Working extends beyond a financial means to an end–it allows an individual to stay sharp mentally. In essence, the grind is not only good for the pocketbook, but for the brain.

“Working is not just about money,” said O’Leary. “People don’t understand this very often until they stop working.”

According to the National Institute on Aging, issues begin to arise as we get into the latter stages of our lives:

  • Increased difficulty finding words and recalling names
  • More problems with multi-tasking
  • Mild decreases in the ability to pay attention

Staying in the workforce or keeping engaged through some form of work can help address these issues. Furthermore, to O’Leary, work defines purpose and establishes the impetus for one’s own existence.

“Work defines who you are,” O’Leary said. “It provides a place where you’re social with people. It gives you interaction with people all day long in an interesting way. It even helps you live longer and is very, very good for brain health.”

“Staying stimulated is how people live into their 90s,” O’Leary added.

So for reasons beyond monetary gain, O’Leary doesn’t foresee himself retiring anytime soon or ever–the big shark tank in the sky included.

“I don’t know where I’m going after I’m dead, but I’ll be working when I get there too,” said O’Leary.

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