This is a secret: Don’t tell anybody, but there is an undercurrent that is rocking the world of the elderly. It has the old folks thinking that they can contribute to society long after the world would be better off without them.
Unlike the societies that populated America before it was invaded and taken over, the culture here was to honor the aged and to value their contribution to the community for as long as their life would allow. In present-day America, we’re pretty much done with you once you become eligible for an AARP card.
Yet, there are Americans who are making a stand for continued contribution to the local community and the world at large as they continue to embrace living their best life and making the world a better place well beyond their “retirement years.” And they all share a similar mantra,
Leading the pack are celebrities who refuse to retire and claim doing so enriches their lives, increases their quality of life and supercharges their happiness and continued zest for life.
Who in their right mind would want to work until they die?
Art Linkletter was 94 when he penned his How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life along with Mark Victor Hansen. They took to the road touring churches and sharing the key to enthusiastically enjoying one’s golden years by continuing to create and live a better life while refusing to succumb to society’s expectation that you should retire at a certain age.
Actress, animal rights activist, author, comedian, radio host, singer, and television personality Betty White, says “retirement is not in my vocabulary.” at age 94. Having been honored by the Guinness World Records for having the longest-running TV career of any woman in history she says, “Why should I retire from something I love so much?… Nothing that I could possibly find to do would be as much fun as what I do for a living.”
91-year-old comedian Shelley Berman retired from the stage but continues to write books and volunteers at the Motion Picture & Television Fund and he says retiring would be, “wasting the rest of your time. Don’t do that. What you gotta do is keep your muscles going. I wouldn’t suggest that you quit. What are you going to do, sit? I’m not good at that. I have an itchy bottom.”
Continuing to earn, rather than trying to live within a predetermined budget, can offer you safety and security against unexpected occurrences or challenges that may arise. And if you love what you do, why would you want to stop doing it? If you don’t love what you did prior to retirement age, then start doing what you love now. You’ve invested a lifetime in becoming the person you are; don’t let it go to waste.
Warren Buffet says he doesn’t do it for the money, “If I quit today — I see these people. They spend a whole week planning their haircut. That is not my idea of living. I’m tap dancing to work every day… It doesn’t get better than that.”
Clint Eastwood, who is also 86 years old an actor, filmmaker, musician, and political figure would say it with his crass attitude, encouraging others to follow in his unretired footsteps, “If you tell yourself, ‘I’m too old to do that,’ bullshit – you’re not too old to do anything.”
At age 83, Parisian Karl Lagerfeld fashion designer, artist, and photographer hailing from Germany, insists, “Retirement is not one of the topics with which I deal. Why should I?… Chanel will still need some clothes when I’m 89.”
Even at age 82, Italian film actress Sophia Loren still rates a 10 on my personal Humma-humma-ding-ding-baby-you-got-everything-scale, says she doesn’t ever want to stop learning, no matter how old she gets. “That’s terrible, the word retire. Never. Start always like it was the beginning of a long career.”
I just saw actress Judi Dench in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children yesterday, and at 81 years old, she calls “retirement” a “rude” word. Best-known role as “M” in the Bond franchise, she maintains, “I don’t want to be told I can’t do something. I’ll just have a go at it and I may make a terrible mess of it but I’d sooner make a mess than not have a go at all… What matters is your determination not to give up and not to stop learning new things.”
Jane Fonda is 78 years old and even though she did try to retire after marrying Ted Turner, just couldn’t embrace a lifestyle of inactivity and leisure. Refusing to continue her retirement, she returned to the screen and the feisty actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model and fitness guru is back in the limelight again.
70-year-old Country music singer-songwriter, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, Dolly Parton, who says “I will never retire unless I have to,” she has said. “As long as I’m able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on and my high heels on, and even if I can’t wear high heels, I’m going to do like Mae West, I’m going to sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on.”