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Cover 35


March 2011


Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship


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Free Will Baptist
History Resources


Facing the Grizzly


If you come face to face with a grizzly, how much protection do you want?

Facing the Grizzly

by John Brummitt


While it is not the same as facing down a grizzly bear with a pocket knife, retirement is an animal that can do a great deal of damage to you and your family if you are not prepared. You wouldn’t begin a major project at work or church without doing the necessary preparation work beforehand. Why then do we think retirement will just fall into place?

If you are not prepared, standing face-to-face with retirement is more like facing a giant grizzly than the endless vacation dream of our youth. If you don’t prepare, you may never fully enjoy your retirement.


Prepared for the Inevitable

You know retirement is coming. It usually doesn’t sneak up on you. It may come more quickly than we expect, but we know it is on the way. Yet the majority of the “baby boomer” generation has not prepared financially to make that next step. The average retirement account for a boomer has a balance of less than $60,000. While you may be beating the average, look at it this way: If you come face-to-face with a grizzly, how much protection do you want? A pocketknife? Or a suit of armor and a S.W.A.T. team?

While all of us don’t have the means to build up vast amounts of retirement funds, we all have one very important tool—our brain. Sit down with your family and using the suggestions below, work out goals and plans for retirement. This should be done years in advance.


Plan of Attack

  • Create a budget. As your retirement draws near, determine a budget that can be managed on your retirement income. Begin thinking about a retirement budget five years before you retire.Strive to pay down debts that could drain your retirement income and limit the carefree days you wish to enjoy. The longer you wait to begin this process, the harder it will be to reach the retirement dream.

  • Adjust your routine. Routines are helpful. They regulate our activities and create order in our lives. In retirement, however, our established routines are no longer useful. Spouses who do not leave for work every morning must adjust to staying home. More than eight million American retirees list this process of adjustment as the number one difficulty in retirement once the thrill of retirement wears off.

  • Find a hobby or activity on which to focus your energy. This will help you avoid feelings of uselessness that can cause depression and strain family relationships.


Armed and Ready

While this article is not rocket science, it is important that preparation for retirement not be treated lightly. Retirement is not the end but the beginning of the rest of your life. Don’t limp through your retirement years. Have the suit of armor and the S.W.A.T. team ready to back you up when you face the grizzly.


About the Writer: A 2004 graduate of Free Will Baptist Bible College, John Brummitt is Chief Financial Officer for the FWB Board of Retirement.



©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists