Close to Retirement, Or Retired?

bobinfaith

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Dear brothers and sisters;

Please read and meditate on this all too familiar passage from Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. - ESV

After 70 years of captivity in Babylon, God was giving Jeremiah a Word for His people. He hadn't forgotten them and promised them a hope for the future.

I was thinking this past year about a time when I was in my early 20's, I was very single and happy. I really didn't think about the things to come later in my 30s, 40s, up to the time when I would retire. After all, I was a young lad and at that time was living for the moment.

Years after college Hazel and I got married, (she was 27 and I was 28) and over the years we were involved in the church, had steady employment, bought our first home in Daly City, then a second home in Arizona as a rental investment. In between those earlier years we had our shares of problems, our marriage, job disgruntlement, ministry challenges and seminary studies was tough.

When we were in our early 50s we started to discuss our plans for retirement, finances, ministry and where we desired to live. Ideally, we wanted to retire back in San Diego or Goodyear, Arizona where we have family in both cities. But in between all these years, what kind of shape would Hazel and I be in our relationship, what balance is left in our mortgages, finances, health and most of all, our faith. As we reached our mid-50s and one day turn 60, we began to concern ourselves more about being ready for retirement.

21 years ago Jeremiah 29:11-14 was to me a nice, fluffy passage that sounded good, but when I shared this with my mentor counselor, he asked me to think for a moment. Did I think God's people had it easy?!? Did I feel this passage was only meant for them?!?

It was 2 years ago that God revealed His plans for us and definitely not to harm us. We sold our home in Arizona and paid off the mortgage as well as the balance on our first home. Hazel wants to retire after 22 years working and I will join her. Last year I gave my notice to the church that I'm stepping down as their pastor. Our church just hired a new Pastor and as soon as he and his wife are settled, Hazel and I plan to reside overseas for 6 months there and 6 months here in Daly City.

God is giving Hazel and me a new chapter in our marriage with each other. We are prayerfully seeking a church in the small town we will reside. When we return to the states, our family who will manage our home is where we will stay. We will continue to attend and support our former church.

We're still going through the planning stages but by the Lord's leading He has taken our retirement concerns away, step by step.

I know many of our members are young and have their whole lives still in front of them but those who are thinking, planning or are already on board with retirement, I would love to hear from you.
 
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CPerkins

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As you know I'm semi-retired already and my wife is retired. Neither of us really starting planning retirement until about 20 years ago, a few years after we were married.

As an accountant who has worked with many financial advisers, I know that it is very common for young people to ignore planning for retirement. When your young death and retirement seem like far future events. Things are often tough financially anyway so planning for an event that is so far in the future just doesn't seem necessary.

Waiting though makes retirement more difficult. Today many seniors find they have to go back to work, because they don't have enough money to live on. Americans in general have a terrible habit of borrowing and spending more than they can really afford. Leaving many in a very difficult circumstance later in life especially when they don't have the savings they need or other income to live on.

In my situation, my wife and I will be okay. I'll continue to work in my semi-retirement until about age 70. At that time we intend to downsize and probably will be moving to a warmer climate. We've thought about somewhere in the surrounding area of San Francisco. Wherever we go we'll spend some time there first before making any final decision.

God though will be part of the plans. We can never know for certain what will come to pass in the future. It is my desire to stay ready for whatever God has planned and make necessary changes as his Spirit leads.

cp
 
Yes, Americans in general may have a habit of borrowing and spending too much. However there are far too many that have struggled to make ends meet their entire lives. Most I know have little savings, let alone for retirement. They live modest, simple lives because they had no other choice. Its the fortunate few that have a military, or other retirement that can afford the current cost of living. Most Americans live in poverty, or are a few paychecks away from being homeless. Covid brought the reality of this glaring in my face, as I see young adults move back in with a parent. I see parents selling their homes and moving in with their children. I see young married couples sharing homes to make ends meet. This is America; our economy should be strong enough for none of this to be happening. Here we are though as I will see more, and more of this. Spending and borrowing too much is only part of the problem. Tell that to our government, who will continue to tax many out of retirement. Theres a whole lot of middle America out here outside of high paying job areas like the north east, and west coasts.

You are very fortunate as God has blessed you to have the ability to retire, let alone in one of the highest cost of living areas in the U.S. God has blessed me to be fortunate enough to afford housing to where my daughter, and son in law are able to also live comfortably. Times are only going to get tougher as taxes go higher, less good paying jobs can be found, and ones that actually offer a company paid retirement plan exist. I could never afford to retire without their help, and Im fortunate enough to have meager savings after a lifetime of sacrifice.

I do wish you both much happiness in your retirement, and that you continue to do the Lords work where ever that might be.
 

CPerkins

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Yes, Americans in general may have a habit of borrowing and spending too much. However there are far too many that have struggled to make ends meet their entire lives. Most I know have little savings, let alone for retirement. They live modest, simple lives because they had no other choice. Its the fortunate few that have a military, or other retirement that can afford the current cost of living. Most Americans live in poverty, or are a few paychecks away from being homeless. Covid brought the reality of this glaring in my face, as I see young adults move back in with a parent. I see parents selling their homes and moving in with their children. I see young married couples sharing homes to make ends meet. This is America; our economy should be strong enough for none of this to be happening. Here we are though as I will see more, and more of this. Spending and borrowing too much is only part of the problem. Tell that to our government, who will continue to tax many out of retirement. Theres a whole lot of middle America out here outside of high paying job areas like the north east, and west coasts.

You are very fortunate as God has blessed you to have the ability to retire, let alone in one of the highest cost of living areas in the U.S. God has blessed me to be fortunate enough to afford housing to where my daughter, and son in law are able to also live comfortably. Times are only going to get tougher as taxes go higher, less good paying jobs can be found, and ones that actually offer a company paid retirement plan exist. I could never afford to retire without their help, and Im fortunate enough to have meager savings after a lifetime of sacrifice.

I do wish you both much happiness in your retirement, and that you continue to do the Lords work where ever that might be.

I know of many people suffering financially myself. I grew up with very little our family always lived paycheck to paycheck. As children we heard our parents discussing what bills could be paid and what would have to wait. Our home was small especially for a family of 5 and later 6. Dad and mom could never afford to own a home so we rented. We were fortunate even then though, to have garden space and a little room for animals, and to live near grandfather's farm.

Our income is very modest. We do okay because we have very little debt and do not have many needs. We were blessed years ago so we have resources that few others have. For this my wife and I are very grateful because this is what we will be living on the rest of our lives.

The housing bubble hit many Americans hard. This covid-19 is only at the beginning of its financial impact. I also believe there will be more plagues and troubles yet to come.

My troubles in life are not financial, but they are no less real. God has seen me through many troubles including periods of financial hardship, false accusations, and a host of other things. I'm actually thankful for these as well these days because without them it is hard to know the suffering of others.

Thankfully God is with us each and every day. We have access to God's very throne room and God is much more than able to help and even carry us when we need it.

I pray for those that are suffering financial troubles and other difficulties. Trials are never easy while we are going through them, but God can do amazing things within us as we let him work through our situations.

God bless you all

Fortunately as Christians we have God near. We have a hope
 

bobinfaith

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Hello thenami;

You are right sharing how America has struggled to make ends meet, in our lifetime, and more.

Dear Brothers and sisters;

Many have always been blessed with money in their pocket. But most of us, though we seek to be good stewards, still have to hang on to every nickel, dime, dollar, pound, euro...The definition of the budget hasn't changed much from Biblical times and today many of us are more concerned on how we will retire.

Jesus talked about finances in His Parables during His 3 year mission, versus America's history, most of what was built on credit. Therefore, there is hope in what Christ teaches us in the New Testament about managing our finances, but also how Christian virtues tie in with our money.

My wife and I both struggled, real hard, on what Jesus taught on contentment in Matthew 6:25-33. Living in America made this extremely difficult because we were interrupted with instant gratification, quick fixes, how money and a credit card could fix all that. This also goes for other countries.

But as we grew older our relationship with Christ deepened and we posed important questions to God, one of them, over
20 years of questioning how we would be able to retire?

We needed to bring our debt ratio down. Otherwise, we would be forced to manage where we live, continue to work with no vision in sight, very limited time to spend away from work. Instead of worshiping God each day, it felt like our finances would become a threat, like a god controlling our lives.

The Holy Spirit, slowly but surely, began to indwelt in our marriage and we felt a
spirit of contentment. We were learning to be more grateful to God, everything He is and provides. We were feeling the instant gratification, quick fixes, how money and a credit card could fix everything diminish.

Of course, unexpected things would come up, like doctor visits, home and car repairs, a haircut...God took care of all our unexpected concerns, and we continued to read and meditate on
Matthew 6:25-33. We learned to be content in all things. God truly humbled us.


In the last two years God brought our debt ratio down to almost 0%. Of course our paychecks, which we are thankful daily for God's provisions, but in the most serious areas that would have kept us strapped financially for the next 10-12 years, (I'll be 64 years old this month), God made a way to pay down our biggest financial obligations.

Matthew 6:25-33 Works! It is God's Work! Please know for a fact that all the areas of the Bible can change our lives in so many circumstantial areas, include opening God's vision of retirement for all of us.

There may be another virtue in your life that connects to your finances. How about your Christian character, morals, commitment of goals, in other words, God is unlimited.

Matthew 6:25-33, 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Ok, so after reading this wonderful passage, how do I get started? Between you and God, pray and lay your personal circumstances, not just finances, but areas of your personal virtues and how to seek God more, first. Then trust Him by allowing Him to begin a good work within you. You'll experience how He moves your direction.

God bless you all and your families.
 
I last worked in 2009. It took me some time and health issues to realize I was retired.

