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Dolmance
03:35 PM on 03/11/2013
Man, I don't want to be around for this. I'm a gonna run.
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JMilton1976
03:29 PM on 03/11/2013
I'm not a member of the boomer generation, but I am a doctorate in sociology who has studied the impact of the boomer generations on our culture using many different variables. I have also come to many conclusions. The most dire and probably my most certain is this country, as we know it,will not survive the aging of most selfish generation this country has yet to see into adulthood. The boomers will not go quietly into the night as they have literally a lifetime of being told they are special. They will fight tooth and nail to find the fountain of youth. In turn they will crash all systems we know today as entitlements.

This is beyond politics. This is simply as numbers issue at this point. We have a bulge of people about to lean on a bottle neck of people for support. Something will have to give.
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CassidyK
nere do well about town
04:57 PM on 03/11/2013
Thank you, Doctor.
I do not give much credence to the soft science you practice.
To much attention is given to economists and sociologists.
But on the topic of baby boomers, you are spot on.
At 59 years of age I have watched my generation make more demands and display more of the entitled attitude than any generation before or since. It's embarrassing.
I remember as a child hearing from so many parents saying that their children were not going to be truck drivers, their children were going to be college educated professionals.
Smooth move. No more manufacturing in this country.
We have lawyers, MDs, MBAs and PhDs coming out of our ears. All with severe narcissism disorder.
It might not have been such a big problem if there weren't so damn many of us.
Medical advancements in prolonging death have been enormous while the fear of death has been ignored.
I know I am talking about a lot of peoples parents and grand parents but the boomers got it all wrong an don't deserve this much consideration.
Unlike the greatest generation this country owes nothing to the boomers.
Save yourselves and cut us loose. We are the grasshopper generation and the ants should let us freeze in the economic winter.
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skylark
Tangled up in blue..
05:25 PM on 03/11/2013
Speak for yourself, you nasty, self centered sadist. It is not the Boomers' fault that the jobs have left the country. The Boomers worked for decades and paid higher payroll taxes for decades, which supported the Greatest Generation and the Fifties generation. The Boomers did not complain, because in those decades most people realized that taxes were part of citizenship, and no one begrudged these generations their retirement. Boomers also paid for their kids' college, their cars, their stylish clothes, their European vacations, their graduate degrees, their weddings and their divorces. Fast forward to today, and all we hear is endless whining from gen-x and the millennials, after benefiting from Boomer generosity, about how the Boomers are infringing on their future. I defy you to find a modern country that doesn't have some retirement program similar to SS, but most people accept it as part of civilized life. And I am sure, Cassady, that you are quite well off and probably never worked, or you wouldn't be living so far from reality.
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JMilton1976
08:28 PM on 03/11/2013
It is much more drastic when compared to the greatest generation. The greatest sacrificed and for that "spoiled" the boomers. The boomers are a bulge that will destroy this country. It's a simple numbers game at this point, the resources have been horded by the boomers and now they expect those who follow to take care of them? They did it to themselves.
05:02 PM on 03/11/2013
Yikes. Gee, I was never told I was special and do not consider myself selfish. I have worked sine I was 15 paid into the SS system and my retirement plan is a Smith and Wesson. Thanks though for your estimed presentation of your opinions. Good Luck.
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JMilton1976
08:26 PM on 03/11/2013
You were never told you were special? HA! The entire history of your existence has been one long catering to whatever issue your age group is facing. You really have to be entrenched in the generation and/or blind not to see how the last 60 years has been about "you". 
thebigbike
ran away to be a cowboy
03:15 PM on 03/11/2013
good luck with that.
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vflores399
02:52 PM on 03/11/2013
Great article, I do much of what it says we should do, need to work on a few more LOL Am going to be one of those people who work until they die, I just know it. Being home all day and not doing much will drive me nuts. Yup, I'll work until the day I die...and after a pay day would be good too :P
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lakat
Haiti lives.
02:49 PM on 03/11/2013
The best things you said were about giving value to living to an old age. Being put out to a not very attractive pasture for several years is not going to cut it. Quality of life is key and as you age, you want to make a difference more and more. It's time to make your life count for something if you haven't done so already. Having those opportunities and not being invisible to the rest of society would be great. I'm with Miki Write about age of retirement though. Some people are dying in their 50's and 60's. It's very individual. Keeping busy and vital are good and we should really work on that.
02:48 PM on 03/11/2013
I suspect that one of the most profound effects our generation will have is that like previous generations we will curtail our spending. As you point out a lot of us can't afford to retire, but we will have to anyway. The people I talk to who can afford to retire are talking about ways to lock in expenses and avoid taxes. With something like 70%+ of our GDP tied to consumption, this could be a large drag on the economy.
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Ken Dychtwald
09:00 PM on 03/11/2013
Thanks Ran - you're right. However with some extended work, their ability to remain able to buy things will improve. Aldo, don't forget that younger people aren't doing all that well financially. In fact the boomers represent over 2/3 of all purchases today, while the sought after youth market is struggling to survive.
09:31 PM on 03/11/2013
I didn't realize it was THAT skewed.  That's kind of alarming.  Nobody ever says anything about that.  How can that be sustainable?
