First wave of Baby Boomers turn 65

The first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 on Dec. 25. They qualify for Medicare and will be eligible to draw social security benefits next year adding pressure to the federal budget. On the upside, Boomers see 65 as just another birthday.

But two studies - one by Pew Research Center and one by AARP -- are on polar ends when it comes to assessing Boomer attitudes, reports Media Post Communications. Pew compares Boomers of all ages to other generations and finds them "more downbeat than other age groups about the trajectory of their own lives and about the direction of the nation as a whole," and implies that the funkitude is something innate in the Boomer generation. Yet, the data it reports show Boomers were the most impacted by the Great Recession, are dealing with delaying retirement to fund said retirement, and find themselves forever stuck in middle age, with adults kids at home and aging parents requiring caregiving. It is no wonder some Boomers are glum. 

AARP's findings are much more optimistic. They sum it up by telling us that this "first wave of the Boomer generation [is] generally satisfied with their lives and optimistic about the next third of life."  With a generation some 76 million large, it's no wonder the findings conflict. You can't sum up generational attitudes in a word or a phrase. There are tens of millions of very happy and satisfied Boomers of all ages, and there are some soon-to-be-65 Boomers who are depressed and, well, glum. The median age of Baby Boomers is 56 and, according to Pew, the typical Boomer feels nine years younger and thinks "old age" starts at age 72 -- some 25 years in the future!