Senior plans to keep working

March 5, 2006
By David Soileau & Theresa Schmidt

Many people look to retirement as a time they can put their feet up and quit work. But local home builder Joe simon is convinced that's a bad idea.

At a time in life when many people retire Simon is building houses as he's done for most of his life. He enjoys the fresh air and keeping busy. He's seen a lot change over fifty years in the construction business. "Some of my first homes that I built were around $8000 - $10,000. Now they're around $360,000 - $370,000. That's a lot of difference."

At the age of 67 Joe is happy, healthy and has no plans to quit working. Says Joe, "You have to work with an old builder to learn. That's all there is to it. I'm going to stay active until I die."

Joe says in his own family he's seen an apparent connection between working and longevity. "My father retired at age 60 and he didn't live very long after that. My grandfather was a builder and her worked all his life, I worked with him. My grandfather was 90 something when he died. So, I'm trying to get to that point too."

And even though there are many new requirements and a lot more inspections Joe has no problem adapting to those changes. "Since the hurricane, we've had a lot of hurricane straps, you know, and all kinds of different things that we're having to do. But it's all for the best, believe you me. It's a better house."

Joe expects to build the house he's working on now in three or four months and then sell it. When he's not building houses Joe Simon sings and plays the drums in his Cajun band.