Basic Financial Responsibility

By Del Walinga

Preparing for your financial future is a wise way to protect the assets and income that God blesses you with. Many people consider insurance a lack of faith. They argue that it takes God out of the picture. However, God’s word instructs us that life involves both opportunities and risks and we should be prepared for both. “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, He has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” -1Timothy 5:8.

Insurance, annuities, personal retirement plans etc. are financial tools and are considered morally neutral. Plans should be bought not because of fear but out of faith. Here is a good question to always ask, “If I am stewarding my life for Christ, shouldn’t I make prudent decisions with the life he bought”? Faith in God and love of family should be the inspiration and goal for every protection plan.

Protection decisions should start with a strong foundation. A basic foundation starts with life insurance protection and the preservation of funds through checking, savings and tithing through what I refer to as a “super simple spending plan”.

Life insurance coverage is the desire to protect your family against the financial consequences (final expenses, mortgages, loss of income) associated with death. Both term and permanent life insurance can help meet your financial goals. Keep in mind that group life insurance through work is usually not adequate coverage and does not go with you when changing jobs or when retiring. And, life insurance options are very different.

With term life insurance you purchase benefits for a specified number of years. At the end of that period your coverage ends. Term insurance is less expensive than permanent insurance. However, each time you renew a term plan your premiums increase because premiums are based upon your age at renewal. Term insurance helps provide coverage for those high debt years of homes, cars and college expenses. Term insurance often comes with a return of premium option as well.

Permanent insurance provides protection your whole life. Permanent benefits will always be there and premiums usually remain the same throughout the life of the contract. Most plans offer an optional cash value in addition to the insurance. The cash value grows on a tax-deferred basis (no annual 10-99) and can be used over time, without canceling the coverage, to pay unexpected emergencies or supplement retirement income. A life insurance benefit has no tax gift liability to the beneficiaries and cannot be attached by creditors or other heirs.

When you buy life insurance you buy a promise of protection against financial loss and hardship caused by death. In today’s financial uncertainties it is important to take time to review the financial strength of the company. And, the personal service of the agent should center on your needs and goals not theirs!

And remember, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” 1 Timothy 6:6-7.

Del Walinga is a Law Enforcement officer with 30 years of experience. He is active in ministry to police and corrections officers around the world and is a licensed financial representative and securities investment advisor.

(This article was first published on Page 10 of the Spring 2011 issue of “The Christian Peace Officer” 

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