They may have SLOPS or Singles Living Off Parents at home or occasionally called KIPPERS, 'Kids in Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings.' But the Gray Power groups fight back by going on skiing trips. No skis required, just Spending the Kids Inheritance. The term Gray Power refers to the organized influence of older Americans on social and political policies. The problems of an aging society are finally drawing some earnest attention.

The British spelling variant is grey power and they are experiencing similar circumstances. In the United States Gray Power represents over thirty three million the age group of 55 and up many who have pulled up stakes and moved to the country or the Sunbelt to retire among their peers. While these neighborhoods of affluent retirees are found nationwide, almost half are concentrated in 13 retirement areas. They are health and golf fanatics with substantial investment portfolios. Usually a white collar professional with a household income of around $42,000 dollars, they make up 2.03% of U.S. households may belong to a country club, take cruise vacations, have a safe deposit box, watch The Travel Channel, read Modern Maturity and belong to AARP.

Over the decades, the slow transformation from manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy, and the defining cultural and social events since World War II eventually gave rise to the corporate reengineering movement, with its massive layoffs and benefits cuts, and the collapse of corporate loyalty. Some say this is the result for the increasing trend toward early retirement--the average retirement age dropped from 67 in 1950 to 62.7 in 1995. As baby boomers begin to retire in the next two decades, some experts say they will create innovative ‘espaces d’action’, new agendas and novel forms of collective action which will play a role in defining the future of ‘gray power’. A growing concern among researchers is, if corporations don't reverse years of discrimination against and disinterest in older people and find a way to keep them in the workforce the U.S. may face nothing less than ''an economic catastrophe.''

According to the U.S. census, 72 percent of U.S. citizens in the 65-to-74 age group voted in 2000, the highest percentage of any age group. By comparison, 36 percent of those in the 18-to-24 age group voted. So when 'gray power' goes to Washington, politicians listen; little wonder politicians keep discussing the improvement of nursing homes and providing prescription drug coverage for those on Medicare.While drug costs are affordable for some many retirees in lower income brackets struggle to pay the full cost of expensive medications. These grass roots leaders of senior citizen communities are formidable. One Congressman relates, “Mobilized elders were heard on proposed cuts to senior nutrition and foster grandparents programs last year.” He credited, “senior phone-callers with turning the tide on a bill to restrict telemarketing calls.”

Today’s gray power is most visible as AARPies. These are members of the American Association of Retired which developed from 400,000 members in the early 60’s to 33 million by the 90’s. They have become the advance guard of a swelling demographic group of retiring baby boomers.

There is an incredible amount of hand wringing in the US about the national debt and the 'burden' the aging baby boomers are placing on future generations. What is missing from the hue and cry is the media perspective, which identifies the property this generation is passing on to the next two generations. Assets in wills and trusts which will be passed as inheritance from those over 45 in the US to their children will exceed 40 trillion dollars. This would pay off the national debt with plenty to spare. Into the bargain their legacy will leave a splendid infrastructure of buildings, roads, bridges, dams, parks, Colleges and Universities, knowledge, and other assets paid for by the current and past generation that the next will benefit from. The media agenda and hype to sell news aside the real objective of gray power is as 67-year-old retiree from Golden Valley, CA says "We have got to do something now, so those that follow us will have an easier time.”


Gray Power:

Gray Power to the Rescue!:

National debt < asssets:

OF THE PEOPLE AARP LOBBY DAY: When 'gray power' comes to Capitol, politicians listen :

Target Audience Profile:

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