This baby boomer is born to run, until the cash runs out – Susan Dalgety

Baby boomers survived the Thatcher yearsBaby boomers survived the Thatcher years
Baby boomers survived the Thatcher years
Baby boomers are having the time of their lives, as long as they can afford it, says Susan Dalgety

Apparently, the next decade belongs to me, and my generation. Instead of hoping we die before we get old, us baby boomers are having the time of our lives. Or so I read recently.

If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you’re a baby boomer. We’re the generation that invented pop music, women’s liberation and sex.

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We also survived the 1970s, when the British economy was on its knees. We lived through the Thatcher years when the working class was cut down to size by a tight-lipped, hard-hearted Prime Minister who makes Boris Johnson look and sound like a socialist hero.

We grew up in a world without the internet, thought smoking was good for us, and were lucky if we had vegetables five times a week, and even then they usually came out of a tin. No wonder we rebelled.

Now it seems we are breaking the mould again. The young-old generation, as we are dubbed in Japan, are working longer, staying healthier longer than our parents, and are richer than previous generations of older people.

We travel more, exercise regularly and seem determined to wring every last minute out of what time we have left, with one proviso. Being young-old is only fun if you can afford it.

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To listen to the millennial generation, you would think that every baby-boomer had a gold-plated, final-salary, rich-for-life pension, as well as half a million equity in a house they bought for three grand back in 1979.

There are some boomers who fit that description, I know several, but there are far more who are struggling to get by.

Women who missed out on their state pension at 60 by a few months are having to work in a supermarket or office until they reach 66. Stacking shelves at 25 was no fun – it must be hell at 65.

Working on building site when you’re in your sixties must be even worse. There is a Germany study that suggests the longer you work, the healthier you will be, but I presume it surveyed people in financial services or the civil service, not care workers or labourers.

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Like most things in life, getting old is better the less you have to worry about money. And despite what most young folk think, most of us young-oldies don’t have that luxury.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I am a WASPI woman, so won’t get my state pension until I am 66. I am self-employed, and earn less now than I have done for decades. And I am helping my husband spend his pension pot faster than the Prudential can invest it.

But I have just written my first book, have plans for a second and we spend every spare penny – and more – on travelling. I am actually writing this in our camper van as we head home from the Highlands.

My eldest son jokes he won’t get anything in my will, and he’s right. And I may well spend my final years in penury, depending on the generosity of friends and family for treats, like the occasional meal out or bottle of Pinot Noir.

But until then, this baby boomer was born to run.