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Woman finds new career at 74
After being out of the workforce for 14 years, Vivian Whitfield decided she wanted to start a new career in real estate.

It's not unusual for people to want to change careers.

However, most people are usually retired at age 74, the age Whitfield was when making a career change.

Whitfield just felt she needed something new in her life. Real estate was that something new.

"I had retired from several different jobs, and I wanted to start a new lifestyle," said Whitfield, a resident of Brunswick. "I had thought about it for years, and I felt like it was a good time to start in real estate."

After receiving a real estate license in 2001, she told herself she would spend only a decade in the business.

Today, she is 86 years old and has no plans to stop working as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker, 901 Golden Isles, Brunswick, even though she's already two years over her own deadline.

"I'm just going year to year, just trying to decide," said Whitfield. "If I have things going, there's no need to quit."

Quitting is one thing Whitfield doesn't do. She started working in 1951 as a subcontractor for a construction company, a job she held for 18 years.

When she remarried in 1969, she moved to Marietta and found a job as a computer communications manager. However, because the company was unstable, she left in 1973.

A year later, she found a job in her new home of Augusta as a social worker for a nursing home.

Thirteen years later, she moved to Brunswick and decided to retire. Although officially retired at the time, she did volunteer work at the nursing home in Augusta when making return trips there.

"I just didn't want to be unemployed and do nothing," said Whitfield, who has two adult children. "I just wanted to set a goal and achieve that goal."

Whitfield's main challenge is simply continuing to maintain her good health.

"People can do anything they set their mind to. I like to stress that point," said Whitfield, who stopped smoking cigarettes at the age of 23. "The other Realtors like to say, 'I hope I'm like you when I get to be your age.' I tell them I hope I'm around to see it."

* Coastal People appears Mondays. Contact Martin Rand III at mrand@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 324 to suggest a person for a column.



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