Today my daughter pointed this article out to me, “How To Pick Your Life Partner,” in the Wait But Why post. Having read a lot of such articles, starting as a teenager with dating advice in Glamour Magazine, I was pleasantly surprised to have been enchanted with this one. It’s pretty obviously written by a male with its no-nonsense approach to the topic of how to choose a partner and then create a happy marriage. So, I could not resist checking out the author.
Tim Urban shares some of his attributes with us: “getting called an out-of-touch Baby Boomer even though he’s only 31,”not being an expert on things he writes about” and “drawing stick figures at a 2nd grade level.” As a real Baby Boomer who was impressed with his cogent account of the trip from first date to the altar and many years down the road of wedded bliss after, I had to research further.
Lorena O’Neil wrote “Wait But Why: Making Nerdiness Viral,” inNPR AS HEARD ON NPR LISTEN ONLINE, a description of the blog which helped me to understand why this 31 year old guy could put such brilliant perspective into the marriage topic. “Wait But Why is a blog that works as an adult science and social studies classroom. The website pairs cartoons, infographics, lists, and irreverent, conversational writing for a mix that looks like BuzzFeed meets Hyperbole and a Half meets Thought Catalog. The act of reading the posts is an experience in and of itself. You can easily curl up for 20 minutes digging into a single post with all of its drawings, data visualizations and captions. Don’t let the crude, seemingly haphazardly drawn stick-figure images and basic layout of the site fool you — it’s full of insights and skillful explanations of real-life situations. Sometimes the best way to make a complex idea click is with a really basic drawing, a super-simple pie chart or a stack of candies sized up against Earth.”
Ken Solin, author of “You Gotta Have Heart, Act Like a Man,” muses about many guys’ “myopic expectations” in post 50 dating. An example is one man’s scoring system — 3 dates before sex; after that the woman is dumped. “What a guy! He’s a throwback to the 60s when sex was mostly casual and rarely meaningful. I would have thought that five decades later every boomer guy understood and accepted that first date sex is no longer on a boomer woman’s menu. Scoring is about getting off not making love. Every boomer woman knows the difference and nearly all prefer making love.”
Here’s another: “first date sex expectations,” where women are termed angry and resentful if they don’t have intimate relations on the first date. Solin’s response to men who say that is “You really don’t understand why an empowered sixty something woman who helped us end a war, fought for her legal rights, had a career, raised our kids often as single moms, and spent a lifetime building a network of close, supportive friends isn’t flattered by your invitation to sexually satisfy a total stranger? Sure you do, you understand perfectly. You just don’t respect women.”
It really doesn’t have to be a battle. Read the whole, thoughtful piece here:
In 1964 the youngest boomers were born. This year, they hit 50. The Huffington Post reports that “in December, Brad Pitt became the sexiest boomer alive when he turned the big 5-0 and in 2014, the boomers are going to make, well — quite the boom with some of the hottest names in Hollywood celebrating their half-centuries.”
See some of their photos here and enjoy a list of “late bloomers,” such as Laura Ingalls Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock, who made it big later in life:
A recent survey by Del Webb indicates that the trend toward earlier retirement is increasing among Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 64. Greater than half of Boomers plan to retire by age 65 versus the median of 67 in 2010. And their intention is to emphasize balance in their lives by focusing on “activities and hobbies that enhance physical/mental well-being (62 percent), spending time/focusing on family (51 percent), and traveling (34 percent).”
After years of job and family responsibilities, many are starting to focus more on personal goals. “For the first time in what may seem like a lifetime, boomers are transitioning to a new stage in their lives that is filled with zest and personal discovery,” said Fred Ehle, vice president of brand marketing for Del Webb.” A big component of this is finding new social circles and, for many, dating. The study reflects that 56 percent of single Boomers are receptive to dating and 45 percent are actively dating, not definitely looking for love and marriage.
Martin Zwilling has just written a piece for Forbes about the current resurgence of the entrepreneurial spirit in which people are eschewing the “job” mentality for more meaningful work in which they look forward to contributing to society.
I have a few friends who were in the Peace Corps but that was not the main thrust of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Citing the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Zwilling notes that although we are slightly below the 2011 high of 320 new entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults, we are at about 20 million non-employer businesses today.
If you are thinking of starting a business, Zwilling mentions a list of positive points for prospective business owners, such as an increase in funding for early-stage startups, increased valuations of successful startups and social media as a huge advantage today. According to a recent poll in The Telegraph, currently almost 20% of young women seek to start their own businesses, noting that “women already control over 70% of household income and over $20 trillion of consumer spending.”
And, as of last year, 23.4 percent of entrepreneurs were Baby Boomers. “In fact, in every one of the last 15 years, Boomers between the ages of 55 and 64 have had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than Gen-Y.” This is good news for those of us in that age group whose dreams include starting a small business of our own.
Pictured above are Halsbrook CEO Halsey Schroeder and her model. The newly founded online retailer caters to the older retail market offering chic, high-end attire. Halsbrook joins fashion chains Chico’s and NYDJ in marketing to women who’ve moved beyond their 20’s.
These companies have seized upon the opportunity which American Baby Boomers present by holding 80 percent of the country’s personal net worth. John Burgess writes in the latest AARP Bulletin, “Imagine an economy that ranks No. 3 in the world, after the United States and China. It’s got more than 100 million consumers generating $7 trillion a year in goods and services. They’re generally better off financially, with special interests in health, exercise, leisure travel, Internet shopping and digital gadgets. Every year, their numbers and buying power expand.” Burgess calls the American 50-plus population the “longevity economy” because they are working longer and spending more, especially in entertainment and apparel.
Despite these numbers, the country’s 50-plus group does not receive the attention it deserves in this economy. Jody Holtzmann, a member of an AARP campaign to change this perception, portrays this market as one which will enrich the corporations which cater to it. Companies need to focus on the buying power of this group by creating new lines focused on them, as Schroeder did. Not only the traditional concerns of health care but new technologies, which Boomers have embraced, as well as fitness, travel, clothing for younger looking older people, dating concerns, etc. Holtzmann is leading the charge to change the 50+ public persona. “A key objective: Build interest among the country’s venture capital firms, which have hatched many breakthrough technologies. He’s pushing investors to pose a particular question to every start-up that comes calling: ‘What’s your 50-plus strategy?'”