Welcome to the Rest of Your Life
A Guide to Worry-free Retirement

© 1994  Ted Engstrom and Norman B. Rohrer

Zondervan Publishing House || Grand Rapids, Michigan

All Rights Reserved


HQ1062.E543 1994 ~ ISBN:
0310405319 ~ LC: 93045513 ~ OCLC: 29470853 ~ 192p.

Welcome to the Rest of Your Life is presently held by 24 libraries including Azusa Pacific University and the Library of Congress


Foreword by Leighton Ford / 11

Introduction / 13

1. Welcome to the Rest of Your Life / 17

   Greeting the Senior Years / Testimonials / The Glow of Sunset

2. Exercising Your Options / 27

   Turtles and Hares / Housing Options / Cooperative Housing / Work Options / Case Studies / Demographics

3. It's About Time / 43

   Dealing with Leisure / What Shall I Do? / Retirement Is for Grand-parenting

4. One for Your Money / 63

   Laying a Financial Foundation / The Universal Safety Net / Income from Assets / Insurance Assets / Income from Investments / What Financial Institutions Offer / The Five-year Retirement Plan / Changing Spending Habits / Coping with Inflation / Medical and Dental Expenses / Cost-Cutting Tips

5. Voluntarism: The Language of Love / 99

   Opportunities Abound / Stereotypes Are Disappearing

6. Take Charge of Your Health / 115

   Lifestyle Matters / Finding Help / Health Fraud / Ten Myths About Aging

7. Legal and Estate Planning / 133

   Aspects of Estate Planning / Special Considerations in Estate Planning / Other Legal Considerations

8. Living Free / 165

   Some Dangerous Feelings / Freedom from Regrets / How to Live Free / Enjoy Your Memories

9. The Road Last Traveled / 177

   Widowhood / A Fear of Death

Notes / 191


"Retirement has been the happiest time of my life. I want you to be able to say that, too, after you put into practice the suggestions of this book. Although there may be snow on the roof, there can still be fire in the hearth." — Ted W. Engstrom

"Ted Engstrom helps all of us who are near or into retirement to be good stewards of all that God and life have taught us. Someone has said, if you are wondering whether you still have a mission in life, try asking yourself, 'Am I still alive?' I commend this book strongly. It will help many to see that while we are alive we always have a mission." — Leighton Ford, Author of Transforming Leadership

During the first third of your life, you learned. Then for the next third of your life, you worked. How do you plan to spend the last third of your life?

That last third of your life is commonly called retirement, but what you do when you retire is entirely up to you. You can get that gold watch, blow out the candles on your cake, then head home from the office to fill out Medicare forms. Or you can enjoy the most rewarding and spiritually fulfilling years of your entire life.

This book will help you discover the secrets for making your retirement worth all those years of learning and working. Ted Engstrom, one of the most trusted leaders in the church, will share insights into:

Ted W. Engstrom is president emeritus of World Vision International and served thirty years as the chief operating and chief executive officer. He began his career as an editor at Zondervan Publishing House and also served as president of Youth for Christ International. He is the author of forty books and lives with his wife Dorothy in Pasadena, California.

Norman B. Rohrer is a writer and teacher who lives in Hume Lake, California.

Zondervan Publishing House


ISBN 0-310-40531-9


The guidelines, suggestions, and exhortations of this book are not meant to replace the professional advice of specialists in the field of finances, law, real estate, and medicine. If you have a medical or legal problem, by all means seek professional advice.

The message of this book is designed to show you that most doubts and worries about retirement can be resolved. Your attitude can determine many of the results. Remember, it is not what happens to you that spoils life but how you react to what happens. In everything, give thanks. Never succumb to the view that there is no way out and no answer available.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *


People spend a third of their lives learning, a third of their lives working and a third of their lives...

How you spend that last third, commonly called retirement, is largely up to you. Five thousand people in America turned sixty-five today; tomorrow another 5,000 will join them. That's 325,000 candles on birthday anniversary cakes, a bunch of gold watches from their employers, choruses of "Auld Lang Syne" sung haltingly by fellow workers and then the sad trips home from the office to fill out the forms to apply for Medicare and settle into a rocking chair.

