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Retirement Reformation Manifesto Aims to Spark Social Revolution, Enriching Lives of Millions of Older Americans

Ten-point charter calls for a new approach when working life is over that could revolutionize communities as older people choose 'purpose over pastimes'

Contact: Ty Mays,

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 24, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ -- Leaders of a faith-based movement aiming to revolutionize older people's lives and make a big impact in society as a result are calling on people of all ages to pledge their commitment to the Retirement Reformation Manifesto (www.retirementreformation.org/manifesto).

Photo: Bruce Bruinsma signs a copy of the Retirement Reformation Manifesto
Drafted by thought leaders in the Christian aging and retirement world, the 10-point manifesto challenges signatories to overturn traditional attitudes toward senior years as merely a time of relaxation and leisure. Instead, they are urged to embrace their "final quarter" of life as time to find spiritual fulfillment and meaning in using their life experiences and resources to serve and enrich others.

Noting that, according to the Bible, Christians are "called to bear fruit in every season of life," the document aims to inspire "a movement where every Christ follower is confident in God's plan for a lifetime of faithful service and committed to helping the Body of Christ reform its understanding of retirement, then bearing fruit without measure."

The Retirement Reformation Manifesto has been published at the Retirement Reformation website (www.retirementreformation.org), and is to be sent to church and ministry leaders across the country to sign too. It will also feature in The Retirement Reformation, a book to be published soon by Retirement Reformation founder Bruce Bruinsma.

Among the commitments those who sign the manifesto make are to:

  • challenging society's typical view of retirement
  • exercising wise physical and financial stewardship to ensure making the most of what could be as many as 30 years of post-work
  • building intergenerational community

The manifesto challenge is being presented at a time when the need for a major re-evaluation of post-working life is being driven by big social changes. There are some 50 million Americans of retirement age and that number is set to grow. Better health means many people face 20 or more years of potentially active life after they quit working, with many expressing more interest in spiritual issues as they age. At the same time, depression and loneliness among the demographic are on the rise.

The Retirement Reformation Manifesto is presented with titles highlighted in a classic handwritten font recalling historic documents like the United States Constitution and the 95 theses Martin Luther nailed to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

"We believe that the Retirement Reformation Manifesto has the potential to be similarly history-making," said Bruinsma. "Imagine what might happen if millions of seniors are inspired and equipped to approach their retirement radically differently, finding meaning and satisfaction through helping extend God's kingdom, as they pursue purpose rather than just pastimes."

Still active in business at 77, Bruinsma established Retirement Reformation after informally surveying many of the clients he has helped through his Envoy Financial business, which offers a Future Funded Ministry plans for ministers, missionaries and faith-based organizations preparing for the later years. He was shocked to discover 85 percent of them had no plans for retirement beyond leisure or some kind of self-focused activity.

Last fall, Bruinsma hosted the Retirement Reformation Roundtable, which brought together a group of faith leader experts in post-retirement living. Their presentations and discussions inspired the new manifesto.

"As Christians, we are to remain faithful for a lifetime," said Bruinsma. "My hope is that the Retirement Reformation Manifesto will inspire many, many people to believe God still has more for them in their later years—and, in turn, more for others through them."

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.