Local lady decides to retire...at age 88! - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local lady decides to retire...at age 88!

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A tough economy has pushed Americans to working later in life, slowing the average retirement age to 63. But one Lake Charles grandmother made the choice to keep on working...all the way to age 88.

At 20/20 Vision Clinic in Lake Charles, 88-year-old Merle Spinks is the "go-to" girl for patients and plants!

This mother and grandmother retired from State Farm insurance 25 years ago, but then decided to answer a newspaper ad for a part time receptionist job.  "It has always been a temporary job and it is still a temporary job!," she said.

For 25 years, Merle has been clocking in every week - much to the surprise of her doctor.  "I said 'I still work' and he said 'you don't mean it.'  They just stare at me," she said.

Merle does not live like there is an expiration date on anything she wants to do - something that has spilled over to the co-workers she has nurtured along the way.  Dr. Rick McGuirt said, "She's a great example of what you do before 50 making all the difference to how healthy you are after 50."

Merle says aging should be fun and retirement should be about focusing on the activities you love most.  "Make sure that you're doing something productive everyday. You will have spells of illness, but it goes away and old people do get well," she said.

With the clock ticking down to her last day at work this month, Merle says there is a lot she is going to miss.  "I'll miss all of the people here and our patients," she said.

But this soon-to-be retiree has a whole lot to look forward to, for many years to come!  "A little traveling, a lot of reading and gardening, gardening, gardening," she said.

Merle will be retiring at the end of April. She said she still plans to drop by 20/20 Vision Clinic from time to time to check on everybody and make sure the plants are not dying!

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