Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Retiring Well: Strategies for Finding Balance, Setting Priorities, and Glorifying God by John Dunlop, MD.

Retiring Well: Strategies for Finding Balance, Setting Priorities, and Glorifying God by John Dunlop, MD. Crossway. 178 pages. 2022 

This book is written by a geriatrician, a physician who specializes in the care of seniors. It is about setting our priorities in retirement, keeping them in balance, and living according to them. The book is written from a Christian perspective, with the author quoting a lot of Scripture throughout the book and including many stories, including from his own experience. The book is organized around ten different strategies toward a retirement that brings glory to God. There are “Questions to Ponder” at the end of each strategy that will help you evaluate where you are and what changes you need to make. Each chapter ends with a prayer. The book ends with a helpful “Recommended Reading” section.

The author tells us that there are three prerequisites for a good retirement:

  1. Financial planning.
  2. Talk to other spiritually mature friends who have retired, especially those who have retired recently.
  3. Seek God’s wisdom and guidance in prayer.

This book would be most helpful for those who have not yet retired, though it will also be helpful to those who have been retired for a brief time.

Here are the ten strategies and quotes from each of them that I found helpful:

Strategy 1 Determine Your Priorities

  • God’s glory must therefore be our greatest value, our highest priority, and the overriding goal of our lives. Everything else we value must be secondary, and a means to display God’s glory.
  • God has gifted us with these years, and he calls us to use them not for ourselves but for him. He wants us to do things that will count for eternity.

Strategy 2 Retire at the Right Time

  • A successful, God-honoring retirement starts with retiring at the right time.
  • The loss of work identity associated with retirement may be difficult, but God can use it to allow good results in our spiritual transformation.

Strategy 3 Retire in the Right Place

  • The quality of our retirement and ability to glorify God in these years will largely depend on the social relationships we develop and maintain.

Strategy 4 Take Care of Yourself

  • An essential way to maximize how our retirement years can bring glory to God is to take care of the body and mind he has entrusted to us.

Strategy 5 Love God

  • The goal of a sabbatical is to start retirement living according to your God-given priorities, and to establish life balance.

Strategy 6 Make Good Friends

  • Friendships open new worlds for us, allow us the joy of serving others, and open opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with those who do not yet know him.

Strategy 7 Enjoy and Strengthen Your Family

  • We must talk to our grandchildren about God frequently. God can use us as a means for them to come to faith, learn to fear him, and do what is right.
  • Involvement with family may be the greatest way we can glorify God in retirement.

Strategy 8 Avoid Destructive Pitfalls

  • Retirement can be rather fragile. It can provide a lot of good for our lives, but it doesn’t take much of a mistake to destroy retirement’s potential to give glory to God.

Strategy 9 Get Busy

  • Older men and women need to accept their role as seniors, and to embrace the fact that they have something to offer those who are younger.
  • Volunteering allows you to choose what you do based on the potential for doing good and having an eternal impact, with a motivation that goes beyond making money.

Strategy 10 Be Flexible, Adaptable, and Resilient

  • The valley of the shadow of death isn’t necessarily our own death, but may be that of someone we love, have shared life with, and have accompanied on their final journey. We may be tempted to despair, but we can look to our Shepherd to comfort us. And with that, we can keep going through such a difficult time.
  • Adjusting and being resilient to the problems that come are essential throughout our later days.