In Steamboat Springs the leaves have turned, and the feeling of fall is all around. The mighty Rocky Mountains bring the music of John Denver to life. For the baby boomer couple from Iowa visiting this wonderful landscape, a long overdue vacation is finally happening after several years of planning.
This Iowa couple comes to the cute town to relax, hike, and spend time together as a couple. When their vacation is finished they will return to Iowa and to resume their life in the Hawkeye State.
They will follow the college football team of the school that they both attended, that being the University of Iowa. They will resume their role as parents and grandparents, and they will also take part in the contact sport of Iowa, that being the presidential election. For in Iowa, presidential politics is in full swing.
This brings to mind the issues facing baby boomers in the 2016 election. The media will focus on the Twitter account of Donald Trump, or the poll numbers of Hillary Clinton, but for baby boomers the election is about issues.
Three particular areas of interest concern baby boomers: Social Security, healthcare, and the economy.
Baby boomers are concerned about their future and how the remainder of their lives will be influenced by financial issues. They need Social Security and are ever more vigilant regarding the protection of the Social Security benefit.
They are more focused on health and wellness than ever before, thus they are naturally very concerned with the healthcare system of the country.
This issue is paramount because so many baby boomers are caregivers for their parents and this role leads them to think about their own long-term health concerns and what will happen to them when they reach the age that their parents are at now.
But more than any other issue, they are worried about the economy. Boomers still in the workplace want to continue to be productive, for they are working longer than previous generations did.
In some cases this is out of necessity, for baby boomers have not all saved like they should have up to this point. Baby boomers also are concerned for their own children and the work lives of these children who they have raised and educated.
It is a terrible realization when adult children return home to live because they are unable to find a job and often have heavy student loans hanging over their heads.
So while candidates will be asked about foreign policy in debates, it is really the domestic issues that will rule the day for them in the 2016 election.
The couple from Iowa admit that they love the attention their state receives every four years. They welcome the candidates demonstrating retail politics, reaching out to caucus voters.
They like it when the country pays attention to what goes on in Iowa. However, to this Iowa couple and many other boomers across this country, the 2016 election is not about rhetoric — it is about substance.
This campaign may appear to be all about image, presentation and message, but in the end, the outcome will be determined by substance. That is the message that boomers are sending to the candidates in this election cycle.
Baby Boomers have lived through many election cycles, but this 2016 campaign, maybe more than most campaigns of the past, seems to count more to them. Maybe this is because baby boomers are thinking more seriously about where their lives are headed what they need most from elected officials.
So the couple from Iowa who are following the speeches of the candidates and watching the debates represent a trend among their generation. The message to candidates should be loud and clear: Baby boomers are very closely following the 2016 presidential contest.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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