Many years ago, Dr. Howard Hendricks, the distinguished Dallas Theological Seminary the professor and Chairman for Center of Christian Leadership, gave a talk on the subject of retirement. I have, following, some of the bullet points from this excellent lecture.
- For many people, retirement is an assignment to no man’s land, grossly ill fitted for Christian culture.
- The only mention of retirement in the Bible is found in Numbers 8:25 & 26: Levites were to retire at age 50 because their task was so arduous. They were to spend the rest of their life mentoring younger priests
- Stepping into retirement is stepping into a different universe with a different lifestyle.
- Retirement is not a reward – our reward is in heaven.
- We all too often spend years sliding home, reaching for the bench when we should be tearing it up for the cause of Christ
- No retirement formula – no blueprint
- Retirement is not a retreat – should be an intentional advance, but with gradual adjustment.
- Don’t look for busy work – something to give you something to do. You should have a balance of leisure and work.
- Leisure has become an idol.
- Retirement is not self-centered.
- Retirement is not a guarantee (no guarantee of success, but they are bonus years). You must depend upon God’s part and our part. Will we come through with our part? You must be prepared.
- 4 retirement factors
Housing (living arrangements)
- 5 principles (positive, but each has a danger)
1) Retirement requires intensive prayer, planning, and preparation (which is usually virtually non-existent). Planning is a form of spiritual discipline
2) Retirement is always built on your personal mission – calling – “Why did God place me on the planet”. Danger is letting your life turn inward and becoming self-absorbed.
- Retirement revolves around your self identity (which is continually formed throughout your life). You are dispensable. You need to distinguish between your work and your worth. You are a human being, not a human doing. Worth is what you are in Christ. Image is distorted by other people and you depend on other people to support the distorted image.
- Retirement involves a definite process of three things: losing, leaving, and letting go. Though you may lose energy, do not lose your drive. The danger of nostalgia is inertia-not so much living in past as refusal to face future.
- Retirement demands an eternal perspective. What is the center of your life around which everything else is organized?
- As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Hope means a continual looking forward to the internal world.” This doesn’t mean forgetting this world.
Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth, and you will get neither.
The danger is forgetting where your home is.
Retirement can be one of the scariest, and most exciting, times of your life. Not only can we help you determine your future standard of living from a financial standpoint, we can help you make sure you finish strong.
 Howard Hendricks, Rethinking Retirement, Christian Financial Professionals Network, Volume 2, Edition 3