What is Retirement?

Someone asked me earlier today about when I was going to retire. I said possibly within a couple of years yet.

Then I thought about what really is retirement. Is it just leaving full-time work? Or is it something else?

For many, it means not having that 40 plus hours a week devoted to earning a paycheck. It can mean you now have time to do what you want whether it earns a paycheck or not.

Most people don’t retire to a rocking chair. For some, it may mean, at first stepping back from full-time work to do something part-time. For pastors, this means that they no longer have to be involved with church politics at either the level of the local congregation or the national church body.

For teachers, it may mean not have to deal with a room full of kids who do not respect teachers. Burnout! Some would retire early at the age of 55 because of this. A cousin of mine was in this situation. He stepped out for a while but found a need to return to the classroom. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction had a position where he could do that by observing student teachers in training. Encore!

My mother had worked as a secretary/office administrator for a general agent with Aid Association for Lutherans for almost 30 years. My mother’s boss thought he could retire and do nothing but play golf.

Boring! He quickly got tired of the game. He went to work for the LCMS’ Lutheran Church Extension Fund to help and advise congregations on capital stewardship campaigns. His financial knowledge gained from years of being in the insurance industry would have been an asset here as congregations would be looking at ways to raise money to pay for construction loans and later mortgages. Knowledge and knowing how to be of service can be an asset. https://lcef.org/support/rso/campaigns/

Being retired does not mean that life should come to a stop. I am not old enough to take life in a rocking chair. I have solid reasons to keep contributing. I just will not have to devote this 40-hour block of time to earning money. I will still earn money through investments. I may even take on some part-time employment for a while. It will be a change but a welcome one at that.

Most of all, I will never retire from wanting to follow my Lord. He can take me down that narrow path.

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Alumnus from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

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Andrew John Plath

Andrew John Plath

Alumnus from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire

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