We’ve all heard that on January 1st this year, the oldest Baby Boomers turned 65. Prior to this, while 13% of Americans were age 65 and older, according to the Pew Research Center, now 10,000 more boomers will join their ranks daily for the next 19 years. By 2030, according to Pew Research Center Population Projections, when all boomers will have turned 65, fully 18% of the nation’s population will be at least that age. So, 79 million baby boomers (about 26 percent of the U.S. population), will be redefining what it means to be older, and placing greater demands on the social safety net as a result, according to the New York Times.

The Kaiser Health News Service recently stated, “2011 will bring the first influx of Baby Boomers to Medicare — and their influence on the program could be significant.” They cited two articles about the pessimistic outlook of boomers who feel they can’t count on Medicare during retirement years. USA Today says “the program will grow from 47 million today to 80 million in 2030 and The Associated Press/The Washington Post poll reflects that pessimism.

Now that we’ve drowned you in statistics, we intend to take the contrarian view. One personality trait this bloc of 79 million people has in common is optimism.

… this year… we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. …Ellen Goodman

Not all boomers are overly worried about their retirement. Instead, many are reinventing themselves into new and more meaningful lives, both professionally and personally. Like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, boomers are more likely to put a positive spin on negativity. After enjoying successful careers, boomers are doing what they love in what is called “a second act.” Boomers are finding fulfilling second careers after retirement.

More of the positives: Social media has opened up the universe and is an essential business tool! It has changed the options for the way we work – think: telecommuting and actively engaged from home. Discounts abound. From entertainment, travel and hotels, to personal care discounts to local businesses, just ask. You’ve earned them and boomers should take advantage!

If you’re acquainted with the ending of the Brothers Grimm’s fairytale, boomers have no intention of tearing themselves into pieces over all the gloom and doom bombardment in the media. Boomers believe in realizing potential, and challenging circumstances stimulate boomers to look for new opportunities and invent new options.

Next, we’ll talk about boomers who are spinning straw into gold.