Boomers: We Have A Lot to be Thankful for

“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.” It will also promote reader interaction by posting e-mail responses and answering reader questions. E-mail your questions or topic ideas to

It's that time of the year: The Halloween pumpkins have been made into pumpkin pie, the leaves have changed colors and fallen from the trees, and it’s time to sit around the table with family and friends and reflect upon what we are thankful for in 2011.

This was a big year for boomers: In January the first baby boomers turned 65 and became eligible for Social Security and Medicare, programs we can be thankful for to bolster our retirement funds.

I was hoping that the state of the economy would be much improved by now, but recovery remains anemic and consumers continue to feel the pinch. We are experiencing increases in utility bills, food costs and gas prices. The Supercommitte has failed to come to an agreement over how to trim the nation’s $15-trillion-and-counting deficit and a slew of automatic spending cuts are now set to follow.

The road ahead doesn’t look easy. Uncertainty still swirls around health-care reform, and many boomers can’t afford to retire and are expecting to work well into their 80s. Wall Street continues to be plagued with wild swings and unemployment is stubbornly high at 9%.

But hold on boomers! Yes, we are facing rough times, but as we have proven time and time again, we can get through them!

This holiday is about giving thanks for all of the blessings in our lives, and retiring baby boomers still have a lot to celebrate. Statistics show we are living longer than past generations thanks to our strong interest in our health and maintaining our quality of life. We can be thankful for the freedom of going where we want, when we want. With our children grown, we now have all the time in the world to decide how we are going to spend the rest of our lives. Whether it’s RVing across the country, retiring to a tropical paradise, getting involved in volunteer work in our community or taking up yoga, we now have the time to find out what will bring us the most happiness in our golden years.

Personally, I am thankful this year for the birth of my first grandchild. He is a wonderful legacy of love, filtered down from me to his mom and now to him. He stole my heart the moment I saw him for the first time, and the joy he has brought to our family is unbelievable. Our Thanksgiving holiday will be spent with my wife’s family: her brothers and sisters, their children and grandchildren. That adds up to 73 hungry mouths to feed for a traditional turkey dinner. By the time everyone has said what they are thankful for - it just might be Christmas!

I also wanted to thank all of my readers for your continued interest and input into this column. We have covered some interesting topics this year, and we will continue to research things that are important to our generation.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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