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Category Archives: Retirement

Practical help in planning for retirement

Book Review: Reimagine Retirement: Planning and Living for the Glory of God, by C. J. Cagle

“Word hard, save diligently, invest wisely; but please don’t retire, at least not in the most traditional sense of the word. Instead, reimagine retirement as something different from what the world envisions.”

That statement summarizes the message of author C. J. Cagle’s practical and helpful book, Reimagine Retirement: Planning and Living for the Glory of God. As he explains in the introduction,

I have three main goals for this book:

First, that you will be inspired to reimagine a retirement that rejects modern worldly values and priorities and, realizing that God has called you for a higher purpose than the full-time pursuit of pleasure and self-fulfillment, instead reimagine a retirement focused on living for the glory and honor of God and the good of others.

Second, to help you wisely apply biblical principles and practices so you can reimagine a retirement with dignity—one with your essential spending needs met for as long as you live, perhaps with a surplus to share, while continually trusting in God as the ultimate source of your daily provision.

And third, if and when you decide to retire, to reimagine living in a way that is consistent with kingdom principles—with paid or unpaid work relationally focused activities, voluntary involvement and commitments in your church and community, and continued faithful devotion to God and his people, for as long as he give you the ability to do so.

The flow of the book follows the author’s stated goals. The first third strives to explain the current idea of retirement and contrasts that with what Scripture says on the subject. The second part of the book gives practical ideas how to plan, save, and invest for retirement, as well as deciding when to retire. The final section focuses on how to live in retirement and leave a legacy for those who will follow you.

The is a book that would be helpful to read at two different points in your life. Since the bulk of the book focuses on planning, saving, and investing, it would be helpful to read early in your working career. It would help you start on a strong footing and plan for the long term. It would also be helpful to read in the decade before you retire, so that you develop a proper mindset of how to continue to serve the cause of Christ in your retirement years.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program http://www.bhbloggers.com/. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2019 in Books, Quotes, Retirement

 

Succession planning

Below is a letter I wrote to our elders & wives at First Central Bible Church on the subject of succession planning. One responded to say she was going to file it under email heading that take your breath away. I replied that at least I got her attention. 😉

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Let me say first off that I am NOT planning on leaving or retiring any time soon. I am simply starting the process of thinking and asking questions. When the time comes, I want FCBC to be prepared to make a smooth and effective transition. I want the next pastor to step into a strong, healthy situation.

When I was in California last May for Jonathan’s graduation, my mother-in-law asked me when I was going to retire and I told her, “70.” She wasn’t quite sure how to respond. However, since I will turn 62 while in New Zealand, I have to acknowledge that leaving and/or retiring is somewhere on the horizon. I am closer to the end than to the beginning.

One of the men Carol does bookkeeping for is Tom Fowler of Fowler Financial Services in Bellevue, WA. Tom is an Elder at Crossroads Bible Church and is an old friend. As part of Tom’s business, he counsels families and companies about planning for retirement and succession. He sent me a note over a year ago about a book the Crossroads’ staff and elders were reading on the subject. Tom prompted me to start thinking about the issue.

Over the past 11 months, I have read four books on the topic written to church leaders.

The books were interesting and had some helpful principles and things to think about. The first and last books are written from a large, megachurch perspective where the pastor handpicked and mentored his successor.

At this point, I would ask for five things:

  • Pray that I will know when to step aside. Below is something I wrote in my journal in 2004. The details have changed, but the metaphors are still fitting.

These days I feel like Aragorn of the first two books of The Lord of the Rings—haunted by the failures of the past, fearful of making the same mistakes, reluctant to take on the role for which he was born. I want to be Aragorn of the third book—stepping boldly into leadership, bringing encouragement to the fainthearted, leading a fellowship of people to victory. My fear is that if I stay at I will either become Theoden—listening to the whispers of the enemy and becoming a shell of a man, or Denethor—grasping onto a position of power, marking time, whose senses were dulled to the truth of his situation.

  • Let me know if you sense I am losing my passion and/or losing my effectiveness. Let me know if I am becoming resistant to new ideas and/or change. One of my mentors, Pastor Kent Hughes, retired at 65 for this very reason.
  • Please let me know when we should put this on the agenda and start talking about transitions.
  • Pray that I will be faithful to the task God has called me to.
  • Pray that I will finish well.

Thanks for all you do for Christ and FCBC.

 

Don’t Waste Your Retirement

“When are you going to retire?” Having turned 61 years of age two weeks ago, I’m starting to hear that question more often. To be honest, I have no plans to retire. I want to continue serving, preaching, and pastoring as long as I am healthy.

With that in mind, I read with great interest an article by John Piper entitled, “Hillary, Bernie, Donald, and Me” in which he challenges baby boomers not to waste their retirement years. He opens the article with these thoughts.

At 70, I am energized to dream great things, because this year Hillary turns 69, Bernie turns 75, and Donald turns 70. My rising energy has nothing to do with their policies or character. It has to do with the incredible fact that all of them want to spend their seventies doing the hardest job in the world.

This is wonderfully counter-cultural. I doubt that it’s motivated by a passion to magnify the greatness of Jesus. But that makes it all the more inspiring for me, because nothing gets me more excited than spending my seventies spreading a passion for the glory of Christ and his word. Paul is still my hero when he says, “My eager expectation and hope is that Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20).

So if Hillary and Bernie and Donald want to bear the weight of the world for the next four to eight years out of man-centered, philanthropic motives, I find my seventy-something zeal for Jesus heating up. They only get to be president of a tiny territory called the U.S.A. I get to be an ambassador of the Sovereign of the universe. They only get to change the way some people live for a few decades. I get to change the way some people live forever — with a lot of good spill-over for this world in the process.

But this is not an article mainly about me. It’s about the 70 million Baby Boomers coming behind me. I’m the oldest (born in 1946; the youngest born in 1964). Ten thousand Americans turn 70 every day. And they will continue to do so for about nineteen years. Billions of dollars are spent every year trying to get us to waste the last chapter of our lives on leisure. I’m spending one afternoon to plead with the rising seventy-somethings: Don’t waste it.

Being in the center of the baby boomer generation, I’m one of the people Piper is addressing. I appreciate his perspective and agree that we need to redefine retirement.

Piper concludes with these words.

Make no mistake. The Bible believes in retirement. It’s called heaven.

Click on the link to read the rest of the article.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2016 in Culture, News stories, Quotes, Retirement