The first question we typically ask when contemplating retirement is “Will I have enough money to retire?” To answer this, we add all the monthly expenses we expect to have in retirement and then determine if our income from Social Security, pensions and investments, exceeds those expenses. If we have more income than expenses, we are ready to retire. Right?
While it’s good to be prepared financially for retirement, there are non-financial aspects of retirement that we would also do well to consider.
Jeff Haanen, author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life recommends that we ask ourselves some probing questions about time, work, family, and ministry involvement before stepping into that next phase of life.
I am planning to retire in the next six to nine months, and the following are some of the questions Jeff recommends that I am personally asking:
- What aspects of our culture’s view of retirement appeal to me, and which ones do not?
- Which people who have lived well into their latter years do I look to as models?
- What does Scripture say about family involvement during this phase of life?
- What would my 90-year-old self say about the decisions I am making today?
- What unique skills, networks, or talents do I have that I would like to keep using in retirement? What new skills could I develop?
- What will change about my marriage in retirement?
- Have I written out a plan for how I will spend my days, weeks, and months in retirement, and have I discussed this with my wife?
These are challenging questions, and I am still working on my answers to some of them. If you are nearing retirement, what non-financial aspects of retirement are important to you?