What the Bible Says About Retirement

The Bible is my go-to place for direction in my life. It’s also the best place to learn about how to handle money. So what does the Bible say about retirement planning and saving? While it doesn’t talk about investment strategies or 401(k) options, the Bible does stress planning for the future. Here are some verses that will challenge you to save and prepare for retirement.

Retirement and Your Legacy

Proverbs talks a lot about money, saving and spending. One of my favorite verses related to the topic of retirement says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous”(Proverbs 13:22 nkjv).

The best gifts you can give are your time and your presence now. They can’t enjoy that after you’re gone. But it’s also important to leave a financial legacy to bless not only your children but also your grandchildren.

Retirement and Planning

Proverbs doesn’t just talk about money—it also talks about retirement. And believe it or not, it uses ants as a lesson to teach us about saving for the future:

Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.

—Proverbs 6:6–8 (nkjv)

Food won’t be around in the winter, so ants gather it beforehand. They plan for the future. Just like an ant, you need to put aside money now so you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work later. Waiting until you’re 60 to start saving isn’t the best option. Start early.

Retirement and Diversifying

King Solomon is sometimes called the wisest man who ever lived. He was also one of the wealthiest. It makes sense, then, that the book he wrote (Ecclesiastes) talks about money. He even talked about diversifying your assets, even though stock markets didn’t exist back then:

Ship your grain across the sea;
after many days you may receive a return.

Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

—Ecclesiastes 11:1–2 (niv)

Folks where I live would say it like this: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. When investing for retirement, it’s wise to spread your investments into different financial baskets, like different mutual funds with varying risk levels. Talk to your financial advisor to make sure you’re following ol’ Solomon’s advice.

Retirement and God’s Plans

No matter how much you’ve put away for retirement, there’s one verse you can take to the bank:

“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.”

—Jeremiah 29:11 (niv)

God’s thoughts toward you are good. His plans for you are good. Whether you are able to live your dream retirement or you’ve had to adjust your expectations, you can still live a retirement that’s inspired by God. He has a purpose for every stage of your life. And that’s the best place to be, no matter how much money you have.