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Baby Boomers continue to personally evolve; setting new trends along their wake. This carnival, the 307th of the BBC series, is just a small piece of the microcosm series that was developed to record the boomer generation's evolution.
Come to the fair and observe interesting segments of trend-setting happenings that seek life's meaning through passionate living. Be sure to visit SoBabyBoomer's tent at the Blogging Boomer Carnival #307 is hosted this week by Rita Robison of The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide.
I just finished reading the latest book in M. B. Tosi's wonderful The Indian Path Series - it's The Crimson Path of Honor and I absolutely loved it. My review sums it up:
"The Crimson Path of Honor, the third of The Indian Path Series by M. B. Tosi, takes us back in time where a spoiled young woman raised in Boston discovers her fearless courage and life signature through learning the ways of a squaw while being known as 'Morning Star'.
"A white woman assimilating within a Native American culture, while the destruction of the Indian way of life was happening across the continent, is a theme of The Indian Path Series and is of interest to many Americans. As one who has traced his heritage back to the marriage of a Mohawk woman and a Dutchman in the 1600s, I especially appreciate these cultural-clashing stories that M. B. Tosi weaves."
~John G. Agno, certified executive & business coach and president of Signature, Inc., a leadership development firm located in Ann Arbor, MI.
The language is beautiful, her descriptions perfection, the plot is exciting and enduring and the characters unfold before you like enchanting flowers. You'll thrill at the forbidden love that blossoms between the beautiful blond woman and the handsome Indian chief - a can't miss - read it now! And when you order the book, you'll download as a bonus her previous in the series, The Secret Path of Destiny. What a gift! http://bit.ly/CrPath
Lawrence Rybka, CEO of ValMark Securities, a wealth-advisory firm, says his firm won’t sell the new insurers’ annuities, in part because the providers’ financial-strength ratings from A.M. Best, a credit-rating company that focuses on the insurance industry, aren’t high enough. His Akron-based company’s liability insurance won’t pay for his defense if he’s sued by a client who buys an annuity from a company with less than an A rating that later fails, he says.
With a typical annuity, a customer hands over her retirement nest egg to an insurance company in exchange for a promised future stream of payments. The insurer invests the money and gets to keep any earnings beyond what’s guaranteed to the policyholder. If the bets backfire and the insurance company fails, some losses may be borne by customers and state guarantee funds, Rybka said. “The long-term interests of policyholders are not in alignment with the short-term interests of private equity,” Rybka says. “It’s a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose game.”
Until April 2011, Patrick “Pete” Dodd, a former money manager at Liberty Life Insurance in Greenville, S.C., invested customer premiums in what he calls a “squeaky clean” portfolio: bonds backed by state governments and blue chip corporations. Then Athene Holding, a company funded by private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO), acquired Liberty and changed its investment strategy. Now the unit’s holdings include securities backed by subprime mortgages, time-share vacation homes, and a railroad in Kazakhstan. “When you look at the business model these guys use, where they’re substantially increasing the risk in the bond portfolio, sooner or later, in my opinion, that has to come home to roost,” says Dodd, who helped manage $4 billion before the sale to Athene.
Wall Street firms such as Apollo, Goldman Sachs Group (GS), Harbinger Group (HRG), and Guggenheim Partners are acquiring life insurance companies that specialize in retirement savings products known as fixed annuities. They’re shaking up a staid industry with investments in everything from the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team to the kind of mortgage-backed securities that cratered during the financial crisis.
The newcomers are meeting resistance from some state insurance regulators, accustomed to plain-vanilla portfolios, who have warned about exposing policyholders to greater risk. “Their focus is on maximizing their immediate financial returns, rather than ensuring that promised retirement benefits are there at the end of the day for policyholders,” Benjamin Lawsky, New York State superintendent of financial services, said in a speech on April 18.
The money managers say their investments are no more dangerous than those of traditional insurers and that they’re managing them with a long-term view. While some of Athene’s investments are unorthodox, “our portfolio is less risky than traditional life-insurance companies,” says Bermuda-based Chief Executive Officer James Belardi.
Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, April 29, 2013
Best of Boomer Blogs #306
Baby Boomers continue to personally evolve; setting new trends along their wake. This is the 306 of the BBB series and just a small piece of the microcosm series that was developed to record the boomer generation's evolution.
Come and observe interesting segments of trend-setting happenings that seek life's meaning through passionate living. Be sure to visit SoBabyBoomer's tent at the Best of Boomer Blogs #306 hosted this week by Katie Gustafson Foster at Arabian Tales and Other Amazing Adventures. Katie Foster is a freelance writer and photographer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates whose main interests include travel, culture, fashion, food and wine.
