If I were to ask you what the perfect retirement age is, what would you say? 55? 65? 75? Are you the kind of person who is dreaming about spending their golden years on the beach? Or, are you determined to work for as long as you can, even if you can afford to take it easy?
No matter how much you love your job, you probably don’t picture yourself working at age 94. Well, this is exactly what 94-year-old Orville has decided to do. According to this feature, in Forbes, Orville still works as an accountant, 4 days a week, despite, or perhaps because of, his age.
Unlike his younger years, when suits and ties were a necessity, Orville takes a more casual approach to fashion these days. As the article points out, he even wears colorful beach shorts to the office in the summer.
Of course, life isn’t all about work for Orville. At age 94, he likes to spend time with his grandkids and great grandkids. He even took 24 of his family members on a cruise to Mexico. I guess that’s the kind of financial security that you can expect when you keep working into your 90s!
Orville has had a full life, filled with crushing lows, such as being captured by the Germans and held as a POW during WWII and wonderful highs, such as seeing 3 generations of his family being born. Despite all this, he isn’t slowing down.
Over the years, we are taught to believe that retirement is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We “succeed” if we stash away enough cash to last us 20-30 years. We “fail” if we have to continue working on our 60s and 70s, even if we enjoy our jobs.
People like Orville show us that continuing to contribute to society through our work is something to be proud of. In addition, since working is one of the best ways to keep our brains sharp, people like Orville may have a built-in advantage when it comes to the fight against dementia.
I realize that not everyone will want to work into their 90s. But, for those of us who love what we do, my simple question is “why not?” Why not continue to maintain the social ties that bring meaning into our lives? Why not continue to make money at a time when others are spending it? Why not say no to aging stereotypes? Why not continue to work, but, on our own terms?
I’d love to get your thoughts on this!
What do you think about Orville’s story? Do you want to work as long as possible? Or, are you looking forward to “retirement,” in a more traditional sense? Please join the conversation.