Redefining retirement

Many aren't ready to call it quits with the workplace

Created date

December 21st, 2009

While her retired Oak Crest neighbors are drinking their morning coffee and working out in the fitness center, Renee Dintzis is heading to work at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. the last 36 years, Dintzis an associate professor in the department of cell biology has taught medical and graduate students how to recognize the microscopic structures of the organs in the human body and explain how organ and tissue components carry out specific functions. I hate the thought of retiring. I love teaching, training, and interacting with our future clinicians, teachers, and researchers, says Dintzis, who lives at Oak Crest with her husband, Howard, a professor emeritus in the biophysics and biophysical chemistry department at Hopkins. Dintzis is among a growing number of retirementage people who continue to work into their golden years not for financial reasons, but because they re passionate about what they do. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people in the 50-plus age bracket represent one of the fastest growing labor groups in the country. In fact, the Bureau reports that by 2015, 20% of all U.S. workers will be 55 or older. [caption id="attachment_7211" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Howard and Renee Dintzis, who live at Oak Crest, are both professors at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. (Photo courtesy of Howard and Renee Dintzis)"] And a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center s Social & Demographic Trends project found that a majority (54%) of workers age 65-plus say the main reason they work is that they want to. Just 17% say the main reason is that they need the paycheck. An additional 27% say they re motivated by a mix of desire and need. Dintzis reports having no regrets about her decision to work, but there is one downside. I miss out on some of the interesting events that take place at Oak Crest during the day when I m at work, she says. I would like to become more involved with activities in the community such as writing articles, inviting lecturers, or perhaps organizing a course of my own here on campus.

Continuing education

Retired social studies and SAT prep teacher Bruce Stevens has returned to work five times since leaving Eastern Technical High School in 1999. [caption id="attachment_7213" align="alignright" width="168" caption="Bruce Stevens has retired five times. Currently, he works in communications in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Stevens)"][/caption] My mother teases me that I ve retired more times than anyone she knows, says Stevens, who is now the head of the office of communications at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. After retiring from Eastern Technical in 1999, Stevens managed a catering company before becoming a supervisor of student teachers at Towson University. For a time, I was working at both Towson and the catering company, he says. Later, I found out that Chesapeake High School needed a full-time teacher, so I went to work there for a year and then on to Randallstown High School for three more years. No sooner did Stevens retire from Randallstown than he began working as a long-term substitute teacher for Baltimore County Public Schools, which he did until he was hired as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Coordinator at McKinley. From there, he moved on to his current position in the office of communications. For the first time in my career, I m not working directly with students, says Stevens. Instead, I appropriate student funds and any money that deals with the students. I m also in charge of scheduling and coordinating the school s activity calendar. Stevens says he enjoys his job so much he doesn t mind weathering the hour-and-a-half drive in rush hour traffic. I leaveOak Crestevery day at five of six in the morning, and on a good day, I m home by four o clock, he says. When he s not working, Stevens organizes a Tuesday night Pinochle Club atOak Crestand plays water volleyball. He says the most rewarding part of his career has been working with kids and watching their progress. Seeing them achieve their goals and knowing that you may have played a little part in them going in the right direction whether it s going off to college, to work, or just being a better human being is very gratifying, says Stevens. As for the future, Stevens says he has no intention of retiring again anytime soon. I really enjoy working, he says. As long as the commute doesn t get to me, I intend to keep on doing this as long as I can.