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    Senior pharmacists: Too busy to retire

    Hal Jackson tried to retire once. It was 2000, he was 70. A month later, he was back working relief near Winterset, Iowa. Fourteen years later, he's still going strong.

    “If you look around, there are plenty of pharmacists who have been working 40, 50, 60 years,” Jackson said. “We don’t need to keep working, but pharmacy is what we do.”

    There are no reliable numbers on pharmacists who continue working past retirement age, but they aren’t hard to find. In Lubbock, Texas, David Pinson sold his independent pharmacy after 37 years of practice, retired, and got bored. He wandered into a Walmart pharmacy and asked idly if they needed any help.

    “It must have been tough day, because they hustled me right down to personnel and suddenly I had a job,” said the 83-year-old RPh. “I discovered I like being around these young pharmacists. They’re an inspiration to me. And never have I felt like they want me to disappear. There are too many practicalities — like the old-time docs who write scripts for drugs they learned in the 1960s and ’70s. I’m the only guy in the store who knows what they’re trying to prescribe. The younger pharmacists have the PharmDs and I have the experience. The combination is good for all our patients.”

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    • MICHAELWSTEWART
      A brand new study states that more than a quarter of Americans with 401(k)s and other retirement accounts are dipping into those accounts before retirement to pay the bills. Maybe you should get a personal finance instead of taking cash out of retirement.
    • Anonymous
      P.S. F___ corporate pharmacy -- may all you district managers, HR, and your henchmen rot in h-ll...Your day will come...
    • Anonymous
      Amen. The systematic "weed-out" in the chains now begins even before 60. Supervalu (JewelOsco) began the process for me 5 years ago (and I am not yet 60), chiseling away my hours, benefits, ability to freelance independently by channeling all relief needs thru the corporate office rather than store level. I left the profession to re-tool as a mental health provider, where I now have benefits, work no nights or weekends, and enjoy JOB SATISFACTION. When I was coming up, senior pharmacists were respected and had a place in the organization. I no longer see that attitude, at least in this labor market (urban Midwest). More power to those lucky RPhs in this article. They are a dying breed (no pun intended)...
    • Anonymous
      These gentlemen must be the exceptions rather than the rule since it's common knowledge in the profession that many chains are working to dump all pharmacists over 60
    • MorganWilliams
      But that was 2000 when there was a real demand for pharmacists, I live in Winston Salem. CVS got rid of me when I was 60. That was 6 years ago. Are things better in Texas? Should I move there?
    • Mr. SLefkow
      Morgan Williams: Hey, don't move yet. Have you tried the "temp agencies". We have a few here in Florida and I've been able to pick and choose my days to work. Maybe it's a good thing or not, but you're not expected to know one helluva lot when you get to a place for the first time. You're only there for a day or two -- a warm body with a license -- and my hat size increases when, always on the second time at a job or late in the first day, the owner or chief RPh says, "How'd you like to work here regular?" or, when I decline, "Well, how about regular part-time?". If there are no such agencies in your area, you might visit some independents and let them know you're available for vacations, illness, etc. They'd be looking for someone local, experienced, with good reputation.