Posts tagged retirement

And after that?



BoatParadise

This blog post by Todd Nagel recently appeared in the Noah Gets A Nail Gun blog. 
As the story goes, a boat was docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the local fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. “Not very long” answered the fisherman.

But then why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American. The local villager explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?

I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar and sing a few songs. I have a full life.

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plant and maybe even open your own plant.

You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.

How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

And after that?” replied the fisherman.

Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big you can go public, start selling stocks and make millions!

Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.

After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandkids, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!

I’m liking the question, “And after that?”

Our lives have gotten out of balance. At the dawn of the introduction of technology there were dreams of a 30 hour work week, or even 20 hour work week, with more time at home with our spouse and kids, more time to relax and enjoy life. But just the opposite has happened. There is no more 9-5 work day. When are you not “at work” when you are tethered to your smartphone? Even on vacation you’ve probably spent an hour or two (each day) answering email. The line between work-home has become blurred. And just so you know, like Paul told Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” If I’m throwing stones I’m throwing them in the air and letting them hit me in the head! I’m guilty of all the above.

The bottom line is it comes down to having balance. Run everything through the “And after that” grid. Sure, you could work an additional 10 hours a week and make more money, “And after that”?

Somewhere along the line we believed the lie that we needed bigger, newer, nicer, more. In our attempt to achieve those things we have lost what’s vastly more important than material things…relationships.

paintingI’m certainly not advocating a lazy work ethic. I’m currently in the process of painting my two-story house. Besides the roof and windows, everything else requires me to slap some paint on it. I love a good project but this one is pushing it a little. If you’ve never painted the exterior of a house, trust me, it’s not the easiest task to undertake. I’m a firm believer in if I have the physical ability and brain power to do something, I’m not going to pay someone to do it for me. But more on that another time.

All that to say, as Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us, “Whatever your hands find you to do, do it with all your might.” Work hard but have balance. The relationship with your wife, kids, parents, friends, all those far outweigh making a little extra income. This may require you to make some tough financial decisions but nobody looks back at the end of their life and regrets not working more. It’s always “I wish I spent more time with my wife, kids, etc.” As you are faced with opportunities to make a little more money even though it will require longer work days, ask yourself, “And after that?”

Finishing strong



finishing strong

What do you want your life to look like as you begin to approach the finish line?

Our culture tells us that we should look forward to retirement — a golden time when we can relax, travel, play golf and bask in the glow of a successful and lucrative career.

At the same time, reality tells many of us that the final lap of our lives will not be golden — it will be a time of living on a limited income and coping with infirmities.

As I’ve spoken with men over the age of 55 or 60, I’ve noticed that few seem to have a real vision of how God can use them.  Quite a few lament that they feel disconnected from their children and grandchildren … that they have little to offer … that their glory years are long gone.

That’s why I challenge men to become patriarchs during the latter years of their journey of manhood. As godly heads of their families, patriarchs can leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.  As figures of influence in their communities, they have the opportunity to be used by God through their words, their actions, and even their financial contributions.

The Scriptures describe life as a race.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Paul tells us, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.”  And Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “ … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus … so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”

We all start the race that is set before us, but it is common for many to grow weary and lose heart along the way.  Dr. William Culbertson, president of Moody Bible Institute, said it well:  “It is nice to start well.  It is even better to finish well.”

A patriarch is a man who is finishing strong.

Do you know someone who is finishing the race strong?  Share your story below and encourage others about the impact they can have as they age.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.