Why I work at age 67

Why I work at age 67

 

Today I want to explain why I work at age 67, and did not completely retire in 2020.

It was right about now, one year ago, that everything changed.

I was sent home with all of the other employees at the university where I worked to hold our meetings and tackle our projects from home. You see me above on that campus.

I honestly thought it would be a couple of weeks and we would return.  I had no idea what I was facing. 

No idea that my home would become an office building with Mr. B in one office, and me in the other.  We call the kitchen our cafeteria!

No idea that my meetings would all be virtual.

And no idea that I would be faced with huge decisions as an over-60 professional in the workplace.

Why I am working at 67

THE FIRST REASON I AM WORKING AT 67

I have shared this quote before by Adrianne Hemenway: “Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place where we are meant to be.”

My plight became clear by May 2020 that I would be a part of a large layoff at the University of Texas San Antonio due to the pandemic.  While the financial side of the layoff caused me some concern, the loss of the actual work did not.  I simply was not enjoying working there for many, many reasons.

Mr. B and I looked at the financial side and knew we really needed me to generate more income than retirement would allow.  But I was done with working for other people on their visions and giving second chair to my own.  I did not want to return to the process of submitting resumes and going through interviews.

Thank goodness I was able to convince my husband to give me a chance at monetizing my work online full time.  I love blogging and reporting stories for my wonderful over 50 audience.  While I have not hit the salary I was making before, I am close and so appreciate those who support me through reading every day, purchases with my shopping links, and donations through the coffee app.  Now we are facing increases in energy, gas and groceries and my salary is a must have at this time.

THE SECOND REASON I AM WORKING AT 67

Why I work at 67

But I also work for other reasons beside financial security.  I work because I love it and know it keeps my mind sharp.  I am constantly studying how to be exceptional at what I do.  Which means, I study how to serve the audience at a high level and how to run a profitable business online.

This article from the Harvard Medical School in 2018 reveals how important work is for the over 60 crowd.  It actually can extend our lives.  WORKING LATER IN LIFE CAN PAY OFF IN MORE THAN JUST INCOME.

Also, it has been a benefit to me to come home to work.  I did not realize how much I missed being home until I came back for an extended period of time.  When my three children were very young, I stayed home with them and loved it.

But, once school began, I needed to work at the school in order for them to have the type of education I desired for them.  That opened the door to a teaching career which was truly amazing.

Reflections of 2020 and benefits of working after 60

Now, I am back home…in charge of my own schedule…mixing work with home-work around the house…and staying mentally and physically healthy.

Doing work I love, keeping very busy, being more available to family and friends, and being home has been a huge JOY BOOST for me.

I know it has been a difficult year for many…financially and physically due to COVID-19.  However, I always choose to focus on the silver linings of any situation. In the midst of difficulties, I have been blessed beyond all measure.

I am one over 60 individual who needs to work…yes for the finances, but just as much for mental and physical health. 

I look at someone like Betty White who has worked through her 90s.  I believe that her decision to keep going with her work though financially secure has extended her life.  The same with Dolly Parton.  Work gives us a reason to keep taking care of ourselves on the outside and on the inside.  I might not do the self care so easily if it were not for work. 

It can keep us loving life and in the game!

Once again, thank you for joining me on this journey.  You are the best audience on the web! 

CLOTHING NOTE:  The images are professional workplace outfits I wore in the last two years.  These are all pieces I have kept and avoided the initial (done with the professional office) cut!  We will see how they fair in round two…but there are at least three which may be cut!

Anything you see here that you would say…absolutely DO NOT toss that?

KEEP SMILING!!

By Pamela Lutrell

Now here is a little fun………

42 Comments

  1. A good friend & I were playing the “can you believe it’s been a year??” game just the other day (by phone, of course, because can you believe it’s been a year since we all started staying home?) & were noting the changes in our lives (or lack of in some cases). I feel guilty at times how well my husband & I have weathered the year, both healthy & fit & active & engaged with things that interest us & enjoying more of each other, which was the idea behind retiring early in the first place although we didn’t dream it would be under quarantine during a pandemic! It has made us sit back & rethink some plans & expand ideas & possibilities & we both wound up inventing second careers for ourselves without intending to which has led to even more re-planning & re-prioritizing. But yes, it’s always about finding the positive, which is always there if you let yourself believe in it.