Most of us are aware that there are two types of old these days. There is Baby-Boomer old, an audacious, aspirational sort of old. Common depictions include couples sky-diving for their 40th anniversaries; Richard Branson doing all manner of macho rich-guy nonsense; and the woman of a certain age on a seashore holding a fluttering piece of voile toward the winds of freedom.
Then there is old old, a realm often belonging to the parents of the baby boomers. This is nursing-home old. This is prunes-for-breakfast old. This is “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” old.
It would be easy to make the mistake of thinking new interest in the aged exists simply because the boomers, still the largest generation in the Western Hemisphere, are now careering into seniorhood. But it’s worth remembering that, notwithstanding their aging, the boomers are still the generation that gave us the famous boardroom credo “Nobody wants to see old people on TV/in the movies/in advertisements.” “The Golden Girls” was what it meant to be acceptably ancient on prime time. Rue McClanahan was a fit 51 when she took the role of Blanche Devereaux on that show.
So it’s not the new old who are driving this fascination. It’s the young.
It is from this cultural interstice that Betty White’s late-career renaissance was made possible. The White phenomenon can be cast largely as a youth-culture one; something that never would have happened if it weren’t for the 2010 Facebook petition, driven by under-30s, asking White to host “Saturday Night Live.” Today White fits in a truly novel category of fame: a giant star with cult cachet among people who could be her great-grandchildren.
The twilight years thus appeal as a time when a kind of paradoxical freedom can be located, a time thought to be beyond the petty concerns of hotness and coolness, where you can finally, truly, really be yourself.
Today, college graduations, weddings, 30th birthday parties, Christenings, brises — these sorts of events are regularly blessed with multiple Grannies, Papas, Yiayias, Zaides, Nanas, Nonnas, Omas, Abuelitos. They stand up; they take bows. In the true fabric of experience, this is not some invisible stitching.
Source: The New York Times Magazine, April 28, 2013
They may have been known as the MTV Generation or sometimes "the slackers," when they first started entering the workforce more than 25 years ago, but members of Generation X (Gen X, those born between 1965 and 1976) are now as affluent, stable and saddled with responsibility as their parents were at the same age.
A new study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute, The MetLife Study of Generation X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life, reports that 70% of Gen Xers live with a spouse or partner. They have an average of 2.5 children and 82% own their own homes, though 17% of those report that the value of those homes is less than the debt attached to them. Forty-three percent have remained in the same type of career throughout their working years and just more than 40% have been with the same employer for 10 years or more. 75% are working full or part-time. Most are part of a dual-earner household.
Now approaching or in middle age, Gen Xers are part of the sandwich generation because many are caring for both their children and their parents. 10% are grandparents. The economy has not been too tough on the group, now aged 36 to 47. Just 19% earn less than $35,000 per year and fully 29% earn more than $100,000. They are arguably better educated than any generation before them-43% graduated from college. Only 50% say they are behind on their retirement savings; they have relatively high ownership rates of 401K plans (66%).
"The Gen Xers have suffered from the 'Marcia, Marcia, Marcia' syndrome since they've been compared with The Brady Bunch daughter, Jan, the frequently unnoticed middle child," said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. "Because they followed the Baby Boomers, it took a while for them to make their mark. That was also due to the fact that they're small in number - just 50 million compared to 77 million boomers - and entered the workforce later than their predecessors."
The moniker Generation X originated in the 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland (St. Martin's Press). At the time, the group was perceived as unfocused 20-somethings, lacking drive and taking an extraordinarily long time to grow up. They were the first to be associated with the term, "emerging adulthood" because they were thought to have put off being fully self-sufficient until their late 20s.
The GenXers grew up in the 1980's and 90's listening to Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana. They spent their childhood and adolescence watching MTV and The Cosby Show and, identified with the characters in the movies, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Fully 46% were latch-key children whose parents both went to work.
Other aspects of Generation X revealed in the study include the following:
The majority (63%) of Gen Xers still have both parents living and almost two in 10 regularly provide care for their aging parent(s).
Almost six in 10 Gen Xers report they include exercise in their daily routines.
Approximately 20% have never been married.
70% of Gen Xers are not confident that Social Security will be there to provide benefits when they retire.
Most would like to retire at age 62, but believe working until at least age 67 is inevitable.
Many Gen Xers identify as Baby Boomers.
Two in ten Gen Xers have been married more than once.
On average, Gen Xers own about four financial products, with those in higher income brackets much more likely to own more products.
