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Boomers: Talking 'Bout My Generation

It’s often said they refused to grow up. Now they've decided they won't fade away

Robert 'Bob' Love, AARP The Magazine, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

Robert Love, editor in chief of AARP The Magazine.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a bright new year for you and your families. On behalf of our staff and the rest of the gang here on E Street, I come bearing gifts: no fruitcakes or cheese logs — just a jam-packed issue marking a milestone we’d love to celebrate with you. In the coming year, the last members of the boomer generation will turn 50, a pivotal passage for the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

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This demographic shift has so many implications for all of us that we at AARP ponder its consequences every day — from the struggles many of us have nurturing our parents, our children and our financial futures (often at once), to the challenges of discovering our “what’s next.” We’re here to help you sort it all out, to help you find the real possibilities in your lives.

But first things first. In 2014, AARP will throw a yearlong birthday bash for the boomer generation, supported in pages and pixels by Consumer Cellular, a company that has been a loyal ally for years. Boomers@50+, as we’ve dubbed it, will feature a documentary film called The Boomer List, which will explore exactly how this generation changed the world. And throughout the year we’ll have traveling exhibitions with screenings, performances, speakers, music and other events, including a memoir-writing contest. Send us your life stories. We’ll read them all and publish the best one.

The party kicks off in this issue with a literary selfie by confessed boomer P.J. O’Rourke. P.J. is an old friend with a funny new book, The Baby Boom, where he casts a gimlet eye on the clichés and received truths about his generation. Journalist Jane Pauley, a frequent contributor to AARP’s mission, speaks up loudly for midlife change in her new book, Your Life Calling, which we excerpt for you. Maria Shriver reflects on the joy in her life as she returns to TV journalism and readies her latest “Shriver Report,” on the economic plight of women in our nation. There are top 10 lists of books, movies and music to argue about (what — no Beach Boys?!?) and a few surprises, too, so please lend your ears to the conversation in these pages and tell us what you think. I’m listening.

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