The 5 Myths of about Boomers!

The times they are a changin’…in so many ways, and very importantly for those of us born after 1946 and before 1965. Here we are, a generation that has seen and done so much and has so much more to see and do. And…we are NOT looking at retirement through the same lens as our parents or grandparents. We live longer, want more, do more, and are wondering when our culture and society is going catch up with us! Well, we may have to show the world who we are now, not who we were in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. We are breaking all the rules of the ‘golden years’ and making brand new ones.  


1. People over 55 want to retire by 65, lead a quiet life, maybe travel, play some golf/pickleball/tennis/etc., or join some kind of club, and then…wait patiently to die. MYTH BUSTER: In the last decade, Boomers have shifted from “I’m never going to be able to retire,” to “I never want to retire.” Increasingly Boomers have found ‘retirement’ to be about as relevant as a slide-rule even if they are having fun playing golf/pickleball/tennis/etc. Boomers want to and need to be relevant as much as they did before retirement.  

2. There’s no way to start a whole new life after a long career. MYTH BUSTER: 63% of Boomer households have at least one person working. That number could go up, both for economic and mental health reasons. People are discovering that the more engaged and active they are, the happier and healthier they are. We are living, on average, as many as 20 years longer than our grandparents. Boomers are discovering how important it is to pro-actively transition into a new normal that is just as, or even more, fulfilling.  

3. Nobody wants my skills except maybe as a volunteer. MYTH BUSTER: Boomers want to work on their own terms and are finding unique and fulfilling ways to do just that. Recently, the AARP cited a study indicating that 40% of adults working at age 62 have experienced a career change since they turned 55.  

4. My skills from my work life aren’t transferable to anything else once I retire. MYTH BUSTER: Boomers are twice as likely as millennials to plan to start a business in the next year. They know how to be successful when they focus on what they enjoy. The skill sets in many ‘retirement communities’ can boggle the mind. CEO’s, Consultants, Project Specialists, IT ‘Wiz Kids’, Professors, Architects, Librarians, Engineers, Scientists, Accountants, Authors, Artists, Educators, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters, Health Care Professionals, Master Gardeners, Pilots, Massage Therapists, Mental Health Therapists, Journalists, Craft Professionals, Lawyers, Athletes…you name it, Boomers got it! Economists have continuously told us that the main constraint to growing the American economy is not capital, technology, nor demand—it’s the labor supply. Without Boomers, the labor supply is actually in danger. We need working Boomers to propel the growth that will continue to grow the economy.  

5. Life has purpose and meaning only when I’m working and/or making money. MYTH BUSTER: Boomers want to be active, involved, engaged and part of a vibrant community. Boomers want to and are transitioning into exciting new ventures that defy old or tidy definitions.  

Research from a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry says having a purpose in life contributes to people maintaining their physical and mental functions as well as independence as they get older. Purposeful living has already been linked to other aspects of wellbeing, like a longer life, lower risk of disease, better sleep and healthier behaviors.  

Here are some facts that might surprise you:  

  • There are 74.9 million Boomers in the U.S. Boomers have always had an outsized presence compared with other generations, and that’s translated into their purchasing power, shift in perspective, and a consistent refrain, “what’s next?”  
  • 70% of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by Boomers. Boomers can use that purchasing power to shift attitudes and create change for this generation. 
  • Boomers are more ‘connected’ than ever and are using their connections to network and find new ways to collaborate, to invest, to work, and to have fun! More than half of Boomers who use social networking sites visit a company website or continue their research as a result of seeing something they are interested in on social media. 82% of Boomers belong to at least one social networking site.  
  • Boomers want to stay engaged and ‘relevant’ but many are not sure how to start. Increasingly the literature on longevity and overall well-being indicates that healthy lifestyle habits, strong social connections and engaging in complex problem-solving activities can, for many, double their ‘good years’. A successful strategy for thriving longer is to work longer at something you love – whatever that might be.  

The Encore program was created specifically to guide Boomers in the process of discovering what you love and to help you take action - start reinventing, reinvigorating, and renewing yourself to get the most out of this amazing stage of your life.