4 Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Originally posted on the Christian Post on May 5

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My wife and I have a 401(k) savings plan, and we are thinking of pulling out some of the money for home improvements. Our house is one of our major life investments, but do you think that is a good plan? It’s so hard to save up the resources recommended for retirement, but those resources could be useful today.

Rethinking Resources


The Truth About Retirement

Retirement provision is something that confuses many Christians. The “rules” about retirement have changed over the years and many Americans are realizing they didn’t save enough to maintain the lifestyle they pictured.

Almost a quarter of all retirees are worried that their savings will run out and not saving for retirement soon enough is the number one financial regret of all Americans. The options for retirement accounts alone can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve worked for several employers. As a country, we have developed a mania about retirement - how much you need, when to retire, and what your life past 65 should look like.

Not surprisingly, what Scripture says and what the world says about retirement are two very different things. The world says retirement is when we deserve to enjoy ourselves - to sit back and take it easy after working hard for 40-50 years. But the Bible is clear that work is a good thing. Our potential in the workforce and the Kingdom doesn’t stop at age 65. God gave Adam charge over the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world - work was blessing to Adam.


Saving for Retirement vs Giving to the Lord

Originally posted on the Christian Post on March 30

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

Both my husband and I grew up with parents now living on a pension; thus, no real need to have "saved" that half a million bucks for retirement. This seems to be a new need for my generation. But beside that frustration, my real question is about the balance for someone in saving that much and giving to the Lord. Do I give to the Lord (a tithe) or save, especially considering a tight budget, and the large amounts needed later? Where is the fine line of trusting in the Lord for our future provision and providing for ourselves through savings, which could actually slide into relying on our money instead of God? It seems that this is a modern day dilemma, since the older generation never had to have such a huge savings account.

Pondering the Lack of Pensions

Dear Pondering,

Thank you for an excellent question. You have asked how to balance the commands to both give and save while fully trusting God. Many of us feel this same tension so I appreciate the opportunity to address it.


The Secret to a Happy Retirement

If you aren’t already there, you will someday face retirement. Want to know a secret shared by the happiest retirees?

Author Wes Moss, at documents the results he found among retirees. When their mortgages are paid off, their happiness levels rise. Quote: “All the successful retirees I know who are living out their dreams are those who have eliminated or drastically reduced their mortgage payments before retirement.”


Tips on When to Take Social Security Benefits

The consequences of the onset of Social Security benefits are enormous. Recent reports by Sandra Block, at and Viewpoints at confirm this.

You are eligible for benefits if you’ve worked a minimum of 10 years in positions covered by Social Security. Benefits are based on two main variables: earning in the 35 highest-paid years of your career and the age in which you begin receiving your benefits.

Those 35 years do not have to be consecutive, and if you work past age 65, those earning years, even part-time, will be included if part of your highest 35 years.


The Biggest Financial Regrets of Americans...And How To Avoid Them

Catey Hill at recently reported, “Many Americans are filled with regrets – financial regrets.” In fact, 3 out of 4 harbor regrets, according to a recent survey by

Sadly, the biggest regret is not saving enough for retirement early enough. The other regrets in descending order are:

  1. Not saving enough for emergency expenses
  2. Taking on too much student loan debt
  3. Taking on too much credit card debt
  4. Not saving enough for children’s education
  5. Buying a bigger house than they could afford

Why Retirement Could Launch Your Next Career

According to Chris Farrell, in a recent article at, you can start a business in retirement.

Older workers have decades of experience, a network of contacts, and often more money than younger people to invest in a start-up company. They have lived through years of economic ebbs and flows and are often able to spot needs and market trends due to their years of study.

55-to-64 year olds made up 15% of new entrepreneurs in the 1997 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship, but the number jumped to 24% in the 2016 Index.


Satchel Paige once asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”

That’s a good question. Age sneaks up on us, and retirement is a chapter in life that many are unprepared for.

People in the world believe retirement is the time in life to withdraw from the demands of work and labor to pursue enjoyment free of obligations, commitments or worries. Fulfilling their desires is a reward for how hard they’ve worked. But, Hugh Welchel, Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics strongly disagrees. Welchel explains that the only thing looking like retirement in the Bible is found in Numbers 8:23-26. Here, God told Moses, that the Levites were allowed to work from 25 until mandatory retirement at the age of 50.

After their temple service, they were expected to mentor the younger men by providing wisdom and leadership gained through their experience. They were available to advise and counsel the younger generation.


Do you worry about outliving your retirement funds?

If you’re worried, you are not alone. Maurie Backman with the Motley Fool says retirement tops the list of Americans’ financial concerns.

In 2016, 64% of the population admitted fear in not having enough funds to cover living expenses in retirement. An estimated 33% have no retirement savings at all, and those who are relying on Social Security need to realize that it replaces just 40% of the average worker’s pre-retirement income. An Allianz study reveals that 60% of baby boomers fear running out of money in retirement more than dying.

Analyze your living situation. It may be worth downsizing to a smaller home. Less square footage and acreage may ease pressure on the budget and the stress of maintenance. By downsizing, you have the  opportunity to earn money by selling items you no longer need. You also may be able to get by with just one car to further cut your expenses.


Do you know how much the average American has in their checking account?

While it is difficult to know for sure, one study by bank consulting firm Moebs Services indicates that the average American has $4,436 in their bank account. This is an amount that accounts for averages in people’s checking accounts specifically and was notable a couple of years ago because it represented a significant jump from 2012’s numbers. What’s even more interesting is how much higher that figure is than it was in 2007, just prior to the Great Recession. At that time, the average American only had $788 in their checking accounts.

This points to a change in financial behavior likely due to the scare of the downturn of the economy in 2009.



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