Planning for Your Financial Future

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Retirement is a new phenomenon made possible by longevity of the modern generation. At the turn of the century the average person lived to age forty-seven as compared to the average person today who lives well into their seventies or eighties. Over the last thirty plus years the length of life has been even more dramatic. In 1960 Social Security cut 2,000 checks for Americans aged 100 years; and it estimates by the year 2010, it will be sending out 100,000 monthly deposits to centenarians. In Smart Money’s, April, 2007 Retirement Guide they stated: In 1950 the average retirement age for American males was 70, while life expectancy for 65-year-olds was 78.1, so U.S. men had an average “retirement period” of 8.1 years.  By 1990, with people retiring earlier and living longer, that interval had grown to 17.7 years.  By 2020, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, it will stretch to 20 years, with an ever-growing cadre of retirees cracking the 30-year mark (Page 60).”

Much of this is due to modern medical technology, drugs and vaccines that have wiped out former killer diseases such as measles and small pox; but it is also due in part to the preventive lifestyle that has become part of our culture. Because of this new era of living longer one of the most vital questions that individuals and couples need ask as they look towards retirement is “How much money will I/We need to live on in retirement? Or put another way is “How will I/We foot the bills?’’ Other questions that are equally important are “Do I /we have enough? And is this “enough” just to survive or will we live comfortably through our sunset years. You may have been fortunate to have planned for your retirement and can now concentrate your energies on where you are going to retire and what sort of lifestyle you and your spouse will be able enjoy. However, the largest majority of individuals and married couples, particularly among the baby boomer generation (1947-1964) have not planned sufficiently and will have to take the above questions seriously if they are going to have any sort of retirement.   

However, before you start calculating how much you will need financially for your retirement years, you need to first ask this important question: Do I really want to retire? And if not now, when? Remember, if you retire at fifty-five and live to the ripe old age of ninety-five you will have spent as much time in retirement as you have in the working period of your life. If you wait until you are sixty you will still spend over one third of your life in the “golden years”. In fact the current generation of Baby Boomers (those born between 1947-1964) are guinea pigs on whether a living longer and retiring younger is truly part of the “golden years,” unlike past generations who saw retirement as a brief period of respite from a lifetime of toil. 

If you answered the number one question with a positive “Yes” in the paragraph above there are still further challenging questions you need to ask yourself: What will I do to fill-up my days with my newfound freedom? Where will I settle down? What about my social life, my friends and family?  One of the most difficult social aspects of retirement is that your personhood is no longer defined by your career. Particularly for men whose whole life has been wrapped up in their job retirement changes their sense of belonging and self-worth. As one person described it as when they announced they where planning to retire they became an invisible person. It was as if they had already quit and was no longer part of the organization they had spent a large portion of their career.

An other important aspect is in this third phase of your life are to make sure you having the positive attitude that you are retiring  “to” something, rather than “from” something. .” [Retire On Less Than You Think, page 6] One of the differences for those who retire in this new century is that they will probably have to subsidize about 10-15 percent of their income by continuing to be employed. However, it may be in a new field which in the past may have been just for fun such as playing tennis, but in retirement you will make it a part-time occupation teaching youngsters the skills of the game.  It also, could be an extension of your present career such as if you are a news journalist for a local paper you decide to do something you have always wanted to do and that is travel and at the same time write about your experiences in travel column or book. According to a number of national surveys over 80 percent of Baby Boomers intend to continue working at least part-time after their retirement. This third era of modern life is increasingly being viewed as an ongoing process and not a one-time event. Hence, today’s retirees do not consider retirement and work mutually exclusive.

