Social Security During Retirement: What Are Your Options?

When Should You Start Taking Your Social Security?

You are eligible to file for social security benefits when you turn 62, but if you do, your monthly check will be reduced significantly for the rest of your life. You may have little choice if you are out of work or in poor health and need the money to pay expenses. But if you have the wherewithal to work a few more years or have other sources of income, delaying checks until age 66, or your full benefit age, will increase your monthly amount by 33% or more.

How Can You Boost Your Social Security Payouts?

That’s not the only way working longer can boost your payouts. Your social security benefits are based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you are a highly paid employee, working longer will displace some of your lower-earning years. You can see the Social Security Administration online tool that allows you to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your benefits. You should review this record annually because unreported or under-reported earnings reduce your monthly payments. To get your online statement, go to ssa.gov/mystatement.

If you work and get paid until age 70 and you start taking your full social security benefit at age 66, you can save four years of social security payment into your pretax or Roth retirement account. What a difference this makes!

Make Sure You’re Ready To Retire

Re-assess what you will spend in retirement. Most people underestimate how much they will spend when they retire. However, some financial planners and retirement calculators advise much more than you will need. While you may save on dry cleaning and commuting costs, you will still need to pay for groceries, utilities, and gas. If you refinanced to take cash out of your home, you may still have mortgage payments. And even after you’re eligible for Medicare, you will spend some money on health care costs. Fidelity Investments estimates that the average 65-year old couple will spend $260,000 on health care in retirement (“Health Care Costs,” 2016). Still convinced you can live on less?

Here is a good idea—try living on your projected retirement income for 6 months while you are still working. This exercise will force you to evaluate your spending and cut back if needed. That means you’ll be able to save more. And at this point in your life, saving is one of the few things you can control.

6 Smart Savings Tips for the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to start fresh; it’s a time when you can begin something new or vow to change something from the past. It’s also a great time to focus on your retirement savings plan.

Here are 6 tips that can help you get on track to a fully funded future:

1. Student Loans
Don’t worry about quickly paying off your student loans unless the interest rate is really high. It is important to realize that $2,500 of a student loan’s interest is tax deductible. Also, interest rates are often fixed and fairly low—between 3.4% and 6.8% for loans issued after 2006. Keeping them and paying them off slowly makes sense. Of course, like any debt, it is better to eventually pay them off than to have them. Make sure you pay off your higher interest loans first. This strategy will make a real impact on your financial landscape by helping you pay off debt faster and save for the future sooner.

2. Money for a House
Siphon off cash for a down payment. As untouchable as retirement accounts should normally be, a loan from your retirement account can be a good idea. You can repay the loan over 30 years, under most plans when the loan is intended to help with the down payment for a principal residence, and the interest you pay goes back into your same retirement account. To justify this strategy, you need to have enough time before retirement to repay the loan and replenish the accounts. Also, be strategic about which investment account you tap. Take the money from the conservative portion of your investment portfolio. For example, the interest you are paying back to yourself can replace a bond fund or money market fund.

3. No Cashing Out!
Resist cashing out a retirement account. When you leave a job, you have several options. You can leave your account with your former employer, roll it into an IRA, roll it into your new employer’s plan (if your employer permits such rollovers), or ask your former employer to cut you a check. You may be tempted to choose the last option, but in most cases, that’s a bad idea.

4. Prepare for Contingencies
If you have not done so already, fuel an emergency fund with enough money to cover at least six month’s worth of basic expenses. This cushion helps keep you solvent after a layoff and prevents you from borrowing your way out of a crisis. The key is to have access, not necessarily cash on hand, for up to 6 month’s worth of expenses.

5. Dare to Downsize
You may have hoped to move to smaller living accommodations as soon as the kids were grown. Some 74 homeowners, who have watched the value of their homes decline in recent years, are reluctant to sell until the real estate market rebounds. Even if your home hasn’t returned to its former value, moving to a smaller, less expensive home can save you thousands of dollars a year in taxes, utility costs, and insurance. These savings can be funneled into retirement savings. You may need some help with this approach but do the financial analysis and make a wise decision. An accountant can help you with the math.

6. Catch-Up Contributions
Because so many people wait too long, there are powerful government incentives that work in your favor once you’re over 50. At 50 and above, you are permitted to contribute significantly more to your 403(b) or 401(k) plan than your younger colleagues. The current “catch-up” percent of your age (50) is $5,500 a year. Make sure to check the current amount because it does change occasionally.

