  In the mean time, I am living as frugal as possible to save for that day when I can retire.  It is always good to not be wasteful but if you have the money then use it to enjoy life.  You are the only one that knows what you would like to do.  Fit pleasure into your box.
  • It is possible to change jobs at age sixty-three.  Also having a job that one enjoys and is able to perform is important.  I have worked all my life.  I am one of those if given a choice, I would travel, experience places that I have never seen.  Then for once in my life, I would like to just prop my feet up, listen to the ocean waves on a sea shore and enjoy the sunshine as the wind blows across my body while reading a book.  One of my favorite escape dreams is watching a beautiful water fall, listening to the birds sing, watching wildlife as it scurries around in nature.  Also there is the dream of a fishing pole, a shade tree, and a lazy day on my own farm where I take in homeless dogs and raise them.  As it is now my box consists of finding a senior apartment near a senior center or adult learning center in an area that has great parks.  At the senior center, I can participate in activities with others my own age.  I can take a trip with some of the folks I meet to view sites and places in the area that I have not experienced before.  I can watch nature at the park.  Also if I choose just right, the area in which I reside, will have a small waterfall in that park.  On sunny days, I can go there for peace and tranquility.  I can listen to the birds sing.  Then there is the dog pound where I can visit.  There I can volunteer and maybe even adopt a loving pet to be my special pet friend.  After all, I have lots of love left to give and I can still enjoy receiving love too.
  • It would be wonderful to have my own personal trainer for good health but that does not fit in my box.  Is it a need?  Not really.  I can walk on a trail, join the other folks my age at the mall and do mall walking.  If you can do it with a trainer, I hope that you take fitness seriously and do it.
  • Most of my family has passed on to include parents, siblings and others.  Yes, I wish I had them back but that does not fit in my box.  Instead, I can reach out to others that I meet and share with them.  That is in my box!  Some of my computer friends and co workers I call brothers and sisters.  No, they are not real family but each one is dear to me.
  • I want to be healthy.  Yes, that is a want and also a need.  I have control over changing to healthy life style changes as far as exercise, eating and removing bad habits.   As of today, I still have the ability to get up and move.  I like my new reclining chair but it will be for relaxing only not a full time place to sit and waste precious moments of my life.

As a member of the baby boomer generation, I want to leave this world knowing that I lived and did not just survive.  It is up to each of us to look at our box and fill it with what we can.  There are many baby boomers needs and wants.  But after all, life is reality and it is ours to live it the best way that we can.  Be good to yourself and others while enjoying the journey.  IT IS ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE!

Originally posted 2012-01-11 21:19:05.

St. Louis Boomer Living

If you are considering city retirement or a wonderful vacation, I would suggest that you visit St. Louis. See why.

St. Louis is the city where I was born.  At age 5 my parents moved back to a small town in Arkansas.  Many of my memories as a child came from small town living.  Then at the age of 17, I returned to St. Louis to call it my home.  Most people think of St. Louis as a big city, which it is.  For those of us that live here, we include St. Louis counties, St. Charles counties, and even across the river in Illinois as St. Louis.  That makes St. Louis even a more desirable place to live.  There are a variety of things to enjoy as a resident in the area.  Within minutes you can cross the river and be in another state.  Just a short drive away is the state capital, Jefferson City.  Also it is very close to the beautiful Ozark mountains and Bagnell Dam area. Many residents of the St. Louis area, slip away to these areas for site seeing, boating, and lake fun.  Yes, there is much to be seen and enjoyed in St. Louis.  It is appealing for retirement living.

I can remember many enjoyable days spent in Forest park.  My children and I always enjoyed the zoo which is one of the largest in the United States.  The Science center, the Art Museum, and History museum are wonderful places in Forest Park to visit on a Sunday afternoon.  For night time entertainment in Forest Park, I love the Muny outside theatre.

The St. Louis Arch is a site to behold.  I remember watching as it was built.  My first time to the top of it was exciting.  The view for miles away was beautiful.  On the way I stopped at Union station.  The dining was wonderful there, not to mention the shops to visit.  Another place that I have enjoyed in down town St. Louis is the Bush Brewery.  The tour was fabulous.  I also remember my horse and buggy ride at Laclede’s Landing on the river front.  Some of the streets are build with old bricks as they were back in the day.  The landing offers great dining places, night clubs for music and just an all around wonderful time.

One other place that I have always enjoyed is Grants Farm.  Many couples take their grandchildren to enjoy the camels, elephants and other animals.  You can walk or ride the little train which is relaxing. Oh and speaking of trains, transportation is great in St. Louis with the Metro link and other transportation services.

Now I am sure everyone has heard of the St. Louis Cardinals.  The new stadium is very nice.  I have had the pleasure of watching many Cardinal games and even met some of the players back in the day.  There is nothing like being in St. Louis for a World Series.  It is a site to behold with people from everywhere wearing their Cardinal red.