    And as for your “keep it” challenge, Pamela: I think you need to keep the white Oriental jacket & the V-neck top under it, that absolutely gorgeous knee-length plaid topper & the black striped tee. The rest are fine & I’m sure you’d get wear out of them, but those 4 are — to my inexpert eye — the top timeless classics!

    1. I love your story, Janet. Don’t feel guilty… rejoice in your silver linings. Thanks for giving your fashion thoughts!

  2. A great story of your reinvention. You managed that really well and should be proud to continue to support the household while enjoying what you do. As for the outfits, the first one has to be a keeper, you look gorgeous in that shot, and the background looks so inviting. Your plum pants of course will go with your new lifestyle and beyond as well. It is so hard to get rid of things, and then later wish you had kept them. A fun scarf or cute pair of shoes can change a look to more casual at times.

  3. I agree, we need to stay engaged in life, be social and active to support our health, both physically and mentally. After retiring , I immediately started right back at the cancer center where I had worked, as a volunteer. I loved my volunteer job, helping ladies with wigs and makeup. Of course, the last year changed that and they have suspended hands-on contact with patients (for volunteers). It’s frustrating, but things really have not slowed down. The things I do don’t generate income, but I have downsized and eliminated some unnecessary things and it’s actually going quite well. Right now I’m helping family members, have been attending Bible studies and traveling to see and experience new things. I’m teaching myself American sign language to challenge my brain. I’m always open to new experiences and am really enjoying this chapter in my life. As for what to keep of the outfits you show, they are all what I’d call keepers, but my favorites are the first one, then the black jacket and pants. Very versatile pieces.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing with us every day. As I have said before, I love reading your blog. I look forward to it every day. I decided to retire at the end of December 2020 for a number of reasons. I need to do a closet purge as I no longer need as many professional outfits but I do not want to look like a slob when I go out to eat or shopping. I love all of the outfits that you are wearing in the pictures. Thank you for sharing your fashion and life thoughts with us each day.

    1. Thank you for being here every day, Charlene. I am about to do yet another closet purge very soon.

  5. Pam, I love your story! And YES – I can see the JOY in your posts! You are an inspiration to all of us “over 60’s” who are winding down our working careers and looking ahead to “what’s next”? (I retire in 7 weeks! SOOOO excited and happy! I’m smiling right now as I type this!) If you remember, we discussed my “Mimi daycare” for my grandchildren – I know they won’t need me every day, but I am available and happy to help! And I am so excited to get out of the 8-5 routine I’ve been in for the last 44 years. My husband will work a few more years, but we are so excited about the changes that are coming! Sitting in church on Sunday (yes – thank the Lord, churches are open for business in GA!) I looked around and thought what a difference a year makes. I love the quote you used about how …”our lives must be completely shaken up, rearranged to relocate us to the place where we are meant to be……” A favorite pastor of mine once said – “God sometimes closes a window in order to open a door..” I believe that with my whole heart. Left on our own, we too often do not move because of fear or lack of motivation. When things are taken out of our hands, we have no choice. That’s what this last year has been in so many ways. My husband and I have had more meaningful conversations about our plans for the future in the last 6 months than we’ve ever had before; and my faith in the Lord and my focus on family has become even stronger. I’m with you – – I’d much rather live my life looking for the “silver lining” and trusting in God, than sit in darkness and fear, waiting for the next terrible thing to happen! Keep doing what you’re doing as long as you want to! I plan to do the same! Be blessed today!

  6. I’m with you Pam, all the way! At the ripe old age of 66 I was forced out of the work force by a new owner of the business I was working for. I decided to return to a field that I dappled in on a part time basis, dressmaking! Five years later, I’m busy helping women of all ages creating the clothing they have dreamed of, and I am finding it incredibly rewarding both mentally and financially. As an added bonus, I’ve partnered with a sewing buddy to create beautiful art to wear to show at local high end craft shows. I find that by keeping busy, good things have no problem finding me and it’s easy to thank my blessings every day!

    As to what to keep, I say definitely that white jacket which looks great with those slacks and top you have under it. Also, the burgundy jacket, b&w top and black slacks, a very classic look.

    Thank you for your great blogs, I have been reading them for a while but this is my first time commenting. Keep ‘em comin, it keeps the 😊 on my face!

