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Snapshots of retirement: New book looks at how baby boomers are changing the formula

Original post made on Apr 2, 2021

With greater affluence than their parents' generation, boomers are reinventing retirement with more activity, more passion and more experimentation, says Woodside resident Richard Haiduck.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 2, 2021, 6:53 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Dakota
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2021 at 8:27 am

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Another touching account of how aging babyboomers are STILL trying to find some meaning in their lives.

From Woodstock to BMWs to advancing old age with touching tales of further self-emersion and organic herb gardens.

"It's alright Ma, I'm only dying."
Remember the author?

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2021 at 8:53 am

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My parents lived through WW2 and in many ways that experience affected their lives right through to old age and retirement.

As they aged their wartime experiences stayed with them. Growing their own vegetables seemed to become more important rather than less. They had more time to enjoy life than their parents and they had more years of retirement than their parents. They saw more of the world with travel being relatively quick, easy and cheaper than before. They had better health than their parents which meant they lived longer after their retirement in their own home.

When talking about the boomer generation, I think it is worth stating that this age of seniors in retirement started with the generation before the boomers, those who grew up long before the boomers were born.

Posted by Not Good Enough
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2021 at 9:55 am

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Many white boomers had the security of their parents post-WW2 financial security, and then their own. But everyone saw their wages degrade in the 1970's, unless they were in a union, then the US economy began to change for the worse. Now many boomers struggle financially.

I noted the above clause describing boomers, "...a history of political activism...". No kidding. The tsunami of Vietnam tested boomers and they organized by the millions, giving it their all to stop the War, women and men, many putting themselves in real jeopardy given the illegal repression by the FBI (COINTELPRO - google it).

Many draftees non-violently and openly resisted going into the army. They risked or went to prison, others organized against the illegal war (as is now recognized) in the military. Finally only 1 in 3 draftees even showed up at Oakland Army induction center. It was the biggest war time draft resistance since the Civil War.

Boomers started 2nd Wave feminism, disabled rights, environmental movement, gay rights, and a cultural revolution in music, pictorial arts, literature, journalism, and more. No one retires from that.

Posted by Squidsie
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2021 at 10:38 am

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We Boomers had a much easier time than our parents, who endured the Depression and WWII. Unlike WWII, participation in Viet Nam was effectively optional,and you could stay home getting high and going to concerts, instead of getting killed or maimed, and proclaim your morality and "consciousness" , instead of being shunned as a draft dodger. Our economic struggles were trivial compared to the Depression. Instead of being forced to take any work available, we insisted on taking only work which fulfilled us.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2021 at 12:04 pm

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As a boomer, I hope our generation will use the potentially productive, healthy years of our retirement to make the world a better place for the people who will come after us. Travel generates a LOT of greenhouse gas emissions. It's good to see some of the world, but let's make thoughtful travel choices and not selfishly overindulge. Do something that will make the world safer, more stable and environmentally sustainable for our children and grandchildren. If you want to travel, consider eco-tourism. A great way to understand a culture is to work side by side with people to solve shred problems. European cities have turned into a sterile, Disney-esque tourist trap versions of the Europe I experienced as a young adult, bicycling around Europe. Consider traveling by e-cars, transit, and smaller e-vehicles like e-bikes. (Please do not repeat the old trope that seniors cannot ride bikes. Seniors have been doing it in Europe for years. If you want to meet the people of a place, do what they do. In the view of Europeans, Americans have gotten very lazy--an understandable perspective, given the lazy ways we behave while traveling. Our collective behavior abroad reflects on our nation.) I recently met an 83-year old man who had just returned from a bike tour of Belgium and the Netherlands. He was energizing. Let's live a little smaller (gardening can be a great green way to produce food and make your home environment more beautiful) and leave a little more for our kids and grandkids who are heavily burdened with debt. Use your energy for community service.

Oh, yeah. Turn your back on AARP. They were important when seniors were the poorest generation. Today, it is KIDS who are most impacted by poverty. Shame on us. AARP has become a massive lobbying business that does disservice to our nation.

Let's use our retirement to make the world better. There is lots to do. Climate change is an urgent problem. "What can we do for our country and our children's future?"

Posted by Pam T
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 5, 2021 at 2:46 pm

Pam T is a registered user.

Another wonderful article by Chris Kenrick.

Meaningful and thought-provoking.

Posted by Generationally challenged
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2021 at 3:00 pm

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Problem #1: technically, the boomer generation continued through 1964; the youngest members are in their mid-50s. All the boomers I know are still in the work force; many with children at home. The people profiled include a few that are in the prior generation.

Seems like "boomer" has become a synonym for "old person" -- except it's ok to deride boomers, and ageist to mock people simply for being old.

Posted by Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 6, 2021 at 11:06 am

Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman is a registered user.

Boomer generational tropes apply to first decade boomers, not those of us in the second decade. They always have, and they always will. Our late-Boomer life experience is completely different and I expect our retirement experiences will be quite different as well. Most of us have many years of work life ahead of us.

Posted by dena
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2021 at 2:08 pm

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probably my favorite WHO lyric: "I hope I die before I get old!"

Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 8, 2021 at 2:43 pm

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Both of my parents chose to work until their mid 80's. They loved their work, and being around young graduate students and colleagues kept both of them young and sharp, and "in the loop". They both had their own hobbies, and would often join their friends and picket against nuclear weapons, food additives, and chemicals in industrial farming. They were both active in our church as well. I felt that this kept both of them young and cognitively sharp until they passed away.

I know other peoples parents who retired early, and no longer felt needed. They withdrew from longtime friends and family, traveled and gambled away their savings, and sank into alcohol, drugs, depression, and became obsessed with their age related aches and pains.

My recommendation is to work as long as you can - if you are able, and love your work.

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