Then there is the Sou lard district.  The Sou lard Market is huge with fresh vegetables and fruits.  At night the clubs come alive with great dining and music.  Once a year you can attend the Sou lard Marti Gras.  If you like to party then this is the place to be, not to mention the wonderful parades and etc.

I have also enjoyed many evening listening to poetry readings at Maryland plaza along with great places to dine with outside seating.  Another place that I would recommend for boomers to visit is the Loop.  It is a great time at Blue Berry Hill where many great bands such as Chuck Berry have entertained.  There is a variety of dining places at the Loop for every one’s enjoyment.

At the Fox Theater I have seen many performances and performers.  Phantom of the Opera and Amy Grant live were among my favorites.  On another occasion I went to one of Cher’s concerts downtown.  I was still rocking and rolling to her music a week later.

I just realized that there is no way that I could possibly write all the neat things that I have seen or that St. Louis has to offer in a blog.  There are parades, festivals, and any event that you can imagine.  You can shop until you drop, eat Italian food on the Hill, walk the Katie trail, or listen to the the orchestra at the Symphony.  St. Louis comes alive with everything during the holidays.  Just see for yourself on the 4th of July.  Some of the best entertainers can be found downtown for the three day event.  Yearly, I eat my way along the vendors stands on the street at the Strassenfest.  Yes, I love German food.

If you are considering city retirement or a wonderful vacation, I would suggest that you visit St. Louis.  Make sure that you allow plenty of time because you might want to visit the many casinos on the river front, which offer not only gambling but shows, shopping and great dining.  Can you believe that I have only touched upon just a bare beginning of what St. Louis has to offer.  I hope that you come and see for yourself.  Come expecting good things because you will find it St. Louis.  You may find that you love the spirit of St. Louis and check out the many retirement housing options that the area has to offer.

Originally posted 2012-03-29 11:12:40.

Priorities For My Baby Boomer Retirement

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed. My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation. Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

retirement list

In my earlier years, I dreamed about the day that I would retire.  I would sit on my front porch with that special person and munch on grapes, while reminiscing about the good things in life.  We would travel to places such as Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii and enjoy all the sights.  Our children would bring our grandchildren to visit during the holiday season.  Retirement life as a baby boomer would be filled with rest, relaxation, laughter, peace and serenity.  The days of having to do would be gone.  There would be no more sixteen hour shifts to work, no alarm clocks to set, and no rushing on week ends to get the lawn mowed before a work week would begin.  Our children would enjoy visiting us.  The grandchildren would play in the backyard.  Jake, the dog, would lay lazily underneath the Elm tree.  Jake would always be ready to play catch with us with his favorite ball.  At night we would retire to our bed, pat each other on the bottom, give a hug, and fall off into a peaceful contented sleep.  Our boomer life would be about not doing after all the years of hard work that we both had done to finally get to this place.

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed.  My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation.  Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

  • I will not worry about tomorrow.  Worry keeps me from enjoying the things in life that can be enjoyed for free such as a sunrise, a sunset, music, art, a cloud formation, the sound of rain, the beauty of a snowfall, the taste of a freshly baked cinnamon roll, the softness of a babies hand, or the sent of a lilac that has just bloomed.
  • The television will not be my top priority each night for entertainment.  I will not waste countless hours watching soap opera’s and sitcoms about other peoples lives.  Instead, I will be utilizing my time to make my life one of purpose that is encouraging to others that may follow me.
  • Since there is no special someone in my life today, I will not spend hours trying to change that person or any other person to my way of thinking.  Trying to control another is not in my plan today because it is a time sapper and a selfish way to live.  Each person has earned his own right to think and be just as I have earned mine.
  • Even though it is important to look our best, I will not spend hours in front of the mirror trying to make sure every hair is in place to please another human being.  Instead, I will enjoy the feel of a fresh shower, place a smile on my face, and be grateful for the person that I have become.  My days of people pleasing are over.  Yes, I am over it!
  • Shopping will not be an obsession in order to compete with the Jones next door.  I will not shop until I drop, spending money on a credit card for things that will only bring a moment of pleasure and sore feet.  Instead, I will appreciate what I have and reassess my needs.
  • I will not compare my life to that of others and feel regret.  Instead, I will live in the moment and keep a positive attitude toward the future.
  • I will not plan my meals around greasy french fries, hamburgers, salty hot dogs, and mounts of unhealthy foods that will leave me feeling guilty right after my feast.  Instead, I will love myself enough to eat a more balanced nutritional meal.  I might break those rules on occasions though just because, I can. 🙂

There you have it, a not do boomer retirement list!  It might seem a little silly to many but as I review it, I can see where it will bring about a lot more valuable ways to spend my time and enjoy the time that I do have.  Who knows, maybe someone will enjoy doing the not doing with me. Then we can still take those trips without arguments and time busters.  🙂

As usual, I will end this by saying, “Enjoy the journey!”  It is in your hands what you will not do so I hope that you share your not do with us.

