Retirement is probably the last thing on a church planter’s mind however it is important to begin making plans in the early stages of a new church. It is commendable and understandable for young men to put all their financial resources into the starting of the church which leaves little for anything else. Although it may take many years to establish a sound financial footing, planning for the future should not be neglected. Saving for the later years of life is a long term process and the sooner you begin the better it will be. The longer the period of time spent saving and investing will produce a greater return.
Keep in mind, the length of time is more important than the amount saved. As an example, if saving and investing over forty years produced one million dollars, by cutting the time in half to twenty years would reduce the amount saved and invested to a mere 25% or two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Following the same plan for half the time will result in a greatly diminished return. Length of time is the key; therefore the sooner you start a savings plan the better.
My grandfather used to say, “Jimmy if you live long enough, some day you will be old.” How true that is. When you do get old it is too late to produce the necessary income to survive. Instead of being a blessing to the church you can become a liability to it. As a result of pastors not preparing for the future many are holding onto their church causing it to decline. A new man is needed but the pastor has no other means of income and can’t afford to resign. A failure to plan for the future will also result in the preacher’s inability to help others financially. An aged man should be able to help younger men and share his wisdom but a lack of financial means may hinder his ability to help others. It would be a blessing to be able to help the church financially and help your family financially but a lack of preparedness may prohibit you from doing it. Every preacher should continue preaching and serving as long as he is able and as long as he is effective, however being the pastor/leader of a church may not be the best way to utilize your later years of life.
Why don’t preachers save for the future? There are many reasons preachers fail to save but the most common reason is they have always had a small salary. The church should be taught early on to begin a retirement program for the preacher and if the pastor has a long tenure the church will have provided a nest egg for the preacher. The church must be taught it is their responsibility and it will benefit the church in the long run. Sometimes a failure to save for the future is a lack of discipline and organization. Almost everyone can save something and to do so early in life is wise. Even the smallest amount over a long period of time will accumulate more than most realize.
People often speak of a millionaire as being rich. Consider that if you were able to save and invest from age twenty-five to age sixty-five. If you accumulated one million dollars with the intent to live on it the rest of your life at five present interest your million dollars would produce an annual income of $50,000.00. That is probably adequate for many people, however considering the certainty of inflation and how it eats into you budget by the time you retire $50,000.00 may not be enough. What if you live for another thirty years? It is possible your million dollars suddenly is not as much as you first thought. Some preachers opted out of social security and their only income is from their savings. That could put a lot of pressure on you in your later years of life. But if your savings is only $500,000.00 it would mean that your yearly income would be $25,000.00. As you can see that will probably not be enough to sustain you in your elderly years.
Many men that are in retirement age today courageously gave their all to the ministry and invested everything they had into it. As commendable as their intentions may have been it leaves a huge responsibility to their church to help care for them. There are many reasons to save but saving and investing for the later stages of life is the right thing to do.