The nationally representative survey for The MetLife Study of Generation X: The MTV Generation Moves into Mid-Life was conducted by GfK Custom Research North America on behalf of the MetLife Mature Market Institute between November 29, 2012 and December 19, 2012. A total of 1,000 interviews were completed by phone - respondents were all born between the years of 1965 and 1976. Data were weighted by demographics to reflect the total Gen X population.
In order to rediscover our natural confidence and live a fearless life, we must examine the challenge: we must "recognize fear."
Fear, for the neurophysiologists, is a stimulus to investigate, discern and resolve. Taking a Buddhist perspective on fear, however, requires that we make a simple, yet somewhat outrageous, observation: fear does not exist. This is not to say we don't experience fear and its many forms. Of course, we are afraid of death and pain, afraid that we can't handle life. We fear new situations and the unknown. Yet, while we may want to define fear, explore fear, and possibly even resolve it, we first must acknowledge that we cannot actually find such a solid thing as "fear" at all.
Our ability to suddenly discover a powerful seat of fearless abundance may not be all that fantastic. In fact, rediscovering this fearless abundance is considered more likely than we think and is traditionally often referred to as "discovering the wish-fulfilling gem." Discovering the gem is said to happen abruptly, like winning a lottery, thus opening up a sudden physical and spiritual energy similar to that of riding a mighty horse. This frees the mind of impoverishment and revels the natural state of fearless abundance.
For many people, being on the far side of 40 in the workplace brings the confidence of experience, of having hit a certain professional stride. It can also bring a nagging insecure feeling that younger colleagues—the ones with 5,000 Twitter followers, who designed their first website in middle school—are fast becoming the new office stars.
SENIOR INITIATIVE: To keep up with his younger colleagues' skills, Doug Gould has taken more than 10 new-technology classes. Gould, a 50-year-old advertising veteran, says some of that anxiety arose when co-workers called him by nicknames like "Uncle Doug" and "Coach."
"I think those were terms of endearment," says Mr. Gould, a creative director for the Boston ad agency Allen & Gerritsen, who started his career back in 1984 using tracing paper and markers to design newspaper ads. "But if you read between the lines, it also meant 'old guy.' I get nervous about what that means."
For many people in the back half of their careers, the meaning is becoming all too clear: To keep from drifting, or being nudged, into an early retirement, it's time to add more high-tech arrows to their professional quiver—to refresh their skills with, say, some social-media or mobile-app expertise. As Mr. Gould has learned, competing with younger colleagues who grew up texting, tweeting, using Facebook and playing videogames requires constant work to stay up-to-date.
It is Friday night at Sneaky Pete's restaurant and bar in Bonita Springs, Fla., and the dance floor is jammed.
A band called The Hype is blasting "Mustang Sally" and "Louie Louie," and the dancers are singing along, hands in the air, booties shaking, bodies sweating.
Almost all are well over 60. Some are past 70. They dance for hours.
It is well known that Florida retirees play golf, sit on the beach and occasionally use walkers. They also rock out by the thousands at South Florida bars, looking for romance or just having fun.
Not all Florida retirees go dancing, of course, but with baby boomers retiring, crowds are getting big.
Some are singles doing things they haven't done since high school, this time without parental guidance. Some women show up in slinky black dresses, sequins and plunging necklines, although many others are in pants. Men lean toward T-shirts, Aloha shirts, shorts and jeans. To attract older dancers, some clubs offer music at 6 p.m. or earlier and advertise early-bird dinners.
Dancing is good for older people's health and balance, studies show, especially salsa, says Timothy Dougherty, medical director of the emergency department at nearby Cape Coral Hospital. Still, in the past two or three years he has treated a growing number of older people for heart attacks suffered while dancing. Two or three couldn't be saved, he says.
Boomers still long for the 'simpler' times of their youth.
They don't want to admit that they are terrified of high technology, or even low technology. Many boomers have classic technophobia. They would almost rather cut off their right arm than learn how anything online functions. Truth be told, most boomers have their kids or grandkids set up their iPhones, iPads or Android systems.
Boomers are relying on the millennial generation/Gen Y for virtual direction. Although boomers are quickly learning the Internet, there are many who are still very intimidated.
Boomers are running out of money.Sad, but true. A lot of boomers thought that life was always going to be good and therefore they never set aside savings or learned how to invest.
Boomers are really into health and fitness. The world of health and fitness is taking on a whole new light. Since the 1970s, the public's interest in health and wellness has soared to become a multi-billion dollar industry. The supplement and pharmaceutical field has exploded. New vitamin stores are popping up all over the place. Most of their clients are the aging Baby Boomers.
Boomers will pay top dollar for most products. They want the best and they want it now. Boomers feel special to begin with and they love top quality.