Why Retire? Talking With Some Who Work Past 80


As a young boy, I distinctly remember hearing my older relatives and their friends complain about their work. This was particularly noticeable on Sunday evenings as they contemplated getting back into the grind of another week. It always perplexed me to hear them talk that way. “Why would anybody continue to do something they don’t enjoy?” I wondered. Why not do something you do enjoy? And if you enjoy it, why stop?

These questions developed a passion for what I call lifetime effectiveness: engaging in productive work throughout one’s lifetime. I believe there is honor in work and that God has created us to work and be productive in His creation. This ideal runs contrary to the modern goal of retirement, a historically new idea that, in my opinion, deserves to be challenged.

Not everyone has bought into the notion of retirement. I decided to look for people who have chosen to remain engaged in their vocations beyond the age of 80. It didn’t take me long to find four of them. These people don’t have to work; they choose to work simply because they like being engaged. They essentially ask the same question I’ve asked for a long time: why not do something you enjoy, and if you enjoy it, why stop?

Read the edited interviews with these exceptional people – Bernie Moray, Dorothy Zehnder, Jack Kirksey, and George Roumell, in my recently published article in The CEO Advantage Journal.


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