How Do You Know if You’re Ready for Retirement?

If you’re nearing retirement age, you’re probably starting to wonder what you need to do to make sure you’re financially prepared. Is the amount of money you’ve saved over the years enough to sustain you for 20 or 30 years?

Here are some steps you should take before you retire:

Know Your Current Cost of Living

It’s important to know how much you spend each month so you can know how much money you will need each year. If you don’t have a budget, now is a good time to start one. This will give you a good idea of how much you spend each month. Keep in mind that each month will vary. While you may just need money for bills and food one month, you may need new tires and health prescriptions the next month. It’s smart to give yourself a buffer each month so you will have a little extra for unplanned expenses.

Also, don’t forget that as you get older, your medical expenses will most likely rise. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that costs and rates fluctuate such as tax rates, food prices, clothing, etc. And don’t forget about inflation—your every day expenses will go up! This is one of the most overlooked pieces to retirement planning.

Estimate How Much Income You Will Be Receiving

Add up everything you will be receiving from social security to retirement savings. This will just be an estimate, but it will give you a good starting point to knowing how much you will receive each month. Then, deduct how much you believe you will spend each month from that number.

If you can, wait until you’re 70 to take out Social Security. You are eligible to file for social security benefits when you turn 62, but if you do, your monthly check will be reduced significantly for the rest of your life. You may have little choice if you are out of work or in poor health and need the money to pay expenses. But if you have the wherewithal to work a few more years or have other sources of income, delaying checks until age 66, or your full benefit age, will increase your monthly amount by 33% or more.

Make Sure You Are Emotionally Prepared

Retiring can be a huge change and although it sounds fun, many people struggle with the emotional aspect of it. It can be difficult to go from working full time to having nothing to do. That’s why it’s best to have something lined up for retirement. You need something to keep your mind busy and your heart happy. At Envoy, we describe retirement as your Future Funded Ministry. This is the time where you get to use the resources you saved to support you as you follow God’s call in this last part of your life. Retirement should not be a time of sadness. Instead, it should be a time of joy as you live out the rest of your years in ministry. This could be volunteering for special needs children, creating meals for those in need, or simply helping your grandchildren with their homework.

Here’s the bottom line—make sure that you can estimate how much you will need in retirement. Then make sure you will be receiving enough each month to cover that. Once you retire, begin to follow God’s calling on this latter part of your life.


Check out these tools and calculators to help you make sure you’re squared away for retirement.

Start Saving for Retirement With These Important Steps

Saving for retirement can be difficult—especially when you’re focused on paying bills, feeding and clothing your family, paying for school supplies, and much more! If you haven’t already started saving for retirement, now is a perfect opportunity to make this happen.

Here are a few tips on how you can easily save for your future years of ministry:

Save at least 10% of your income towards your Future Funded Ministry plan

This provides a simple target for you to work towards as part of a disciplined savings approach. You may start at a lower level and then focus on increasing your contributions over time to get to this percentage.

Plan on living 20-25 years in retirement after age 65

People who live to age 65 have a 50% chance of living to age 85 and a 25% chance of living until 92.

Plan on needing 70% to 80% of your income in your Future Funded Ministry years

Certain expenses will likely disappear or be reduced once you leave the workplace.

To make your savings last, withdraw less than 4% a year

This simple formula has proven very accurate over time. It provides a guideline for how much to withdraw each year without exhausting your Future Funded Ministry savings.

Rebalance your asset allocation at least once per year

Rebalancing is when you adjust your portfolio back to an appropriate asset allocation mix. This keeps your investments aligned with your risk tolerance and goals.

Bonds percentage of your portfolio equals your age

This rule is a reminder that your portfolio needs to change as you age, becoming gradually more focused on avoiding risk and providing income.

Consider matching your personal values with investing

Faith-based funds are a family of mutual funds that invests in companies that meet certain moral and ethical standards. They avoid companies that manufacture or distribute alcohol, anti-family entertainment, tobacco, gambling, and/or other potentially offensive practices.

Express your personal values in your investment decisions.

To help you better understand retirement planning terms, click here.

Looking for faith-based IRA options? The FaithBased IRA from Envoy Financial could be the perfect solution for you!


Key Financial Retirement Terms That Can Help You Make Smart Retirement Decisions

What is a Portfolio?

