Year of Generosity in Review

2019 has been Bare Wealth Advisors’ Year of Generosity. We find it helpful to create a theme each year to help us be more intentional in a certain area of our financial lives. Without intentionality in our lives we are prone to coast along with life reacting to life events and circumstances. This is true in our financial lives as much as in any area of life. As we wrap up another year, I thought it would be good to make one last effort to emphasize the importance of generosity in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.

In 2 Corinthians 8:7, the Apostle Paul tells us to excel in our acts of giving – similar to how we would want to excel in other areas of life such as our knowledge, speech, faith etc. If you are alive more than 12 years, you probably know that to excel or get better in something you need to work at it and plan for it to actually improve. Think of a professional athlete such as Michael Jordan-the best basketball player ever to play the game (sorry, Lebron James fans). Although he was naturally gifted as an athlete and basketball player, he was also the one that put in the most hours a day practicing and mastering his game. The same is true for financial management as well as our generosity. We may be naturally generous, having a desire to help other people.  However, with unlimited options on how we spend our time and money, we are often pulled away from using our resources for others in efforts to “better” our own lives resulting in more things or time commitments.

The only way to improve or excel in our effort to live a generous life is to plan, set goals, and take steps towards generosity. Begin by asking yourself: “What does generosity look like for me considering what I have been given?” The Bible tells us that to whom much is given, much is expected.  This means we have a great responsibility with what we manage. Many in America have been given much and,  we are the most generous nation in the world by many statistics. However, a deeper look into this says we have room for improvement. The average American gives about 2% of their income.  While this is slightly better at 2.6% for someone who regularly attends a weekly worship service, it still falls short in many ways considering the wealth we have in our possession. During the Great Depression, average giving percentage was 3.5% of income, despite extremely difficult times. There are many studies that show as our income increases, we give a lower percent of our income to help other people. Why?

Perhaps because we do not think about being intentional or how we can improve in this area like we do areas such as fitness, our jobs, parenting, etc. Why not set giving or generosity goals each year that push us forward from the prior year? Think about giving a bit more to help others or possibly one percent more of your income than the prior year. Think about how we can use our time to help those in need around us such as volunteering an hour more per week so we can physically help someone in a tough situation. A good exercise is near the end of the year pull out your calendar and your checkbook (or online account) and reflect on how you spent your time and money in 2019, does it align with what you most value in life? If not, set some goals in both areas to be more generous and others focused in 2020.

I read recently that if the average church attender gave 10% of their income (a tithe or tenth is often taught in the Scriptures) there would be additional resources to solve problems such as:  world hunger,  deaths from preventable diseases, the world’s clean water and sanitation concerns, all world mission efforts would be funded, and all illiteracy concerns would be solved.  Not only would these problems be solved but there would also be $100 billion left over to fund local needs in our communities. With this in mind, I could argue that if we all pushed forward with more generosity, we could drastically improve the lives of people around the world! In addition, when we take part in generous acts there is a supernatural joy and fulfillment that comes that cannot be matched by any earthly possessions.

To wrap up Bare Wealth Advisors. Year of Generosity, let me encourage and invite you to take part of generous acts of service in 2020 and beyond. Together we can move the needle of generosity from where we are today to where we can leave a legacy well beyond what we can imagine if we are intentional in this area of our lives. After 23 years of working with families such as yours in the area of financial management and decision making, I can honestly say I have NEVER met an unhappy generous person.

Tell Your Story

As you know this is our Year of Generosity and one of the interesting things about generosity is that it’s always easier to tell someone else’s story of generosity than our own.  We are quick to quote Matthew 6 when Jesus said “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”  We take that sentence out of the rest of the Sermon of the Mount and fear “losing our reward” if we tell someone about our giving.

Yet the sections of Matthew 6 on giving, prayer, fasting, treasures, and worry are all about the heart of why we do what we do.  In speaking about giving, Jesus said don’t be like those who do it “to be honored by men”.  What if our cheerful giving to the Glory of God included “spurring others on in love and good deeds”?   Generous Giving is on a mission to see the generosity of God displayed through the generosity of God’s people.   Since it’s football season we thought we’d include a story below of a Quarterback’s generosity journey.

 

A Season for Everything…

As you turn the calendar to October and we roll into the Fall season, the air is turning cooler and the farm fields are being harvested.  Pumpkins are filling the roadside stands and their flavor and smell is infused into everything possible…drinks, foods, candles.  Personally, I love the crisp cool air, the opportunity to open the windows in the house throughout the day, and sitting by a fire in the evenings over the weekend.  With all the above changes, we’re also brought to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.  Ready or not, if you’re eligible for Medicare you will soon have more kindling material that you can burn in those fire pits!

First of all, what is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?  Well, each year between October 15th and December 7th is a time frame that allows those with Medicare a chance to sign up for, change, or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan.  During this 7 to 8 week period you are afforded the most flexibility to make changes.  If you desire to review your coverage or if you know a change is needed, then it is best to use this time frame to accomplish that.

What things may necessitate a meeting? In life the one constant is change.  If you had changes to your health, whether that is to prescriptions that you’re taking, seeing a new doctor, or even anticipating a procedure in the upcoming year, it would be a great time to review your current coverage.  Another consideration to keep in mind is how the plans themselves change.  If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan you will receive an Annual Notice of Change booklet.  Though it isn’t the most exciting read, it is an important one!  I would suggest you review the booklet.  Also know that we would be happy to discuss those changes with you.

