Posted: December 25th, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
The Pew Research Center has done a very extensive research project on the general Baby Boomer population. What follows is the overall summary of that research, with the links to subsections of the research. This is must reading for JBoomers.
Jewish Baby Boomers Approach Age 65
By D’Vera Cohn and Paul Taylor, Pew Research Center
December 20, 2010
The iconic image of the Baby Boom generation is a 1960s-era snapshot of an exuberant, long-haired, rebellious young adult. That portrait wasn’t entirely accurate even then, but it’s hopelessly out of date now. This famously huge cohort of Americans finds itself in a funk as it approaches old age.
On Jan. 1, 2011, the oldest Baby Boomers will turn 65. Every day for the next 19 years, about 10,000 more will cross that threshold. By 2030, when all Baby Boomers will have turned 65, fully 18% of the nation’s population will be at least that age, according to Pew Research Center population projections. Today, just 13% of Americans are ages 65 and older.
Perched on the front stoop of old age, Baby Boomers are more downbeat than other age groups about the trajectory of their own lives and about the direction of the nation as a whole.
Some of this pessimism is related to life cycle — for most people, middle age is the most demanding and stressful time of life.1 Some of the gloominess, however, appears to be particular to Boomers, who bounded onto the national stage in the 1960s with high hopes for remaking society, but who’ve spent most of their adulthood trailing other age cohorts in overall life satisfaction.
At the moment, the Baby Boomers are pretty glum. Fully 80% say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today, compared with 60% of those ages 18 to 29 (Millennials), 69% of those ages 30 to 45 (Generation Xers) and 76% of those ages 65 and older (the Silent and Greatest Generations), according to a Pew Research Center survey taken earlier this month.
Boomers are also more downbeat than other adults about the long-term trajectory of their lives — and their children’s. Some 21% say their own standard of living is lower than their parents’ was at the age they are now; among all non-Boomer adults, just 14% feel this way, according to a May 2010 Pew Research survey. The same survey found that 34% of Boomers believe their own children will not enjoy as good a standard of living as they themselves have now; by contrast, just 21% of non-Boomers say the same.2
The 79-million-member Baby Boomer generation accounts for 26% of the total U.S. population. By force of numbers alone, they almost certainly will redefine old age in America, just as they’ve made their mark on teen culture, young adult life and middle age.
But don’t tell Boomers that old age starts at age 65. The typical Boomer believes that old age doesn’t begin until age 72, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey. About half of all American adults say they feel younger than their actual age, but fully 61% of Boomers say this. In fact, the typical Boomer feels nine years younger than his or her chronological age.3
On a range of social issues, Baby Boomers are more accepting of changes in American culture and mores than are adults ages 65 and older, though generally less tolerant than the young. On matters related to personal finances, economic security and retirement expectations, they feel more damaged by the Great Recession than do older adults.
Boomers are latecomers to the digital revolution, but are beginning to close their gadget and social media gap with younger generations. For example, among younger Boomers (ages 46-55), fully half now use social networks, compared with 20% in 2008. That rate of growth is more rapid than for younger generations. Also, more than half (55%) of older Boomers (ages 56-64) now watch online video, compared with 30% in 2008.
On the political front, Boomers — like the nation as a whole — have done some partisan switching in recent years. They narrowly favored Barack Obama for president in 2008 (by 50%-49%), then supported Republican congressional candidates by 53%-45% in the 2010 midterm elections, according to election day exit polls. In their core political attitudes about the role of government, they’re more conservative than younger adults and more liberal than older adults, according to a comprehensive 2010 Pew Research report on long-term trends in political values by generation.
In 1970, when the oldest of the Baby Boomers were in their early 20s, the total publicly held national debt was about $283 billion, or about 28% of Gross Domestic Product. Now, as the oldest Boomers approach age 65, the federal debt is an estimated $9 trillion or 62% of GDP — creating IOUs that members of younger generations may be paying down for decades.4
However, a new Pew Research survey finds little appetite among Boomers for deficit reduction proposals that would take a bite out of their own pocketbooks. For example, 68% of Boomers (compared with 56% of all adults) oppose eliminating the tax deduction for interest paid on home mortgages; 80% (compared with 72% of all adults) oppose taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits; and 63% (compared with 58% of all adults) oppose raising the age for qualifying for full Social Security benefits.5
The Pew Research Center has a deep archive of work that analyzes the demographics, economics, religious beliefs and practices and social and political values of the Baby Boomer generation, and makes comparisons with younger and older U.S. age groups. Our survey work includes questions about family life, personal finances, technology use, aging and a range of other topics.
