“Aging In Place Is Definitely Not Our Father’s Type Of Retirement”

There have been several successful commercials in recent years using the theme of “this is not your father’s …” The former automobile brand Oldsmobile comes to mind and the campaign they ran about how the car experience had been updated and was appropriate for younger drivers. Razors and other products also come to mind. The idea behind this message is that whatever we may have thought or remembered about a particular brand, or our perception of it, is old news. We need to reacquaint ourselves with it and experience it anew. That’s the message.

Looking back on when we were growing up, we might remember certain habits that were common, traditions or customs that were followed, products that were popular, and the way that things generally were done. That was a reflection of what our parents and grandparents had experienced as they were growing up, and they brought those traditions and that understanding of them to our lives. That’s why the expression of something not being like our fathers experienced it can ring true. We tend to remember things being a certain way, but we are being encouraged not to accept that and to break that thought process to go beyond it.

Foods that may have been popular, brands that were used, stores that people tended to shop at, places people went on vacation, and so many other day-to-day experiences have long since changed. Many of those products and retail stores no longer exist, and others have come along or taken their place. It’s called progress, and technology is certainly part of it. Consider all that has happened in the past twenty years or so with they ways computers and computer technology has permeated the marketplace. We can’t shop in a store without a computerized cash register scanning each item, adjusting the store’s inventory to reflect that an item has been subtracted by purchase, applying that day’s pricing (including sale or promotional pricing), taking coupons, and then processing the payment (cash, debit,  credit, or a check). In fact, when the computers are down or offline, the store is essentially at a standstill and cannot operate even though they might physically be open.

Of course, most people now have smartphones that they take everywhere to talk with people, read text messages and emails, search online for information, play games, and use apps for various functions. We can’t drive anywhere either without computers – they literally run our cars (ignition, locking systems, brakes, transmission, cameras, radios, airbags, interior temperature, and so much more. Cars of just a few tears ago were not so equipped, and one has to wonder what types of improvements can still be made to cars of future years.

Another major area of life that has changed over the years is the idea of retirement and of moving from one’s home in that retirement to something smaller or a retirement home. While people still downsize to a smaller home to have something easier to maintain, aging in place is now the norm. People are remaining in the home of their choice indefinitely – their so-called long-term, forever, or permanent home. They literally are remaining in their current homes for life. It doesn’t matter when they purchased it – recently or several years ago, how large it is, the style. or where it’s located.

While this was done somewhat in the past, it’s now a very large trend. This also relates to the way people are continuing to work well beyond what traditionally has been a retirement age, In fact, Baby Boomers, as has often been stated,  are redefining retirement. A few decades ago, people looked forward to working until their early to mid-sixties, depending on their occupation or profession, and then retiring – trading in going to work every day to being able to stay home or do what they wanted. Some people did volunteer work, but many played golf, went fishing or boating, or pursued other types of recreation and hobbies. Some moved to traditional retirement areas to enjoy the climate or lifestyle. They often worked in that one career their entire adult lives.

Today, it’s not uncommon to see people changing jobs, companies, or career paths several times throughout their lives. The culture is not the same as it was. Again, this is not our father’s time. Boomers are continuing to work in a profession or business where they are happy or productive, or they are retiring from it to start another business, go into consulting, or pursue a different type of career. The thoughts of just retiring from work altogether is not something that many of the Boomers have considered. They may slow down a little, work fewer hours, or run their own business, but they remain working well beyond what traditionally has been the case – and they remain living in their current homes as well, aging in place.

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