Why This 99-Year-Old Real Estate Agent Still Works Every Day

'I've thought about [retiring], but what would I do?'

Courtesy of Business InsiderStewart Wade.
By Alison Griswold

Real estate agent Stewart Wade rises at 5:30 or 6 most mornings, swims 500-600 strokes in the Pacific, and then heads to work by 8 a.m. It's pretty impressive for anyone, but especially for a 99-year-old.

Wade, an employee of real estate firm Coldwell Banker since 1999, says he is still working 20 or so hours a week because he just loves his job. "I've thought about [retiring], but what would I do?" he asks. "I enjoy real estate so much it would be hard to leave."

It's been a long time since Wade took his first job during high school in a local pharmacy. Back then, he explains, you didn't need a degree to be a pharmacist - you just had to spend enough time working under one and then pass an examination.

That was in the 1930s, and Wade first got into the real estate business in the late 1960s. He knew right away that he had found the career for him. "It's the people you meet and the interaction with those people," he explains. "And then what happens afterward. Forty years later you go to the supermarket and someone walks up to you and says, 'You sold my father his house!'"

> Find a job at Coldwell Banker

Today, Wade estimates he spends 90% of his time working from his home in Waimanalo, Hawaii. On a day-to-day basis, he calls and visits past clients, negotiates home sales, and shows properties. In his free time, he attends the local country club and also volunteers at the Boy Scouts and the YMCA.

Wade believes a good attitude and regular exercise have helped him lead such a long and happy life. "Attitude is so important," he says. He also advises having clear-cut goals, and realizing that there's more to life than money.

"To me, your health and body is more important than money, and I also think that your family and what you do for your family is more important than a lot of money," he notes.

Finally, for those people approaching retirement age (typically 65 to 70 in the U.S.), Wade says don't be afraid to keep going. In fact, his best years of work were recent ones.

"I made more money in my 80s than I ever did in the rest of my life," he says. "I was very healthy and very vigorous."

> Find a job today

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Perry - My thoughts exactly! What an inspiration. I love to see this sort of newsworthy story make it to the front of my browser page. This IS the type of story that will change and inspire the world we live in. Mr Wade you are an example of the American Way at its finest!

March 22 2014 at 3:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Finally a story that makes one proud even if they don't know the person. So often editors have stories about
Hollywood Trash and everyone is excited to wear what they wear or get a tatoo or have a baby out of wedlock.

This man is a treaure and to me he epitomizes the American Way of self reliance and initative. May he enjoy
his work for many more years.

Perry Green

March 19 2014 at 3:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Mr. Wade you are an inspiration.
Keeping busy keeps one young and healthy.
Love and good feelings for/with others makes it all work. If you make one person happy each day and they do the same to others, we have a wonderful karma starting Good spirits.
Which is needed desperatly ,now all over the world.

March 18 2014 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Many years ago, I did clerical work in an accounting office. My boss had one client that was 95 years old at the time. The man was working part time, as well as collecting pensions from 3 previous jobs he worked at over the years. He told my boss that he enjoyed working because he felt it kept his mind sharp. He was afraid that if he stopped working, he would "just fade away mentally". More power to Mr. Wade on being able to keep up, and probably running circles around his younger co-workers.

March 18 2014 at 10:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

No one could ask for more than to reach an advanced age, and remain healthy, useful, and mentally sharp. If only it could be a reality for all of us. How fortunate some of us are.

March 18 2014 at 9:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Dan Embody

Good for you. As long as you like what you do, don't ever totally retire. People are counting on you.

March 18 2014 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is he still driving at his age? It is pretty impressive if he can do that.

March 18 2014 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bet he didn't vote for Obama.

March 18 2014 at 7:37 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dave's comment

It doesn't matter whether he voted for President Obama or not, President Obama is still in the White House. What a stupid comment. But typical. He probably didn't vote for the war monger either.

March 18 2014 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I know he did not,...............I would hope that he voted work not welfare.

March 19 2014 at 3:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet Bernasconi

God Bless you Mr. Wade. You are an inspiration to many. I completely agree that your health and family are both more important than money. Money helps, but it isn't everything. Sounds like you have a wonderful life. 99 is an amazing age. I'm sure you will live many moe years. My father is 95 and I admire him very much. He is also strong willed, a positive thinker ,eats right and enjoys life. He also believes in God and believes that God gives him the strength that he needs each day. I agree. Thanks for sharing your life with all of us. I wish you all the best.

March 18 2014 at 6:57 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

i am a nurse and we have a lot of older nurses still working. i have seen quite a few in their 70s still out there daily working and enjoying what they do. in my opinion they bring a lot of old school wisdom into the field. they remember what it was like not to have all this new tech and could make due with what they had on hand to save a life. i plan on working as long as i am able because i love my job not because i need the money. there is something good in the feeling you obtain when you know you have done something well, and you are making a difference and not just sitting around being useless space.

March 18 2014 at 4:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to robyn's comment

My mother, who is in her mid-70's, had to repeat three times to me that she went back to work full time after being retired for almost 30 years. She gets top dollar for her experience in the international oil business. She is brilliant and feisty; she is five feet of fire. When I asked her why she went back to work she said she missed the challenge of her profession. The woman was missing the thrill she got from working. Good for her.

March 18 2014 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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