Views on Social Change
When asked about the array of changes transforming American family life, the Boomers’ views align more closely with younger generations than older ones. For example, Boomers, like younger adults, are far more likely to say the main purpose of marriage is mutual happiness and fulfillment rather than child-raising (70% of Baby Boomers and Millennial young adults say so, compared with 50% of adults ages 65 and older).
When asked whether children face “a lot more challenges” growing up with divorced parents, racially mixed parents or unmarried parents, Baby Boomers and younger adults are less likely to say yes than are adults ages 65 and older.
However, despite the reputation they gained as young adults for favoring alternative lifestyles, Baby Boomers today are less accepting than younger Americans of same-sex couples raising children, unmarried couples living together and other non-traditional arrangements — though they are more tolerant of them than are adults ages 65 and older.
When it comes to divorce, the Baby Boomers are less conservative than younger generations: 66% say divorce is preferable to staying in an unhappy marriage, compared with 54% of younger adults who say so.
Despite differences among generations on these and other matters, a 43%-plurality of Baby Boomers say there is less generational conflict now than in the 1960s and 1970s, when they were coming of age.
Personal Finances and Economic Views
Economically, Boomers are the most likely among all age groups to say they lost money on investments since the Great Recession began. Baby Boomers also are the most likely (57%) to say their household finances have worsened. And a higher share of Boomers than older Americans (but not younger ones) say they have cut spending in the past year.
Among those Baby Boomers ages 50 to 61 who are approaching the end of their working years, six-in-ten say they may have to postpone retirement. According to employment statistics, the older workforce is growing more rapidly than the younger workforce.
Technology and News
In their use of technology, the youngest Baby Boomers (ages 45-55) are nearly as likely to be online (and to have a home broadband connection) as younger adults, and the oldest Boomers (ages 56-64) are notably more likely to be online than adults ages 65 and older.
Nearly two-thirds of Boomers say they follow the news most or all of the time, a higher share than among younger adults.
By standard measures such as the share who pray daily or frequency of attending religious services, Baby Boomers are less religious than adults ages 65 and older but more religious than adults in younger generations.
Among Baby Boomers, 43% say they are a “strong” member of their religion, a higher share than among younger adults and a lower share than among older ones. Four-in-ten say they attend religious services at least once a week. Conversely, 13% say they have no religious affiliation, less than younger adults but more than older adults.
Baby Boomers: Explore Pew Research Surveys and Reports
Below are hyperlinks to Pew Research Center publications from recent years that include data specifically about Baby Boomers. In some cases, they include data on adults ages 50 to 64, a range that includes most but not all Baby Boomers. In other cases, the research breaks the Baby Boomer generation into younger and older age groups.
Social Behaviors and Values
The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families: Survey of attitudes on whether marriage is becoming obsolete; single mothers, same-sex couples and other non-traditional arrangements; importance of family; what’s best for children.
The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household: Share living in multi-generational households.
Forty Years After Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap: Views on the generation gap, musical preferences, knowledge about Woodstock festival.
Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality: Views by age group on what constitutes old age and the signs of old age; do you feel younger or older than your real age; has life turned out better or worse than expected; happiness.
As Marriage and Parenthood Drift Apart, Public Is Concerned about Social Impact: Views about divorce, civil unions, premarital sex, purpose and importance of marriage, children and marriage; profile of parents and divorced adults.
Public Support for Legalizing Medical Marijuana: Support for legalization of medical marijuana is as high among Boomers as among younger adults, and higher than among older adults.
Economy and Personal Finances
How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America: Impact of recession on current finances, financial behavior and employment; views on personal financial future and national economy’s future.
Most Middle-Aged Adults are Rethinking Retirement Plans: Impact of recession on retirement plans of adults ages 50 to 64, which includes most Baby Boomers.
Different Age Groups, Different Recessions: Recession-related changes in spending and behavior, investment losses, investment confidence.
Luxury or Necessity: How the generations differ on what is a luxury or necessity, including such possessions as cell phones and televisions.
Inside the Middle Class: Views on personal finances, class, quality of life, comparisons with past and projection into future, personal financial problems, priorities in life, job satisfaction.
Millennials: Comparison of attitudes by generation on a wide variety of topics, including personal values, technology use, media consumption, everyday life activities, religion, social and political values. A related interactive graphic compares the demographics of today’s Millennials (ages 18-28) with Boomers and two older generations when they were the same ages the Millennials are now.
Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects: Views of black Americans (by age group) on satisfaction, racial progress and values. Views on intermarriage, race discrimination and trust in police by race/Hispanic groups and age.
Who Moves? Who Stays Put? Where’s Home?: Ever-moved or always lived in hometown, years since last move, plans to move, where is your true home, contact with home town, why did you move to your current community or why do you stay in your home town.
Men or Women: Who’s the Better Leader?: An exploration of public attitudes about gender and leadership; comparisons of ratings of genders on qualities such as honesty and hard work; reasons for scarcity of top female leaders, views on discrimination, equal rights and which gender has the better life.
Baby Boomers: The Gloomiest Generation: Views on quality of life, standard of living, getting ahead, optimism about the future, including long-term trends and comparisons of older and younger boomers.
The authors thank our Pew Research Center colleagues Daniel Dockterman, Carroll Doherty, Danielle Gewurz, Scott Keeter, Andrew Kohut, Lee Rainie and Wendy Wang for their assistance.
Posted: December 21st, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Events | No Comments »
On Sunday February 13th JBoomers will gather at the Museum of Jewish Heritagein lower Manhattan for a guided tour of their exhibits: “Mah-Jongg” and “Fire in My Heart:The Story of Hannah Senesh”. After viewing the exhibits we will have lunch and then a discussion about how JBoomers can engage Jewish Baby Boomers .
The Details: Date: February 13, 2011
Time:12 noon – 3 pm at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, lower Manhattan.
Cost: $27 includes private guided tour of the two exhibits and a box lunch.
Please register for the event by sending an email to email@example.com
Pre-Passover Cooking Demonstration & Exhibition
On April 10th, at 1 pm, JBoomers are invited to gather at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts in Brooklyn for a very special “hands on” cooking class taught by the most talented kosher chefs in New York. Each participant will receive a recipe packet and a complimentary CKCA spatula.
Cost: $36 per person + a donation to either Mazon or the JDC (at whatever level you choose).
This will be a very special event…..limited to 20 people. More details to follow.
Watch for an Evite to both of these events with instructions on how to register and pay for the events.
Posted: December 17th, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Here is another article from the USA Today series on Baby Boomers. I think we all can relate to this issue.
Enjoy reading the article.
Big-spending Boomers bend rules of marketing
By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY
Chris Bonney knows precisely when marketers abandoned him: the day he turned 55.
Until then, the consultant from Virginia Beach says, his opinion on new products was valued by a major marketing research firm that crunches consumer preference data. It would ask him to respond to surveys almost daily. But after his 55th birthday, the e-mail surveys abruptly stopped.
“The minute I turned 55, it was like nobody cared anymore,” Bonney says. “I didn’t change from one day to the next, but as far as they were concerned, I’d aged out of relevance.”
Marketers traditionally have lavished the most attention on the 18-to-34-year-old set, believing their brand loyalties are more malleable so they can be captured as lifetime customers.
It’s as if marketers all wear the same blinders. Because so many marketing executives are under 40 — or even under 30 — many presume most consumers not only think like them, but want to be like them, says Matt Thornhill, 50, founder of The Boomer Project, a specialty research firm. “They forget that people over 50 still have dreams,” he says.
The traditional thinking among marketers is that older folks spend less, have little interest in new products and have brand preferences set in stone. But across the USA, the 77 million members of the Baby Boom generation — folks born from 1946 through 1964 — are turning that conventional marketing wisdom on its head.
