NEW AGE WAVE BLOG
Let’s face it: no one wants to talk about or think about death, especially the death of a loved one. In fact, death of a partner or spouse sits atop the Holmes and Rahe stress scale with a score of 100. However, avoiding a conversation about death—and the decisions that go along with it—can create even more grief.
For far too long, marketers have been in love with youth and uncomfortable with aging, and today they’re directing nearly all their attention to Millennials and Gen Z. But those cohorts are strapped for cash, time-constrained, and are not proving to be brand loyal to anyone’s products and services.
Until I was five, we lived in Newark, New Jersey, in the same house as my mom’s parents. Up the block, in a pleasant duplex, was the medical office of Dr. Victor Tepper, our family physician. If there was ever anything wrong, you went to see Dr. Tepper. If we were unable to leave the house for some reason, Dr. Tepper would show up at our front door with his medical bag...
Rising longevity and the massive boomer age wave are causing us to re-think aging-related social roles. I’d like to look closer at how we’re re-thinking retirement in life’s third age—and how tomorrow’s retirees will find new purpose, contribution, fun and meaning in retirements that will last longer than ever before.
Over the years, the boomer generation has received some flak—often characterized as being selfish, irresponsible, and self-indulgent. Whether or not that’s true in general, it’s certainly not true when it comes to the way they think about and feel about their family. In fact, as this massive generation moves into and through retirement, they are often putting the well-being of their children, grandchildren, and even their parents before their own.
In the mid-1990s I had the good fortune of getting to know legendary feminist Betty Friedan after the publication of her book The Fountain of Age. One night over dinner, I asked Betty what her purpose was in writing The Feminine Mystique back in 1963. She told me that she had felt the time had come when women should no longer be measured by the metric of men - either how well they could please a man or how they might compete with men generally.
As I greet 2023 with optimism and hope, I also see grand challenges all around, from hard-hit communities in my own home state to a land war in Europe and global climate change at code red.
It often takes a tragedy to inspire action, and we witnessed that during the COVID-19 pandemic. One-third of U.S. adults (33%) report that the pandemic triggered conversations with close family members about their end-of-life plans and preferences.
Each day, another ten thousand baby boomers turn 70. If we hope to optimize our newfound longevity and mitigate the growing costs of our anticipated illnesses and entitlements, we need to have the guts and wisdom to set the proper course corrections in motion.
Saying goodbye to the old year and hello to the new is always a time of reflection. For me, it’s also a time to consider my evolving legacy and to set new goals for what it can become in the years ahead. Over the last decade, I’ve come to understand the importance of leaving a legacy in one’s personal and professional life, which is informing much of the advocacy I’m doing today about living with purpose, passion, and curiosity.