Bruce Bruinsma, 79, founder of Retirement Reformation, is eager to turn the tide on seniors' outlook for their later years so that they will actively live for Jesus Christ – especially after seeing the very "concerning" results of a recent Retirement Attitudes Survey, which reveals that:
- 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 (approximately 13%) see their 70s that way.
- By contrast, more than 86% think of their 30s, 40s and 50s as seasons of purpose and meaning.
Bruinsma contends that instead of putting the benefits of leisure above discovering God's purpose and future ministry for their lives, seniors should join the movement by signing the Retirement Reformation Manifesto. The proclamation paves the way for serving God throughout life via a 10-point plan that consists of numerous action steps to enter and pursue God's kingdom.
"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," Bruinsma states. "We want retirees to engage in a retirement lifestyle that many never dreamed possible [and] urge people to sign the manifesto. It will inspire them to draft a personal plan – God's plan – for the future."
Sprinting to the finish line
The elderly Christian leader – who launched the movement through his book, "The Retirement Reformation" – was encouraged to see more and more seniors signing the Retirement Manifesto in May, which was Older Americans Month (an annual event sponsored by the Administration for Community Living that celebrates contributions made by the elderly).
With the survey showing that more than two-thirds of respondents plan to rest, travel and pursue leisure activities in their retirement years, Bruinsma challenges them to consider what God lays out for their lives in the Bible, which exhorts believers to keep living, ministering and sharing the Word … no matter what stage of life one is in.
As a longtime business leader approaching his 80s, Bruinsma emphasizes the manifesto is only a small step toward building a more purposeful and goal-oriented life – one that is committed to follow God's calling to the very end.
He stresses how retirement involves so much more than money, security or comfort in God's eyes, but rather leading, teaching and mentoring while serving God actively and with a joyful heart.
"People also need to think about their spiritual, emotional, relational and physical health," Bruinsma asserted. "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."