As more and more Baby Boomers enter retirement, they give way to the influx of Gen Xers who will soon join them in their active adult communities. But who makes up these generations? What kinds of similarities and differences do they have?
Value Options says that “Baby Boomers” are those persons born between the years of 1946 and 1964. What caused the amazing growth of the American population was the return of the soldiers to the USA after World War II. The G.I. Bill helped immensely. This bill provided financial aid for veterans that included covering the costs of a college education and making home mortgages affordable. Naturally, everyone was so happy after the end of the war that they settled down and started families. This is the reason for a large number of Americans who are now called the Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomer Characteristics
Although every individual is different, there are certain characteristics that a lot of Baby Boomers share. While Boomers generally value the opportunity to make individual choices and the freedom that accompanies it, they also embrace community involvement, collaboration, and work well with teams.
The stability provided by the G.I. Bill also gave Baby Boomers a sense of prosperity when compared with their parents. They are also more likely to own their own homes and feel more confident in meeting their professional, personal, and relational goals. These traits have led to an undeniably positive attitude that gives Baby Boomers an ability to try new experiences and accept changing circumstances.
The downside of the Baby Boomer attitude is that some of them did not properly prepare for retirement. The freedom of the Baby Boomer lifestyle – more liberal in nature than their parents’ generation – also created an increase in the divorce rates. Boomers now face the troubles caused by a lack of retirement planning and difficulties with savings and management of debt.
Generation X Characteristics
Gen Xers were those born between the years of 1965 to 1980. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, this generation is much smaller due to the introduction of contraceptives, but the decrease in birth rates was somewhat balanced by increased immigration during this time period, making Gen Xers one of the most diverse until the Millennial generation.
Gen Xers, like their predecessors, like to contribute to the wider community while simultaneously enjoying autonomy, independence, and prefer freedom to order. This might be a result of them being “latchkey children”, who would play with their friends unsupervised between getting out of school and when their parents arrived home after work.
They also have deference to their supervisor’s opinions but also remain unimpressed by titles and tend to value internal confidence over external affirmation. As opposed to their constantly working parents, Gen Xers were the first ones to demand a work-life balance with flexible hours and also don’t mind sharing job responsibilities. Like their successors, The Millennials, Gen Xers are very comfortable with technology and are comfortable in a changing environment, proving to be very adaptable to rapid progression.
As it turns out, Baby Boomers have a lot in common with those from Generation X. They both value individuality balanced with collaboration, diversity, being adaptable, and a love of technology.
The really good news is that Americans are living longer, healthier lives, and these two generations will begin to move into active adult communities together, making the most of their strengths to create dynamic, fun, and active neighborhoods to call home. Together, Baby Boomers and Generation X will create incredible communities.