For local senior Gary Havener, retirement is synonymous with hard work. While many retirees dedicate their free time to leisure, volunteerism or other interests, Gary spends 40 hours a week overseeing a real estate portfolio of industrial properties located in Fort Worth and Houston. This is in addition to serving as a university trustee and museum director. The 78-year-old, who lives at The Stayton at Museum Way senior living community, says many people are surprised by his decision to keep working full-time. However, there’s nothing he’d rather be doing. He says it’s the best game of Monopoly he’s ever played.
This is part of a growing trend among seniors. According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of older adults say they expect to work for pay after they retire. By a two-to-one margin, most say they’ll do so because they want to, rather than because they have to.
Accordingly, the hustle and bustle of the workplace is well-suited to Gary’s entrepreneurial spirit. Before retirement, he founded several successful companies with interests in private investments, private aviation, loan services and more. Tucked into this impressive resume is his design work on the glide slope antenna system, which aids airplanes during landings. The system, which is used in 98% of U.S. airports, might just be Gary’s crowning achievement. With such an established business track record, he sees no reason to slow down.
Gary exemplifies the independence and freedom afforded to seniors who call The Stayton home. He says the support system and worry-free lifestyle he enjoys at the community allow him to comfortably pursue his passions. The Stayton is a big proponent of such purposeful living because it recognizes the benefits for older adults. Research has shown that having a sense of purpose can help people live longer.