Every week, my wife, Lynn, and I regularly watch CBS Sunday Morning.
Even being semi-retired, I seldomly watch TV, as I have no problem filling my time with other activities (including writing this column).
Still, this is one show we watch every week. Lynn, a foodie, begins every Sunday with an awesome breakfast that includes a bloody mary for her and a mimosa for me. Then, we huddle around the television.
Our inspiration is twofold: The show recognizes a select few individuals who recently passed and features an interview with an individual 60 or older who’s still living and contributing to society. The show’s brief obituaries are a great way to highlight each individual’s achievements.
In September 2014, in this space, I wrote a column titled “Leaving a Legacy” that looked back on individuals in the HVAC industry who took the time to mentor me. I received several responses from readers who offered names of people in the HVAC industry who influenced them. Over the last 10 months, we’ve lost numerous HVAC professionals. Their legacies will last forever; let them not be forgotten.
The weekly interviews highlight how older individuals are still contributing to the industries that made them successful or how they’ve since transitioned their focus onto other worthwhile ventures or causes. The excitement and positivity that exudes from these individuals is visible in their expressions.
There is life after the sun sets on your day job, which, to me, is extremely inspirational.
As I entered my 60s, the principals at the company I was working for continually asked, “When are you planning on retiring?” While the legality of those questions is debatable, I hadn’t given it any thought. I’ve always loved my work. To quote an ancient proverb, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” So, at 74 years young, I’m still not “working,” though I sure am keeping busy.
So, what’s my point? While many companies are anxious to hire newer, younger employees, these firms lose so much knowledge and time-tested experience when they don’t stop and think about those older employees who still love to be challenged and can still contribute. These men and women, who have faced subtle, forced retirements, just need to recognize there are still challenges and interesting opportunities waiting for them.