The collection or group of investments all owned by the same individual or organization. All of the financial “stuff” you own. 

What is Mutual Fund?

● A pool of money from many investors that a professional money manager uses to buy the stocks and/or bonds of many different organizations. 

● This helps diversify risk because if a single company experiences financial difficulties it should not impact the fund as drastically since losses by one holding can be offset or balanced by the performance of the other holdings. Mutual funds can vary from very conservative to very aggressive.

What is Compound Interest?

● "Interest on interest," and will make a deposit or loan grow at a faster rate than simple interest, which is interest calculated only on the principal amount.

● Compound interest can significantly boost investment returns over the long term. While a $100,000 deposit that receives 5% simple interest would earn $50,000 in interest over 10 years, compound interest of 5% on $10,000 would amount to $62,889.46 over the same period.

What is Dollar Cost Averaging?

● Investing the same dollar amount every month, regardless of market conditions and fluctuating prices.

● This strategy helps to reduce your risk of loss over time. Also, by investing regular amounts as opposed to a lump sum, your average cost per share could potentially be lower. It is often better to embrace volatility over time, rather than trying to avoid it by investing larger lump sums all at once.

● Dollar Cost averaging is what you’re doing when you contribute money to your 401k or 403 b….so it is an important concept to understand.

What is Asset Allocation

● Deciding how much money to place in different asset classes, or types of investments, at any given time. 

● Your investment choices should be selected from different types of asset classes, such as stocks, bonds and cash. An appropriate asset allocation helps reduce your portfolio’s exposure to volatility when the financial markets are delivering unsteady returns. 

● Selecting the right mix of investments can help you achieve your Future-Funded Ministry goals.

What is Diversification?

● The process of spreading your money among different specific investments. 

● It may also may be thought of as not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

What is Risk?

● The proportionate chance of gain or loss.

● Generally more aggressive (higher risk) investments may deliver higher average returns over time, however, this is offset by a higher potential for loss of principal compared to safer, more conservative investments. 

What is Volatility?

● The up and down price movement of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 

● Typically, stocks involve more risk and generally have more up and down price movement than bonds. However, bonds may have a lower overall rate of return than stocks because they do not represent ownership, only debt.

● Depending on market conditions, each type of asset, stocks or bonds, may do better over different periods of time.

What is a Bond?

● A loan to a company or government.

● These bonds represent debt of the issuer. Each bond is set to mature on a certain date, and at that time the organization will pay back the original loan amount to the bondholder plus interest. Mutual funds usually own a large number of different bonds.

What is a stock/stock market?

● As a shareholder, or stockholder, you do not get to personally make decisions about how the company is run, but you get to elect the Board of Directors who make those decisions for you.

● The return you receive from regular payments from the company is called a dividend. The return from the share price moving up or down is called capital gain or loss. 

● As a shareholder, or stockholder, you do not get to personally make decisions about how the company is run, but you get to elect the Board of Directors who make those decisions for you.

The return you receive from regular payments from the company is called a dividend. The return from the share price moving up or down is called capital gain or loss. 

How to Make Sure You're Financially Prepared for Retirement

Unless you plan to work until you drop, you must prepare for retirement.

According to The Balance, the average amount saved for those who are 50 to 55 is $124, 831 (“Average Retirement Savings,” 2018). You don’t need a calculator to realize that $124,000 is not enough.

Here are some steps to take to make sure you are financially ready to retire:

Dare to Downsize

Some homeowners, who have watched the value of their homes decline in recent years, are reluctant to sell until the real estate market rebounds. Even if your home hasn’t returned to its former value, moving to a smaller, less expensive home can save you thousands of dollars a year in taxes, utility costs, and insurance.

These savings can be funneled into retirement savings. You may need some help with this approach but do the financial analysis and make a wise decision.

Consolidate Your Orphaned 403(b) or 401(k) Plans

You’ve probably changed jobs several times and you may still have money in former employers’ retirement plans. Leaving money in a former employer’s plan is not as bad as cashing it out. But as you approach retirement, it is a good idea to consolidate your savings into one IRA.

There is another step you can take prior to retirement, and that is to consolidate your retirement accounts with one vendor. Then, upon retirement, it will be easier to move to an IRA. Or, you may leave the account with that final vendor. You will get a better handle on how much money you have and where it’s invested by consolidating your accounts. You will also have more investment choices and pay lower administrative expenses.

