My husband and I are in the midst of retirement planning. I had no idea how complicated the process of financing one’s later years can be. The goal is simple enough: Figure out how to use the money you’ve saved over your lifetime to generate enough money to live off of when you stop working. The formula for getting there, however, isn’t so easy.
We’ve been attending those financial workshops to which so many of us over age 50 are invited. The event usually includes dinner at a nice restaurant and then a frightful presentation from someone trying to sell insurance, an annuity, or some other investment that promises income for life. We’ve attended Social Security workshops that explain the various strategies for filing in order to maximize the monthly income you’ll receive for the remainder of your years. We both recently had a physical exam — a requirement prior to purchasing a new life insurance policy. We’re now waiting to hear from the underwriter what our odds are of dying sooner than later in order to determine our premium. There seems to be a consensus among the financial experts that we have about another 25 years left and they all warn of running out of money before one dies.
I looked around the room at a seminar we went to recently and wondered who among those attending would be the first to go. Then it occurred to me that the 25 years or so we’re all working so hard to finance is nothing compared to the eternity that awaits those of us who hope to share the promise of eternal life. We’re all using calculators and apps and spreadsheets to make sure we’re covered until we die, but what about after that? What are we doing to ensure that our eternity will be, well, heavenly?
Interestingly, the formula for financing one’s eternity is quite simple. You need only buy one book, titled “The Holy Bible” and refer to the 20th chapter of the book of Exodus for a 10-step strategy. The first strategy noted is: “I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange gods before me.” Can you recite the rest of the 10 Commandments? Here are the answers to the test that will determine if you will have earned the biggest spiritual payoff of your life.
I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange gods before me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Honor your father and mother.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
We may run out of money before we die but you can be sure we’re working hard to ensure we’ve planned well for what comes after.