Just as Baby Boomers changed the U.S. perspective on civil, women’s, and disabled rights; eradicated polio; and introduced new concepts in music, technology and media, we are revolutionizing aging.
- We control over 70 percent of disposable income in the U.S.
- We reintroduced the concept of working all your life, not because you couldn’t survive without working, but because you love your work.
- Our generation is the first to celebrate our later years by traveling, starting new businesses, and dedicating our lives to philanthropic causes in large numbers.
- We introduced senior living communities where residents mingle with those of like minds, travel, take college courses, and continue to work.
- Poverty is less prevalent, although the rate for black and Hispanic men and women and white women is still higher than that for white males. Because of this, the view of older Americans as being poor has changed.
- Our generation is better educated than any other before. Because education correlates with positive health and economic status, we tend to live longer and be more active than our parents and grandparents.
- More women born between 1946 and 1964 are working than any other age group before because men tend to retire earlier.
- We are more economically able to retire than previous - and, perhaps, future - generations.
- Many Baby Boomers have retired, then returned to work.
With life expectancy in the U.S. at 78.8 years and the retirement age for Baby Boomers at 65, many of us are at a loss for long-term activities. After all, retirement was designed to occur right before death.
Retirement may decrease physical, mental and self-assessed health, according to the UK’s Institute of Economic Affairs. Its research indicates that retirement increases the chance of depression by 40 percent and the probability of being diagnosed with a physical condition by 60 percent.
As fewer Baby Boomers see the need to retire, active aging communities are beginning to accommodate workers and, in fact, invite them.
Some of the amenities offered to working residents include:
- Transportation to and from work
- Work spaces in residences
- Work spaces on campus for meetings
- Technology, such as wi-fi, available for meetings
Baby Boomers are, as usual, changing the status quo by engaging in activities never considered for those of retirement age. We run marathons, govern nations, and continue our careers.
Master Tax Adviser at H&R Block Jay Schachner, primary care nurse practitioner Helen Shidler and consultant Scott McCausland are residents of The Admiral at the Lake who are still working in their professions.
At The Admiral at the Lake, walls are covered with works from resident artists, who continue to paint and sculpt. Clergy continue to lead services at nearby churches. Professors and teachers continue to teach and lecture. And many residents who no longer work at their profession are in charge of community-guided travel, lifelong learning, entertainment, lecture and other programs.