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Who Are The Baby Boomers

Updated on October 9, 2013

The Baby Boomer Generation

Young males returning to the United States, Canada, and Australia following tours of duty overseas during World War II began families, which brought about a significant number of new children into the world. This dramatic increase in the number of births from 1946 to 1964 (1947 to 1966 in Canada and 1946-1961 in Australia) is called the Baby Boom.

In the United States, approximately 79 million babies were born during the Baby Boom. Much of this cohort of nineteen years (1946-1964) grew up with Woodstock, the Vietnam War, and John F. Kennedy as president.

The Ageless Generation

Find some great books on generations, health, recreation, work and retirement of the baby-boomer generation

Size and economic impact

Seventy-six million American children were born between 1945 and 1964, representing a cohort that is significant on account of its size alone. In 2004, the UK baby boomers held 80% of the UK's wealth and bought 80% of all top of the range cars, 80% of cruises and 50% of skincare products.

In addition to the size of the group, Steve Gillon has suggested that one thing that sets the baby boomers apart from other generational groups is the fact that "almost from the time they were conceived, Boomers were dissected, analyzed, and pitched to by modern marketers, who reinforced a sense of generational distinctiveness." This is supported by the articles of the late 1940s identifying the increasing number of babies as an economic boom, such as in the Newsweek article of August 9, 1948, "Population: Babies Mean Business", or Time article of February 9, 1948. The effect of the baby boom continued to be analyzed and exploited throughout the 1950s and 60s.

The age wave theory suggests an economic slowdown when the boomers start retiring during 2007-2009.

Baby Boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power., July 2011 They are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending, buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of OTC medication and 80% of all leisure travel., July 2011

baby-boomer healthcare
baby-boomer healthcare

Baby Boomers and Healthcare

What Are the Problems, and What Can Be Done?

Healthcare has become a big issue for baby boomers.

Over 60% of adults ages 50 to 64 who are working (or have a working spouse) have been diagnosed with at least one chronic health condition, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

The report also says that one-fifth of older workers and their spouses -- 7 million Americans -- either have no healthcare insurance or have been uninsured at some time since age 50.

Trouble Ahead for U.S. Healthcare

The report raises alarms about the ability of the U.S. healthcare system to cope with the future healthcare needs of aging low and middle income baby boomers, who face:

* Increasing healthcare issues

* Unstable healthcare insurance coverage

* High medical costs

* Debt problems

Many Older Adults have Inadequate Healthcare Insurance Coverage

The authors found that many insured older adults have healthcare plans that do not provide adequate protection from medical costs.

* About 6% of insured older adults in working families, or 1.8 million people, are underinsured - their healthcare coverage does not protect them against medical expenses that are high relative to their income.

* One-third of all respondents have medical bill problems or accrued medical debt, and nearly one-quarter (23%) said there was a time they went without needed medical care because of cost.

babyboomer diet
babyboomer diet

Simple nutrition for baby boomers

My nutrition advice is simple: watch your portions, ditch the processed foods, and eat organic.

1. Be generous. Instead of eating generous portions, be generous with your food! Share! Share! Share! When eating out with friends and family, be the bigger person. Take the smaller plate and slide those heftier portions onto everybody else’s plates!

2. If it’s white, it’s out! Cutting down and utlimately cutting out all refined sugar will not only make you feel better, but your skin will shine, fatigue will lessen and sleep will improve, to make you look and feel better no matter what age is on your driver’s license!

3. Opt for organic. Search the market for organic veggies and fruits. If they are not available, go fresh or frozen (you can find organic frozen fruits and veggies in some markets), not canned. Eat organic when it comes to lean protein, good fats, nonfat yogurt and whole-grain healthy carbs. These are wholesome go-to foods that will benefit all aspects of your health.

The Baby Boomers' Guide to Living Forever

senior fitness
senior fitness

Senior Exercise and Fitness Tips

HOW TO GAIN ENERGY AND FEEL STRONGER

Thinking about how to begin a fitness routine? Good for you! As you grow older, leading an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Regular exercise helps seniors maintain health, boost energy, and improve confidence.

The good news is-no matter your age, your health, or your fitness level-you can benefit from moving more. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness, there are big and small ways to get more active and boost your fitness level.

Exercise is the key to healthy aging

Have you heard exercise is important for older adults, but don't know where to begin? You're not alone. Many seniors feel discouraged by fitness barriers, such as chronic health conditions or concerns about injury or falls. If you've never exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or maybe an ongoing health problem or disability is keeping you from getting active. Perhaps you think you're too old or frail.

The truth is that you can't afford not to get moving. Exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. It can help you manage the symptoms of illness and pain, maintain your independence, and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. And not only is exercise good for your body-it's good for your mind, mood, and memory.

No matter your age or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. Reaping the rewards of exercise doesn't require strenuous workouts or trips to the gym. It's about adding more movement and activity to your life, even in small ways. Whether you are generally healthy or are managing an illness-even if you're housebound-there are many easy ways to get your body moving and improve your health.

5 Myths about Exercise and Older Adults

Myth 1: There's no point to exercising. I'm going to get old anyway.

Fact: Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer's and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Myth 2: Elderly people shouldn't exercise. They should save their strength and rest.

Fact: Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for the elderly. Period. Inactivity often causes seniors to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more hospitalizations, doctor visits, and use of medicines for illnesses.

Myth 3: Exercise puts me at risk of falling down.

Fact: Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance, actually reducing your risk of falling.

Myth 4: It's too late. I'm already too old, to start exercising

Fact: You're never too old to exercise! If you've never exercised before, or it's been a while, start with light walking and other gentle activities.

Myth 5: I'm disabled. I can't exercise sitting down.

Fact: Chair-bound people face special challenges but can lift light weights, stretch, and do chair aerobics to increase range of motion, improve muscle tone, and promote cardiovascular health.

Are baby boomers healthier than previous generations?

US Population distribution
US Population distribution

During the first quarter of our lives, we usually look forward to our birthdays. Another year takes you closer to exciting milestones: becoming a teenager at 13, learning to drive at 16 and legally sipping on "adult" beverages at 21. By the mid-20s and onward, anticipation gradually turns to hesitation for many adults. Celebrations for one's 40th year are often festooned with black decorations. After that, birthday parties might be low-key affairs or disappear altogether.

National attention is fixated on one upcoming over-the-hill birthday. In 2011, the oldest members of the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) turn 65. With that, the largest adult population in the United States officially begins its march into old age. But the federal government isn't pulling out balloons and party whistles; it's sounding the alarm bells. Baby boomers will more than double the number of elderly people in the nation, and the healthcare system is far from prepared to manage the influx [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. A federal study estimates the United States is short around 29,000 geriatricians to support the spike in elderly patients [source: La Ganga].

Medical technology and improved nutrition have drastically extended our lifetimes. Old age in particular has lengthened for the average Joe. A century ago, people who reached 65 years old could survive about 12 more years. Today, that figure is close to 19 years [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. That means that roughly 71 million baby boomers who turn 65 in the coming years have two more decades ahead of them.

Although boomers will likely outlive their grandparents, does that mean they're a healthier bunch? When comparing today's older adults to those a century ago, the results favor baby boomers. Thanks to vaccines and antibiotics, baby boomers are less likely to suffer from infectious diseases and acute illness. Chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, for example) develop 10 to 25 years later in life [source: Kolata]. Disability rates have dropped, and the quality of life has improved.

Share your dieting experiences, what exercise works best for you, your hobbies, or ... just say hello

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    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Nice work on your lens. It's one of the topics I'm most curious about. I just began setting up a lens about Burial Insurance (I am not licensed to sell any kind of insurance -anywhere). It is just informational in nature, based upon my own experience and observations after I decided to look into it for myself.

      Good luck to you. I am interested in what you might write next.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      Interesting subject and well done lens.

    • LotusLandry profile image

      LotusLandry 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Whoops! I am one year too old to be a Boomer. I am trying a Zumba class which is a very demanding exercise class.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      1964... that makes me a baby boomer :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      I am not a baby boomer, but my mom is. Health is definitely a big issue for those coming up in age (as well as the rest of us). Some great tips here.

      ~BLESSED~

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      There certainly are a lot of us Baby Boomers aren't there?

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 

      6 years ago

      Great advice, we can do a lot to stay healthy despite growing older!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Very nicely written article! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I am a baby boomer, born in 1958, a few days before Michael Jackson. Just noticed him in the year book. Great lens :)

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 

      6 years ago

      Great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Good info :)

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 

      6 years ago

      i'm one of them. lol

    • Hana4 profile image

      Hana4 

      6 years ago

      I love this lens! Taught me something new and with a touch of humour :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Great details on baby boomers.

    • Surfer83 profile image

      Surfer83 

      6 years ago

      very good read thank you for sharing.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I am one year too old to be considered a boomer -- but I'm close enough to relate to the issues. I completely agree with your information on activity and exercise for seniors. It goes a very long way in preventing unwanted things -- and prevention is my mantra.

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