Your story – George

9

I am well past the official retirement age with absolutely no intention to retire. I attended a public (i.e. private!) boarding school in the UK and graduated from London University. I have a delightful younger wife of long standing.

I was born in the UK where I lived for the first 25 years or so before moving to mainland Europe which, at that time, was often rather quaintly referred to as ‘The Continent’. I became a Chartered Surveyor, an equally strange way to describe a real estate specialist who is most definitely not a broker although I did spend a very enjoyable few years as a real estate developer.

My real estate career has taken me to many continents and countries. I greatly enjoy my work which invariably leads to long days and many interesting times.
My father retired at about 60 years of age and hated it. Over his shaving mirror he had pinned the motto, “The essence of hell is a perpetual holiday”. He soon rejoined the workforce and became a nonagenarian with full physical and mental faculties.

Perhaps taking my cue from my father I vowed never to retire. I have always considered retirement to represent several quick steps towards the final exit. Having said that, I have never planned for retirement and I have never had time for any hobbies or activities outside my professional life apart from continuing professional development which, these days, is an absolute requirement.

I have barely encountered any ageism as I continue to work and that which I have encountered may have been more perceived than actual. I probably think of myself as being around 50 years old and I try to be receptive to new ideas and to change. Thanks to having started to use IT about 25 years ago I am reasonably proficient in the considerable advantages it offers in the 21st century work environment.

My advice to potential retirees is to think long and hard. I have known many people who have retired into an early grave. Keep going, and maintain exposure to younger people – that was another of my father’s maxims!

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