01:32 AM on 03/12/2013
I think it's worth noting that the Baby Boomers are losing what money they have left because they are supporting their children and often their grandchildren. They are also SUBSIDISING the very low wages that are being paid across the board by doing so. We need to move back to a society that has community and standard of living and happiness at the centre instead of the fraudulent "economy" and "consumerism".
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Jannsmoor
02:34 PM on 03/11/2013
Retiring at 70??? You have to be kidding. Why not take a more intelligent approach. We know, as a general rule, the rich live longer, and those who work hard for low wages don't. 
Now that we have the scientific ability, once a person reaches 60 or 62 (or you pick a number) why not determine how long a person,on average, is going to live based on their genetic history, the work they have done in their lives, their current medical status, etc? Why force someone whose body has broken down at age 60 from too hard work to eek out a poor existence until 70, and then a meager existence until their early death? And why let someone who has hardly worked in their lives because they inherited wealth and will be healthy until 80, receive retirement benefits at 70? 
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Horatio Nelson
I was born at a very early age . . .
02:33 PM on 03/11/2013
I don't want to be a "Boomer" anymore. May I get off at the next stop?
09:02 PM on 03/11/2013
That next stop is "Busted".
Jay Haney
My nuclear family imploded when I was 18. I've bee
09:47 PM on 03/11/2013
That's the funeral home...you sure that you want to get off there yet?
02:12 PM on 03/11/2013
I was waiting for the "and for just 29.95" pitch for buying the book and tape set. Of course lets get the elderly retrained , to do what. Many of the 40-60 years olds that got laid off during the wall street recession (they did not have it they caused it). have they highest rates of long term unemployment. Partly because no one wants to hire any body in that age range. If you had career paths with that overly broad training Pablum perhaps this article might have had some merit. Also the age increase for life expectancy is not for everyone. There is a class bias in the expectancy rate. Affluent have gained about 7 years, those not well not so much. This whole article is a pantload. "Remove all economic, legal and hiring/retaining disincentives for older adults" Yeah just change them, poof they are all gone. I would not doubt that this is one of Pete Peterson;'s operatives or the "Fix the Debt" group. How about instead of setting social security higher, we just move the "cap" so that those that pay a full 6% goes from 110,000 to 250,000 before the rest of your income is not taxed. That now means that we don't care if people are really living longer or just the rich are.
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Ken Dychtwald
02:21 PM on 03/12/2013
Thank you Kevin - for your comments. In fact, people over 55 actually lost jobs during the recesion at a lower rate than all younger age groups. Indeed there were over 4 M more 55+ people working in 2011 than in 2006. So....in fact, while many older adults are struggling to get good jobs, some of that struggle might have to do with their skills or compentencies (or lack thereof), not their age. And, as Ii wrote, in this longer lifespan, we'll all probably need to work longer and get retrained again and again.
02:57 PM on 03/12/2013
Don't know where you got your numbers,   From my research about half of the long term unemployed are over 55.  Their unemployment rate has doubled from 3.1% in 07 to 6.2% in 2010.  www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/long-term-unemployment-a-_n_1857516.htmlBecause of their skills and experience, older workers are less likely to lose their jobs, but will have a harder time getting hired once laid off.http://www.moneynews.com/Economy/Baby-Boomers-Jobless-employment/2012/05/04/id/438078
02:06 PM on 03/11/2013
I agree with much of what you have written, except retiring at 70. That is wishful thinking for a great many people whose jobs require more physical strength and stamina than most 65 year-olds have. I see from your photo you are not old. Someday you will learn that none of us, not even you, is invincible. In our 60's we become more forgetful, tire more easily, injure ourselves more easily, and take longer to heal--even when we enjoy good health. We can be graceful about our diminishing skills, and maintain our sense of humor, but having some young guy try to force us to keep working into old age, is not acceptable. Some may be able to, and we have to face the reality that many can't. We will either be fired because we can't keep up, or hurt someone, or wear ourselves out completely. That is something we need to decide for ourselves. It shouldn't be legislated.
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RJCalendar
Fabulist
03:52 PM on 03/11/2013
Don't go by his photo; it's a kind of reverse Dorian Gray thing.
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Ken Dychtwald
10:04 PM on 03/11/2013
I'm not quite sure what that means. But if it's a kind word - thanks.
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Carol57
01:39 PM on 03/11/2013
This is very idealistic a vision. I see that you have us working until 70 - that's fine for those of us who are healthy enough to do so. The MOST health conscious amongst us are getting cancer, having strokes, etc. - these things CANNOT be controlled inspite of our thinking they can be - to a certain degree of course and with certain diseases ONLY. Ask people living past 100 what they eat - they'll most likely say they fry everything in pork fat. I, though, as a vegetarian and exercise buff was just operated on for breast cancer (early stage - I'm doing great). I would love to work until I drop, but I don't know if I can - and you can be assured that I would NOT like anyone telling me I have to! YES, boomers, like myself, are redefining aging and retirement, BUT it will be on our terms BTW - the way it ALWAYS has been . . . tks though for trying. I have a better idea - don't use our social security money to fund wars - there ya' go - problem solved.
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PalaceOfWisdom
Don't Sleep With Mean People
05:02 PM on 03/11/2013
I'm with you on that last sentence, but where are you guys when the decision gets made? Most of America can't even be bothered to remember we're at war or scream in protest over drones or the end of our civil rights.

