Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Defining What A Baby BOOMer Is

Generally speaking, baby boomers are defined as being those folks born between 1946 and 1964, inclusive...Boomers are between the ages of 44 and 62 years old in 2008. Approximately 75 million boomers live in the U.S. and currently represent about 29% of the U.S. population; in Canada, they are known as "Boomies" (6 million); in Britain, they are known as "The Bulge." The term is used to define the "boom" in births after WWII. A Boomer Stats page identifies the number of U.S. births during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The 1960s is the decade that defined the boomers. The music, events, and the social changes made a permanent impression on us. Those of us born during the "peak" boomer years, '52-'57, were in our formative years during the sixties. There were so many changes in the sixties that how old you were during the decade greatly affected how you turned out. 1961 was a whole lot different from 1969!

Those born at the early end of the spectrum were in our early 20s by 1970. The deaths of President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King; the Vietnam war and related protests; and the Watergate scandal... all made deep impressions on us.

At the other end, those born after 1959 have no direct recollection of the assassination of President Kennedy; they were not yet listening to rock music by the time the Beatles broke up. They were much more likely to use illegal drugs.... often to a great and disturbing excess. And they were never subjected to the military draft. So any attempt to lump us all together probably won't work. There is much that ties us together, but also much that separates us.

Many of us are committed to marriage and are still happily married to our high school sweethearts. And many of us have been married and divorced... more than once. We are the generation that pushed the divorce rate up to 50%... and made it seem "normal" and thus acceptable.

Many of us went to work for a company, worked our way up the ladder, and are now enjoying the fruits of our labors. We will retire in a few years, and live a life of leisure, or embark on a second career. But many of us are entrepreneurs, and have never worked for a big company. Many of us plan never to retire.

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