The Greatest Generation is leaving us at an ever increasing rate. So, even if we’re not totally prepared, the torch is being passed to the Pre-boomers (those born between 1930 and 1945) – now known as New Seniors. Beginning next years, boomers will turn 65 at the rate of one every ten seconds through 2030. With this passage to New Senior status comes a new responsibility: to be of service.
Most of us remember what our parents, teachers, leaders and role models said about the joy of giving and how this made us feel like part of a community. Being born during the Great Depression or the War and growing up in a country that was putting itself back together and then beginning to reap the harvest while we were still young made us realize how bad and how good life in America could be.
These caring folks told us we could accomplish our goals and achieve the pinnacle of success if we studied diligently, worked hard and did the right thing. We believed them, and for many these dreams came true. This did not necessarily materialize in us being at the top of the financial heap. However, it meant we did well enough in providing for our families and approached retirement with some degree of security. Although the downturn in economy has caused many of us to wonder if we might outlive our money.
So now we’re New Seniors, with the last of us turning 65 this year. But don’t worry about being the forgotten generation as the boomers come on board in 2011. Being a New Senior is not a generation thing. The only way to be one is to reach the age of 65, but that’s only the beginning. You must wear the title for awhile, get used to this new phase of life and then pass it on to others.
The others include those making the journey with us as well as everyone else – those older and the generations of those behind us. New Seniors believe the country needs us now more than ever. We are the last to grow up in an America that truly sacrificed and united to overcome adversity and common enemies. We embraced the values, standards and traditions of those who went before us and applied them to improve our lot in life and to make our nation a better place for all. The time has come to share what we received.
In retirement, we have the opportunity to make important contributions once more, or, for many of us, to simply continue doing what we’ve been doing. If you don’t know what role you can play, check out the activities going on at your place of worship, community clubs, service organizations, schools, political groups, anywhere people congregate and volunteers are needed. They’ll put you to work for a good cause.
For those that don’t think you can make a difference, think back to those younger years when someone took the time to make a difference in your life. Then do whatever it was they did for you. You soon discover there’s nothing like being of service to get out of your our head and focus attention on the greater picture. It’s one of those situations were everyone wins.