Bruinsma calls 85% of seniors lacking any detailed plans for later years ‘concerning’
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — If the results of a recent survey are any indication, it’s time for Christians to counteract the view of retirement as a season only for relaxation and leisure, says the author of the book that launched a movement.
Bruce Bruinsma, 79, the founder of Retirement Reformation, says the popular outlook toward retirement can be seen through the Retirement Attitudes Survey of older Americans:
- Although nearly 39% expect retirement to last at least 20 years and about 62% think it will span at least 15 years, most had no set goals when it came to their “next steps.”
- Only 27% think of their 60s as a decade of purpose and meaning; just half that percentage see their 70s that way.
- By contrast, more than 86% think of their 30s, 40s and 50s as seasons of purpose and meaning.
- Not surprisingly, many seniors prioritize the benefits of leisure over discovering purpose and new contributions God has in store for them.
In response, Bruinsma urges Christians to sign the Retirement Manifesto, a biblically-based, 10-point plan advocating serving God throughout life. Signers will be entitled to a free newsletter, participation in the organization’s ongoing roundtable discussions, and access to both free and paid materials and small groups.
“It concerns me that 85% of people have no sound plans for their senior years, even though many have taken great care to set aside funds for future use,” says Bruinsma, whose Retirement Reformation book launched the movement. “We want retirees to engage in a retirement lifestyle that many never dreamed possible. That’s why we are urging people to sign the manifesto. It will inspire them to draft a personal plan — God’s plan — for the future.”
The push for additional signers comes during Older Americans Month, sponsored by the Administration for Community Living. Many of those seniors aim to take it easy, says Bruinsma, pointing to more than two-thirds of respondents to the Retirement Attitudes Survey who indicated they plan to retire for rest, travel, and pursuit of leisure activities. He questions if this is what God wants, pointing out the Bible says we are to keep living, ministering and sharing His Word at every stage of life.
The manifesto is only the first step toward building a more goal-oriented, purposeful life, Bruinsma says of signers’ commitment to follow God’s call as long as they are alive. The longtime business leader says a sound journey into retirement involves leading, teaching, mentoring, and serving God in an active, joyful manner.
There is far more to God’s plan for our lives and retirement than money, he says.
“People also need to think about their spiritual, emotional, relational and physical health,” Bruinsma says. “Retirement is the time of life when dreams can be bigger than ever. As Christians, our goal is to live a full life in Christ.”
Since its recent launch, hundreds have signed the Retirement Manifesto, which is available on the group’s website.
About Retirement Reformation
Retirement Reformation was founded to help Christians approach retirement as an opportunity to worship and serve God in new ways, sharing their wisdom, experience and resources. It also assists churches and organizations in maximizing the gifts of a largely untapped constituency by equipping older members and supporters for active involvement in ministry.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.