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Old 11-16-2016, 08:13 AM
 
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We often in this forum discuss retirement saving/investing and why people do and don't save. A post in another thread gave me pause to think about impact of tithing and charitable financial contributions on our abilities to save for retirement. It isn't an issue for all but certainly for many.

If we could afford to contribute the recommended 15% annually to our retirement savings, could be do that and tithe 10%? How many of us are limiting or not saving at all so we can make our annual tithe. I am not saying I am but really wonder how much impact this might have on our abilities to save for our future retirement. What about charitable contributions especially this time of the year when the poor and homeless need to be fed, clothed and sheltered and we feel a obligation to give?

What do we do once retired and living on a income that might be less than our working years. Are we still able to meet those commitments?

How many of us limited our own financial security to help others in greater need? We can often be critical of those who have not reached the point of having saved enough for their retirement but are there reasons we don't discuss that have what for them might be a greater moral imperative?

I know folks who prioritize their tithe and charitable work and feel their good deeds will be their retirement safety net. How many of us feel that way and care to discuss charity as a giver as we plan and live in retirement.

Please this isn't about the validity of religion, tithing, charity etc. It is about our moral compass and how it MIGHT impact a persons retirement. It is food we often don't digest when discussing the merits of why people did or didn't secure their retirement finances.

 
Old 11-16-2016, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Great thread! --

The issue of tithing is inseparably Spiritual and financial. It's a question of where one's priorities lie and one's willingness to trust God. "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it" (Malachi 3:10).

We've always tithed (and beyond) ... and continue to do so in retirement -- and have always been blessed financially in many ways. Whenever we've had financial difficulties, we've recognized that the answer was not less giving, but more! The fact is, you can't out-give God!

Just a couple of thoughts about the principle of tithing:

1) When one's first commitment is to returning the first part of what God has given them, they automatically learn to live within their means - by living on the remainder. (ie; when one earns $100 and gives away the first $10-$15, they learn to live on $85-$90. When one earns $100 and hopes there will be something 'left over' to give ... there is rarely enough to go around.

2) Giving/tithing is not about helping God ("who owns the cattle on a thousand hills"). It is about God giving us an opportunity to participate in His work, which always produces 'fruit' -- and blesses us in the process. God doesn't "need" us or our money.

3) The 'wallet' of most is directly attached to the heart ("The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil"). Our "true treasure" in life is where our heart is. Unless we learn to cling loosely to worldly things and tightly to the things of God, we will always have difficulty parting with worldly things ... and receiving God's blessings.

In terms of stewardship (wise giving), some responsibly gauge where they give and realize they will be judged by their motive, not their financial acumen. Others use the failure of others to save or fears they might mis-use our gifts, as an excuse not to give - losing sight of why they are giving to begin with.

Last edited by jghorton; 11-16-2016 at 08:53 AM..
 
Old 11-16-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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IMO, a person needs to be able to tend to their own needs first. People who give to others before taking care of themselves are likely going to need help themselves down the line.

If people are not contributing sufficiently to retirement to take care of themselves in the future in order to take care of others now, I don't think that's a wise move.

For what it's worth, I know very few people who tithe, largely because they cannot afford to. They give what they can, but not a 10% tithe.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Florida -
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation
For what it's worth, I know very few people who tithe, largely because they cannot afford to. They give what they can, but not a 10% tithe.
How much do you believe one must earn to be able to afford to tithe? I know many people of different income levels who both tithe and give beyond that -- and discover they can readily do both. They still do a good job of meeting their financial obligations and preparing for retirement.

As mentioned above, the discipline of tithing re-enforces the discipline of living within one's means. "Having nothing left over to give" is a symptom of misplaced priorities.

Last edited by volosong; 11-16-2016 at 10:28 AM.. Reason: fixed opening quote hypertag
 
Old 11-16-2016, 10:14 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,558,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
IMO, a person needs to be able to tend to their own needs first. People who give to others before taking care of themselves are likely going to need help themselves down the line.

If people are not contributing sufficiently to retirement to take care of themselves in the future in order to take care of others now, I don't think that's a wise move.

