Home > Christianity, Faith > Why Men Shouldn’t Retire

Why Men Shouldn’t Retire

I heard something that startled me this past weekend.  I didn’t really believe it, so I turned to Google to find out if it was true.  Sure enough, it was right.

Older white men commit suicide at a higher rate than any other population group.

Does that surprise you?

Now, here’s the question that I think we all need to ask ourselves after hearing something like that.  Why?

I guess you could attribute it to health.  Men aren’t able to do what they used to be able to do and they wonder what the use is in going on.  They don’t want to suffer or go downhill any further.

But could it be something else as well?

I’m convinced that we men are created for a purpose.  We are created for quest.  Much of that sense of purpose comes from our work.   We want to believe that our lives consist of something much larger than ourselves.  When we quit work, when we retire, too often that purpose is gone.

I don’t have scientific evidence to back this up, though I don’t doubt that it exists.  However, I do see anecdotal evidence of this all around me.  The men I know who retire too often don’t fill the void left from not having their careers with something else.  They don’t have a true purpose left to pursue in their lives.

I have about 16 to 19 years left until I will be eligible to retire.  I have decided that while I may not always work at my job, when it comes to retiring, I’m not for it.  I’ve decided that I’m going to need a purpose, a reason to get out of the bed everyday when I’m older.

I think of Caleb when these thoughts come to mind.  Caleb was 85 and wanted the hill country in the Promised Land so he could battle giants.  He needed something bigger than himself.  He needed to fulfill God’s purposes as he aged.

That’s a good model for the rest of us.  We aren’t being put out to pasture when we retire.  We have the opportunity to focus our attention in a different direction than we could have when we were working.

Are you going to retire?  What are you going to do to have a purpose in your life when you “retire”?

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Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: ,
  1. November 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

    You have hit it on the head, Deuce. I was just talking about this with someone, how someone we know is leaving a post that gives him purpose, and how that might be a struggle.
    Have you ever heard John Piper’s talk on “seashells”? It goes with this idea, and how we’re called to be on mission until the day we die. I think this desire is something that God has placed in the heart of everyone.

  2. November 25, 2014 at 8:58 am

    With no SS and no retirement to speak of, I will not be retiring unless God has other plans. I hope to die with my boots on or riding my bike.

  3. robshep
    November 25, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I was going to say the exact same thing as Stephen…so…ditto.

  4. November 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I think retiring probably has much to do with it. I also think at that age some are realizing that they’ve wasted their whole lives climbing up the wrong ladder.

    • November 30, 2014 at 6:50 am

      Coming to the end to find it wasted has to be terrible

  5. December 2, 2014 at 11:33 am

    This problem is pretty universal among older people of all genders and races. A few Mental Health professionals I’ve heard have said that striving towards something keeps one sane and makes you feel fulfilled, and we as humans have a natural desire to want to be fulfilled at all moments.

    As for a purpose after retirement, maybe helping the younger ones get the creative career that I am working towards now or just help with charity in general.

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