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Working through retirement

Active, vibrant lifestyle at Greenspring supports those in the workforce

Created date

May 8th, 2018

For Daniel Ancona, vice president for renewable energy at Princeton Energy Resources International and a community member at Greenspring continuing to work into his retirement years is a labor of love.

In 2017, Bloomberg reported that U.S. seniors are employed at the highest rates since 1962, with almost 19% of people 65-plus working at least part time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is expected to continue rising. The Bureau estimates that by 2024, 36% of 65 to 69 year olds will be active participants in the labor market.

Explaining why older American participation in the workforce is on the rise, Bloomberg cites that “many seniors are healthier and living longer than previous generations. As a result, some decide not to fully retire because they enjoy their jobs or just want to stay active and alert.”

For Daniel Ancona, vice president for renewable energy at Princeton Energy Resources International and a community member at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va., continuing to work into his retirement years is a labor of love.

“The importance of studying sustainable energy is so important to our children and their children; that’s my principal motivation,” he says. “But I also wish to remain active and relevant, and I find that by continuing to work, I reap the many benefits of continued mental stimulation.”

Distinguished career

In 1998, Dan retired from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where he served as the wind energy program manager, instrumental in the launching of the federal wind program in 1977.

“In the 1970s, following the oil embargos, the government was looking to ramp up programs that focused on renewable resources, including wind and solar energy,” he says. “I remember people thought we were nuts to believe we could harness the wind for energy, but now it’s a billion-dollar industry.”

During his time at the DOE, Dan visited numerous countries, including Russia, China, and Armenia.

Before his assignment at the DOE, Dan worked as an automotive engineer in Detroit, and before that he served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

“I think it is important to retire as early and as often as possible,” he says. “Each time I’ve retired, I’ve been fortunate to find a new passion. I plan to keep working as long as I am able. I have no plans to stop doing the work that I enjoy.”

Making it all possible

Dan credits his move to Greenspring in 2013 for enabling him to remain in the workforce.

“Greenspring is a godsend, one of the smartest moves my wife Peggy and I ever made,” he says. “I know that when I leave for work, Peggy is well cared for by friends and busy with her own activities. She is very supportive of my working and, I am sure, enjoys having me out from under foot.”

When not working, Dan is involved in the numerous community activities, particularly those focused on environmental issues. He serves as chairman on the Resident Council’s environmental subcommittee.

“We look at Greenspring’s many environmental programs identifying ways to reduce our carbon footprint, improve our recycling efforts, and study the use of solar energy,” he says.

Dan is also an avid offshore sailor with more than 4,000 nautical miles at sea. When his schedule allows, he delivers sailboats to various East Coast destinations, even sailing a vessel over from Europe.

Dan looks forward to many more years in the workforce, in part thanks to the freedom he has living at Greenspring.

“Getting up and going to work provides me with an additional source of interaction, on a business/professional level, that is different to the important friendships I’ve made at Greenspring,” he says. “I also enjoy meeting many different people with varied backgrounds. It keeps life interesting, and I’m having a great time.”