By Pamela Stephens, baby boomer
As Baby Boomers, we have collectively set quite a few trends and even a few fads. Because our ranks are many, Boomers have lined the pockets of many a toy maker with the likes of hula hoops, Davey Crockett coonskin caps, Tiny Tears dolls, and Tinker Toys; and many a gal my age had a poodle skirt or two and watched the phenomenon of American Bandstand, oohing and aawing over the latest teen idols and their hits.
It seems as Boomers, our generation is doing it again: We are taking the â€œtiredâ€ out of Retired! We are all just too young to â€œRetire.â€ Yes, we want to â€œdownsizeâ€ into condos or town homes and get a motor home or fifth-wheel, but Pah-leeze, donâ€™t call it retirement! That equates with â€œold and tiredâ€ or â€œsick and tiredâ€ and after all, we are just looking forward to traveling, and spending our kidsâ€™ inheritance! As for retirement centers, phooey! We are much happier if you call it â€œactive-adult livingâ€ with a country club atmosphere! There are about 24 million of us active adults here in the good old U.S. of A, which means about 9 percent of our population! And guess what, as all of us Baby Boomers age, that will expand to roughly 40 million by the year 2024! And honey, we are mobile! We are well-educated, affluent and concerned about maintaining our health (in between Krispy Kremes and our Mocha Lattes).
Now we are lining different pockets; those of the â€œactive-adultâ€ building industry! Developers have catered to our whims of wanting communities which offer lots of activities, a simple, stress-free lifestyle, while owning our own individual homes, often without having to maintain and garden the yards! No two-stories for us! Give us plenty of living area, a great-room rather than a formal living room, with a split bedroom plan that allows our guests to be on the opposite side of the house for privacy! And we want beautiful surroundsâ€¦set in the woodlands, or waterfront areas, or at least with a golf course view or a lake/waterscape to look out at! Be sure to give us a â€œlodgeâ€ to gather in, a card room to play canasta, ohâ€¦and how about some craft lessons, tap lessons, two-step or line dancing? The boomer guys want a woodshop, perfectly maintained and well-oiled for making those grandsonâ€™s wooden airplanes and trains! Boomer gals want to create, so give us ceramics classes, oil painting or watercolor lessons, or quilting classes, thank you, kindly! Of course it must have a state-of- the-art gym where we can sweat to the oldies with Jane and learn that new thing called â€œpilates.â€ And to keep us safe, weâ€™d like a gated, guarded environment to keep the owners and boomers away from those who would just like to â€œbrowseâ€. Oh and by the way, can we have a spot to store our motor home, 5th-wheel or â€œtoyâ€ hauler? Because several times a year we want to heed the call of the open roadâ€¦I can almost hear olâ€™ Willie singing to me nowâ€¦â€on the road again, just canâ€™t wait to get on the road, again!â€
Yes, we may be of the age to retire, but to us that just means itâ€™s my bedtime!
Bob and Pam Stephens can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com