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WOW! - Retiring at 100, Full of Life's Lessons

  1. Apr 6, 2006 #1

    Astronuc

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    Morning Edition, March 31, 2006 ·
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5313522

    What an inspiration!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2006 #2

    Curious3141

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    I'm far more inspired by people who are able to retire (soundly) by 35. I prefer to view a job as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2006 #3

    arildno

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    Sure, become a financial analyst, swindle your clients and retire at 35.
     
  5. Apr 6, 2006 #4

    Curious3141

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    Yup, retire at 35, land in jail for the next 15 years at 36. :rolleyes:

    I meant legally. There are people who manage this, or at least have amassed enough wealth by that age to theoretically live out the rest of their years very comfortably if they chose to.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2006 #5

    Astronuc

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    Yup - Bill Gate for example. And we have MS Windows. :rolleyes: :rofl:
     
  7. Apr 6, 2006 #6

    Math Is Hard

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    I think that's wonderful. How sad for the MTA to lose such a dedicated person, though. Sounds like he's still got plans to keep busy:
    Good for him! I don't understand this rush to retire that some of the others have expressed. I love to work and be useful and I plan on working as long as my body and mind will hold up.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2006 #7

    FredGarvin

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    I'm sure his staying at work has a direct link on his longevity. Although, I really wonder in what capacity he was working since, oh....85 years old and on. That is a fantastic story to hear about. I often tell people they'll have to pull my dead body away from my desk in the end. Maybe because college tuition will require me to stay at my job that long:yuck:
     
  9. Apr 6, 2006 #8

    Astronuc

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    I'll never retire. I have enough to do for several lifetimes, and then I still find more to do. :biggrin:

    Even if I volunteer in school to read to kids - I'll keep working.

    Besides there a places around the world which need clean water and sustainable agriculture and energy.

    Lots to do!
     
  10. Apr 6, 2006 #9
    Well, perhaps not everybody is happy with their jobs.
    When Kavafis retired after many years of working in a customs office, he said (happily):
    "At last I leave this filthyness"
    I think Kafka would have felt very much the same had he reached the age of retirement.
    It also reminds me of Bartleby's "I would prefer not to" do it.
    Just a bit on behalf of the dissatisfied ones.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2006 #10

    brewnog

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    I don't think there's any point working just to retire. Most of us are going to spend the vast proportion of our lives working, so I reckon we may as well find something enjoyable to do!

    Suppose you do retire at 35, and never work another day, what would you do to keep yourself busy? Aren't hobbies supposed to be relief from work, rather than a replacement for it? I'd definitely like to reach the stage where I could comfortably not need to work, but then I'd be happier to go back to work as a consultant, whenever I wanted, on whatever terms I wanted.
     
  12. Apr 6, 2006 #11
    I saw this on the news a month or two ago. I found it sad that he spent 70 years of his life sweeping the floors of the buses. It's nice that he worked his whole life, but it's not like he achieved anything. I'm not trying to belittle him, just pointing that out.
     
  13. Apr 6, 2006 #12

    russ_watters

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    I would think that a hobby that is a good relief can also be a good replacement. There are some, though, that you really can't do while you work. For example, one of my dreams is to buy a sailboat and sail long distances. You can't sail for months at a time over the weekend.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2006 #13

    FredGarvin

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    Work could have just been a means to an end. Simply doing his job day in and day out made him happy enough. What more could one ask for?
     
  15. Apr 6, 2006 #14
    devil makes work for Idol hands is all I have to say to that.. Good man to work that long, I am sure the reason he worked so long was because he enjoyed his job

    Yeh exactly...
     
  16. Apr 6, 2006 #15
    I saw him on the news. He's a really nice guy, but still, all he did was mop the floor, literally. He never went anywhere with his life, and I find that sad. Not even promoted as a manager. I guess he really likes to mop.
     
  17. Apr 6, 2006 #16

    chroot

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    The old school rewarded employee longevity. You got gold watches and other token crap as reward for spending half of your life doing the exact same job. My grandfather thought that doing the same job for some 50 years was a reward in and of itself. People respected you for having that kind of loyalty. The people who feel this way by and large grew up during the great depression, which forever shaped their expectations of occupational life -- you found a job, any job, and clung to it dutifully. You didn't dare expect anything but decades of labor, followed by a decent pension plan, because that was incredible prosperity at the time.

    The new school (of which I am a member) doesn't recognize loyalty as being a particularly important quality. Companies merge, split, change management and shareholders almost constantly. People expect to start in basic positions, work hard, and be rewarded by being regularly promoted to positions of greater responsibility, financial reward, and power. Most people in the new school view 70 years of loyalty as unfortunate stagnation. The reason? Most people in the new school grew up with all their needs met, with money left over for entertainment. They view basic needs like food and shelter as being a birth right. It's so easy to find employment in the US -- even easy desk-job knowledge-worker employment -- that people have shifted their expectations skyward. Not only do we expect food and shelter to be easily obtained, we expect to one day retire from a CEO position with a sailboat and three vacation houses.

    So, who's right? Neither school is right, really. No one knows how long the economy is going to stay so strong. Times will likely be good for the remainder of my life, as a member of Generation Y, but who knows what will be in store for my children, or my grandchildren.

    I'm truthfully of the retire-at-35 mindset, myself. That's not to say I'd never work again; I'd just work on my own terms, name my own price, and move on to other things whenever I felt like it. I don't have just one hobby -- I probably have more like 15 hobbies. I could certainly enjoy developing them all as far as possible. Aviation? Scuba diving? Playing guitar? Going back to school to audit some physics classes? Building telescopes? Rock climbing? Sure, I could keep myself busy (and productive, in a sense) for the rest of my natural life.

    Whatever happens, I refuse to end up being one of those elderly people who do absolutely nothing with themselves, slowly declining in physical and mental ability until I become a burden on my family or the state. I will continue to exercise my mind and my body until the day I die.

    This gentleman in the story, at least, had the right idea in that respect. He never stopped moving. That he made a few dollars for his efforts only makes it more impressive.

    - Warren
     
  18. Apr 6, 2006 #17

    JasonRox

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    If he wrote books on the side or educated himself or even wrote research papers, that'd be great. So far, I don't think he ever did.

    I agree with you though. I don't like the idea of just working and killing time until you die. As long as you contribute to society in a beneficial way, however little, you accomplished something.
     
  19. Apr 6, 2006 #18

    russ_watters

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    Great post, warren. You explained my worldview better than I ever could. I'm sincerely unable to wrap my mind around the idea that longevity in a job, in and of itself, can be a positive thing. If it kept him happy, great for him, but I just don't see how such a thing could be possible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2006
  20. Apr 6, 2006 #19

    Astronuc

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    Consider the first year when this gentlemen went to work, and what life was like back then. He may not have been able to get an education that would take him into science, engineering, business or law.
     
  21. Apr 6, 2006 #20
    I did think about that astronuc, and I realize he was very limited to his options at those times. Yet at the same time, 70 years later, he should be running the bus terminal. No one should know the operations better than he. I find it sad that he still just mops a floor.

    As for Russ, I do hope to work for one place for the rest of my life. A place associated with Greatness. I could see myself working at my current Job for the rest of my life. I would be very proud to work for such a place, because they are known for excellence. Why would I possibly want to jump around between companies, doing nothing in the process? I could understand such job changes if you’re a non science major.
     
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