First Person: At 78, I'm Not Ready to Call it Quits

Yahoo Contributor Network

Yahoo News is publishing first-person accounts from Americans 65 or older who have returned to the workforce after retirement, or who are working two jobs to make ends meet.

FIRST PERSON | It has been 10 years since I left the Florida Department of Revenue. At 68 and after 25 years, I retired.

Back in the long ago past, I had been a New York attorney (and still am, I suppose, but my registration has been placed in "retired" status). Both my wife and I receive an all-too-modest pension and Social Security; we have no mortgage. Thus we were not in financial distress, and I did enjoy the thought of sleeping late. Every day was Saturday! I lost track of the day of the week and was relying on the pill container.

However, I had worked since graduation from law school and the inactivity soon lost its luster. I became bored. In addition, I wanted to do something that would produce enough income to allow us some luxuries. I answered an advertisement for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Tampa, Fla., was interviewed, took tests and was hired as a seasonal tax preparer.

After two years, I became an office manager, running kiosks in three large retail stores. During the six years I was with that company, I brought home approximately $4,000 after each tax season, enough for an annual cruise. For our 50th anniversary, we were able to take four daughters, husbands and grandchildren, 18 people in all, on a week-long cruise adventure; this is a reward and a benefit of working after retirement.

Unfortunately, a drawback of getting old is that my health is not as it was when I was younger, although getting old is better than the alternative. I took a leave of absence from Jackson Hewitt and two summers ago, began teaching a tax course for Liberty Tax Service. I have now applied for a tax position with H & R Block, passed the proficiency exam, took a personality assessment test to assure the Messrs. Block that I wouldn't attack or molest the customers. I am now waiting for the next tax season to begin with anticipation.

Why do I work at 78? The answer is twofold: First, inactivity is contrary to my nature. I keep my mind active by reading newspapers from around the world on my computer, play multiple games with folks from everywhere, scribble on three blogs and wax political. I grew up in a family where, at dinner, my father and I would debate issues and then, after a bit, switched sides. I need the intellectual activity.

The second reason I work is that I have become used to the income that allows us treats.

I fully intend to continue for as long as I am able.

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