Sunday, January 02, 2011

Boomers in the Sunset

Great news! The "baby boom" generation turns 65 this year, and it's time to start thinking about retirement.

This is a clip from the CBS Smothers Brothers variety show, circa 1968. It's in living color, which was quite the thing back then, sort of like high-definition a few years ago. Those brothers thought they were ever the hipsters, too. I actually watched this scene live as a boy, albeit in black and white. Look at one of the brothers make a complete fool of himself. I remember thinking at the time: "Huh?"

(By the way, two of the band members died before they got old. Be careful what you wish for.)

After the end of the Second World War, the boys came home, and nature took its course, continuing to do so until 1964, when "the pill" was invented, and nature took a different course, which affected the numbers. That's how they break this whole generation thing down, apparently.

And now, more wisdom from The New York Times. Free registration required.

This means that the 79 million baby boomers, about 26 percent of this country’s population, will be redefining what it means to be older, and placing greater demands on the social safety net. They are living longer, working longer and, researchers say, nursing some disappointment about how their lives have turned out. The self-aware, or self-absorbed, feel less self-fulfilled, and thus are racked with self-pity.

So, then, to those who once never trusted anyone over 30: Raise that bowl of high-fiber granola, antioxidant-rich blueberries and skim milk and give yourself a Happy Birthday toast.

Meanwhile, advances in health care reform will allow this generation's children to make plans on how best to put us out of our misery. (See "Be careful ..." above).


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