As Baby Boomers are aging and accumulating wealth, their spending is growing at a pace that’s leaving younger generations far behind. Spending by the 116 million U.S. consumers age 50 and older was $2.9 trillion last year — up 45% in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, the 182 million people younger than 50 spent $3.3 trillion last year — up just 6% during the same decade, according to an analysis for USA TODAY of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by The Boomer Project.
And unlike the stereotype of older consumers being averse to new things, Boomers are among the biggest buyers of new technology and new cars.
“Life doesn’t stop at 49,” says Peg Hudson, 59, a radio station sales rep from Greenville, S.C.
All this has some marketers taking a new look at older buyers and testing new avenues and products to tap into this gold mine. Among them: Unilever, which makes Dove soap and Lipton tea; General Mills; Lincoln; investment firm Raymond James; Best Buy; and Maidenform. Instead of treating Boomers like damaged goods, marketers for these products are notably celebrating them.
“Most marketing that targets Boomers presumes there’s something wrong with them that needs fixing,” such as age spots, wrinkles or erectile dysfunction, Thornhill says. “It’s malady-based. For the most part, it’s not accurate.”
About to get richer
Marketers who ignore Boomers do so at their peril. For one thing, Boomers are about to get a lot richer. Maybe not as rich as before the recession, but richer nonetheless.
People 50 and older will inherit an estimated $14 trillion to $20 trillion during the next 20 years.
“This is something that will never happen again,” says Brent Bouchez, founder of consulting firm Agency Five-0, which specializes in adults 50 and older. “What’s more, this group will probably not leave a lot of that money to the next generation.”
Among the things Boomers most love to buy: new cars.
Last year, consumers 50 and older spent $87 billion on cars compared with $70 billion by those under age 50, reports the Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They buy more new cars, spend more on the cars they buy — and even buy cars for their kids and grandkids.
“But can you think of any carmaker that really focuses on the 50-plus segment?” asks Thornhill. “Cadillac doesn’t even do it anymore. The whole auto category thinks people over 50 are invisible. I just can’t explain this. There’s a major change afoot that most marketers are missing.”
What they’re missing is not just the spending power Boomers have — it’s their sheer numbers. By 2030, there will be twice as many people over age 65 as now, Thornhill says. One in seven drivers now is over 65; by 2030 it will be one in four.
“This is demographic dynasty,” Thornhill says. “If you don’t have a strategy for making your product relevant to 50-plus consumers, you will have a very rough time over the next 20 years.”
Crafting a strategy for age-specific products — such as seniors-only condos on a golf course — is relatively simple. But making mass-market products relevant to Boomers is more like walking a generational minefield.
Marketers have to be careful their ads don’t make Boomers feel like old fogies, and avoid talking to them as if they’re under 30.
Here’s how some marketers are trying to avoid that fate and are courting Boomers:
• Make them feel good. There was heated debate at Unilever over a proposal to extend marketing of its 53-year-old Dove soap brand to men — particularly men 35 and older.
“Let’s say it wasn’t an idea that everyone said ‘yes’ to,” says Lisa Klauser, Unilever’s consumer solutions vice president.
But executives ultimately bought into the idea that self-confident men wouldn’t be shy about using Dove products to help with dry and aging skin. After all, many had been using their wives’ Dove for years.
The Dove Men Plus Care line got its initial ad push in February’s Super Bowl and already has nearly 3% of the bar and body wash market — a big win.
“There were certainly people who were skeptical of the idea,” says Klauser. Not anymore.
• Make them feel hip. From 2007 to 2010, the average age of a new car buyer rose from 52 to 56. Lincoln saw its average buyer shoot past 60 in that time.
Lincoln’s marketing challenge was to skew slightly younger — into the mid-50s — and also appeal to people in their 40s.
So it brought in 48-year-old Mad Menstar John Slattery to help pitch its tech-loaded 2011 Lincoln MKX crossover SUV.
“Fiftysomethings can relate to him, but he’s also cool to people in their 40s,” says Matt VanDyke, marketing director for Lincoln.
