Feel Financially Secure in Your Service to Others

If you are pouring yourself entirely into serving your congregation, you may be neglecting your own health and financial well-being. Whether you are just beginning your career in ministry or have been serving in the UCC for decades, it’s important for you to have a strong financial foundation from which to answer your calling so you can prioritize your community’s needs without the fear that your most basic needs are at risk.

It’s never too late to invest in this important form of self-care, but if you are unsure about where to start, acquainting yourself with the basic building blocks to safeguard what is important to you is a good place to begin.

April marks Financial Literacy Month. This observance is a gentle and useful reminder of the importance of better understanding and managing your financial resources so you will feel more confident in making decisions involving money. Here are six ways to help you get started.

mature couple financial planning
  1. Research important financial topics. If you want to learn more about a financial topic, consider maximizing the resources offered through your Pension Boards. We offer many educational webinars that can help you navigate important decisions, understand investment strategies, plan for retirement, review your insurance options, and more. Bookmark our webinar page and register for upcoming events you find most helpful to your unique situation. Or, call us at 1.800.642.6543 to speak with one of our Pension Counselors.
  2. Focus on your holistic health management. Debt and mental/physical health go hand-in-hand. Prioritizing your mental and physical well-being alongside your financial well-being will most likely reduce financial-related stress or anxiety. Take time for yourself. Give yourself regular mental wellness checks and breaks. Non-Medicare plan participants can log into Health AdvocateSM to speak with a Health Coach to assist you with any specific health concerns. Taking this one step will earn you and your covered spouse/partner wellness points to earn up to $500 by participating in healthy activities. Through the Health AdvocateSM Member Assistance Program, you also have access to a Licensed Professional Counselor, a no-cost benefit, to help with a personal crises, such as grief, stress, or financial loss.
  3. Figure out what topics matter the most to you and familiarize yourself with them. Maybe you are concerned with your retirement. It might be helpful to familiarize yourself with the tax benefits of a tax-sheltered annuity, or TSA, which allows you to make pretax contributions into your Lifetime Retirement Income Plan. Maybe you want to focus on your health insurance needs. Speaking with a Health Plan representative at the Pension Boards will put you one step closer to understanding how to incorporate health care costs into your financial equation. To speak with a Health Plan representative, call 1.800.642.6543.
  4. Create a cash flow budget. Creating a cash flow budget allows you to visualize your finances, figure out which expenditures you want to prioritize, and anticipate your most pressing financial needs. Read this guide on how to create a cash flow budget, and build your financial confidence.
  5. Invest in your future. Try something new. Learn what kind of investor you are—maybe you are more risk-averse, or maybe you enjoy taking larger risks. Either way, it’s important to understand who you are financially.
  6. Have you considered Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Funds? TAD Funds are a hand-off approach to investing as the funds are automatically reallocated to grow more conservatively as you approach your retirement year. If you’re not a risk taker, look into how TAD Funds may work for you. Reach out to our Pension Counselors to learn more at 1.800.642.6543.

If staying updated on personal finance tasks or trends isn't your strength, no worries. Trust your partners Pension Boards as a valuable resource to guide you through health and financial challenges. We're here to help you strengthen your financial foundation so you can focus on answering your calling.