The Boomer Issue

Baby boomers talk about turning 65

Ten of the 10,000 American boomers celebrating their 65th birthday on June 29 discuss reaching a milestone.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Aura Paquette of Worcester

  • Medical interpreter at UMass Memorial Medical Center

  • “I still feel young. I’m the oldest interpreter in the hospital, so all my friends are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s — but we all feel comfortable with each other. They say they miss my energy and my happiness when I’m not at work. It’s very important for me to have friends; you have to have friends if you want to stay young.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Adrienne Blue of Lynnfield

  • Part-time HR manager, lends a hand with her husband’s recycling business

  • “I’m looking forward to seeing more grandchildren. That’s where I consider myself fortunate and consider myself doing well. At 65, success is measured in grandchildren rather than in dollars.”

Kathleen Capavella of Everett

  • Direct-care worker at the Walnut Street Center in Somerville

  • “I think for baby boomers there are all sorts of opportunities and wonderful experiences if financially they’re able to do that. I would like to stop working. I’ve been working since I was 16. But I’m not in a position to not work, so this is my future. It’s tough.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Jay Throp of Charlestown

  • Retired grants and contracts administrator

  • “I’m working part time now at the post office. It gets me out and it’s a different type of work, different people, different circumstances. I know I’m getting older — there’s a little more real estate on top of the head — but I still feel like I did in my 30s and 40s.”

Leonard Race of Wrentham photo

  • Retired medical business consultant

  • “I feel great about my birthday mainly because now I’m on Medicare. It brings my out-of-pocket premiums down to $300 per month for me; my wife and I were paying almost $1,800 at one time. My wife and I don’t care much for travel — our days are filled with home and family. “

Cathy Huban of East Boston

  • Retired hospitality industry salesperson

  • “I said to a friend the other day, can you believe we’re 65? I mean, I knew it was coming, but now that it’s here, wow. I think everyone worries about the what-ifs. All you can do is try to put a plan in place that will provide you with the most security. I don’t know what that is for me; that’s what this birthday is making me think about more.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Louis P. Piacentini of Burlington

  • Retired director of special education for Somerville Public Schools

  • “There are new opportunities, things I couldn’t do when I was younger. The flexibility of scheduling — I can read the morning paper in the morning rather than at night. Things like that I guess make up for being old. I wouldn’t object to turning the clock back 20 years, but that’s not an option anymore, so you accept the days you have and enjoy it.”

Connie Lee of Canton

  • Onetime stay-at-home mom

  • “I don’t like the idea of growing older and slowing down physically, but it’s the best time of my life so far. I stayed home with the kids and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I love the freedom now. I’m in Umbria. We spend two months a year here, and I’m living my dream. For me Italy is a real passion. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a passion in life. I feel so blessed that I’m able to live out my passion.”

Terri Coffin of Mashpee

  • Retired social worker and stay-at-home mom

  • “When I was younger, I thought getting older wouldn’t be so hot, but I’m loving it. It’s flexible, you have time, you can pick and choose who you want to hang with, what you want to do, whatever. I’m able to take care of myself for a change instead of other people. I’m learning how to do that — appreciate myself more and find fulfillment from the inside through meditation, poetry, dance, writing, peaceful walks in the woods, the seashore, just being in the moment.”

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Cathy Gillis Rizzitano of Weymouth

  • Secretary for Quincy Public Schools

  • “Unfortunately in my life I’ve had a husband and two sisters who passed away before 50, so I’m very grateful to be here at 65. I would tell younger people to always make room for family. And try to put a little extra money away for retirement. We live in a society where unfortunately the middle class is working week to week to survive. Sixty-five comes up awfully fast. It’s here.”

Elizabeth Gehrman is a frequent contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to
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