We hear much talk about the Baby Boomer generations and the Millennials. We hear some talk about the X and Y generations and we hear little about the Silent Generation.
I have listened, and read, and been vaguely aware, but did not really have an understanding of the relationship between them all and what makes/made them different and so on.
In this post. ‘Where From Boomers’, I will talk a lot about Boomers, who they are and what caused them to be. But I will also explore some of those questions I have referred to in the first paragraph above, in the hope that many of you will become as enlightened as I have by the research and writing that I have committed to on this fascinating subject.
As a result of reading this you should be able to understand the connections between the generations, I will dispel to some extent a long held myth relating to a single reason for the birth explosion (The Boom) and I will relay to you some lesser known and perhaps counter-intuitive characters is tics of the Boomer Generation.
The facts and statistics used in this article relate, in the main to the US, but could just as easily be applied, in a proportional way, to other countries of the world.
I have found researching this fascinating and I sincerely hope that you find the read just as fascinating too.
Baby Boomers Who are we?
Lots of us
There are somewhere around 76 million Baby boomers in the US today and proportionally around the world in other countries. If you are one of us (yes I am one) then you known that this is the generation born between 1946 and 1964. We are a result of the outbreak of peace following two World Wars when there was as described a massive baby boom.
Our generation rebelled against and then recreated our own take on what was to become the, new, traditional values. We are relatively wealthy, extremely active and we command most of the available disposable income in the world marketplace today. We find ourselves forced to retire later because we were bitten by the global final recession of 2008 but on the plus side we live longer than all generations that have preceded us.
The Centre of Things
Be in no doubts that this world is a Baby Boomers’ world for a wee bit longer yet; everyone else is making up the numbers LoL. We are a generation, that has been targeted by commercial markets, critiqued, researched in relation to all aspects of our existence from the 40’s, when we were just babies being born into the brave new and better looking, peaceful post-war world.
Now we are preoccupied with juggling, child and often grandchild care, work, retirement plans, senior executive careers, supporting our own kids to get through university, or launch their own careers. For that first wave of our generation, we might’ve even be seeking appropriate care for our twilight years.
Those of us fortunate enough to have been born during the ‘boom’ have set the tone for art, politics, jobs (that didn’t even exist for our parents and grandparents) and of course very different, consumer driven lifestyles, which have emerged and developed over the last three quarters of a century.
You may think that you known all about us but I can share some things here that may not have occurred to you:
A Google study reported that an astounding 78% of Boomers had joined the online community by 2013. Of that group 35% described themselves as heavy users of the web,” with 82% of us having membership belong of one or more social media platforms. Most amazingly, we apparently spend more time on the digital highway than our 21stcentury equivalents the Millennials. The report goes on to say that unlike Millennnials we spend most of that bandwidth on researching news and politics.
Simple maths tells us that our first wave started hitting age 65 in 2011, and in the US 10,000 of us will hit 65 each day for the next 15 years.
Boomers generally don’t do cheap, but neither do they believe in spending money for the sake of it. 79% of Boomers indicated their preference for buying shop labelled rather than brand labelled goods.
Hepatitis C Hates Us!
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tells us that Boomers, compared to other generations, are five times more susceptible to infection by Hepatitis C. This disease is often known to take years for symptoms to exhibit and therefore DCCP strongly advises that we, get our bloods checked on the next routine medical.
More than 60% of Boomers in the US have a minimum of a college degree today, with many having considerably higher.
The Presidential Generation.
Obama was born in 1963; with Bush, Clinton, and Trump all born in 1946. Interestingly, if the Democrats are fortunate enough get to the Whitehouse in this next election, the Boomer run will be broken, as the two candidates Saunders and Biden were born in 1941 and 1942 respectively. Not young enough to be Boomers LoL!
Financing Our Children
A US National Endowment for Financial Education survey shows that an incredible 59% of us are still providing finance support to our adult children, in an age range 18 to 39.
We Are Not Common or Garden Senior Citzs!
Boomers, are not always easily identified as such, for instance Jerry Seinfeld (YOB1954), Stevie Nicks (YOB1948) George Clooney (YOB1961) Piers Brosnan (YOB 1953) and Meryl Streep (YOB1949)….yes they are all Boomers.
We might be aging, its true, but don’t think for a moment that this means we are slowing down by any means. Our influence on the world will be lingering for decades yet, with our 1964 babies still only fresh-faced 56 years olds!.
Why The Boom
The Legend and The Truth
Legend would have it that the significant explosion (boom) of births from 1946 right up until 1964 was caused by the reunion of young married couples with our menfolk returning home from the battlefields of World War II. At the height of the boom, there were as many as 3 million babies popping per year But historians now point to others reasons for so many babies arriving at what has become known as the boom years. It is now suggested that older couples who had been waiting to start families, feeling unable to because of the Great Depression also began to have children at the end of war, as the economy recovered, strengthened and stabilised. The period of emerging prosperity made it possible at last to bring up a family in what we would now term middle-class comfort.
And The Boomers Begat The X Generation
In the US these parents of the Boomers have become known by the descriptor, the Greatest Generation. Tom Brokaw, a US TV News anchor and writer, who in his writings described how our Boomer parents had suffered, and survived, through the hardships of, not only the Great Depression, but also a 7-year-long World War, awarded them this honorific title. There are Boomers who may also have had young parents or older brothers or sisters who were members of Silent Generation. This is the group generally born in the period 1925 – 1942. We older boomers in turn produced Generation X, a significantly smaller generation than we Boomers, and who joined our world between 1965 and 1984. Now Boomers have Millennial grandchildren, a group approaching the size of the Baby Boom at its peak.
Where To From Here?
The Sandwich Generation A Transition
Many of our generation are now finding ourselves in a rather unique situation: there are a not insignificant number of us, in mid-life or older, caring for our elderly parents while still raising children and sometimes grandchildren at one and the same time. The oldest of us are at an age (70-76) where we might require elements of care services ourselves, while the younger of us are attempting trying to balance care for our parents, children, careers, and ourselves. We have become the ‘Sandwich Generation…….
Want to Get Involved?
I would really like to hear from you (in the comments below) if you need any questions answered. If you have anything to offer in the way of experience in this area then please do contribute I am always keen to hear of other’s experiences and to keep learning; I will answer all comments as I am able.
I hope, that you have found this post of some use and that I have hit the mark that I was aiming for when I set out to write it; you my readers, I think, are easily the best judges of that!
Be healthy and stay safe and stay home.
P.S. If you are a Boomer then, like me, I am sure that you will have some wonderful stories and adventures to tell. These stories could also be a useful source of income, either to supplement your retirement planning, or add to your discretionary spending power, if you are already in retirement.
If this post has inspired you to become a Blogger yourself, and make money while you do it, you can find out how to do just that, by reading my post on Blogging for Business How To Go About It.
This includes an easy FREE method to get started and FREE hosting of a website upon which to base you Blog.
What have you got to lose!