What's missing here? That's the subject of this book. Read on and discover secrets for making the last third of your life the most rewarding and the most spiritually fulfilling of all.

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made.

Our times are in his hand.

Who saith, "A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all,

nor be afraid!"

(Robert Browning)

*       *       *       *       *       *       *


Retirement, it has frequently been said, is a concept not found in the Bible. The Scriptures rather give us examples of those who led full lives until the very end — like the warrior Caleb who at the age of eighty was still saying, "Give me this mountain" (Joshua 14:12).

   Retirement from a paid career or profession is, however, a fact of modern life. World population is aging. Early in the next century one in every six persons will be over sixty-five years of age. Many who are coming to the end of their working careers are asking: After retirement, what?

   At a grand opening for one of his restaurants, a reporter asked cowboy movie star Roy Rogers, "Roy, are you enjoying retirement?" Roy rather ruefully replied, "Not really." An old cowboy who was nearby spoke up. "I agree. Retirement is the tiresomest thing there is. 'Cause when you're doing nothing, you can't stop and rest!"

   But retirement can be a time of continued fulfillment and growth. And this is the possibility that Ted Engstrom brings before us.

   No one I could think of is better suited to write this particular book. Dr. Ted has already had many careers — as publisher, leader, manager, writer, and speaker. Thousands have learned from him about managing and mentoring and the use of time.

   Since Ted's own retirement from the active leadership of World Vision, he and Dorothy have embarked on a new adventure. Ted finds time to play a good round of golf and to relax with friends. He enjoys being free from the con-

Page 12

straints of executive leadership. He and Dorothy and their family are enjoying more leisure time to know each other deeply.

   Yet Ted's life is still full of opportunities to speak and write and counsel. His wisdom as a board member is still much in demand. At the same time, he is helping younger leaders to set their priorities and put their organizational houses in order.

   In this book, Ted Engstrom helps all of us who are near or into retirement to be good stewards of all that God and life have taught us. Someone has said, if you are wondering whether you still have a mission in life, try asking yourself, "Am I still alive?"

   I commend this book strongly. It will help many to see that while we are alive we always have a mission.


Charlotte, North Carolina


In 1900 there were three million people in the United States over the age of sixty-five. Today there are approximately 30 million. By 2030 that figure will be 46 million. Senior citizens will then control one third of the vote in national elections. We are in better health than seniors have ever been, and we enjoy a surprisingly wide range of activities requiring both mental and physical exertion.

   I reached my three-score-years-and-ten half a decade ago. Retirement has been the happiest time of my life. I want you to be able to say that, too, after you put into practice the suggestions of this book. Although there might be snow on the roof, there can still be fire in the hearth.

   For too long, modern American culture has been preoccupied with the pursuit of youth. Senior citizens are not always held in the highest regard. Many struggle with low self-esteem, yet the Bible has a radically different perspective on youth and old age. It's the gray-headed person who is esteemed the highest. Senior citizens have a unique opportunity to make their greatest contribution during their sunset years.

   Young people have misconceptions about anybody over thirty. A rock group refuses to allow anyone with gray hair into their concerts; a cool dude in Brooklyn said with great authority that to be old is to look through glasses smeared with dirt, to go around with cotton in your ears, boots on your feet, and gloves on your hands when you try to do anything constructive.

   Contrary to the sometimes short-sighted perspective of younger types, much of the western world has been abun-

Page 14

dantly enriched by people with seniority. The graying of America is a tremendous resource for implementing God's plan to bless every person with the offer of salvation. As rest homes and nursing facilities expand to admit record numbers of the elderly, some of whom see longer lifespans as a curse of boredom and uselessness. But a worldview that focuses on God's unchangeable purpose sees the growing population of elderly believers as a significant resource expressly allowed by God for such a time as this.

   How shortsighted is the following lament by two authors writing about people's advanced years:

Crabbed age and youth cannot live together

Youth is full of pleasance, age is full of care;

Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;

Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare.

Youth is full of sport, age's breath is short;

Youth is nimble, age is lame;

Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold;

Youth is wild, and age is tame.

