Looking forward to my third age

I CAN T say that I have ever really liked the label but as I have grown older it has seemed more and more irrelevant to be called a baby boomer . It smacks of nappies and dummies, tantrums and teething, all of which – or maybe not one – I have outgrown a

I CAN'T say that I have ever really liked the label but as I have grown older it has seemed more and more irrelevant to be called a 'baby boomer'.

It smacks of nappies and dummies, tantrums and teething, all of which - or maybe not one - I have outgrown although it is true to say that all of them played a part in my early days.

We in the baby boomer generation, which began just a few months after our parents realised the war was over and it was time for peace and love, are now aged anywhere between 46 and 65.

We grew up in a time of increasing prosperity and full employment. Nearly everyone leaving school had a job to go to, and in those days the prospect was that the job would be for life.


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And we learned that after 50 years or so of toiling away, we would retire to our comfortable armchair and slippers to live off the state on our pensions.

Society and working practices have changed, of course, and the thought of more leisure time on the horizon may have its attraction.

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But now I learn that I may be cheated out of the OAP tag coming my way. A leading psychologist has called for a ban on the word 'retirement' because, she argues, it no longer reflects the reality of growing old for the baby boomer generation.

Labelling someone as retired could have severe implications for their mental health, she says.

She believes that forcing active people to view their lives post 65 as a time to give up work and slow down could affect not just their mental but also their physical health.

So not being termed "retired" when I hit the magic number will be good for me. I'm beginning to feel better already.

Now, after childhood and adulthood, I can look forward with confidence to entering not old age but the so-called third age.

With people enjoying increased longevity, they may now spend close to a third of their life in this wonderful thirdage when they will be healthier and wealthier than any generation before.

I'm glad to hear that - with so much money coming my way I'll be able to afford a really toe-curlingly comfortable pair of slippers and a luxuriously enveloping armchair.

Perhaps while I'm reclining, planning all the new activities I'll be taking on in my non-working but busy, busy, busy life I will think about names.

I have long felt a quiet satisfaction, for no reason other than coincidence, in having the same name as the second and sixth presidents of the United States.

Sadly, I've never been invited to an all-expenses paid trip to the other side of the pond for a get-together of those sharing my moniker.

I feel sorry for those people who by chance or twisted design of their parents have unfortunate names, some of which have just been revealed by researchers.

Would you want to be called Justin Case, Barb Dwyer or Stan Still? How about Paige Turner, Mary Christmas or Anna Sasin? Maybe the worst which surfaced was Terry Bull.

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