While the question of having enough money for retirement isn’t at the forefront of a young adult’s mind, it needs to be a part of their long-term plan. When you consider the expense of raising children, paying off a mortgage and all the other pressures young adults face, it is little wonder they get to middle age and find their superannuation funds lacking. It’s an unfortunate reality that the high cost of living we face today means putting money aside for retirement is pushed aside until sometimes it’s too late.
Brett and Kate Ryan from Focus on the Family and Alex Cook, founder of Wealth With Purpose, share their knowledge and expertise in a Marriage and Money seminar designed to provide practical tools and biblical wisdom for managing your money and strengthening your marriage. The seminar was live-streamed from Vision Christian Media’s Brisbane studios and hosted by Neil Johnson from 20Twenty.
It’s not just couples who can benefit from the valuable insights and expertise shared by Brett, Kate and Alex; everyone will find gold nuggets of wisdom in this seminar series they can apply to their lives to help them make sound financial decisions and build strong relationships.
Although retirement didn’t exist in biblical times, the Bible does offer us guidance in planning for our future and using our financial resources wisely. One key principle is to be diligent in our work and save for the future so we can have financial security.
‘Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.’ Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV
Saving for retirement when you are close to retiring is not going to produce much fruit. That’s why making a plan while you’re young will prevent the issue of not having enough to live off when the time comes to retire.
‘The average age that someone typically comes and sees a financial planner is about 55, which is probably a tad too late,’ said Alex. ‘The greatest fear many of them come with is, will I have enough money?’
Creating a Retirement Plan
Alex recommends putting together a retirement plan based on how much you think you’re going to need to live comfortably during your retirement. This may give you the incentive to have your house paid off by then and have other sources of income streams, such as income from a rental property or investments.
Write up a budget that includes your basic necessities to live off as a couple, and once you know that, you can then work out how much capital you need so you have something to work towards.
When Should You Retire?
Alex made the point that there’s no biblical basis for retirement. He believes that the longer you work, the longer you’ll live. If you love the work you do and you feel that’s where God wants you to be, why would you stop?
‘I believe we’re built to work. It’s purposeful. You get up every day on purpose. So don’t have this stressed-out view that I must retire at 65. Rather have a view of saying, “Well, how am I going to run my race for Jesus until the very end?” You still need to prepare financially because the reality is people often are forced into retirement either due to ill health or redundancy,’ said Alex.
Some people who had planned on retiring at age 65 suddenly realise that inflation and other factors are forcing them to move the goalpost if their superannuation is not as healthy as it should be. They then find themselves having to continue working into their seventies.
‘The sooner you can get onto it, the better off you’ll be because then you get the benefit of compound interest,’ said Alex.
Another important principle is to seek God’s guidance in making decisions about how to use our time and resources in retirement. True joy and fulfilment come from serving God and others rather than simply pursuing wealth.
To view the full Marriage and Money seminar, click on the link below. The topic of Planning for Retirement begins at the 51:12-minute mark.