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People who work at least a few hours a week after retirement are healthier, and happier and live longer that those who choose not to work, researchers tell us. But what about when you get into ten years and more beyond the typical retirement age of 65 and still want to work?

Perhaps it comes closer to seeing a clearer picture when we consider this; when a professional lady gets to be in her late 70s, why would she want to continue working? Don’t you think that she’d like to kick back and be lazy? I suppose if the lady always had to work at a physically intensive job and her health was failing, she’d probably welcome retirement. Yet if she loves her work and her health permits it why should she be forced into retirement just because she’s reached a certain age? Of course, this goes for the fellows, too.

I’m one of these older gals. I’m also fortunate in that my best skill is writing. It’s definitely a spiritual gift and I recognize it as such. I determined early on that whatever gifts I possess i would dedicate to God. When I discovered writing and I were meant to be—and that interviewing in particular was my strong suit—journalism seemed the right road for me to travel. I’m not pretending that writing is apple-pie easy. Especially since my beat is mostly newspaper writing. However, when a writer has a passion for people and yearns to help promote good causes, the combo is a delightful marriage. For me it is especially so for newspaper, magazine writing and now online writing. It’s a perfect way to serve one’s community.

Because my writing style appeals to many, my opinion counts. Therefore, writing commentaries comes into the mix. Influencing people through a commentary is a heavy responsibility. Regardless, I plan to stay in the writing game as long as the Lord allows.

What about you? Have you decided not to set your talents aside but to continue using them as long as the Lord allows? You may not be working for the paycheck anymore but you may be working as a volunteer, using those same skills. Remember that you’re still working, just not for money. Or you may be doing both. I can’t imagine not being a volunteer anymore than I can imagine me not working. For me it balances the scales of service.

Too Old?

Perhaps you left the workforce or are thinking about it not because you felt too old but because you feel others think of you as too old. Insecurity and intimidation are usually self-grown. We think such is the case, when it really isn’t.

One friend said that she didn’t realize how valuable she was until she retired and the farewell party left her realizing her worth. Within six weeks she was back working as a consultant—and happier than ever. She admits that she’d painted her own portrait and it wasn’t a real likeness. She’s blooming now in a way that she never did before.

There’s also a new trend out there because of the current American economy. Three-fourths of the baby boomers are planning to work after retirement. Some plan to change careers at that time. Most don’t plan to work fulltime however. Even seasonal work can make a significant difference in managing your retirement finances. An Internet site that is established to help the older worker is Seniors4Hire.org and, of course, good old AARP can help us choose a new career or job search at www.aarp.org/money/careers.

Personally, I haven’t found any place in the Scriptures that tells us to retire. After seeing the benefits that most people receive as a result of keeping at least a toe in the work place, it seems the savvy thing to do to stay active. No one can call us old fogies then, can they?

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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