Houston, Texas--Carol Loggins may be past the traditional retirement age, but she's not ready to give up the benefits that come from working.
"There's the financial incentive, of course," said Ms. Loggins, an occupational health nurse who lives at Eagle's Trace retirement community. "But there's so much more. Working keeps me mentally sharp, engaged, and gives structure to my week."
She is not alone when it comes to extending her career past 65. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men and women working past the traditional retirement age are the fastest growing segment in the workforce. Labor force participation among 65 to 74 year olds is expected to reach 32 percent by 2022, up from 20 percent in 2002.
"If people love what they're doing, they often want to continue doing it," said Dorian Mintzer, Ph.D., co-author of The Couple's Retirement Puzzle. "Work can provide a sense of connection, engagement, purpose, and meaning, all essential components of well-being."
For Ms. Loggins, her current work situation is ideal.
"I work three days a week at Chevron's travel medicine clinic in downtown Houston," she described. "We see Chevron employees who are planning to move or travel overseas to ensure they are in good health and up-to-date on all needed immunizations."
Her three-day work schedule offers a pleasant work-life balance.
Well-positioned for the future
In February 2017, Ms. Loggins moved to the Erickson Living community in West Houston. As a continuing care retirement community [CCRC], Eagle's Trace offers independent living, assisted living, and long-term care.
"I had friends dealing with health concerns, and I realized I needed to be prepared should I ever require care," noted Ms. Loggins. "As I was doing my research and visiting communities around Houston, I heard from residents to move sooner rather than later so I could start enjoying all the benefits and amenities of a retirement community."
When she returns home from work, she has just enough time to rest and watch a few minutes of television before heading to one of the community's on-site restaurants for dinner. "Not cooking is just fine with me," she says. "After dinner there are clubs and activities right here on campus."
Active, vibrant lifestyle
The advice received from residents to move so she could enjoy all Eagle's Trace has to offer was spot-on.
"I joined the computer club, the genealogy club, and the Great Decisions discussion group, which meet on different weeknights," noted Ms. Loggins.
She also appreciates the on-site fitness center and medical center, staffed by full-time physicians. "A few weeks ago, I was able to get a same-day appointment with a doctor right here at Eagle's Trace," she says. "That's pretty rare in today's world."
Giving up the chores associated with home maintenance was another benefit of the move.
"I lived in my Bellaire home for 43 years," she stated. "I did some remodeling 12 years ago, but it was starting to need more work. I don't have to worry about that anymore."
Ms. Loggins' two-bedroom Hastings-style apartment, which she shares with her cat Patience, is filled with natural light. Glass doors just off the living area lead to a covered patio.
"I used to love to working in my yard, but even that was getting to be a chore," she said. "Now the area around my patio provides just the right amount of space to plant a few things."
Doing what she loves
Having right-sized her living space, Ms. Loggins is free to focus on activities, including work, that bring fulfillment. "I'm grateful for my job," she said. "I work with a wonderful team that is committed to operational excellence. I'll keep doing what I'm doing for as long as I can."