Baby Boomer Generation Characteristics Verses Silent Generation Characteristics

By | March 7, 2015
a supplemental retirement income

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What makes Baby Boomers unique?  The most definitive difference between baby boomers and the silent generation is when they were born. Members of the silent generation was born between 1925 and 1942.  While baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.

Members of the silent generation witnessed the “great depression”. The men and women of this generation participated in World War II.  The silent generation conceived the baby boomer generation.

Baby Boomers and their parents enjoyed the prosperity of the post war years. The only things is, as we all know the population exploded, and because of that boomers have been unique.

When I was growing up, as a baby boomer, my father had the same secure job, and my mother stayed home and took care of things there.  Things were good.  My dads job was nothing special, but he provided for the family.  Everything was cool, and I didn’t think of myself as a “baby boomer”.  At that point I don’t think that any of us boomers considered ourselves to be different.

Then we entered high school and the system declared.  What Are We Going To Do With All These Kids?  To my surprise my sophomore class in high school was bigger than the junior and senior classes combined.

The economy was still booming at that point.  After high school I went into the Army for three years, and I spent the last year and a half of that in Germany. When I came home I saw evidence of the strong economy, because it seemed that every other driveway had a RV parked in it.  For the past three years, the only RV I was accustomed to was a deuce and a half with a canvas cover over the bed.

How These Two Generations Differ

As I mentioned my father worked for the same employer for as long as I can remember, and my mother did not start working until I was in high school.  All that time we lived in the same house.  That was typical of members of the silent generation. 

I on the other hand have had several jobs.  When people ask me what I did before I retired, I have to qualify my response by asking, what part of my life is the person asking about.  My wife has always worked.  And we have moved frequently.  That is typical of members of the baby boomer generation. 


Baby Boomers have been able to become better educated than our parents. Once again I will use my father as an example.  It was not necessary to get a formal education for him to provide for his family. What he needed was a trade, and years of experience. 

a supplemental retirement income

Registration Day

Also a college education was a lot less expensive when I went to school as compared to what it cost now.  I remember showing up for registration with a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. I could pay for a full load of classes and have change for six pack. Today you can not even buy a campus parking permit with two hundred dollars. 

When It Comes Time To Retire

Boomers are living longer than members of the silent generation. When it came time for the silent generation to retire, that is exactly what they did.  Turn sixty two years of age, collect your gold watch, and start drawing your pension. That is what the silent generation did.  That is what my parents did. 

Retirement could not be any different for boomers.  First of all, generally speaking, we can not retire at sixty two.  We have to wait to turn sixty six, and then as long as we have our good health many of us have no intention of retiring.  Either we can not afford to retire, because we do not have a sufficient nest egg to support our lifestyle. Or we need to continue working to be psychological or socially fulfilled. 

It is also likely if we do retire, we have something else in mind which will allow us to make some extra cash, and still be in control of our time.  The internet has opened up new opportunities for us to supplement our retirement income. This is stuff that the silent generation did not have access to.

Boomers are also returning to school or partaking of some kind of training that will enable them generate additional income.


a supplemental retirement income

The Generations

Boomers are expected to live thirty years after we retire.  This may create a problem that the silent generation did not have to cope with.  It was not likely that the silent generation was going to outlive their retirement funds. Members of the silent generation worked for employers who had pension plans. 

Many of us boomers have asked our employers for higher wages.  In order for our employers to comply with our request they have cut our pension plans, and replaced them with 401K’s.  That only leaves us with social security to fund us for the rest of our lives.  Yet another reason that we boomers may be required to find an additional way to make some money to maintain our standard of living.


Okay that is all that I got for now.  I’m afraid that if I write too much, you may look at the length of this post and decide not to read it.  I do want to invite anyone who has any questions or comments to leave them below.  I promise I will get right back to you.