One of the financial dilemmas of the post-war generations is how they look at material things. Deena Katz, a financial advisor from Florida enunciates clearly the difference between the Boomers and their parents who are often called the ”Depression” generation. “The big issue for Baby Boomers is that they live in the immediate now. They have always given themselves everything they thought they were entitled to. When my folks needed a refrigerator, they saved money and bought it. Notice I said NEEDED, not wanted. Now, when boomers want a refrigerator, they buy it and pay it off over time. So the boomers are absolutely going to have a hard time making an adjustment to a downsized lifestyle because they haven’t saved enough to continue as they have been living.” [Retire On Less Than You Think, page18] Add to this “buy now, pay later” attitude the fact the U.S. savings rate is at a historic low. More than half of American workforce has saved less than $25,000 for retirement and nearly two thirds of workers 55 and older have less than $100,000 saved for their golden years, according to a recent study the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The Center for Retirement Research reports that over 40% of working households are in danger of having too little income to fund their retirement. U.S. News & World Report April 9, 2007 p. 55

The answer to this Baby Boomer problem of lack of pre-retirement planning can be greatly reduced by following these retirement strategies:

1. Identify your retirement goals

This is probably the easiest part of planning for your future. Yet statistically the average American adult spends less than ten hours per year planning for retirement, as compared to over 145 hours on shopping for clothes. This is the fun part of planning for retirement. This is where you can dream. Where do you want to retire? When do you want to retire? What do you want to do in your retirement? Sit down with your spouse and develop a list of what you want your retirement years to include. The answers to these questions will change during each decade of your life. In the last ten years before retirement you will need to become more specific and realistic with your plans.

2. Develop a plan

Unfortunately over half report having less than $50,000 in total savings and investments (excluding their homes). Approximately, only four in 10 employees have sat down, taken the time and made the effort to complete a retirement needs calculation. (**See one at the end of the article) This is a basic step in determining how much money you will probably need in retirement. Almost 50 percent of all workers when asked simply guessed at the total amount they would need to fund their retirement.  2005 Retirement Confidence Survey, *Employee Benefit Research Institute. Put another way It’s like saying “wake up” someday soon the wife and I are going to retire.”

To not find yourself in this situation begin by analyzing your current financial position. Ask yourself, are my present retirement goals realistic? If they are, select the best strategies your family can use to fulfill these goals. It may mean tightening your household budget, managing your savings and investments better, participating in tax sheltered annuities and IRA’s if you are self-employed. Now the hardest step: follow through with a written action plan. Once you have implemented your action plan, monitor it annually to keep it current.

3. Figure your income

To support yourself in retirement at your current lifestyle, the financial services industry — stockbrokers, mutual fund companies and national and local banks and credit unions along with the money magazines continue to bombard you with the idea that you will need 70-80 percent of your pre-retirement income to survive after the final handshake. For the majority of Baby boomers these unrealistic projections have either frightened individuals either into frantically saving more or putting off retirement.

However, there are a variety of ways to lower living expenses. Often it is as simple as being willing to move to another state or to the country with its less complicated lifestyle. In an April 2003 survey, conducted for Del Webb, a major retirement community builder found that 59 percent of Baby Boomers aged 44 to 56 plans to relocate when they retire. Only 31 percent of those in the same age group filled out a similar survey in 1990. [Retire On Less Than You Think, page19] On the web site www.BestPlaces.net (Another web site is www.RetirementLiving.com) it indicates that a New Yorker who makes $100,000 per year if he or she were to relocate in Jacksonville, Florida or Tucson, Arizona they would need approximately only 42 percent of their current income to maintain a comparable lifestyle. Keep in mind these comparisons make no changes in your standard of living. [Retire On Less Than You Think, page38] The bottom line is that the financial services industry bases their projections on pre-retirement income whereas you need to design you final life’s chapter on post-retirement expenses. Mutual fund companies and stockbrokers for get that not only by moving you drop the cost of housing by 60-70 percent but you probably have no longer children to shelter, feed and educate; your employment expenses will be less for such items as clothing, travel, and meals and you will have time to look for bargains or produce your own goods such as a vegetable garden.

Another way to reduce expenses in this third phase of your life is consider moving to a tax friendly state. Currently seven states have no general income tax – Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. Five other states have no sales tax — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Hew Hampshire and Oregon. Even better a savvy senior could live and work in Washington state and purchase their necessities with no sales tax in Oregon by living on the border of Washington and Oregon states.

