I’m at that point in time when I’m looking forward to retirement with a mix of anticipation and dread. Some days I imagine how nice it will be to sleep in, to not have to get up if I don’t want to, and then I remember that I usually get up way before the alarm goes off, and that within a few days I would be bored stiff sitting around and counting the days until the next social security check arrives. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why I jumped at the chance to read Launch Your Encore: Finding Adventure & Purpose Later in Life by Hans Finzel and Rick Hicks (Baker Books, 2015)
Many Christians will especially enjoy chapter 16: “Who Does God Say I Am?”, but non-Christians might take issue with it, so the authors have given permission to anyone who might be offended by that chapter to skip it. Although there are godly principles presented, this books is deliberately not written as a ‘Christian guide to retirement’, nor as a ‘guide to Christian retirement’. Men and women from all walks of life and diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds will equally be able to apply the principles and increase their chances for a successful ‘life after work’ whether that happens at 40, 60, or 80. And the primary secret is simple: find something that you’re passionate about and then find a way to do it!
Even though almost anyone can benefit from reading this book, it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all program. But certain things do seem to apply across the board. Part one deals with a challenge faced by many after they retire: what do I do now? We want to live life to the fullest after retirement, not just move from the swivel chair in the office cube to a rocking chair on the porch. The authors offer some cautions and suggestions along those lines.
Part II is a reminder that the transition from the work force can take a couple of different directions: entitlement or contributor. Most people would say that they want to continue to contribute to society, even after they retire, but unless they take some steps to make sure that happens, they are likely to find themselves unpleasantly surprised. In this section the reader is taught to make a life map, which helps him or her determine interests, passions, desires along with how they learn and what brings satisfaction.
Part III is stories of people who have made a graceful and successful transition, and now find themselves in the position of happily being contributors. A little bit of look what others are doing… see, it can be done. And Part IV is a detailed plan for finding a purpose and a meaning to life.
I've worked quite a bit with the elderly in several different capacities. Some of them were a delight to be around, they knew that their entire worth was not wrapped up in their ability to bring home a paycheck. Others were miserable: without that job (which often they had hated but held onto because it paid the bills) they were just hanging on and waiting to die. They really though life was over.
This book should be on the mandatory reading list for everyone transitioning from the work force to retirement or an ‘independently wealthy life of leisure’.
The publisher provided me a copy of this book in exchange for the review.