I am a worn out 44 year old so these are just observations . Watching my father successfully pour himself into writing and volunteer work, retirement is all about searching for “what is next?” I have observed one needs to retire TO something whether that is a part-time job, active volunteer schedule, consulting role or another career. I have seen those who do not retire TO something struggle with a loss of identity, depression and sometimes poor health. Some shorten their life by not having a retirement plan. Have a plan and finish the last chapter of your life strong.

I am a big FSU fan and an even bigger fan of the great Coach Bobby Bowden but I wish Coach Bowden had retired before he did at age 80 (he was pushed to retire at the end). He had peaked in his early 70s and then his top assistant coaches left and the best recruits stopped coming to FSU. While he was coaching, when asked when he would retire, he said he was fearful of retiring because “what is the next big thing after you retire? YOU DIE!” He had seen Coach Bear Bryant die one month after he retired. I read recently Coach Bowden said if he knew how much he now enjoys retirement, he would have retired earlier.

I forget now who said it but I love the thought–the 1st third of your life you LEARN, the 2nd third of your life you EARN and the final third of your life you RETURN. There are so many young pastors and professionals desperate for mentors, encouragement and support. I know when I was a new pastor, I desperately sought older pastors to help fill in the gaps I did not learn in seminary. When I had my first funeral, no one had taught me where to stand leaving the church with the casket. Throughout my first church and following, I actively sought out retired pastors for their wisdom and insight. There is a huge need there today.

Blessings on those nearing retirement. I am afraid I will be working until I die and then my wife will prop me up like “Weekend at Bernies!” I say that in jest but think my generation will have to work longer but that is for another post!

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