What Christians Should Keep in Mind While Planning for Retirement [Christian Financial Alliance]

The Christian Financial Alliance  was created to help readers.  The idea is this:  Create a panel of biblical finance gurus.  People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth.  Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice.  For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

“What is one thing a Christian should keep in mind while thinking about/planning for retirement?”

Christian Financial Alliance“That there’s no mention of retirement in the Bible — at least not the “quit work and enjoy the good life” sort of retirement. From a biblical standpoint, you simply move from one thing (work, a career) to another (serving for a non-profit, sharing your experience with those who can benefit from it). So “retirement” is not a vacation, simply a change of what you do during your “working” hours.”- FreeMoneyFinance.com

“I’m going to share a quote from a friend of mine who is a local financial advisor where I live and also in my men’s group at church:  “If retirement is like landing a plane, what is the best retirement plan?  Don’t land the plane (just let it run out of gas).” I love his quote.  Why?  There is no biblical reference in that we should stop working and live a life of leisure.  However, there is plenty on the subject of work.  So, invest for the future?  Yes.  But, do so with the intent of continuing to do some line of work.” - OneMoneyDesign.com

“Remember that God cares more for you than the birds and the grass of the field!  Don’t let worry and anxiety about retirement make you forget that God can and will provide for your needs as you live in His kingdom and seek His righteousness.  This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about or plan for retirement, but it does mean that we should remember Who is taking care of us.” – ProvidentPlan.com

“Many Christian resources will tell you that the Bible doesn’t talk about ‘retirement’ as we think of it (including some of my own books!), but I am beginning to think this isn’t exactly true.  We, as modern Americans, think of retirement as storing up enough to one day call it quits, kick back, take it easy, and enjoy life.  Jesus told a parable that sounded dangerously close to our modern concept of retirement.  In it, a man stored up many goods and said to himself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:19-21)  Don’t get me wrong, it is certainly wise (and biblical) to store up for future NEED, but the modern obession with stockpiling our resources to one day wallow in forty year’s worth of self-absorbed fantasy, the Bible calls foolish.  We ought to live lives that matter for eternity today, tomorrow, and in retirement.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

“Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow, and he was talking about retirement accounts too right?  It’s foolish to worry about things we can’t control, but it’s even more foolish to ignore what we can control.  It’s just wise to be diligent in saving for retirement, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot right now.  Make it a priority to set aside money for your future.” – FaithandFinance.org

“I think Christians should alway have the story of the Rich Fool in mind when planning retirement.  While so many of us fear not having enough, an equally great concern is hoarding and accumulating too much.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

“Christians should invest for retirement but not make it their life’s focus.  There needs to be a balance between our retirement investments and how we steward our money while we are on this Earth.  Also, we need not stress about the market fluctuations because God will provide.  He promises us this as Christians so in theory we should be living a life of passion knowing that we have nothing to worry about because our Savior has us under His wings!” – FreeMoneyWisdom.com

“To me, the questions isn’t what we should remember to plan for during retirement, it is ‘Is retirement a Biblical concept?’.  If we are going to truly walk in the calling that God has given us, that will never stop.  If we are in a J.O.B. that we are counting down the days to retirement from, then we are in the wrong place.  Our calling should radiate out of every part of us, it should be what drives us and ultimately, if we are living in our callings, I think it will provide for us financially.  If we are doing what we love and doing what God has called us to, why would we ever stop?” – DiscipleshipGuy.com

“One thing to think about while planning for retirement as a Christian is whether you’ll actually be retiring or not – at least in the traditional sense.  I think a lot of people think of retirement as a prolonged period of relaxation and enjoyment of activities you didn’t have time to pursue while you’re still working. 9:30am tee-time every day anyone? Most people assume they’ll also stop working as well.  As far as I can tell there aren’t many references to retirement in the bible, and in the few places it does talk about stopping work (like Numbers 8: 23-26) it still talks about how those who no longer work should help and assist others.  By the same token I think we should take up that idea of serving others in retirement.  Volunteer more at your church, get involved with your community, help those who are less fortunate, serve at a soup kitchen, go on missions trips.  In other words, continue working while serving and giving to others.  Of course if you’re no longer working a job in retirement it is important to think about what your priorities are, and think about downsizing and saving up enough to allow you to give and serve more once your full time working days are done.” – BibleMoneyMatters.com

“We should keep in mind that retirement is really a cultural idea.  I can’t think of any biblical examples of retirement as we know it.  Our whole lives are to be lives of service, contribution, and making a difference.  Of course, health issues may prevent us from working for pay in our later years.  So, it’s wise to save for our later years – not so wise to save out of a desire to spend the last part of our lives at the beach.” – MattAboutMoney.com

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

About Rob Kuban

Rob Kuban, author of Dollars and Doctrine, writes with the aim of bringing God’s people back to God’s word. His writing is rich with scripture and insight, maintains a solid balance between depth and daily living, and helps Christians live at the intersection of faith and finance. Follow Rob's Blog and order his book.

  • Ken Faulkenberry

    Thank you for the refreshing and biblical view of retirement. Something for all of us to think about!

  • http://twitter.com/JonathanHarms JonathanHarms

    I have a question:

     The diversification of my 401(k) includes a small cap fund which is made up of several companies. Several of these companies profit off of what could be considered non-biblical enterprise (Phillip Morris for example). Further, what do you think as a bible living Christian about aligning the options for funds made of companies that may or may not conduct ethical business? In other words, how can a person invest in a relationship Jesus Christ and also invest in companies that sell products detrimental to our overall health and more? It seems overwhelming to wade through all of the options and simply choosing mutual funds seems to lend itself to this very issue of owning parts of companies that do not align with a Jesus following life. What do you think?