…the withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from one’s active working life.
Why do we retire?
Because we hate our job? Because we have buckets of money and we don’t need to work any more? Because our health or physical abilities will no longer allow? Because our place of employment closed, or eliminated our position?
Retirement is a process. And best case scenario, it’s a choice.
About a year ago, we began this process for my husband. And thankfully, the timing and the process has been thoughtfully chosen by the two of us, together. Long before retirement, years before retirement, the choices we made will make a difference.
We are a society that does not plan for the future. We live for today. We seek immediate joy. This is not always a bad thing. But a neglected future may not bring future happiness.
When we began our process we discovered many things we needed to consider. Finances being number one for us:
- We will need a second car
- We will need another cell phone
- Car insurance costs will go up
- Cell phone costs will go up
- What are the Medicare options?
- Do we need additional coverage?
- Gas costs will go up
- Tax implications
- With some home improvements on the “to do list”, there will be monthly maintenance items to account for
These are just a few major expenses, and a variety of monthly costs that will effect our budget. I have reworked our budget several times to make sure nothing unexpected will surface. And I feel extremely confident it will not.
Once the financial aspect of retirement is fully determined, I believe the real question should be considered: WHY retirement, and why now? Happiness is found in purpose. We are all put on the planet for a purpose. If we don’t have a purpose, why do we exist?
Again, this is part of the planning. And happiness isn’t found in self satisfaction. Yes, happiness comes from within, but happiness isn’t thoroughly enjoyed if it isn’t shared. We need to have an impact. Purpose. And if that isn’t somewhat determined in the planning, there will be disappointment. Perhaps some of that is discovered along the way. But if you don’t look, you won’t find. And if you don’t expect to find, you won’t see.
During life changes, whether of our own choosing, or not, focusing on the positive will also help discover life’s happiness. Part of our journey will include the fact that I can not retire at this time. However, with my husband no longer working for someone else, we will not need to juggle two work schedules when planning for activities and vacations. This brings me happiness! But this situation will also have its challenges. I will have to get up and head for work knowing some days he has fun and adventure planned without me. I will choose to be happy for him, and grateful for the wonderful job I have.
Is God’s intention that we retire? That we stop working? No. The bible does not talk about retirement in the way our society does today. We work until we are no longer able. Therefore, our perspective is that our work changes at retirement. We can now more directly follow our passion, our calling. That is freedom.
So, does retirement bring happiness? No. We do.
For my husband and myself, we share our joy and optimism. We anticipate opportunities to help others in a different way. To make a difference.
We look forward to adventures and discoveries that this new life change will bring us.
The godly grow like a palm tree; they grow high like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the Lord’s house, they grow in the courts of our God. They bear fruit even when they are old; they are filled with vitality and many leaves.
Jeremiah 29: 11
“For I know what I have planned for you”, says the Lord. “I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope”