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End of the Boom

Kelli Abe Trifonovitch
I was born in 1964, putting me at the official tail end of the baby boom, which is comprised of those of us born from 1946 to 1964. Boomers have, sometimes undeservedly (and many times deservedly), earned a bad rap over time: We came of age during the 60s, got funky during the 70s, partied during the 80s and settled down in the 90s. Love us or hate us, we've dramatically shaped our country's wild ride over the last half-century.

There is no denying the impact that this huge demographic bulge has had and will have on all of the phases of life its members move through. Which brings me to something that boomers really don't like to think about: Getting "old."

The first boomer will turn 62 in 2008. The state projects that by 2020, one in four Hawaii residents will be 60 or older. This gives rise to a whole host of economic and social challenges and heralds the need for some serious and widespread policy discussions. While we've started to talk about aging in terms of long-term care and affordable prescription drugs, the only consensus so far is that it's coming and we are ill prepared, both individually and collectively. Our half-boomer, half-Gen Xer staff suggests some solutions in our cover story package, "Boom or Bust?" How Hawaii answers that question is, in part, up to you.

Maria Torres-Kitamura

With this issue, we are happy to welcome back Maria Torres-Kitamura (who happens to be a Gen Xer) as Hawaii Business' new senior editor. Readers of Hawaii Business may remember seeing her byline back in 1996 and 1997, when she covered stories ranging from an analysis of the Top 250 companies in 1997 to stories about the retail and construction industries and Japanese-owned companies.

Since then, Maria worked as a research analyst and project director with a local research company, while she earned her M.B.A. from the University of Hawaii. She served most recently as an associate analyst with the Office of the Legislative Auditor. Her projects there have included management audits of the University of Hawaii's Incentive Early Retirement Program and the State Employees' Retirement System.

Maria had a chance to look way back past her previous tenure with Hawaii Business, to compile this month's "HB Archives." She will probably be turning up at an office or event near you soon, so please say, "Hello." n

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