The ads avoid conspicuous consumption and any “over-the-top characterization of luxury,” says VanDyke. Instead, they focus on the MKX’s Boomer-appealing intuitive technology. For example, ads show there’s no volume knob on the radio — you slide your finger across a touch bar.
• Make them feel smart. Raymond James is not a household name. So the investment firm decided it had to try outside-the-box marketing to capture Boomer attention.
Many Boomers are retiring without pensions, so managing their 401(k) and other retirement accounts is critical. “It’s a huge need and a huge opportunity from a business standpoint,” says marketing head Mike White.
So Raymond James recently began airing an ad with a woman who lives (and lives vigorously) to 187. She remarries at 100. And again, at 150. And she hang glides at 187.
Many Boomers seriously believe they may live into their 90s — or beyond. “But if you told the same story about a woman who lived to be 90, it wouldn’t be very interesting,” says White.
Boomers relate to the woman who appears in the ad — and actually is 80, says White. “They look at her and think: That’ll be me in 20 years.”
• Make them feel sexy. For Boomer women, “slimming, toning and smoothing becomes more relevant,” says Lucille DeHart, chief marketer for women’s lingerie maker Maidenform.
That’s one reason the 88-year-old brand has created Boomer-appealing products intended to enhance one’s shape and counteract gravity. Long gone are the days of girdles and corsets, replaced by undergarments with new materials — and a new spin — dubbed shapewear.
And sex appeal is part of the sell. Several months ago, Maidenform rolled out the Ultimate Push Up Bra — a bra with lift, as well as enough padding to expand a woman’s shape by two cup sizes. The bra is aimed at women ages 35 to 54 who “like the lift and definition,” says DeHart.
The brand’s shapewear also includes the all-in-one Fat Free Dressing line rolled out two years ago: tank tops and legging items that DeHart calls an “undergarment, shaping piece and apparel in one.”
Key to selling these products, says DeHart, is to keep them fashionable. “We don’t design older pieces for older people.”
• Make them feel hungry. While Boomers may eat less as they age, they’ll pay for quality. After hearing consumers say they wanted P.F. Chang’s food at home, Unilever in April teamed with the Asian-food casual-dining chain on P.F. Chang’s Home Menu meals for two. While they may seem a tad pricey for frozen meals at $7.99, Klauser says sales were nearly $14 million last month, so it’s well on its way to becoming a $100 million-plus brand.
General Mills had a similar idea and, in September, rolled out Romano’s Macaroni Grill frozen entrees for two.
Food marketers also are aware that Boomers’ lives have changed, that some have health conditions that require diet changes and many are empty nesters. “We know the majority have had a trigger event that changes the way they interact with food,” says John Haugen, vice president of health and wellness at General Mills.
So General Mills added a line of reduced-sodium Progresso soups. It’s launched portion-control Green Giant veggies. And it’s begun to increase type size on packaging targeted at Boomers.
• Make them feel techie. Boomers spend more on tech than anyone. They spent an average $850 for their latest home computer — $50 more than any other group, reports Forrester Research. “People presume that Gen Y is the most eager to adopt technology, but they don’t have the spending power of Boomers,” says Jacqueline Anderson, consumer insights analyst.
Bonney, the Virginia Beach Boomer, owns an iPhone, an iPod and a Mac. He particularly likes Apple’s marketing because it speaks to his interests “and not to my age.” Such thinking can help broaden any product’s appeal. While few brands beyond the tech world think so successfully outside the box, Louis Vuitton, the designer brand, takes a similar tactic by featuring Bono in its newest print campaign and Madonna in a previous one.
Familiar celebs aside, few things capture Boomer interest more than tech. And few marketers are more aware of Boomers’ tech interest than retailer Best Buy.
Spokeswoman Paula Baldwin says Best Buy tries to make its stores “touch and feel” places, which helps Boomers feel comfortable with new technologies. The chain’s Geek Squad service — which helps buyers set up new devices and get more out of them — is heavily used by Boomers.
In a recent blog post, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, 51, who is a Boomer, noted, “I’m always caught off-guard by the assumption that Boomers hesitate to embrace technology.”
