Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ

Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ Excerpt:

Finishing life to the glory of Christ means finishing life in a way that makes Christ look glorious. It means living and dying in a way that shows Christ to be the all-satisfying Treasure that he is
Comment: Perhaps I have posted this before. John Piper's book Rethinking Retirement is a book that I've read multiple times and recommend to all. Follow the link above and download in PDF format. Image source = screen snap from here.  I am definitely in retirement countdown mode - I'm not announcing anything! The terminus ad quem of my retirement is when Kathee turns 65 in April 2016. Since I am already 65 (almost 66), I could retire at any time. I was thinking this morning about the personal economic / paradigm shift of retirement:

  • The ancients knew nothing about retirement. They worked and worked and died! This whole "retirement thing" is a new thing. Weird
  • What of the Biblical command to work? Adam worked the garden pre-fall (Genesis). The curse among other things is that he would work by the sweat of his brow and labor would be less productive. Think of the rebukes of the lazy and slothful (Proverbs) or the directive "if a man doesn't work, neither shall he eat". 
  • So today I labor to live. I've been laboring to live for all of my adult life. I have that Puritan work ethic as part of my DNA. You have to work! You want or need something? Work for it. When I raised support for campus ministry my parents were uncomfortable with that! To them it was wrong to ask for money!
  • In retirement, one lives off his capital. Pre-retirement, one lives off his labor. 
  • Here's an interesting blog post: Why Your Financial Goal Should Be to Stop Trading Time for Money: So today I am trading time for money. Every day I make XXX and every two weeks I receive a paycheck for that trade off.
  • What about working in retirement? I doubt I will need to work (I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that - so imprinted into me is this "I have to work"! What if I found a job that paid $ 15 per hour. Suppose it is something I might even enjoy doing? Is that a good use of my time? (not bragging but I make a multiple of that today).
  • Suppose there were an opportunity in a ministry (say a college or a church) to work? Is it sinful to NOT take a wage? What would that be like to be making $ 0 when others are being paid. Would that be demeaning? Would that devalue my labor?
  • Finally a Marxist quote (that I disagree with but I find interesting): "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks." I personally view capital as stored labor (hence the image above). Capital is that which I have earned but not yet spent. 


  1. 7 common myths that can ruin your retirement


    You’re going to live longer than you expect. If you’re not planning for at least a 30-year retirement, you may run out of money. Men who make it to age 65 have an average life expectancy of 86.6 years, and 65-year-old women will live until an average of 88.8 years, according to the Society of Actuaries.

  2. I've got "Don't Waste Your Life", and it notes about the same thing. What a tragedy if you come before your Lord with a collection of shells.....


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