Don’t forget, if you have ministerial status, you need to leave the money in your 403(b)(9) account to take advantage of the Housing Allowance Distribution.

Consider Long-Term Care Insurance

A well-funded retirement savings plan could be decimated in a matter of months if you end up in a nursing home or require round-the-clock home health care. Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of long-term care and Medicaid isn’t available until you’ve spent down most of your savings.

Long-term care insurance could prevent this from happening, but make sure it fits your budget before making such a purchase. The costs are often high. If you do not take out long-termcare insurance, set aside or allocate 3-5 years of the monthly cost of assisted care living expenses in your area of the country.

Weigh Your Social Security Options

You are eligible to file for social security benefits when you turn 62, but if you do, your monthly check will be reduced significantly for the rest of your life. You may have little choice if you are out of work or in poor health and need the money to pay expenses. But if you have the wherewithal to work a few more years or have other sources of income, delaying checks until age 66, or your full benefit age, will increase your monthly amount by 33% or more.

Earn Supplemental Income

You can also supplement your earnings by working and/or consulting part time in your area of expertise. In retirement, you can get paid for doing your favorite hobby. Think of how you can use your knowledge and skills to earn additional income. At 97 years of age, Billy Graham received royalties on the book he wrote many years back.

Looking for faith-based IRA options? The FaithBased IRA from Envoy Financial could be the perfect solution for you!

How to Wisely Plan for Your Children's College Education

How to Plan for Children’s College Education

We all know that there is a big difference in the cost of education depending on where you send your children to college. Much of the decision on where to go, and therefore the expense, is dependent upon a realistic matching of your child/children to interests, capacity, and innate capability.

Also, there is the very real possibility your child is not wired to either enjoy or benefit from a 4-year college degree. Matching applicable education with the appropriate expense only makes sense. Our culture and sometimes our pride get in the way of making good decisions.

There are new apprenticeship programs popping up, particularly in high-tech manufacturing areas. In another career direction, great education leading to a teaching degree can be found across the spectrum of colleges with the associated range of tuition. Regardless of the cost, the same time-and-money crunch applies to college savings that applies to retirement savings.

Also, the amount of student loan debt in our country is appalling. We need to be better stewards of our resources in this arena. So often we let a false pride get in our way when we say we want “only the best for our kids.” Perhaps we need examine what is best from a stewardship of time, money, and outcome. 

Start Early

Compare the difference between starting a college fund when your child is a toddler versus waiting until he or she is 13.

Starting earlier, you would have to save $345 a month to cover 75% of the cost of a public college education, according to Savingforcollege.com. Because you waited—you delayed saving for five years—you’ll have to save $646 a month. That’s almost twice as much!

Rather than regret the past, recalibrate the present. If you are on track for retirement but short of the needed education savings amount, you can always redirect 1% or 2% of your gross income from one pot, retirement, to the other for a few years. Recognize that this can result in you working a year or two longer before retirement or boost the savings for retirement after you’re done paying the college bills.

Loans

Or consider borrowing—judiciously of course. Parent PLUS loans, sponsored by the federal government, carry a fixed 7.9% rate. PLUS loans let you borrow up to the cost of tuition minus any financial aid. However, remember that borrowing on behalf of your student can jeopardize your own financial security in retirement. If the gap is a chasm, not a crevice, find a less expensive school.

Another way to get cash for college is to borrow against the equity in your home. With a home-equity loan, you pay a fixed rate (recent average: 6.4%). If you decide to go that route, borrow the entire amount upfront if the interest rate is low and fixed. With a line of credit, you pay a variable rate (recent average: 5.1%) and then borrow as needed. With both, you can generally deduct the interest on amounts borrowed up to $100,000, no matter how you use the money.

Determine the Amount You Are Willing to Spend

Other smart alternatives include making a fixed amount of money available to your child (children) for college. For example, an amount that will cover four years at a local college or only one year at an out of state school. For most, a college degree is what is important not the school’s name written on the diploma. 

Talk honestly with your kids. Let your kids know what you are prepared to contribute for college expenses before they make up a college wish list. Be clear that if the net price after financial aid doesn’t end up at your number, it has to go off the list. Without this conversation, you’ll be hard-pressed to say “no” when the acceptance letter from an expensive university comes. Make sure only clear, straight, truth is in play when it comes to making these hard choices about “higher” education for your children. It is hard, but necessary, to isolate the issues when there are multiple personalities and emotions in the decision-making room.

