Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saving for Retirement

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 
-Matthew 25:16
There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it. 
-Proverbs 21:20

Frankie Martin was the treasurer at the first church I pastored. Friendship Baptist Church, Beeville, Texas paid me $600 a month. I also did ranch work on the side. As I recall, Frankie did not ask me or the church, she just started a retirement account for me at GuideStone (then the Annuity Board). $60 a month. She explained a church was supposed to send 10% of the pastor’s salary to his GuideStone Retirement. This did not come out of my salary, but was in addition to it. Frankie is in Heaven today. May God bless her and Friendship for what they did for a young preacher. Since then, I’ve had the next two churches I’ve pastored increase that amount sent to GuideStone.

Assuming God blesses you with a long, happy life, you will one day get old and retire. Serve the Lord and stay busy when you retire. Contrary to a few, there is nothing wrong with retirement. And there is nothing wrong with saving for retirement.

Whatever you think of Social Security, it was never meant to be a full retirement, but a supplement during retirement. You need your own separate retirement fund.

If you are a young preacher, this article is especially important for you. Read every word. Do what I say, and one day you will rise up and call me blessed.

If your job has a 401(k), or whatever kind of retirement plan, give to it. If they match your contributions up to a certain amount, you are foolish not to contribute at least that amount. After all, that is free money; or another way to look at it, you are immediately doubling your money.

Do not take money out of your retirement account, until you retire. Even then, use it very conservatively and wisely.

Usually retirement advisers say if you use 5% of your retirement annually, you will never run out. Start investing now, because that means you will need about 20 times your annual salary. But, if you can’t make that much, still invest as much as you can.

If you are pastor or on staff at a Southern Baptist Church, make sure you have a retirement account with GuideStone Financial Resources, SBC. Some churches, and God bless the ones who do, contribute themselves, apart from the pastor’s salary, to the pastor’s retirement account at GuideStone. If you pastor one of the many churches that do not contribute to their pastor’s retirement, have the church take out 10% of your salary, or more, and send it to your GuideStone Retirement. When you get a raise, put all or some of that raise into your retirement.

One big advantage to having your church send your retirement to GuideStone, is that if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it. This is easier than getting your paycheck, and then having to take 5% or 10% out of it to send to your retirement.

Put your GuideStone Retirement into a good stock market fund that has the potential to significantly grow over time. Something like the Equity Index Fund that generally follows the S&P 500. And remember, some years it will make 10%, some years 1% or worse. But, it will grow over time. Put it in a “safe fund,” and you risk not making significant interest rates; so there is “risk” either way.

This will not make you rich over night, but it will slowly make you financially secure. And think what you can do for the Lord and for others when you are financially secure.

A good rule of thumb is to live on 80% of your income. Give 10% (the tithe) to your church. Put 10% in your retirement. The sooner you start the better. You will be surprised how your retirement will grow over the years.

A good place to start educating yourself about money management is with “The Money Answer Book” by Dave Ransey. I don’t agree with him on every point, but he has some very good basic information. This is also a good birthday or Christmas gift for teenagers and young adults.

GuideStone can give you some great information. Their number is 800/262-0511. Their website is They even have personal investment accounts, kind of like a bank savings account, where you can invest money in the stock market with them. Of course, it is not federally insured. And, of course, there are other investment companies. I’m just more familiar with GuideStone.

The President and CEO of GuideStone, Dr. O. S. Hawkins, is an outstanding pastor and preacher. Hawkins has published a number of books. Every preacher should get them. His most recent, "The Daniel Code."  It is available wherever books are sold.

Do what I say about investing, and if you end up with too much money in retirement, give me a call.

“Jesus is coming soon and I will not need a retirement.”
I believe in the Rapture. I believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I also believe the old saying, Live like Jesus is going to return tomorrow; plan and prepare like He will not return for a hundred years.

“There are ministries that need my retirement money now.”
There will also be ministries that need your giving when you retire. If you don’t save, you will have nothing to give. Also, you may want to include good Christian ministries in your Last Will and Testament. Speaking of a Will, make absolutely sure you have the original Will. A copy may not be accepted by a judge. Make sure your heirs know where the original is.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial adviser; I’m just trying to share a little of what I’ve learned. I’m especially trying to help the young preachers. But, don’t sue me if you are unhappy with your investment! Get sound advice from the professionals. Get documentation of your financial dealing, and beware of con men.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 10, AD 2016.

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