Boomers do demand ease of use, he says. Apple’s iPad “caused some bloggers to quip that this device is merely an iPhone for the elderly. To which I respond, ‘You got a problem with that?’ “
Posted: December 15th, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
As JBoomers moves along in it’s evolution, one of the first steps is to become an official non-profit corporation. Below is the letter from our lawyers working on this project and our 501(c)3 status.
This is a great first step!
Dear Rabbi Weider,
I am pleased to advise you that the Certificate of Incorporation for JBoomers, Inc. was accepted for filed by the New York Secretary of State on December 7, 2010. Attached is a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation for your records. Please let me know when you will be ready to open a bank account for JBoomers, Inc. and I will arrange for a taxpayer identification number for the entity. As to obtaining tax exempt certification from IRS, you will get back to me once you are ready to proceed to that filing. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Simon Gerson, Esq.
Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C.
1133 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036
(212) 790-9206; Fax: (212) 575-0671
Posted: December 10th, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
JBoomers has agreed to promote a wonderful learning opporutnity for all through the Shalom Hartman Institue in Jerusalem Israel. That program is their summer The Shalom Hartman Institute Community Leadership Summer Retreat.
Here is the link information http://www.hartman.org.il/Center_Leader/Program_View.asp?Program_Id=17
I recommend that all JBoomers seriously consider this superb leraning program.
Below is some information from their web site.
The Shalom Hartman Institute Community Leadership Summer Retreat is an annual weeklong seminar dealing with major questions facing Judaism in the modern age. The program, in operation for more than 20 years, takes place at the Institute’s beautiful campus in the heart of Jerusalem and draws scores of North American lay leaders from across the continent and denominational spectrum.
Here is what some of the participants have said about their experience in this program.
“The best antidote for spiritual boredom.”
-Andy Gordon, Phoenix
“An exalted experience.”
-Karen Marcus, Miami
“The best Jewish learning experience of my life. Helped me in my spiritual quest, answered many questions and raised many more for me.”
-Michelle Gary, Atlanta
Community Leadership Summer Retreat – June 29-July 6, 2011. Click here now for advance information
The program is open to individuals of all denominations from across North America and elsewhere who seek to deepen their knowledge of Judaism and its pluralistic voices, and are committed to utilizing their influence and leadership to promote Jewish vitality in their community.
Summer Retreat study sessions will be led by the faculty of the Shalom Hartman Institute, including: David Hartman, Donniel Hartman, Moshe Halbertal, Melila Hellner-Eshed, Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, and Noam Zion, as well as visiting scholars such as David Ellenson.
Contact Marlene Houri by email or at 972.2.567.5301.
Program for this past summer’s 2010 Lay Leadership Summer Retreat
“Engaging Israel: Jewish Values and the Dilemmas of Nationhood.” The Summer 2010, study programs focused on the essential questions and challenges directed against Israel today and used them as a basis for developing a new response and language, based on Jewish ideas and values. Jewish leaders today need to be able to address crucial questions for which they currently do not know the answers.
Click here to see a short video of the Opening Session of the Summer 2010 Lay Leadership Retreat.
Program for the 2009 Lay Leadership Summer Retreat
The 2009 retreat studied “Crisis and Uncertainty: Paradigms of Response,” the core values of the Jewish tradition regarding wealth, human need, and ultimate values, and how Jewish visionaries of the past responded to moments of crisis and what their responses and texts teach us about the origins of Jewish optimism.
Posted: December 8th, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
JBoomers will be creating travel opportunities wherein local Jewish connections will be highlighted. We also hope to create a tikkun olam/service components on these trips wherein JBoomers will feel there presence has made a positive difference. However, we are still in the formation stage of JBoomers and therefore are not ready to announce any such programs.
Until that time, we encourage JBoomers to check out opportunities for such experiences on the American Jewish World Service web site. For general Boomer vacations, you might be interested in reading the following article from the USA Today series that our JBoomes Board Member, Rabbi Lane Steinger, pointed out to me.