Thank You




12 thoughts on “Baby Boomer Generation Characteristics Verses Silent Generation Characteristics

  1. Ken Pringle

    Darrell, as a Boomer myself I really enjoyed this post.
    So accurate to what I remember as a kid growing up.
    People actually spent time together as family and friends.
    Now we have to step up and share with this new generation
    how to live successfully while sharing and helping others.
    Be well my friend.
    Ken Pringle

    1. darrell dickinson Post author

      Thank you Ken for your kind comment. As I see it we boomers are really in the cat birds set. We have learned from the lessons taught to us for the silent generation (our parents). We draw from our own experiences. Now comes along generations Z and Y, and millennial. And all this information is found on the information highway. We boomers should the most informed generation.
      Thanks again for your comment

  2. Kerry Bramham

    Hi Darrell,
    I am a baby boomer and found your article interesting. Ar you aware that your heading only shows the words ‘A Supplemental R?
    Just thought you might like to know.

    1. darrell dickinson Post author

      Hi Kerry. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post. Also for letting me know about the appearance of the heading. I fixed it by the way.
      I do enjoy writing posts regarding different aspects of Baby Boomer eexperiences.
      Thank you again for your comment.

  3. lavinia myree

    Baby boomers and millenniums have alot in comparison. Both benefited by the sacrifices of their predecessors. Baby boomers benefited from the Silent Gen and Millenniums benefited for Gen X. Baby Boomers were a selfish generation as is Millenniums.

    1. darrell dickinson Post author

      Thank You Lavinia Myree, for taking the time to read, and comment upon this post. It is probably true that boomers have been selfish. It is also true that each generation has it’s own cross to bare. Nobody is perfect, and no generation can lay claim to perfection.
      Thank again for your interest

  4. Joyce Stringfellow

    Hi, I was born in 1941 on the cusp between the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers. I think I have gotten to enjoy the best of both generations. The Great Depression was over and WWII nearly over when I was born. The economy was recovering. We were poor by most standards, but as kid I wasn’t really aware of that fact. Life was pretty easy. We knew what was expected of us and lived our lives as if nothing could keep us from doing what we wanted. Finished high school, got a job without any further education. Got married, had a child and then the world changed with the murder of President Kennedy and the Vietnam War and my life took on the ways of the Baby Boomers. Got a divorce, entered college to get a nursing degree and worked my way up the ladder and enjoying the prosperity of the 1980s. But, I still hold dear the values that I learned from my parents who struggled through the hardships of the depression to help those less fortunate. I am also thankful for my early years that were carefree and safe and allowed me to be a free range kid. And, being on the cusp of the Baby Boomer Generation I learned that it was okay not to be silent. So looking back and looking at the world today I think I was born during the best of times.

    1. darrell dickinson Post author

      Hi Joyce, Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment. I was born in 42, and I remember how peaceful and simple life once was. I’m not saying that things went to hell in a hand basket as we got older. Things did change though. And we had to change also. I guess that’s just the way life is. Each one of us has a story to tell and I deeply appreciate you sharing your story.
      Thank You again for your fine comment.

      1. Ed.

        Hi Darrell, I was also born in ’42. I also remember how peaceful and carefree life was as a child. We didn’t have a car until ’50. Life was good, we played out in the streets of Brooklyn NY. I have come to believe that this experience of interacting with my peers in a 1-1 relationship was most valuable to my maturation. My father was my inspiration in that he guided me in developing positive mores and the appreciation for education. I will be 75 in a few days and I still think that I grew up in the best times in our country.

        1. darrell dickinson Post author

          Hi Ed, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It would be nice to be able to turn the clock back to the days when life was much simpler. That is as long as we can clear our memory of all the conveniences that we enjoy these days, and that we didn’t have access to in the good old days. I guess we just have to take what life has handed us, and make the best of it.
          Thank you again for responding to my post.

  5. Joanna Molloy

    Also born in 1942 & relate more to boomers than the silent generation. Enjoyed your post & the responses. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!


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