My mom thinks she does not have enough to retire so she continues to work. The problem is she is 72, and works in a really high stress environment. I talked to her today and she worked 8 hours with no lunch or break to eat. Her job is the main focus and stress of her life as she is single and lives right across the street from her emploiyer. We had the talk about moving into a senior community closer to where I live (I'm her only child, daughter). She wants to eventually, but for now she is very fearful she can't affford it. She wants to pay off all her bills and thinks it will take 2 years. I just don't know if she can emotionally handle this. Her work has already made several accomodations such as changing her work schedule to suggesting new duties. She is at a cross-roads and thinks they are trying to push her out. I am not a counselor but I listen and try to give alternatives, but she is set in her ways. How can I help her? :(

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72 is not too old to work. Her employer can accomodate her needs such as making sure that she gets the required 15 minute break every four hours in addition to the lunch break. I actually admire her for wanting to pay her bills and be productive. Be on the lookout for stress-related illness.

Mom thinks she does not have enough money to retire. Does she? How do you know? Sharynmarie's suggestion to consult a financial planner (maybe a certified estate planner) sounds reasonable to me.

Maybe she thrives on the activities of the workplace. Maybe what you see as stress she experiences as stimulation. You see her work as the main stress in her life; perhaps she sees it as the main source of satisfaction.

Two of my aunts worked into their 80s. I've never heard them say they wish they had not. One of them said years later (she lived to be 100) that she regretted reitring. The other took on a small parttime job.

I worked on a computer system once that tracked various administrative aspects of university research. It was supposed to capture researcher salary and the percent of their time engaged in research but a challenge was the large number of researchers who continued to do the research after they "retired" and were no longer collecting a salary! Some people prefer to work.

If Mom is anxious about her finances, help her learn what her real situation is. But if she still wants to work even if she doesn't have to financially, don't be surprised.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with working into your 70s, if you are sufficiently healthy to handle it. I suspect that may become closer to the norm as the population is living longer. The idea that we can all save enough to support ourselves for another 30 years after we retire may just not be feasible!

Has your mother gone to see a financial planner or someone in that order to go over her finances? Does she have a pension, insurance policies, or investments. You and she should consider seeing someone who could go over all her finances. What is her employer doing that makes her think they are trying to force her to retire? You don't mention whether she has any health issues that may be affecting her ability to work full time (many 72 year old's can handle working full time depending on their health and stamina). Is she having trouble keeping up with her work flow, making mistakes, etc? It sounds like they are trying to work with her and if she needs to accept duties that are less demanding for her, in order to continue to work, she should accept it. Maybe working part-time is an alternative. I really think that if she is able to keep up, then she should continue to work.

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