Frederick Ruopp Sr. | 81 | Founder and Chairman, Chelsea Management Co.
Why not retire? I’m having too much fun, and can only fish and travel so much during the rest of the year.
Does your family want you to retire? No. They tell me to go to work. Also, my son is an executive vice president in the business so my family is part of my work.
What’s the best part of working past 80?
It gives you perspective and judgment you may not have had earlier.
What’s the best advice you ever got? My dad said, “Do something you like and enjoy.” Ronald Reagan had a plaque that said, “You can do anything as long as you don’t care who gets the credit.” I’m still working on the second quote.
What advice would you give to people who want to work well past 65? By all means do it. You will lead a full, active life and continue to be in contact with hundreds of interesting people. In my case, financial management is a good business for a generalist because everything that happens politically, economically and socially affects investments. Every Wednesday we have a meeting and discuss every stock or bond our clients own. I still meet with clients and manage portfolios, and I enjoy that part of the business.
What’s your secret to staying healthy and active?
I am really interested in what I do. I work out at the gym with a trainer three days a week and try to eat healthy. I have an outstanding team of doctors and follow their advice.
Do you work as much as you used to in your 40s and 50s? I get as much done, but it doesn’t take me as long. It’s the old adage of it used to be three steps forward and two steps back. Now it’s two steps forward and one step back.
How has your work routine changed? My routine essentially hasn’t changed. I get in the office between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and work until late afternoon.
What do you miss the most from when you were young? Traveling and having fun with our kids. Every weekend we used to take trips with our two sons, until they got into high school and played organized sports. But now we take bigger trips with my son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. We’ve gone to Northern California, Tuscany and France.
What do you see in the future? I predict that working into one’s 80s and 90s will become the new normal. Medical science has made us healthy into our 60s and 70s, and people have to be gainfully employed. They don’t want to sit around and play cards. Work is stimulating. As long as I have the enthusiasm and memory, I’ll be going to the office.
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