 

4. Retire your mortgage before you retire

Many Baby Boomers who have married and purchased homes in their late thirties or early forties will be saddled with mortgage payments into their seventies. Don’t even think of retirement until you have burned the house mortgage. You can’t afford a fixed expense like a house mortgage in retirement. For those who are less than fifteen years from retirement this would be the time to consider the following ways to own your house earlier and definitely paid for it by the time you retire.

Add to the principle

In addition to your regular monthly mortgage payment, always figure in an extra amount. You can reduce your 30-year mortgage by ten years and save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments. For example:  If you have a $100,000 loan for 30 years at 8% interest and you send your financial company an additional $100 payment each month, you will reduce the life of your mortgage by ten years. Also, you will save $64,000 in mortgage interest. If that is too much for you currently, why not start with just $20 per month. Even with this small amount the result will surprise you. You will shave off approximately 3 years and save $20,000.

Change to a fifteen-year mortgage 

Many people think that if you select a 15-year fixed mortgage your monthly payments will double. The fact is that it is nowhere near double. Usually it's not much more than an extra 30 percent. For example: If you have a $100,000 15-year mortgage with 8% interest, it will cost you $955 per month as compared to a 30 year mortgage with the same loan amount and interest rate of $733. With the current low home mortgage interest rates of 5½ to 6½ you may even be able to do better. At the beginning a little belt tightening may be needed; but with cost of living raises or promotions, within a few years that extra will not seem that much.

Have a payday mortgage payment

If you have to take a 30-year mortgage to fit into your budget, use a "Payday" mortgage if you get compensated every two weeks. Instead of paying a monthly mortgage, you make a loan repayment every two weeks — often called a biweekly. Consequently, more of the payment is applied to the principal and one’s equity in the home is accrued at a faster rate. This is a great idea if you can get this service free; but if you have to pay $300 or more, you would achieve the same goal by adding an extra one months payment annually. For example: The equivalent of one extra full payment per year will shorten the mortgage loan by almost 8 years. 

 

5. Reduce transportation costs

Some people assert that there is “Black Holes” in the universe, which if you should past into one you will be sucked into and definitely never come back. Whether this is a fact of Astronomy or not it seems more often to be a factor in purchasing an automobile.  Once you purchase that dream car or truck it seems to suck the life out of your finances in depreciation, maintenance, repairs and daily travel expenses. The good news is that it does not have to be that way. Here are some workable ideas:

 

What type of Vehicle: Before you fall in love with that sporty two-door roadster or that SUV ask yourself what am I going to use this vehicle for? Will it be for going to the local store twice a week? Will it be for transporting my many grandchildren? Will be for going on numerous road trips for either pleasure or volunteer organizations? 

Depreciation: Unless you are planning to keep your vehicle for at least ten to twelve years it makes no sense to purchase a new one. Just driving it off the dealer’s lot you have lost between $3,000 to $5,000 on a mid-size vehicle. Choose instead a two-year old vehicle, with low mileage in the 15,000 to 20,000 mile range. It still has at least 15,000 miles under the manufacturer’s bumper to bumper warranty.

Maintenance: Now that you are retired or when you should retire you probably will service your own vehicle with regular items such as oil changes and replace your own battery, lights, etc.  If you maintain your vehicle the amount of repairs will be minimized. Recognize that both maintenance and repairs will increase as your automobile ages.

Reduce the number of vehicles: Most American families have at least two automobiles. Often there is no reason to have more than one vehicle and the savings are considerable. According to AAA the average family vehicle costs approximately $6000 a year when you calculate in depreciation, gas, insurance, repairs, etc. Why not just rent a rental vehicle once every two weeks and complete all your errands, such as shopping, visiting the dentist or physician, etc. on that one day. According to Money magazine, November 1997 overall transportation costs will be lowered by 47% from the average of $6,700 per year for gasoline, maintenance and insurance to an average of $3,600 after 65.

