The Surprising Truth about Retirement – Part 2

"Retirement by 401(K) 2012, on Flickr"

Last week I shared some surprising truths about retirement, including needs and challenges.  This week, let’s focus on opportunities to embark on a new adventure.


Instead of just retiring, re-hire!  You may or may not need the money, but most people need to do something productive and valuable.

Reevaluate your life, future and hope.  You are not the same now as before.  You have matured in positive and challenging ways.  Assess yourself and the whole of your life in five highest felt-need areas…

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Work

Rediscover what you do best.  Consider not only your gifts…

  • Experiences – vocational, educational and personal
  • Abilities – knowledge, skills and talents
  • Personality – natural behavior traits

But also contemplate your passions…

  • Interests – people, places, things and activities you enjoy
  • Values – work and life purpose, principles and burdens

Passions are as important as gifts.  While you need to have a basic qualifying level of gifts for a particular job, the multiplier for fun, fruitfulness and fulfillment at work is passion. Gifts and passions together are what bring out the best in you and for you.

Begin to target opportunities to work for people who need most what you do best.  Explore six factors…

  • Occupations – What kind of work is fun and fulfilling for you?
  • Employers – Individuals and organizations you might want to serve?
  • Locations – Where you would like to live, travel and perhaps work?
  • Income – Do you need additional money?  How much?
  • Platforms – Work as an employee, contractor, business owner or volunteer?
  • Culture – What personal values are important to you?

At this point, you might be saying, “This is too much to think about.”  Please let me plead with you, you can do it and it’s worth it.

Get a copy of the Crossroads Career Work Book about seven steps to jobs, careers and God’s calling.  Register for free access to thousands of freshly posted jobs, career tips and Scriptural encouragement.  Explore more than 200 career development and job search resources.  Post confidential prayer requests 24×7 on our prayer network.  Find American Job Centers, local career ministries and events.

Overcome Diminishing Capacities

Another reality of advanced chronological living is decreasing energy and endurance, sometimes complicated by illness or accident.  The reason I closed my business is that I no longer had the stamina to do excellent service.

One of my friends had already suggested that rather than offer services I should provide advice, counsel and referrals.  The idea was to shift the emphasis of my work from what I can do to what I know.  Having worked 50 years, I learned a lot of valuable lessons that I can pass along to others, and they are happy to write me checks in return.

My dad lived to 101½.  When he was asked how to live so long, his response was to “keep breathing.”  I learned from him about the zone of diminishing capacities.  He continued physical and mental strength training.  Eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest for your body and your mind.  As your wellbeing decreases, don’t give up or you will atrophy and waste away.  But, if you push too hard, something might break.  Be alert.  Be balanced.  Be careful.

Pace yourself.  Work within the means you are given.  That probably means part-time work with flexibility, maybe even as an independent contractor versus being an employee of a company.

Be a good steward of whatever God gives you.  Don’t worry about what He does not give you, because you have no responsibility for what God does not give you.


Even better than re-hirement is re-higher-meant.  God’s vision for even the last lap of your life looks like this…

…since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,

let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us,

 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,

who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,

and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-3

Not only employ your gifts and passions in service to others, but also hear and follow God’s calling every step of the way.  Discover and delight in your spiritual gifts to the manifold grace of God.  Not only rehire, but also seek He Who Is Higher.  Walk in work that means something eternal.  If you want to explore more about God’s calling for you life, study with some buddies the booklet Real Success at Work about Ephesians 2:10.

While your mind and body decrease, invest in your spiritual self and increase your life in Christ.  Get and stay balanced by centering on Jesus, the hope of glory in you.  Keep your eyes on Him.  Take every thought to Him. God will counsel you with His eye upon you.  While you decrease, let Him increase in you and through you.

Finally, no matter what your age, think “re-higher-meant.”  Keep your eyes upward and love God completely.  Continue learning how to love yourself inward correctly.  Be prayerful, intentional and alert to love your neighbors outward compassionately.

What’s Next for You?

Are you retired, rehired or seeking “re-higher-meant?”

If you are seeking to get a good job, maximize your career or hear God calling, let me offer you two great resources…

Finish well my friend by walking in good works God prepared – whatever your age!


Comments 2

  1. hi. I am Christian (maronite) from middle east. I am still 1 year without work, and I need to work anything , I don’t care the kind of work but I need work.i have dep in electronic ,I work with Nortel telecommunication in my country, and here I work in jewellery company for 5 year , and now for 1 year without work.
    I speak English ,French.

  2. Brian Ray, I enjoyed your blog and expecially the comment about doing excellent work. I work with a Christian centric growing management & business consulting firm that recognized the importance of excellent work for small and medium size clients. Many blessings to you.

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