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Decade Jumping Lifestyles

In last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald, Hugh Mackay highlights that many people claim to be experiencing age phases of life quite differently from previous generations. Baby boomers in their 50’s fell that 60 is the new 50 and 30 something’s still feel a touch of adolescence.

For the baby boomers, they probably have a perception of 60 year olds life style from the authoritarian figures of the time when they were in their twenties. Financial Demographics has calculated that the life expectancy for 60 year olds in 1970 (ie when the baby boomers were 25) was 15.4 years for males and 19.7 for females. Now the life expectancies of 60 year olds are 22.0 years for males and 25.9 for females – ie about 6 years longer.

Based on these figures it seems reasonable for the baby boomers feeling about 10 years younger. For the 30 somethings, the logic of feeling 10 years younger seems a bit tenuous. Whilst post middle age, a focus on life expectancy has some meaning, at age 30 it seems less relevant. There are probably other explanation for any extended adolescence of today’s 30 year olds.

Posted Monday, 8 April 2002

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