In talking with people about retirement planning, I’ve often said that “retiring from your job does not mean that you’re retiring from life!” As long as God gives us life and breath, he has a purpose for us on this earth. Retirement from a job simply means that you are entering another phase of life, an opportunity to do new and different things, and impact others’ lives in new and fresh ways.
As you think about your retirement, remember that while one of your particular roles in life has changed (i.e. your job), God still has a purpose for you in your retirement years. I believe that the foundation for “retirement planning” from a financial perspective, must begin with this understanding, and an understanding that money is not designed to be an end in itself. Money is designed to be a means by which we fulfill the plans, purposes, and desires that God has put on our hearts.
How does this perspective on retirement impact how we plan and prepare from a financial perspective? It means that while there certainly are prudent, tangible financial planning steps to take, retirement planning is more than just completing a checklist or “to do” list. Your retirement plan is unique to you, and to the goals, plans, and purposes that are on your heart to fulfill. God has said in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” With this in mind, consider the following questions and how you would answer them, as you think about planning for retirement:
- What is important to me about money?
- What do I want to achieve with my money?
- Which family relationships are most important to me?
- What church, community, or charitable relationships are important to me?
- How do I want to invest in the above relationships in terms of time and financial resources?
- What “quality of life” desires do I have for the retirement years (i.e. trips, vehicles, home-related projects)?
How you answer questions such as these is instrumental in helping to shape your retirement plan. Your answers to these kinds of questions can help direct how you do investment planning, estate planning, and other tangible aspects of financial planning for retirement. Because remember, money is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we fulfill the plans, purposes, and desires that God has put on our hearts.
Putting together a retirement plan that is purposeful, goal-oriented, and unique to you is not easy. Defining, implementing, and carrying out that plan can be a tall task to do by yourself. It is my experience that many who are on the verge of retirement, or already in retirement, find it beneficial to work in a relationship with a skilled, trustworthy, Financial Planner. This is why we created the Purposeful Retirement Planning service. In this 90-minute session we cover questions similar to those referenced earlier in the article, in addition to reviewing your current financial status and financial documents. After learning to know you, your goals, and your personal financial situation, we will conclude the session by giving you our recommendations to help you going forward. Whether you are an existing client of our business or not, this 90-minute session is free to you. Please contact us at 610-385-4500 to schedule your Purposeful Retirement Planning session. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.