Date: August 14, 2016
The Point: When it comes to your money, plan and invest wiseley.
- Get Into the Study
- Study the Bible
- Additional Questions
- Member Extra
- Tips for Leading Bible Study Groups
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Begin by sharing this news item:
Baby boomers – those people born between 1946 and 1964 – are now beginning to retire. For these boomers, retirement will likely be different than it was for the generations before them.
* For one thing, people are living longer now. The life expectancy for men who turn 65 in 2030 is six years longer than it was for men who turned 65 in 1970. For women, the life expectancy has increased by four years during this same time period.
* People are generally healthier now. The proportion of people over age 80 who reported that they had poor or fair health decreased from 43 percent to 34 percent during the years from 1998 to 2012. This improved health means that people might work longer and spend less money on medical care.
* Most boomers will enter retirement depending on money saved in their workplace retirement account versus a traditional pension plan. Generally, these 401(k)s are not as generous and large as traditional pension plans, meaning boomers will need to invest wisely so that they don’t overspend their money in retirement.
* Most boomers will work longer than the generations of people before them. The proportion of men ages 62 to 64 who are working (or looking for work) increased from 45 percent to 56 percent between 1994 and 2014. For women, these numbers rose from 33 percent to 45 percent for the same time period.
* Boomers are entering retirement with more debt than the generations before them. The number of adults over age 65 with debt rose from 30 percent to 44 percent between 1998 and 2012. This means that part of these boomers’ retirement income will be used to repay debt rather than providing for their current living expenses.
Say: We all want to be prepared as possible for our retirement years. Smart planning and investing is the key, all through our lives – to be ready when we reach retirement.
Direct attention to Question #1 (“What comes to mind when you hear the word “invest”?”) and call for the group to share their responses.
Say: Today we’ll look to Ecclesiastes to see what God’s Word says about how to plan and invest wisely.
Information for this post was gleaned from here:
— Donna McKinney wrote this Leader Extra. Donna is retired from a career with the federal government of the United States. She is a veteran Bible study group leader living in North Carolina.TEXT
Study the Bible
Use the following list of money-saving ideas and discussion questions to address some practical ways we can wisely invest money.
It’s impossible to begin investing money if there’s no money set aside to invest. For those in debt or young adults fresh out of college, the idea can be intimidating. Knowing one cannot begin investing huge sums of money overnight and getting an incredible return (except in rare circumstances), it’s important to start small, see progress and realize practically that investing is a reachable goal. These 10 money-saving tips were taken from a post from 100 (Share web address listed below with the class…the entire list is very helpful). Utilizing a few tips once or twice probably won’t yield measurable savings; making several of these life habits will likely produce savings over time:
- Make gifts instead of buying things from the store
- Repair clothing instead of tossing it
- Don’t spend big money entertaining your kids
- Invest in a deep freezer/buy staples in bulk
- Check out free events in town
- Learn about all benefits and perks from your company
- Always ask for fees to be waived
- Switch to term life insurance
- When buying a car, look only at used models/stick to fuel efficient, dependable cars
- Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts
- Which of the tips above have you never considered but will now examine in your own life?
- How can intentional stewardship of the practical, everyday decisions help us to glorify God in saving and investing money?
- Even if you believe the items on the list above would not be personally helpful or possible to you, in which area of spending could you cut costs?
- Once you have successfully eliminated unnecessary spending and saved an amount, where might God want you to invest that money?
— Emily Jennings wrote this Leader Extra. Emily is wife to Brian and Mommy to her three sweet boys. She loves serving at FBC, Woodstock, Georgia, where her husband is Middle School Pastor. Find her on Twitter: @emilyejennings.
- When is a quick fix usually a bad plan?
- When has a snap decision gotten you into trouble?
- When has practicing patience paid off for you?
- What sorts of heart attitudes should we fight if we want to cultivate a long-term investment mindset?
- How would you rate the current state of your investment planning?
- What lessons can we learn from Solomon about managing our money?
- What areas of your future are uncertain?
- What are some financial “investments” that seem too good to be true?
- What’s the danger in putting all your eggs in one basket?
- How has Scripture offered you financial guidance in the past?
- Of the six biblical investment principles described here, which one most challenges you? Why?
- Describe a time when your investment strategy failed. What did you learn from it?
- When we experience misfortune, what are our choices?
- Where has God placed you to labor right now?
- What are some things that distract us from work?
- What do you do when worry has you paralyzed?
- What truths about God can fuel a right attitude in our work and investments, no matter the outcome?
- How does having God in your life help you when you face uncertainty?
- In what areas of life do you feel completely confident in God?
- What does this passage teach us about God?
- How do you typically react to uncertainty?
- What is the relationship between diligence in our work and trust in God? How do we do both simultaneously?
- How does Paul’s secret to contentment (in Philippians 4) relate to a current struggle in your life?
- Of the three aspects of the Promise, which most encourages you today?
Share the following with your group members as either a devotional before the group study or as a follow-up devotional: