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Dr Anthony Fauci – A Great Retirement Rebel Role Model

Dr Anthony Fauci – A Great Retirement Rebel Role Model

By Mike Drak

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

At age 79, Dr Fauci is one of America’s top leading experts on COVID-19. He maintains his high energy levels by watching what he eats and fitting in a 3.5 mile power walk or run everyday to keep him healthy and reduce stress. He plans to keep working in his own words “as long as I’m effective.” He is a straight shooter and tells it like it is. Due to his blunt assessment of the pandemic he has even received death threats that resulted in the need for a security detail.

He doesn’t work for the money. He works because contributing to his country and saving lives gives him purpose, and makes him feel good inside. Work is his fun so why would he ever retire from something he loves to do?

All I can say is that I like his style and would love to be in his kind of shape when I turn 79.

I love discovering retirement rebels like Dr Fauci people in their sixties, seventies and eighties who have ripped up the old retirement rule book on aging and retirement. They are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things and I fondly refer to them as retirement rebels as they refuse to follow the old-fashioned beliefs about “old-people,” and being retired.

In fact, they are anything but retired.

They are the trailblazers who have regained the curiosity and wonder of a child, traveling the world to see and experience new places, entering marathons in different countries, learning new technology, volunteering, starting new businesses, and posting all about it on social media. They love their freedom and view the world as their retirement playground.

Retirement Rebels like to play a lot.

They still have plenty of gas left in the tank, and they want more—much more—out of their remaining lives. They know it’s their turn and that they have the freedom to do retirement differently, and not the traditional way society says it should be lived. You can learn a lot from watching Retirement Rebels in action.

The Benefits of Continuing to Work

“To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” -Pearl S. Buck

If you have been reading my past blog articles you know I don’t believe in traditional full stop retirement and feel that following that route today can do you more harm than good. But it’s not about all work and no play. While Dr Fauci continues to work full time personally I like to work part time (max 20 hrs per week) and invest the extra hours in other things that I enjoy like fly fishing, and training for my Ironman race another big goal of mine.

Following are some of my thoughts on why people should continue to work after leaving their primary career;

Work, the right work, is fun and makes you happy.

Work is right when it fulfills many of your values and enriches your life. When you can satisfy your values and needs through your work, life is pretty good.

Work will help you live longer.

Studies have shown that people who continue to labour on in retirement have fewer health problems and live longer lives than retirees who end up watching too much TV, don’t exercise and lack ways to keep their minds sharp. As described in a Wall Street Journal article, “The Case Against Early Retirement,” researchers for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that delaying retirement reduced the five-year mortality risk for men in their early 60’s by 32%.

Retiring results in a loss of camaraderie that work provided

By continuing to work you will avoid becoming socially isolated which we know is not a good thing.

Retiring to do nothing, or full-stop retirement as we call it, can accelerate cognitive decline

Work keeps you sharp, requiring you to learn new skills and solve problems which keeps the brain healthy. Playing bridge or doing crossword puzzles simply are not as intellectually challenging as work is.

Work provides a continuing source of active income

This can help to reduce the stress from worrying that you will run out of money in retirement.

Work can give you purpose

It can provide you with a good reason to get out of bed in the morning – and will shield you from boredom.

The pandemic exposed how vulnerable some workers and retirees are. Due to increasing longevity, the old life model where we worked for 35 plus years and then retired doesn’t work anymore for most people. We need a new model that will allow people to maintain their standard of living throughout their lifetimes.

Retirement Hell is going from a middle class lifestyle to one where you’re just managing to get by for the next thirty years, constantly worrying if you’re going to run out of money. We can do better if we are willing to work for it, but we need to be smart and plan properly for it.

Afterall, living longer should be looked upon as a good thing and not something to be feared.

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Mike Drak

Author, Retirement Coach and Public Speaker at Victory Lap Retirement
Mike Drak is a thirty-eight year veteran of the financial services and lives with his wife Melina in Toronto, Canada. Mike is the Author of the best-selling book Victory Lap Retirement and also an award winning blogger, retirement coach and public speaker. Mike has also appeared on BNN, CBC Radio and iHeart radio.