Originally posted 2012-01-21 23:00:44.

Boomers Turn Age 70

We baby boomers are turning age 70!! Can you believe it?

Boomers have never been this old. How do you act when you are 70?  I submit, just like we did in our 60’s.  No, not the 1960’s, even though I think that would be fun. Nothing has really changed by turning 70, right?

Well yes, a few things are changing. Not over night, but there are signs.

If you have delayed taking your social security, now finally you get to take your full social security check that has been growing.  We thought this day would never come.  Wow, that is going to be nice and well needed for many of us.

Also at age 70 1/2 we must take our RMD, required minimum distributions from our IRA’s.

So we start drawing our social security benefit and we must start taking annual distributions from our IRAs almost at the same time.  Well I think most of us at age 70 are ready for both and have no disagreements with those requirements.

Many boomers vowed never to retire or they couldn’t retire. Guess what, many were forced into retirement because of health reasons or maybe a job layoff.

If you retired in your 60s, then most likely you are now comfortable with your retirement. You have a comfortable routine and do the things you would like to do with your time. Many boomers that are retired, love spending time with their grand children. Some even move across the country to be closer to them.

Around this time (age 70) we or our spouses are dealing with some critical illnesses of some sort, be it diabetes, a stroke, heart attack, mobility problems etc. and we are most likely making room on our schedules for doctor visits.

Most likely a few of our friends have dementia problems starting or maybe advanced. We have two close friends in that boat.

A friend or two most likely has already lost their long time spouse to death.

More than a few of our high school or college school mates have died.

We spend some time on our medicare insurance don’t we.  Donut holes and open enrollments we know well.

Having been involved in recent years with a senior center and now living in a Del Webb Active Adult Community, I have a lot of friends that are in their 70s, thus are older than us older boomers.  Encouragingly lots of them are active, like to travel, have sharp minds and love to socialize.

We will be travelling through out our 70’s and dare I say 80’s. If we have the means, we don’t mind spending it on travel.

Racewalking
Racewalking

Some take up senior games and become senior athletes.

I have noticed now we don’t even mind being called a senior, even though we still don’t refer to ourselves with that title. We don’t mind the senior discounts, do we.

So another chapter in our lives is unfolding and for the most part we seem to be adjusting quite well.

So we have a lot to look forward to. Some of us are moving to active adult communities, or small towns or even to the city for retirement.

The future is not bleak as long as you have a positive attitude, your health and get out and participate in some activities with folks you like.

Even when you have some health problems, a can do positive attitude sure can go a long ways overcoming those obstacles.

They say at age 70 we only have 15 more years to live, on average. Let’s make the most of it.

Originally posted 2016-12-13 21:34:18.

Expectations of Your Boomer Retirement

Baby Boomers have expectations of their retirement – but will they be enough to keep them engaged and satisfied with their retirement.

Everyone dreams of retirement and this helps to set the image of what your retirement will be like or could be.  This image is usually positive and worth looking forward to.  You can’t wait for retirement to start so you can live your dreams.

Your retirement dream may include moving to a 55+ community and playing golf every day, traveling, cruising around the world, enjoying friends and family, or getting a part time job.

When retirement finally arrives will it be like your dreams and will that keep you engaged and satisfied in living the retirement life you expected.

Some people after a taking the cruise and doing some golfing are then ready to go back to work.  Is this all there is.  I always feel sorry for these people, not because they like work, but because they do not see the possibilities of retirement beyond those pre-retirement dreams.  They do not  find their way past their fixed image of what their retirement should be and find new activities to fulfill what their job provided.

Most of the time these people do not know how to spend their time in retirement to give them meaning and fulfillment and even some structure.  Here are some new activities that will expand  your horizons beyond any previous expectations. These may surprise you but I encourage you to look into each. Some resources are listed at the end of this post.

1. Learning – gives you something to look forward, is fun and satisfying.  So many opportunities to learn are all around us to continue our personal growth.

2. Serving – helps you stay engaged and has multiple rewards. Volunteering and mentoring are but two of the favorites but many more ways of serving are available in organized and individual ways.

These will help in redefining your retirement, but if you still want to go back to work, start an encore career where you can apply your skills to something you are passionate about and maybe combines both learning and serving.

Adult Learning Centers
Make the Most of Your After 50 Years by Nancy Merz Nordstrom
Retirement Media on Facebook
Purpose in Retirement

Originally posted 2011-04-09 07:13:20.