Retirement planning is big business these days. And the market is ripe. Baby boomers currently enter retirement at a rate of 10,000 per day. And estimate 33 million more will join the ranks of the retired over the next seven years!
Heading into 2017 there was a surge of confidence in people’s sense of preparedness to enter retirement. In 2011 only 24% felt such confidence; today the percentage has risen to 41%. Whether that confidence is well-founded is, of course, yet to be seen. But it seems people are giving more and more attention to preparing for their retirement future.
Those in their 20’s are being urged to begin now to store away for their retirement years. The magic powers of compounding interest are paraded before their eyes with dollar signs dancing through their dreams of a better tomorrow, free of work and the stress it brings.
Anyone in their 30’s is warned that the window of opportunity is fast passing them by. Left feeling like dullards they are shamed into obtaining professional help and getting a “plan” together.
If you’re in your 40’s the time for warning is past and embarrassment is the tool of choice. If you are in your fifth decade of life and haven’t been working a wise investment plan you are not just foolish, but destining those around you to a life of taking care of you.
And, heaven forbid, you are in your 50’s … well, we have funeral services for you. Survival in retirement years is simply (ahem!) unrealistic.
Am I counseling not being intentional about preparing for retirement? Not at all. Of course there is some wisdom in this. It’s just that a related, but significantly different thought ran through my head the other day. I want to start asking people:
- What are your post-retirement plans?
- What are you doing to be ready for that transition?
- How long have you been concerned and preparing for your post-retirement future?
- How comfortable are you with your preparations for your post-retirement period?
In fact, the next time someone asks me what I do, I think I may just answer: “I am a post-retirement counselor”!
Jesus—the ultimate post-retirement counselor—advised, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20). Peter counseled us to make certain of “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Solomon counseled, “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many” (Ecclesiastes 11:8, NIV).
As we prepare for 2017 year to give way to 2018, as we enter the gift-buying, gift-giving season, as all the while we all move toward our post-retirement existence … let’s take steps to make certain that we’re ready for our post-retirement experience, by the mercies and grace of God through Jesus.