Monday, September 1, 2008

Seniors Working in Their Seventies

Several years ago, I worked in a hospital. One of my co-workers had reached 70 while I was still there. The last time I spoke with someone from our department, he was still working, although he had cut down on the number of hours.

Does he need the money? No. He is in a high paying job, and I know he has great investments and savings.

Does he need the benefits? Quite possibly that is why he stays.

Would he miss his co-workers? Absolutely! He is a very outgoing individual and loves the interaction with those around him.

He and his wife are able to travel to foreign countries, take at least one or two cruises a year, visit his daughter and her family in another state, and generally go wherever he wants. Luckily he is in a job where he has an understanding supervisor and enough co-workers, that he was able to pretty much come and go as he pleases with a little planning.

Am I jealous? No, he works hard and deserves every moment of his time off. In his late sixties, he overcame a potentially terminal disease, one requiring hours of chemo, numerous drugs, and the hyper-addictive positive attitude he had about life.

I don't know anyone who has ever overcome the challenges he had during the two years he fought the disease. When is he going to retire? If he has the same supervisor that was there when I was, he will retire whenever he wants.

Why? He earned the right to leave on his own accord. Even at his age, he works hard, brings a positive attitude to the workplace, and is an inspiration to all.

Today I read an article in the newspaper regarding a woman who is still working at 93. More seniors are working well into their 70's, 80's, and even 90's. There are numerous reasons why - sluggish economy, financial need, benefit packages, desire to stay active and around people, love of job, just to name a few.

I think we are going to hear more on this subject, especially with the many baby boomers heading toward retirement age.

What do you think? Should people work as long as they want? Should there be a mandatory retirement age in America?

No comments: