Spring 2019

The Spring edition of "Money Matters" is devoted to preparing for the future. Pastor Katie Ricke of Beresford Zion UMC in Beresford, SD and a member of the Lilly Steering Team shares her thoughts:
During a recent gathering of local clergy, the subject of retirement came up. As someone who is just beginning her career in ministry, I sat back and listened as others talked about what they wanted or felt they could do during their retirement. I was struck by one comment in particular: "We are doing everything we can to create the kind of retirement that we feel called to have." For this person, it meant a new kind of ministry, a new location, and a new focus. It really inspired me as my husband and I continue to invest for the future. It's not just about money but about the ability to say "yes" to what we want to say "yes" to without a financial burden hanging over us. We invest so that we can have the freedom in our retirement to go where we feel led, to do what we feel called to do, and to be available to our loved ones. That's the kind of retirement I look forward to, and that's why it's important to us to plan and invest for the future.

New opportunities

Financial Advisor Grants for all clergy: Apply in June

Preparation and readiness for retirement is often an anxiety expressed among clergy of all ages. Research by Lilly Endowment and feedback from clergy in the Dakotas and Minnesota reveal that many pastors are hesitant to seek professional financial advice or consultation. The Financial Advisor Grant is a new opportunity to improve your financial well-being. The $500 grant was created to introduce you to the potential benefit of engaging a financial advisor as you plan for retirement, regardless of how near or far you are to that goal. Or you may use the grant to continue that relationship as you plan for the future!  Read more and apply beginning June 2019

2019 Student Debt-Reduction Grants accepted July-Aug.

We awarded 38 $5,000 grants to Area clergy in 2018! This year, Student Debt-Reduction Grant applications will be accepted between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2019. As a reminder, personal financial education is required as a prerequisite. Priority will be given to first time grant applicants with renewals prioritized based upon seniority.  View the grant guidelines and application / View grant renewal guidelines and application

Important reminders: Free financial education materials, ministry grants

If you did not read last quarter’s edition of "Money Matters," then you missed two great opportunities to improve financial well-being for yourself and your congregation. Discover what you need to know now! 
Free financial education materials for all clergy
2019 financial ministry grants for churches

Around the Area

Three key advisors you should have in your corner

In today’s increasingly complex world, no one can know everything.

You assemble a team to run your churches. Why wouldn’t you assemble a team to help with your personal finances? Three key advisors that you should have in your corner are a financial planner, an accountant, and an attorney. Troy Noor, a United Methodist who attends Discovery UMC in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and a Certified Financial Planner, explains why clergy should take advantage of each of these three key people.  Read blog post

Helpful resources

  • Since we are on the topic of planning for the future, take a look at RetirementRevised. This website has a wealth of information about planning for the future and those variables to consider such as Medicare and Social Security. Subscribe to the newsletter and podcasts too.
  • NAPFAFPAGarrettPlanningNetwork, and the XY Planning Network are four associations that maintain searchable databases to help you find a financial advisor who can assist with early career, mid-life, and post-retirement planning issues. Additionally, the CFP Board has a search engine to find and identify Certified Financial Planners.
  • A good book to further your education around retirement planning is Can I Retire by Michael Piper. Piper’s book is a short read helping you to identify that “number” you need in order to retire and exactly how to spend down those funds when the time comes.
  • Leana Stunes, Dakotas Conference Benefits Officer, recommends engaging EY Financial Planners. Wespath offers confidential, objective financial counseling at no charge to eligible participants through EY.

Dakotas-Minnesota Area of the United Methodist Church
Diane Owen, Lilly Grant Program Director