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Old 07-31-2019, 12:20 PM
Location: La Jolla
326 posts, read 163,059 times
Reputation: 585


We have an engineer at our office who is 77 and still works part time. He comes in about 3 days a week. Some months we won't see him as much since he and his wife are traveling. The guy is a subject matter expert and very well known in our industry and our clients are willing to pay big dollars for his opinion. The founder of our company is 62 and has no plans to retire. He says he will start working less when he hits 65, but will still be around.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:35 PM
2,272 posts, read 780,700 times
Reputation: 5783
I'm dating a guy who's 68 and planning to work past 70. "Grey divorce" at age 61 so the money helps, but he tells me work gives him a sense of purpose. He works weekdays from 2 to 10 PM at a SHIP hotline, answering questions form Medicare beneficiaries, and on Friday morning he's a Spanish/English translator at the local court. (Previous career was as a public defender.) He's a genuinely caring person and I can see why both jobs suit him. Not my thing; I retired at 61 and I'm done even though I loved my work.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:43 PM
442 posts, read 120,051 times
Reputation: 1122
I worked part time from 58-65. Would still be if my cushy job hadn’t ended.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:55 PM
8,018 posts, read 5,092,896 times
Reputation: 13722
My field (aeronautical engineering) is rife with persons of advanced age. The number who worked on the Apollo program, who remain in the field full-time, is nontrivial. Those who worked for large corporations do tend to retire at the "normal" age (or earlier), but many pursue encore careers in small-business. Academics or government employees are under no pressure to retire.

I was in graduate school in the 1990s. My professors were not young men back then. Most still retain offices on campus, albeit as emeritus faculty. Several are pushing 90. Meanwhile, of my coworkers, one finally retired at age 80. The rumor is that his annual appraisals were flagging, and he retired in the very last stage of still being able to do so gracefully. Another coworker still remains working full-time, at age 85. His hands shake, and he requires a specialized computer monitor to be able to see. He reads printed documents with a magnifying glass.

Besides love of one's job, two crucial factors intrude. One is that, evidently, some number of the "stable" marriages from the 50s and 60s aren't really very secure, or even hospitable. So long as one spouse remains working full-time, the marriage endures. Work is therefore a means of retaining domestic peace. Another factor is that the persons in question may be brilliant engineers, but they have no hobbies or entertainments outside of work. They continue working from the dread of boredom and descent into senescence, were they to retire.

There's an interesting consequence of this. Often we hear laments that Millennials can't get decent jobs or promotions, because their elders refuse to vacate the desirable perches. What I see instead is that it's the younger Boomers, currently in their late 50s or early 60s, who feel blocked by their elders.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:16 PM
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
1,031 posts, read 1,047,583 times
Reputation: 1835
I'm still working at 67, partly for the income and in no small part because I enjoy both the work (programming) and my colleagues. I'm fortunate in that I've been able to ramp down my hours by 10% of a FTE each of the last 4-5 years. If the money is good, the work stimulating, and coworkers are friends there's really no reason to stop. The only downside is that the work is often mentally draining, so the pursuing of what'll be the Next Chapter is slower than if I were at 0% FTE.
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:34 PM
Status: "Loving life, wife and job!" (set 29 days ago)
Location: USA
1,040 posts, read 404,730 times
Reputation: 2843
Originally Posted by SoCal_Native View Post
"Internal motivation seems to play an important role. People who experience work as very important earlier in life often still have a great desire to work when they’re older,” says Hellevik."

My first job was sacking groceries at 13. By 16, I was working as an orderly in our local hospital. That was, at times, a pretty ****ty job - which I had to clean up. At 18, I was in the service and by 19, I was the only person in the stat chemistry lab of a 1,000 bed military, teaching hospital. After the military came college and after college, came paper and steel mill startups. Back to school briefly for a masters, back to work, laid off twice, blessed beyond belief otherwise including having a job which provides responsibilities, entertainment and, income.

I'm a year past my retirement date, way more money for retirement than average, working mainly to entertain myself when my wife gets closer to retirement in 5 years. We love our life. Our combined income exceed $200k, we have no debt but we do support my MIL financially. She won't live forever and once she goes, perhaps I can talk my wife into retiring before 60.

Man plans, God laughs!
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Old 07-31-2019, 02:56 PM
Status: "Loving our retirement" (set 6 days ago)
Location: Asheville NC
1,634 posts, read 1,327,537 times
Reputation: 4352
My older brother is still working at 75. He is a partner in an organ transplantation matching company. I am amazed at his energy and dedication.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:13 PM
12,626 posts, read 16,733,813 times
Reputation: 24396
I worked with two fellows who had been with our particular agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for over 50 years each. Both had been some point in their careers regional directors, one in national programs and the other in South America.
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Old 07-31-2019, 03:41 PM
1,388 posts, read 672,430 times
Reputation: 4377
I guess it all depends what you do for a living. Some people work like a dog.......others have a coushy job.
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:12 PM
311 posts, read 1,009,110 times
Reputation: 273
I went much longer in a military career than most people do. For some of us, as you get towards the end of your lives, the priorities are a bit different. I got a few good (albeit stressful) twilight postings but these were opportunities to give back a little from an organization that shaped me and gave me immense opportunities and some great years, friends, memories and so on. It's easy to do 30 and pack your bags, but for me I was tempted to pass on a lot of what I had learned to the very young and different officers of today. They will use some of it, some of them will. If I just take everything I learned with me and go home, that's OK too but some lessons were brutally hard and I saw a lot of changes and saw some cycles forming which make it reasonably easy to predict certain things. I stayed a long time, that's for sure. I owe this country for the life I've had, and I appreciate the people many decades ago who took the time to help me learn the things I needed to learn, and the most important thing is to never stop learning. When you're young all you seem to worry about is making money and bills, and getting your degree. Later, other things matter. Every year seems longer than the last, and I don't regret one minute of any of them. I m glad they asked me to stay so long. It's good to be home though.
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