Jean Chatzky
According to Money magazine, it's been 50 years since the baby boom hit its peak, with 4.3 million babies born in 1957. The magazine recently polled 3,000 baby boomers to find out how this unique generation perceives its past, present and future. Diane Harris, assistant managing editor of Money magazine, shares with Jean some of the survey's most interesting findings:
  • The average baby boomer feels about nine years younger than he or she really is. "We have this illusion of youth—we still think of ourselves as younger than we are and having time on our side," Diane says.
  • Most baby boomers are happier now than they thought they would be. Many also find themselves more interesting and successful than they thought they would be, Diane says.
  • Achieving the American dream is no longer a major goal. Diane says this is in part because most baby boomers already have steady jobs, good incomes, homes and the other ideals of the old-fashioned American dream.
  • Finding meaning in life is important. "We want to feel like we are giving back to society—we want to feel like we are making a difference—just like we hoped we would when we were younger," Diane says.
  • Reconnecting with loved ones is also important. The survey found that "after staying healthy, reconnecting with spouses, parents, kids, grandkids and our friends was our most important goal," she says.