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Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, Second Edition by Daniel Lapin

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Chapter 10. The Tenth Commandment: Never Retire

Integrate your vocation and your identity by thinking of life as a journey rather than a destination.

Matel "Mat" Dawson has worked for Ford Motor Company for about 60 years, and he could have retired long ago. He is 78 years old and still drives a forklift, volunteering for as much overtime as the company will allow him. He makes a base salary of $23.47 an hour, plus overtime from working 12-hour days. With his seniority, his experience, his work ethic, and his overtime, he earns nearly $100,000 a year. And he gives most of it away.[197]

On April 13, 1999, Matel Dawson donated $200,000 to Wayne State University, which brought his total contributions to Wayne State over five years to more than $1 million. He has also given nearly a quarter of a million dollars to the United Negro College Fund and $200,000 to Louisiana State University at Shreveport. Yet Matel Dawson only made it as far as the seventh grade in Shreveport before coming to Detroit in 1940. He never won a lawsuit or a lottery. He made his money by working, working overtime, saving, and investing. Although he was expected to retire years ago, Dawson still says that he has no plans to retire, and he hopes to remain at Ford and continue working and giving money away as long as he stays healthy.

RETIREMENT SHOULD NOT BE A GOAL

People have two reactions to Matel Dawson's story. The first is one of admiration. How remarkable it is for a man to remain so committed to his work and ...

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