What Criteria Will Determine When and How You Retire?

posted Jan 29, 2013, 6:07 AM by Willie T. Butler   [ updated Jan 29, 2013, 6:13 AM by Charles C. Christie,Jr. ]

Most people plan for retirement haphazardly or not at all.  With little or no conscious intention, those who work for others are often guided in their retirement decisions by the benefit plan and policies their employer offers. 

Unlike federal, state and local government agencies and the military which offer 20-year retirement options, most private employers offer benefit plans that require five-ten years of employment before an employee is considered fully vested.  Older workers often qualify as fully vested even when they have less than five years of service.   Usually under normal circumstances the employee must reach a certain age to qualify for retirement benefits with the minimum being age 59 ½.   Accordingly, unless one intentionally retires early, private employers offer plans that usually develop over a normal work period of forty or more years.   Accordingly, this is how investment advisers generate analysis on retiring for their clients.

In cases when an employer is encouraging early retirement as a way to thin their ranks, an employee may also qualify through an employer plan involving a combination of age and years of service to determine eligibility for when retirement benefits will begin.   But, even with one or more of these imposed criteria influencing your decision, the question which remains is what criteria will you use to determine when and how you will retire?

Conventional wisdom says we should all plan for retiring someday.  But little if anything is said as to what we should consider beyond the obvious!   As we age we are often less capable of doing for ourselves or providing our services to others.  And without a lifetime guarantee of regular income, a retiree would need a pretty hefty nest-egg that can sustain them during their retirement years.

These are, of course, the obvious reasons to plan.   But how about looking at this from a Kingdom of God perspective as well?   Are your plans to retire in keeping with His will for your life, or the purpose He has given you to fulfill?   And if you are healthy and have all the finances you could ever need, should you retire and do nothing in life simply because you can?

For other considerations from God’s perspective, the LifePlanning Institute offers such insight in its formal courses and through its book titled, The Kingdom Life Approach: A Purpose-Driven Strategy for Living Your Best Life Ever. (See Publications) Imagine how differently you will plan for retirement when you fully understand that God wants a say in how you live, work and fulfill your purpose in life!