Five vacations to make you feel younger
Your eyesight is going. Your hair is thinning. And you can’t for the life of you remember what you just went upstairs for. Can hip-replacement surgery be far off? What you need is a vacation. And not just any vacation, either. As the forward brigade of Baby Boomers turns 65 in January, USA TODAY’s Jayne Clark suggests five trips to take years off your attitude.Driving school revs those old engines
The adventure: Learn to drive an open-wheel race car at speeds of up to 130 mph.
The premise: A healthy shot of adrenaline can lift a sagging outlook.
The particulars: Skip Barber‘s three-day Formula Car Racing School is the anti-golf vacation. The mostly male denizens of the school master double-clutch/heel-and-toe downshifting, high-speed drafting and passing, in the classroom and on the track.
Most participants are thrill-seeking Boomers “looking to escape everyday life, as well as to learn something,” says spokesman Kyle Morham. “It’s fun. Plus, you can do this after your knees give out.”
Longtime race fan and voice-over actor Pat Daly, 57, of New York, took the course when he turned 50 and discovered that racing “challenges you physically, mentally and emotionally, and it lit me up.”
It also changed his life. Daly has continued to race — and win — in the Skip Barber Summer Regional Race Series and now instructs new drivers at the school.
Qualifications: Must be able to drive a stick shift and be willing to sign a liability waiver.
Details: Cost of the three-day racing school is $3,999 and includes breakfast and lunch. It’s offered 36 times a year at racetracks in Lime Rock, Conn., Greater Atlanta and Monterey, Calif. 800-221-1131; skipbarber.com
Tune up at rock camp
The adventure: Make like a rock star in a crash course culminating in a live gig.
The premise: Even aging rock ‘n’ rollers exude a certain youthfulness.
The particulars:Ladies Rock Camp is a twice-yearly fundraiser for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Ore. On Day 1, you select an instrument (guitar, bass, drums) and by afternoon, you’re a member of a rock band! On Day 3, the bands perform original songs in a local club. There’s no experience necessary — about half the campers have never played a musical instrument.
“I taught a woman to play bass. When she arrived, she didn’t know what a bass was,” says program manager Marisa Anderson. “That’s the cool thing about rock ‘n’ roll. It doesn’t have to be perfect. … If your heart is good and you make a noise, it’s going to carry.”
Alumna Lori Pesavento, 54, a classical violist and counselor who took up the electric guitar, calls the camp “an amazing bonding experience” that “inspired me to take a break in my life to discover what the next phase will be.”
Qualifications: Willingness to take a creative risk.
Details: 2011 camps are May 13-15 and Oct. 21-23. Tuition is $390, including some meals. 503-445-4991; girlsrockcamp.org
Safari adventure can come with a big lift
The adventure: Go on safari and get nipped and tucked while you’re at it.
The premise: There’s nothing like cosmetic surgery, which costs less in South Africa, to make you feel rejuvenated. And you can see some big game.
The particulars: Surgeon & Safari in Johannesburg can arrange all sorts of medical procedures, performed by skilled doctors, but for the 55-and-over set, face-lifts/eyelid lifts and tummy tucks/breast reductions are most in demand. Owner Lorraine Melville handles the details, from setting up pre-op interviews and tests, to accompanying you to the hospital, to keeping loved ones informed. A 12-day stay is the usual time required for a face-lift, including post-op care at Melville’s guesthouse, where extras include fruit acid peels. She can arrange day safaris during recuperation or book longer trips into the bush pre- or post-op.
Joan Paul, 67, of Fort Lauderdale, went on pre- and post-op safaris during her jaunt, but the real purpose of the trip was to return with a younger, yet natural, look.
“I wanted to come back looking refreshed. Not all stretched and pumped up and weird-looking,” says the retired teacher.
Nine years later, she has no regrets, though she’s ready for a tune-up. “It’s natural to have a little vanity, and if you have the money, do it!”
Qualifications: Realistic expectations.
Details: A full face-lift, including the neck and temples and supplemental liposuction under the chin, plus an eyelid lift, is $9,000, including hospitalization. Lodging at the guesthouse, with meals, laundry, transfers and post-op care, is $2,500. The safari costs extra. surgeon-and-safari.co.za
Hiking between a rock and a happy place
The adventure: Hiking, canyoneering and mountain biking in southern Utah’s spectacular red-rock country.
