For Daniel Ancona, a community member at Greenspring, an Erickson Living community in Springfield, continuing to work, post-retirement, in the field of renewable energy is a labor of love.
Ancona works as Vice President for Renewable Energy at Princeton Energy Resources International in Rockville, Md.
“The importance of developing sustainable energy sources is important for our children and their children, that’s my principal motivation,” he says. “But I also wish to remain active and relevant, and I find that by continuing to work I reap the many benefits of continued mental stimulation.”
Daniel is part of a growing number of Americans re-entering the workforce following retirement. A 2017 Bloomberg reported that U.S. seniors are employed at the highest rates since 1962, with almost 19 percent of people 65 and older working at least part-time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is expected to continue to rise, estimating that by 2024, 36 percent of 65- to 69-year olds will be active participants in the labor market.
Explaining why older American participation in the workforce is on the rise, Bloomberg says that “many seniors are healthier and living longer than previous generations. As a result, some decide not to fully retire because they enjoy their jobs or just want to stay active and alert.”
Following a career with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) where he served as the wind energy Program Manager and was instrumental in the launching the Federal wind program in 1977, Ancona was eager to stay active in the workforce on a part-time basis.
“I think it is important to retire as early and as often as possible,” he says. “Each time I’ve retired, I’ve been fortunate to find a new passion. I plan to keep working as long as I am able. I have no plans to stop doing the work that I enjoy.”
Ancona credits his move to Greenspring in 2013 for enabling him to remain in the workforce.
“Greenspring is a godsend, one of the smartest moves my wife Peggy and I ever made,” he says. “I know that when I leave for work, Peggy is well cared for by friends and busy with her own activities. She is very supportive of my working and I am sure enjoys having me out from under foot.”
When not working for Princeton Energy Resources, Ancona is involved in the numerous community activities, particularly those focused on environmental issues. He serves as Chairman on Greenspring’s Resident Council’s Environmental Subcommittee.
“We look at Greenspring’s many environmental programs identifying ways to reduce our carbon footprint, improve our recycling efforts, and are studying potential use of solar energy,” he says.
Daniel is also an avid offshore sailor logging more than 4,000 nautical miles at sea several years ago. When his schedule allows, he delivers sailboats to various east coast ports, even sailing a 52-footer over from Europe.
Daniel looks forward to many more years in the workforce, in part thanks to the freedom he has living at Greenspring.
“Getting up and going to the office or working from home provides me with an additional source of interaction, on a business/professional level, that is different to the important friendships I’ve made at Greenspring. It keeps life interesting and I’m having a great time.”