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

Sooke’s Park Watch to cease operation

People not carrying money for donation boxes led to funding shortfalls

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Tickets available for Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction

Ryan Cochrane, Mike Piechnick and Rob Short among the inductees

Most Read