Thursday, August 26, 2010

Korean Baby Boomers

In an opinion piece, a writer discusses a symposium she attended that dealt with the crisis of the baby boomer generation (1955-63) in Korea. Now entering  old age--about 15 percent of the population--they took a leading role in their younger years to advance the economic prosperity of the county. The writer says she was more interested in the family life of these baby boomers than what they did to advance the prosperity of the country.

For most of their lives,  the baby boomers were busy with work, and the writer wondered how this affected their home life. In most cases, after raising the children, husband and wife lived together for about another 20 years. To the question: How will they see  their life together after ten years? The symposium found that about 2 out of 10 women admitted to being very pessimistic about the future relationship. Accordingly, divorce even in the twilight years is possible: women desire equal status with men, while the husbands are still paternalistic.

One study has shown that about 43 percent of men will rely for support in their old age on their wives, and about 45 percent of women will rely on nursing homes. Concerning the desire for happiness, 88 percent of the women have this desire; men, 97 percent. The most important desire for filling their leisure time was having a hobby, next was some religious activity. The Church should respond to this interest by providing programs that would help them use their time profitably.

The writer suggests a number of ways the baby boomers can avoid the fear of retirement: Do what you  wanted to do, see what you wanted to see, meet those you wanted to meet, do the things you always wanted to do. We all have dreams. She reminds us that our third life span lies ahead waiting for us to use the time  wisely.  Many persons are enjoying a full life in retirement, having become literary persons, artists, entrepreneurs--the possibilities are endless.  The work that you choose can be considered your spouse was her not totally tongue-in-cheek digression.  

She also recommends getting involved in Church work and using the talents that previously were used to provide for oneself and family to now serve others. God has the big blue ocean out there to discover, she says in her concluding remarks, and it  is waiting  to give our seniors much satisfaction and joy.


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