All About the Boomer Generation

Becoming a senior citizen is a significant milestone that you should feel proud to achieve. Not everyone reaches their senior years. However, transitioning into retirement also comes with several challenges, which many find confusing. Over 7 million seniors suffer from mental health issues. Living an isolated lifestyle often causes an onset of depressive episodes, after all.

With the boomer generation now in their senior years, most issues they face include retirement, health conditions, chronic pain, and thoughts about mortality. Unfortunately, many find these challenges overwhelming. If you classify as a boomer and want to maintain a good quality of life as you age, keep reading. We list some helpful tips for boomers.

A Quick Guide to the Baby Boomer Generation

Why should you care about generation names? People who classify under the same generation have overlapping needs, preferences, and goals. Understanding these similarities helps you plan a more comfortable lifestyle. You might find it surprising how many activities, life goals, characteristics, and habits you have in common with your peers.

Who Belongs to the Baby Boomer Generation?

The baby boomer generation no longer consists of “babies.” This generation was born from 1946 to 1964, so most boomers are already in their 60s and 70s. Of course, this timeline only serves as a guide. Some in their 50s might contest that they classify as millennials, while those in their 70s might identify more closely with the silent generation.

What Are Some Characteristics of Baby Boomers?

The younger generation finds boomers a bit arrogant. However, their self-assurance stems from their strong work ethic, resilience, determination, and, of course, years of wisdom. Boomers are some of the most hardworking individuals in the country. Many companies struggle with daily operations as their boomer employees, managers, and workers leave the workforce. 

However, technology stands as the biggest weakness of most boomers. The boomer generation remains the largest consumers of traditional media platforms like radio, print media, and television. Digital natives primarily rely on the internet nowadays.

The most historically shaping events that boomers have lived through include the hippie movement, the cold war, and post-WWII optimism.

How Do Baby Boomers Retire? 

While recent trends suggest that most boomers wish to retire at around 62 to 65, Social Security benefits only kick in after they hit 67. As such, they opt to delay their retirement. Most retirees live on a fixed income—consisting mainly of government-funded benefits. Of course, those with a sizable 401K might forgo their full benefits and retire earlier.

Retirement Prep Tips for Boomers

Despite the boomer generation being in their 60s and 70s, many still have doubts about retiring. Reports show that over half of all boomers continue working until their 70s. Several factors might cause one to delay their retirement, although the lack of a concrete plan stands as the most prominent reason for most seniors. 

Are you having doubts about retiring? You don’t have to map out your retirement alone. Follow these straightforward, actionable tips on making your retirement years as comfortable and hassle-free as possible.

Plan for Health Emergencies

Boomers should always plan for the worst health emergencies. Assess all the health risks you face, then build enough funds to cover treatment programs if things go south. 

Retiring without health emergency funds comes with several risks. In the worst case, your living relatives could end up paying for the unpaid bills that you accumulate during your treatment.

Seek Financial Help  

You probably never imagined spending your retirement years paying back debt. Unfortunately, life-long debt is a reality for many retirees. Statistics show that 61% of senior-led households in the U.S. carry over $31,000 in unpaid debt. This amount consists of various secured and unsecured types of loans.

Fortunately, it’s not too late for boomers to achieve a debt-free life. Apply for financial assistance programs. Social Security income covers daily expenses, the 504 Home Repair Program pays for home repairs, healthcare subsidy reimburses hospitalization fees, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides stipends for groceries.

Also, as the head of the household, designating a new breadwinner drops your monthly expenses. Most of your kids are likely self-sufficient now. Just focus on managing your debt correctly so that you can live as comfortably as possible.

Explore New Hobbies

Many financially independent boomers continue working post-retirement to feel productive. Not everyone finds retirement fulfilling. After spending six decades of your life hustling, the idea of dropping everything seems unfathomable. This predicament especially applies to boomers who feel “too healthy” to retire.

No, retirement is not reserved for the unhealthy. Retirement should be a happy decision, not a solution to help manage pre-existing health conditions. Trust us—you’ll regret delaying your retirement.

If you can’t get over the need to work, adopt a new hobby. Go birdwatching, ride a bike cross-country, bake goodies, run marathons, solve puzzles, write journals—the sky’s the limit! As a retiree, you have the freedom to take on any activity you want.

Don’t Rush Into Retirement

You don’t have to retire just because most boomers have retired already. Use society’s ideal “retirement age” as a guide, but don’t treat it like a deadline. Retire whenever you want. Either way, retiring too early does more harm than good.

Are you still having doubts about your retirement plan? Senior Strong has you covered! Read our in-depth guide explaining what seniors need to do five years before their retirement age.

We encourage the boomer generation to plan their retirement as early as possible. Remember: early planning plays a crucial role in maintaining a good quality of life as you enter your senior years. Make sure you have sufficient financial resources for at least two to three decades.

Also, don’t let generational stereotypes limit you. Who’s to say that boomers cannot learn the tech skills younger digital natives have mastered, right? No one can dictate what you can and cannot do. Spend your retirement years performing fun, exciting activities with your loved ones—regardless of their generation.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who are considered part of the Boomer Generation?

The Boomer Generation, or "Baby Boomers", refers to people born between 1946 and 1964, during the post-World War II baby boom in the United States.

What are some defining characteristics of the Boomer Generation?

Boomers are often characterized by their optimism, drive, and willingness to challenge established norms. They witnessed significant social change and technological advancements, and many enjoyed the benefits of post-war prosperity.

How has the Boomer Generation influenced society and culture?

Boomers have had a significant impact on society and culture, influencing everything from civil rights and feminism to music and popular culture. Their sheer numbers have also driven economic trends and policies.

Does the idea of retirement scare you? You’re not alone! At Senior Strong, we have several resources geared toward helping readers retire comfortably. Check out our guide on knowing how to prepare for retirement.

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