Discuss Options With Family Members

Often grandparents are financially able and want to contribute to the costs of college. Speak frankly with them a year or so before college selection process starts. Transparency and clear communication will yield the best for you, them and  the grandchild.

Benefit of Roth Versus Traditional

Should your contributions to your retirement account be pre-tax or after-tax?

Pre-tax, or traditional, means that you don’t pay taxes with every contribution, but you will pay taxes when you withdraw the money.

On the other hand, the after-tax option, or Roth contribution, does not save taxes now but can if taken out tax free assuming the account has been in place for at least five years.

The Roth option is valuable and important to understand. Many in full-time ministry, or those on the lower end of the income spectrum, do not pay much income tax. We all complain about taxes, but you can make a mid to high 5 figure income with 3 children along with a commitment to tithing and be in a very low tax bracket.

One of the strong benefits of contributing to a retirement plan is the tax deductibility of your contribution. If you pay little income tax, that incentive goes away. A number of years ago, a congressman named Roth lead a campaign to create another tax incentive to save—no tax savings now, but no taxes to pay when you take the money out.

Interestingly, we sometimes pay more in taxes during retirement than during our earning years. That makes the Roth option very attractive. When you know that all or part of your Future Funded Ministry income will not be taxed, the incentive to save increases.

For most who pay little income tax, Roth is the way to go. Note that the Roth option is only available for contributions by the participant, not for employer contributions. Please discuss this option more with your tax advisor.

To sum it up:

  1. Roth contributions are after-tax contributions, meaning you don't get any reduction in taxes for making the contribution. However, when you go to withdraw the funds in retirement, you won’t pay any taxes on the funds—what you initially contributed or the earnings.

  2. Roth makes sense for people in a low tax bracket, pastors, and overseas missionaries.

  3. Traditional contributions are pre-tax contributions that do reduce your taxes today. However, the contributions grow tax-deferred, meaning that when you withdraw the funds, you will pay taxes on the amount you receive, both the initial amount and the earnings.

  4. Traditional makes sense for people in a high tax bracket.

  5. Lastly, you do have the option to divide your contributions between traditional and Roth.

Looking for faith-based IRA options? The FaithBased IRA from Envoy Financial could be the perfect solution for you!

Will I Have Enough Money to Retire?

Here are 5 factors that may affect your retirement savings

(1) Inflation

  • Reduces how much you can buy today, compared to last year

  • Historically, inflation averages 3% annually

  • Your investments need to keep pace with or outpace inflation

(2) Investment Risk

  • Determine how much potential gain you are aiming to achieve with your investments, understanding that also means you may potentially lose a similar amount

  • More risk equals more volatility in returns and account values go up and down more

  • Diversify your portfolio by allocating money to multiple asset classes so you are not totally exposed if one asset type (such as stocks) drops dramatically

(3) Healthcare and Long-Term Care Expenses

  • A number of studies show that the average 65 year-old couple can expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on healthcare in retirement

  • The combination of increasing life expectancy and growing medical treatment costs can have a huge negative impact on savings

  • Consider obtaining Long Term Care insurance

  • The premiums can be significant, but having the coverage in place may help avoid disrupting your overall retirement planning strategy

(4) Taxes

  • Employer-sponsored and individual pre-tax accounts offer a variety of ways to receive tax breaks when making your retirement savings contributions

  • Pre-tax contributions provide a current reduction in taxable income, and therefore a reduction in the taxes you pay each year as you are adding to your accounts

  • Roth contributions are done on an after-tax basis, which does not provide a current year tax advantage, but does allow you to make withdrawals on a tax-free basis in retirement

(5) You

  • Set goals for what your financial needs will be in retirement

  • Evaluate your personal risk profile and asset allocation strategy

  • Take advantage of any employer matching contributions for which you may be eligible

  • Roll over assets from former employer plans rather than cashing out those accounts

  • Seek out trusted professional guidance or use available self-help tools

Is your staff prepared for the future? Visit Envoy Financial to learn how we can help you equip your staff for their retirement.

Tips on Setting up a Successful Retirement Plan

Do you wonder if you’re taking the right steps towards a successful retirement plan? Here are some tips that can help you make sure you’re on track.

Know your starting point

  • What are the balances in your existing 403(b), 401(k), IRA, or savings accounts?

