Retirement is something many people look forward to. But for some it's dreaded, a step closer to death.
The golden years of retirement can be a blessing and a curse.
A time to stop working a hectic job, but also a stage of life filled with idle time, leaving some to wonder if retirement is over-rated.
Dotty West, says: "It's really nice for getting out of the house and meeting people and helping others. Nobody should sit at home and be bored."
Dotty West is 81 years old. She's been happily retired for nearly two decades, but she doesn't sit at home twiddling her thumbs. Rather, she volunteers at the gift shop at Saint Vincent Health Center.
She's been there for ten years now, three days a week, and sees herself staying there for many more years.
Dotty, "As long as I'm able."
Dotty was afraid to become a retiree who faded away because of boredom.
Dotty, "Some people are afraid to retire becasue they feel they will be bored, but if you keep active, it's a blessing. "
This fear of retirement is something many seniors face, so much so, that they jump right back into work after being retired for a short period of time.
Jack Polancy is now a part time shuttle driver for Superior Toyota, but he's best known in the community for his 44-year-long career as the Erie Times News sports editor.
Jack Polancy, retired sports editor, says: "When I wrote, people would get upset about what I'd write."
He says he never looked forward to retiring.
Jack, "When I retired, I wasn't ready to retire, but at that time, you retired when they told you to. It's not all it's cracked up to be. It's a lot of doing nothing."
That's why he started working again within a year of being retired.
Without this job he says his "retirement" wouldn't even exist.
Jack, "As far as I'm concerned, it's a job that keeps me alive."
Other retirees say they knew the time to retire was right, even if it wasn't mandated by management, or what they personally wanted.
Bob Bach, retired Jet-TV worker, says: "I had gotten to the point where I recognized I was doing a young man's job. I was struggling with the stresses. The industry is stressful. I always loved the work, but it was becoming more and more difficult for me to handle."
Bob Bach worked for 44 years at Jet Radio and TV, in various roles. But he's switched from the hectic lifestyle of television sales to public relations and Development Director for Voices for Independence.
He loved working in broadcasting and emotionally wasn't ready to retire. But he says his body couldn't handle it anymore.
Bob Bach, "I had thought I could go on for a few more years, that would really set me up for retirement, but I couldn't make it."
Danielle Woods, yourerie.com, says: "Both Bob and Jack say they're working not for a financial need, but instead to keep their minds and bodies sharp."
"You can only do so much golfing and so much fishing before you go out of your mind."
"When you do nothing, you need a reason to get up in the morning. When I finally got a job to do things, I felt more alive, and that's why I'm still doing it."
Retirement can be what you make it, and as Jack says, it's a fight to stay alive.
"If you don't do something, you die."
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