    1. Thank you for commenting, Gloria and for being here. So glad you are here and I love what you shared!!

  7. Who says you have to retire? My mother worked until she was forced out at 70. She immediately dove into volunteer work and even though she had 11 grandchildren I would always joke she was too busy to babysit. Do what makes you happy Pam! Lately I have been thinking about why some bloggers are more successful or appeal to me more than others. Your chatty style and honesty is wonderful! Definitely keep the white jacket at the top!

  8. Pam, you are such an inspiration to your readers, and as I look at your blog daily, I KNOW you will make me feel better…and make me think. You have such a calming manner of discussion, and so relevant to what so many are experiencing. I retired from high school teaching ten years ago so this past year has simply kept me from participating in the various organizations to which I belong. It’s been such a lazy year for us since my husband is also retired and we are fortunate to have all our needs met financially through retirement and Medicare. I sometimes feel guilty because we have not suffered as so many have, but then, we worked hard and saved for many years until retiring.

    I certainly need to do a closet purge but have become very lazy during this year of nothingness. I often see something you are wearing and realize I have this article or that because I’ve bought it after your recommendation. The white jacket in the first picture is one such item. I continue to hang on to it with the hopes of more normal life returning which means events where it could be worn. But what I need to do is wear such items when I go to the grocery store which is about the only place I consistently go. Why save good items since I might never use them otherwise.

  9. Great post today, Pam!

    The past year has certainly been life-changing. I was furloughed for 2 months last spring and when I returned my position was in the process of being completely revised. I moved into my new position in January — and while it’s not so easy to learn new things at the age of 62, I’m enjoying the challenge.

    I want to age well — meaning I want to keep active physically and mentally. I enjoy ‘dressing’ up every day whether for work or to run errands or to exercise. I want to look and feel my best. Your blog is such an inspiration!!! Thank you!!! Enjoying all the comments today, too!

  10. I retired at age 68 when I remarried after being widowed for seven years. It was a good decision as I did not want to balance a new marriage and a stressful career at the same time. Life has so many twists and turns, some good and some not so good, but all are an adventure. Love your thoughtful blog, thank you.

  11. I feel so uplifted reading through all the comments. This is an amazing group of ladies, and you, Pam, leading the discussion always with a positive take on life’s challenges! This year could have been difficult for me: my nest emptied in May, my father hospitalized three times, my dear husband afflicted with kidney disease on top of everything else – but we took action, selling our beloved ranch and embarking on the restoration of our house in town (which had suffered much abuse from renters). Now here we are a year later, full of silver linings: because we are in town I once again am teaching piano lessons, and love having the kiddos here each week even in masks; and being in town means we are close to the hospital and doctor’s offices, and being able to spend lots of quality time with my parents. As to your wardrobe keepers: love the white jacket in particular as the closures make it distinctive, the striped top is so versatile, and all the pants – so hard to replace pants that fit well.

  12. Pam, I agree with the comments above. Do not get rid of that beautiful white jacket! Wish it was in my closet! lol Your positivity keeps me balanced and I so appreciate your views on keeping active! It is critical to be challenged, learn new things and keep our minds sharp. Love reading your blog daily, always an inspiration. Thank you.

  13. Pamela: I loved this post! I am 67 too! I worked full-time until the fall of 2020 when I started working 27 hours a week tutoring children in reading. I enjoy it tremendously! I applaud your hard work this past year!! I would keep all the clothes you wore in these photos. I love the scarf!!

    1. Thanks Judy…tutoring children is such a joy…thank you for doing that important work. The scarf was a gift from a good friend and she purchased it at Anthropologie. They do have fun accessories!

  14. I was blessed with a ‘Freedom 55’ retirement. A blessing because it allowed me to support 3 parents through very difficult and long end of life journeys, one with COPD, one with Parkinson’s and one with Alzheimer’s. With indexed pensions and a lifetime of living within our means we are fortunate to be able to live comfortably and pursue activities of our choosing. When we have slain Covid we look forward to volunteering, sports, theater, travel and most importantly hugging our children and grandchildren as they leave after a family dinner.

    As to fashion, You look relaxed and fashionable in all the outfits. I feel the white jacket and the black and white print blouse would be the hardest to replace and as you must have loved them to still have them they are the ‘DO NOT’ toss.

