If you are like me, there is a constant need for guided direction and leadership in our lives, especially when we find ourselves in transitional moments or extended seasons of change. This is perhaps most profoundly true in understanding how our financial choices impact our present and future happiness as defined by financial security. Even the most astute and conscientious among us, often find ourselves in need of a map in order to navigate the challenging roads ahead.
My colleague, Dr. Daryl D. Green, in his important book Mapping out your life after retirement challenges us with this; “Given this finite life, we must ask ourselves, “Do I want my life to matter?” Dr. Daryl Green, is the Dickinson Chair of Business Professor at Oklahoma Baptist University in the Paul Dickinson College of Business and the author of numerous books that provide life strategies for success, but also encourages readers to probe the deeper purposes of existence that far exceed those that can only be measured by material gain.
Dr. Green writes from a wealth of experience as someone who retired from the Department of Energy and then successfully embarked on a second career in higher education. He observes, “Retirement was better than I had planned. With the right type of strategy, you too can move closer to retirement.” For many of us, and increasingly during difficult times, this is a topic that is at the forefront of our minds. Dr. Green provides for us a map to critically evaluate our current employment situation and plot a path to arrive at our desired destination. Building on the foundational cinder blocks of the security we all seek in our golden years, Dr. Green erects a scaffolding where we can then hang our individualistic needs. Dr. Green includes what experts identify as the “critical factors that are necessary to be happily satisfied with retirement: (a) money, (b) health, (c) a network of family and friends, and (d) engaging and enjoyable activities.” This wholistic approach to retirement is why this book stand out from others on this particular subject, specifically the way in which Dr. Green masterfully weaves his “systematic approach for transitioning from the workforce into retirement looking at mind, body, and spirit” is helpful for anyone, young or old, seeking to be more intentional about their lives.
One of the many highlights comes early in the work, when Dr. Green makes this point, “Because I was patient and adaptable, God opened up a door, which was much better than my initial plan. Having an exit strategy was invaluable!” What Dr. Green does here is something rare among those writing about retirement and other financial strategies, he acknowledges the oversight that God’s providence exerts over our plans, but at the same time he doesn’t dismiss our personal responsibilities to utilize the gifts that God has given. He carefully manages the tension that all of us as people of faith experience between trusting God and carefully stewarding the resources that God provides. Dr. Green skillfully articulates throughout the book that this isn’t an either/or dichotomy but a both/and decision that beautifully reflects the wisdom of Scripture and experience.
But you don’t have to be a person of faith to benefit from the wisdom dispensed in Mapping out your life after retirement as these principles are universal and well worth the price of the book. In fact, the book offers such a return on investment that I recommend purchasing additional copies for friends or family members, and not just those approaching retirement age. Because as Dr. Green points out the sooner someone starts strategizing for retirement, the better. This easy to read guide will benefit high school and college graduates as much as it will those who are wrapping up their careers.
Through numerous real-life stories, including his own, Dr. Green exemplifies the principles he lays out so clearly in his book. Sharing this sage advice, “Surround yourself with individuals who will support your decision, but are willing to give you honest, candid feedback.” The person that Dr. Green so aptly describes here is himself. For those seeking simple, clear, and applicable advice as they navigate the complexities and challenges of our world, especially as it applies to financial and retirement goals, they need look no further than Dr. Green’s Mapping out your life after retirement. If you’ve ever attempted to get anywhere in life, you understand the importance of a map. Dr. Green provides more, a GPS, with turn by turn instruction for getting us to our desired retirement destinations.