Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ahhhh, Retirement

The Good Life
Those of us in the Pespi generation, otherwise known as Baby Boomers were products of post-World War II victory celebrations from 1946-1964. Ok, it was a looooong celebration. Those born in the years immediately preceding the Baby Boomers don't have a clever name but some might call them the Furlough Factor. Boomers went through life being told they were special. They had things, did stuff, and enjoyed life to the degree that their often foreigh-born parnets or grandparents could have never dreamed. Television, multi-car families, home ownership for nearly everybody who wanted one, suburbs, economic prosperity, man on the moon, vaccine for Polio, access to college... the list is nearly endless.
As adults the Baby Boomers continued to enjoy prosperity like not other generation in history had done. The travel for pleasure industry took them to places, often in search of their genealogical roots, and showed them cultures anywhere in the world. Travel, once the provenance of the upper class, became a toy of the middle class. And they traveled not only internationally, but domestically. Many of their parents had one car if any, but no respectable Boomer could get by without at least two. Interstate highways, modeled after Germany's Autobahn for possible military use became ribbons that took families across the country. Life has been good.
The first baby boomer is now retirement age - 65 years old and many who have not yet reached that magical age have already retired due to outstanding pension plans and general prosperity. Their nests are empty and their wings still work but alas, many have already enjoyed travel in their younger years. Motor homes that started in popularity in the 1960s have now become passe as well as expensive to fuel. Air travel has gone from a treat that included dressing in your Sunday best, to peanut-laden cattle drives. Speaking of drives, those romantic routes such as 66 have been paved over to become I-55 and I-80. Children and grandchildren have often moved away in search of their own conquests.
What is the poor retiree to do? They've been everywhere they wanted to go, done all the things they wanted to do and seen all the things they wanted to see. Such a problem! I guess the overused expression fits here, "It ain't your father's retirement." A little traveling music, Homer... how about, "You Came a Long Way From St. Louis."
Dr. Forgot

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never mind the been there done that already. If you were born in 1941 you can't retire until 65.8, 1942, 65.10, 1943, 70. No wonder the 65 boomers are still wanting to work. Besides that, have you seen the airport restrictions lately? Takes the fun out of travel at any age, especially the old and not so restless. Wonderless