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Money. It plays a huge role in all that I have talked about. It is a huge topic. But I think I need to start at the beginning.While you are younger, make it a point to be debt-free. If you use a credit card, pay it off every month. Click To Tweet
It’s never too late to start managing your money wisely
While you are younger, make it a point to be debt-free. If you use a credit card, pay it off every month. I wish we had known the importance of paying off your house early. Crown Financial or Dave Ramsey wasn’t around when we were young. We were pretty careful with our money, but we missed some opportunities to maximize it.
I’m not sure we could have done it, but I think we could have if we had worked toward it. It didn’t help that we spent 7 years as missionaries on a really low salary only to return to the US at a time when it was particularly difficult to find a job. It seemed that we would just get situated and then we would move to another church…until we settled in TX…just about the time our kids started off to college! I’m sure many of you can identify with the many challenges that come along when you are going through life the first time! (As if we have opportunities to do it over again!) Too bad we don’t have the wisdom of our older years when we are going around the first time.
I know we aren’t the only ones who had difficulty along the way. Many of you have had financial reversals and disappointments, serious illness and a variety of things that absolutely ruined your bank account! Dave Ramsey and others of his type are helpful in catching up after these things and making a plan to build for your financial future.
As you work to unravel your financial difficulty, you might consider another source of help: your church. They can help in a variety of ways. Sometimes, they can help you learn to manage your money in ways that will help you for the long run, sometimes they can give you money and at other times, they may be able to help do work at your home to save you money rather than have to spend too much for expensive repairs. Of course, they can always support you in prayer as you join together to watch GOD supply your needs in ways you never expected. It all depends on the situation. Most churches have a policy to guide them. This is something few people consider when in the middle of dire situations, but one that should be thought through seriously.
If you can get into your retirement debt-free, with your house paid off, and with money saved you will do well. If not, you will need to trust GOD to provide for you along the way as you had to do earlier as well. In fact, you will need to trust GOD either way!
Medicare/insurance and supplements to Medicare
If you have Medicare and can afford a supplement, you will not need to pay much money out of pocket when you are hospitalized. They usually cover the cost of the ambulance too. The thing you will need to watch out for is the Advantage plans. For those, you have to turn in your Medicare card and take the Advantage plan. Yes, they often provide things like an exercise program at little or no cost in addition to the medical coverage. But often, they don’t provide as much rehab, for example, as Medicare does and shortcut other coverage that Medicare provides. The key is to know the difference between your advantage plan and what Medicare covers. For some, it is a great deal, for others it isn’t.
There are still other plans that are accepted as medical plans by Obamacare but really aren’t. When you show up at the hospital, you are treated as uninsured. In theory, the group will help you by voluntarily sending you help for your medical bill. For many, that happens. but you often have to pay money out of pocket and get reimbursed later as well as fill in your own paperwork. If you have plenty of money saved, you are fine. The people I have known who have those plans tend to function as if they don’t have insurance. They go to the ER as little as possible as well as the doctor.
That is fine if you have no health issues. But I am talking to people who are caretakers of those with chronic health issues. Another caution? At one time, they did not cover any psychiatric issues either. In fairness, I’m not up-to-date on that. This would include the onset of bipolar disorder and accompanying hospitalizations, a drug abuse hospitalization. or a depression that is serious enough for hospitalization, etc. This happens to Christians too. The cost of these problems is expensive and is quite an exclusion! As I said, you need to know where the holes in your coverage are before you hit a problem.
As long as you are aware ahead of time what decision you are making, you won’t be in for a shock when you end up in the hospital, THEN find out what the holes are in your coverage. Usually, most people don’t know ahead of time that they will need rehab…like what you would need after a stroke or a broken hip or a bad car accident.
Of course, there are other things to save for, if you are able. They are such things as nursing home insurance, that you may or may not need. Some people just have their investments set aside for this kind of problem in their older years and try not to think about it since they made the plan:( I admire people who are able to make those kinds of plans!)
The majority of us live in the middle. We have some options to choose from but not many.
Most of us live somewhere in the middle…we have a few options re health care and health plans. Most of us who live more ordinary lives. We have less than stellar options because of the amount of money we have available to us. We can’t make perfect decisions because we don’t have that kind of money. We have to make decisions based on the options we have available. Our decisions are those that are optimal based on our options, but rarely perfect. We have more options available than those who are truly poor, but not as many as those who are able to live in luxury. However, I think living in luxury is overrated.Our Heavenly Father will take care of us and meet our needs. It pushes us to trust Him rather than worry. Click To Tweet
The choices available to those of us who are in Christ
For those of us who are in Christ, we have something available that not everyone has. That is that we are promised that our Heavenly Father will take care of us and meet our needs. It stretches our trust. It pushes us to trust Him rather than worry and stress when we are aware of our needs. He will provide as we trust Him! We won’t always know way in advance, what the provision will be. We will need to trust our Father to provide. But we need to depend on Him because He is the definition of good. He cares for us more than we can imagine and He is with us during difficult times. He will care for us even if we made poor decisions with money in our past. He will still provide for us.
But godliness with contentment is great gain,
for we brought nothing into the world,
and we cannot take anything out of the world.
But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare,
into many senseless and harmful desires
that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.
It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith
and pierced themselves with many pangs.
I Timothy 6:6-10
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you,
do not be anxious about your life,
what you will eat,nor about your body, what you will put on.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap,
they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.
Of how much more value are you than the birds!
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that,
why are you anxious about the rest?
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you,
O you of little faith!
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink,
nor be worried.
For all the nations of the world seek after these things,
and your Father knows that you need them.
Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.