Long-time Federal Employee Enjoys Retirement

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When Lillie Steinhorn retired in May of 2000, she was honored as the longest-serving employee in the entire federal government. She retired from the Social Security Administration at the age of 88 after 65 years of service. What started as a 6-month position became a long and prosperous career for Ms. Steinhorn.

After starting as a temporary clerk, Lillie was able to work her way up through the ranks and spent most of her career as a Statistical Assistant in the Baltimore office of the Social Security Administration. Although the working conditions during World War II were sometimes difficult, Ms. Steinhorn always kept a positive attitude-primarily because she found her work fulfilling: “I liked the people I worked with. It felt good to know I was working to help people, to help the public.”

Lillie may have been dedicated to her work, but she has always made time for her passion-traveling. She explains, “I’ve always had a desire to travel. It is an opportunity to see how people all over the world live.” All her trips were educational, but her favorites where to China, India, and Scandinavia. “In China we did Tai Chi, and we showed the older women our [Western] exercise. India was interesting. The poverty was incredible. I also rode an elephant in India,” she remembers.

Ms. Steinhorn was volunteering in the alumni office of the SSA when she began to consider her retirement living options. She recalls, “I was lonesome. There was no one to talk to. I would come home from work and that would be it.” Never one to be idle or alone, she was considering a move to a retirement community.

When she saw an ad for Atrium Village, a retirement community in Owings Mills, Md., Ms. Steinhorn decided to look into it: “I went to look at Atrium Village before it was even a hole in the ground, and I didn’t see my finished apartment until two days before I moved in.”

Since moving to her Independent Living apartment at Atrium Village, Lillie has found retirement much more enjoyable. Instead of whiling the hours away after work, she fills them with social activities and new friends. “I have learned a lot about people since I moved here. I like playing Scrabble with my friends, and I enjoy the lectures on various topics, from history to health. I also love the day trips. Mention a trip, and I’ll be there,” says Ms. Steinhorn. Although she loved her work and retired later than most, Ms. Steinhorn’s move has proved to her that retirement certainly has its benefits.

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