What I see on the horizon is the power brokers pitting your generation against mine by deciding to honor your retirement benefits in full by bleeding us for something we know we will never enjoy ourselves. Meanwhile wars, the drug war, corporate welfare etc. will continue.
06:59 PM on 03/11/2013
I agree and I worry a lot about my sons, in their twenties and apparently without the prospects I had. They'll be bearing my retirement costs, which I'm promised about $50K a year in SS/Medi to an average lifespan of 77 and Medicare utilization of about $1000/month. My kids also assume the cost of the not-too-Affordable Healthcare, as well as some hope of saving for their own retirements. How much is left to raise the children needed to support them in retirement?

One of the political parties floated a few modest entitlement savings proposals. That mistake was exploited by the other and may have lost an election or two. Vote for them if this is a great concern of yours.
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Carol57
07:26 AM on 03/12/2013
Perhaps I'm as idealistic as the author of this blog - but, I don't see your future as that bleak. People are more aware than ever about the abuses of big business and government oversight. We are demanding accountability. The Occupy Wall Street movement united and inspired people across the country into action. It's just the beginning of change. You will have a wonderful retirement - even if it means moving to Nicaragua!
01:59 AM on 03/12/2013
I hope you can manage to regain your health Carol. I wish you the very best!
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Carol57
02:41 AM on 03/12/2013
thank you!  
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01:37 PM on 03/11/2013
Very interesting...as a 66 year old, still working, i find it amazing the comment below "so you want us to work until we die"....well....yes. My dad never understood retirement, he died at 92 working at his firm...i have an older brother who still goes to his firm daily...and my young brother is still working as well...we enjoy our jobs...when i had to leave the police force, i went into probation...and soon i will retire from there and go into teaching...i found a program where i can teach in lower income schools for what i probably made when i was in my 30's, but what the heck...i'm married to someone who retired as a pilot and has his own law firm...he will carry those skills with us to our new place and continue with criminal defense...