For what it's worth, I know very few people who tithe, largely because they cannot afford to. They give what they can, but not a 10% tithe.
(2nd paragraph)

and if working people read city-data and believe that regardless of how many Millions $$$$$$$ you have saved for retirement..............it is not enough......... then there never would be any money for charitable giving.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 10:18 AM
 
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Several years ago when I got into financial trouble, one of the first things I did was to cut way back on my giving, figuring I needed to take care of myself first. Looking back on that time in my life I see that cutting my giving was a huge mistake. Contrast that with my son's experience when he was laid off from his engineering job. He was out of steady work for 14 months. During that time he shoveled snow, delivered pizzas, delivered library books, pretty much took every job he could get his hands on. During that entire 14 months, he gave a tithe on the gross of his part-time pay and on his unemployment. At the end of it all when he got a permanent job, he told me that God had blessed him and provided for him and his family through the entire ordeal. When one part time job would end, another would crop up. He had a good emergency fund built up when he was laid off and during that 14 month layoff, he said he never touched it.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David A Stone View Post
(2nd paragraph)

and if working people read city-data and believe that regardless of how many Millions $$$$$$$ you have saved for retirement..............it is not enough......... then there never would be any money for charitable giving.
Your thoughts are core to why I started this thread. TY for your thoughts
 
Old 11-16-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
How much do you believe one must earn to be able to afford to tithe? I know many people of different income levels who both tithe and give beyond that -- and discover they can readily do both. They still do a good job of meeting their financial obligations and preparing for retirement.

As mentioned above, the discipline of tithing re-enforces the discipline of living within one's means. "Having nothing left over to give" is a symptom of misplaced priorities.
Obviously going to depend on your income, cost of living, savings rate, other debt service obligations, lifestyle, etc. There's no one size fits all answer.

In my town, median household income is right around $35,000. Two people with no kids living at that income level are going to barely subsist, if that - and may need assistance. One person living on that level of income may have some room in the budget, but not a lot. Neither are going to be saving much for retirement. Tithing and saving for retirement is going to be tough on that level of income, unless you are cut to the bone, abnormally frugal, simply because there isn't much income to go around. With half the households below that, there's not going to be much left to tithe because many will be functionally paycheck to paycheck and have difficulty meeting routine bills.

If you want a back of the napkin number answer, I'd say it would need to be around $100,000 HHI here for a couple with a kid or two to be comfortable, save for retirement, tithe, and have some left over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David A Stone View Post
(2nd paragraph)

and if working people read city-data and believe that regardless of how many Millions $$$$$$$ you have saved for retirement..............it is not enough......... then there never would be any money for charitable giving.
True. There is a level of poverty that you can't keep up routine expenses with, but most people make do with what they have and are not starving in the streets, being foreclosed on, etc.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 11:51 AM
 
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The number crunching of how much a person needs may well change with restructuring in the safety net along with Medicaid, SS and Medicare. I differentiate those from the general net for their impact is known to all. What isn't always talked about is affordable housing, food stamps along with other programs that prop low income seniors up. Even most senior centers are dependent on government funding which if cut back eliminated will have consequences. What about transportation services. Uber is a lot more expensive.
 
Old 11-16-2016, 01:10 PM
 
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Both my working life and personal life were spent in service to others. Because of my education and profession I have a wide range of skills and knowledge of resources which I am willing at any time to share with others. My charity now consists of gifts of my time. The rest is "Us and me time."


I am no longer willing to give money to charities. We have paid taxes all our married lives and I am aware of the number of resources made available to others through my tax money. I am sometimes irritated that I have no say about what it is used for.


We have two middle-aged children who live very frugally sometimes adding additional jobs to make ends meet. When I am asked for money I say, "I have two favorite charities - my children."


Our town is a center for rehabilitation services and there's someone around every corner with their hand out. My heart is no longer as soft as it once was but my sense of reasoning has become sharper through experience. I keep in mind this phrase, "Whatever you finance you get more of."


I hope that will be true of the grandchildren my kids can't afford to have some day.
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