If you've worked all your life and now you're being kicked out of the work force, go volunteer somewhere a couple of days a week.

The beauty about volunteering is that you can set your own hours. If you want, you can sleep late and go in at one o'clock in the afternoon. Even if you only volunteer for two hours a day, at least you'll feel useful, because you're doing something and someone is depending on you.

Some people get a part-time job or volunteer after they retire simply because they need to get out of the house. It's not so much that they feel useless, but they need something to do. They've worked all their lives and now, all of a sudden, they're expected to sit back and do nothing, and they just can't handle it.

No one who is retired should ever complain about being bored, because there are all kinds of things to do and so many people who need help. When you're retired, you can help out in the church more.

People look at the retirement world and think that you're not supposed to do anything when you're retired. No, retirement means that you don't have to work for some other person any longer. You can do what you want to do now. You can spend your time doing the work of the ministry or volunteering your services at a local school, library, or hospital.

Nursing homes are a perfect place to volunteer since there are so many neglected elderly people staying in them. Those old folks don't care if they know you, just as long as they can talk to you. You might have to wear earplugs though, because they'll talk and talk and talk. Most of them are starved for attention!

If you don't like being around older people, you can visit the pediatric wards at a local hospital or medical clinic. It's a shame how many children are left alone in those facilities because their parents aren't able to be there to watch out for them.

Besides hospitals, there are plenty of community organizations or activities you can get involved with. But find something to do. Don't just sit around.

Now even though you never retire from the ministry, there will come a time when you do retire, generally speaking. So if you know that time is coming, you need to start preparing for it. Don't be like some people who keep putting retirement off until sometime in the future. Then when the time comes, they're totally unprepared.

Why not spend the years leading up to retirement developing yourself personally and spiritually? Explore new interests or hobbies. Work on building up your relationship with your spouse. Start seeking God ahead of time concerning what He has planned for you during that season of your life. That way, you'll have a general idea what you're going to do when the time comes.

If you plan for your retirement, it will be a blessing for you when it comes rather than a curse. Then instead of nagging your spouse and making things worse, you'll be working together toward a common goal.

You won't have time to entertain thoughts such as, I haven't grown, I don't have any other interests, or I don't know what to do now that the kids are gone, because you're not looking back—you're too busy looking at what's ahead!

Source: Marriage and Family by Deborah Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Word Of Faith Publishing