Boomers are Seniors. Really?

Boomers Becoming Seniors

Back when I started retiring at age 58 I bristled at being called a senior.  I didn’t mind taking a senior discount but please don’t call me a senior, especially a senior citizen. I even called the major’s office and suggest they named the new center “Active Adult Center” rather than just a “Senior Center” and they agreed and did that.  I protested on facebook that boomers would never be seniors, we are just different, and need a new name or simply call us Boomers.

Fast forward 6 years to today and I have changed my mind about that.  Getting ready to turn 65 in a few months, I now accept that being called a senior is not too bad.  I still don’t think the “senior citizen” applies too well to the baby boomer generation.   I love to ask for the “senior discount” every chance I get.  If senior means being over the age of 55 or 60, then so be it.  So a baby boomer forever but now a new title, that of “Senior”.  They even renamed the center to “Senior Adult Center” and that’s OK with me.

I had written an article Senior Communities Here Come the Boomers about how it’s starting to change to accommodate incoming baby boomers and someone commented: Boomers are Seniors. I agree, even though Boomer Seniors are not the same as the Senior Citizens of the older generations.  So I think the article was correct, that there will be some changes in retirement communities to accommodate our baby boomer needs and wants as we become Seniors. On another post I made the same type point that Boomers are Replacing Seniors on Cruises and cruises are becoming less formal and more to the boomers taste.

Senior Citizen Age

According to Wikipedia, the age for the status of “Senior Citizen” is the age which one qualifies for government social security benefits, that traditionally being age 65.  They also say “Senior Citizen” is a polite term for an “elderly person”.   Also if you are retired, you might be a “senior citizen”.  In my book, let’s just take it one step at a time and stay with “senior” for a while before getting into “senior citizen” or “elderly person”.  Not ready for those quite yet.

Boomers Are Seniors

In marketing you see a real mixture of the terms boomers and seniors.  Interestingly AARP’s web site title includes the term “Baby Boomers” but nothing at all about “Seniors”.  AARP membership is open to age 50.  Some other marketing materials including web sites use terms like “older persons”, “the retired”, and “mature”  but commonly use both “boomers and seniors” just to have the bases covered and not to target just one age demographic.  In truth, there is not one solid senior generation anymore, but several groups including us older so-called leading edge boomers, seniors from the silent generation who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s and the boomers’ parents, the so-called Greatest Generation.

Conclusion

At the end of the day this labeling seems to be the domain of the marketing types as they try to reach us boomers becoming seniors and supply what we are looking for.  The way a product is labelled does matter and can help us determine if it’s what we are looking for.   But there is no longer a big enough difference between the terms boomers and seniors to make a difference but that is not the point.  The point is that this whole process will be changing and will be disruptive and who knows what the final outcome will be. There will be changes made to accommodate the boomers becoming seniors. When will boomers retire, where will they retire to and in what type of retirement housing will we live in?  No one knows for certain yet, but it will not the same for the boomers now becoming seniors as it has been for other older groups.  Nor should it be.  The boomer generation has changed everything else along the way, now it our time to define senior living.

Update: Now at age 67 it makes even less difference. The name boomers has held up pretty good but some of the establishment still calls us seniors. Whatever. 🙂

Originally posted 2014-10-08 13:03:46.

Taking Baby Steps Toward Retirement

Here are some baby steps to take to continue to pace yourself toward your retirement years.

Steps Towards Retirement

When I first starting blogging I had high hopes for my retirement years.  Like many boomers I have had to make adjustments. Goals must be realistic and obtainable.  The past is the past, the moment is now and the future is not here yet.  Some boomers prospered in the past.  Their retirement is somewhat secure.  Then there are those of us that have found that not to be so.  I have looked at my wants and my needs.  It is not too late!  It is a challenge. First and far most keeping a positive attitude is the most important thing that one can do.  As I do this, I find that smaller might even be better. Each day brings something new and different.  Remember the tortoise that won the race.  Then how about the little caboose that said, “I think I can, I think I can.”  They both did!   Here are some baby steps that I have taken in the past three years.  Hopefully you will be encouraged to continue to pace yourself with steps toward your retirement years.

  • I searched for a new job with health care benefits.  I took in account that my new job must be one that I could perform as I aged.  Since my savings were gone, I needed something that could also enable me to make a living.  I also needed a job that offered a pension plan.  I found it!  The area where I was living was not very safe nor did it offer much job opportunity.  I moved to another state.  With luck, I found an apartment that was less expensive than the area that I left.  In addition, the area where I now live in is safer, has more job opportunities and resources for seniors.
  • I then set goals for becoming debt free. This meant sacrificing a lot of things like vacations, shopping sprees, credit card spending, and buying things that were not an absolute need.  It meant sticking to a budget.  Three years later, I am happy to say that within two months this goal should be completed.  It has not been easy but WELL WORTH IT!  With a do not quit attitude, over coming obstacles and making changes I am getting there.
  • I use the Internet to explore options.  55CommunityGuide.com has given me different resources for places to live.  The information that I am gaining from the web has given me ideas to further my search for retirement housing types and places to live as I age.
  • I joined in with social media. I use twitter and facebook.  By doing this I keep up on health care changes, options for seniors and many other things that I need to know.
  • Thanks to SeniorCenterDirectory.com, I have checked out the senior center in my area.   Now I am in tune with what is offered in my community.
  • Skilled nursing can be an issue for seniors.  Therefore, I have begun to get quotes for long term care insurance.  Now I am researching skilled nursing facilities.
  • In my space time, I have learned to make a few extra bucks using my computer at home.
  • Shopping, the community college, post office, service station, and health care needs are within minutes from my apartment.  This is essential as I grow older.  If I should relocate this will still be a top priority along with cost.
  • I now use the library, not only for learning but for fun.