    1. You have earned every bit of the fun ahead, Linda. That type of caregiving is so difficult and I am sure your were much appreciated for doing it. It will be fun to see what everyone does once things are back to normal.

  15. When I retired from full time teaching, I kept most of the jackets and sweaters because I knew they would still look nice with jeans and casual slacks. I sent skirts, dresses, coats and lined wool pants to an organization that donates clothing to women going to job interviews, etc. I sent heels down the road, too. I culled jewelry, handbags and scarves. I still have too many clothes, but cut back at least 50%. Before Covid, I still taught month long courses twice a year at local community colleges.

    1. Hopefully you can return to the community college or perhaps tutoring…teaching is the most rewarding profession ever. Thanks for sharing, Kathy…I have a feeling I will be working on this wardrobe cleanse for at least the next year.

  16. After I retired I got more involved with my church’s missions and found several outreaches that I love. I also am active in planning our local Relay For Life, the last 4 years as a co-chair. I have been able to stay involved with most things as they are virtual, and the homeless and food insecure things have not gone away. We just found safe ways to do them.

    I think it’s great to stay busy after you retire. It keeps us sharp.

    1. Yes it does! You are doing what I hope to do more of in the next year and volunteer with some of the exciting community service our church is doing!

  17. Your blog is a bright spot in my day. Your positive attitude lifts us all up and your community of kind women is lovely. I’m 46 and look forward to retiring one day but staying mentally and physically active and challenged. Thanks for your encouragement! Hugs from Canada 😊

  18. I have been retired for almost eleven years. I am care giver to my husband who has some health issues. He does not require constant care, & I know how important it is to take time for myself. Until COVID hit, I was volunteering intermittently as a part time receptionist at my church. I also attended the women’s group meetings & a Bible study at church. At least once a month, I took a “me day”. I went out for lunch & shopped or did something else I enjoyed. COVID changed that, but as you remind us, there were silver linings. I learned to appreciate simple things, like a phone call from a friend or family member, sitting down with some tea & a book or watching a movie. I am glad you are here to help us as we navigate this strange world in which we live.

    1. It is strange, Becky…who would have thought so many changes would happen so quickly. I am glad you are there for your husband and that you remember to take care of you!

  19. My father, who died a year ago at almost 97 years old, always said of retirement that there is no end of things that you can do as long as you don’t need to be paid for them. I’m blessed to be able to follow in his footsteps. While we aren’t wealthy by any means, we are comfortable enough financially not to need to work. In the first few years of retirement, we did take paying jobs teaching English in Japan for a year and then China for several months. Since then, we keep busy as volunteers in several capacities. In fact, at 68, I’m now in the process of training for a brand new online volunteer editing position that I’m very excited about. As you mentioned, it’s so important to keep our minds sharp and this is definitely doing it for me!

    1. Sounds like you are one who will always be up to something, Elaine. Thank you for setting a great example for other women.

  20. I love your blogs and had no idea you were 60+. Amazing! Your blog gives me a spot of joy in my day.

  21. Hi Pam, loved your blog today! I am 73 and still working, by choice. I was close to retirement when COVID hit. My employer sent us home to telework. Due to my age and some underlying health issues I was very restricted in going out very much, work kept me engaged with my staff, my mind busy/active and not missing being around people too much. I do love what I do so retirement will be a difficult decision for me but I believe I would now like to think about sleeping in, traveling again (I have had both vaccines, yippee) and most importantly spend more time with the grandchildren who are 3 and 6. I always think of

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 –

    For everything there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven. Perhaps my season is about to change!

    1. Hi Pam, it looks like this year has made a wonderful transition for you. I enjoy your blog because it is so thought provoking. I love your long plaid blazer and a black jacket or blazer is a must have. The white jacket is flattering and you might always regret giving it away, so keep it until you are ready to part with it.

  22. Thanks for this positive and interesting post. Looking back to a year ago when I never would have imagined sitting at home working remotely a year later is a bit tough, but like you and others have said, things could have been much worse. I’m living in a somewhat vaccine-challenged country but looking forward to getting vaccinated sometime this year, which will probably change my perspective. In the meantime, thank you for the opportunity to comment on what outfits to keep. I would definitely keep the last one, and probably the first one as well. Both have great colors other than black which may not be easy to find again, and the last one also has a versatile black jacket that looks great on you.

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