Restaurateur Cecilia Chiang retired in 1991 from her business but you can still find her cooking at home or enjoying meals at restaurants in her neighborhood.
The 98-year-old is well-known for her Mandarin Restaurant in San Francisco, which she opened in 1961 and sold in 1991. She received the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, was featured in the book “200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World” and was the subject of a PBS documentary called “Soul of a Banquet.” Her son is also in the restaurant business and co-founded P.F. Chang’s.
She has been busy most of her life, and that hasn’t stopped in retirement. She goes to movies and the ballet. She likes to work with her hands so she plants a lot. She consults for San Francisco restaurants and is involved in charities. “I like to work,” she told MarketWatch. “I enjoy what I’m doing. It makes my life more interesting.”
Chiang represents the potential so many other retirees and near-retirees face: a long and active life well into retirement. And she’s planned for it accordingly. Others should take her lead, advisers say. “A lot of people don’t realize how long they may live,” said Andrew Crowell, vice chairman of wealth management at D.A. Davidson & Co. Americans are living longer — the number of 65+ year olds grew from 8% to 12% of the total population between 1950 and 2000, and is expected to rise to 20% by 2050, according to a United Nations Report. The average woman who turned 65 in 2015 has a one-in-three chance of turning 90, up from one-in-four chance 50 years ago. And for newborns — almost one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys born now will live past 100, according to the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology.
A long retirement filled with work, volunteering and leisure is a positive, so long as retirees are prepared.