It’s well known that lots of baby boomers don’t see themselves as “old” and don’t like to be regarded as “seniors”, “retirees”, “oldies” or other terms that suggest that they’re “past it”.
We all think that the date on our birth certificate is wrong and we’re 10 – 20 years younger than that.
While there’s plenty of research showing what baby boomers don’t like to be called, there’s no consensus on a term that’s generally acceptable.
A new entry which shows lots of promise is “super adults.” This description appears to have been coined in England and is now generating some attention in America. The time is certainly right to replace the descriptions that were used during the second half of the last century, when many people who retired at 65 really were “old” and looking for a quiet life.
In the 21st century, it’s different! Most people who leave full time work intend to live busy, active lives for as long as they can. Baby Boomers in their 60s and 70s are the new 40s and 50s and they want to be taken seriously and treated with respect. Many in the media haven’t woken up to this fact and last century’s stereotypes still abound.
“Super Adults” sounds a lot sexier than “seniors” or “retirees” and in many ways, it’s more appropriate. Super adults have made it to their 60s or early 70s, while many of their friends have not. They have experienced the ups and downs of life. They have adapted to huge changes. They have tasted victories and defeats and hopefully learned from both. Many have reached maturity and gained some wisdom from the journey, while others are still searching.
While people in their 60s and 70s may not be as strong and physically attractive as they were 30 – 40 years ago, they have traded youth and beauty for experience and wisdom. If wiser heads now sit on less beautiful bodies, that’s a great achievement to be respected in our culture and a good reason to value this age group as “Super Adults”.