  • Do you own other assets which may be convertible to cash in the future?

  • What is your current income level?

  • Do you currently have or follow a household budget?

  • Does your employer offer a retirement plan?

  • What are you currently contributing toward retirement?

  • Are you taking full advantage of any possible employer match?

  • How much experience do you have with investing?

  • What is the current asset allocation of your investment portfolio?

Set realistic goals

  • How long do you have to save before retirement?

  • Do you know how much money you need to save for retirement?

  • How much risk are you comfortable taking with your investments?

  • Do you expect major future changes to your income or expenses?

  • How much can you realistically increase your contributions?

Avoid Pitfalls That May Reduce Savings Today and in the Future

  • Set aside and maintain an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

  • Do not wait until late in your earnings years to start saving—start early.

  • Once you start saving, continue the habit, even if it is a small amount.

  • Avoid withdrawals during earning years, including loans and hardship distributions.

  • When you leave an employer, rollover your assets—don’t cash out your account.

You do not have to do this on your own

  • Discuss financial goals with your spouse and family.

  • Review potential budget changes and opportunities to increase contributions.

  • Read and learn to understand your account statements.

  • Utilize professional advice from your investment providers when it is available.

Explore the various tools and resources you have access to through Envoy.

6 Smart Retirement Plan Investing Tips

If you haven’t started putting money away for retirement, now is the best time to start! The thought of saving enough money for those 30 plus years of retirement sounds daunting, but if you’re well prepared, you will have nothing to worry about.

Here are 6 tips that will help you with successful retirement plan investing.

Know Your Investment Options

There are many different ways you can invest your money. If you’re employed, find out what kind of retirement benefits your employer offers.

There are different types of retirement plans such as:

  • 401(k)/403(b)/Company Plans

  • Traditional/Roth IRAs

  • And More!

As well as different types of portfolio investments such as:

  • Mutual Funds

  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

  • And More!

It’s important to understand the risk/reward return when you’re building your portfolio. Generally more aggressive (higher risk) investments may deliver higher average returns over time, however, this is offset by a higher potential for loss of principal compared to safer, more conservative investments. Generally, those nearing retirement will opt for a lower risk/lower return because they have less time to recover from loss.

Start Saving Early

It seems easy enough, but many people feel like they can’t start saving for retirement when they ‘re younger because they’re not making enough. Here’s the thing—you don’t need to save 10% of your income right away. Start saving 3% and as your pay increases, gradually increase how much you’re investing.

The earlier you start saving, the more you will have in retirement. You will also have the time to invest more aggressively and should be able to recover from any loses.

Set Goals

Decide when you want to retire, what you want to do in retirement, and how much money you’ll need to live off that lifestyle.

For example:

  • I want to retire at 65.

  • I plan on paying off my house and all debt before retirement.

  • I plan on traveling.

  • I plan on having medical expenses.

  • Based on my plans, I’ll need $48,000 per year in retirement.

  • I estimate that I’ll live 20 years in retirement. Thus, I’ll need a minimum of $960,000 saved. Keep in mind that this does not take into consideration inflation, taxes, any changes to social security or investment earning rates, etc. It is also very likely that you could live longer than 20 years after you retire.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Don’t let your emotions direct the way you deal with you investments. Understand that they will fluctuate—sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. If certain investments don’t seem to be doing well, look for another one.

Know Your Fees

All investment companies have expenses for the services that they provide. Unfortunately, most people do not know this because they haven’t been given complete and accurate value expense disclosure information. It’s a good idea to find out how much you are paying fees and search around for better options if you think they are too high.

Ask Questions

At Envoy, our service team is always available and happy to serve you. Please contact us with any investment questions you might have and we will be happy to direct you to the right answer.

Looking for faith-based IRA options? The FaithBased IRA from Envoy Financial could be the perfect solution for you!

Bible Verses About Money and Stewardship

What Does the Bible Say About Money and Stewardship?

Did you know that there are roughly 2,350 verses concerning money in the Bible? That's almost twice as many as verses about faith and prayer combined. Jesus had a lot to say about money:

  • Nearly 15% of everything Jesus spoke about related to money and possessions

  • 16 out of his 38 parables dealt with the topic of money

  • The only subject Jesus taught more about than money was the Kingdom of God

Why? Because the Scriptures are very clear about an inherent connection between a person's spiritual life, attitudes, and actions concerning money and possessions.

