October 26, 2018

Retreat for nurses to focus on purpose and spirituality in retirement

By Natalie Hoefer

A retreat titled “Redefining Retirement from Nursing as a Spiritual Journey: Finding New Purpose, New Meaning and New Directions” will be offered at Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House, 5353 E. 56th St., in Indianapolis, from 8 a.m. on Dec. 1 through noon on Dec. 2.

The retreat is designed for Catholic/Christian professional nurses who are beginning to think about retirement and nurses who have already retired. Spouses are encouraged to attend, and special pricing is available for couples.

“Nurses are hard working,” says Rachel Forbes Kaufman, founder of the Forbes Well-Being Advisors group that will present the retreat. “They like to stay busy and productive.

“But without intentional discernment and planning for retirement, people who were accustomed to being very busy in their jobs can replicate that busyness in retirement, but without achieving a sense of purpose or well-being.”

Kaufman observes that “most retirement ads focus exclusively on finances.” While finances are important, she says, “For Christians, that singular focus misses the value of our retirement years. It’s during the second half of life that we are called to grow spiritually in new and wonderful ways.”

The upcoming retreat is “the first‑of-its-kind for the Catholic/Christian nurse,” says Kaufman. “It’s been designed specifically to help them find new purpose, new meaning and new directions in whatever retirement may bring.”

The 11 sessions during the one‑and-a-half-day retreat include such topics as Spirituality and Meaning in Retirement, and the Value of Personal Empowerment; Considerations for Being Well in Retirement: Respect for Leisure and Personal Flexibility; Preparing for Changes in Home Life and Caregiving Responsibilities; and Preparing for Your Future: Mapping Your Unique Journey. The retreat includes workshop materials, three meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, one spiritual retirement coaching session, a Personalized Christian Retirement Challenge Profile and, for nurses still working, a Clinician Well‑Being Self‑Assessment. Overnight accommodations are available for a separate fee.

The retreat and other services of Forbes Well-Being Advisors came about after Kaufman retired in 2011 from working for more than 30 years in health care, including “many years at the highest levels.”

She says she “recognized that for many health care professionals, there was a gap in faith formation activities which could improve our sense of well-being and help clinicians transition into the spiritually fertile years of retirement.”

To address the situation Kaufman, who is a member of Resurrection Parish in the Diocese of Evansville, Ind., earned a Master of Theology from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad and a Certificate in Reflective Practices in 2014. She focused on how humans develop emotionally, spiritually and intellectually throughout life.

She went on to establish Forbes Consultants, a company dedicated to physician formation and support services. In 2017 the company became Forbes Well-Being Advisors, LLC, expanding their formation and support services to all healing professionals in medicine and ministry.

That same year, Kaufman and her team of professionals launched the first division of the Medical Professionals Retirement Institute (MPRI) for the physician community. According to Kaufman, it was “the first known educational resource singularly dedicated to helping physicians of faith successfully transition into purposeful retirement.”

The upcoming retreat, which is its developmental launch, will be presented by the MPRI team. It includes Kaufman, who among other roles of service is a retreat leader and consultant to the Franciscan Physician Formation Program at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis, and a member of the Catholic Medical Association.

Dr. Richard Johnson, a clinical psychologist practicing in the St. Louis area, will also present. Among his many achievements, he is the founding director of the Johnson Institute for Spiritual Gerontology and Lifelong Adult Faith Formation. He is also the author of more than 20 books on the journey of the second-half-of-life, including Creating a Successful Retirement: Finding Peace and Purpose, which will be used during the retreat.

“Dr. Johnson is limiting his outside engagements,” says Kaufman. “This beta launch for nurses at Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House is a rare opportunity for nurses to learn from one of the premier retirement scientists and counselors practicing in the United States.”

The MPRI team also includes two certified financial advisors who will present at the retreat. Both advisors specialize in retirement and investment planning, and one also focuses on insurance, business and estate planning, and life care planning for families with a disabled or special needs individual.

The cost of the retreat is $325 through Nov. 10 and $349 after that date. Special pricing is available for spouses and retired nurses.

Overnight accommodations are available at Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House for $70 per night and should be reserved through Forbes Well-Being Advisors.

Each registrant will complete a one‑page Christian Retirement Challenge Profile Inventory and return it to Forbes Well-Being Advisors by Nov. 14. All currently practicing clinicians will also complete a separate online Well-Being Self-Assessment Test. Instructions regarding these pre-retreat requirements will be sent upon registration.

For registration and room reservation, go to www.forbeswellbeingadvisors.org/register. For more information, contact Rachel Forbes Kaufman at 812-459-1058 or rachel.forbes.kaufman@gmail.com. †

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