10/11/2007 02:19 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

10 Curious Things About Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers are a curious bunch. And by "curious" I mean "unexpected," not "inquisitive."

After a recent survey of 26,000 Boomers, Mediamark Research called those born between 1946 and 1964 - which includes me - an "optimistic group." But are we optimistic - or just delusional?

Almost 4 in 10 Boomers say they think they and their household will be better off financially one year from now. Moreover, close to 90 percent say they think they themselves will be financially "better off" or "the same" one year from now (via MarketingCharts).

We vote. We play the lottery. We sign petitions. We exercise.

We stuff our garages with cars and our newly remodeled houses with giant screen TVs.

But, interestingly, many of us have no medical insurance. In fact, a fairly large chunk of Boomers are potentially unprotected financially should they face serious medical issues: Almost one-quarter carry no insurance at all.

And while more than 40 percent of us say that "preserving the environment" is a very important guiding principle in our lives, we nonetheless own a lot of cars (35.6 percent of us live in households with 3 vehicles or more).

Boomers, now age 43 to 61, make up over one-third of the US population, representing a total income estimated to be well over $900 billion. Our economic optimism fuels a lot of spending: Baby Boomers spend more money disproportionate to our income than previous generations, says BabyBoomer magazine.

In its survey released this week, Mediamark said that 55 percent of Boomers say they voted in a federal, state or local election. Almost one-third (30.8 percent) undertook a home-remodeling project; and 41 percent say they played the lottery.

Here's a fuller picture:


So here's what I wonder: Are Baby Boomers optimistic or delusional? Or maybe, are we optimistic to our own detriment?

Do we think we'll never get sick? Do we give money to the environmental causes without downsizing our vehicles?

And, are we approaching the voting booth with the same sort of hopeful resignation as when we buy a scratch ticket?