Envoy Financial provides Trusted Advice Along The Way for ministries and their employees. We help you make the wise investment decisions for your Future Funded Ministry.

The Bible is clear that we are to save for our future. "A wise man saves for the future, but a foolish man spends whatever he gets."(Proverbs 21:20, LB)

Here Are a List of Bible Verses on Money & Stewardship

Money, Wealth, Blessing and Prosperity

  • A wise man saves for the future - Proverbs 21:20

  • Money little by little grows - Proverbs 13:11

  • Ability to produce wealth - Deuteronomy 8:18

  • The blessing of the Lord brings wealth - Proverbs 10:22

  • Diligent hands bring wealth - Proverbs 10:4

  • Pursue righteousness and find prosperity - Proverbs 21:21

  • All hard work leads to profit - Proverbs 14:23

  • Oh, that you would bless me indeed - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10

  • Then you will be prosperous and successful - Joshua 1:8

  • God gives any man wealth and possessions - Ecclesiastes 5:19

  • A generous man will be blessed - Proverbs 22:9

  • Enduring wealth and prosperity - Proverbs 8:18

  • Trusting God leads to prosperity - Proverbs 30:8-9

  • Steady plotting brings prosperity - Proverbs 21:5

  • Trying to get rich quick - Proverbs 28:20, 22

  • Do not boast in riches - Jeremiah 9:23-24

  • No hope in wealth - I Timothy 6:17-19

Generosity, Contentment, and Giving

  • More blessed to give than receive - Acts 20:35

  • Give and it will be given to you - Luke 6:38

  • The righteous eat to their heart's content - Proverbs 13:25

  • A generous man will be blessed - Proverbs 22:9

  • Support those who teach the word - Galatians 6:6

  • Sow generously and reap generously - 2 Corinthians 9:6

  • I was hungry and you gave me something to eat - Matthew 25:35-40

  • Godliness with contentment is great gain - 1 Timothy 6:6

  • Content with your pay - Luke 3:14

  • Be content with what you have - Hebrews 13:5

  • I have learned to be content - Philippians 4:11

  • Everything we have and give comes from God - 1 Chronicles 29:11-17

  • Rich in all things, generous on all occasions - 2 Corinthians 9:11

  • God loves a cheerful giver - 2 Corinthians 9:7

  • Excel in the grace of giving - 2 Corinthians 8:7

Greed and Coveting

  • Greedy man brings trouble to his family - Proverbs 15:27

  • Put to death greed - Colossians 3:5

  • Be on guard against greed - Luke 12:15

  • The love of money - 1 Timothy 6:10

  • Dishonest money - Proverbs 13:11

  • I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold - Acts 20:33

  • Can't serve two masters - Matthew 6:24

  • Free from the love of money - Hebrews 13:5

  • Do not trust in riches - Proverbs 11:28

  • Where your treasure is - Luke 12:34

Money and Possessions

  • The Unmerciful Servant - Matthew 18:23-35

  • The Shepherd and His Flock - John 10:1-18

  • The Parable of the Talents - Matthew 25:14-30

  • The Rich Young Ruler - Mark 10:17-30

  • Everything Belongs to God - Psalm 50:10, Psalm 24:1

  • Don't Worry About Worldly Needs - Matthew 6:25-31

God's Lordship and Ownership

  • The Cost of Discipleship - Luke 14:28-33

  • The Faithful and Wise Servant - Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48

  • The Great Banquet - Luke 14:16-24

  • The Master and His Servant - Luke 17:7-10

  • The Shepherd and His Flock - John 10:1-18

  • The Tenants - Matthew 21:33-44; Mark 12:1-11; Luke 20:9-18

  • The Thief - Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 12:39-40

  • The Two Sons - Matthew 21:28-32

  • The Unfruitful Fig Tree - Luke 13:6-9

  • The Unmerciful Servant - Matthew 18:23-35

  • The Watchful Servants - Mark 13:34-37; Luke 12:35-40

  • The Wedding Banquet - Matthew 22:2-14

Human Prosperity and Poverty

  • The Lost Sheep - Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7

  • The Rich Man and Lazarus - Luke 16:19-3

Contentment

  • The Workers in the Vineyard - Matthew 20:1-16

Tithing

  • New Cloth on an Old Garment - Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36

  • New Wine in Old Wineskins - Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37-38

