I spent a lot of hours on airplanes in the last few weeks. The coffee plantation is doing well and the Dordogne area of southern France is superb. Read a thought provoking book entitled: 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. Albert Brooks projects a challenging world, a scary world, in the not too distant future. Under his assumptions, the unintended results of curing cancer and unchecked borrowing by our government, changes our world. It is changed primarily because our country’s financial alternatives and decision making options become limited. We become victim to our own lack of foresight. The unintended consequences of sequentially bad decisions scared me about our earthly future.
It also made me think of issues even closer to today: The unintended consequences of not establishing a Future Funded Ministry Plan (both by an organization for it’s staff, and for each plan participant). Scary too. Scary because when each person gets to the point of changing their life style—because of age or other circumstance—and support funds are not there, choice is lost. “Going where You (God) want me to go” is then, not an option. “The unintended consequences of sequentially bad decisions” is scary indeed.
Let’s follow the logic: When choice is lost, the lowest common denominator wins. In most cases the controlling factor is money ... or more pointedly, the lack of resources. So, at least part of the answer is to set money aside now for that point in time when the paycheck stops or income is dramatically reduced. Experientially, we here at Envoy know the amount is about 10% of income. So how are you doing? How is your organization doing?
The next point is to make sure your plan is running well ... a smooth running automobile is an analogy that comes to mind. The most recent “action item” in the tune up menu is to be clear about plan expenses. As a Plan Sponsor you should have received the plan expenses fee disclosure document from either Envoy or your current vendor. If you haven’t received it—in either case—give us a call, we can help. Not knowing also leads to unintended consequences.
Next, the Fee Disclosure info will need to be sent to all your eligible plan participants by the end of August (we are putting together materials to help you with this now). It is important to explain the information before your participants get it. You know the old adage: Tell them what they will be told, tell them, and then explain what they got. Mom’s advice of long ago still holds true.
Here is the key message of the day:
- The future is controlled by the decisions you make along the way.
- Once those decisions are made, future choice is either limited or expanded.
- Read the book.
- Make your plans.
- Get help (Trusted Advice) so the plans will be good ones.
- Know that God’s plans for you are "for good, and not for evil." So, pay attention ... your future depends in it!
Always good to be home.
Living with Trusted Advice together