These are only a few of the baby steps that I have been taking toward retirement in the past three years.  It has not been a straight path.  There has been many obstacles but I persevere.  I am taking action, being accountable for my actions and persevering just as you are doing.  Times may be changing but boomers are changing too!  Stand up!  Strut your stuff!  We CAN do it?  Take those steps!  Even baby steps will get there.

Originally posted 2011-04-12 20:27:40.

Boomers Are Going Into Their Retirement Years

Baby Boomer Generation

When I was a child, I was around many older people.  Even my own parents were considered elderly. I was only ten years of age.  They were in their 50’s.   I came from a small town where people knew the value of  a dollar.  Hard work was just what people did. The really older folks, such as my grandfather, shared stories of working in saw mills.  Work days were from dusk until dawn.  Evenings were for resting and preparing for another work day. If school was in session, parents made sure that children did their homework.  Much of the evening was spent reading and writing by the entire family.  Bedtime came early after all home work and chores were completed.  The nights were short because the work days started very early.  A work week could easily consist of six days.  Sunday was a rest day spent relaxing, going to church and enjoying the family.

I really do not remember much talk about retirement in those days.  As a matter of fact, what I do remember is folks working until they were very old.  There were still cows in the pasture to milk, chickens to be fed, and wood to be chopped for the fireplace or heating stove.  There was a lot of preparation to get the crops in before the bitter cold winter arrived.  Also families worked together to assure that they were prepared to survive the winter months as mother nature came roaring in with snow,ice and chill factors below zero.  Time did not stand still.  It took much longer to do things such as laundry, cooking, lawn maintenance and such.  Yes, the old wringer wash and tubs took a lot of time, not to mention hanging the clothes on clothes lines. Then there was ironing not permanent pressed.    Meals were fixed on a hot cook stove.  Potatoes were peeled and mashed.  Green beans were picked from the vines, washed and snapped.  Corn was shucked, cleaned and boiled.  There was no such thing as a microwave.  I can remember my Father mowing the lawn with the push mower as mother prepared  meals.  There was no weed whacker just hand clippers.  Then there was the regular watering of the flowers with a garden hand held hose as soon as the sun went down.  After the evening meal,dishes were washed in the sink by hand and then towel dried. Of course they were put back in the cupboards to be used again the next morning.  Pots and pans were cleaned with Brillo pads.  There were no automatic dish washers or no stick pots and pans.

In our home we did not even have running hot water.  We heated bath water on the stove.  This too took awhile.  Water to wash clothes in was heated in a big black kettle outside with a fire built from wood under it.  Everything that we did appeared to be a long process of work.

So you might be thinking to yourself as you are reading, “What is the point of this story?”  Therefore, I am going to tell you.  Most of us boomers have been working since we were knee high to a grass hopper as the old saying goes.  This boomer is TIRED.   My retirement DREAM was NOT to keep on WORKING at age 63 but it appears that is what life has in store for me and some of you.  We are  boomers though that have seen many rough times.  We made it then and we WILL make it now.  Maybe the good ole days were good preparation for what ever life challenge that we have today.  Now some of you boomers that are in the over 55 communities enjoying life, you will still be able to meet adversary because you have been conditioned in your early years.  So live it up!  Enjoy every moment.  For those of you that are ready for that lazy boy recliner, enjoy the heck out of it.  Then for those of you that like to learn and stay busy, remember to visit your local senior centers.  You can volunteer there too if you are still into working.  Oh let us not forget, live healthy, eat green vegetables, exercise to keep that body strong and in shape.  Do that for yourself too.  Who knows where health care is going.  It  still beats the the town Dr. that we had in my childhood. He only showed up one day a week.

My question to you is this; Do you boomers really think that we had the easy life as I read so much about in the news?  Did we really set out to destroy the world for those that follow us?  Were we not just trying to live and survive as those before us did and those after us will do?  I say one thing that was true before my time, during my time and hopefully after my time that will remain the same is just this:  It will always take Love for One Another to Make the World Go Around.  As soon as we can all get over the blame game,the sooner each of us can get on with that most important thing of all; Peace, Contentment, Love and Living!  As I have said before and I will say once again, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE!  May peace be with you as boomers go into their retirement years.

Senior Community Guide for: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Lake Oconee, Las
Vegas
, Los Angeles, Miami,
Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Reston, Richardson, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, Tucson

Originally posted 2011-12-08 11:59:02.

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.