New Rules for Financial Planning

By Marcia Shetler
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In 1992, William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote the book Generations: The History of America’s Future. They believe that while each generation is shaped by its particular place in history, they also have characteristics that cycle over the years. The Baby Boomer Generation, born from approximately 1943 – 1960*, changed the rules about many aspects of North American culture, and continue to do so as they enter retirement. Like the Boomers, Millennials—born approximately 1982-2004*—are doing the same, including financial planning.

(*Strauss and Howe’s generational definitions)

Millennials are writing new rules about housing, jobs, and relationships, based on their experiences as digital natives and growing up during the economic downturn. Many are ipad-820272_1280already saddled with more debt from educational and student loans than what would have taken their elders decades to accumulate. They value experiences over things, which affects how they live out their vocations. They treasure close relationships, yet have friends all over the world. They seek to build integrated lives of personal satisfaction and sufficiency.

Is there a place for financial planning in the world of a Millennial? There should be. Having an understanding of both the short-term and long-term aspects of financial planning may be more important for this generation than any other. Along with the need to understand the day-to-day aspects of financial management, Millennials may one day oversee the inheritances they receive from their parents and grandparents. Many financial planners are making new rules about financial planning to serve the Millennial generation well. For example, financial planner Joe Pitzl—a Millennial himself—uses social media, invites his clients to see him as a coach, and encourages looking at a variety of opportunities for building a monetary nest egg.

This month, the COMPASS Initiative focuses on financial planning:calculator-385506_1280

  • Get great insights every week on this blog and on our Twitter feed and Facebook page.
  • Join us for a Live Chat with Jacqueline Painter, financial planner with Everence, on Tuesday, October 10, 1:00 p.m. Eastern time, Noon Central time, 11:00 a.m. Mountain time, and 10:00 a.m. Pacific time.

I recently read a great quote from a Millennial about giving: “Do not just ask young adults to have the courage to part with their money. Encourage them to join it on its journey.” Good financial planning allows you to join your money on its journey and helps you live the integrated life of satisfaction, sufficiency, and generosity to which you aspire. I hope the information shared this month will help you demystify financial planning!

About the Author

marcia shetlerMarcia Shetler is Executive Director/CEO of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center. She holds an MA in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, a BS in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Bible certificate from Eastern Mennonite University. She formerly served as administrative staff in two middle judicatories of the Church of the Brethren, and as director of communications and public relations for Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana, an administrative faculty position. Marcia’s vocational, spiritual, and family experiences have shaped her vision and passion for faithful stewardship ministry that recognizes and celebrates the diversity of Christ’s church and the common call to all disciples to the sacred practice of stewardship. She enjoys connecting, inspiring, and equipping Christian steward leaders to transform church communities.

This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS Initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page, follow us on Twitter, and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.

Photo credits: pixabay.com

Taking Something on for Lent

By Timothy Siburg

sanctuary1-copyThis month on the COMPASS blog, we have been thinking about giving something instead of necessarily giving up something for Lent. As we are about half way through Lent now, I can say that I haven’t necessarily given anything more for Lent, but I have somewhat taken something on for Lent.

Getting to know “The Big Red” State

In my work and ministry, I have the privilege of getting to meet people across the state of Nebraska, my new home as of last fall. (I am not a native of Nebraska. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and spent a few years for seminary and work in Minnesota.) Traveling across Nebraska has allowed me the chance to get to know many new people, new places, new congregations, new perspectives, and in some ways, new cultures too.

This Lenten season I have been traveling quite a bit to meet with different congregations of all shapes and sizes. The one thing I have noticed myself doing even more though, is making room for conversation and especially making room for myself to listen. Listening to one another is a critical part of relationship, service, ministry, and leadership. And as I look at the larger communities and country I live in, it is something I believe is sorely needed.

With that in mind, I guess I have unintentionally taken something on for Lent– more deep intentional listening.

Our Lenten Journey

During this Lenten season, we journey to and through the cross. We return more intentionally in our worship to reflect on the insanity of such a pure gift of life for us, a gift that we can do nothing to earn. We are also confronted by our human frailty on Ash Wednesday, and again when we face death directly on Good Friday. During this season, no matter what separates us, we are each confronted by the realities of life and death which are true for every person.

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Meeting a congregation

Every person faces questions of life and purpose. Every person needs to face their own mortality. Most people hope and dream that they can do something positive for their families, loved ones, friends, and communities, and leave a legacy.

I have been reminded of all of this so far this Lenten season by meeting with people across the state of Nebraska. By listening to them, by hearing their stories, I have seen their stewardship at work, but also heard how they are wrestling with their faith in their daily life. It’s a holy thing, this act of listening, sharing, and wrestling.

Some Faith and Stewardship Questions and Wrestling

It takes a level of trust and vulnerability though. Which, not to get too theological here, is probably only made possible because we believe in a God who is and was vulnerable for us, by coming into the world as one of us, growing and living, and then dying and of course being resurrected and ascended. To be willing to be human (both human and divine), our God took on our vulnerability to know us, and to know the good, bad, and ugly of life more fully.

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A Nebraska sunset

This Lenten season, we remember this. I am remembering this every day, when I hear stories of joy, but also of sorrow; when I hear stories of how people are stewarding that which God has entrusted to them; when I hear questions of “why,” or “what does this mean?”; when I can wonder with people about what God might be up to?

I don’t pretend to have any answers. But at least during this Lenten season, I am sitting, walking, and meeting my new neighbors across this state, listening, and hoping to grow in my understanding.

What are you giving as part of your Lenten journey?
Or, like me, what are you taking on?

About the Author

timothy headshotTimothy Siburg is the Director for Stewardship of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a Deacon in the ELCA, and is a member of the COMPASS Steering Committee. His wife Allison serves as an ELCA pastor, and together with their cat Buddy, they reside in the greater Omaha area. Timothy attended college at Pacific Lutheran University, and graduate school at the Claremont Graduate University and Luther Seminary. Timothy can also be found on TwitterFacebook, and on his blog.

This blog is a component of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center’s COMPASS Initiative to engage young adults in conversations about faith and finances. Like what you see and want to know/do more? Visit the COMPASS web page, follow us on Twitter, and join the COMPASS community on Facebook.

Image credits: Timothy Siburg