Welcome and thank you for visiting RetirementStewardship.com! I think you will find some helpful things here. I really hope so, because the reason I started this website was to inform and inspire people just like you.
As you can see, this website is about retirement, but not in the usual sense. It's about retirement "stewardship". What do I mean by "stewardship" in relation to retirement? I'm using this word in the context of practical Christian theology and applying it to a specific stage of life that most people refer to as "retirement".
Therefore, at a minimum, it encompasses the following:
- Thinking about and planning for retirement, and not just how you will "fund it" with the money God has given you, but also how you will "live it" with the skills, talents, and other resources he has also provided.
- Using all blessings that God has given you for your enjoyment, the good of others, and His glory while in retirement.
Why the emphasis on "stewardship"? Well, there is a significant contrast that needs to be made right from the start.
Our culture has traditionally said this: Work hard at a job or career that you may or may not like, save and invest as much as you can, and then hopefully go on vacation for the last 20 or 30 years of your life if you can afford it. If not, hope the government and/or your family will take care of you. You worked for it and you deserve it, so go for it – it's part of the "American Dream", right?
Never mind that such a retirement may not be attainable for many people. The truth is that the Bible teaches no such thing, at least not in terms of envisioning 20 or 30 years of nothing but leisure and recreation until the end of your life. We are simply called to do more with our lives.
Therefore, "retirement stewardship" is something else altogether. (I want to say early on that I am NOT in any way opposed to the enjoyment of leisure and recreation during retirement – not at all! They are gifts from God. I'm just suggesting that retirement stewardship is thinking more deeply about how we should live during that stage of life.) What we are talking about is the stewardship of our time, money, possessions, gifts, and talents in ways that are for our joy and good, the joy and good of others, and most importantly, the honor and glory of God.
I "retired" at age 66 (in late 2018), so this is something I have personally been grappling with and I suspect you have been too. Regardless of whether you're in your 20s or 30s, or already into your retirement years, there are important things to think about. If you're middle-aged or younger, you may have questions about how to prepare for retirement. You may be (and certainly should be) focused on saving and investing. If you are near retirement, you may be starting to think about what retirement might look like for you from a financial perspective. Or, you may have questions about things like insurance, Social Security, health care, etc.
You may also be thinking about what you would like to do in retirement. Perhaps you are thinking about a second career or starting a small business. You may even be thinking about how you can use the gifts that God has given you to serve Him in greater ways in retirement – ways you couldn't when you were working in a full-time job.
If so, you are not alone!
Society and popular culture, and the incessant flood of information from financial media drive the thoughts, emotions, and actions for many regarding retirement.
So, on this website, I want to challenge some of these societal and cultural norms. I want to look at this stage of life in a God-centered, Biblically-informed way – in other words, with a "stewardship" point of view. That means looking at it from an "it all belongs to God, it's all given to us by God, and it's all for the glory of God" perspective.
Also, because personal finance is an important part of retirement stewardship, I want to share practical information on the very important areas of accumulating and managing retirement assets, Social Security, insurance, leaving a legacy, etc.
The world's view of retirement and a Bible- and God-centered view would seem to be diametrically opposed. And in many ways they are. But therein lies the challenge. We want to be wise in planning for and living in our later years and there is much to be gained from some of what is taught by experts in this field. But we also want to view retirement planning and living in retirement through the lens of scripture and the wisdom that it contains.
For retirement, as with many things in life, there are different ideas and opinions. But I think people, in general, feel most fulfilled when their lives matter; when they spend at least some time doing things that serve others. And, for Christians, things that bring honor and glory to God.
We are all different. "Retirement" will look somewhat different for each of us. How you apply these concepts of stewardship in your life may be entirely different than how he does, or how she does, or how I do. But the basic principles, the Biblical wisdom that can be applied to every person's situation, are the same.