The premise: An active getaway is more revitalizing than sitting by the pool.
The particulars: Red Mountain’s Signature Package includes fitness classes and facilities, guided hikes, bicycles and workshops in healthy eating and stress reduction.
“We strive to give our guests a great variety of choices,” says general manager Tracey Welsh. “We have a lot of scheduled programming, but you can do as much or as little as you like.”
Classes include tips on the “seven habits of healthy aging” and Baby Boomer yoga.
Qualifications: A willingness to get up off the couch.
Details: Daily rates for the Signature Package typically start at $229 a person, double, and include meals, fitness classes and facilities, guided morning hikes and bicycles. Spa treatments and some activities cost extra. 877-246-4453; redmountainspa.com
European river cruise with fun yet vintage passengers
The adventure: A European river cruise with passengers whose average age is 72.
The premise: There’s nothing to make an aging Baby Boomer feel positively dewy like running with an older crowd.
The particulars: Of the dozens of itineraries offered by Grand Circle Travel, the Great Rivers of Europe cruise is among the most popular. The 16-day trip goes from Amsterdam to Vienna on a private river vessel, with lots of stops en route to see castles, cathedrals and villages.
Grand Circle has been geared toward older travelers since its establishment by the founder of AARP. (It’s now privately owned.) Demographics aside, this bunch can surprise. A few years back, 60 passengers, along with the captain, jumped off the ship into bracing waters at the confluence of the Main and Tauber rivers in Germany. Yes, vodka shots helped the timid build courage. Chris Trull of Fairfield Glade, Tenn., 83 when he took the plunge, described it as the “most crazy but overwhelming” experience ever.
Qualifications: Be at least 50, or travel with someone who is; because there’s an amount of walking involved, be in decent health.
Details: Departures run March through November; rates start at $2,495, double, including airfare from New York. 800-959-0405; gct.com
Posted: December 2nd, 2010 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted on Jewish Sacred Aging
November 30, 2010 by Rabbi Richard Address (JBoomers Board Member)
The Torah cycle that we read this month deals a lot with Joseph and his sojourn in Egypt; his rise from prisoner to minister and his eventual reunion with his family. Indeed, one of the most powerful lines in the Torah is from this cycle. It comes when Joseph meets his brothers. As his brothers understand who this person really is who stands before them, we hear Joseph’s first question: “Is my father still alive?” Despite all that has taken place, there is this need on the part of Joseph to know about his dad. The generational pull is strong; today as it was in the Torah!
The passing of the generations seems to have become a hot topic again with the reality that as of January 1, 2011 (that’s next month!) one person in the USA will turn 65 every 8 seconds.
The baby boomers are aging and there is no denying it any longer. What kind of future will we create? Will we change the culture aging as we “changed” the culture in the 60s and 70s? It is a question that is no longer theoretical. In the October 2010 issue of The Atlantic, in an article entitled “The Least We Can Do,” author Michael Kinsley throws down the challenge to boomers to be passionately engaged in solving the growing fiscal challenges of entitlements. It may be in our own self interest as well as leaving a responsible legacy to our children. A recent New York Times Book Review looked at a new book on aging, Shock of Gray, that also reflects the challenging of global aging and the sobering reality that by 2025 (only 15 years) 66 million Americans will be over the age of 65. The challenges of global aging, limited resources, entitlements and such every day issues for us as care-giving and financial uncertainty will make the coming years, as they say, “interesting”.
A good place to start some of this dialogue is within our own religous community.
Synagogues, JCC’s and the like would be wise to revisit the role of boomers in their would and discuss how this population’s experience and energy can be put to best use. As a brief reflection on this, we will iclude this month recently published thought piece on the role of baby boomers in our religious community from Contact, the publication of the Steinhart Foundation.
December is a month that celebrates light. We enjoy Channukah and share the month with Christmas and Kwanzaa, both of which feature light. The baby boomers, now turning 65 en masse, have the potential to light anew path to creative, healthy and meaningful aging. The time to start the mission is now, each of us in our own way and in our own community.
There is much to do.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min.