**Dolly Parton: The Forever Entertainer**
Dolly Parton, the 77-year-old country star, has no intentions of slowing down. She has made it clear that she would rather die on stage than retire, as she’s “not one to sit around and do nothing.” In an interview with Greatest Hits Radio, Parton said, “I would never retire. I’ll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song on stage someday, hopefully, one I’ve written.” Despite quitting touring in 2016, Parton has continued to create music and perform on a smaller scale. As long as she and her husband are healthy, she plans to keep performing. In addition, Parton has career aspirations beyond music, such as launching her own network television show, as well as her own makeup and wig lines.
**The Growing Trend of Working Longer**
Many workers today, like Dolly Parton, are choosing to stay in the workforce for longer than previous generations. In the US, 32% of people aged 65 to 69 were in work in 2017, compared to just 22% in 1994. In the UK, the number of workers over 65 tripled between 1993 and 2018. While money may be a motivator for some, research suggests that working longer is more about improved life expectancy and health than a paycheck. The idea of retiring and watching the days go by for 30 years simply isn’t appealing to most people. Additionally, working longer can contribute to better brain health and help avoid social isolation, which is common among older individuals.
**Keeping the Brain Active for Better Health**
Experts believe that keeping the brain active is essential for maintaining good cognitive health and delaying age-related decline. It also helps combat social isolation often faced by older individuals. Wladislaw Rivkin, an associate professor in organizational behavior at Trinity Business School, explains that if your work doesn’t involve heavy physical labor and satisfies your psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, then working longer can have positive effects on your physical and psychological well-being. This is especially true if you have the autonomy to determine the amount of work you do and work for enjoyment rather than relying on the income from your job.
**Balancing Retirement with Financial Security**
Although Dolly Parton has a net worth of around $440 million and can afford to retire, the same may not be true for everyone. For those who continue to work intensively later in life due to financial constraints, the benefits of working longer vary depending on the type of work and the level of day-to-day stress. If your work is physically demanding and provides little psychological fulfillment, it can contribute to poor health and even premature death. This is often the case for blue-collar workers who face long hours, shift work, and the struggle to make ends meet.
In conclusion, Dolly Parton’s refusal to retire and her determination to keep pursuing her dreams is inspiring. Working longer has become a growing trend, driven by a desire for an active and fulfilling retirement. Keeping the brain active through work can contribute to better mental and physical health in later years. However, it is important to strike a balance between work and financial security, as the benefits of working longer may vary depending on individual circumstances. Ultimately, the decision to continue working or retire should be based on personal preferences and needs.