Here's one cohort of workers who do not have to fear that, upon retiring, they won't know what to do with themselves. Their service is so in demand that they are constantly being called up for duty.
Who is this group?
As Kristin Holmes reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the shortage of priests is so severe in the area that many well into their eighties are stepping up to the pulpit.
Nearly a third of priests and bishops in the Philadelphia Archdiocese --171 out of 520-- are officially retired, the article says. A full 50 percent in the neighboring Camden Archdiocese are also retired. And no army of young recruits has emerged to fill the ranks.
So people like Msgr. James Mortimer are regularly recruited to replace priests on vacation or ill. He hadn’t wanted to retire in the first place, but back when he was 75, he hit the mandatory retirement age (already moved up from 65 because of the looming shortage.) He went off to fill in for priests in South Dakota and did a teaching stint in Rome.
Now Msgr. Mortimer is back in Philadelphia, retired but not really, at age 88.
I remember when the Quaker Lace factory closed in Philadelphia. Lace tablecloths and the like were being made on machinery so old that when the one man who knew how to repair them retired or died, they shut down.
What other jobs or industries are teetering as they lose their workforce with few or no replacements? What are the ramifications? Any thoughts?