When you are considering a job transition to a new employer or to being self-employed, one area that is often overlooked is financial benefits—options for investing and saving for retirement.
You may assume that investing to grow your resources is not Biblical. After all, the Bible says:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19 (ESV)
This scripture is a warning to avoid a misguided love of money, which diverts our attention from God. Money is not, itself, evil. It can be used to provide for others, as well as our own needs. God knows how easily human hearts can be overtaken with greed, and He cares about your heart attitude about your finances.
Investing and saving allows us to remain generous and provide for ourselves beyond the years we are able to work. Investing can also provide resources to pay for a medical emergency or unforeseen disaster.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11 (ESV)
If you are new to investing, you might feel overwhelmed where to start. Here are eight savings or investment vehicles that you should be aware of while job searching and planning for your future:
401(k) or IRA – If your employer offers a 401(k)-retirement plan, this is the first and easiest place to invest.
A 401(k) is a defined-contribution retirement fund. Employees contribute funds through payroll deductions. You’ll want to ask if your employer offers matching, at what percentage, and at what point you become vested.
If a 401(k) isn’t currently an option or you are self-employed, consider a Roth IRA. An IRA is an individual retirement account which allows you to set aside after-tax income up to a specified amount annually. Earnings and withdrawals after age 59½ are tax-free.
Roth IRA accounts have historically delivered between 7 and 10 percent average annual returns, compared to 1-2 percent with a traditional savings account.
If you are interested in setting up a retirement plan, the IRS offers a resource to help you decide what works best for you.
Health Savings Account – A HSA, or Health Savings Account, allows you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for medical expenses and are often offered alongside a health plan with a high-deductible. Being able to pay with pre-tax funds saves you money on health expenses. Self-employed individuals can also set up an HSA through a financial institution. You can keep money in an HSA over time and some people even use it as an investment vehicle for retirement.
Other financial benefits offered by employers – Benefits can also include pensions, stock purchase plans, credit unions, and more. Ask questions about these options rather than assuming they work a certain way.
Target-date mutual funds – Mutual funds are a basket of investments comprised of stocks and bonds. Investments are based on your target date of retirement. Examples are TD Ameritrade and You Invest by J.P. Morgan.
Index funds – An easy, hands-off way to invest in the stock market. Learn more here.
Robo-advisors – Robo-advisors do the heavy lifting on investments for you. These low-cost advisors are becoming more popular and include Betterment, Wealthfront, and Ellevest.
Exchange-traded funds – ETFs are traded like stock. You can even find commission-free ETFs. Learn more here.
Investment apps – Apps such as Acorns and Stash help rookie investors easily create and build investments.
One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, which means the Lord will provide. He is faithful to meet our needs. One way we can honor God is how we steward what He provides. God supplies according to His purpose for our lives.
This week, pray and ask God to lead you closer toward His purpose for your life, and for wisdom to steward the resources He supplies to fulfill His purpose through you.
This post was written by Kristin Sherry and Laura Miller.
Kristin is a member of the Crossroads Career Board of Directors. She is the best selling author of YouMap & Your Team Loves Mondays…Right? She joined our board in 2019 and lives with her husband and 4 kids in North Carolina.
Laura Miller works for Crossroads Career as a writer and editor, and lives in the Kansas City area with her accountant husband. Laura hosts and produces The Library Laura Podcast, which is a weekly dose of book recommendations, library love, and literary enthusiasm. Previously, she worked in the insurance and retail industries.