Over the past five or so years one of the topics I have spoken about at PK events has been the “Third Age” where we look at preparing for and moving into retirement from work. The encouragement reflected in these seminars has been largely based on my journey to and into this season and watching how other men make this transition successfully or otherwise.
It is now 10 years since I first thought about this season of life. My initial planning and preparation for this time has helped me transition into it with minimal grief. It has also been a blessing to help other men do the same.
We encourage men at 50 years of age (at least) to plan their Third Age life. If a plan is formulated it will be activated by people sometime between 60 and 70 years of age typically. A significant part of this plan is the financial budget that depending on your financial situation, dictates leisure and recreational activities, social interaction choices and any new purchases. There is a reality that sometime after 75 and probably before 80, your lifestyle choices change because of age issues relating to health limitations, mobility limitations or just changing preferences. A result of this change is that you probably aren’t consuming as much of your money as you did when you were in your earlier Third Age years. The question then arises, is there any point in accumulating money in this season?
Without being morbid, the reality is that we should be preparing to die well. Our goal is heaven. Hopefully everyone has a Will where decisions have been made about your worldly wealth.
Recently I have met two men living the Third Age well. They are of different ages, wealth and lifestyle choices but both have come to the realisation that they are accumulating money over and above their plan. Both of these men have decided to financially bless their families while they are alive; however they have a slightly different emphasis.
For one he has decided to help his children navigate life by aiding in the purchase of things that make their life easier. His comment was, “I want to enjoy my children using my money”, realising when they inherit through his Will, he will never see what they do with it. So by sharing it with them now, he feels he can be part of the process and gain some enjoyment by using what he doesn’t need.
The other man wanted to invest in quality family time and so twice yearly he arranges and pays for all his children and grandchildren to have a weekend away together. For him he enjoys time in their company, and he gets great enjoyment out of it. For him the investment is in a shared legacy of family memories.
The PK ministry received a donation the other day from a person in this season of life and I presume this person is getting enjoyment in paying it forward by supporting an organisation that has blessed him or those that he knows. So this can also be a great money choice to donate while you are alive and see the fruit of your investment especially if it is expanding the Kingdom of God.
If you are in the Third Age, is it time to review your plan? Do you want to pay it forward with your family or a charity?