July 2011

How Can We Change the Negative Attitudes Toward Older Workers?

Older workers get a bad rap: too slow, not productive enough. But what about a company that seeks out the 70, 80, and even 90-year-old set? At the Vita Needle Factory in Needham, MA, I visited a factory where grey hair, or no hair, is the norm, where the annual gross sales are $11 million, and employees are valued for their loyalty, quality of product, work ethic.

Some don’t even need the paycheck, but do the manual labor to stay connected, hang out with peers, and have a sense of purpose. Did I mention they have to walk up 19 steep steps to get to the factory floor? Rather than a sense of drudgery, visitors see productivity and optimism. It made this 50-something feel like a slacker!

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Not Your Typical Hendrix Cover Band

Young@Heart is singing rock ‘n roll, dancing, and touring Europe—in their 70s, 80s, and 90s!! I interviewed this Northampton, MA, group for TIME and found them riveting! I love their sense of fun, enthusiasm, and energy. Rather than sing Sinatra, they’re gyrating to the Clash, Coldplay, and the Talking Heads.

Here’s the official Young@Heart trailer.  I’m sure the video can’t capture how cool they are. I got to see them in the flesh! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjnfoFg7i7g

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July 2011

What Are The Top Three Age-Friendly Cities?

Happy 65th birthday, 78 million boomers! Just 20 more years until you’re 85! And what of it?

Today, Philadelphia has the highest proportion of people age 60+, with more than half minority or foreign-born. And, New York City’s older population is going to soar by almost 50% in the next 25 years. AARP research shows that 89% of older Americans want to stay put.

Cities like Philly and NYC are scrambling to find ways to make it easier for older Americansto age in their communities (the lingo is “age in place”). This means good public transportation when driving no longer works, plenty of walking routes, access to parks and stores, and opportunities to participate in the community.

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July 2011

Should the Boomer Generation Be Called the Divorce Generation?

Just read a piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/125272069.html) that says one-quarter of all divorces happen in 20+-year-long marriages and terming boomers “the most divorce-prone generation in history.” Stats show 23.4% over age 70 are divorced, while it’s 35.7% for people in their 50′s.

That validates what I’m seeing. I know of several couples married more than 30 years who, in the last two years, are splitzville. Lots of speculation why, from better health, longevity, and expectations, less stigma, to being at different stages to no commonalities. Any thoughts?

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Wising Up With Retirement

In his Huffington Post piece, Aging Guru Ken Dychtwald mentions a 2011 survey conducted by heavy hitters (Age Wave, SunAmerica, and Harris Interactive) of 1,000 men and women ages 55+ who are either pre-retirees or retirees on their attitudes toward retirement.

The take-aways:

1. It will be good and bad. Boomers will have fewer government entitlements and less money, but they’ll stay active, keep learning and growing and leading interesting lives. They’ll also be more careful with, and educated about, their money.

2.  70% expect their adult children will need financial help from them

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July 2011

Latest Boomer Trends In Housing

So great to research alternatives to being alone and lonely in later life. Lots of fun options, from cohousing to niche communities to university-type living. A nudist community for older foks is in the planning stages. I pass! Have gotten lots of interest in this AARP Bulletin piece:

http://www.sallyabrahms.com/articles/detail.asp?content=86&category=3

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July 2011

Married But Living Apart?

It’s a phenomenon, not just a media headline. More older, long-married couples live in separate digs, cities, states during the week, rendez-vous on (some) weekends. Not so dreamy, but driven by economics. I interviewed happily-married-but-living-solo folks and experts for AARP Bulletin.

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/friends-family/info-07-2011/married-but-living-apart.print.html

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July 2011

MetLife Quick Facts About Aging and Boomers

For the last six months, I have written a monthly newsletter for MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMMI) on aging and boomers. These snappy snippets called Quick Facts give the most up-to-date information on a range of topics from retirement to finance to older workers and other areas.

There are some fun and timely facts. Take a look: http://www.metlife.com/mmi/publications/quickfacts/index.html

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Is Making Friends Harder for Baby Boomers?

Some people have so many friends that the thought of making new ones is exhausting. But many baby boomers feel the loss of easy friendships created through the kids when they were younger–steady encounters on the soccer field and elsewhere. You don’t have to be a sadsack or have few or no friends to want to be part of more people’s lives.

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Homeless No More

My latest article for AARP Bulletin covers homeless veterans not only given a second chance, but a new home! The response has been overwhelming. Veterans and social service folks have been contacting me to vent and find resources.

Click here to read: http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/housing/info-07-2011/homeless-vets.html

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Areas of Expertise:
Aging and Baby Boomers ›
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Award-winning writer specializing in aging and baby boomers for national and custom magazines, the web, companies, and organizations.

Print and Internet: features, news, Q & A’s, profiles, and ghostwriting. Author of two books, including a national book tour.

Corporate Communications: web content, brochures, newsletters, media kits, reports, executive profiles, marketing materials, advertorials, and features.

Check out my latest work for AARP, inspiring people age 50+ for TIME, and my MetLife report on purpose in later life.

Recipient of two fellowships on aging from the New York Times Foundation and the MetLife Foundation.

Blogger for the Huffington Post's new Huff/Post 50 section.


 
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