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At What Age Did Methuselah Retire?

Posted on March 21, 2013

by Jeremy L. White
After a tough day at work, retirement certainly sounds appealing. As I briefly fantasize about a life of more leisure and freedom, two thoughts cross my mind: is it financially feasible to retire? Should I stop working and leave the place of influence God has for me in the workplace?


Life expectancies are increasing. The American Society of Actuaries says that a 65-year old man will likely have another 17 years to live. For women, it's 20. For married couples at age 65, there's a one in three chance that one will live into the 90's.


If a person retires at age 62 and then lives to 88, for example, then that's 26 years of living off of retirement savings and Social Security. That's 30% of a person's life lived in retirement. That's a challenge - particularly in a time like now with low interest rates and a shaky future for some pensions.


Let's consider the extreme example of Methuselah, the oldest man in the Bible. If he lived 30% of his 969 years in retirement, then he would have retired at 678. His savings (or his children or grandchildren) would have needed to support him for 291 years!


To make your retirement more feasible and fulfilling, consider saving and investing more now and working longer. If physically able, continue to work longer - even if at part-time jobs or develop a hobby that can bring in income.


While dreams of retiring sound so alluring (such as those sun-tanned couples walking the beach and laughing), remember that you continue to have God-directed purpose during your days on this earth.


Actually, I don't think Methusaleh ever retired. Neither did Moses, Abraham, Paul, nor John in the Bible. Retirement is a more of a modern idea - and one that has its faults. Ask yourself, "What would God have me do with this time of my life?"



Jeremy L. White is a CPA with BlytheWhite in Paducah.





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