Future Financial Security Starts Early
“Start saving and investing as soon as possible [and] take advantage of the advice and help you get through your annual conference and through Wespath!”
—Rev. Steve Mitchell
The Reverend Steve Mitchell retired in July 2018. Rev. Mitchell began his career as a music teacher before following the call—and his father, the Reverend Verle Mitchell—into ministry.
Rev. Mitchell and his wife began to prepare for their financial future early in his career. They contributed toward their retirement savings and made sensible investments. Those choices, along with the benefits provided by the Church through Wespath, gave him “a sense of security and, thus, did allow me to focus on my ministry,” he says.
There are, however, choices he would change. “Unquestionably, we could have done more [to prepare for retirement].”
The knowledge that they would be “reasonably secure financially in retirement,” made the decision to retire easier. “We were able to focus more on the completion of our work and making the move into our retirement home.”
Although he felt that the retirement process was “extremely smooth,” Rev. Mitchell and his wife are facing some immediate expenses in retirement—replacing two cars with over 200,000 miles and remodeling their home. He feels secure in the knowledge that the Church, and God, will provide, but is still cautious. He wonders, “Will we run out of money before we run out of life?” The unknowns help him avoid “going wild” with home remodels.
Clergy who have just begun their careers in ministry should “Start saving and investing as soon as possible [and] take advantage of the advice and help you get through your annual conference and through Wespath!” says Rev. Mitchell. To those who are nearing retirement, he counsels, “Wespath offers great tools—use them.”
Rev. Mitchell used Benefits Access (benefitsaccess.org) to learn about his retirement distribution options and to submit his benefit applications online. He says “[The tools and online application] were very helpful, and it was easy.” He also learned valuable information in his conference’s pre-retirement seminars, so he encourages others to “be sure to attend!”
Reverend Mitchell is grateful for “the church’s commitment to pension and health insurance benefits.” Those benefits are essential to the financial security he and his wife now enjoy.
From the October 2018 issue of Hark!