Pensions for YWAMers

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There seems to be no written advice on what YWAMer's should do in terms of planning for the future through pensions etc.

Some replies to my email seeking info:

  • Years ago when Floyd was with us, he was proposing a kind of retirement policy for YWAMers to take out - that wasn't successful mainly I believe because it tried to take everyone on board internationally.  We have certainly encouraged individuals to set up their own policies where they can, some have invested in property, others seen miracles happen.  The bottom line seems to be, just as individually we are responsible for our support year by year, we are also responsible to pray for our long term support and care.  I personally haven't seen anything in writing on this.
  • Hi Kevin, yes that's pretty well the situation. After Floyd's attempt back in 1992-93, we have steered clear of a general arrangement. The situation is the same as a self-employed person.  There is nothing in writing though.

Some Advice

  • Many YWAMers join for a short term that then expands into a Career. The fundraising and budgeting decisions taken early on may not include pensions. changing your mindset to having a long-term/career plan is important but not easy.
  • YWAMers should not wait to think about planning for the future but should address it as early as possible.
  • State pension provision should be considered if your country offers it. It can, in many ways, be the cheapest and potentially the best, option for the future. Be especially clear what you are doing when you your home nation to work in another. In many cases State pensions can be a good thing as they are backed by a government and not investments in the stock market for example.
  • Seek a reputable and independent financial adviser for help. Always remember financial advisers make their money from selling products to you. You don't have to take their advice, but when you know you want a product they can be very helpful to find the right one.
  • Private pensions are sometimes available and can be really helpful.
  • Investments in property/stocks/shares and bonds are all possible, but might be somewhat vulnerable to fluctuations of markets. Good advice is to have a spread of investments in different markets, thus insulating against one single failure of a market.
  • Beware of scams and schemes. Many Christians have been hurt badly through Ponzi schemes and other investment scams.
  • Some countries require a minimum working time before you are eligible to get into the pension scheme (e.g. Holland). If your home country requires this you might want to consider an extended sabbatical time to gain this. When factored into a 30 year career plan this could be very wise. You may also be able to combine this with quality time investment into your home church.
  • Try to budget in savings and pension contributions. Your supporters will understand. Many will be glad you are thinking for the future. They may even take you more seriously as a missionary worth longterm investment as a result!
  • Remember we rely on the Lord. He is the one who provides for us in a myriad different ways. Try to be open to all of them!