Virtual Voices

Retirement without retiring

Economy

My Sept. 10 column about Social Security attracted lots of mail from readers, including some who are retirees but are hardly retired.

Here's one story from a person whose employer downsized him out of a job. At age 62 he could not find employment in his field, so "Now I get a paycheck from the government [Social Security]. Here is what they get for that: A volunteer in a school reading program. A board member for the senior center in a poor rural area struggling to figure out ways to help seniors stay in their homes when they begin to lose their independence. A deacon in the church working in the government-sponsored food closet."

Many others have similar stories. They volunteer at their local church. They help with maintenance, teaching, and managing food pantries. They take care of their grandchildren. When a disaster occurs, they rush to the scene of the grime. It's often helpful for church elders to be elderly and retired, with not only wisdom but also the time to engage in hour-eating church discipline of the kind many congregations neglect.

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Such activities glorify God. They are a far cry from the self-centered cry of someone who has worked for 40 years and thus feels entitled to avoid either paid or volunteer work for the next 20 or 30. God gives us a Sabbath every seven days and tells us to use that for refreshment. He also gives us the example of men like Noah, Abraham, and Moses: As old men they uprooted their lives on God's command and took on large challenges. As long as God gives us health we should listen for calls to go and do likewise.

Listen to Marvin Olasky discuss the original intent of Social Security on The World and Everything in It.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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