Work gives meaning to people.
Understand that work is not a curse, but a privilege to become a fruitful blessing to other people. If retirement is ceasing from giving meaning, that is a stage of life that is something to be afraid of.
It’s mindset which is the issue here. We Filipinos tend to think that when an old person works, we are an evil children who let those things happen to them. Of course, there’s a limit. But work, even in the old age, has to be thought of as an avenue where old people gain a sense of significance, purpose and meaning.
Here are two traps on retirement: (1) Not preparing for it (2) Too much dependence on government promises to sustain you in your old age.
I believe that Filipinos and other nations should not fall on the two traps above, but instead, to proactively work for ways so their old age become “Golden years” instead of “Begging years.”
“Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).
Every individual has to start establishing a plan now that could help sustain you in old age. Here are two basic strategies:
1.) Work better in your existing job- if you are in a position with an increasing hierarchy possibilities, work towards the top so you reach the point of becoming highly paid.
2.) Create a job/ business where you could retire into- unless you are very highly-paid today (maybe you are a very famous singer, athlete, actor and earn millions), it’s crucial that you start now.
Wait, does this mean not trusting God? Does this mean lack of faith? Here’s a short answer in a question form: What is faith? Faith is believing and trusting. Trusting whom? No better person to trust of course than God. Who is God? God is the Word. He is the Truth, the Process, The Strategy (John 14:6). Faith means trusting His Word and His system, believing it, and obeying it til the last minute of your life. Holding on to its tenures and giving your whole obeissance to it.
This step to Biblical Way of preparation for retirement involves the following:
For those with Business Acumen
-Identifying your calling
-Plant a business as if you are planting a giant tree
-Envision this business to supply you with resources in the future
-Disciple/ Train a faithful one to be your heir/manager
For the Career-Oriented
-Fireproof your job
-Persevere in and work out your calling
-Write an irresistible job application
-Switch careers smoothly
-Establish the right ethics
-Gain true wisdom by fearing God
I did not mention total dependence on your children in the future. This is probably the most popular mindset among Filipinos in the past ages. But if you look carefully in the future, your children will have their own children, and you don’t want to be too much a burden for their own lives. At least make a way that you come to them as a blessing, instead of being a burden.
I’m writing this because I envision a world where old age is not seen as a time of misery and woe. I want to see old people travelling and visiting their children, grandchildren and loved ones, and become a source of joy to them. I envision a Philippines with a happy, fruitful, wise and loving old people.
I want to see families crying in their funerals because the memories that these old people gave are so wonderful for them. I desire to see tears of joy, instead tears of regret because they avoided their parents due to frequent begging, and they have nothing to give.
I want these verses become a reality for you:
“Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31).
“Long life is in Wisdom’s right hand; in her left, riches and honor.” (Proverbs 3:15-16).