Category Archives: Money
If we understand our money and possessions as being a trust, something given to us for the purpose of helping and serving others, it will change how we view wealth. We will carefully add giving to our financial plan and seek to better the circumstances of those around us. Not for fame or recognition, but to say “thank you” for the blessings we have received in our life.
I live in the “wealth creation” world. Part of my objective is to help people create and maintain assets that will allow them to live life the way they desire. It’s what all of us in the financial services industry seek for our clients on a continual basis.
One notable difference for me is that, as a Christian, I am constantly seeking to integrate my faith into my work and be “light and salt” to those I interact with. Many believe that wealth and religion are segregated. The thought persists that our finances and our faith have nothing to do with one another. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
In recent years more Christians have begun to understand the just how intertwined their faith and their finances really are.
When we forget that people in prison for committing crimes are still people, it’s easy to justify 30 or 40 years in prison. When we forget that punishments are supposed to have a purpose, it’s easy to throw someone in prison for selling marijuana, stealing a bottle of alcohol, or not paying their taxes. When marijuana is legal in one state but not another, it adds a whole new level of intricacy to the equation.
The question that arose in conversation is whether taxes are appropriate or whether they are theft. Some subsequent conversation is whether Christians should stand against taxes and oppose any form of taxation or dutifully pay our taxes.
There’s one perspective that says: the Bible says theft is sin, taxes are theft, and therefore taxes are sinful.
Though this is a simplification of the position, it is a good summary and starting point for the discussion. This position says that God never ordains taxes and never gives the government authority to impose taxes. Because all authority is derived from God and God never gives explicit authority to impose taxes, taxation is theft. And since theft is a violation of God’s moral law (10 Commandments), any government imposition of taxes is theft and should be opposed.
Now, anyone can call himself a financial planner. There are actually no laws governing who can use the term and refer to himself as a financial planner. That is a problem; and one that every person seeking quality financial help needs to remember when interviewing people to be their financial planner.
When I speak of a financial planner, I’m not talking about the insurance guy that says he offers “financial services,” or the local financial adviser that got his CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation and suddenly offers “financial planning services.” Genuine financial planning is a comprehensive service that will entail every aspect of your finances both now and into the future.
Now that the “most wonderful time of the year” is behind us, it’s time for the most dreaded time of the year: tax season. But if you take advantage of these tax breaks you can make this time of a year a lot more jolly.
We can all agree that no one likes paying taxes. As a financial professional I spend time talking about taxes with a lot of people and nearly everyone agrees that they don’t like paying taxes. I did run into one person that said she did not mind paying taxes and, frankly, I had no comment for that. I don’t know where to go when someone says they don’t mind taxes.
For most of us though, taxes are not something we enjoy. But they are necessary. Since we have to pay taxes we should at least know about the different tax breaks we can take advantage of to help reduce our tax burden. Let me share 5 valuable tax breaks with you.
What if I told you there is one very simple, yet powerful tool you can begin using today to make a significant impact in your family’s financial future? Would you be interested in learning more?
The reality is that a majority of Americans are in financial trouble. Everything from student loans to credit card debt is keeping Americans from reaching their financial goals. And, for some, it is keeping them from even saving money on a regular basis. A recent survey found that 33% of Americans have no savings at all, making them prey for financial shock.
It’s not surprising to me that at the top of the list of ways to ruin your retirement is to have too much debt. And, unfortunately, I see this a lot. Debt is a burden that will suck the life out of retirement. It will prohibit you from doing the things you really want and keep you awake at night. And, debt will keep you working far longer than you would like.
Other retirement killers include…
Saving for retirement is not a static event. You can’t merely put a dollar amount into a 401k at age 25 and continue for the next 35 years. Retirement saving is an ever-changing event that will depend on your idea of retirement. For those that want a more quiet retirement at home, less might be needed. And for those that want to travel and buy new things regularly, more might be needed.