Retirement revolution

"The possibilities for making a contribution to our family, community, and world are endless."

Baby boomers —those 78 million or so people in the United States born between 1946 and 1964—have some refreshing, even revolutionary, ideas about what they want in retirement. They have much different expectations than their parents who often hoped for a life of travel, golf, visiting grandkids, and enjoying years of comparative leisure. In contrast, the boomers want to stay connected—to stay active and useful. They want more than a life of pleasure and sport. A survey for the San Francisco-based nonprofit Civic Ventures shows that "When asked to choose between two different approaches to retirement, 65 percent of respondents ... say it is 'a time to begin a new chapter in life by being active and involved, starting new activities, and setting new goals.' Just 28 percent ... say retirement is 'a time to take it easy, take care of yourself, enjoy leisure activities, and take a much deserved rest from work and daily responsibilities.' " There will be a lot of volunteer work done by retirees as well, but another survey shows most will work for pay. An AARP survey of expectations shows that 80 percent of the retirees interviewed expect to keep working. Only 16 percent plan "not to work for pay at all," and 35 percent expect "to work part time mainly for the interest or enjoyment work provides."

This change parallels the growing interest in spirituality that is sweeping the country today. Is there a connection? There could be. With growth in spirituality comes a better understanding of its source—God, divine Spirit—and of one's relation to Spirit. It must be in line with the divine plan for God's offspring, who are made in His likeness, to be useful, for God's command was, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it" (Gen. 1:28).

Desert trek
June 5, 2000

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