Boomers redefined

Baby Boomers might redefine themselves and their surroundings by the year 2028 as a result of an evolving global environment and marketplace, according to the Institute for the Future in conjunction with the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

The report concludes that Boomers will be resourceful and self-reliant, forming economic, health, and social collectives—and families of choice—to adapt to the future and will distribute the stress and burden of managing risk across networks of people, some based on kinship and others on affinity or interest. They will plan more, work longer, and become more entrepreneurial, as well as take part in peer-to-peer networks of people that will perform some of the financial services that banks and other financial institutions perform today.

Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will be the first generation to age in a truly global economy, giving them access to more learning resources, new ways to collaborate, financial products from around the world, and health care abroad (medical tourism). And an erosion of the trust people have had in institutions will bring new banking/investment vehicles, peer-to-peer loans, and new structures to manage new capitals. Fewer government and employer safety nets and low personal savings will threaten financial security.

Relationships will be redefined in emerging patterns of marriage, remarriage and childbearing, including alternative chosen family arrangements, changing the definition of family, and there will be peer caretaking and social care matching services.

Boomers will find new ways to build communities to close the gap created by decreased mobility, polarization, social fragmentation, and health challenges such as online social networks, virtual retirement communities, and community blogging. Challenges they will face include elder abuse, anti-boomer backlash, and ageist zoning laws. Degradation of the environment will bring risks from new diseases and fewer sustainable food and energy sources resulting in food and energy collectives, do-it-yourself (DIY) products, and green technology., go to “What’s New.”