Formerly Senior, Not Quite Boomer
October 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
It’s all in the name. Those of us in the category of 65 to 74 have a new appellation–for those who might think this refers to denizens of Appalachia–I’m referring to an identifying name or title. You’ve heard of Boomers. In the news for the sheer size of their age grouping, retirement plans, their purchasing power, Boomers are what’s happening now.
But, now there’s a new classification called “Early Boomers” (some of whom were actually “early bloomers”). We Early Boomers are just ahead of the buffalo herd of real Boomers who are pawing the ground before they stampede into retirement. Elizabeth Harris, South Whidbey Senior Center director, writing in the Senior Services Guide of Island County says Early Boomers “differ from the rest of the Boomer population because they are compelled by economic change to be trailblazers.” Harris says, “the global economic crisis has ushered in a new world and many Boomers have to, or will choose to, reinvent themselves financially.” As Early Boomers we are blazing the trail on how to survive and thrive in this current economic downturn.
Considered too old to be desirable in the job market, we possess skills that a lifetime of work experience has given us. Some of us are entrepreneurs, reinventing ourselves and starting businesses, or consulting, or using our hobbies to make extra income. I have a friend who has built a successful in-home jewelry business. Another has transformed her basement into an art studio and holds classes, bringing in nationally-known artists. Still others are cutting expenses, downsizing, perhaps selling a now too-large home. One couple who grow colorful dahlias are successful selling them at their roadside stand. Another woman has opened her home to a roommate , easing the financial pressure. This summer ambitious gardens were planted and old-fashioned methods of preserving food resurrected. (If you ever spot a pressure cooker used for canning at a garage sale, you can be sure it’ll be snapped up quickly.)
Trailblazers. It’s hard work being a trailblazer. Blackberry bushes may spring back and whip you in the face. There’s no well marked path. But, there is the thrill of discovery and the satisfaction that comes with being able to help others with a, “This worked for me; let me tell you my story.”
Do you know any Early Boomers who are reinventing themselves in this economic downturn? I’d love to hear their stories.
ⓒ Inger Logelin