Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stewardship Truths #7

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen


Be honest and act with integrity in all of your dealings.

Proverbs 16:8 “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”

Dishonesty is rooted in greed, and if left unchecked, greed can make us susceptible to get-rich-quick schemes, or “something-for-nothing” schemes, schemes that almost always end in poverty. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

We must not let greed cause us to be dishonest. We cannot live right and get things the wrong way. Someone has said, “it is better to grow rich slowly than to grow poor in a hurry.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stewardship is More Than Fund Raising

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO 

I have the privilege of assisting people from every financial station in life; those with modest amounts of material possessions, those with vast amounts and everything in between.

I do not recall any of those for whom money did not present some kind of difficulty. For some the difficulty was in not having enough of it. Interestingly enough, an increase in quantity does not eliminate necessarily all of the difficulties. Money continues to be a difficulty even when it is plentiful. For then the challenge becomes how to preserve, invest and use it wisely. Money is an aspect of life where the struggle is universal.

Churches have a real responsibility at this point, but I am concerned churches are not fulfilling this responsibility as effectively as they should. Too often financial stewardship is relegated to institutional fund raising focusing on financing the local budget to the neglect of the broader perspective of the meaning of money in the life of a Christian.

The call to responsible stewardship is to let God, not money, be the One and Only God in our lives. It is a call to shift our priorities and to change the way we relate to money. The Bible is clear, if we ascribe to money the highest possible value for total satisfaction in life, we shall go through life dissatisfied and unfulfilled. One cannot find in money what can only be found in God. Money is the means by which we live, but not the end for which we live.

My prayer is our churches will become more intentional in teaching men, women, boys and girls how to stop worshipping money and how to start investing it for eternal gains in the lives of people through the missions and ministries of our churches and our KBC-related Great Commission service organizations. Through your church and these organizations money is transformed into ministry.

Call toll-free Laurie Valentine or me to arrange a stewardship education seminar in your church before the end of this year - (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Twelve Steps For Christian Estate Planning- Step #7

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

A Christian estate plan is one you develop by determining how God wants you to: (1) provide for your family and other “dependents” at your death and (2) have your finances managed and decisions made for you if you became incapacitated and no longer able to do those things for yourself.

Step #7 Use Trusts to Help Beneficiaries Handle Their Wealth. Leaving an inheritance outright to a young or incapacitated beneficiary is not good estate stewardship.

An outright bequest or beneficiary designation to an under age 18 beneficiary will require a guardian be appointed to manage the young beneficiary’s share until he/she reaches age 18. This is the case even if there is a parent surviving. At 18, the young beneficiary will receive full ownership and control of the outright inheritance, no matter its size.

A better alternative may be to use a “testamentary trust” as part of your plan.

A testamentary trust is a bequest in your Will to a third party designated as “trustee” to manage the young beneficiary’s share of your estate. The trustee can be authorized to use income and principal of the young beneficiary’s trust for his/her education and other needs. And, by using a testamentary trust, you can delay when a young beneficiary will get full ownership and control until an age older than 18.

Testamentary trusts may also be used to provide for an elderly or incapacitated beneficiary. The trust can direct all income (and possibly some principal) be used for the beneficiary for the rest of their life; with the remainder designated for an “ultimate beneficiary” of your choosing after the elderly or incapacitated beneficiary dies.

Next Month-Step #8- Plan for Death Taxes
  
For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Contribution Not Acquisition

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

Someone has said, “success comes not by acquisition but by contribution.” Winston Churchill said, “we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Jesus said in Matthew 16:26, “what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The scriptures teach us if we are wise, we shall pay more attention to eternal values than to the things of the world. In I Timothy 6:7 we find this, “for we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” Therefore, we ought to put godliness above everything else. In so doing we shall gain what is lasting. Everything else is temporal. Verse 9 warns us of the temptation trap into which we fall by our love of money. Sometimes those who have the least love money the most. We need to ask ourselves from time-to-time, do we have things, or do they have us? In verses 17 –19 the Apostle Paul told Timothy to charge those who were affluent not be arrogant or proud nor to put their trust in their wealth. Instead they (we) should put their (our) trust in the living God who gives us all things richly to enjoy. All things come from God and are to be enjoyed, but they are not to be worshipped.

