The Bible speaks on finances about 1,800 times, but only references retirement once when declaring that temple priests must retire at the age of 50.
Doesn’t really sound like the American philosophy of going on an extended vacation, does it? I’m not saying that retirement is sinful or unbiblical.
But Retirement for Christians should mean freeing time to serve others without the necessity of getting paid for it. Rather than indulging in lavish pastimes, we can enjoy new freedom while continuing to steward our time and money well.
How should Christians look at retirement?
- First, find ways to be productive when you can no longer stay at your current job.
- Be prudent by developing a savings plan early if you’re able. If not, ask God to provide in ways you can’t see right now.
- Finally, don’t rely exclusively on Social Security.
The Great Recession negatively impacted the retirement plans of many Americans. Lower interest rates reduced earnings, plus real estate and stock values fell. Many people stayed in the workforce longer than they anticipated.
As a result of fear or lack of dependence on God, money that could be used for the Kingdom is being diverted into retirement funds. Recognize, however, that money should be put aside for retirement but only after meeting your goals of giving and taking care of your family needs.
If you plan to keep working, stay healthy, keep your job skills current, and network actively. Larry Burkett encouraged retirees to look for vocations in a service industry, because as long as you can provide a service, you can always earn a living.
Retirement is a time to trust the Lord and to not grow weary of doing good. In time we will reap, if we don’t give up.
Maybe you can even launch your own “encore career” in retirement. It’s truly never too late to align your work with how God designed you. If you want to understand your unique skills, talents, interests, and values better, take Career Direct! It’s a wonderful assessment that I would recommend to anyone, but especially those in the workforce. Learn more at crown.org/career