Issue No. 2 – February 17, 2012
In This Week’s Issue:
• There’s Something Happening Here
• Power to the People
• People Get Ready
• RIPE Review
• Next Friday’s Pulse
THERE’S SOMETHING HAPPENING HERE (Buffalo Springfield, 1967)
“What it is ain’t exactly clear…” But let’s see if this sounds familiar.
Now that you’re 50-something (or 60-something), you’re reflecting on your life. Everything you’ve learned, the people you’ve met, where you’ve been, what you’ve done. And how far you’ve come since those days.
You might be thinking about our generation, too. And the big ideas we Baby Boomers championed – like feminism, the environment, gay and lesbian rights, diversity. We changed thinking, institutions, and lives.
And now, like the rest of us, you’re feeling restless. You’re thinking about things you never quite got around to. And you’re wondering, “What’s next?”
But just as you’re looking around, the role you’re supposed to play “at this age” comes down with a chilling clank. A voice rings out, “Drink up, everyone. It’s closing time.”
Or is it?
POWER TO THE PEOPLE (John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, 1971)
Fact is, we’re not going anywhere. Quite the contrary. The cliché is that at this stage of life our power is diminishing. The reality is that it’s on the rise.
• 78 million U.S. Boomers – 9.8 million Canadian Boomers
• 50-plus and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population by 2015 (AARP)
• 50-plus control 67% of the nation’s wealth (U.S. Census and Federal Reserve)
• Those 50 to 64 have the greatest net worth (Statistics Canada)
• Seniors have more disposable income than members of other age groups (Public Health Agency of Canada)
• People over the age of 50 outspend younger adults by $1 trillion annually (Psychology Today)
• 90 percent of those 55-plus vote; the highest turnout of all age groups (Statistics Canada 2011)
And, finally, according to Statistics Canada, as Boomers pass their 50th birthdays, we will become “a force that will have greater social, financial and political clout than any other group in the past.”
PEOPLE GET READY (The Impressions, 1965)
For us, this stage of life isn’t about bucket lists or whether or not to go grey. And it’s not our parents’ version of retirement, either. We don’t want to repeat history – we want to make it.
We want a revolution.
What will the revolution look like? We’re just in the early stages, but already important signs are emerging (more on this in Pulse in the weeks to come):
1. We’re thinking about the values that inspired us so many years ago. According to AARP, the messages of our youth still ring true with us today. “Be anything you want.” “Work well with others.” “Change the world.”
2. Work will be central – and not just as idle pastime. What we do has always been important to Boomers, and work’s meaning and purpose in our lives will intensify.
3. We’ll see ourselves as a tribe again. After years of doing our own thing, we’re going to come together.
Picture a great, big, human wave sweeping the world as the talents, the power, and the passions of this generation are unleashed yet again. What we choose to do next will not only transform our own lives – together, as a movement, we will change the very definition of what it means to be 50-plus. “Oh, the times, they are a-changin’.”
Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan, recently released, celebrates an entire list of good things that are 50-plus. One, it was created to honour and support 50 years of Amnesty International. And two, it features 80 musicians from Adele to Ziggy Marley, including Jackson Brown, Pete Townshend, Seal and Jeff Beck, Sting, Bryan Ferry, and Pete Seeger who, at 92, sings ‘Forever Young’.
For readers of RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50, each issue of Pulse will offer additional ideas. We’ll share what’s working for others and identify critically important steps like this one.
In Tell to Win, Peter Guber, 69, wrote about how, as CEO in the early ‘90s, he used the film Lawrence of Arabia to help pull Sony’s pieces together, just as Peter O’Toole’s character pulled together a disparate group of Arab tribes to fight for a common cause. “How? By moving every member of our tribe to feel – and therefore believe – that by pulling together we all could gain in security, opportunity, achievement, and pride.”
As you find your way into this emerging movement, we encourage you to gather a supportive group of the Boomer tribe around you. Julia dubbed this the “Ripe Circle” – people you can reach out to whose job it is to help you find your courage, keep the faith, and maintain forward momentum.
Choosing the right people for your Ripe Circle is essential. Do they see the years ahead as a time of opportunity? Do they want to see you explore and grow? Are they positive, constructive, and hopeful? And if you’re wondering where your Ripe Circle might come from, consider family and friends, trusted colleagues, and new acquaintances (as your thinking shifts, you’ll be surprised at who starts to show up in your life). You might even explore whether an existing group – such as a book club – might reinvent itself, with members supporting one another on the journey of a lifetime.
Next Week’s Pulse:
Are Boomers leading the economic recovery?
Keep your finger on the pulse. There’s a sign-up option in the right-hand column of this page. (Or visit juliamoulden.com and send us an email.)
Julia Moulden is an author, speaker, and columnist. Trisse Loxley is a writer and editor for media and corporations.
Copyright 2012 Julia Moulden and Trisse Loxley. All rights reserved.