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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Thursday, August 24, 2006

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn. Growing older can be a time for 
creative and passionate living, and I will apply my years 
as a psychologist to help you with the challenges and 
wonders that come with this new life stage."

Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

I have great news! The new and improved Fiftyandfurthermore.com 
has been launched! The format is much more interactive, much 
like this newsletter, so I hope you will all visit  www.FiftyandFurthermore.com  
and contribute your thoughts there too. One of the new articles 
I have written discusses the impact of people over fifty remain-
ing in the workforce longer. I have posted excerpts from that 
article below and encourage you all to weigh in as you do so 
well. If you would like to make a comment or ask me a question, 
please email me at the address below and as always, I will do 
all I can to provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist

Please send questions and comments to: 

email Dr. Lynn

HELL NO, WE WON'T GO by Dr. Dorree Lynn

Why would anyone think that the generation that rebelled 
against and died in Vietnam, lost their lives fighting for 
racial equality and fought for women’s rights would follow 
the work life pattern previously laid out for them?  And 
why would anyone expect the Trailblazers who came before 
them (silent though they may be) to retire when THEY are 
the ones who remain alive and kicking and desirous of work? 
Statistics showed us that those who retired to the old 
American dream of relaxation and hitting golf balls in a 
warm weather state tended have more health issues and to 
die approximately 7 years sooner. We want to stay active 
and for many, work is one place that keeps our creative 
juices flowing.  For others, economics dictate continuation 
of work as a necessity. So of course, the work place is 
feeling the impact of keeping its Sages. 

In most settings, mandatory retirement at a specific age 
is now considered ageist and discriminatory, and for the 
majority of Americans, kicking back to do nothing is no 
longer the anticipated option it once was.  We are living 
longer, remain in better health and find with years our 
abilities have come to fruition.  Though many Sages are 
delighted to spend the last half or third of their life 
with children and grandchildren and/or doing philanthropic 
activities, more are seeking monetary and creative infusion 
through work. Several weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal 
featured an article about the fact that Wall Street is 
starting to open its doors to women over 50. They have 
realized that although many women left the fast track to 
take care of their families, they haven’t lost their skills. 
In fact, women “FiftyandFurthermore” are now viewed as 
bringing additional assets when they return. Their time away 
has made them savvy and given them life skills to use. They 
also bring maturity, stability and wisdom. Plus, they no 
longer need time off for sick kids and household duties and 
are better able to prioritize what’s important. For the 
first time ever, a world that disparaged those who left, 
especially women, is reevaluating what it has done and is 
starting to make accommodations to embrace those wise and 
needed workers.

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The same week (July 27, 2006) The Washington Post business 
section highlighted those who are “Retired, and Rehired to 
Sell.” While some industries are still trying to thin their 
ranks with early retirement offers, “others, particularly 
in the high-turnover retail industry, have been seeking ways 
to recruit and keep older workers.”  Wise isn’t it?  They 
are tapping into a population that wants to stay mentally 
and physically active, wants to earn money, wants to stay 
connected with others, wants health insurance benefits, 
wants to keep a sense of identity and feel worthwhile and 
wants new challenges.  In addition, with families scattered 
far and wide, those over fifty want a reason to get up in 
the morning and to still feel wanted and needed.  According 
to a Merrill Lynch & Co. report released earlier this year, 
60 percent of people 51-70 have taken steps to prepare for 
a new line of work in what I term a period of reFIREment. 
Although companies are concerned about what can be mountain 
of health costs, in fact most of those 65 and older are 
covered by Medicare.  It’s a no-brainer to find ways to keep 
us - as well-matured natural resources.

If companies are wise and go with the trend to keep their 
middle and senior managers, they will continue to pioneer 
flex time, reduced schedules or my personal favorite - job 
sharing. (And yes, I’ve seen superb production and profit-
able job sharing at senior levels. It’s a myth that it only 
works for those in non skilled jobs.)

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Sages have to find ways to pass on our well-honed knowledge 
and we may have to step aside to youth for those jobs that 
are foreign to us, including some that have to do with new 
kinds of technology, jobs with new types of innovative 
media and jobs that require strength. (Can you imagine some-
one over 50 competing with Lance Armstrong on The Tour de 
France?)  Realistically there are fields that belong to 
youth and their innovative talent.  We don’t have to rein-
vent a new wheel. We can keep growing within the scope of 
what we know.

I am delighted that Sages are now re-overtaking the work 
force. We belong there. Does it mean that youth will have 
to carve new work paths of their own?  Probably. That is 
one reason we seniors need to be patient with our own 
children and today’s generations X and Y. We have taken 
their tried and true direction from them. Let us give them 
time to forge their own. I have total faith that they will. 
Meanwhile, nobody ever said their task would be easy because: 
“Hell No We Won’t Go.”

*For more of this article, visit: 
     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              


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