Bradford L. Hewitt 2016-08-12 23:33:08
PLANNING IS WISE I just celebrated a birthday. I’ve observed as I’ve grown older that birthdays have become less fun, yet more gratifying. When you’re young, birthdays are joyful events of presents and parties. In our family, my mom would always bake our favorite cake or pie and proudly put it on a plate that would spin around and play the “Happy Birthday” song. We would all sing together (in our case, out of tune) and cheer at the end. Birthdays now include cards about getting older...not so fun or funny as much as they are true. As I’ve gotten older, birthdays have become a time to reflect and wonder. To reflect on all the blessings and fun parties of times gone by. And to wonder about what life changes are in store. I’ve come to learn that what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:10 is true: “Don’t long for ‘the good old days.’ This is not wise.” The reality is we need to look to the future rather than long for something that can’t be had. I’ve also come to learn from experience, God’s word, wise friends and academic research that planning for your future is very wise. This includes things like giving your kids great examples of how to manage money—this is planning for their future. It includes helping teens get practical experience at managing money. It includes planning for paying for college before you get there rather than having large debts. For me, it means planning for retirement and managing the income I can depend upon to make my savings last. There has been a lot of press about annuities, some good, some not so good. But an annuity is simply a tool to help manage retirement income because we don’t know how many more birthdays the Lord will bless us with on this earth. I’d encourage you to read about them in this issue (page 22) if you’re in the stage of planning for retirement. They aren’t for everyone, but they are a good tool in some form for many of us. I think next year on my birthday I’m going to ask for cake, candles and singing rather than cards about getting old.
Published by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. View All Articles.
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