by Ron Bare
Building on our year of purpose at Bare Wealth Advisors we thought it may be a good time to tackle how to plan and take vacations with purpose. Personally, I have taken a vacation for most of the 20 plus years as we have raised our 4 children. Some of these vacations have been memorable and impactful while others not so much. As I reflect back over the years and think about what stands out the most, I believe a lot has to do with the purpose behind the vacation. Here are a few different ways to vacation with some thoughts on how to be intentional and purposeful as you plan your next getaway:
- Sometimes we just need to get away and relax. Life can be busy as we work, raise our families, serve in our communities, etc. These vacations serve to regroup and find rest in a way that can help us be better employees/employers, spouses, fathers/mothers, friends, etc. Usually, a few days will suffice to accomplish this task – personally, after a few days of rest I can get a little restless. The key here is to find a setting that is restful to you whether that would be the beach, in nature, or some other setting that helps you regroup
- Another type of vacation is a destination vacation. Four years ago my family and I boarded a plane to England to visit family as well as the area my wife’s grandmother grew up. Her grandmother met her grandfather in World War 2 in Manchester England near the Lake District of England. We spent some time with family and saw this beautiful area of the world she lived in before she came to America on a ship. While we were there, we spent a few days in London and Paris visiting historic sites. Our family came away with a better understanding of history and our family’s heritage. This trip helped us to appreciate the sacrifice of previous generations that benefit us today. This is an experience for our family that was worth the financial investment it took to provide this vacation.
- Mission/Service work vacations are some of my favorite. I have had the opportunity to serve alongside others on a few mission trips in my life. I have always come back from them a changed person, with a more healthy perspective in my life and my purpose. Back in 2013, I traveled to South Sudan, Africa to serve under Africa Inland Missions. This trip was a work trip to help build homes for missionaries that would be living in an area with a remote group of people. This experience put me out of my comfort zone in many ways but showed me that God has a plan for each and every person in this world. It also showed me that me being born in America, specifically in Southeast PA, alone puts me in the top few percent of the world’s wealthy – this seemingly random fact requires me to ask God what purpose he has for me and why has He entrusted me with much? I know the Bible teaches me that “to much is given, much is expected” and this trip helped me take intentional steps to use all that I have been given to help others in a way that aligns with the purpose God has for my life.
- Combination trips are another possibility. Earlier this year, under the year of purpose mission, my family traveled to the Dominican Republic for a week. We visited close missionary friends and got a much better view of the work being done for the Dominican people. We also spent a few days at a Dominican beach relaxing and enjoying family time. Not only did we deepen our relationship with our friends, we received a very authentic picture of Dominican life and the friendly warm people who live there. This could not have been accomplished without the “combination” of a vacation with rest and purposefully serving.
There are many ways to plan vacations with a purpose. Remember, no matter what type of vacation you are planning – plan it with purpose as these trips can help shape us into the people God wants us to be. People who are not only concerned about ourselves but also how to serve and honor those in other cultures. These are steps that help us to live a life on purpose!
by Ron Bare
Bare Wealth Advisors is making 2018 a year focused on purpose. One topic that should be discussed in this context is the subject of retirement. Many studies have shown that people who retire from work without a plan or purpose for the next phase of life are more likely to be discouraged, depressed, and disappointed about their life. Statistics also show that those who retire and have no purpose do not live as long as those who have a purpose clearly defined going into this transition. So this begs the question: How do I retire with a purpose?
Here are a few strategies that may help you plan for a purposeful retirement:
- Consider how to spend the extra time on hand: On average we spend about 25% of our time each day at work – that is a considerable amount of time. Rest and leisure are nice and can use some of this time but if all of it is used for rest and leisure you may find yourself in the statistics above.
- Action Step: Make a list of 5 – 10 areas of life you wish to be more intentional in such as health, family, travel, service, etc. Then determine one or two ways to take a step to live more intentionally and purposefully in these areas.
- Define your work: We were made to work. In Genesis, God made Adam and Eve and put them in the garden to work and take care of what was created. God is the ultimate Creator and humans created in God’s image are sub- creators. We are designed to take what God has created on the earth, improve it, and build upon it. Each person has been created with unique gifts to be used in this creation work. Part of our purpose is our work during our careers but even after “retirement” we can find work that fits our gifts and abilities which helps to improve the world around us. Ron Blue uses the term “re-hirement” to describe retirement. Personally, I think this is a good way to look at retirement in that it signals a transition to a new phase rather than a complete stopping of work all together.
- Define “How much is enough?”: After you know what your purpose and plans are for retirement, you should be able to determine how much money will be needed to fund your retirement planning goals. Saving and investing to be able to fund your goals is prudent planning and can help you live a “re-hirement” strategy of your dreams. In this process I have seen that determining how much is enough and setting personal financial finish lines can be part of an intentional plan and help you live retirement on purpose. Excess funds can be used to help you do more than you thought possible in some of the areas listed above. Wealth can be used in a variety of ways when you have an intentional plan for your family, ministry/service work, a new business, community improvement, health and education, etc. Part of your work in #2 above can be strategically allocating financial resources to the areas that are your heart’s deepest desires – I have seen this to be very fun and fulfilling “work”.
Like most areas of life, retiring on purpose takes some planning and intentional work. However the results of this work can lead you to a fulfilling and purposeful “re-hirement”. Many people in life start strong but only a few finish strong. Let’s be a generation that finishes strong by living our remaining years on this earth on purpose!