What do you think of when you hear the word retirement? Where do you see yourself? What do you see yourself doing?
Common Assumptions about Retirement
Retirement is the dream of many men. When I retire, they say, I’ll have a place on the 14th hole, and every morning my buddies will meet me for breakfast and we’ll decide whether to play eighteen or drop a line in water.
Retirement is the dream of many women. When I retire, they say, I’m going to get myself a cozy little place by the beach and watch the sun disappear into the ocean; jog along the shoreline, sip a Mai Tai every night.
For others, of course, there is the belief that they will work until the day they die. And even as they get closer and their body slows down, they can’t image a day when they aren’t working.
Perhaps these are words you’ve heard yourself say?
Reality or Fantasy?
These fantastic interludes of the mind, these forays into what, as young people, middle aged and even older think retirement should be are all truly just that – forays into fantasy. As we near retirement age we realize our ideas of golf, beaches, and traveling may not be realistic and, more importantly, not what we really want to do.
A Wake Up Call
In 1980 I read a book by futurist, John Naisbitt entitled Megatrends, 10 new Directions Transforming our Lives. In it the author talked about the coming wave of baby boomers and what that was going to mean to the retirement system in the country. He was wrong about a number of his prognostications and missed the technology revolution completely. However, he spoke clearly to me on how the baby boomers would affect retirement as we know it. Coincidentally, the enabling legislation for 401ks was passed in 1979.
Two key changes in my life occurred:
- The germ of the idea for what is now Envoy Financial was planted
- I realized I was going to have to start acting on that reality too…sometime I would want to “retire”.
Needless to say, I had no Biblical perspective on the issue at that time.
So how can we begin to reshape our ideas of retirement? How can we move forward to achieve a goal much different than what most of us have in mind?
We begin by asking these questions:
Is there a purpose, a greater meaning beyond these retirement fantasies?
What will I be able to do?
How can I/we realistically plan?
Does God still have a purpose for us to fulfill and do we know what it is?
Now, I’m going to jump ahead and tell you that yes, there is more, it can have purpose, and God has prepared us during our lives to minister for a lifetime. Next time I’ll talk about why pleasure needs to be balanced with meaning and how we must strive to understand God’s plan for us.
If you don’t want to wait for the next post, I invite you to head over to www.futurefundedministry.com and download a free copy of my newest eBook: Live with Meaning: Understanding the Power of Future- Funded Ministry. The book will expand and continue our discussion of redefining retirement.
Discovering our Future Together,