“114 isn’t as old as it used to be; they say it’s the new 104.”
~ Craig Ferguson
Last month we discussed how some seniors look down their noses at the idea of retiring from the work world, as though the suggestion is an errant piece of lint on their clothing, and focused on just how essential these extra dollars might be for someone in their 60s and 70s.
Such concerns seem like child’s play for some of the nation’s oldest workers, who have vowed never to retire — primarily because they enjoy their jobs so much.
Take Betty Reid Soskin, 93 — but don’t take her too far from the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National HistoricalPark in Richmond, California, where she’s been a park ranger since she was a youthful 86. Soskin says all her previous jobs, in politics, as a record store owner, and as an office worker, have been preparation for her current work, in which she shares with park visitors what it was like to work in a segregated union hall during World War II. “It’s rather an enviable spot to be in,” says Soskin proudly. “I wouldn’t think of retiring.”
At 91, Kenneth Curzon is a cruiser. Though he could certainly be relaxing on the front porch of his house with a reverse mortgage to fund his days, even if he had a HECM, you wouldn’t find him sitting on the porch. Instead, Curzon cruises the parking lot of Scripps Memorial Hospital starting at 6:15 a.m., a job he’s loved for the past 24 years. The hospital CEO doesn’t believe he’s ever arrived before Curzon in the morning. “If they came to me and said I need to step aside then I would do that, but I would probably look for another job,” Curzon said.
Novaleen Slatton, 90, says the same: “I don’t want to stay at home by myself and look at four walls. So many people have retired, and then they say they’re bored to death.” Instead, Slatton works three days a week as receptionist at her local Chamber of Commerce, using her earnings to contribute to savings accounts for her three grandchildren, who are in college or just launching their careers. When she’s not at work, Slatton goes to the races — that’s horse races — with her brother.
Do any of your reverse mortgage clients or prospects still work, not necessarily because they need the money but to continue to contribute their skills and wisdom to the world? If some of your senior contacts are experiencing low spirits, perhaps a part-time dream job could be the cure.