Just as the seasons of the year each have unique beauty and challenges, so do the seasons in our lives. Retirement is like the Fall/Winter season. My primary concern for many who are transitioning into retirement is not financial, it’s how they adjust to the new reality.
How can we embrace retirement?
Retire to something, not from something. For some of us, much of our identity is tied up in what we do. However, once we retire, God’s call (our vocation) on our life does not cease. Moses is an example of someone who appeared to live in relative obscurity for many years tending sheep in the wilderness, until God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Retirement is a chance to embrace and live out God’s call to finish well..
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Our highest calling as Christians is to love God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39). Retirement is a great opportunity to discover/rediscover our calling. Consider what God is doing in the world that captures your imagination. How can your unique skills, talents or networks be leveraged for God’s purposes in the world? How can your life experiences be used to benefit others? As an “elder”, consider what you can take up in this season of your life. Perhaps it’s being a mentor by pouring into the lives of grandchildren, teens, young adults, young parents, or refugee families.
Change is difficult, and retirement is all about change. Retirees soon realize that retirement is not a 365-day weekend. We can be more intentional about thanking and praising God for his many blessings. We can ask God for opportunities to be a blessing to someone. My father, soon to be 93, has limited mobility and has some cognitive impairment, yet he still prays daily for each of his children, their spouses, grandchildren, and their families. What a blessing and legacy!
A biblical view of retirement reflects a life of service, pointing beyond us to our Lord and Savior in whose image we’re made.
Jim Hummel, CFP® CKA®
Inspiration for this article was an article written by Jolene DeHeer, Retirement as Celebration, Family Fire, July 31, 2022