LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Pool-Side Retirement Thoughts

I'm sitting here by the pool on my last day in Mexico, and have been listening to three men talk for about an hour. You can learn a great deal about people by listening. These men made a lot of money and were quite successful. They are all now retired, and spend their time going from resort to cruise ship to tourist destination to vacation home. They have all the money they need to support this relaxed lifestyle. They swapped stories about the best places they've been and the tourist traps to avoid. It's quite the life. And many people spend their entire working lives building towards such a dream. I would be lying if I didn't say that a little bit of that lifestyle sounds delightful.

Having gone through a LifePlan process this past summer--I've been thinking a lot about my future. I suppose if I played every card just right, such a life would be reachable for me. But I can't imagine living a life where my biggest dream is the next place I want to visit.

Here's how I think about the so-called retirement years...

  • I want to continue to make the world a better place.
  • I want to continue to add value to people every day.
  • I realize there will come a time when my energy will be less than it was, and my focus will be not as sharp. I want to step out of my official roles while I am still strong--before any one else thinks I waited too long.
  • I want to continue to be an impact player in a local church. I dream of being the type of volunteer who can give 10 or 20 hours a week to the staff to be utilized however they see fit.
  • I want to continue to write.
  • I want to continue to be engaged and available to my wife and family.
  • I want to be embedded and "doing life" with a group of friends for the long-haul. I want deep roots...where I can know and be known, love and be loved, celebrate and be celebrated.
Don't get me wrong--I have no problem with relaxation, traveling, or vacation (remember, I'm writing this while doing just that). And it would be really cool to be able to do this two or three times every year. But I don't want to get to a place in life where this is what I live for.
Those are my pool-side rambling thoughts for the day. How do you think about the retirement years?