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Baby Boomers Approach 65 - Glumly


January 1, 2011, marks the moment when the oldest members of America's Baby Boom Generation — 79 million born from 1946 - 1964 — begin turning 65. For the next 19 years, about 10,000 people will cross that threshold every day. By 2030 when all members of that generation have turned 65, fully 18% of the United States population will be at least that age.

According to D'Vera Cohn and Paul Taylor in a report for the Pew Research Center, the Baby Boomers could also be called the "Glum Generation." They took over the spotlight during the 1960s when many of them dreamed of reshaping America with the ideals of the counterculture. But they saw their hopes shattered with the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They were raised in front of the television set, and consumerism has always been at the center of their lives. As a result, they have a sense of entitlement that has now resulted in feelings of disappointment at the state of the nation and their own situation.

Some 21% say their own standard of living is lower than their parents' was at the age they are now. And 34% of Boomers believe their own children will not enjoy the benefits they themselves have enjoyed.

The typical Baby Boomer believes that old age doesn't start at 65 but at 72. Asked whether they feel younger than their actual age, 61% say they do — they feel at least nine years younger than their chronological age.

This fascinating report also has interesting things to say about Baby Boomers and their responses to the changes in American culture, personal finances, security and retirement expectations, the digital revolution, the role of government, the national debt, and much more. Cohn and Taylor's report also includes links to earlier Pew studies on many of these topics.

Read this at Pew Social and Demographics Trends


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