CONVERSATIONS WITH KIDS

A Boomer finds an unexpected friendship

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As a semi-retired Baby Boomer with grown children and no adolescent grandchildren, I don’t often get the opportunity to converse with a teenager. But I believe in fostering intergenerational understanding and relationships, so I looked around for an appropriate remote volunteer opportunity that would put me in touch with a teen.

I found a program called “Sharing Smiles,” sponsored by a nonprofit organization, Empowering the Ages. Sharing Smiles was created as a response to increased social isolation during the pandemic. It allows people from older and younger generations to connect safely with each other through monitored email.

My penpal and…


This childhood question has a very different connotation for Boomers today.

Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash

I’m betting most Boomers remember “Are we there yet?” from their childhood car rides and during auto excursions with their own kids. It’s a common question that signifies youthful impatience.

In the context of growing older, though, “Are we there yet?” has an entirely different connotation. Boomers are not necessarily impatient about getting to our later years; in fact, old age sneaks up on us rather quickly. We may even be openly or secretly apprehensive about the aging process. “Are we there yet?” is a more difficult question to…


The pandemic has affected Boomers in the workforce in different ways.

Image by glasskid50 from Pixabay

The pandemic that laid waste to the American economy has led to an interesting paradox: Well-off Boomers started to disappear from the workforce not because they lost their jobs, but because they wanted to leave their jobs.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the number of Boomers who retired in 2020 increased dramatically. In the third quarter of 2020, 3.2 million more Boomers retired than in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Pew Research Center. In Q3 2020, 28.6 million Boomers said they were now retired. A…


Why you need a practical strategy for generating retirement income.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

A study by the Stanford Center on Longevity points to two troubling statistics for older workers approaching retirement: (1) one-third of them have NO retirement savings, and (2) for those who have savings, the median balance is about $200,000. The harsh reality associated with either of these scenarios is that they demonstrate why traditional retirement is a big stretch for so many Americans. …


Why debt is one of the biggest challenges for Boomers

Image by Rilsonav from Pixabay

Regardless of age, accumulating debt is a way of life for many Americans, in particular Boomers. Even our federal government carries a heavy debt load.

We learn at a fairly young age about buying on credit. We continue to pay off student debt decades after completing college or graduate school. In order to buy a house, we obtain a loan (otherwise known as a mortgage) and pay interest on the principal for many years. Additional debt may accumulate through multiple credit cards, automobile loans and home equity lines of credit.


How will Boomers handle the retirement boomerang?

Pixabay.com

Almost two years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Retirement Boomerang.” In that post, I cited a study that showed almost half of workers age 65 or above who retired “boomeranged” back to work. They didn’t necessarily want to return to the same job, but they felt a sense of loss when they stopped working.

Many Boomers leave the workforce and then seek out a new career, or a second act, rather than pursue traditional retirement. My wife and I experienced this phenomenon when we left busy professional careers. We weren’t…


“DE&I” is all the rage. Does it represent commitment or is it all for show?

Protesting crowd with one person holding a sign, “No Justice No Peace”
Protesting crowd with one person holding a sign, “No Justice No Peace”
Clay Banks on Unsplash

Have you noticed the term “DE&I” bandied about lately by politicians, business leaders and heads of institutions? If you’re “woke,” then you know it stands for “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.” What does that really mean? In the context of government or business policies, it basically represents treating everyone equally, regardless of social standing, race, sexual preference or any other distinguishing characteristic. Think of it as a three-legged stool that broadly applies to welcoming in people of less-privileged identities. …


What would it be like if generations really got along?

Nathan Anderson, Unsplash

One powerful and potentially lasting way to fight against ageism is to foster greater connections between older and younger generations. The generational divide — caused as much by tribalism as by age — may seem difficult to overcome, but there are beacons of light in the darkness that can help us envision an intergenerational world. Here are three innovative examples:

Encore.org — Encore is a vanguard in bringing together generations. According to this nonprofit organization, “For the first time in U.S. history, people over 60 outnumber people under 18, raising fears of widening generational divides. Encore.org sees another path —…


Why the WHO just started a global campaign to combat ageism

World Health Organization

Who would think that WHO (the World Health Organization) would launch something called the “Global Campaign to Combat Ageism”? But they just did, stating this compelling reason:

“Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is pervasive and has profound negative consequences on older adults’ health and wellbeing. We need to act now to improve the lives of people everywhere. …


“Boomer-preneurs” have a strong chance of success.

Coffee cup with the word “Begin.”
Coffee cup with the word “Begin.”
Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash.com

The number of Boomers who have retired in 2020 dramatically increased. Pandemic-related job losses, as well as ageism, contributed to many more Boomers leaving the workforce in 2020. These factors suggest that the U.S. job market won’t be a particularly good one for Boomers in 2021.

At the same time, however, the U.S. Census Bureau is reporting a significant uptick in new business applications. For example, for the week ending October 3, 2020 — while the pandemic continued to rage around the U.S. …

Barry Silverstein

I’m an author, blogger and retired marketing professional. Visit my website to learn more: https://www.barrysilverstein.com

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