Reasons I will never retire l Insightful Investing

By Jeffrey Moormeier | Feb 07, 2018

In the past few years, I have been on the receiving end of age discrimination.

I have grey hair and that is just about enough to do it.

People think I should be retired. Some people think I am just tired.

I have no intention of retiring.

My grandfather was 104 when he died. I plan on living longer than that.

And here is my plan: I am never going to stop working.

This weekend I ski trained with teenagers and 20-somethings, and I stayed up with most of them. I even beat a few.

A number of years ago, I was taken off the music team at church because I did not have the right look!

Forget that. I could play circles around the youngsters.

I ride my bicycle from Seattle to Vancouver, Canada.

George Bernard Shaw said, “Youth is wasted on the young”.

My philosophy might not be right for everyone, but I believe I am in good company.

Consider these icons of society who still are going strong: Warren Buffet is 88, Charlie Munger (Buffet’s partner) is 94, Nancy Pelosi is 78, Mick Jagger is 75 and Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 82.  Sam Walton didn’t start Walmart until he was 44 and Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 65.

Winston Churchill was 61 when he was made Prime Minister of England.

It was his grit more than any other person in the world that took on Hitler, when his countryman wanted to “make peace.”

He was considered stubborn, uncouth and lacking in judgment.

He drank and smoked incessantly, yet in 2002, he was named the Greatest Briton of all time.  And more than any other person in history, he preserved Western Europe from Nazi Germany.  He served as Queen Elizabeth’s first Prime Minister at the age of 77.

All I want to do is help people with their financial matters, yet people look at me and say I am too old.

“Why are you still working?” they ask.

Has it occurred to anybody that I do it because I want to? I am battle tested.

To quote Lt. Col Frank Slade from “The Scent of a Woman,” “I’ve been around, you know? I have seen!”

In the book, “Thou Shall Prosper” by Rabbi Lappen of Mercer Island, commandment number ten is “Never Retire - Integrate your vocation and your identity by thinking of life as a journey rather than a destination.”

A friend of mine died recently.

He sacrificed his whole life to save a couple of million dollars. He shopped at surplus stores and became what you would call a hoarder.

He had a wife but no children. He always planned to buy a house in the San Juans and enjoy the fruit of his labor.

He sacrificed his health to get rich, and then he spent some of his money trying to regain his health, too little too late.

What he missed was living. What he missed was the journey. He was 64.

I have been noticing articles written by a variety of people suggesting that meaningful work contributes to longevity.

Meera Senthilingam, in a recent CNN article entitled “Living to 100,” laid out the pros and cons of working into your 90s.

There were four very meaningful pros:

 

  • Social integration: A routine that includes meaningful interaction and meaningful service to others may produce remedies to things like depression and ward off other illnesses. For me it wards off isolation and depression. I love being around and helping people.

  • Economic well-being: George Gobel said it this way, “If inflation continues to soar, you are going to have to work like a dog just to live like one.”
  • Sense of purpose: In my experience, this is my main motivation. I want to feel that what I do has meaning. Making peoples’ lives better is meaningful. I have watched some of my clients retire and struggle. There is just something about work in general that is very healthy.
  • Physical well-being: There are many articles and plenty of research on this topic. A sedentary life is not healthy, in most cases.

 

I realize these pros don’t apply to everybody. However, they do apply to many people.

I suppose I would stop working if I had a cognitive impairment. My job requires an ample amount of analytical abilities.

I suppose I would stop working if my spouse thought it was a good idea. Happy wife, happy life.  But after a few days on holiday, she can’t wait to get me out of the house. I suppose I would stop working if my wife needed my care. Thankfully, we are both healthy.

If you see me on the street or at the local coffee shop, say hello.

Please don’t ask me, “Why are you still working?”

Be thankful I am still contributing to society.

Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether they are twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

Insightful Investing “Insight” - Never Retire.

 

Jeffrey Moormeier of JG Moormeier Financial is a Mukilteo-based financial advisor affiliated with KMS Financial Services, an SEC registered investment adviser. His column does not represent the opinions of KMS Financial Services, nor is it an official prediction or recommendation of any kind. The opinions expressed in this column are generalizations. For advise catered to your specific financial circumstances, contact Jeff directly at jeff@jgmoormeier.com or 425-931-8898.

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