6. Set a retirement budget

Because we will probably live a twenty to thirty years in the final chapter of our life’s and with that the possibility of running out of money it is important that we limit our withdrawals to 3-4 percent of our total retirement funds. Then each consecutive year increase that 4 percent by 3% to cover inflation. An example would be if you started with $250,000 you could safely withdraw $10,000 the first year. The next year with the 3% inflation factor you could withdraw $10,300 and so on.

7. Save Regularly and Early

This is not as hard as it seems, but it does demand action and the earlier the better as the following illustration indicates. If your goal is to have $300,000 in the bank when you retire at age 65, the best age to begin is 25. If you contribute $200 per month until you are 30, you will have saved $12,000. If you do not save another cent, assuming an annual interest rate of 8%, you will reach your retirement financial goal. If you wait until you are 35, you will have to make those $200 per month contributions until you are 50 and you will have contributed $36,000. If you begin to save the same monthly amount at age 45 you’ll have to save nearly $65,000 over the next 27 years to acquire the same $300,000. It doesn’t matter whether you are forty or fifteen years from your retirement date or you are currently retired having a savings plan is essential for your financial future. To assist you in this necessary aspect of money management listed below are five saving strategies that will get you started.

Develop a plan: Saving money is really hard—unless you have a plan. The best way is to sit down and generate on a sheet of paper a list of your goals and dreams. Planning for your future retirement should be a priority.  Others dreams could include Christian education for your grand-children, taking a mission trip or vacation overseas, or being totally debt-free from credit card or other loans within a specified time. Once you have made your list, prioritize these financial goals, setting an achievable amount and a realistic time to accomplish each item. To boost your motivation to save, post, where you will see it frequently, a picture of your dream home or a travel magazine scene of that foreign country you wish to visit. 

 

Don’t delay: Financial counselors are always telling their clients to start saving early. The reasoning should be clear from this example: If you started investing $2,000 per year at age 25 at an average of 8 percent rate of return, forty years later you would have over $606,000 in the bank. However, if you delayed saving until you were 35 and then began to invest $2,000 annually at the same 8 percent interest rate, you would have only $266,000 at age 65. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the fact that maybe you have left your “run’ to save to long, let me encourage you with this personal illustration. An acquaintance of mine realized at age 50 that he had only 15 years to retirement and he had not saved one cent. So during the next fifteen years all he did was take his annual cost of living raise, saving 50 percent for his financial future and 50 percent for daily living increases. By just regularly each month setting aside that small amount he accumulated over $100,000 during the next decade and a half. 

Save from unexpected sources: Perhaps you received some money that a relative left for you in a trust or you received an unexpected gift of money from a parent.  Or why not develop your own unexpected resource by having a spring garage sale and collecting $300 to $500 for your throw away items. Or think of the annual tax refund—over the last five years the annual tax refund from the IRS for the average American family has been approximately $1,500. If you were to put that amount into savings, it would amount to more than $60,000 over an average working lifetime or over $22,000 if you left saving until you were aged 50.  If you add the magic of compounding interest, your $60,000 or $22,000 would mushroom to well over double that amount. 

 

Save from expected sources: You are probably saying to yourself, "I don’t have any expected sources of extra income, and if I did, I have many other needs that it would have to go for before putting any into a savings account." The truth is that the majority of us do have expected sources of income. Take, for example, the vehicle you are driving. If you are like most individuals, you purchased it with a small down payment and you agreed to pay off the remainder of the cost in monthly installments. Now, let me ask you what will you do with that extra $400 per month once the vehicle is paid for? Usually what happens is that the extra $400 is just absorbed into the expenses of daily living. However, if you start paying yourself (putting into savings or investment) that $400, your financial picture will be significantly impacted in another four years.

Use direct depositThe easiest method to save money is to have a set amount deducted each pay period from your salary or from your social security deposit. This amount is then automatically transferred to your bank or credit union savings account. The payday deduction is one of the reasons Europeans save at least seven times more and the Japanese save ten times more than Americans. Most of us would be better off with this type of “forced” savings. Remember: What you don’t see, you don’t miss and, better still, you don’t spend!

