According to the Social Security System’s Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2012: “Nearly 80 million baby boomers will file for retirement benefits over the next 20 years – an average of 10,000 per day.” That is a lot of people! The focus of this study is the economic impact on the Social Security system, but it made me wonder about the impact these people can have for the benefit of others and the Kingdom of God.
When it comes down to it most people want a life with meaning – they want their life to count. What does a fulfilling life look like? Some of the most popular answers are a successful career or to be maximally happy or to accomplish something great or to help lots of people. John Piper states, “The opposite of wasting your life is living life by a single God exalting, soul satisfying passion.” What would it mean if even a small percentage of these people chose to leave a legacy that will continue well after their earthly life comes to an end?
In the next three newsletters, I’ll explore how baby boomers can prepare for an Inspired Retirement. While most retirement planning focuses solely on finances, an Inspired Retirement also includes having a life plan. The reason this is so important is because of another statistic reported by the social security administration. The SSA reports that people who retire without a life plan receive an average of thirteen paychecks before dying. Why is this? Because most people don’t think of retirement as stressful. Especially if they’ve worked in demanding and fast paced careers. But retirees do experience stress which is primarily due to not having a plan in three key areas.
The first is failing to make preparation in mind set. The retiree must consider all of the ways life will be different for them. Starting with the daily routine and including the loss of relationships and position. For most people identity is tied to their work and so mindset is crucial to address.
Second is the lack of time filling and fulfilling activity, especially if your job was something you enjoyed. Instead of sitting in the local McDonald’s, how will you connect with people and create a life that has a new purpose and will make a difference for you and for those you might be called to help?
Third is the change in home environment. Your spouse may not be used to having you around. Or you may want to spend more time with them but they are working and don’t have extra time to spend with you. Often, family members expect a retiree to be available to help them for babysitting or running errands.
We will explore these key areas over the next several newsletters and how the retiree can navigate them to create a season of purpose, passion and significance. If you’ve found yourself desiring to take action today to create your personal life plan for retirement you can get a copy of the Inspired Retirement Planner here. I welcome your questions and feedback so feel free to email or call me.