Pick up any news magazine and you’ll see stories about today’s seniors, the Baby Boomers, not being able to afford retirement at 65 and if they do, they are likely to be required to make sacrifices. The retirement we planned for decades ago is no longer adequate to support us in today’s economy. I am a 66-year-old living in San Antonio, Texas, and one of those formerly retired Boomers who has re-entered the workforce. My reason for returning to the workforce is not necessarily financial; rather it is one of personal preference and fulfillment. I was a federal employee for 30 years, retiring in December 2010 with a nice retirement income. I stayed out of the workforce a few (long) months before I officially began my real estate career in May 2011. I love it!
I love the stimulation of the workplace, especially the buyers, sellers and agents with whom I work. I enjoy learning from the day-to-day challenges; each transaction is different and some are quite difficult to resolve. I love the satisfaction of working through an issue to the agreement of all parties. I would not be happy staying at home and, if I stayed home, my husband would not be a happy man. I get bored, crabby and frankly, and I spend too much money shopping away the boredom! I am not making a fortune in real estate, but I make enough to cover expenses and have a little pocket change left over for travel. So is it worth it? It is. I am out and about, staying busy meeting people and engaged in business.
I have friends who will never retire and family members who can’t wait to retire. Is 62, 65 or 70 the “right” age for retirement these days, especially when we hear so much about 60 being the “new” 40? Health care advances, active lifestyles and an aging population more involved in making healthy choices could affect the magic number for retirement. Many Boomers are making the choice to remain on the job rather than retire now due to the current economy, but some of us remain because it’s the personal “right” thing to do. Often, nearing retirement, we hold senior level positions in our organizations. My position was extremely challenging and satisfying, and I never really planned to leave. Sometimes life throws us curves. I became geographically separated from my family due to family illness and ultimately that distance triggered my decision. Otherwise, I would have continued to work as long as I felt that I was effective in my job.
Work is a choice I make that is as important to me as other choices I make as part of a healthy lifestyle. I try to eat right, exercise, take my prescribed medications, plan family time and go to work. Who knows! Someday I may be the oldest real estate agent in Texas because I plan to continue to work until they take my driver’s license — and they are going to have a fight on their hands when they try!