Posted by Gerry - 08 February 2011
The media would have us believe that Baby Boomers are a drain on society. I don't think so ...
Throughout their working lives, Baby Boomers have paid their taxes and National Insurance, worked hard, supported families and contributed to society. Many of us had assumed that successive governments were setting aside a proportion of our hard earned contributions for our future pensions and that our employers were wise and looking after our pension funds.
Popular media comment would have us believe that we were the generation who had never had it so good. Maybe they should get a reality check. Living conditions for families now are far more affluent than when we were growing up. Mortgage rates have never been as low as they have been in very recent years. In the early nineties they were 15%.
Whilst people expect to own their own home in their 20s, this was a distant dream for many Baby Boomers who had to make big sacrifices to get together a deposit for their first home.
We have earned our right to retirement, to a state pension, to good national health care. We have also earned the right to work longer if we choose. Many Baby Boomers want the option to continue working. Many have started businesses rather than retire. We are the generation who have broken away from tradition, who are creative and very much contributing to society.
In the UK, Baby Boomers make up a huge, ever growing volunteer army.
Baby Boomers who are retired or working less hours are keeping the money flow circulating for businesses who previously experienced seasonal or weekday dips in income. They have improved the fortunes of the travel industry, retailers, leisure and hospitality organisations. This cycle of money into the economy means that business takes more revenue, which means more tax is paid, which means that successive chancellors will have a few more bob in their pocket for the state pension. (A touch of idealism? Or is that irony?)
With such a sizeable chunk of the population being over 50, and with more of this demographic buying newspapers and watching TV than other generations, maybe this will shift some stuck stereotyping in the years ahead.