The value cannot be overstated for young clergy to start investing now for retirement, said Stephen Mitchell, who is the Oklahoma Conference director of benefits/personnel.
That’s why he is strongly urging clergy younger than age 50 to attend a one-day benefits symposium in August.
Bishop Jimmy Nunn affirmed that. "It’s essential for new clergy to invest a little time to understand a long-term financial plan, including pension and insurance benefits," he said, "and to develop a plan and follow it."
Mitchell offered a comparison based on a 6 percent annual rate of return on investment.
A person age 35 who starts saving $1,200 a year will accumulate almost $200,000 by age 65.
But a person age 55 who starts saving $1,200 per year will have only $17,000 by age 65, the typical milestone for retiring.
"It’s so hard to convince people but so necessary" to set aside money for the future, Mitchell said, in spite of the financial demands of today.
The free symposium will be offered twice: on Aug. 21 at Oklahoma City University, in the Sarkey’s Science & Math Center; and on Aug. 22 in Tulsa at Boston Avenue UMC. The event is open to all active clergy.
Both begin at 10 a.m. and include lunch. Attendees earn continuing education credits.
Leading will be representatives from Wespath, which is the new name for the denomination’s General Board of Pension & Health Benefits; from EY financial services; and from the Conference Benefits Office.