are you a baby boomer?

If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are a baby boomer. These were the years following World War II, that the birth rate increased dramatically as a result of rapid economic growth and prosperity.

Boomers grew up during a time of great social change all over the world. Our generation is identified with rejection of traditional values and a change of consciousness, marked by the civil rights movement, the anti Vietnam War protests, the women's movement, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

The 60's and the 70's gave rise to great music as well as experimentation with drugs and sexual liberation.

The term "generation gap" was constantly heard during those years. Although generations had always had their differences, the cultural gap in matters such as politics, fashion, and music was deeper than ever in comparison to the past.

Our generation was the first to grow up watching TV and be influenced by commercials. We were the first to have magazines, records and radio stations geared just to us. The baby boom generation set styles and trends and are continuing to do so today.

Where are baby boomers heading?

In 2011, the oldest babyboomers turned 65 and continued to be a force in society, challenging the expected behavior for adults in their 50's and 60's. We are not willing to accept old age and are trying to hold on to our youthful appearance as well as our view of life. Today we have more information available to us regarding health and fitness and we want to take advantage of it.

Boomers are facing additional challenges. Due to a lack of financial planning and dramatic economic changes, most boomers are having to put off retirement. By 2030 when boomers will be 65 or older we will make up 19% of the population, as compared to today's 13%. A smaller population will not be able to sustain a growing older population, so social security benefits and health programs will probably see cuts.

The worldwide picture is about the same. By 2035, according the UN Population Division, 1 in 5 people will be 65 or older.

Caring for elderly parents has also become a major challenge. As life expectancy rises, many boomers are having to assist parents emotionally, physically and financially.

The problems are real, but not hopeless. Our generation still has the ingenuity and the will to handle and cope with whatever lies ahead.

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