1 Don't call boomers "old", "aged", "elderly" or "pensioners" - either in your written materials or to our faces.
2 Don't treat us as if we're old - we baby boomers don't like to think of ourselves as aging, even if we are.
3 Don't assume that because some of us are of pensionable age, we're "done" and are ready to be put out to pasture. Think about people like Bill Clinton, Susan Sarandon, Cher, Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton - all leading edge baby boomers. Can you imagine any of them settling down to a traditional retirement? Can you imagine any of them giving up their work and sitting on the couch watching daytime TV? Can you imagine them just enjoying the occasional game of golf or game of cards with their friends at the over-60’s club?
4 Don't lump us all together and assume that, because we're all 'baby boomers' or all 'retirees', we're all the same. Baby boomers are as complex and diverse as any other generation and we won't fit (or be put) neatly into a box
5 Don't assume that baby boomers' tastes and opinions can be disregarded. In the US alone, boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than 50% of discretionary spending power. They are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending and they buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of OTC medication and 80% of all leisure travel.
6 Don't assume that we're set in our ways - boomers are subject to many changes that throw the status quo into chaos. These include: the loss of our parents, becoming grandparents, retirement, divorce, dating again after divorce, remarriage, caring for elderly parents, starting retirement careers and businesses, facing the death of our friends and family members, downsizing, rightsizing, adult children moving back home and dealing with a major illness.
7 Don't assume that everyone wants to retire, just because they're the right age to. Work is still a necessity for many baby boomers. Some tried retirement and didn't like it. Some retired early but not through choice. Some just aren’t ready to call it quits (and some will never be!). And some have come to the conclusion that we’ll never be able to afford to retire. In a survey by the Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com, one in four baby boomers said they'll never retire and 42 per cent reported that they're delaying their retirement plans.
8 Don't assume that we just want to spend our time looking after our grandkids and pottering about. We want to have experiences that will satisfy our minds, bodies and spirits. Many boomers have a bucket list of things we want to be, do, have and experience before we get too old to be, do, have and experience them.
9 Don't assume we're afraid of technology. Like everyone else, boomers are heavy users of technology for news and entertainment, online banking and social networking. We are also expected to, increasingly, use technology to help us care for our aging parents, manage our own health, control energy usage in the home and redefine how and when we work
10 Don't assume we're 'done' as far as education is concerned - boomers are enrolling on courses in record numbers - either to equip us for a new career in retirement, to finally get that degree we've always promised ourselves we would get, to keep our minds in good shape or just to pursue our interests.
11 Don't assume we're willing to accept a gradual decline into ill health and decrepitude - we boomers are keenly interested in our own health issues. We want to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, we want to continue to look and feel good for as long as we possibly can and we're willing to spend vast amounts of money to stay healthy and maintain a youthful appearance.
12 Don't assume that we're entering our dotage - some boomers have young kids from second and third marriages and many have kids that are still in college.
Have I missed anything? Leave a comment below...