The Boomers Issue

Older & wiser

By Elizabeth Gehrman
July 26, 2009

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Talking Tips According to Home Instead Senior Care of Massachusetts, a third of US adults have “a major communication obstacle” with their parents, and for them it may be time to invoke “the 40/70 rule.” If you’re 40 or your parents are 70, says the organization, you should start broaching topics like when they might stop driving or consider assisted living. For tips on how to begin the conversation, check out

Do Good A government report last year said about 29 percent of people ages 45 to 64 did volunteer work, the second-highest percentage for any age group. If you’re interested in joining their ranks, contact SOAR 55 (Service Opportunities After Reaching 55), a program at the Newton Community Service Center that’s part of a national network of volunteer agencies. The group, at or 617-969-5906, ext. 120, matches older adults to volunteer agencies.

A Smart Step Life in a recession can feel especially chaotic if you’re near retirement, says Michelle Knight, director of fixed income for Boston-based Silver Bridge financial advisers. Get back a sense of control by taking an inventory: Gather all legal and financial papers -- health-care directives, wills, trusts, life insurance policies, and powers of attorney, she says. Have them updated and in one place that everyone knows. You’ll be better prepared to take action to meet any financial goals.

Sex on the Brain Maybe it’s all those “male enhancement” ads, but boomers seem to have nooky on their minds. In a recent survey by TeeBeeDee, a social networking site for people over 40, 37 percent of respondents chose “I’m worse than a teenager” when asked whether their interest in sex had increased with age. In another poll, by the online dating site Lavalife, 46 percent of single boomerssaid they enjoyed sex more now than whenthey were in their 20s and 30s.

Getting Unstuck Second careers, empty nests, divorce -- one of the toughest issues about midlife is figuring out, among all the options, what the next phase might look like. Boston life coach Dorian Mintzer, who specializes in “boomers and beyond,” advises thinking about what was important to you in childhood and what you’ve put on the back burner when trying to assess your skills and to discover what will give your life purpose. For free help, seek out mentors, networking opportunities, chances to volunteer, and support on sites such as and and with the Newton Free Library’s Discovering What’s Next group (

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