Movement Calls Seniors to Find ‘God-Given Purpose’ in Retirement
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — More Americans over the age of 50 are facing loneliness and lack of purpose in their retirement years, according to a national faith-based movement that aims to turn things around.
During Older Americans Month in May, the Retirement Reformation movement (www.retirementreformation.org) says America’s seniors have much to offer their communities in their post-working years, but many need a nudge to pursue their “God-given purpose” and break out of their isolation bubble.
“Our culture says that retirement is a time of decline,” said Retirement Reformation founder and 80-year-old mission architect Bruce Bruinsma. “But retirement can be the launchpad to a purpose-filled new journey. We’re never too old to experience the joy of serving and encouraging others.”
Bruinsma says his movement aims to inspire a legion of “mission-driven dynamos,” helping others in their communities and mentoring younger generations. “Retirement Reformation is all about helping people hit ‘reset’ and offering them resources and ideas to take their retirement in a meaningful new direction,” he said.
Retirement Reformation’s “Oxygen for Life” event May 20-21 at Cross Fellowship Church in Colorado Springs aims to help over-55s “overcome loneliness and find new meaning for your life.”
One in every 3 U.S. workers is 50 or older, according to AARP, and rapidly approaching retirement. A survey by Retirement Reformation revealed more than half of seniors — 52% — said they had no specific plans for their retirement. And more than 4 out of 10 listed “rest and relaxation” as a top priority for them when they quit the “9-to-5.”
Overcoming Loneliness, Finding Purpose
Latest statistics show more than 1 in every 4 older Americans lives alone and that fuels social isolation, a big problem among seniors that was magnified by the pandemic. According to a study by the University of California, San Francisco, more than 4 in 10 seniors regularly experience loneliness, which can lead to serious health issues.
The nation’s 108 million over-50s — in particular those living alone — desperately need to find God-directed purpose in their lives, especially now when many of them face financial uncertainty and anxious times ahead, said Bruinsma.
Two out of every 3 seniors are worried about surging food, energy and gas prices, according to a recent survey. Many of them fear they’ll outlive their retirement savings, and nearly 4 out of 10 say they need to increase their cash flow to stay afloat.
While many seniors are feeling the squeeze on their wallets, “God has a specific plan and purpose for every retired person,” Bruinsma said, pointing out their retirement could last 30 years or more. “Retirement Reformation invites all seniors to find their God-given mission and experience a richer, fuller life of joy and contentment serving others.”
Retirement Reformation (www.retirementreformation.org) 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.