The American Dream of Retirement is a Nightmare

(Photo: Unsplash)

I’ve written about this in the past, but it bears repeating: for followers of Jesus, our future, after we are done with a full-time paying job, isn’t destined for 30 years of vacation. And frankly, 30 years of vacation isn’t a dream. It’s a nightmare. 

Martha and I live in Ft. Myers, Florida. We have lived in Florida – the bastion of retirement in the United States – for almost 20 years now. So many people dream of retiring in Florida, where the weather is always lovely (and it is compared to so many other places) and where the beaches are clean and the grass is always green. Where golf courses are plenteous, and the taxes are lower. Florida is undoubtedly one of the best places to retire… however, 30 years of vacation is not that amazing, no matter how pleasant the weather is.

We have lived in neighborhoods filled with predominantly retirees for almost two decades, and I’m here to report that the American Dream of Retirement is an illusion. Living a life with no purpose other than to play golf or tennis every day and eat out every night gets old fast. I can’t tell you the number of times that a neighbor has told me how bored they are with retirement. It’s why Martha and I wrote the book iRetire4Him. Because here’s the thing, God’s purpose for you doesn’t end when your employment does. The work of Jesus isn’t confined to 9-5, and your calling doesn’t retire.

The book iWork4Him was written to address the question, “why do we work, and how do we bring our faith into our work?” So, a natural follow-up was the book iRetire4Him: Unlocking God’s Purpose for Your Retirement, which was written to address the question, “what is God’s will for me after I’m done working?”

iRetire4Him is for anyone who has faith in God and is retired or contemplating retirement in the future. Inside, we deal with the lies that the world sells us around retirement and present tons of suggestions on how to make your retirement a time of great purpose and impact… not just a long stretch on the sidelines.

So, I want to end this blog with a question: Why do you want to retire?

Is it because you hate your job or because your life lacks purpose, or because you are plain and simple, just tired? If so, find a way to get refreshed that doesn’t require you to sit out of the most important things in life. God has a plan for you, and it lasts until the very last day you breathe. And I seriously doubt that plan involves you checking out for 30 years until He takes you home. It’s time to seek His plan so that you can have the best retirement possible… not a 30-year nightmare!

  • Jim



Used with permission from Jim Brangenberg.

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