Apr 7, 2007
Happy Birthday Boomers

Afew weeks ago, I phoned my good friend Mark to wish him happy birthday – he was celebrating his 60th.

“I’m not celebrating this year!” he growled in his Aussie tone.

“What do you mean, not celebrating?” I asked. “We’re all going out on Saturday night, aren’t we? It’s your birthday – we’re having a party!”
He conceded that it was okay to celebrate him and his 60th, though he didn’t sound convincing. He must not have seen the newspaper yet, nor be aware that today his 60 is like the 40 of his parents’ generation.

I opened the paper just moments after finishing our conversation – and the front-page article in USA Today’s Life Section was “Boomers, blow out those 60 candles and dance!” Indeed, about 79 million baby boomers are headed to 60 – with the first having crossed the line this past January.

Recently, while surfing online, I came across a survey measuring at what age we think someone is considered to have entered the so-called “Over the Hill” category. A very bold 21 percent indicated “never;” 13 percent said “71-80;” and the balance was divided into much smaller percentages across a very broad age range from 30 to 70 years old. I found this very interesting because it showed me that there is no definitive age for this category anymore. With this in mind, 40, 50 and 60 must be called something else these days.

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