Not only are we to trust the Lord, but also we are to be worthy of his trust. The Lord is seeking trustworthy men and women. If you are one of those, he is more likely to give you something, which you can use for his glory. Here is what Jesus said about trust, “whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”(Matt 16:10-12).

To the extent we can assist you to have success in your stewardship, please give us that privilege.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stewardship Truths #6

A 12 part series discussing stewardship.

By: Barry G. Allen


Work hard at everything you do.

Proverbs 22:29 “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”

Here the wisdom writer reminds us first that good stewardship involves how we earn what we get as well as how we spend what we get – in other words – good management is directly related to values; and second, in addition to teaching us values and helping us to prosper, hard work brings a measure of satisfaction to our lives.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Is Your Plan Coordinated?

By: Laurie Valentine- COO & Trust Counsel

Efficiently and effectively accomplishing God’s plan for how what you own will pass at your death requires you put together a “coordinated” plan for how your assets will pass.

Assets that are beneficiary-designated such as life insurance and retirement accounts will pass per the terms of the beneficiary designation document, not per the terms of your will or revocable living trust. Likewise, jointly-owned assets will pass to the surviving joint owner at your death, no matter what your will or trust says.

Only assets in your name alone or designated to be paid to your estate, your executor or the trustee of your trust will pass as your will or trust directs.

Failure to coordinate how assets will pass may result in a beneficiary receiving assets in a way you did not intend. Here’s an example: Your intention is for anything coming to your son from your estate at your death is to be held in trust for him until he reaches age 25. Your plan includes both a bequest to the trust for his benefit created in your will and a life insurance beneficiary designation naming your son as beneficiary. The bequest will be placed in trust, but the life insurance will be paid directly to your son, whether he has reached age 25 at the time of your death or not.

Make sure your plan is coordinated, and stays coordinated, by regularly reviewing how your assets are titled and how beneficiaries of life insurance, retirement accounts and possibly other assets are designated. Then compare asset titling and beneficiary designations with the terms of your will or trust.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Do You Need More Income?

By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO

Like many people you may depend upon income from certificates of deposit and other fixed income investments.

If so, I am confident you wish interest rates were a lot higher than they are. Also, you may have been thinking about how to provide some kind of financial benefit to your church and other charitable causes, but did not feel you could give up that income producing CD.

I am delighted to inform you the Kentucky Baptist Foundation offers you a simple solution to your need of more income and your charitable intentions. That solution is a charitable gift annuity (CGA).

A CGA is an agreement between you and the KBF under which, in exchange for your gift to the KBF of cash or appreciated securities with a value of at least $5,000, the KBF agrees to pay you a fixed amount each quarter for the rest of your life. The payout rate depends upon your age. The older you are, the higher the payout rate.

Also, a CGA can be on one or two lives. For example, it can be on the lives of a husband and wife.

Not only is the payout partially tax free, but also the gift portion of the plan is tax deductible. If you give appreciated assets, there likely will be capital gains tax savings as well.

The portion of your gift not needed to make the lifetime annuity payments to you will be available at your death for the chartable cause(s) you designate in advance.

You can specify for the remaining portion to be available to the charitable cause(s) outright, or to be held by the KBF in a permanent endowment fund with only the earnings, not the principal, being paid in perpetuity to the cause(s).

Anyone age 50 or older is eligible. Example of the current single life payout rates are: 5.1% at age 70; 5.8% at age 75; 6.8% at age 80; 7.8% at age 85; and 9.0% at age 90 and older.

As you anticipate the maturity of your next CD, consider using it for a CGA. Laurie Valentine and I are awaiting your toll free call to assist you.

For more information, please call us at (502) 489-3533 or toll free in KY at 1(866) 489-3533.

The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.