As we dance into the New Year, it’s time to take back the word SENIOR! Really.
When did “senior” become the uber- negative to be avoided at any cost? Remember when you were in high school and couldn’t wait to become a senior? Even more so in college when “upperclassman” was okay but senior was the penultimate. Then, after graduation and out in the work world, did you strive to be the junior partner? No – your goal was senior partner, senior editor, senior designer, senior producer etc. Achieving “seniorhood” was always the aim until… until you hit age 50 and then it became the pariah it is today.
2014 is the time to reclaim our “senior” creds. Those of us over 50 are among or children of those called the “greatest generation.” We are brave and iconoclastic. We successfully fought for political freedom, eradicated barriers to racial, gender, religious and sexual discrimination, conquered diseases and global epidemics, provided broad access to healthcare and education, and explored the moon.
Today’s seniors are providing an essential boost to the economy. Eighteen percent of Americans 65 and older continue to work and pay taxes, at least $120 billion a year, a figure that doesn’t include state income taxes.
Senior entrepreneurs are launching new businesses stimulating job creation and growth, and boosting prosperity for all age groups. The highest rate of business start-up activity over the past decade has consistently been among people in the 55-to-64 age bracket. Almost half of all new entrepreneurs are between the ages of 45 and 64, and this cohort continues to grow.
It’s time to stop the “senior” gloom and doom. This is not, as too many espouse, a “silver tsunami.” It is, rather, a “golden dividend!”
Advocacy matters but action’s even better. Here’s to shaking things up, reclaiming the word, “senior,” and to the people who can make it happen!
Happy New Year!