Part 2 Baby Boomers – ‘Doing the right thing’ is our motto:

‘Doing the right thing’ is our motto:

keys to successContinuing from our last blog, Jim and I are currently planning our keys to success through the development of a major enterprise to provide meaningful service to men and women belonging to what is commonly termed Baby Boomers. The plan, at this point in time, is to develop a menu of relevant and useful programs, resources and services that can be delivered either online or in a more traditional local community setting. We want to offer interested individuals and/or groups the opportunity to select skills enhancement programs that best suit their goals, whatever they may be.  The choices will be varied and tailored to suit our unique learning style – one that has the optimal balance of technology and one-on-one interaction needed to make participation relevant, valuable and convenient – allowing each the opportunity to take full advantage of their considerable experience, knowledge, wisdom and history!

worldOur aim is to ‘do the right things’ and not just toe the line and do things right like retire and lay down to die!   We aim to bring together the most effective elements of cultures – both East and West – around the world.  By striking a new balance between past and future, we see our experienced and wise generation needing some skills education and/or augmentation in order to perhaps reinvent or reinvigorate existing enterprises as well as to forge new enterprises into being. We see our role to be supportive, connective and advisory as well as encouraging – to be the go-to resource for all those in this age zone who have an interest in doing something meaningful with the balance of their lives.

This enterprise is not merely about entreprenological education, diverse knowledge and information. It is far more than that. It is about the baby boomer generation’s evolution from the youth, much like young people today, into our own unique identity. Our generation embodies a source of knowledge and wisdom based upon decades of experience the likes of which the world – by its own admission of the sheer size of our particular group – has never before known. And the best news is that the dynamism of our generation is still very much alive and well and in good hands.

We – those born post WW2 1946-64 according to official birth statistics –  were the first teenagers. We communicated on hand held devices that were connected by an electrical cord to the base set which had its own cord plugged into a special outlet in the wall – and when you left your house; you were incommunicado unless you found a public telephone booth!

teenager 60sWe were the first generation to watch television (TV for you of younger years) – one channel only and it was in black and white. Colour TV was still a few years away and very expensive.  We were part of the ‘Beat Generation’ and we created our very own ‘Rock Revolution’ without the assistance or our elders – as a matter of fact, it was in spite of their resistance. We were there for the ‘Hippie’ movement -remember ‘Woodstock’, ‘Flower Power,’ and ‘Free Love?’ We were the first to use ‘The Pill’ which made ‘Free Love’ a little less scary for some. We saw an ‘Astronaut’ walk on the ‘Moon.’ We witnessed the fall of ‘Berlin Wall.’ We also participated in the ‘Housewife’ entering the work force in increasing numbers. We were some of the first ‘Dual Income Families,’ dined on frozen cuisine known as ‘TV Dinners,’ and bought the first ‘Microwave Ovens’ that made it possible for the busy housewife to finally eat a hot meal – albeit the re-heated food she had prepared and served the family.

We were working parents at the beginning and during the early years of the technology revolution, the creation of the world-wide-web and the electronic leash we all call the mobile phone these days. Today, our children, and to a far greater extent, our grandchildren, have grown up in a world where texting, social media and a telephone in every pocket is a reality rather than an anomaly.  The sheer amount of change that has taken place in our world is almost unfathomable.

couple plus girlWe were destined to become ‘entrepreneurs’ almost from birth as the world that we came into had been profoundly changed not only by wars, but by the growth of small and medium sized business and the sweeping global communication and speed that technology brought not only to our workplaces but our homes, making local business into a global possibility in a few clicks.  Names such as Gates, Jobs, and Branson emerged in the 70s and the 80s, plus we have seen the battle for gender equality (a continually evolving landscape) coming back to the front page as women began to demand more for efforts equal to those of men. Much attention about change today focuses on the younger up and coming generations, and we honour them too.  The growing litany of complaints, however, regarding the anticipated drain that we, as a generation, is ‘going to have on the NHS’ or the fear of having ‘too many pensioners’ and – one of our particular favourites – ‘the Baby Boomers are a growing burden’ saddens our hearts.

We are the first aging generation of increasing size who also lived a different life to that of our parents.  945 million people in the world now are 55-74.  That is nearly 1/7th of the world population.  Ironically we want to not only live longer, healthier and more prosperous lives, we also want to give back – to leave a positive and sizable legacy so all who follow will one day amass the experience that we have and grow into their wisdom with pride and honour rather than embarrassment and bitterness.