8. Other Income sources

Social Security: When the national Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) commonly known as Social Security was enacted in 1935, the average male was expected to live an additional 12 years. Currently, he can be expected to live an additional 15-20 years. Many people plan for 100% of their retirement living expenses from Social Security, forgetting that it was designed only to provide for the basics — shelter, food, clothing and utilities — not for home mortgages, vacations and insurances.

 

With only three workers to every retiree as compared to 35 workers when Social Security began the benefits for the Baby Boomers are not going to be the same as for today's seniors. In this new millennium Social Security benefits should account for approximately 40% of the average retiree’s retirement income. However, don’t assume you will never be able to take advantage of this important program. According to the 2003 report from the Social Security trustees the projected point at which tax revenues will fall below expenses will be 2018 and the point at which the trust fund will be exhausted was put at 2042. To make sure you will receive the benefits due to you, complete a Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (Form SSA-7004) every three years. You can order a free copy of this form by calling 1-800-772-1213. You will receive a statement of your earnings — according to their records — along with a projection of your future benefits. If the earning figures do not compare with your income tax returns, notify the Social Security Administration of these discrepancies.

Employee and Pre-tax Programs: If your employer offers you any of the following retirement programs — 401(k), 403(b), 457 or any other programs — take full advantage of them, as they are one of the best ways to save for retirement. Along with these pre-tax contributions your employer may make a matching contribution. Unfortunately, many employees (up to 75% in some organizations) fail to take advantage of this program; and over a forty-year working career, this could mean a retirement financial loss of over $200,000. It is crucial that you no longer delay retirement savings. The best method is to arrange to have automatic withdrawals taken from your paycheck.   

 

One of the questions often asked of financial educators and planners is how do I grow my investments whether I am still working or have already retired. While whole books have been written on the subject of investing this is not one of them. However in this articl we would like to remind you of some of the basic principles that are needed as you work with your broker or develop your own portfolio.  Before you set up your family or individual investment strategies, two principles need to be kept in mind. Number one, you need to eliminate all consumer debt. Such items would include furniture and vehicle loans, credit and charge accounts. Over one hundred years ago Ellen White wrote: "With economy you may place something at interest. With wise management you can save something after paying your debts.” (Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 329, 1908).

 

Secondly you must set up an emergency account with a minimum amount of $1,000. This provides for unexpected financial emergencies such as car repairs and house maintenance items, thus removing the need to stack up credit card debt. 

The following are seven Biblical Principles of Investing

1. Wise Planning

"The wise plan ahead and save for the days to come, but stupid people spend money as fast as they get it." (Proverbs 21:20 TCW). "Steady plodding brings prosperity." (Proverbs 21:5 LB). The phrase "steady plodding," as translated from the original Hebrew, pictures an individual who is filling a bucket, one cup at a time. 

The first and best investment that represents this principle is your home. If you are wise, you will regularly add principle to your monthly mortgage payment and thereby pay off your house in a third to half the time of your mortgage terms and save tens of thousand of dollars. Another example would be investing in tax-sheltered funds or annuities, particularly the matching amount if your employer offers such a program. Currently only about 45 percent of individuals accept their matching funds. When they disregard this opportunity over a period of 40 years, they are throwing away hundreds of thousands of retirement dollars.

2. Diversify

It has been said that owning stocks over the long term will give you a better return, however, we often only have the short term to invest. Hence, you need a portfolio consisting of a variety of investments. Use stocks and mutual funds for long-term growth and certificates of deposit and treasury bills for short-term needs as your shelter against inflation. When it comes to investment advice, King Solomon was correct when he said to seek diversity when investing and saving money for the future. "Invest your money in seven places, or even eight because you don't know what will fail and what will succeed." (Ecclesiastes 11:2 TCW).

3. Avoid Speculations

Particularly when it comes to speculation, this golden rule applies:  No matter how good the market looks, never invest money you can't afford to lose.  "There is another serious problem I have seen everywhere - savings are put into risky investments that turn sour, and soon there is nothing left to pass on to one's son. The man who speculates is soon backing to where he began—with nothing.” (Ecclesiastes 5:13-15 LB).                       

