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'60s generation is heading for conventional old age
Date:10/8/2008

asing the value of homes, especially in terms of using housing to fund life during retirement.

Most boomers 70 per cent regard age as unimportant in terms of their personal identity and, almost without exception, they told the researchers that they felt younger than their actual age. Boomers regard themselves as being more like their children and younger people than like their parents and older generational groups and, say the researchers, "see ageing as something that requires managing but is not overly problematic." The Dr Leach showed that while 69 per cent of people interviewed agreed that it was possible to plan for retirement, 71 per cent were themselves making either no plans or only limited ones.

Dr Leach identify global travel and cosmopolitan food choices as powerful examples of lifestyle activities associated with the boomer generation: 81 per cent of the people surveyed went on holiday abroad at least every two years.

"Travel was a major consumption item for boomers and loomed large in projects for retirement," says Dr Leach. "Less evident was any wholesale transfer of teenage consumption concerns into midlife: boomers might have been the first teenagers, but they have now grown up. Consumer interests have matured, notably around interests linked to homes, gardens and travel."

This, comment the researchers, does not entirely undermine the idea of boomers as early exponents of a consumer society. "In the same way that music, fashion and mobility were used to construct a teenage identity, consumption can be seen to play a similar role in mid-life: the notion of the big trip or the retirement project usually a hobby or home building project providing a focus for boomers' spending as well as a source of self worth and esteem."

Dr Rebecca Leach, summarising importance of the research, says: "There are lots of assumptio
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Contact: Danielle Moore
pressoffice@esrc.ac.uk
44-017-934-13122
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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