By Rick Laymon, CFP®, CKA®
This week we wrap up our blog series on The Stewardship Journey. Let me set the stage for Waypoint Five and reaching our ultimate destination, by first examining the traditional western notion of “Retirement”. Most Americans peg retirement to the age at which they are eligible to collect social security and pension benefits. Many work their whole lives at jobs they don’t enjoy, dreaming of retiring as soon as possible to a life of leisure or at least rest. When they get there, they find no purpose in life and a good many die within a few years. By the way, when Social Security was instituted in 1935, Old Age Insurance benefits were only expected to be paid out for 5 years – the then average life expectancy for a 65-year old retiree.
Where is retirement modeled for us in the Bible? Unless you were a Levite priest, it is nowhere to be found. God created man in his own image — a creator, maker, producer, manager and to exercise dominion for all his days. God made man to work and to serve others! We were not designed to at some arbitrary point in time stop work and replace it with idleness, self-indulgence and endless pursuit of recreation.
By contrast, at Beacon Wealth Consultants we like to think of retirement as that season of life where we slow down our pace a bit to refocus, redirect or redeploy our time and energy to something highly productive, satisfying and perhaps entirely new altogether. As such, it is that point in time at which we are financially free to answer God’s call on our lives, whatever that might be, without requiring a wage to do so. Retirement is not the destination – 100% strategic living and extravagant generosity is! It is all about finishing well the race marked before us: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” ~ Philippians 3:14.
As we discussed last week, there is a lot of careful planning and preparation that must go into positioning ourselves for this season. At Waypoint Five, we complete our planning for the transition. This includes paying off our home mortgage and any other outstanding debt. Secondly, we need to convert the assets we have been growing over the years into cash flow. This requires reallocating our investment portfolios to include significantly more fixed income securities. We might also need to sell a business and covert that into steady cash flow. Lastly, we should at this stage be implementing the Strategic Giving Plan we developed at Waypoint Four.
At our journey’s end, the true measure of our life and our wealth is hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Come enter in to your Master’s joy!” Matthew 25:23.