"Hasty speculation brings poverty." (Proverbs 21:5 LB).

4. Timing

Many investors try to time the stock or bond market, hoping to sell when the market is high and buy again when stocks bottom out. If we knew that secret, we would all be wealthy. A smart investor will always remember that time is his or her greatest asset. They will not let sudden market changes shake them and they will not be caught in impulse buying.  "There are other things I've learned about life. There are times to do specific things and different seasons in which to do them."  (Ecclesiastes 3:1 TCW).

5. Types of Investing

Christians should avoid investing in stocks and mutual funds of companies that profit from services and products which are not glorifying to God and which harm others. Because we believe that our bodies are God's temple, we need to stay clear of companies that destroy our health and promote intemperance. Examples would be the tobacco ("Dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit." 2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV) and alcohol industries ("Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors . . . You will be filled with shame instead of glory." Habakkuk 2:15-16 NIV). Obviously those businesses that are involved in immoral and unethical practices are another group that we should bypass in choosing our portfolio. These could include gambling, weapons manufacturing, Third World sweatshops, abortion ("For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in the womb, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13,14 NIV), and the pornographic entertainment industry ("Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity, . . . these are improper for God's holy people."  Ephesians 5:3 NIV). Investing in socially conscious funds is one way to avoid working with the Devil. The bottom line is: Christians cannot afford the short-lived profits gained by investing money, which would result in the eternal loss of precious souls for whom Jesus died.

6. Place Your Confidence in the Lord

Since only God can see the future, it pays to ask for His guidance in how we should invest. If we put our confidence and trust in Him, He will bless our efforts to become financially free. "Charge members who are rich not to become proud nor to trust in their wealth. They should put their trust in God . . . ." (1 Timothy 6:17 TCW).

7. Giving Generously

To some God has given the spiritual gift and ability to make wise investments. He does so that those members may give of their accumulating wealth for spreading the gospel and to provide for those in need. “ . . .they should focus their lives on doing good, becoming rich in virtue, helping those in need and being kind to everyone. This is like putting money which will never be devalued, in the bank of heaven. They'll have a life that’s meaningful here, and in the end, they’ll be given eternal life."  (1 Timothy 6:18-19, TCW).

 

Part-time employment

In the past, most individuals and families felt quite secure with Social Security, a pension and some personal savings; but in the future, the majority of Americans will have to add a fourth leg to their retirement stool—a job. This might not be all bad for a number of reasons. For many Baby Boomers they will redefine retirement  as not just a simple process of withdrawal from employment but  rather as a transitional process. With good health and a sound mind many will be able to work for many years in their retirement.  As Horce Deets puts it “They’ll be working part-time, seasonally, and episodically.  They’ll be working for themselves as well as others.  They’ll be working in and for their communities. They’ll be enjoying their work.  They’ll be laying the foundation for a new society based not on the survival of the fittest but on the wisdom and continuing energy of age.” Now Retirement Means New Opportunities by Horace B. Deets, Executive Director  78 Modern Maturity January-February 1999

Current statistics seem to support this idea of continuing to be employed during at least the early years of retirement. In a survey, conducted by the Gallup Organization for the brokerage firm PaineWebber Inc., they reported that 85 percent of boomers plan on working after retirement. Of these 15 percent said they plan to work as long as they can, while 10 percent said they plan to seek a balance between work and leisure. Interestingly, 60 percent said they would seek new careers or open their own businesses. Again in another survey, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide Inc. for the American Association of Retired Persons, 80 percent of boomers indicated they plan to work at least part time after retirement.

