The Baby boomer Generation are described as a demographic bulge which remodeled society as they passed through it.
The Baby boomers were born between 1946-1964 following the end of World War 2. The war had started in 1939 in Europe and ended in the summer of 1945.
My Father was in the R.A.F and my Mother served in the Fire Service. People just like them in many countries sacrificed the years of their youth serving their country.
You can imagine their joy when they were finally reunited after years of separation with only the odd leave to see each other. No wonder then in 1946 the oldest of the baby boomer generation started to appear. Some 650,000 of us were born in the U.K in 1946.
The birth of the baby boomers was described as a "shockwave",and as "the pig in the python". By the sheer force of its numbers the boomers were a "demographic bulge" which remodeled society as it passed through it. We were to create a very different lifestyle to that of previous generations.
My mum and dad were both 18 years old when the war started and by the time it was over they were 24. Mum particularly was always sad at the years they lost. My parents married in May 1945.
Their wedding was a very small affair. Mum managed to find a new dress and borrowed the fur stole and hat. Dad of course had his Air Force uniform.
There was no honeymoon and finding somewhere to live was difficult. Furniture was mostly secondhand and they scraped together what they could. However they didn't care what they had so long as they were together.
As a group the baby boomer generation were the healthiest and wealthiest generation. We have been trend setters throughout our lives and I guess this will continue into our retirement years.
Because of the sheer numbers of the baby boomer generation we've always had a significant impact on society in general, the workplace and the market place as we passed through it.
Looking back it seems that the baby boomer generation have lived through an era of many changes both in lifestyle and technology.
The house that I was born in 1946 in the U.K. had an outside toilet in the back yard and the bath was cleverly hidden in the kitchen. Our house did have electricity but our neighbours house next door still had gas lamps.
Most people had cooking stoves in the kitchen, but some still used the range in the living room for cooking. It was also the only heat source, central heating was definitely not on the agenda. Mum had a washing tub with a mangle that you wound the clothes through to get the water out.
We listened to the wireless for entertainment or records on a wind up gramaphone. Television was only for the very rich. We didn't have a car of our own but my Grandfather sometimes lent us his to go for picnics.
It was probably in the early 50's before Dad had a motorcycle with a sidecar.
Me and my sister were shut in the sidecar and Mum would be riding behind Dad on the bike. Here's a picture of Mum my sister and me posing with the motor bike and sidecar. Mum always said she and dad loved it because they could shut us in the side car, they could see us but not hear us arguing.
They weren't laughing though when it rained and they got wet and we were lovely and cosy inside.
My sister and I remember many happy days out in that sidecar. Not many people had their own cars so mostly we used public transport to travel around in when Dad was at work.
We happily played out in the street, playing hopscotch, hide and seek, hula hoops and black jack. Fishing for tadpoles in the local park, cricket and ball games.
Travelling abroad wasn't that common either and when people did travel abroad they usually went by ship.
In the mid 50's our parents lifestyle began to improve and we were no exception. We moved into a terraced house with an indoor bathroom and toilet.
By this time we had a television, a telephone and a small car.
Mum had a washing machine just like this one.
I remember lots of picnics when I was a child. We lived near the coast so we often went to the seaside on the train for the day.
I don't remember many holidays. I know we went in a caravan in the country once, but Mum wasn't very keen on that. I also remember two or three holidays to a Butlins or Pontins holiday camp at the seaside. Mostly we visited relatives who lived in the country.
The baby boomers life was changing new houses were being built and towards the end of the 50's my parents bought a brand new 3 bedroomed semi-detached house on an estate.
This was the first time we had a garden instead of a back yard and a driveway with a garage for the car.
Mum had a lovely new fitted kitchen with a new fridge and cooker. This was the first time we had fitted carpets. Central Heating was to come a couple of years later.
The baby boomer generation were coming into their teens by the 60's and music was dominating the scene. Rock n Roll had been born. By the 60's we were beginning to have an influence in the music industry. The baby boomers started buying records to be played on gramaphones which were by now electric and not wind up or we listened to music on our transistor radio. The music of the day was;
The Rolling Stones
Jimmy Hendrix and Top of the Pops!
Fashion was beginning to influence how the baby boomer generation wanted to look with Mary Quant, the Twiggy look, mini skirts, paisley print, mop hairstyles for the boys, bouffant back combed for the girls.
Doc Martin boots for the boys and some of the girls (not a good look). It was the death of the stockings and suspenders and in with panti hose (tights).
The baby boomer generation were growing up and our sheer numbers had tremendous influence on the market place. Consequently the fashion scene was buzzing.
By the mid 60's the baby boomer generation were leaving home and becoming independent. I married in 1964. Our first home was a new semi-detached house on an estate, very much like my parents house. We bought it for £3,300. a similar property in 2011 is worth around £165,000-£200,000 depending on location.
Package holidays were becoming poplular with more people choosing to go abroad for holidays.
Supermarkets were starting to appear in some towns which were to transform the way we shopped for food.
We had a bit of a wobble in the 70's with political unrest, the miners strike and only electricity for 3 days a week. But hey we coped.
In 1971 we saw the introduction of decimal currency.
The Baby boomers were climbing the career ladder, particularly the baby boomer women! No shortage of jobs for us. Our spending power was creating jobs.
Divorce was becoming more common as we always seemed to want more out of life.
More of us were now buying houses and starting to go abroad for holidays usually into Europe but sometimes farther afield.
By now we also had an automatic washing machine and a colour television that we could use when we had electricity!
In 1979 we had our first female Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher.
The Baby boomers now had children and needed more space we were moving up market to bigger and better houses. Now we wanted ensuite bathrooms and utility rooms. This is when we really saw the price of property rising.
Again the sheer numbers of the baby boomer generation were influencing the market place. We had also realised that investing in property may be a good way of providing a pension. Lots of us bought second homes in favourite holiday places.
We filled our homes with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos to make life easier. Two cars were now the norm, one for the Husband, one for the Wife.
The baby boomer generation were now riding on the crest of a wave. We were enjoying a great lifestyle. Holidays abroad, eating out in nice restaurants, going to the theatre life was good for most folks. But the bubble was about to burst.
It all crashed at the end of the 80's. Interest rates rose to 17% at one stage which was bad news if you had a mortgage.
Mobile phones and the introduction of the internet were to change the way we communicated with people. T.V.'s got bigger and better. DVD's started to appear. The age of technology was upon us.
Economic recovery was slow and we were well into the 90's before interest rates started to fall and things started to improve.
Dishwashers, tumble driers and freezers were becoming popular.
The baby boomer generation know how to party and we celebrated in style when the millenuim came. Champagne, fireworks, parties in every street, road and City.
The armageddon of the internet world that was threatened didn't happen and life became rather good again.
Yep the baby boomers were riding the waves again but sadly the bubble was about to burst.
By 2008 the economy started to wobble again and we hit the rocks big time when the world economy seemed to be crashing around us just as the oldest of us were looking forward to retirement.
So here we are the baby boomer generation facing retirement. Have the baby boomer years been good or bad?
Has it all backfired on us?
The cost of property has gone so high that our children can't afford to buy their own houses consequently many of us still have the kids with us.
The parents are growing old and needing our support.
The pension's paying out less than it promised, the savings aren't even keeping pace with inflation.
The baby boomer generation are now facing their biggest challenge - how do we create the retirement we dreamt of?
Well don't despair here at Baby boomers retiring we hope to give you some ideas. Not only how to survive retirement but to actually create a lifestyle that you can enjoy.
Not only our ideas but yours as well. Let's throw them all in the pot and see how we can remodel this thing called "old age".
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