I had been commuting 2 hrs each way to Washington DC along with frequent business travel. Once I got used to a less hectic pace and replaced that with local volunteerism I enjoyed retirement.

Me wife missed the home where she grew up so when her sister who had the home wanted to move we bought the home as a second home. It didn't take too long until we decided to simplify things and move from outside Fredericksburg Va to live there full time.

We now travel from our home in Oakland Md to Dumfries Va to visit our son about twice a month. We also travel to our elder son in Christiansburg, Va on a more occasional basis.

We are very happy now, but I miss several of the volunteering activities in which I was involved.
 

Via dolarossa

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I haven’t thought about retiring yet.
I love to work and stay busy.
But I think I will have to speak to God about it soon after reading these posts.

Still, I Thank the Lord I have no debts...and that I am not an extravagant spender. He knows I don’t care for diamonds and glitter and I am grateful for what I do have.

Thankyou bobinfaith for bringing it to my attention, even though I am not yet happy to start planning☹️
 
Wow so many things covered in this thread. Things in the UK are just as bad here. So many homeless on the streets because they gave list their homes . Many scams going in to rob people of what little they had.
I won't go into details of my life on this thread or else it would be many pages long. Enough to say that my life has been very hard, it still is. God has never left me though all my 75 years, even when I never deserved it. He is so loyal and patient and He knows what is best for each one of us. He has a definite plan for each one of us and I try not to worry about finances or the future. I pray about it, do the best I can and leave it in God's hands BUT I am a human being.

I think bobinfaith has given advice to plan for your future retirement , if you are able to.
Praying for you bobinfaith that all your retirement goes well for you and your wife.
Many blessings to you.
 
God forgives us our debts, as we forgive others.
To be debt-free is a blessing!

I'm nowhere near retirement age but I did learn a bit about the dilemmas retired people face in a course I did on money management. I know some people have TWO homes, one where they live and the other more like a summer home they rent out but stay in during holidays.

Young people these days don't have two homes, Mostly what they have is the home where they grew up and a home they are renting themselves where they work, which isn't their own.

In NZ there is a severe housing shortage especially for first time home buyers, because they haven't enough capital saved for a deposit, on top of that, their jobs are not secure anymore in this economy. This is why many people do not own their own homes and stay with their parents or family. What happens is the homes get put in a trust, so it can't be sold out from under them. They will always have a place to live. It might be rotting or falling apart because they can't afford repairs, but it's home.

I think for those facing retirement and had two homes, you are blessed because you can sell one or downsize. I know soo many retired people just sold their home and bought a brand new (smaller) one, in a quieter /flatter/warmer area closer to family or they sold up and moved to a retirement village where they occupy (basically, it's like renting).

Thos who want to keep living where they are do what is called a reverse mortgage. They also might get an annuity so they can live week to week on what they have saved. I think like the grasshopper and the ant, the ant who worked hard didn't starve, while the grasshopper didn't survive the winter. So it pays in the long run to be diligent, if you intend on living a long life. Some people don't have that as a priority, but we shouldn't worry so much if they want to live a shorter life grasshopping, it's their choice. As long as they are aware where their choices take them.
 

bobinfaith

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God bless you all who posted and provided valuable information!

My original thread was back in January this year and to date we have not been able to book our trip overseas for our retirement. We plan to go back and forth between overseas and our home in Daly City, CA (border of San Francisco.)

The pandemic held us back but we both agreed not to stress during restrictions to travel so my wife will not retire until we know for sure when it's the right time.

During January the new pastor to succeed me dropped out just as we were getting ready to take a church vote. The second candidate is an American who resides in Canada, has stepped up during the interview process and is coming down for a one month visit. We plan to vote at the end of May and if he is voted in, he and his wife will arrive in August to get settled in. That's when I can step down.

After reading good points in the posts here, we sold our second home in 2019 and paid off our home in Daly City, same year. So one of the Keys to our retirement was to have as close to a 0% debt ratio.

Overall, we're praying that we can take our marriage to the next chapter in retirement. Since we're still in our early 60s (I'm 64) we are hoping to go overseas long distance and back to the USA for about 8 years. As we reach our early 70s we would like to travel short distance within the USA. All health and budget permitting.

Since the way things have gone in 2021 we understand that circumstances happen or change. We will continue to ask the Lord what He says about our retirement plans.

During Bible study last night I shared a verse in John 12:27-28. Its not about "we want this," or "God please let us have that." It was about Jesus who made it a priority as He prayed to the Father before going to the cross. He ended with, Father, glorify Your Name.

John 12:27-28, 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” - ESV

God is pleased to hear this in our prayers because as He is glorified, He reveals Himself and all that He can do. No matter what we ask with a humble and genuine heart, even when God says no because His perfect plan is always best for those who follow Him in obedience.

I want to thank you all for your prayers and please continue as we all press on for His glory.

God bless you all and your families.
 
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