As of January 2011, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day. That's one every eight seconds. By 2030, boomers will be 78 million strong. It's not surprising a cohort this large is redefining what healthy aging means.

While there are many variations on the theme, boomers' vision of healthy living has several common elements.

Purpose After Retirement

According to Spirit-Health Connections, retirement presents opportunities like never before to make a difference in the lives of others that will last far into the future. Having a purpose is the great desire that helps structure our time and resources so we can make progress towards meaningful goals. It motivates, energizes, establishes priorities, and gives us momentum to overcome challenges. Furthermore, having a purpose has positive health benefits, including reducing the risk of depression.

When choosing your purpose, Spirit-Health Connections recommends it:

  • Takes advantage of your strengths and abilities
  • Has flexibility
  • Has potential for significant impact
  • Has a spiritual aspect

Encore Careers

A survey by MetLife found that despite current employment challenges, by 2018 there will likely be more jobs than people to fill them. That's an opportunity for boomers.

Encore careers are late-career jobs that help pay the bills and provide meaning or have social impact. Currently about nine million older workers are already in an encore career. Nearly two thirds of adults see an encore career as the natural next stage of life and a time to keep working and use their skills and experience to help others in paid or volunteer positions. The top encore careers are in health care and education.

According to the MetLife survey, "Not only will there be jobs for these experienced workers to fill, but the nation will also need older workers to step up and take them-to assure continued economic growth and to provide the critical social and government services on which we all depend."

Live Long and Thrive

The AARP says today's boomers want to live long and to thrive. The key is making sound decisions about personal care and having a positive attitude. A good mood has powerful long-term health benefits and helps offset stress, illness, and pain. Here are a few of the AARP's tips for maintaining a positive attitude: listen to music, laugh, get back to nature, and volunteer.



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Simon, Nissa. "6 Ways to Feel Happier, Be Healthier." AARP Bulletin. Web. 13 May 2011.

Francis, David. "Raising the Retirement Age: A Reflection of Our Evolving Economy." U.S.News & World Report. Web. 21 September 2011.

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