So back to the plan!

Men and Women together

Men and Women together

Knowing what we are like as baby boomers, Jim and I seek to create a new framework for this project and for this demographic. What we see is a platform that will employ the best, engage the best and maintain an up to date knowledge base formatted with wisdom, love and the spirit of both giving and receiving with love – the spirit that embodies the Baby Boomer generation, a spirit that we can all be proud of. We are currently researching our peer group – nationally, regionally and globally – to learn as much as we can about our demographic in order to make the best and most appropriate use of what we learn.

World patterns, economically and socially, are changing and our generation can and are already making a huge impact locally, nationally and internationally.  We share the responsibility to put wisdom back on the map!

In Part 3 we take a serious look at the numbers…. watch this space!!!


Baby Boomers Come of Age to Save Themselves and the World’s Economy

Our story begins here…

baby boomersBeing part of the ‘silver generation’ – my husband, Jim, 69, and myself 64 – we are amazed at how surprised governments seem to be regarding the ‘explosion of numbers reaching pension age’ (their words, not ours). They have ‘suddenly’ become aware of the enormous problem they feel they have to solve.   In the UK alone, there has been a 30% increase in numbers, this year over last year, of those reaching pension age.  Of more concern is the fact that now this number will increase as a continuous flood of ‘old people’ – some 600,000 every year from now until 2018 becoming pensioners – in the UK alone.  We ‘oldies’ are seen as a liability all the way around!  And if that’s not enough, this same thing is happening virtually around the world.  The prize has to go, however, to the fact that while the world continues aging and the ‘silver generation’ continues to be the major concern of our governments, those of us of in this age group still have sharp minds, usable skills and a growing pool of wisdom the likes of which the world has never seen before!

Now is the time to turn things around

We are the magic multiplier for a revolution in any economy that cares to assess the assets that are resident within our ranks!  We, and our fellow baby boomers, have the clear potential to be ASSETS; to contribute not just to the coffers filled by taxpayers, but to becoming healthy and wealthy individuals with both the ability and the desire to continue to be wise members of our communities.

Jim and I are unprepared – as are many millions of our age group across the world – to sit in our easy chairs and wait for the grim reaper while simultaneously overburdening the health care system in our respective countries.  That has never been the way we have seen ourselves.  On the contrary, we have decades of wisdom, experience and expertise to offer, and we, my friends, are only the tip of the iceberg.  We are highly motivated and want to be active and self-sufficient because we want to live the life that we have always been told exists as the ‘Golden Years.’  Now that we are here, we can’t find them, but we know that we can create them if given the opportunity to do so.

Our plan as our story unfolds

In the UK today more than 1.6 million people over 55 are running their own business (quoted from SME figures on national registers) and millions more may actually want to be doing the same things but may not have the courage to do so.  Our plan – briefly stated – is to help those of the ‘silver generation’ who wish to realize and utilize their time more effectively mixing business into their weekly activities.

What do we need in order to steel our nerves – to create a small business enterprise?  We need more than reassurance and bravado. We need more of a practical support system.  We believe that would encourage a new creative and entrepreneurial energy in this cohort of people having gained wisdom through experience.  We believe this is possible because we have many years of teaching and presenting critically needed information to a large cross section of individuals using an innovative educational model.  We recently found a similar model with a history of success spanning more than 12 years in Malaysia, albeit for the younger generation.  Our plan at this time is to work with those having created this model for the benefit of the silver generation.  Together we hope to achieve the paradigm shift in education that has been too long in coming. What we need to do now is to find a way to get those with the power and the authority to get things done to recognize the experience and wisdom that we bring to the table.

Why is age not valued as a source of wisdom?

7 mixed BBHigh court judges are appointed for life.  Why?  Because we value their wisdom – and wisdom only comes with experience which, for the most part, comes with age.  Some people never retire because they are passionate about what they do.  Their work is their passion.  In these instances, where people are able to do what they are passionate about and get paid to do so, they never have to work a day in their lives.  They are happy.  They are healthy.  They see the world through different eyes than those who spend 8 to 10 hours a day for 30+ years to earn a pay check in order to live a relatively comfortable life.  And they do it so that one day they can enjoy the fruits of their labours – their ‘silver years.’

