Baby boomers have led such active and eventful lives that they feel retirement is quite absurd. Yet retirement has become a reality, more so now that the baby boomers are in their fifties and sixties. Now it is time to seriously think about retirement and its significance for us.
Traditionally, people consider retirement with relief and joy. Most people look forward to living the rest of their lives comfortably and peacefully. The vision of sleeping late, participating in sports such as golf or fishing, taking up hobbies that they had put off for a long time, and living a leisurely life is alluring indeed.
Retirement can also bring a lot of fear and anxiety. If a baby boomer is drawing close to the age of retirement and has not yet done anything to prepare himself or herself financially for retirement or has still not reached his or her career goals, retiring is not a pleasant idea.
We have seen two extreme visions of retirement. Both have been fed by equal doses of reality and myth. Baby boomers, however, are quite adept at redefining myths as well as reality. Now that they are moving closer to retirement, baby boomers are about to redefine the very concept of retirement.
Baby boomers like to be prepared for everything; they hate being caught unawares. They did not have the privilege of working under employers who were loyal to them and wanted to keep them employed for long years. Naturally, they cannot expect a hefty retirement packet from their employers. But, thanks to their nature of preparing themselves for everything, they have prepared well for their retirement.
Many of them are members of the AARP, which offers a number of opportunities and resources to enable baby boomers to create a more financially secure future for themselves. The fact that they received absolutely no benefits from previous employers, therefore, does not make much of a difference. For baby boomers, however, becoming financially secure is not the be-all and end-all of life.
A popular myth that surrounds retirement is that it marks the end of a person’s productive life. The idea of living leisurely, allowing younger people to provide for us, is neither appealing nor healthy. People are happiest when they are creative, productive, useful, and when they are trying to achieve a goal. It has been observed that if a senior citizen retires and ceases to participate in life, his or her will to live declines. Their life, therefore, ends sooner than it is intended to end.
Many baby boomers are still financial set back, which might require them to work well beyond their retirement age. This could actually be a blessing in disguise. It will give baby boomers an extension on life and enable them to live a longer, healthier, and more productive life. Baby boomers who actually retire have dreams of a second career more suited to their taste and age. Besides, a second career would also bring in a steady stream of revenue.
If you are a retired baby boomer, you could revive your interest in a cause that you have felt strongly about. Throught their lives, baby boomers have fought for one cause or the other. The best way for most of them to spend their retirement years is to become activists and work toward creating a better world. After all, they had done the same in their youth, when they were pursuing their college degrees.
Baby boomers will make the world a wonderful place to live in only if they remain active and productive all their lives.