What does the bible say about saving money for retirement? 401ks, IRAs, pensions, and more did not exist in the Biblical age. That might lead you to believe scripture is silent on the concept of saving for retirement. On the contrary, scripture has much to say about this concept. Retirement in the Bible, while different than we think of it today, is still present across scripture. Keep reading for some principles that support saving for the goal of retiring someday.
Verse 1: Save Something for the Future
"Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." Proverbs 21:20 ESV
This Proverb points out our tendency our temptation as humans to use up all our resources in the present. Why do we do that? It’s just easier! It’s easier to buy one more trinket on Amazon than to put money away for the future. Be like the wise man: save and invest for the days ahead.
Verse 2: Store up During the Good Times
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV
This Proverb recognizes there are seasons of plenty and seasons with less. The idea is to model the behavior of the tiniest creatures and learn from how ants store up for when winter arrives. This also a reminder that you have to take action. No one will make you store up for winter, or retirement!
Verse 3: Work and Save to Avoid Being a Burden to Others in the Future
"For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8 ESV
In 2 Thessalonians, Paul gives us perspective on why it is important to be in a position to support your own household now and in the future. He uses himself as an example and warns against idleness. Saving for your future retirement is not just a benefit to you and your spouse. It means that you will not be burden on society or your children when they are adults.
Verse 4: Preparing for Future Periods of Difficulty is Prudent
"The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread." Genesis 41:53:54 ESV
When Joseph advises Pharaoh to store grain, it’s done with the knowledge that difficult times will come. Few are blessed with the true foresight of the future Joseph had, but we still know that difficult times will come someday. Respond by saving adequately for your future retirement.
Verse 5: Some of us, even the ones that have been told to prepare, still won’t
"On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” Genesis 41:27-29 ESV
In Genesis, Moses and his people are provided just enough food on the first five days of the week. On the sixth day, they were provided enough for that day and the next. The charge to the people was to gather enough for that day and day 7. Did everyone listen? No, some didn’t. When they went out looking for food on day 7, there was none to be had. The people were told to store up for day 7, some did not, and then day 7 came with hunger. Which group do you want to be a part of?
These Bible verses on retirement touch on the some of principles scripture shares guide us in prudent decisions. Saving for retirement is important and should be part of your financial plan even if retirement is decades away. The sooner you start, the easier it will be.
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