Have you ever heard the saying “you’re not getting older…you’re getting better?”
It’s a beautiful thought…flattering…bound to make the recipient feel good even if they question the sincerity.
Hopefully, we are all getting better…I mean it would be tragic to think we can live a day and not improve something in our mental thought processes or the quality of life.
However, the reality is…we’re getting older and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Yes, we can get nipped, clipped, tucked…having our face drawn tighter than someone sucking on a lemon…but we’re still getting older.
With all due respect…there’s a reason they call it plastic surgery…because many people come out looking plastic.
Let me hasten to add…there are some who look great.
But truthfully, I don’t even know why I’m talking about this…because I’m not as interested in a person altering their looks as I am…teaching them how to alter their lifestyles for the greater good.
Wow…let’s get back on track.
While I can’t help someone with how they look…I can definitely help them learn to take the worry out of getting older…which I believe is a far more effective wrinkle reducer.
1. Simplify your life.
Simplify means: “Remove anything that complicates your life and prevents you from freely pursuing your purpose for living. . .while enjoying the journey.”
My fine wife and I are moving from Fort Worth, TX to Goldsboro, North Carolina after twenty-two years in Texas. On a direct order from the Lord I might add.
My fine wife, Bev, has done an excellent job in “feng shuing” (Chinese term) the house which means removing the clutter and simplifying the look. . .so the room has an energy. . .thus allowing potential buyers to see themselves living there.
Bev calls her process Holy Ghost "shuing" because the Holy Spirit helped her make the decisions thus empowering the appearance of the rooms.
I recently did a teaching entitled “7 Ways To Simplify Your Life.” I strongly recommend you go to www.haroldherring.comand read this article. It’s much more extensive than I can explain in this limited space.
I will, however, give you the seven ways.
First, remove spiritual clutter which causes confusion.
Second, stop living by the tyranny of the urgent.
Third, don’t spend what you don’t have.
Fourth, family first simplifies your existence
Fifth, balance brings bouncy to your life.
Sixth, overcome procrastination which will uncomplicate your life.
Seven, SMART Goals Simplify Your Life And Ensure Your Success.
Henry David Thoreau said:
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
And, one of my favorite authors, Theodore Giesel said:
“Sometimes the questions are complicated but the answers are simple.”
By the way, Theodore Geisel is also known as Dr. Seuss.
# 2. Pay Off All Your Debts
The best way to take the worry out of getting older is to owe no man but to love him.
Romans 13:8 says:
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
Some say this scripture does not apply to anything financial but refers only to loving one another. Sometimes I’m amazed at where people get their information or the inaccuracy thereof.
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for owe is (o thigh low) opheilo (G3784) and it means:
“to owe money, be in debt for”
The Amplified translation says: “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything…”
The Living Bible says: “Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others—never finish paying that!”
The New International Version says: “Let no debt remain outstanding…”
The Message Bible says: “Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other.”
The Good News Translation says: “Be under obligation to no one—the only obligation you have is to love one another.”
The New International Reader’s Version says: “Pay everything you owe.”
Here’s a way to simplify and pay off debt.
Sell what you don’t need and pay off the creditors.
We can all live simpler. . .and most of the stuff in the garage, attic or back of the closet. . .well, we probably forgot it was there. If we’re not using it. . .sell it. . .turn it to cash. Just be sure you pay debt and don’t spend it on more “stuff.”
If you’re debt free when you’re older. . .you’ve got choices.
A choice of where to go. . .instead of when to go to work as a greeter at Wal-Mart.
Choices are good.
# 3 Own your own home, condo or other residence of your choice.
When you get older. . .if you own your residence. . .you won’t have to live with your children because you can’t afford anything else.
Make a determined decision today. . .to pay off your mortgage on wherever you live. . .so you won’t have to about: a) worry about the next payment; b) wonder how you can downsize into a retirement living community because of a lack of equity; c) stay where you don’t want to stay because you have no other choice.
