Carmel Valley baby boomer seeking next stage of life finds it in writing book

After losing both his parents and his older brother, Rick Bava left a career in the corporate world in search of his life’s next stage. His curiosity led to him to chronicle the baby boom generation, which he covers in his debut book, “In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation.”

“I started to travel around the country in search of myself,” Bava said. “When all was said and done, I found the answer to a generation.”

Released June 12, “In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation” takes an up-close look at the baby boomers, the post–World War II generation born between 1946 and 1964, to which Bava belongs.

“Hundreds of baby boomers’ input is reflected in the commentary of my book,” Bava said. “The book really reads as if you’re sitting across from someone at their kitchen table discussing where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going as a baby boomer.”

Born in Chicago in December 1955, Bava went to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, at the age of 16, on a tennis scholarship. While studying, he advanced to play tennis on a professional level and later became a tennis instructor.

Bava earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in business at UW-Madison and later went on to take graduate courses at Harvard University Extension School before beginning his business career.

He had a 30-year corporate career in computers, with many years in the computer services division of the Boeing Company. He later founded the Bava Group, a communications consulting firm that served Fortune 500 companies.

When Bava lost his parents and brother, he left the corporate world and began searching for an “encore career,” work that combines continued income, greater personal meaning and social impact.

“When you look at my life since I left college, it really falls into three categories,” said Bava, who has lived in Carmel Valley since 2012. He previously lived in Del Mar.

“It falls in the category of a young tennis player, and then the corporate world, and now, the encore career. You do something not only for the benefit of making a living, but to make a contribution to society.”

While contemplating his next stage in life, Bava began traveling around the country in 2009. During his travels, he noticed a void in the way the baby boomer generation’s story was being told, so he began to seek out their stories.

For more than two years, Bava traveled the country and talked with hundreds of boomers. From baseball games to grocery stores, Bava talked with people at a variety of places across many states.

At one point, he took a train across the United States and talked with baby boomers in the dining car. He also met a Santa Barbara couple looking to rent a room in their home. He ended up staying with them for a month, and profiles the couple in his book.

“That’s just one of many, many stories,” Bava said. “I immersed myself with baby boomers from all walks of life and socio-economic classes. I spent time with people in their homes and I discussed the issues most germane to baby boomers.

“The issues ended up being the same,” he added. “You could have been a millionaire or someone who couldn’t put two nickels together, and a lot of the issues became constant.”

After finishing his interviews, Bava launched a blog in 2011, at the suggestion of his best friend. The success of the blog eventually led to Bava’s first book.

He began writing the monthly column, “The Baby Boomer Corner,” in Today’s Senior Magazine and became associated with the nationally syndicated Boomer Nation! radio show.

“When I got finished traveling around the country, I had a lot of data,” Bava said. “Between the columns and what originally was the blog, it just seemed like it was natural to lend it to a book.”

Published by Motivational Press, the 278-page book covers topics of importance to baby boomers and includes some of Bava’s most popular columns. Some of the topics include caring for elderly parents, Social Security and Medicare, health and fitness, second careers, retirement, estate planning and more.

As a baby boomer, Bava said he often agreed with much of what he was told.

“I have my own unique experiences as a baby boomer, so that provided the baseline, and there’s a lot of my own storyline weaved into the book,” he said. “But I did find a consistency of issues.”

Bava hopes baby boomers will identify with what they read in his book. Although the book is geared for them, he added that younger generations have also expressed interest and gained insight from the book.

“I’m proud of the book, and I’m hoping that baby Boomers, if they read it, they’ll be proud of it, too,” Bava said.

For more about the book, visit