The way boomers and millennials are talked about, you would think they were sworn enemies. These two generations have been pitted against each other time and time again, with insults and accusations being thrown at both sides. Boomers are called greedy and selfish. Millennials are called lazy and entitled. Firstly, to label any generation as a whole is foolish. Secondly, the animosity between the two groups has been overstated.
Yes, there are differences between the two generations, but instead of highlighting the conflicts we can focus on what they have in common. These are not enemies, as in many families boomers and millennials get along just fine despite their differences. And as with any young and older generations living together, these a lot they can learn from each other.
Huffington Post has a great article on what millennials can learn from baby boomers. This is not meant to be an indictment on millennials, or a suggestion that boomers are their betters. This is only meant to highlight that, yes, boomers with years more experience and shaping their own unique approach to their later years can inspire and blaze a trail for millennials to follow.
Old age doesn’t mean you stop working.
This is one of the biggest shifts in the workplace that boomers are responsible for. In fact, it is the reason we, BoomersPlus, exists. Boomers have single-handedly changed the concept of retirement forever. It has no become a sense of person preference with age barely playing a role in the decision at all. Boomers have decided that the so-called retirement age does not apply to them and they will continue working as long as they want. Millennials should follow their lead, letting the decision of their retirement be made based on financial needs, interest and passion, rather than what other people might think.
Don’t throw away your independence.
This might seem like it is going to head down the same route as typical rant on millennials who still live with their parents. The truth is that boomers as a generation have been a fairly independent group. This is going back to their youth and continuing into seniority. A large number of boomers hold on to independence in their older years instead of relying on family to help them. Financial well-being will mean different people will have to make different choices, but the younger generations may want to take note that boomers have shown older age doesn’t mean lose of independence.
Your achievements matter more than your age.
Ironically enough, it seems that millennials are the ones who put emphasis on age while boomers are more likely to consider that an insignificant part of their lives. The saying goes that age is nothing but a number and that is true. Boomers tend to measure themselves not according to the number of years they’ve had on this planet, but what they’ve been able to accomplish in that time. It’s important to realise what is truly important as you get older.
Old age doesn’t mean old brain and old mind.
There is a common perception that as you age, you begin to lose some of your sharpness. Certainly, this is a possibility. Health conditions and ailments can indeed affect your mind as you get older. However, age does not mean you automatically will begin forgetting things, lose aspects of your personality, or become mentally slower. Boomers have proven that you can remain, not only as smart as ever, but in fact continue to get smarter as you age.
Old age is just as good a time as any to be competitive.
It’s the view of some that when you reach your older years, you begin to take a backseat in society. Older people have the perception of not offering as much to the public life. Have you met a boomer who is willing to be pushed aside in this manner? They are a tenacious group and are more than happy to take centerstage. In the workforce, they are still competitive and not willing to be pushed out when they feel they still have something to offer. There is no need to slow down for anyone.
Old age requires better communication skills.
This is one area where Huffington Post has it a bit mixed up. They suggest that millennials, in this age of digital communication are overly focused on the screens in front of them. This might very well be true, but it’s not something that only applies to millennials. Yes, boomers did not have the same technology growing up, but they’ve adapted to it quite well. Boomers are just as guilt as millennials of staring at their screens. So let’s just say we can all use a little more work on our communication skills overall.
You still need goals in your old age.
Boomers have shown that you can accomplish a lot over the years. But they’ve also shown that there really is no reason to stop at any time. Even if you do choose to retire, that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning, exploring, working and growing. It just means you can do it in a whole new way. Set new goals, make new memories and achieve more.