Allentown
52° F
Clear
Clear

Life Lessons: Seniors who don't retire

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 07 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Many seniors are continuing to work, long past retirement age.

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Studies show the average American now plans to retire at 67, up from age 60 in 1995.

For some older workers, the reasons are financial; others just don't want to retire.

At the Fellowship Community, a continuing care retirement facility in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh County, more than 30 workers are over the age of 70.

Some of the workers are older than the residents. Dottie Gehman in accounts receivable is 79. Dick Moyer, Special Projects Engineer is 80.

"There's a great value to people who have experience and want to work," says Moyer.

And don't forget about Bob Zentz, CEO at Fellowship Community, who is 76.

Zentz says, "I love people. People energize me and I feel very strongly that I have a lot to offer."

Zentz has headed up this continuing care retirement community since 1996. His management style is one of high visibility and a personal touch.

There are 380 residents here from independent living to assisted care to rehab to skilled nursing but soon that number will stretch over 500 after this major construction project is finished.

Some of his employees live here.

"They want to keep busy, be productive, make a difference in life," says Zentz.

Zentz sure is busy. Among other things, he is president of the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce and sits on several boards.

He's survived three bouts with cancer and he says he's not wasting a minute.

"One thing I learned is you live day by day. So I wake up in the morning and I thank the good Lord that I have another day and I fill it up with as much as I can possibly do."

So when will they retire?

"I feel good and as long as I can keep helping Fellowship, who knows? Another two, three years," says Moyer.

"Just keep going as long as I can go," says Zentz.

AARP says there are lots of benefits for seniors who work past 65, including reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.