Busted – the top 10 baby boomer myths and why they’re just wrong

Okay, some things aren’t quite the same as they used to be and there are a few smile lines there at the corner of your eyes if you’re honest.

But you’re still looking pretty damned good and fit and healthy to boot, which is only one of many reasons it is so annoying when people try to stereotype and pigeonhole baby boomers just because of our age.

USA research company AARP Services must agree because they set out to explode some of these myths, releasing a list of the top 10 Baby Boomer myths.

It’s a good giggle and there was many a chuckle in the Starts at Sixty office as we read them.

#10 – Boomers are retiring early

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Yeah, right. Not much hope of that with Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott constantly upping the retirement age. It’s 67 for women now and probably even higher by the time some of us reading this make it there. According to the survey, only 11 percent of boomers are actually planning to stop working entirely when they reach retirement age.

Myth #9 – Boomers are downsizing their homes

Those who are downsizing are the exception rather than the rule – and in Australia, it’s not necessarily lack on willingness but, as this report says, lack of suitable housing. So yeah, we’re holding on to our old homes for now…

Myth #8 – Most Boomers are married empty nesters

Sorry, no. Only about one in four boomers fit the profile of married with adult children who have left home. And with divorce rates on the rise in this group, we’re seeing even fewer boomers who “conform”.

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Myth #7 – You can capture Boomers with mainstream advertising

Bahhaaaahaaaaaa! We know how you feel about seeing couples sipping tea on yachts, or running along beaches dressed in all-white (you know our feature picture is ironic, right?).

Myth #6 – Boomers are brand loyal

Not the boomers we know! You guys love to shop around and look for bargains. The AARP survey says 61 percent of Boomers agree it doesn’t pay to be loyal to one brand. Check out the queues at Aldi here and you’ll just see how many have no trouble switching supermarkets and brands.

Myth #5 – Boomers are all wealthy

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This is really a no-brainer – they’re not. Yes, the Boomers may technically be the best off generation in history, but only a small percentage can be considered “well off”. Here in Australia the Boomers also have to cope with changing pension and superannuation rules which may impact on income in retirement.

Myth #4 – Boomers are winding down with age

Not true. According to AARP, the typical Boomer regularly participates in activities. Here in Australia many also abide by the mantra of “use it or lose it”.

Myth #3 – Boomers are technologically challenged

Sorry, another furphy. Boomers are among the first to understand the value of technology, as we discovered by the shock British study that found over 60s were actually using – and loving – being online and using tablets and smartphones.

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Myth #2 – Boomers are the “Me Generation”

We’re not sure where the label comes from, but we agree with AARP that a label of “We Generation” would be more accurate.

Myth #1 – Boomers are all the same

Baby boomers are often portrayed as a single mass, which is just not an accurate portrayal. Every person has a unique life’s journey which shapes their attitude, beliefs and behaviour.


Tell us: Which of these myths irks you the most? Do you think boomers are stereotyped?