For many, reaching retirement age is the blessing they have been waiting for. A time when they can realize the dreams they have been saving for so long to achieve. Others can’t imagine not going to work. I have been working for over five decades, and still do every day. In Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Fred Beans recently turned 80 and has no plans to stop working. Not because he needs the money, but because he simply enjoys the challenges and achievements of work. He enjoys challenges so much, he’s been setting annual fitness goals for himself since he turned 72. Jen Murphy of The Wall Street Journal reports:
Most people celebrate birthdays with cake. Fred Beans recently celebrated his 80th birthday by knocking out 125 push-ups. The annual challenge, which he started eight years ago, motivates him to keep fit throughout the year.
Mr. Beans has never considered retiring. He founded his eponymous car dealership business in Doylestown, Pa., in 1959 with just one employee. Today, he owns 20 dealerships in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs 1,750 people.
“I don’t have to play golf to be happy,” he says. “I like working.” Knowing he’d need to shape up if he wanted to keep up 10-hour days, he invested in a personal trainer just before he turned 70. “My birthday gift to myself,” he jokes.
For the past 11 years, he’s worked with trainer Todd Soura to improve his balance and strength. Looking for motivation, Mr. Beans set a goal of completing 100 push-ups nonstop on his 72nd birthday. “I was never a physical specimen,” he says. “At the start, boy did I struggle.” But he accomplished his goal, then added five more push-ups the following year.
“He’s happy with 100, but not satisfied unless he matches or beats the previous year’s number of push-ups,” Mr. Soura says. The trainer always awards him with a certificate of completion, which Mr. Beans hangs in his office.
“I’ve always been a believer in goal-setting,” he says. “I try to encourage my employees to work toward a goal each month by holding monthly fitness challenges.” Mr. Beans always participates in the optional contests and keeps the goals low-key. He gives winners prizes, including $10 gift cards to a local convenience store.
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