Monday, September 28, 2009

What Will Your Retirement Look Like?

Over the last year or so, many people have changed the way they view and define retirement.  Some people close to retirement realize that they may not be able to retire at all, or that they will need to work at least part-time through retirement.  My ideal retirement would not necessarily be job-free.  I mentioned earlier that my goal is not to retire at 40 when I become debt free, but to partially retire.  Becoming debt free and partially retiring will allow me to spend more of my time and money on others than I am able to now.  A few of the ways I hope to be able to do this are listed below.

How to use time to impact others:
  • Take walks with my husband or play with my children (if and when they come) instead of watching TV
  • Call my parents and friends just to see how they are and send more hand-written notes
  • Watch a friend' house or take care of their animals when they are out of town
  • Volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen or children's home on a regular basis
  • Build an orphanage or dig a water well in another country
How to use money to impact others:
  • Help a child with part of their school expenses, or pay off a loan for a grown child
  • Send my husband, family member, or friend a gift for no reason
  • Treat a friend to dinner or simply give them cash if they are struggling
  • Pay for someone's toll behind me when I travel
  • Give gift cards to the homeless or donate to a charity
If I have excessive bills and debt I will end up spending most of my time working to pay them.  In the same way, if all of my money is tied up in bills and debt repayment, I will not feel I am able to spend money on anyone or anything else.  I want to be debt free so I don't have to spend 40+ hours a week sitting behind a desk or spend all of my income on bills and debt.  Hopefully, I will be able to spend the time and money that was previously tied-up on other people.

Until the time I no longer work full time and send all my money to pay off debt, it will be a struggle to think of ways to live missionally.  However, if I review the things listed above, I realize that many of these things are within my reach now.  I came across the 10 Day Give on Christian Personal Finance last week and decided to sign up.  If you are interested, go to and sign up too!  According to the website, the 10 Day Give is, "a challenge that is designed to help us get our minds off of ourselves and start thinking about how we can help others."  This should be a perfect opportunity to live missionally and to pick other peoples' brains about new ways I can use my time and money to impact others on a daily basis.  Hopefully when I do retire, it will look a lot like the 10 Day Give!

What about you...what do you want your retirement to look like?  What are some ways you would spend your time and money in the 10 Day Give?

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