The Buckingham Resident Spent More Than 75 Years in the Workforce

Business and Professional

July 31, 2014

At age 93, The Buckingham resident Dick Baile can officially celebrate his retirement. His first attempt at retirement was at the age of 84, but he quickly realized that he wasn't ready to stop working, so he continued to head to the office for nearly 10 more years. Most people don't have successful careers that last for such an impressive amount of time. For Baile, it's hard to shut off that working mentality. He still likes to go into his office regularly to pay bills and read the paper.


By prolonging his time in the workforce, Baile may be the start of a growing trend. A Merrill Lynch Retirement Study found that forty-seven percent of retirees say they either have worked or plan to work during retirement, and 72% of pre-retirees age 50+ say they want to keep working after they retire.


At 93 going on 73, he attributes continuing to work to his excellent health. "No doubt about it, I've stayed healthier working," said Baile. "It keeps your brain exercising and moves your body. It keeps everything in motion."


He may not receive a paycheck anymore, but Baile still keeps busy by serving on several foundations in his field of geophysics. Baile continues to act as chair emeritus of the Foundation of the Society of Geophysics and is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation.


"It's pretty amazing to think how the working world of today has changed over the past 75 years," said Baile. "When I started, we didn't have computers, email, and conference calls. Everything was done face-to-face. Today, you can put in a full day's work and never see a single person."


Baile started in the geophysical business in 1946 and worked in that same field until he sold his interests in the business just two months ago.


"Mr. Baile is a wonderful example of someone who has stayed active," Cathy Lightfoot, director of sales and marketing at The Buckingham. "He has had an impressive career, and what stands out to me is that he has worked until the age of 93 while also giving back to his field through various foundations and organizations."


Baile's career in geophysics began with Stanolind Oil and Gas, which is now BP. He was a member of the seismic crew. He recalls that the other workers called him "Junior Computer." His role was to get the data ready for the party chief. Later on he became party chief of a crew. Baile started his own business in 1952 with a friend. He recalls that they built it up with enough crews to "make it interesting."


The company they built was acquired, and Baile became president of the independent group. He worked there for several years. That company was acquired by Teledyne and became Teledyne Exploration Company, and Baile was made president of that company. In 1969, Baile left Teledyne and went out on his own again. He created his own company that leased exploration and seismic devices and later sold them. A few months ago, at 93, he decided it was time to get his estate together, and he sold his interest in the geophysical business.


When he's not volunteering or stopping by his old office, he enjoys spending time at The Buckingham senior living community. He regrets that at 93, he is no longer able to play golf, one of his favorite pastimes.




The Buckingham, a Masterpiece Living community, is Houston's premier life care senior living community located in the heart of the Memorial neighborhood.  Situated on a 17-acre site along Buffalo Bayou at 8580 Woodway Drive, The Buckingham offers resort-style services and amenities for active, independent seniors, as well as all levels of health care services on-site at The Plaza at The Buckingham.  The community features 205 independent living residences; 42 private assisted living apartments; 16 private memory support apartments; and 60 private skilled nursing suites.


The Buckingham is a 501(c)3 nonprofit senior living community sponsored by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Texas-based nonprofit organization that sponsors sister communities Edgemere in Dallas, Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, The Stayton at Museum Way in Fort Worth, Mirador in Corpus Christi and The Barrington of Carmel in Indianapolis.  For information visit, or call (832) 426-1372.