As someone who has spent over 30 years in the financial services industry providing retirement plans to faith-based organizations around the world, Envoy Financial CEO Bruce Bruinsma has come to know how people tend to spend their time once they retire.
Many have daydreamed about the idea of living a retirement life free of responsibilities and filled with leisure and self-indulgence. But today’s retirement culture, Bruinsma believes, runs counter to the Gospel.
“Probably starting about five years ago now, God just impressed upon me that that I need to perhaps look at this whole issue of retirement in a different way,” Bruinsma told The Christian Post in a recent interview.
“Most people, when they say the word ‘retirement,’ they think of money or they think of investments. But there is so much more.”
Bruinsma argues in his newest book, The Retirement Reformation: Finding Freedom with Faith…. a Better Way to Experience the Final (And Best) Decades of Your Life, that the Christian community has bought into the culture’s definition of retirement rather than the biblical perspective of the golden years.
“When you do the research, the majority of Christians when asked what they are going to do in retirement, they give you some version of nothing,” he explained.
“We’re called to be faithful for a lifetime, not just for a season. But that is not the way we are acting. We are acting as if when you hit 65 or 70 that now is the time to focus on rewarding yourself for that period rather than looking outward.”
“The whole idea of retirement is not in the Bible,” he added. “There is not a biblical concept of retirement. However, what is biblical is that God has a plan for our lives and that we are stewards of all of our resources and be faithful for a lifetime.”
Because people are living longer lives today than they did in previous generations, living 30 years after retirement is not an unusual thing. Because of this extended period of time at the end of life, Bruinsma contends that the “whole dynamic of our lives” has changed.
“When I was growing up, someone worked until 65 and they died at 67. And if they made it to 70, they were really old,” he explained. “That is simply not true anymore.”
Bruinsma says that while most Christians are pretty clear about what they are retiring from, they are unclear about what they are retiring to.
“The goal is to jam as much leisure as you can into that remaining period,” he said. “Well, if God’s got a call on your life, obviously, a key part of that is to represent Jesus to the world and to make a difference in the lives of others — what we would call ministry. Yet again, that’s not the way that we act.”
According to Bruinsma, there are 10,000 people turning 65 every day in the U.S. and about 30 million people 60 and above in the U.S.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith