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The Friday Five

Be the Best Boomer You Can Be

By The Editors

Another U.S. baby boomer turns 50 every 8.5 seconds. And if you run the math, it’s also the case that baby boomers are turning 60 at the rate of 1 every 7 seconds. Yes—you in the back there, hiding your issue of Rolling Stone behind the Wall Street Journal—that means you!

What’s on folks’ minds in tipping past the mid-century mark? One thing’s for sure, our flights of fancy are nothing like our parents’ at this age. The boomers have the luxury of more disposable income for one thing, and a sense that it really is just the halfway mark and not just the beginning of the end. Then there’s all this great company—28 percent of the U.S. population traveling along the same path.

So put your “readers” on because today’s Friday Five is for us in the boomer generation.

1. Get the kids sorted out. Does it sometimes feel as if you speak a different language from the people sitting around you at all those meetings? It could be true. Take a look at PrincetonOne’s helpful report, Understanding Generation Y to learn what makes them tick and why it all sounds so foreign. If you supervise anyone born between the late ’70s and the late ’90s, you’ll learn to value them. And if one of them is just moving back in with you after college, well, at least you’ll know what you’re in for.

2. Oh, just give in and translate. Even if you think texting is an abomination on the English language, you have to accept that it’s happening. The longer you resist understanding it, the more in the dark you will be. Next time your teen sends a message that reads: ?4U*W* you won’t need to panic because you will have read Webopedia’s Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations quick reference guide. Phew.

3. Reclaim your dream. Once upon a time, you were stirred by John F. Kennedy’s words, “ … to show a side of our country which is too often submerged—our desire to live in peace, our desire to be of help.” But for one reason or another, signing on for the Peace Corps wasn’t in your stars. Now it can be. Check out Peace Corps 50+ to learn how you can use the wisdom from your decades of work to help underserved communities around the world.

4. Ignite a second career. You know that what you bring to a job is more valuable now than at any other time in your life. These days, there are employers who agree with you. Based on Marc Freedman’s book, Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, Encore Careers is a website overflowing with opportunity and information for boomers who seek a combination of personal meaning, continued income and the ability to give back.

5. Downsize. Some combination of financial, environmental and cultural change has sparked a new trend: Tiny houses. Whether it’s time to think about downsizing or you’re trying to figure out how to fit returning Gen Y’s and your aging parents into your current house, the Tiny House Blog will most certainly expand your horizons.

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