Episode 45: Retirement and Vocation, with Jeff Haanen, author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement

We are called to participate with God in the healing of the world through our very work–as teachers, as mechanics, as doctors, as attorneys, as salespeople.  Our work brings the goodness of God into the world.

But what about when we retire?  How can we participate with God in the healing of the world then?  Is it possible to live a full life in retirement in which we understand our post-work life as more than just a big vacation?

Jeff Haanen addresses these questions in his book, An Uncommon Guide to Retirement.  Jeff challenges us to rethink our understanding of retirement, recognizing that it’s not just an extended vacation, but a time of fruitful work and ministry as we live into our calling as retired people.







  • Jeff Haanen is the Executive Director of the Denver Institute for Faith and Work and the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement.
  • Jeff came to faith as he read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In recent years, the most formative book Jeff has read is Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam.
  • The mission of the Denver Institute for faith and work is to form men and women to serve God, neighbor, and society through their daily work.
  • People need a why for their work to have meaning. Jeff wants to give people a why in their work. The why comes down to loving God and loving neighbor through one’s work.
  • “Vocation” comes from the Latin word for “voice,” which has to do with responding to God’s voice.
  • Jeff says we need to pause and question the culture around retirement, a culture that says if you save so much money you’ll be living “the life” when you retire. But life doesn’t always work that way.
  • Rather than moving into a big vacation at retirement, people ought to move into a time of sabbatical rest.
  • It’s important in retirement to not live merely for ourselves, but for God who calls us and for the well-being of our neighbors.
  • Jeff shares some stories of people who are living well in their retirement.
  • Pastors can help those retired by encouraging seasons of rest, renewal, and reengagement.
  • It’s also important for churches to help people build intergenerational relationships.
  • You can find out more about the book at www.uncommonretirement.com.
  • To learn more about the Denver Institute for Faith, go to www.denverinstitute.org, For short online courses on faith, work, vocation, and so forth, go to www.scatter.org.




Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through any of these links, I’ll receive a small commission–which will help pay for the Spiritual Life and Leadership podcast!  🙂

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