I came across some interesting stuff doing research for my next book today. It took me by surprise and I thought you might get a bit of a jolt out of it, too. Do you know where the term “the Golden Years” came from? It’s not some poet or politician. It’s not even someone who created it as a way to honor that segment of the population.
It’s from Del Webb–the guy who brought us Sun CIty, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, etc. “The Golden Years” was part of the original marketing campaign they used to launch the first Sun City outside of Phoenix in 1960. And when they opened for business on New Year’s Day, they’d done such a great job promoting the idea that they created the worst traffic jam in the history of Arizona according to Marc Freedman who wrote about the phenomenon in the book Prime Time.
The Webb model sees the Golden Years as 100% leisure–an active lifestyle just keep you moving. It’s way short on meaning and way long on marketing. But you have to admit the outfit has done an impressive job. There are Sun City wannabees all over the US and now some abroad. People are still buying in and moving “where it’s warm.
But do you really want to be manipulated like that? Take the time to figure out what you REALLY need. It’s not the label you put on it. It’s how satisfying it is once you start to live it. Take the time to figure it out before you sign on the dotted line.