Preparation Well Done by FMF Financial Services
Jack and Evelyn had been married 13 years. They both had good jobs, owned a home and had three children. All seemed great, but Jack had a couple nagging issues in the back of his mind.
He was frustrated they weren’t giving and saving more. He knew they had good income but felt they should be further along with college and retirement savings. Plus, he wanted to give more to a few ministries in his church where he and Evelyn volunteered.
He and Evelyn also worried what would happen to the family if something devastating happened to Jack or, worse yet, Evelyn. Would they be able to keep their home? If something happened to both of them, who would raise the kids?
Jack shared his concerns with Evelyn. Through their conversation, they started discussing their life’s priorities. Three things rose to the top: their family, their faith community, and their future. Jack knew they needed to be more intentional about pushing their money toward those priorities. He was not sure how they’d make it all work, but he felt confident that they needed to more closely monitor their spending and put giving and saving first.
To continue the discussion we started together in our last article: after you have identified your priorities, evaluated your time and money spent on those priorities, and prayerfully asked God to speak into them – the next step is preparation.
How can you prepare to provide and protect your priorities?
The first step is intentionally allocating resources toward your priorities. Allocate your money toward the things you have identified as being the most important. Some people call this “budgeting.” That word can stir up all kinds of emotion, but remember, very little happens by chance. Your preparation will significantly increase the odds of your success.
The second step is protecting your priorities from the most unfortunate of circumstances, such as incapacity or even death. Having a few essential documents in place can make a huge difference and give you peace of mind. A will, financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and living will are recommended by experts as the key documents. These documents will help ensure your priorities are protected if life takes a sudden, unexpected turn.
To address Jack’s other nagging concerns, he and Evelyn set an appointment with a professional to assist in preparing the essential documents they needed. They found it was not nearly as difficult or time–consuming as they thought to get these basic documents in place and ensure financial and health care decisions would be made according to their wishes. And having the guardianship of their kids addressed eased a great burden in their hearts. They also found it fulfilling that they could leave a gift to support their local church in their wills.
A few weeks later, Jack and Evelyn were lying in bed talking and Jack remarked how free he felt knowing that their family was protected and they were working on being more intentional with their resources. Evelyn agreed, “I was really worried at first because I didn’t know where to start, and I was afraid we would find out we weren’t going to be able to make it all work. I guess I thought it was easier to avoid things than do the hard work. But you know what? I am so glad we are talking about this stuff and taking action. It feels good to be proactive instead of reactive.”
While the story of Jack and Evelyn is for illustration purposes, it is very similar to the countless stories we hear from those we serve. Maybe you too resonate with some of Jack and Evelyn’s concerns. We exist to answer our clients’ questions, provide sound biblical advice, and help them utilize the tools to take the next best step on their stewardship journey.
Spiritual freedom comes from believing in God and trusting Him to lead you. Financial freedom comes from being intentional to prepare well and having your priorities as a compass for your life decisions. Loving God and loving others starts with your family (which most of our clients list as a top priority). Living with fear about the future is not living.
If you have questions, please contact us and let’s begin the conversation.