Anyone looking for a masterclass in finance simply needs to read the book of Proverbs found in the Old Testament of the Bible. There are well over 100 references to money, wealth, prosperity, poverty, and contentment. Recently, my wife and I spent time re-reading these timeless words of wisdom, and as is often the case with scripture, this time, it hit differently. Perhaps it’s my stage of life, and as an empty nester, I could relate to Solomon wanting to impart wisdom to my kids as they start their adult lives out on their own. Maybe it’s because I can see retirement heading my way in a decade and see the importance of hard work, saving, and using wise counsel to plan for the future. Regardless of your profession or age, retirement eventually comes for us all, so why not learn and be prepared?
Are you MoneyWise
The wisdom found in the book of Proverbs remains timeless and accurate – even after thousands of years. Whether you are at the beginning of your career or ready to retire, here are a few highlights that may help you prepare:
Work Hard and Save
We all need money for basics like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, vacation, etc. So how do we get there? Proverbs 14:23 says, “Prosperity comes from hard work, but talking too much leads to great scarcity.” The Wisdom of Solomon says that wealth predominately comes from hard work. But what happens after you earn it? Proverbs 21:5 has the answer: “A well-thought-out plan will work to your advantage, but hasty actions will cost you dearly.” John Maxwell said a budget is a plan to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. A wise person puts a budget together that allocates a portion for giving, saving, and investing.
But there’s a difference between working hard to provide for yourself and your family and giving generously to others versus loving money and greed. Proverbs 23:4-5 addresses motives – “Do not overwork yourself just to become wealthy; have enough sense to know when to quit. As soon as you become fixed on riches, they vanish. For suddenly they sprout wings and become like a soaring eagle flying high in the sky.”
A wise person has a well-thought-out plan for their money (a budget) that includes investing. But we need experts to help make the best investment decisions, especially when planning for retirement. In Proverbs 15:22, Solomon wrote, “Plans fall apart without proper advice; but with the right guidance, they come together nicely.” Seeking professional help is not a weakness; it shows wisdom. As we enter 2024, it’s important to note the IRS changes to the retirement plan limits.
|Annual Pretax and Roth Employee Contributions
|Annual Employee and Employer Contributions
|401(k) & 403(b) Annual Contribution Limit 2023
|401(k) & 403(b) Annual Contribution Limit 2024
For those working in ministry who desire to retire with dignity and enjoy the rest and refreshment that comes after serving faithfully, it’s essential to plan. Part of that plan (budget) must include a retirement strategy through a 403(b) or other qualified program, using an advisor if necessary. Working hard, budgeting, saving, investing, giving, and preparing for retirement isn’t a lack of faith – it’s wisdom.short url: