A few decades ago, a wise man asked a Bible college administrator why there were no financial courses offered to help train future ministry personnel in the importance of balanced budgets and saving for retirement.  The administrator responded that there were simply insufficient course hours available at the undergraduate level for such a class. Including a course in personal finance would require the elimination of other courses deemed vital.

No Room For Planning

Stories abound from congregational ministers, missionaries, and ministry leaders who have made insufficient preparation for retirement. There are many reasons for such situations. So much energy and creativity is required for effective ministry and caring for the family that little is left for thinking three decades into the future.

From Few Resources to Many

A number of years ago, the question was, “Where do ministry personnel turn for reliable financial advice geared to professionals with little to no training in financial markets?” In 2016 (and following), there are an impressive number of options available to everyone. A few short years ago mergers and consolidations dramatically decreased the number of brokerage and advisory firms.

That void has been filled with some firms expanding, the creation of a number of discount and online brokerage firms, plus banks and insurance companies increasing their offering of investment opportunities. Ellevest has been introduced as a “digital advisor platform.” It is an investment option targeted specifically to serve the needs of women in investing.

Failure to Plan is Planning To Fail

With nearly as many investment outlets (online firms, discount brokerages, full service firms, banks, insurance/investment companies, as well as the direct purchase of no-load mutual funds/ETFs/target retirement funds) as grocery stores, there is virtually no excuse for the failure to plan and save for retirement. The issue of finding “trusted” advice will always be present and must be answered. One thing is certain, we all must choose our options and get started. Failure to plan will guarantee a disappointing retirement outcome. A commitment planning for retirement and following through with regular, systematic savings in “stewardship for your future!”