Will seniors ever retire?

My dad called me this past Sunday. That alone wasn’t unexpected. He and my mom often call on Sundays. In fact I’m a little shocked when they don’t call on Sundays. Sundays are our time to catch up.

So, when they called, I figured any number of things might be on the agenda, including but not limited to: did we go to church, how’s the family doing, was it cold in Colorado and what did I think about the NFL games that were on the TV?

I think we talked about those things, but quite frankly, I can’t remember because dear old dad dropped a bombshell on me.

“I’ve accepted a job,” he said.

I won’t lie. There was a long, long pause on my end of the line, then a giggle, followed by a belated response.

“No, really?” I finally said.

“Really,” he said. “I start Tuesday.”

Let me give some backstory. My dad is my hero. Maybe, briefly, as a kid, I held a brighter light up to Larry Bird and Roger Staubach. Sure, I cried and got in fistfights and wanted to throw up when their teams lost. But that was kid stuff and when I became a man I put away such childish things (just ask my wife if I don’t weep when my favorite teams lose these days).

But dad, yeah, dear old dad, that guy that’s already cast an unimaginably long shadow that my brothers and I have even quit trying to step out from under, yeah, that guy. He’s taken another job at 81. Just in case you’re wondering, that’s not a typo — eighty-one years old. An octogenarian. Correction—a working octogenarian.

This job he’s accepted, it’s not as a Walmart greeter, not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’s going back to the academic world to run another law school. That’s his gig or has been since I’ve been alive. Before that he was a district attorney in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era. He put away bad, bad men. He received death threats. Then he went back to school where he taught John Grisham and Sen. Thad Cochran and a whole lot of other folks a whole lot more famous than his sons.

Whenever I would visit him I’d take a peek at his desk and look at the collection of his treasured photos. There’s mom, John Grisham, Clarence Thomas… wait, where’s the other guys, the progeny? It’s become a family joke, those photographs. We joke a lot. Dad knows all the ones about lawyers, from the minds of Shakespeare to Seinfeld. As any good legal professional, he has a lawyer joke book on the shelf.

So he can pardon me when I thought this whole job thing was another gag until he filled in the details. But lawyers, they’re all about specificity, and he carried the story on a little long for him to be “punking” me.

At this point, all I can say is: “Dad, you sly fox, congrats. I hope you work until you’re ninety. Oh, and I now know what to get you for Christmas. An 8x11 glossy of yours truly.”


For more from Daniel Williams, see:

The fiscal cliff: Just another good old Western story

5 ways for advisors to generate leads with seniors

A Thanksgiving thank you

About the Author
Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams, Editor-in-Chief of the new Retirement Advisor magazine (formerly Senior Market Advisor) and Annuities Channel Editor for LifeHealthPro.com, is an award-winning journalist and business editor with extensive experience in print, online and trade shows. Prior to joining Senior Market Advisor, Daniel was editor of Real Estate Southern California magazine and West Coast South Bureau Chief of GlobeSt.com, both are divisions of Real Estate Media. Previously, he covered the commercial real estate beat for the Orange County Business Journal. While there, he received a certificate of merit from SABEW (the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc.) for a story on "OCs Cash Economy." A native of the Deep South, Daniel relocated from Los Angeles to Denver with his wife and daughter and can be reached at dwilliams@SummitProNets.com or on Twitter @LHPro_Annuities.

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