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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stuff I'm buying...a.k.a. My Critical Mass...

As a Baby Boomer, I have to confess that my buying habits have changed radically over the years. When I was younger and worked as a city planner I had to dress professionally...that meant smart suits, matching shoes and handbags, nice jewelry, nice makeup, nice teeth, nice car...blah...blah...blah. In short, I had to have the "latest everything."

Now that I'm older and work from home on my computer (I can't afford to retire), my priorities have changed. I have a treadmill, a bicycle (for "fun"), and pull-on knee supports to ease my arthritic pain when I'm walking on my treadmill...I take naturopathic supplements to keep me healthy...I get my eyes examined once a year and keep my eyeglasses up-to-date...I have to keep my computer and monitors up-to-date and running at top speed to handle my daytrading activities properly (that also means paying an arm and a leg for top download speed for my internet service)...I use a tooth re-mineralizing product to strengthen and rejuvenate my teeth...I drive a 10-year old car...I wear comfortable shoes, instead of the 3" heals I used to wear...my jeans aren't so tight that I can actually sit down and breathe at the same time...I have a comfortable bed and pillow that give me great support while I sleep...I have to make sure that my health care payments are up-to-date...I have a cat to look after (he's my "child")...I've been visiting a Naturopathic Doctor twice a month for the past 3 years to have my misaligned spine straightened (for pain relief and to help me breathe better -- I'm very happy to say that my spine is almost straight now, I hardly have any pain for the first time in about 35 years, and I can breathe much better). All of these things are critical and life-savers to me (especially the jeans).

Some people will relate to what I'm saying...others will not because they're too young. My point to all of this is my other Baby Boomer friends are not buying the frills and the "latest" and "greatest" stuff that they used to when they were younger...and they're certainly not going to the bank to ask for credit for that kind of stuff. They're busy down-sizing...selling their large family homes for something smaller and having garage sales...taking some time out to concentrate on their health that has been neglected (and abused in some cases) over the years.

The latest U.S. Census Bureau brief on data from the 2010 Census shows Baby Boomers are increasing faster than younger populations. Between 2000 and 2010, the 45 to 64 population grew 31.5% to 81.5 million, and now makes up 26.4% of the total U.S. population. Each year more than 3.5 million Boomers turn 55. Their swelling numbers predict that, by 2012, America's 50 and older population will reach 100 million. And, according to the UN Population Division, 1 in 5 people are expected to be 65 or older by 2035.

So, I really don't care what the latest "gadget" is or who's wearing what. If it really does make me feel better and I really do need it, and if it doesn't break my piggy bank, I'll buy it = My Critical Mass! My favorite store these days is the Dollar Store...I love a bargain! Perhaps Mr. Bernanke should take heed of what the priorities are of the Boomers and stop wondering why people aren't borrowing like they used to and why things are "slowing down"...we're getting older and don't need or want all that stuff anymore!

Anyway, that's my 2 cents' worth on the subject. Now if I can just remember where I left my keys...