Age, I do abhor thee; youth, I do adore thee.1

   Have we got news for those writers! Our years might be yellow in leaf but the sap in the tree is still strong, the air crisp and alluring, and hope exciting and new every morning.

   The Bible praises old age and promises honor for those who respect it. Leviticus 19:32 directs, "You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of an old man...." (RSV). The Lord promises that the righteous shall "flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon" and will "bring forth fruit in old age..." (Psalm 14, RSV). And Proverbs 20:29 states that "the beauty of old men is their gray hair" (RSV).

   Retirement might take us out of a familiar workplace, but think of all the new possibilities for spending our time. William James lamented that most human beings live far within their limits. "We possess powers of various sorts that

Page 15

we habitually fail to use," he said. "It is evident that our organism has stored-up reserves of energy that are ordinarily not called upon — deeper and deeper strata of explosible material, ready for use by anyone who probes so deep." He's right. The best books are yet to be written, the best paintings are yet to be painted, the best buildings yet to be built....

   Many of the following items were invented by people in their retirement: television, penicillin, polio shots, antibiotics, and frisbees. We were born before frozen foods, nylon, Dacron, and Xerox, and before radar, fluorescent lights, credit cards, and ballpoint pens.

   We who are senior citizens were here before drip-dry clothes, before ice makers and dishwashers, clothes dryers, freezers, and electric blankets, before Hawaii and Alaska became states.

   We were before plastics, hair dryers, the forty-hour work week, and the minimum wage. We got married first and then lived together in the biblical way.

   Pizza, Cheerios, frozen orange juice, instant coffee, and McDonald's were unheard of when we were born. We were before FM radio, tape recorders, electric typewriters, word processors, Muzak, and electronic music.

   In our youth, gasoline cost ten cents a gallon. If anyone asked us to explain CIA, MS, NATO, UFO, NFL, JFK, BMW, or ERA, we would have answered, "Alphabet soup."

   And now here we are talking about the final third of life. We don't all enter it in the same way. Retirement can mean a traditional, full retirement or a phased retirement that takes a person out of the work force gradually. It can also mean cyclical retirement that takes a person from one job to another, even to a completely new career. Some people retire once, others retire several times, and still others never retire at all.

   How do you plan to retire? Is volunteer work in your program? Is your goal to have more time for family, friends, or a hobby? Is it working part-time? Starting your own

Page 16

business? Or all of the above? Retirement is unique for each person. Only you can add the ingredients that will make it successful. Only you have the unique combination of experiences, personality, hopes, and expectations to make the retirement years all you wanted them to be.

   The assuring words of Psalm 103:5 promise that a believer is "renewed like the eagle." The eagle, some naturalists believe, lives to be a couple of hundred years old. At one hundred, we are told, all of its feathers are changed, renewed. This is a wonderful picture which the Holy Spirit has given us of our renewal as we walk with the Lord.

   We seniors are not always eagles, however. Philosopher Francis Bacon once noted sadly that aged people tend to "object too much, consult too long, and adventure too little, and seldom drive business home to the full period" because they "content themselves with a mediocrity of success."2

   Do Bacon's words describe you? If so, be prepared for some changes in your life as you read on. The future is as bright as the promises of God. Psalm 103 promises that the Lord forgives our iniquities and heals our diseases. He redeems our lives from destruction and crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle's.

   I can hardly wait for the sun to come up. My days are full of special projects, board meetings, travel, sessions with clients for my management audit services, time with my wife, Dorothy, and our children and grandchildren, and a round of golf two or three times a month. If you've been dreading retirement, or if you are caught in lean and troublesome senior years, take courage. New opportunities lie ahead that you have only dreamed of before.


Proceed to Chapter One

To Dorothy,

who has shared all of my four careers

— Ted

All rights reserved. Used by permission. No portion of this online edition of Welcome to the Rest of Your Life may be reproduced or stored in any form or by any means, except for brief quotation for the purpose of review, comment, scholarship, or ministry presentation without written permission from the copyright holder.

Welcome to the Rest of Your Life is hosted online by ccel.us

christian books online books