When retirement comes, it is good to stay active

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Retirement is looming over my wife and I and I wonder how we’ll manage this new experience, since she’s not accustomed to me being home all the time. Vacationing the rest of our lives isn’t one of our goals. – R.C.

Dear R.C.: Life is full of changes, but one of the greatest comes with retirement. Many look forward to it; others dread it. Sooner or later almost everyone who lives long enough will experience it. A rather new phenomenon is to hear couples in their 30s anticipating and even planning for their retirement years.
Reactions are varied because people are different; however, for most people the end of their careers is truly a watershed event – a major milestone – marking the beginning of growing older. It is only one of the changes most will encounter as retirement approaches – but it is a huge one. Even if spouses haven’t worked outside the home, the transition may be just as jarring for them.
We may picture the years following retirement as a time of rest and relaxation, and to some extent, it is true. But growing older is also filled with changes and transitions that we may not easily welcome: adjusting to a different daily routine, declining health, the loss of a spouse, the need to downsize living space, increasing dependence on others. These and other events during retirement years bring their own difficulties.
Working as long as possible is often good advice. When retirement comes, it is good to stay active and be aggressive in looking for new opportunities to serve and encourage others, and do everything to the glory of God. “When you eat the labor or your hands, you shall be happy” (Psalm 128:2, NKJV).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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