It is Friday June 4, and 2020 has been a CRAZY year…particularly for the recent college grads and rising seniors. Your last college semester was not upset…it was torn apart. You were sent home and you were forced to join the online college program, even if you didn’t want to. Your spring sports, spring banquets, end of the semester planned travel, and your graduation was cancelled. For those whose college career ended, your job search was thrown into turmoil. For the rising seniors, you have wondered if the fall semester would be on campus or online…and more. As a seasoned citizen with decades of experience, can I add a “heads up”? As hectic as this has seemed, this is nothing compared to what lies ahead.

Yesterday, the MoneyMiniBlog asked a question, “Are we facing a retirement Crisis?” Based upon sound research, using the widely accepted 4% annual withdrawal rule, the conclusion was, “Yes we are.” With the average retirement savings of $152,000, the “average retiree” can reasonably expect to have $500 per month to live on top of their Social Security. There are very few passions we can pursue on that amount. That is a crisis! But YOU can change things. Your future can be MUCH brighter, and it will not destroy your lifestyle during the “fun” years of your 20’s!

If you commit to begin and continue a savings program of $3000 per year ($250 per month, less than $58 per week), you can have a retirement income of more than $2,600 per month in addition to your Social Security! Additional savings over your lifetime can add substantially to that. The more you save now, the greater your freedom will be to pursue your passions when free time is more available!

Our example is based upon setting aside $125 per month in the Christian Churches Pension Plan…as soon as you get your first job. Now, our pension plan is available to anyone serving with a church, mission organization, Christian non-profit organization, or college. In this example, our plan promises to begin paying you a lifetime income of $1,600 per month at age 65 for anyone enrolling on or before their 25thbirthday. If you enroll as 21, 22, 23, or 24, your lifetime monthly income will be higher. More about our plan is available at

We propose setting aside the other $125 per month in an IRA, Roth IRA, or properly designed 403(b) plan. The assumed growth rate for that plan is 7.5% annually. Historically, well managed, low expense fee mutual funds have met or exceeded this return. Now, future returns for mutual funds is not guaranteed, but this suggestion is well within acceptable norms. This account would grow in value to “approximately” $360,000 by the time you reach 65, and you would be able to withdraw $1,000 per month (more if investment returns exceed this example…less of not) for retirement income.

The reason I wanted to address recent college grads and rising seniors today is simple; the future is in your hands. Be wise and learn from the mistakes of others. Begin your retirement savings NOW, because you have the power of compounded interest and time on your side. Do not stop saving and add more whenever possible. Take control of your future now.

Here is to everyone pursuing their passions…in spite of confusing circumstances.