Boomer Challenges and Opportunities

Baby Boomers Haven

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Wake up call for Boomers

All through their lives, boomers have been given everything they wanted. America built schools and other resources to give boomers what they needed. Their numbers have driven the economy. First their parents provided support and resources. Communities built new schools for them. Then entering the workforce, they created economic waves as they moved through the stages of life. It seemed that boomers were blessed and that their entire lives would be secure and comfortable. Being indulged all their lives, they couldn’t be responsible for raising enough children to support them in old age. Now we are seeing the consequences.

Today their run of good luck is over. As they reach retirement age, the security is gone and retirement is no longer a promise. Jobs are not a lifetime commitment. The workplace has changed and their isn’t enough money for social security benefits or medicare. The job market has changed as well. You can’t expect a lifetime career with one employer or even expect that your skills you started with will last you through your working life. When boomers need to find new jobs, they have problems. Jobs have changed and the ways the job market matches employers and employees has changed also. It’s a new world for a job seeker.

Another Job? 

These days boomers are scrambling to stay competitive in an every changing job market. Sometimes they need new skills but more often they just need to learn new ways to market themselves by taking advantage of social media. Staying fresh and having a presence on social media is only one step, however. Boomers also need to consider the idea that a job is no longer the ideal way to earn money.

There are always entrepreneurs and boomers have their share as well but the message that most boomers followed was: get a good job, work hard and retire after 30 years. It was an appealing message 40 years ago but today something is wrong. Those companies which promised lifetime jobs and secure retirements can’t deliver. Retirement accounts have lost value and even if you can still retire, it’s not as comfortable as promised.

 Or Start a Business

So what can you do? You can continue playing the game you learned when you entered the job market. You can upgrade your marketing with social media skills and freshen up your work experience to match younger workers. But you can also look at taking control and becoming your own boss by learning to be an entrepreneur. These days you can start low cost businesses on the web. There are internet based businesses using affiliate marketing and product sales and web based tools that provide inexpensive platforms. Network Marketing or mufti-level-marketing is another excellent and low coast way to build an independent income. Many people have accepted second hand information to reject Network Marketing but the industry is sound. Just a bit of research can show you how effective this business vehicle can be and show you the opportunities.

Whatever the choice, the critical element for success today s making an investment in becoming an effective leader who can chart his own course. It also means associating with people who have similar goals Finally it means associating yourself with mentors who can help you stay on course. There is time to make those changes and get your life back where you want it to be. But to make it happen, you need to make a commitment to yourself. You can accept your lot and limp along or you can take control and transform yourself into the person you need to be. It is all up to you.

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Bill Murney July 28, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Yes Ralph, for a lot of Baby Boomers life has turned a little sour. Many have found that financial security in retirement was but a dream and some have been forced back into employment at an age when they should be taking it easy.

    Changing skills and even starting a business doesn’t come easy for the majority, leaving low paid menial work as their only option.

    Bill
    A-U-L, UK
    Bill Murney’s last Blog Post ..Buddy Rich

  • Ralph July 28, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Bill,
    That’s true only if they have given up on themselves and accept being losers.

  • Bob Lowry July 29, 2011, 9:31 am

    Isn’t the biggest underlying trend the increased importance of personal responsibility? We have become rather accustomed to others, whether that means employees or government, doing some of the hard work for us.

    In today’s environment the individual must be more attuned to what he is doing, how he invests, and how he prepares for the future. For those who are close to retirement, this change leaves them in some trouble. I can’t blame them since the goal posts were moved when it was almost too late to change direction.

    But for anyone still several years away from retiring, there is plenty of time to adapt to the new rules and do what has to be done to take back control of your own destiny (as much as you can!).
    Bob Lowry’s last Blog Post ..Until It is Gone….and Then Returns

    • Ralph July 29, 2011, 10:24 am

      There is a big conflict between the way government wants to control everything and the need to be responsible about your financial situation. It’s hard to be responsible and easy to stay in denial that nobody is going to help you.

  • Bill Birnbaum July 29, 2011, 11:42 am

    Hi, Ralph… Seems to me that there’s a significant benefit to our economy when boomers start their own business. For if they remain in the job market, they’re competing (for jobs) with younger people starting out in their career. This makes for a difficult situation since the young folks are having a difficult time “getting going” in today’s sluggish economy. Bill
    Bill Birnbaum’s last Blog Post ..Retiring for a Reason

  • Sire July 29, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Hey Ralph, I think that what many people failed to do is to take advantage of the good times by investing for the future. I see it today in our young who are more interested in enjoying today and not worrying about tomorrow. They say there is time for that later but unfortunately all they are doing is building bad habits.

    People are constantly spending as much as they earn. They get a raise and instead of making use of the excess they lift their living standards.

    Anyway, regarding those in the situation you described in your post, the worst thing they can do is sit around bemoaning their situation. They have something the younger person lacks, business smarts and good work ethics. They need to use that to their advantage, whether it’s online or offline.

    OK, just posted this again because I noticed it went missing like the last one did. Hopefully it works this time around.
    Sire’s last Blog Post ..Beware Emails That Tell You You’ve Won The Lottery

    • Bill Birnbaum August 1, 2011, 8:45 am

      Hi, Sire… Don’t you think that it was the same when we were young? I recall my thinking not about retirement, but rather about having a good time. Saving for, or even thinking about, retirement was the farthest thing from my mind. I wonder if the young of today are really much different than we were on this issue. Bill
      Bill Birnbaum’s last Blog Post ..Retiring for a Reason

      • Sire August 3, 2011, 3:53 am

        Actually I can honestly say that was not the case with me at all, and I have my parents to thank for it.
        Also I am sure I am not the only one.

        It’s like those who dream of owning a successful business and those who go out and do it, many of the time sacrificing a lot to get there.

        There were times when we did not pull a wage because we couldn’t afford to. While others were enjoying themselves we were putting in close tom 100 hours a week for seven years without having a day off.
        Sire’s last Blog Post ..WordPress Tutorials For The New User

  • Ralph July 30, 2011, 7:26 am

    Sire,
    An excellent point! Older workers have indeed got skills and experience with life and the ability to persevere. Those can make up for a lot of misplaced energy. I think the big thing is encouragement and good examples that show that old dogs can learn (and master) new tricks.

  • hansi July 31, 2011, 7:24 am

    I think Boomers need to wake up and get even more politically active. Take social security for example. Sure it needs some adjustments, but can be easily made viable far into the future. Those politicians who would like to do some ‘social engineering’ and rid us from such pleasantries got to be voted out of office. Boomers need to cross party lines and vote in their true interests and what our country has promised us, and not just accept the Cuts only approach of some. Enough politics, it’s back to La La Land.
    hansi’s last Blog Post ..“What A Wanker”

    • Ralph July 31, 2011, 7:54 am

      Hansi,
      I agree. Boomers need to be more politically and start thinking. That social security is a piece of shit. I paid an arm and a leg while I was working and it won’t cover food for the cats. Whose getting all that money? It sure ain’t me.

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