Freedom 55? How I Wish.

I read an article today written by a guy who termed himself a Millennial, as in part of the Millennial Generation or Generation Y. The dates for this generation are iffy, but it seems to refer to those individuals born between 1980-2000. He titled his article Freedom 55, referencing my generation (the Baby Boomers) and our desire to retire at age 55. He thought the idea of retiring at 55 a bit mundane, not because he didn’t like the idea of retiring, but because he wants to life his life fully, every day, right now, He doesn’t want to wait until he is 55. I can applaud that.freedom 55

He also plans on redefining the work structure in America, or at least for himself, and anticipates working more efficiently, instead of longer hours or extended years. And, he expects to be rewarded handsomely for his efficiency, thus allowing him the ability to life that full life right now. I can applaud this too–except–he did not give any explanation or ideas on how he intended to work more efficiently.He just said he was going too.

But, he made a couple of assumptions:

1. He assumed that Baby Boomers never considered the idea of working more efficiently with less hours or extended years. He assumed that it never occurred to us that while we poured ourselves into a day-in-day-out-job-consuming-week-upon-week life, to stop and wonder, could this be done differently? I don’t know about the rest of the Baby Boomers, but I most certainly have wondered if work could be done differently. Racked my brain over it, actually. Which is why I would have preferred his how-to over his going-to article. Perhaps I’d follow his example, only he left us without one.

2. He assumed that all of us are going to experience Freedom 55. Not so. Though I am 55 there is no Freedom Bell ringing in this household. I suspect I will be working long past 60 and into my 70s. My own mother is 77 and still works a full-time job. She cannot afford not too. But, how I WISH.

3. He assumed that we Baby Boomers are not living our lives fully now. That we’re all waiting until the day of retirement to begin.

4. He assumed that we bought into an employment ideology. I am sure we did, and just as sure that he has. It may be an ideology yet to be revealed, but I am certain, it is one the generation following his will accuse him of buying into. But how are ideologies born, I’d like to know? And, do we only know, after the fact, that we’ve bought into it? It being some life-sucking, dream-denying monster that ended up destroying us?

Here’s what I hope:

1. I hope his generation is able to find a way to redefine work. I hope they can teach their predecessors what that is.

2. I have seen my son’s generation–at 25 he is a Millennial–do some pretty awesome things, so I think I have good reason for some high hopes.

Here’s what I know:

1. It will take more than just boasting to accomplish it.