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If You Don’t Have A List Of Baby Boomer Priorities, Make One.


1. Don’t Get Lost. The Woodstock Couple via

Ignore your boomer priorities list and someone will make one for you.

Tip: You won’t like it.

The regular off-the-shelf list isn’t good enough anymore.

The Ten Commandments, Golden Rule, and self-help guides still work fine, but boomers face new challenges that need a more in-depth list.

This may not apply to the first wave boomers, the 1946-52 batch.

Something about pushing 70 makes so much important stuff seem irrelevant.

By the time you turn seventy you’ve started settling into the home stretch of life.

All the old jokes make sense.

Eat dessert first because you just never know if you’ll get to it.

Stop buying green bananas for the same reason.

Buy a ton of toilet paper on sale and call it good for a lifetime.

These lines were funnier at fifty. Now they just seem prudent.

What else?

Older boomers read about the TEN BEST PLACES TO RETIRE RICH and none of them look any better than where they are.

THE NINE CHEAPEST PLACES TO RETIRE haven’t pulled older boomers out of their routine.

Boomer priorities matter more.

You don’t want to be a stranger starting over in some trendy, over-rated, hell hole paradise.


SEVEN SNOWBIRD GETAWAYS? Not for you. Winter is your favorite time of year.

Older boomers have shortened their time frame and point of view.

If you were born in 1946 and don’t have a mentor relationship with someone, or even a hero, you’re missing out.

You’re old enough to have mentored a couple of generations. You were a mentor whether you knew it or not.

Getting old is like being a stunningly beautiful model. She may seem perfect, but someone somewhere who knows her better than you says she’s a hag.

Since you are old you’re seen as wise. Old and wise isn’t always the way it works out, but you know that.

Sometimes young and stupid grows into old and stupid. Experience and maturity doesn’t take root on everyone.

The leading edge boomers heading into the elder closet and locking the door creates a learning experience for the rest of us.

The bitter old man living down the street? He’s a frightened failure hiding his shame, which no one would notice if he weren’t so bitter.

His boomer priorities were to retire in style and have the last laugh. But he lost it all in the economic collapse of 2008. He’s not laughing.

The mean old lady on the corner? She planned on traveling the world all through her retired years, but her Type-2 diabetes scares her so much she feels like a liability.

The crippled man on his front porch joined a gym when he retired. It was one of his boomer priorities.

He started working out the same way he did before football season his senior year.

Now a torn rotator cuff makes it harder for him to raise his hand when he tells everyone to go to hell.

He blew a knee out squatting his weight the way he used to.

Since he doesn’t get out much his ‘go to hell’ opportunities have tapered off over the years.

While the wild childs of the counter-culture 60’s adjust their boomer priorities, the middle boomers are getting pushed by the younger set.

If you have 50 year old friends you’ve seen it.

They are smarter and more ambitious than anyone.

When the job adds a tighter ring of responsibility without added compensation, they make a career move.

Downsizing doesn’t frighten them. Call them rootless and you’d be wrong.

Call them out for paying attention instead.

They are the opposite of hoarders. A house full of memories and family fun times? Sure, but the wall of fame from kid sports isn’t there.

Rooms decorated by Parker Furniture and Rejuvenation Hardware? Some, but also handmade art glass and benches from recovered material sits in there, too.

Look at young boomers as latter day hippies. They’ve seen what has value and what doesn’t.

The original hippies were flying without a flight plan. Graduate from high school and either get a job, go to college, or get drafted for the Vietnam War.

Stay in college or dropout and get drafted.

Graduate from college, then get drafted.

I knew a guy who stayed in college until he got his PhD, then he got drafted. He was angry because guys with Masters Degrees were the same rank as him.

Young boomers have two sets to learn from: Old boomers and middle boomers.

Their boomer priorities are refined to living the best life they can by staying fit, anticipating trends, and making a difference in their circle of friends.

If you don’t have friends in their early fifties, look around.

You’ll find the age difference shrinks to nothing when you share the same boomer priorities.


2. Stick Together. The Woodstock Couple, via


About David Gillaspie


  1. Chick Wellman says:

    Brilliant, is all I can say. Talk about hitting the nail on the head…ouch! (I’ve got no hair up there to protect me….)

    • David Gillaspie says:

      Staying in touch and making a difference isn’t a bad thing to aspire to. And stop bopping yourself in the head like little bunny foo foo walking in the forest.

      I got a hair cut the other day and it didn’t look any different. Not good.

      Seriously, Johnny Cash said it best with, “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep a line out for the tie that binds.”

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