Hingham, MA – April 23, 2018— Sandra Schipul browses the racks at Pink Tulip Clothes and Accessories, in Cohasset, Massachusetts. She's both shopping and working. Breezy blouses, colorful coverups, and summertime hats are just a few of the things on her wish list.
"I get first selection, which makes it fun," says Schipul, who has worked part time as the store's sales associate since it opened ten years ago.
While many of her peers are retired, Schipul, who lives at Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living retirement community in Hingham, MA, says she enjoys working and will continue to do so as long as she can. "I think working is an ageless situation as long as you feel good about it and you feel it contributes to your value and to other people's," she says.
Schipul is part of a national demographic employment trend: employment rates for older adults are the highest they've been in 55 years. Almost 19% of people 65 or older were working at least part time in the second quarter of 2017, according to the U.S. jobs report (June 2017).
What's more, a rapidly growing number of Americans are continuing to work beyond their sixty-fifth birthday according to PEW Research Center.
Schipul works about 15 hours a week, two to three days a week. "It's not too overwhelming, so it's perfect for me," she says.
Her part-time schedule also allows for plenty of other activities, like those available at Linden Ponds.
"There's always something to do here," she says. "The sociability we have here keeps you vibrant and young."
She also says that living at Linden Ponds makes working easier. "Linden Ponds is very supportive. My apartment is so efficient that I don't spend my time doing things like cooking or yardwork; I can go out and have fun," she says, referring to Linden Ponds' maintenance-free lifestyle.
Executive Director James Centola says Schipul is a role model in the way she chooses to pursue her passion. "Our residents truly love what they are doing, and they are doing it with enthusiasm,"
Centola says. "Sandra brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to her job, which makes her a great asset to her customers and to her employer."
While she considered retiring a few years back, her boss encouraged her to stay. As the store's target customer—women between 30 and 65 who work full or part time—Schipul knows what her customers want and enjoys helping them find that perfect piece for any occasion.
The store carries brands like Michael Stars, Veronica M., Fun Sport, and Liverpool jeans. "In winter we have cute cashmere throws, some faux fur, and some real," Schipul says. In summer months, they bathing suit coverups and straw hats. And you can find jewelry and belts year round.
"It's been fun to watch as our target costumer has evolved, and we have fine-tuned our merchandise over the years," she says. "Ten years ago, everything was very formal—suits, everything matched. Now, everything is separates, and we have two racks of special occasion dresses along with jewelry, belts, hats, and other accessories."
For her customers, she says, "It's about looking good no matter the season." For Schipul, it's about staying young, vibrant, and valued.
About Linden Ponds: Linden Ponds, one of 19 continuing care retirement communities managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Hingham, Massachusetts. The community is located in Plymouth County and is home to nearly 1,300 residents. Additional information about Linden Ponds can be found at LindenPonds.com.