Frank Gertsma

Seniors decide retirement doesn’t suit them

Frank Gertsma, 85, and Telford Nault, 74, buck trend and work into their senior years.

At 85, Frank Gertsma has no interest in retiring.

“[Work] is a vehicle to keep me busy and keep me connected with people. I need to stay busy,” said Gertsma, who helps his sons, Scott and Neil out with their Home Hardware stores in Sooke and Victoria.

For three decades, Gertsma, operated Sooke Home Hardware, often working seven days a week.

These days, Gertsma still helps out at the store doing “little chores whenever I feel like it.”

“My game plan is that when I wake up in the morning, if I’ve got a project in mind that I think needs to be done, well, then I’m eager to get at it and get it done,” he said.

Gertsma is among a rapidly growing number of Canadians who are defying the traditional age of retirement.

Statistics Canada says the average age of retirement climbed from 61 in 2005 to 63 in 2015.

The latest data shows the number of senior citizens still working has skyrocketed by 62 per cent in the past decade. Almost one out of every eight people over 65 still works. A decade ago, that ratio was less than one in 13.

Gertsma stressed the importance of a job, however, as opposed to only a hobby that may not be as satisfying and consistent.

“When you’re getting ready for retirement, if you have a hobby, or an outside interest, make sure that it isn’t something that you’ll get tired of when you can work at it, five, eight hour days a week,” he said.

He’s certainly not the only one who feels this way.

Telford Nault, 74, works part time as a funeral director for Care Funeral Homes in Sooke, a career that has spanned 58 years.

“If you like what you do, you don’t work a day in your life, and that’s absolutely true,” he said, adding it’s not only a matter of how you keep busy in your golden years, but also of choosing an occupation that is fulfilling.

“I don’t know any other job where you can get up and you can be involved with people going through the worst time in their life and being able to do something to help them. That’s the goal for me.”

As advice for anyone who is looking to retire, his mantra is rather simple.

“Don’t do it unless you have something to take its place,” which is something both Nault and Gertsma agree on.

“If you’re in good health, and you like your job, and the employer has a place for you, my suggestion is keep working,” Gertsma said.

At this point, Nault says he wants to hang on to his funeral director’s license for as long as he can, regardless of when that might be.

“One day, I’ll be coming in the back door,” he laughed.

 

 

Just Posted

Woman charged in Saanichton stabbing

One man treated for injuries, released from hospital following Friday assault

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Avid Victoria cyclist’s legacy bike ride helps fund end-of-life care

2019 Denis Muloin Ride for Palliative Care invites cyclists for May 26 fundraiser

Funnyman coming to the West Shore

Comedy and television staple Billy Gardell performs at Elements Casino

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read