Boomer Humor? Maybe not…


Yesterday, I received an e-mail newsletter from BOOMERING_jaLouthain that said the following:

A few weeks ago, I was watching an episode of that crazy TV show Boston Legal. The law firm, Crane, Poole & Schmidt, was defending a radio “shock jock”. He wasn’t a very young man, maybe in his late 30s, and he had made a statement on the air that old folks (like Boomers) should “just die” before they cost the nation so much in social security benefits and medical expenses. The radio station had fired him because he offended much of their listening audience which was in the Baby Boomer category. Shirley Schmidt, (aka, Candice Bergen, the quintessential Boomer, born in 1946) defended him and he won, because the radio station hired him to shock and that’s what he’d done.

Despite the fact that I totally believe in freedom of speech, I was shocked–shocked to think that he had a point. Boomers have always been the darlings of society–pampered, educated, admired, envied, even patronized. But now we’re just old folks like every other generation before us.

You audacious Generations Xers, Yers, XXLers, and Zers! Have you so quickly forgotten that we’ve given you the Internet, video games, remarkable health care, excellent working conditions and infinite electronic and satellite capabilities? Now that we’re old and retiring, you just want us gone?

It’s true, we will put a tremendous drain on Social Security and Medicare, there’s no question of that. And don’t expect medical and insurance costs to go down until the last one of us is a flower child in heaven. But have a heart, “Younguns,” we still have feelings, and we hope to have a lot more years to live as your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. And don’t forget the most important aspect of all this: Someday you TOO will be old.

While this is being said in a tongue-in-cheek way, after the things that I have been reading in cyberspace, the comments here have a sting to them. I’m particularly bothered by the comment of the “things” that we have given as well as the comment that both, Social Security and Medicare will be nearly depleted. In all honesty, I’m not sure what to say or how to react. While a baby boomer will find it funny, the fact that we also brought a lot of pain to our children cannot be dismissed. Many of the articles and blogs that I’ve read speak of the pain caused by broken homes as a result of divorce. Other articles ask what will be left for them after we are done using up Social Security and Medicare and who is going to be left footing the bill.

I think that it is time for the Baby Boomers to look at the Generation X’s square in the face and say “I’m sorry.” Beyond that, I think it is time for the baby boomers to stop and listen to what the Gen. X’es have to say – they are , after all, our children.

Your turn to talk – What do you think?

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Boomer Finances

The two most talked-about things concerning boomers are health care and their finances during their retirement years.  In regards to health issues, most articles that I’ve seen talk about Medicare and private health insurance; for finances, it is Social Security, retirement plans and investments. While informative in a general sense, these articles tend to lump boomers in one single category.

The reality is that there are boomers in their 40’s, in their 50’s and in their 60’s.  Each one of these age groups have different health and finance needs that don’t seem to be specifically addressed in the literature I’ve seen so far.  Boomers in their 60’s , the leading-edge of the boomer generation, have a more pressing need concerning financing their retirement and health care.

In terms of finances for retirement, boomers have more options today than the previous generations of retirees.  We (I’m a boomer myself) can work beyond age 65, we can receive Social Security, we can get payments from the retirement plans (IRA’s, 401K’s, Etc.), we can take out the equity in our homes, start a business.  I believe that the key to a boomer’s successful retirement is going to be multiple streams of income over a long period of time.

With all of these options available, even boomers in their 60’s  that had a modest lifetime income can have a comfortable, enjoyable and rewarding retirement.

What do you think? Are you a boomer in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s?  Are you planning to retire?  What do you plan to do if and when you do retire?  What health concerns are uppermost in your mind?