Boomers And Family Relationships: Going on 60+ Years Young!
This year the Baby Boomer Generation is turning 65 and is redefining: “What is Old” as “We are the Upper Middle Age and Damn Proud of it! ” This proud group of 50’s and 60’s born babies have never stood still in the past and are not about to start doing so now!
Baby Boomers have always been an age group phenomenon associated with rejection of and redefinition of society‘s traditional values. Since most boomers in the United States grew up in a time of financial growth and affluence, they are considered the healthiest and wealthiest generation yet with control of over 80% of all personal financial assets and over 50% of all discretionary spending dollars. As Boomers grow older they expect the world to improve for the better and will seek changes in society’s traditional values to meet demand for change as they did in their youth.
One coming change will involve family relationships in the context of marriage, divorce, and cohabitation. Boomers have always been known as the “Individual Freedom” generation. Boomers have redefined old age today as not beginning until age 72+ (2009 Pew Survey). Boomers are 70% more likely to believe that the main purpose of marriage is mutual happiness and fulfillment rather than primarily child rearing, and are ironically less accepting of same-sex couples raising children, unmarried couples living together, and other non- traditional arrangements (2010 Pew Survey).
With longer life spans and growing acceptability of divorce, the Boomer divorce rate has tripled over their parent’s generation. Sixty-Six percent say divorce is preferable to an unhappy marriage (2010 Pew Survey) and an AARP study of boomers found that two-thirds (2/3) of divorces were initiated by the woman to the surprise of her male partner. A study by the Office of National Statistics indicates the US divorce rate has dropped, except in the 60+ age group. Times are “still a changing”, and yet the 2010 Decline of Marriage Pew Survey indicates 76% of all Baby Boomers today feel their family is “the most important element of their lives!”