What Baby Boomers can teach us about staying relevantSep 03, 2023
In June this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that many Baby Boomers are struggling to retire because they find it boring, can’t afford it, and/or are worried about becoming irrelevant in society (see article here). I talk a lot about the Future of Work and the impact of different generations and while as a millennial it might seem like I often bash Baby Boomers, I actually have a lot to thank them for and the truth is: our world wouldn’t be what it is today without the building and establishing that was done by this seasoned generation.
So here’s a few things that I think we can totally learn from Baby Boomers:
Building long-term wealth
As the child of Baby Boomer parents, I have been extremely lucky and grateful that they modelled great money habits that I follow today. My mum and dad were married and raising small kids at a time when you didn’t have credit cards and crazy mortgages - if you wanted to buy a big-ticket item you had to save for it and if you put stuff on lay-by, you didn’t get it until you paid it off. Investing in your present (whether through education, working, or saving) compounds over time so that you have a financial foundation to live the rest of your life.
Role modelling what NOT to do
I’ve also watched a lot of Baby Boomers prioritise work so much that they forget about the things that matter most: family, joy, freedom, adventure, happiness or whatever is your top value. So many Baby Boomer marriages have ended in divorce, or they’ve gotten so burnt out and stressed that their golden years are plagued by ill health, or they’ve just never really been happy. You invest today for what you will reap in the future so if you want to be relevant and have great relationships and fulfilment in a few decades, proactively choose how you want to live your life.
Staying up-to-date with tech
Haha I think it’s funny that my dad often has more whizz-bang technology than me, but many Boomers have the money and time now to stay up-to-date with new devices and software and services. They may need to be open to change and open to learning but when they are - they can be the most fitted out kids on the tech block. The more you can stay au fait with tech, the more relevant you’ll remain.
Repurposing their expertise into consulting
There’s a lot of Baby Boomers still working but it may not be in traditional 9-5 salaried roles. Many Boomers repackage their skills and experience to provide consulting, mentoring, or volunteering services that may be regular or ad hoc, transitioning to retirement or fully there. And here’s the thing - you actually don’t need to be older to be a consultant. Anyone with a few years’ and variety of experience and proven track record of results can become an independent consultant.
Leaving a legacy
I think there’s a deep desire by a lot of Baby Boomers, who are living longer, to make an impact in the world. To do good, to share what they know, to build the future generations to learn from their mistakes and amplify their successes. And we can all do that - right now, today. We can be making an impact, leaving a legacy, and changing the lives of the people around us every day.
At any age and any stage, we all have the opportunity to step up into our leadership and our light.
P.S. If you’re ready to step up into your leadership and your light, here’s 5 ways I can help:
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