AARP Launches Magazine for Boomers

Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — AARP, the senior citizens lobby, is launching a publication for baby boomers called My Generation, which also happens to be the name of a classic 1960s rock song with the refrain, ``Hope I die before I get old.''

The bimonthly magazine is for ``people turning 50 who are not thinking about retirement, but are looking forward to a healthy, long, active life,'' publisher Jim Fishman said.

The premiere issue, out Thursday, features a cover story on Ed Harris, the 50-year-old star of ``Pollock,'' a new film about painter Jackson Pollock.

Another article focuses on a former judge who became an eighth-grade teacher, while an advice column helps a reader concerned about a 16-year-old struggling with teen angst.

The marketing to baby boomers goes further. Fishman noted the AARP no longer stands for the American Association of Retired Persons, but simply is a moniker for an organization that advocates for members 50 and older.

The organization uses its publications — which include a newspaper, newsletter and Modern Maturity magazine — to keep its 34 million members informed. Annual membership includes a subscription to one of the magazines.

About 3.1 million AARP members between 50 and 55 began receiving the new magazine in the mail this week in place of Modern Maturity. The AARP plans to expand the age group receiving My Generation, adding a year annually until it replaces Modern Maturity altogether.

``We were so intent on having magazines that are relevant,'' Fishman said. ``As a matter of fact, we'll probably start a magazine for the Generation X crew sometime in the next few years.''

Don Silver, author of the book, ``Baby Boomer Retirement,'' says the development of a magazine aimed at aging boomers is natural.

``In general, turning age 50 is traumatic for baby boomers,'' he said. ``Many baby boomers may be reluctant to want to be part of AARP. Having a My Generation magazine to differentiate the needs of baby boomers from the traditional members of AARP is a good step.''

As for the name, editor Betsy Carter said focus groups helped determine that. The 1965 anthem by The Who had nothing to do with it.


On the Net: