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.

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

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)


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


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


  • 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


  • 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

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

7 essential steps to drive employee participation

One of the biggest concerns of Plan Sponsors is the fear of low-plan participation.  Imagine spending your money, time, and effort in setting up a new plan for your employees...and they don’t understand or take little notice of the plan. Maybe you’ve already experienced this!

Addressing these issues head on allows you to overcome your Plan Participants’ concerns and allows their plans to flourish. As you encourage and support your staff, it is also important to guide them in understanding retirement planning from a Christian perspective.  Help them to recognize that retirement is not the end, but the beginning—a future stage of life when ministry starts or renews and a time when money should not be a barrier. The world calls this “retirement” —we call it “Future-Funded Ministry™,"—the financial freedom to serve God in your later years. This exciting new way of talking about retirement allows you to lead your organization’s retirement plan process with vision and purpose.

We know only a small percentage of eligible Plan Participants take an active role in their plan. The harsh truth is many Participants don’t understand retirement plan investments and how to invest their money.  At Envoy Financial, we’ve given you the necessary material to effectively prepare you as you lead your Plan Participants towards their own Future-Funded Ministries.

The following are essential steps towards effective employee participation:

  1. Plan Administrator Engagement - It’s important for your Plan Administrator to be engaged and knowledgeable when working with your Participants. The Plan Administrator is responsible for the coordination of all activities and vendor relationships. We provide a Plan Administrator’s Guide that directs the Plan Administrator to effective Participant engagement.
  2. Retirement Plan Oversight Committee Engagement - It’s also important for your Retirement Plan Oversight Committee to be engaged, knowledgeable, and fully functional.  The Committee is a team of employees established to oversee your plan. Envoy Financial provides a Retirement Plan Oversight Committee Guide to help your organization effectively implement and maintain the oversight team.
  3. Proper Communication – Envoy Financial provides your organization with a Welcome Letter,Personal Retirement Guide, and Summary Plan Description to equip you with the necessary items to educate your Participants.
  4. Resources and Tools – Envoy Financial provides you with a Smart Plan Interactive Guide,Personal Retirement GuideSummary Plan DescriptionFund Fact Sheets, Morningstar Funds Analysis, and Fund Prospectus. These are all vital resources and tools that help you provide your Plan Participants with all the necessary resources to be able to effectively interact in and understand their plans.
  5. Education Program - Participants don’t want to rack their brains trying to understand the process of investing. For them, simple is best. That’s why it’s important to provide easy, straightforward education. We’ve implemented Educate Now, an education program that provides all the necessary material to help them understand their plans.  
  6. Employer Matching Contributions - In an Employer Matching Contribution Program, a Participant will only receive a contribution from the employer if the Participant makes a contribution on their own.  Providing an employer matching contribution is a huge perk to your Plan Participants and will drive their action to participate in your retirement plan.
  7. Monitor the Outcomes – We provide you with a Quarterly Retirement Plan Oversight Executive Report that will monitor your employee participation. It's important to read these reports so that you can understand your organization's employee participation.

By actively reading and understanding the material we provide, you will be able to effectively drive the participation of your employees!