Use the Debt Free Army materials to pay off your mortgage rapidly (seven years or less). Our Home Free CD-ROM provides proven strategies to save you thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest. The Home Free system is available in our store at www.haroldherring.com
If you have a $100,000 mortgage at 7% interest on a 30-year note and you make the minimum payment every month. . .you will end up paying $140,000 in interest. By using just one of the strategies on the Home Free system you can save $90,000 in interest payments.
If you are already a bit older, be creative. Maybe you would be wiser to downsize into something you can either buy outright or pay off very rapidly. Ask the Lord how to maximize what you have.
It’s time for your money to make you rich instead of the mortgage lender or some banker.
# 4 Determine what retirement means to you.
The concept is different now than it was for your parents who worked in one place for 40 years. Those days are now a part of American history.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that retirement is not in the Bible.
My father is a role model to me. At this writing. . .he’s 86.
He owns 10 rental units including one house and he personally handles most of the small repairs that are needed in the rentals. Plus, he’s hands on when he needs to bring in someone to help.
Additionally and more importantly, he’s led over 70 people a year to the Lord in the past 15 years. He considers evangelizing his major occupation … the rentals are his hobby.
Just over ten years ago, my father, James Harold Herring, Sr., who was 76 at the time, had a five-way heart bypass.
I flew into North Carolina to spend a few days with Dad and Mom. I remember driving Daddy home from the hospital and as we drove into their neighborhood, a couple we knew stopped us to pay their respects.
I will never forget what the woman said to my father. She said, “Mr. Harold, you know it would have been all right for you to go on to heaven. . .you’ve lived a good life.”
I could try and spiritualize this by telling you that I was just righteously indignant at her comments but God knows that I was very upset.
I told this lady in no uncertain terms to never speak words like that to my father again. Then I turned to my mother and told her that if anyone ever visited my father and said anything like that again. . . she was to immediately ask her to leave the house.
This woman. . .a friend of ours. . .didn’t realize the spiritual implications of what she had said. She was innocently planting negative, unscriptural thoughts and imaginations into my father’s thinking. She later realized what she had done and apologized.
Yes, if my father had passed during that attack. . .he would be in heaven enjoying what will most certainly be a glorious reward for the kind of life that he’s lived.
However, here’s the rest of the story. . .over the past ten years, God has used my father to led nearly 700 more people to Him in one on one evangelism. There are 700 more people heaven-bound because my father lived to torment the devil another day.
And my Dad isn’t through yet! I think that’s the kind of retirement God has in mind.
Acts 20:24 says:
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
I was about to move to the next point when two scriptures came to mind. These two passages are not on your outline.
Acts 2:17 says:
“When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to everyone. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will have dreams.”
Titus 2:3-5 says:
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Here’s the question. . .is the retirement you desire about you or what He wants for the rest of your life?
Regardless. . .stay active. . .challenge your brain and your body.
# 5 Get a job now that offers a retirement plan or create your own plan.
In our ever-shifting, seemingly ever-worsening economic environment. . .the job market is ever-changing.
There was a time when a person worked for the same company for forty years and retired with a pocket watch and a pension.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The average length of time someone stays at a retail job is two years.
The average length of time a person holds a job between the ages of 18 to 38 is three to five years.
According to Forbes magazine. . .the average worker keeps their job 4.4 years.
The changing job market requires people to stay with companies that have a retirement plan that can travel with them from job to job or establish their own retirement income vehicle, such as an IRA or one of the many self-funded plans.
Jeremiah 29:11 in the New International Version says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
The best way to have hope for your future. . .is by trusting in God and His plans for your life.
Proverbs 21:20 in The Living Bible says:
“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
God provides for you economic future through seedtime and harvest.
Galatians 6:7 in the New Living Translation says:
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”
With your obedience to the instructions in the word of God concerning seed-time and harvest. . .you’ll have a golden parachute to land you into the future you hoped for but it won’t be from a corporation.
# 6 Pay attention to your physical and mental health.
My fine wife Bev. . .got really serious about her physical health roughly ten years ago. She joined Curves and later added Pilates.
She was determined to take care of her body. . .and she’s done a super fine job of it. Hallelujah!! Oh, my!!
