Author Topic: Retire at 87!  (Read 4561 times)

SnackDog

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Retire at 87!
« on: January 06, 2014, 04:31:40 AM »
I've posted before how my mother still works (substitute teacher) whenever she is free, even though she is 78 and has more money than she could ever spend.  Last week she told me her older brother, who is 80, still works as an accountant three days a week.  I'm less certain on his finances but I'm pretty sure he has had them all dialed in for about 40 years.  He still auto-crosses his Audi RS4 on the weekends.

Over the holidays I stopped in at our corporate headquarters to see who was around.  It was nice to see most of the offices dark as people were out. I did have the great fortune to run in to one of the old guys who has been working there for what seems like forever, doing economic analysis. He is just a riot and regaled me with all sorts of stories.  He and the guy in the next office are a pair who do all this analysis.  They are both in their 60's with grandchildren, etc. I asked what the retirement plan was, since I am pretty sure they have both had it spread-sheeted to death for decades.  His response: "Well, Floyd (guy in next office) doesn't want to work less than his father! His father retired last year from H&R Block. He was 86.  So, I guess we work until we are both 87!"  Classic.  I guess economically speaking, they maximize value by working as long as they are able.

Zamboni

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 05:58:31 AM »
Quote
He still auto-crosses his Audi RS4 on the weekends.

Excellent.  Love this guy.

I had a coworker who recently worked basically right up until he went into hospice (he was in his 80's.)  In his will he left ~$2MM to our employer, $1MM specially to our department.  Our employer?  Wtf!  Meanwhile, the big boss is still talking about laying off the poor lady who does the most work and makes the least money so that a few other people can have more perks.

Some of the time it is great that people can keep working this long.  It's not all a bed of roses, though.  In the case of a couple of my co-workers, they really don't pull their weight anymore by any standard, and they cause problems to some extent (not up to speed on current technology, out-dated ideas about things like women and minorities which causes hiring bias if they are involved.) But, they still pull in a fat paycheck and make it harder for us to hire more productive people.  I'm talking about people in their 70's and 80's.  At my last employer the manager would keep their workload expectations normal, have performance talks with them if they were slacking, and take away resources that would be better utilized by a more productive person:  this would generally lead to retirement.  We did have a couple of extremely productive older employees who were great to work with, including one guy in his 80's, but anyone who was below the minimum in terms of work but still popping by on payday ended up officially leaving.  At my current employer, the strategy seems to be keep giving these folks less and less authority and things they have to do, so they'll get bored and leave . . . this plan is not functioning as intended (big surprise!)

SnackDog

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 08:09:50 AM »
I know exactly what you mean.   90% of people are able to tell when they are not wanted and leave voluntarily.  This avoids a lot of pain for everyone.  But some of the deadwood needs a kick rather than a shove.

These guys at headquarters are doing some really heavy lifting. They are analyzing multiple billion dollar international deals per year and building sophisticated custom economic forecasting models.  A fortune 5 corporation relies on their calculations before pulling the trigger on massive new investments.  It is amazing to me there is nobody young obviously training to be their successors...


soccerluvof4

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 04:45:06 AM »
My grandfather would never of retired. He loved his job just distributing parts to the different stations in within the manufacturing plant he worked at. He would get up at 4am and change in his work clothes in his closet , get picked up everyday by a younger guy and go about 30 miles to work and be home at the sametime everyday. Finally the company hired a new ceo and in his late 70's they shut the plant down (and this is a big company) gathered as many people as possible and thanked him for his years of service and gave him a gold ring with 45 (in diamonds) on it for the 45 years of service he provided.  He got shoved out of the door per sae but the professionalism in which the company did it he never felt that way. I have a few guys that work for me now that say they will never retire and i feel its because of the social aspect of it more than anything. So kudos to those that are doing it because they choose too and not because they have to. Its there way of staying active.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2014, 06:59:27 PM »
Don't assume the younger ones are all pulling their weight.  I keep hearing from community college colleagues that the younger faculty are not really involved, they teach, they mark, and that is it - not a lot of other time with students, no departmental work (i.e. all those committees that keep things going), they do outside contract work on College time, all of which means the older faculty find they are working harder than ever to keep things going well in their departments.

NewStachian

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2014, 03:43:25 PM »
I think you have a set of older folks out there who have seen their peers retire themselves into irrelevance. Although there is a decent percentage of people on this forum who are FIRE, most of us are in various stages of the FIRE rat-race (yes, it's still a rat-race, no matter how we slice it), so it's hard to imagine what happens once we're there. I think once the novelty of being FIRE wears off, there's this "ok, now what?" moment. Many reach FIRE when they still have kids in the house, so that's a wonderful and rewarding avenue for our time. Home renovation, travel, etc, etc. But, what happens when the kids are in college and you've checked all the major boxes on your life TO DO list? My guess is you try to find societal relevance. Either with a job, volunteer work, or some kind of "career" that defines you and establishes a legacy in society.

Just some random morning ramblings!

lordrtype1

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Re: Retire at 87!
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2014, 11:41:25 PM »
Don't assume the younger ones are all pulling their weight.  I keep hearing from community college colleagues that the younger faculty are not really involved, they teach, they mark, and that is it - not a lot of other time with students, no departmental work (i.e. all those committees that keep things going), they do outside contract work on College time, all of which means the older faculty find they are working harder than ever to keep things going well in their departments.

This is a valid point.   If nothing else. learning that work ethic can benefit younger people, so that they can accomplish more for themselves and others.  Dustin Hoffman commented about older performers he worked with on a recent movie, saying that most were 20+ years older than him (70-90s), but they were ready go work at 6am, every morning.  Not showing up at 6, they could start production AT 6!  They worked the whole day, and came back the next.  And gave 110 percent while there, never complained, never whined, never made a fuss, even when they probably should, it would seem.  Your work ethic can say more about you than what you accomplish in that time.  Does it matter if you can do twice the work of a person, if you have three times the collateral damage doing it?  Young people think speed and tech savvy is all they need to be great.  It helps, but being competent, detail-oriented, and showing consideration for everyone around you doesn't hurt, either.  Ambition shouldn't outstrip productivity, though it seems that is more and more the norm.