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The Baby Boomer Ripple Effect

We are living in the middle of a social experiment in the western world and witnessing many new trends. The first trend is we are living longer. In the last 90 years the average life expectancy has increased by over 30 years and the ripple effects of this are just becoming known. We are moving in a very different direction and seeing life and life stages in new ways. The Baby Boomer generation is healthier, brighter, well-traveled and generally more enlightened as a group than previous generations. They are full of vitality, desire and enthusiasm and ready to start a new life adventure after 50.

Here are some more facts that contribute to the Boomer ripple effect:

  • Baby Boomers comprise 59% of the population in North America.
  • Baby Boomers control more than 75% of financial assets in North America.
  • They account for more than 50% of discretionary spending and buy more than half the new cars and other high-priced products and services.
  • Women in households composed of people 50 and older control more than 80% of the total personal and household spending.
  • Baby Boomers are attuned to health issues, anti-aging products and cosmetic surgery.
  • 69% of workers in North America aged 45 to 74 plan to continue working into traditional retirement years.
  • 59% of Baby Boomers plan to work or participate in community or charity work after retirement.
  • The number of North Americans aged 65 and older will double more than 3 times between 2010 and 2030. You can expect to live 30-40 years in what used to be considered retirement years.

Another trend is that people are retiring earlier. Today, the average age of first retirement in North America is 56 ½. This is referred to as first retirement because this earlier retirement may be a result of downsizing, buy-out packages offered, or reaching the combination of years served and age that triggers the opportunity to retire with a pension from the organization. Many people who retire earlier go on to do other things such as start a new career or business, or choose part-time employment.  If you are in this position of an early first retirement, you are likely to be in the retirement phase longer than any other adult career developmental phase of your life.

If you are a Baby Boomer, this is about having choice and designing life on your terms. It is not a cookie-cutter process and may or may not mean retirement for you. There are plenty of examples of people who love what they do and intend to continue making a valuable contribution in their vocation. Many politicians are elected to serve in their 60's and 70's. Celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, Betty White and Christopher Plummer are working into their 80's and beyond. This is about living a life of purpose, meaning and fulfillment and you get to choose what that is for you.

As a transition and transformation expert and accredited pre-retirement coach I help Baby Boomers create a custom plan to transition successfully into Life After 50. If this article resonates with you, I invite you to check out my web site where you will find valuable resources, information and solutions designed to help you redefine yourself in Life After 50.

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