The social benefits of working part time have been documented by professors Lenard W. Kaye and Leslie B. Alexander of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research of Bryn Mawr College.  They studied 613 part-time workers whose average age was 66, and concluded that while the retirees certainly needed income to pay living expenses, they also derived other benefits from their jobs, such as an improved sense of self-worth as well as the opportunity to form friendships with fellow workers, especially the younger workers. This latter aspect was particularly important to these retirees as often their family and community support networks were reduce in size as friends and relatives passed away. Professor Phyllis Moen, of Cornell University’s Retirement and Well-Being Study, found that part-time employment provided “a rhythm and structure in ones life, a sense of identity and purpose, social contacts, and an opportunity to be creative is “very good for one’s psychological health.”  The Sacramento Bee Sunday, Jan. 10, 1999

We have a tendency to see financial planning for retirement through society’s eyes rather than Biblical eyes. God’s message to Adam and ultimately the whole human race was, by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground. Genesis 3:19 NIV. 

In fact, a recent study by Harvard University proves the point. The research study involved two groups of 100 Harvard graduates between the ages of sixty-five and seventy-five. The first group retired at age sixty-five while the other group continued to be employed for another ten years. The results are a warning for those whose purpose in retirement is a life of ease and pleasure.  In the first group — those who retired at sixty-five seven out of eight were dead by age seventy-five. In the second group of 100 men who continued to work — only one out of eight was deceased by age seventy-five.

Here are few tips to find a job or ministry you would love to do after you officially “retire.” Pick a field you love. It could be turning your favorite hobby or some special skill into a part-time paycheck. Volunteer to work in an area of interest to you. Attend night classes at the local community college to increase your knowledge in a prospective field of interest.Search the employment bulletin boards on the Internet or find out what skills companies are searching for or those companies who love hiring gray heads. Remember, if you are still here at sixty-five, God isn’t done with you. In fact your most fruitful years of service may still be ahead of you.

Contrary to popular opinion financial planning for retirement does not have to be an unpleasant experience. In fact, after applying the about guidelines and principles you may discover the task to be both pleasant and rewarding and the monetary resources you will need to fulfill most of your retirement dreams. 

In his life, Gordon Botting served the church as a pastor and a health/stewardship/ACS director. He passed to his rest on July 15, 2019

 

Resources:

Brock, Fred, Retire On Less Than You Think, Times Books, 2004

Otterbourg, Robert, Retire & Thrive, Kiplinger Books, 2003

Concepts from The Stewpot Articles: March & April, 1998, Reprinted in Ministry Magazine, 1998, June 2001, April, 2002

 

DEVELOPING A REALISTIC BUDGET

If at retirement you find that you do not have the typical income of 70 percent of what you have been living on previously do not despair as pointed out in this chapter you can live on approximately 40 percent. Maybe the following monthly budget will give you some financial hope:

 

                                                                 Suggested Budget             Your Budget

Tithe and Church Offerings                            $500                            $

Housing (Property Tax/Maintenance, etc.)    $300                            $          

Household supplies (Groceries)                     $400                            $

Laundry/Cleaning products/Pet Food, etc)     $                                  $

Clothing (Dry-cleaning, etc.)                         $200                            $

Vehicle (Gas/Maintenance/Registration)       $300                            $ 

Utilities (Electricity/Gas/Water, etc.)             $300                            $

Telephone (Cell/Internet/TV etc.)                  $200                            $

Medical (Pharmacy/Optical/Dental)              $400                            $

Insurance (House/Vehicle/Other, etc.)           $300                            $

Gifts & Hobbies                                              $100                            $

Vacations                                                        $200                            $

Entertainment                                                 $100                            $

Miscellaneous                                                 $200                            $

Total                                                               $3,500                         $

 

Note: This budget assumes that the individual or a couple have their house and a new or near-new vehicle paid for at retirement.

 

How did the suggested budget come about?

Husband’s Social Security                             $1,000

Wife’s Social Security                                    $700

Husband’s & Wife’s Mutual funds                $1,200

Part-time Employment                                   $ 600

Total                                                               $3,500

                                                                        

PLANNING YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME

It is like a four-legged stool

 

1. Social Security                                            30-40%

2. Pension/401k, 403b, IRA, etc                     30-40%

3. Other Income (Rental/CD’s/Roth)             10-15%

4. Part-time Job                                               10-15%

Total                                                               100%