This may interest you:

  • Many ‘retired’ people create start-ups or turn a life-long hobby into a business for two primary reasons:
    • To have something to do that they enjoy doing rather than just becoming sedentary, or
    • To supplement their retirement benefits (the government’s word, not ours) to relieve financial worries while doing something they enjoy doing.
  • Studies show that a child’s natural creativity – found in more than 98% of all children starting school – is systematically ‘educated’ out of them by the time they reach have completed their 5th or 6th year of school
  • The education model in use by virtually every institution of higher learning in the world today was developed in response to the growing need for workers for the increasing demand created by the growth and proliferation of industry that came into its own during the mid to late 1800’s[i]
  • Retired people or those nearing retirement show a marked increase in creativity believed to be linked to not having to sell their time to the highest bidder any longer.

No one with a desire to continue working need necessarily stop because he or she ages into the ‘silver generation’ nor do they need necessarily stop doing those things we like to do.  Using our natural talents and acquired skills or being motivated to get up and be active, are all key factors that will help us live a longer, healthier and potentially wealthier life. There are countless success stories of people beyond 55, beyond 60, beyond 65 … who have created successful small businesses and who have created highly successful businesses that have grown into multinational corporations. The point is … if it is something you want to do, you should be able to do it!

Being a statistician, I am intrigued by the multiplying factor that can be extracted from the statistics we have researched. The baby boomer demographic is unique if for no other reason than the sheer size of this particular cohort! More than that, we are at the tipping point NOW! It is, therefore, time to review the potential that is intrinsic within us.

Let’s look at the global picture of a world in economic crisis

worldDo we have viable and applicable answers?  We are confident that we do. There are 945 million people in the world today between the age 55-74, and taking just that demographic, if 10% of the non-working members of this cohort begin or continue to build a business/life, run their own enterprise, collaborate with others or gain employment, that 10% (remember, we talking 94.5 million people who would in some way create no more than one job space per individual)  would not only reduce the number of people/households depending upon the government for some form of assistance – from pensions to health care to welfare – but would, in fact, broaden the tax base and contribute dramatically back to the nation in the form of tax revenue.  The other side of the coin is, this 10% would potentially be more motivated and healthy because of the dignity gained from being considered something other than the liability that we are identified as today.

Now let’s take the UK as an example. 

UK mapThe United Kingdom is my home land and one I know well. The ‘silver generation’ – once encouraged to create start-ups – may no longer wish to be engaged in the 40+ hour work week and indeed prefer a more balanced approach to business and life in general.  Technology allows us that freedom – the opportunity to leverage our time in such a way that one is neither required to spend 3 to 5 hours a day commuting, nor is he/she required to spend 8 to 10 hours a day in a cubicle or office that has a tendency, in many instances, to obstructs one’s creativity and innovative predisposition.  Without having to be restricted to the oftentimes drab confines of an office, one is free to generate a revenue stream sufficient to adequately supplement other income which in turn offers a more comfortable lifestyle.

If only 10% of the UK’s ‘silver generation’ were to create a one person commercially viable enterprise – one with sufficient revenue to incur taxes payable of £1000 per annum – the net increase to the government in tax revenue alone would be approximately £1 bilion.

Let’s suppose too that these enterprising ‘liabilities’ created just one job space in addition to their own – a job space filled by one other person – we have then simultaneously reduced the national unemployment figures significantly and added even more grateful citizens to the roles of the active tax payer.

Perhaps the ‘silver generation’ is capable of being perceived as something other than a cohort out to steal the future of those coming behind.  Is that possible?


April 17th 083April 17th 081April 17th 084This story continues and we will share our plans and developments with you.   This blog continues next week so kept following our journey. Your comments welcome.

[i] The educational model currently in use by virtually every school, college and university around the world today was developed in response to the rapidly increasing need for employees to meet the demands of what is referred to as the Second Industrial Revolution or the Technical Revolution of the mid 1800’s.  The independent discovery – by Henry Bessemer (the Bessemer process) of England in 1855 and William Kelley of the United States in 1851 – of a cost effective industrial process for the mass production of steel led to an unprecedented expansion in manufacturing which in turn led to the simultaneous development of the employee focused teaching/learning model that prevails today.