and i wish the young would stop being so afraid of us in the workplace...could be a fun place if everyone just looked at each others talents versus wrinkles

i can't wait to work with kids...and i hope i can do it into my 80's...after all, my husband has an expensive flying/fishing hobby i need to contribute to...and i have a new single crew that i can't wait to put in the water...
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skylark
Tangled up in blue..
05:15 PM on 03/11/2013
You have no concept of other people's lives and situation. None. Most people do not have a choice about whether to work or not, still others hate their jobs and are in abusive work environments. You are an extremely lucky, privileged person, at least have the grace to try and understand how unusual your privileged situation is.
02:03 AM on 03/12/2013
Yes, I was rather gobsmacked as I read that comment as well.
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01:07 PM on 03/12/2013
the comment was - "so you want us to work until we die"...my answer was and is - most of us will have to work...i don't have a choice...i made the decision to keep the 5 kids i had and all 5 attended college, 2 went to medical school and my husband and I paid for all of their student expenses...that was around $1.5 million...we began saving when they were little...

i agree that most hate the jobs, and i agree that most of us should be able to retire when we want to...but like most, with a large family, my husband and i lost money in the stock market, and have to continue working until everything is paid in full...i have worked overtime as a police officer at the expense of my children's sports, my husband took extra flights to make more money...we struggled like most...we are not rich, and we don't make the $250,000 mark like those they call well off...i had to retire, he had to retire from our jobs and we found others...my husband went to law school in his lat 50's so he could continue working...our children are doing well, and hopefully all our hard work will allow them to have lives better than we have...

but for most baby boomers, working longer is an option...i like the work i do and could never see myself full retired and neither could my husband...priviledged...not really...and if you find yourself in a job you hate, change careers...if
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Lois Rubin Gross
01:20 PM on 03/11/2013
We no longer have the winds at our backs. If you have a job, you are in it for the long haul because movement is made impossible by age discrimination. Most people hit their high point salary at about age 45 or 50. AAfter that, any job movement is downward. physical aging is often not a pure choice but a matter of genetics and what happens when you and your spouse do not age evenly? When one healthy spouse becomes caregiver for a less healthy person? the resources are not in place to make these experiences easy. As for Boomers "reinventing" themselves, that falls to the few who have extensive financial resources and can afford to retrain or "follow their bliss." The rest are just holding on.
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sandyhh
01:19 PM on 03/11/2013
If you sat at a desk most of your work life, retiring at 70 might make sense. But those that stand on their feet and do real physical labor do not have that option. And there is a mental fatigue that sets in when older workers are put under stress of being laid off at their age.

The author assumes it is easy to be treated younger in our society because Baby Boomers have tried to act that way most of our lives. But the truth is that once you reach 50, you are considered a liability by most employers and dead weight by younger workers looking to move ahead. Starting a new business at that age is not realistic if you are a parent trying to get kids through college and paying for weddings.

Telling workers that they can outrun their aging process is just plain silly. Most people by their mid 50's are facing chronic conditions like high blood pressure. One cannot deny that aging takes a toll even on those who are young at heart.
09:14 PM on 03/11/2013
From my personal experience (decades as trackman on the railroad) many of those doing daily physical work are in much better condition at 60 than the desk jockeys are.
Jay Haney
My nuclear family imploded when I was 18. I've bee
09:52 PM on 03/11/2013
I always love the way that Vincent Price put it as he got older myself: "Old age is ridiculous!" It's worth pointing out that he was definitely as young at heart as anybody.
11:50 AM on 03/11/2013
So, your "solution" is to keep us working until we die, thereby preventing younger workers from advancing until we die.
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Ken Dychtwald
12:52 PM on 03/11/2013
Dear jf12
Thank you for reading my blog and for your response. I'd prefer that we all didn't have to work until we die...and surely that's not what I wrote. However, I believe that this longevity revolution requires that we re-think the markers of aging and re-set them to match the 21st century.
02:36 PM on 03/11/2013
"Gerontologist, psychologist, author, entrepreneur and public speaker"

You call that "working"? More than likely you love what you do and would do it even if you weren't getting paid. Not everyone is so fortunate. You want to display some "guts"? Take one of the crummy jobs (with crummy pay) that so many of your peers struggle through every day. See if you're singing the same tune after a couple of years of that. Then you can continue with your pontificating.
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skylark
Tangled up in blue..
05:29 PM on 03/11/2013
You know NOTHING about most people's lives. And the Washington Post has just published research CLEARLY proving that only RICH people are living longer. Working class people are actually dying at younger ages.