  • The Pharisee and the Tax Collector - Luke 18:9-14

Generosity

  • The Friend in Need - Luke 11:5-8

  • The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-37

  • The Moneylender - Luke 7:41-43

  • The Owner of a House - Matthew 13:52

  • The Prodigal Son - Luke 15:11-32

  • The Son's Request - Matthew 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13

Funding the Great Commission

  • The Growing Seed - Mark 4:26-29

  • The Kernel of Wheat - John 12:24

  • The Mustard Seed - Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19

  • The Yeast - Matthew 13:33 ; Luke 13:20-21

Revival and Reformation

  • The Discarded Salt - Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34-35

  • The Fig Tree - Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-31

  • The Lamp Under a Bowl - Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-22; Luke 8:16 , 11:33 -36

  • The Lost Coin - Luke 15:8-10

Eternal Reward

  • The Hidden Treasure - Matthew 13:44

  • The Lowest Seat at the Feast - Luke 14:7-14

  • The Sheep and Goats - Matthew 25:31-46

  • The Valuable Pearl - Matthew 13:45-46

  • The Wise and Foolish Builders - Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49


Are you a Ministry leader? Here are some great ways to promote Biblical financial stewardship to your staff.

6 Basic Retirement Rules

As a Christian, you are called by God to serve. This calling does not end when you stop receiving a paycheck.  Retirement is not only a reward for past service but a stepping-stone to future ministry. We call this your Future Funded Ministry! When you successfully construct and fund a retirement plan, you are creating a source of money to fund your future ministry activities. What an exciting way to live!

The following Retirement Rules will equip you with basic strategies to help you achieve your Future Funded Ministry plan!
 

Rule 1:  Save at least 10% of your income towards your Future Funded Ministry plan

This provides a simple target for you to work towards as part of a disciplined savings approach. You may start at a lower level and then focus on increasing your contributions over time to get to this percentage.

Rule 2:  Plan on living 20-25 years in retirement after age 65

People who live to age 65 have a 50% chance of living to age 85 and a 25% chance of living until 92.

Rule 3:  Plan on needing 70% to 80% of your income in your Future Funded Ministry years

Certain expenses will likely disappear or be reduced once you leave the workplace.

Rule 4:  To make your savings last, withdraw less than 4% a year

This simple formula has proven very accurate over time. It provides a guideline for how much to withdraw each year without exhausting your Future-Funded Ministry savings.

Rule 5:  Rebalance your asset allocation at least once per year

Rebalancing is when you adjust your portfolio back to an appropriate asset allocation mix. This keeps your investments aligned with your risk tolerance and goals.

Rule 6:  Bonds percentage of your portfolio equals your age

This rule is a reminder that your portfolio needs to change as you age, becoming gradually more focused on avoiding risk and providing income.

5 Factors That May Affect Your Retirement

Inflation

  • Reduces how much you can buy today, compared to last year

  • Historically, inflation averages 3% annually

  • Your investments need to keep pace with or outpace inflation

Investment Risk

  • Determine how much potential gain you are aiming to achieve with your investments, understanding that also means you may potentially lose a similar amount

  • More risk equals more volatility in returns and account values go up and down more

  • Diversify your portfolio by allocating money to multiple asset classes so you are not totally exposed if one asset type (such as stocks) drops dramatically

Healthcare and long-term care expenses

  • A number of studies show that the average 65-year-old couple can expect can expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on healthcare in retirement

  • The combination of increasing life expectancy and growing medical treatment costs can have a huge negative impact on savings

  • Consider obtaining Long Term Care insurance

  • The premiums can be significant, but having the coverage in place may help avoid disrupting your overall retirement planning strategy

Taxes

  • Employer-sponsored and individual pre-tax accounts offer a variety of ways to receive tax breaks when making your retirement savings contributions

  • Pre-tax contributions provide a current reduction in taxable income, and therefore a reduction in the taxes you pay each year as you are adding to your accounts

  • Roth contributions are done on an after-tax basis, which does not provide a current year tax advantage but does allow you to make withdrawals on a tax-free basis in retirement

You

  • Set goals for what your financial needs will be in retirement

  • Evaluate your personal risk profile and asset allocation strategy

  • Take full advantage of any employer matching contributions you may be eligible for

  • Roll over assets from former employer plans rather than cashing out those accounts

  • Seek out trusted professional guidance or use available self-help tools