Most people are in trouble financially.
- Living paycheck-to-paycheck.
- Doing their own thing instead of what God says to do.
- Living beyond their means.
- Spending too much.
- Saving too little.
- In debt up to their eyeballs.
- Giving reluctantly and sparingly, instead of intentionally and generously.
But somehow believing things will magically and instantly get better once they get older.
In the last ten years, one of the most popular financial strategies among senior adults, since they didn’t plan sufficiently and social security can’t sustain their previous lifestyle, has become reverse mortgages. Considered a last-resort source of income by most trusted financial experts, reverse mortgages have become a staple among seniors as a way to keep enjoying life although they are no longer earning an income.
Two weeks ago, a New York Times article revealed the frightening truth that instead of things getting better, they are actually getting much worse. The headline said: ‘Too Little Too Late’: Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans.
The article said, “For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.
The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.”1
One woman profiled in the article was Cheryl Mcleod of Las Vegas. She “filed for bankruptcy in January after struggling to keep up with her mortgage payments and other expenses. ‘I am 70, and I am working for less money than I ever did in my life. This life stuff happens.’” 2
The article concluded, “The next generation nearing retirement age is also filing for bankruptcy in greater numbers, and the average age of filers is rising, the study found.” 3
SOUND LIKE THE FUTURE OF YOUR DREAMS?
Getting a reverse mortgage to augment your social security, eventually losing your home and filing bankruptcy? There’s a better way. But you better get after it if you want to have a better outcome.
There are some simple things every one of us can do right now to help ensure a better tomorrow financially.
• Get some resources to help you get on the right track, right now. (Our bookstore has a ton of great resources you can choose from.)
• Follow the example of those who have managed their finances in a way that honors God and ensures they won’t be like the people mentioned above.
• Develop your own plan and write it down. Be specific about what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. (I recommend the 10/10/80 plan: 10% to God, 10% to savings, 80% to live on.)
• Start spending less than you make every week. Give, save and budget wisely.
• Start an emergency fund of one week’s salary. Then increase it to one month’s salary and finally, one year’s. You won’t get there overnight, but you will sleep better at night knowing you have a fund for emergencies.
• Pay cash for everything. Don’t take on any more debt. If you can’t pay cash for something, don’t get it. Whatever it is, you don’t need it and don’t need any more debt.
• Begin paying off the debts you have. Do it urgently, consistently and don’t stop until you are out of debt.
• Maximize your retirement by maxing out the contributions you can make.
• Help every member of your family manage their finances effectively. Or the day will come, most likely, when they will be asking you for financial help.
There’s a better way. But you better get after it if you want to have a better outcome.
Contrary to the way most people are managing or mismanaging their money right now, barely getting by and almost certainly heading for disaster in the days ahead, the Bible says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children …” (Proverbs 13:22). We’re not just to manage our money so we can live an enjoyable life in the years to come. God wants us to manage our money in a way where we can leave something significant behind for those we helped bring into this world.
So … what are you waiting for?
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
[We are honored to have CHRIS BROWN, the “MONEY” MAN, as our special guest this weekend. He’ll be sharing a 100% guarantee where we can WIN with our finances. You’re going to want to hear this and you’re going to want every member of your family to hear it, too!]
1 Bernard, Tara Siegel. “'Too Little Too Late': Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Aug. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/08/05/business/bankruptcy-older-americans.html?smid=tw-nytimes.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.