Health & Spirit

Will I wither away after I retire?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: I have to retire at the end of this year, and to be honest I'm dreading it. I can't imagine not working, and not seeing the people I work with every day. I'm afraid I'll just wither away. Do you have any advice for me? -- T.B.

A: Retirement is one of life's greatest transitions, and one reason I wanted to reprint your question is to encourage others who are nearing retirement (even if it's several years away) to think more carefully about it.

Financial planning for retirement isn't enough; we also need what we might call "life planning" -- planning how we'll spend the years God gives us beyond retirement. For some, retirement may be as much as a third of their lives. How will they avoid being bored, or feeling useless, or ending up with serious health issues (or even death) through worry or depression?

What can you do? Let me briefly suggest three things (you can think of them as three words, beginning with A, B, and C). First, Accept -- accept the fact that you are retired. Don't spend all your time wishing the past would return; it won't. Accept instead that your life has entered a new stage, and ahead of you are new adventures.

Second, Believe -- believe that God loves you, and that He is with you and wants to guide you in the future. Thank Him for this great truth, and trust Him to be with you in the months and years ahead. God isn't finished with you!

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Finally, Commit -- commit your life to Jesus Christ, and then ask Him to guide you and use you -- volunteering through your church, finding a part-time job, pursuing a new hobby, helping your family. The Bible says, "However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all" (Ecclesiastes 11:8).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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