Create an exercise regimen . . . one you can live with. Whether it’s walking around the mall (without buying or stopping). . .going to the gym. . .taking exercise classes, walking or following an exercise routine.
For those who prefer to exercise at home. . .there is a ten step program that will work all the areas of your body. Send me an email and I’ll gladly share it with you. It really works.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 in the Message Bible says:
“. . .didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”
Finally, with regard to mental exercise. . .we need to read books that make us think . .that fire our imaginations and not just some mindless fiction or news media reports which spread nothing but gloom and doom.
I find it very successful to pick a specific hour of the day to write. . .and I make it at least for one hour. You can write about things God is stirring in your spirit. . .about how he has blessed you. . .or remembering and recalling past events in your life. . .that could be a legacy for future generations of your family.
Doing crossroad puzzles, playing Sudoku or games that challenge us mentally.
Develop a hobby. . .or things you’d like to do. . .when you’re no longer working full-time.
There’s an old saying. . .use it or lose it. . .this applies to each of us mentally and physically as we get older.
# 7 Save up as much money as you possibly can.
The world calls the retirement years. . .the golden years. . .there’s more than one reason for that. It takes “gold” i.e., money, to make sure these years are as enjoyable as possible.
Let me share with you a story about 100 men who reach the age of 65 according to the Department of Health and Human Services study.
16 out of 100 will not live to age 65
66 out of 100 will have incomes less than $20,000 forcing them to become dependent on their children, government, or charity, or requires them to continue working in some capacity beyond age 65.
14 will have an income of more than $30,000 giving them the ability to be independent though not providing a good quality of life.
4 of the 100 will have an income in excess of $50,000 annually allow them financial independence.
Saving money now. . .will prevent you from being a sad statistic in your golden years. I also recommend working as long as you are fit and able. It keeps money coming in and keeps you active. You can cut back while still staying on the edge of what’s going on.
It’s important that you have secured the four walls of your home. . .and I’m not talking about the place where you live.
Plan your finances so you never have to worry about:
Wall # 1. . .a roof over your head either through your rent or mortgage.
Wall # 2. . .food to eat. . .and not just getting by food. . .the kind you desire and enjoy.
Wall # 3. . .utilities. . .it’s not fun watching a black screen on your television as you eat cold food by candle light.
Wall # 4. . .transportation. . .giving you the flexibility to get where you want to go. . .when you want to get there.
Denying your flesh now. . .saving money now. . .creating a spending plan now. . .will provide money for your four walls during your golden years.
The younger you start saving the better off you will be. The main thing is to start. . .regardless of your age.
Although small amounts seem "hardly worth saving," don't miss the benefit of compound interest.
Some years ago, my fine wife Bev shared an example with me. . .proves the power of compound interest.
Using the example of twins investing for retirement, one begins at age 22 and invests $2,000 a year for 8 years and then forgets about investing anymore. The other didn’t invest a dime during the ten years his twin did but decides he'd better begin investing the year his twin quit. He invests $2,000 a year for the next 33 years. At age 65, calculating each twin earns 8 percent interest along the way, both will have exactly $347,000.
It pays to start early!
Zechariah 4:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Who [with reason] despises the day of small things?. . .”
Saving money is also important in case of unexpected emergencies.
A relatively small emergency can turn into a catastrophe for your finances if you are not prepared. Most financial advisors recommend 3 to 6 months salary in an easily accessible fund.
Of course, the best thing for you to do in an emergency is follow the advice of Moses in Numbers 14:5 in the Message Bible which says:
“Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in front of the entire community, gathered in emergency session.”
The point is this. If you haven’t started … start! If it’s looking inadequate and you feel you’re too old … get before God and ask Him how to make it work.
Whatever you do … don’t walk away thinking “it’s too late for me now.” It is never too late with a child of God and nothing is impossible with God. There are all kinds of amazing things God can do … give Him the chance to show you.
If God can do a quick work in your life. . .He can truly do a quick work in your finances.
Jeremiah 33:2,3 in the Message Bible says:
“This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God:‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’
Take Him at His Word. Put the gold back in golden years beginning today.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS