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Are Baby Boomers Redefining Old Age?

An Annotated Bibliography

Critical Preface

In January, 2008, the oldest baby boomer turned 62; old enough to collect social security. Although I am a late baby boomer, born in 1960, I wasn’t aware of the impact the baby boomers, (the more than 78 million people born between 1946 and 1964), have had on how our society looks at old age. For this research project, I have sought to determine if baby boomers have, indeed, redefined old age. Specifically, I am looking to answer the following questions: If baby boomers are redefining old age, how are they doing so? What do baby boomers intend to do with their time? What events have caused the desire to redefine old age? How will this affect other generations? Are baby boomers financially prepared for a longer lifespan? In answering these questions I hope to find out if baby boomers are truly redefining old age or if they are just surviving hardships caused by or resulting from their past.

This research was conducted from May 2 through May 4, 2009. The resources contained in the bibliography are: 4 articles from popular magazines, 1 article from a scholarly journal, and 2 radio broadcasts. These sources show how/if baby boomers are redefining old age, what events have caused this desire, and what affects redefining old age will have on other generations. One article in particular that has helped me to answer the main question is the article by Barbara Wickens that shows how past experiences are directly related to events that would cause the desire for redefining old age, and the article by Ken Dychtwald, who’s article demonstrates how baby boomers intend to spend their time.

Annotated Bibliography

Baye, Betty. Interview with Ed Gordon. “Looking Back at the ‘Change Agent’ Generation.” News & Notes National Public Radio. 2006. General Onefile. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 3 May 2009. This short radio broadcast speaks to baby boomers about the pain and suffering of drastic change they encountered in their lifetimes. Baye also talks about the change of getting old, yet staying young, when some may be surprised that they made it at all. In this interview, I intend on using information regarding life experiences to answer the question: What events have caused the desire to redefine old age?
Dychtwald, Ken. “Ageless Aging: The Next Era of Retirement.” The Futurist Magazine. 2005. ArticleFirst. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 4 May 2009. This 7 page article was written to future candidates for retirement about how the definition of old age has changed since the discovery of the first pension plan in the 1880s. The author talks about the many people retiring that have taken advantage of their leisure time to do the things they never had time to do before. He mentions that baby boomers can now reevaluate their lives and consider new options that include reshaping the middle years of life into a new period of renewal and reinvention. In this article I have found information that I will be using to answer the question regarding what baby boomers intend to do with their time.
Pettegrew, Hal. “Perspectives on the Spiritual Development of the ‘Aging’ Boomers.” Christian Education Journal. 2008. General OneFile. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 4 May 2009. In this lengthy article, Pettegrew’s audience is the Southern Baptist Seminary. He writes about how the current generations of baby boomers are aging differently than previous generations and there is a need for Christian educators to use their calling for spiritual formation of that generation. He says that the baby boomer generation is independent with a strong work ethic, and a sense of agelessness. It is suggested that, because of the situations in which they were raised, baby boomers have lost confidence in the institutions of society. This helps to answer my question regarding whether or not baby boomers are truly redefining old age or if they are just surviving past hardships.

Stein, Robert. “The March of the Boomers” Best’s Review Monthly Insurance Magazine. 2007. ArticleFirst. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 2 May 2009. Robert Stein is global vice chairman of Global Financial Services and speaks to life insurers in this article. The topic of this article includes a discussion on how the insurance market needs to evaluate the baby boomer generation reaching the age of retirement. He predicts that this generation is not prepared for the longer life spans of their generation and will find themselves in need of optional income resources. This article will help in my determination of whether or not baby boomers are financially prepared for a longer lifespan?
Vaughan, RM. “No Country for Old Men. Baby Boomers: Drop the Watercolours, Back Away Slowly” This Magazine. 2009. Academic Onefile. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 2 May 2009. This is a short controversial article written by a member of the generation born immediately after the baby boomers. The writer is attempting to reason with the baby boomers in order to keep them from working past retirement, thus allowing for jobs to be made available for their generation. This writer is terrified when recent sources indicate that the boomers are redefining retirement with working well beyond age 65. I will be using this article to help answer the question: If baby boomers are redefining old age, how are they doing so?
Weinberger, David. Interview with Robert Siegel. “Commentary: Baby Boomers May Find the Web Appealing Because of Some of Its ‘60s’ Attributes.” All Things Considered Public Radio Broadcast. Literature Resource Center. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 3 May 2009. This is an interesting short interview where David Weinberger is talking to the baby boomers as the “Mr. Jones,” portrayed in the old Bob Dylan song, “The Ballad of a Thin Man.” He discusses how baby boomers are able to entertain themselves as they did in the ‘60’s over the World Wide Web as returning revolutionaries who, in reality, have no clue to what is really going on in the world. I will be using this interview to help answer the question relating to what baby boomers will do with their time.
Wickens, Barbara. “Boomers Have It Tough Too.” MacLean’s Magazine. 2003. ArticleFirst. Baker College Library, Flint, MI. 2 May 2009. In her article to the Canadian baby boomer generation, Barbara Wickens does a wonderful job of discussing how the baby boomer generation has survived. She also talks about what they have encountered, what they are encountering, and what will happen to other generations after the boomers have retired. Therefore, this article will help me to determine what events have caused the desire to redefine old age, and how redefining old age will affect other generations.…...

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