S2E7: Jeff Haanen on Rethinking Retirement

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Summary

We hear a lot about planning our finances for retirement. But what does it look like to plan our time? Many retirees find that a nonstop vacation isn’t as fulfilling as they had hoped. Dustin talks with Jeff Haanen, author of the new book “An Uncommon Guide to Retirement” and founder/executive director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, about the ways people can plan for their calling in retirement, as well as their finances.

Takeaways

On people’s tensions entering retirement:

“I had done all of this saving for retirement, but I never really planned what my life was going to be like for 20 or 30 years. I know what I’m leaving, but I don’t know what I’m necessarily going to.”

On Biblical notions of retirement:

“The closest the Bible comes to retirement is Numbers 8:25 that says, ‘From the age of 50 years, they the Levites shall withdraw from the duty of service and serve no more.’ This is the retirement to the Levites, so the priestly class in the Old Testament. Since hauling around the furniture at the tabernacle was hard, physical labor, later in life Levites were commanded to minister to their brothers in the tent of the meeting, which I think is interesting. The Bible doesn’t say, ‘Retire forever, never do anything more.’ It actually says ‘stop hauling around, doing the hard labor, but continually minister’ which I think is an important Biblical hint of our vocations are supposed to morph and develop as we age…”

On finding good examples of retirement:

“Who are the people in our communities that are really contributing well? Who are the people that are on city councils who are in their 60s and 70s that are actually blessing and working in a beautiful way? Who are those that have really said, ‘For this season of life, my kids, or my grandkids, it’s my vocation, I’m going to care for them. I’m going to be a person filled with hope and memory for them.’ Who are the people in our communities and our society or even in our churches that are like the Old Testament elders–people of wisdom and influence?”

Resources

Purchase Jeff’s latest book, An Uncommon Guide to Retirement.*

Download the episode transcript.

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*–Purchase with purpose. Amazon donates to Denver Institute when you shop at smile.amazon.com.

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