The Baby Boomers are beginning to retire and they are doing
it in a way that no generation ever has before. The combination of extended
life expectancies and increased wealth mean that the Baby Boomers will be
retiring with as much as 30 or 40 years of retired life ahead of them. Are they
going to be content buying RVs or moving to Florida?
In Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America, author Marc Freedman puts forth the thesis
that “a new kind of aging” is before us, as Baby Boomers continue to be
actively involved in civic life after they retire. With the wisdom of a full life, new time on
their hands and the wealth to finance their lifestyle, Baby Boomers will have
an unprecedented chance to engage in volunteerism and other acts of
During the stock market boom of the 80’s and 90’s, Boomers
were in their peak saving years. Retirement accounts became a feature of many
Americans’ financial lives. This came about from a combination of increased
wealth, technological innovation and creative individuals. These same trends are
affecting philanthropy today as Boomers move from saving for retirement to post-retirement lifestyles. How long might it be before donor advised funds and other philanthropic vehicles become as common
as a 401k? Gifts from donor advised funds already eclipse the giving of Warren
Buffett and Bill Gates combined.
With a steady stream of retiring baby boomers entering their “giving years”,
the philanthropic landscape is on the verge of massive change.