You can’t imagine how many times we are asked, “So, when are you going to retire?” or “When are you going to slow down?” Tom and I are well over 70, and to tell the truth, retirement is something that has never even crossed our minds. Someone once said, “When you do something you love doing, you will never work another day in your life”. We enjoy what we do.

I think one of the most horrible days in life would be to wake up one morning and simply have nothing to do except watch the paint dry or the grass grow. Oh, sure, you may say, there’s plenty to do: how about traveling, pursuing a hobby, visiting friends, etc. Well, all that sounds good and if it is what you want to do “great”. But Tom and I look around and see so many opportunities in this global economy of the 21st century, so many opportunities to take advantage of and so many new ideas to implement. We enjoy being in business, being around forward-thinking people, and experiencing the development of a new idea.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Our noses aren’t always to the grindstone, our eyes are on the ball, and our shoulder to the wheel. We have more fun now than ever before because we can knock off a little early, climb on our BMW motorcycle and go for a ride up through Yosemite or, once in a while, take off for a week to take a cruise, but we have always done that, even when we were 40 years younger. Time together is our favorite pastime.

Think about this: Noah was 500 years old when God told him to build an ark. Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 when Sarah gave birth to their son Isaac. No, God forbid – don’t take me there!!! But, just to make a point here, let me remind you that Moses was 80 years old when he ruled over several million Israelites while journeying from Egypt to the Promise Land. It reminds me of my dad, a Chaplin for California with over 72 years in the pulpit, ministered in his church with two men holding him up, just 5 days before he died at age 91.

Having spent over 35 years in real estate and finance and now a third-generation loan servicing company, we have a responsibility to assist our children and grandchildren now involved in the business to show them by example how to grow the company. It’s fun being a mentor to your kids. We also enjoy helping new cash flow consultants get traction and get off the ground in their new profession. That’s is why we speak regularly at the ACFI conventions and other cash flow workshops around the country. I’ll never forget the people who helped us get started, so now it’s our turn.

In 1999, I sold my real estate and development company in order to be the project coordinator for a new church and Christian school complex. In 2002, Tom formed a non-profit corporation to provide scholarships for Christian high school seniors embarking upon a career in business or politics. In 2004 we formed a Nevada Corporation to purchase contracts on mobile homes located in mobile home parks.

So, who’s got time for retirement? It just isn’t an option for Tom and me. Given a choice, we would rather burn out than rust out, any day!

Recently, I received a note from a friend I’ve known since grade school letting me know she has just enrolled in college at 72 years old. Isn’t that great?! Not only that, but she is moving clear across the country from Springfield, MA to Colorado Springs, CO. It reminds me of another friend who at 99 years old planted an orange tree knowing full well it would not bear fruit for another 4 years. Don’t cha just love it!

This article was modified from an article originally written by Roberta Standen and posted to this site on 2004/09/04.