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.
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.
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.