12 Big Questions Behind the Retirement Question...
"The LORD said to Moses, This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the Tent of Meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the Tent of Meeting, but they themselves must not do the work. This, then, is how you are to assign the responsibilities of the Levites." Numbers 8:23-26 (New International Version)
- Will I have enough money for retirement?
Only you can decide how much money is enough for your retirement needs. This is affected by the standard of living you wish to maintain. What do you envision for your retirement...a continuation of your career through part-time employment, volunteering, seeing the world, gardening, fishing, golfing, or other activities? Experts' estimates vary concerning how much money you will need, but if you are able to receive approximately one-half the amount of money you were earning while working, you will be in line with what most people are receiving. Use the resources you have for the Glory of God. Depend upon him. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28.
- Will I need to continue working past age 65?
Because of the tremendously negative impact the recession of 2008-2009 has had on everyone's retirement accounts, (30 - 60% losses were not uncommon,) many people have had to make the tough decision to continue working past the normally accepted retirement age of 65.
Age 65 was the norm when people were living shorter lives. Your personal financial situation may require you to work longer than you once expected. Examine all your options before making any quick decisions, then do what is best for you and your family.
- Is age 70 or 75 the new 65 for me?
Unfortunately, this will be a reality for many people. Look around the next time you go shopping. You will see many people that are working well past age 65. If you are at retirement age, the key for you is to do what is best for you and your family. If you are still several years away from retirement, the key for you is to begin making adequate financial preparations for retirement and to make sure that you don't have to work until you are age 70, 75, or beyond. Remember to: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7.
- What about my recessionary-affected IRAs, CDs, or 401(k)s?
Almost every person has taken major losses due to the recession and corresponding economic downturn. There are no assurances that additional losses won't follow. Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. The best course of action is to seek sound investment advice from a qualified person and make decisions that are best suited for your retirement goals and circumstances. Christians remember, you have all the resources of God at your disposal. "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19.
- When should I begin collecting my Social Security supplement?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this question. There are both advantages and disadvantages to collecting at age 62, or deciding to wait until you are eligible to draw your full amount. Contact your SS representative, and research all your options to determine your best answer to this question.
- Will I be able to make the emotional, mental, and physical transition to a life without work?
Some people anticipate their day of retirement and when they retire they never look back. Others have a very difficult time with retirement and never seem to fully adjust to life without work. The keys to making these adjustments seems to be those of having a healthy self-identity, self-esteem, and a healthy life apart from work. If your work is your life, you are in for a terrible disappointment. You have a choice, either begin building a life for yourself outside your normal work environment, or work until you can't possibly work any longer. You will need a reliable network of family, friends, neighbors, and others to make the transition smoothly. Invest in the lives of others. Build strong relationships outside your workplace, and engage in your favorite activities, hobbies, volunteer, or travel, and become more involved in your local church.
- What will I do about benefits after retirement?
Many people prolong their working careers for just this reason...to maintain medical and other benefits. Talk with your Human Resources department and discover your options. Check with governmental agencies to see whether you could qualify and benefit from their offerings.
- What about my medical care and long-term needs?
Almost every person faces these issues as they continue through this wonderful journey called life. If you are still working, check with your Human Resources department to discover your options. Check with private companies to see if they have products that will meet your needs, or check with governmental agencies to see whether you could qualify and benefit from their offerings.
- What will I do with all the additional time I will have?
After retirement, many jokingly complain that they do not have enough hours in the day to do all the things they want to do. Others sit around and complain that they don't have anything to do and that they are bored out of their minds. You are allowed to decide what kind of retirement you wish to have. Examine your expectations very closely and plan some meaningful activities to help you deal with the excess time you will have after retirement. A hint: Don't Vegetate... Activate! Your retirement years can be among the best years of your life. It depends upon you to make them what you want them to be. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven," Ecclesiastes 3:1.
- Will I need to relocate my residence?
You have options. Some retirees choose to relocate to warmer climates or resort areas. Some move to states with more favorable income tax structures. Others choose to relocate to areas where family members live. Others move for 100 other reasons. Unfortunately, some are forced to relocate due to a lower income and to realize a lower mortgage payment. Examine all your options before deciding to relocate, and then do what is best for you and your family. All Christians will move some day..."But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" 2 Peter 3:13.
- Will I lose my identity as a person?
Most people do not, but if your entire life revolved around your career and you received your value as a person from your accomplishments at work, you may be a candidate for this problem. As was stated in answer number six, you need a reliable network including family, friends, church, neighbors, and others to make the transition smoothly. Invest in the lives of others. Build strong relationships outside your workplace and engage in your favorite activities or hobbies, or volunteer or travel.
- Will I still have friends?
You have choices. To have friends, you have to be a friend. If you wish to have friends you need to make yourself available to become friends with someone else. Multiply your friendships. Make one friend, then two, then four, then eight and so forth. Remember, "...there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" Proverbs 18:24. His name is Jesus.