Jerome ‘Jerry’ Redston| 84 | President, Keck-Craig Inc.
Why not retire? I started this life and health insurance agency in about 1953. Over time, you build up good relationships with clients and a lot of them depend on you, especially when people talk about what drug program they should take out or what Medicare drug option they should enroll in. I sort of feel I have an obligation to help them out as long as I can.
Does your wife want you to retire? No. My wife wants me to work.
Best part of working past 80? If you enjoy what you’re doing. The other thing is when you still work, you still have an income coming in. But the income is sort of secondary.
Are you up to date on technology? I use e-mail, but I’m not on Facebook and I don’t have a website. I have a cell phone.
What’s the best advice you ever got? My father said, “If you can’t steal $50 million, don’t steal anything.”
What advice would you give to people who want to work well past 65? The best thing about it is it keeps your mind working all the time. It keeps you focused on certain things. It’s nice to still have communication with people you’ve known for a long time.
What’s the secret to staying healthy and active? I’m 86 and, believe it or not, I still play basketball every Sunday. We started a game about 40 years ago. It’s just half-court, but we’ve had three generations playing in one game. My son and grandson, we all play together. I also go on a treadmill two to three times a week and I weight-lift a little bit. I weigh 145 and I’m 5’10” and a half.
Do you work as much as you used to in your 40s and 50s? No. I usually come into the office around 9:30 or 10 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. I leave at 5 p.m.; I used to stay a little longer. But I still come in five days a week.
What do you miss most from when you were young? When I first started, I used to get out more and see clients and do a lot of cold canvassing and soliciting. Now I more or less just try to help my clients that are still on the books. So I don’t have the challenge of going out anymore and trying to solicit. I sort of miss that part of it.
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