Do I have to call or sign anything to keep my current coverage?  Generally, NO.  If your current plan is continuing into 2020, you’re satisfied with the way it worked, and you understand the upcoming changes in coverage, then you do not need to do anything.  There are times that plans will be discontinued and you will be notified of your need to sign up for a new plan in the AEP.  If you do have questions about your existing coverage or about other plans that are available, please give our office a call and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Is there any cost to meet with an agent to sign up or make changes?  No; even if you decide to keep your current plan there is no charge for a review meeting.  You also will not pay more if you were to sign up for insurance through an agent compared to buying it directly from the company.

This year don’t let the Annual Enrollments Season overwhelm you.  Please give me a call if you would like a personal review of your coverage for upcoming year and to be sure you are in a plan that makes sense for your situation.

You can reach me at 717-407-5200 or Jim@barewealthadvisors.com.

Financial Advisor is a Registered Representative of and offers securities through Securities America Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial advisory services are offered through Securities America Advisors Inc. Bare Financial Services, Inc. dba Bare Wealth Advisors and the Securities America companies are independently owned.

 

Living Beyond “90/10″ Generosity

As we continue to explore what generosity looks like this year, we found this video inspiring and think you will too!  A life of generosity can encompass so much more than monetary donations.  Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.

This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .

Removing Old Fences

Recently I sat in a client meeting where we were starting to map out a farm succession plan for a family and the husband quoted G.K. Chesterton by saying “Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up.”.  It sounded catchy but it didn’t quite click so I asked him to repeat it.  I have thought of this moment now several times since.  This really speaks to the core of why we do financial planning.  When it comes to money and investment decisions, too often we let our emotions get in the way.  That is why at Bare Wealth Advisors we don’t just pick investments or stick our clients in products that fit us…rather we take the time to work on values and purpose to keep our financial goals in alignment.  These life values and purposes are really the fence put up to give the framework for a financial plan.  So, when the storms of life or the market cause mountains and valleys on the dot chart of our statements we can be here to remind you why the fence was put up in the first place.  Having an advisor that can call you back to your values and to the plan is key when volatility seems to be the norm.

If you already partner with us on your stewardship journey, thank you for trusting us to help you build the fence.  If you don’t work with an advisor that calls you to value based decisions we would love if you would consider us.

By Lamar King

Generosity in Community

As we continue to explore what generosity looks like this year, we found this video encouraging in regards to living in community together.  Having close friends or advisers you can be vulnerable with in regards to finances can spur generosity and bring great contentment and joy.  Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.

This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .

Greg & Alison Baumer from Generous Giving on Vimeo.

Generosity Video

2019 is the Year of Generosity at Bare Wealth Advisors. Throughout the upcoming year, we will be sending out several videos that we have found to be inspiring.  Please pass this along to others you know who will be inspired in their generosity.

This video is courtesy of Generous Giving. To learn more about Generous Giving, click here .

 

Generosity

by Ron Bare

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:48b

In this passage, Jesus begins by instructing them not to worry and first seek God’s Kingdom. In verses 33-34 Jesus says to sell your possessions and give to those in need, unlocking an important principle in money management, the principle of Generosity.

Generosity requires us take our eyes off our possessions and puts our focus on the Kingdom of God where it belongs. Later Jesus says “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” He seems to make the point that a generous life on earth (what we treasure) will help our hearts desire a deeper relationship with God and the advancement of His Kingdom.

The more we have been given the harder it can be to keep our focus on our love of God and not develop a love for money. By living a generous life, we invest into the Kingdom by helping people and furthering the work God has given all believers, to make disciples of all nations. Now that is a good return on our investment!

Welcome Lamar King!

Bare Wealth Advisors is excited to announce the addition of Lamar King to our team! Lamar brings a passion for helping our community make wise financial decisions due largely to his time over the last 10 years at Fulton Bank. At Fulton, he worked primarily in the agriculture community, helping his clients make wise borrowing decisions to meet their business goals. Lamar will now bring that commitment to the Bare Wealth Team as he assists advisors in helping our clients make wise financial decisions in a broader sense than just lending.

Lamar and his wife, Grace, were married in 2006 and have four children.  Lamar was raised on his family’s potato farm in Cochranville and met Grace at Cedarville University in Ohio, where he received his Bachelors in Finance and Accounting along with a Bible minor.  They live together in Lancaster and are very involved at Millersville Bible Church where Lamar helps lead worship through music and lead as a member of the elder team.  Some of the things Lamar enjoys are spending time with his family, playing guitar, volleyball, golf, cheering on Philly sports teams and journaling.

Year of Purpose Recap

by Ron Bare

Early in 2018, I wrote that this year Bare Wealth Advisors was themed to be a year of purpose. If you have worked with us for some time, you know that we believe that all of us have a unique calling and purpose in life. However, living life on purpose means to live intentionally as we journey together through this life. At Bare we made a commitment to helping you achieve that this past year.

Here are some things we set out to do in order to help you live a life on purpose in 2018 – we hope these were a blessing to you and your family!

  1. Help you create a life mission statement or help you identify a few core values. If you have not been able to go through these exercises, be sure to bring it up to us next time you’re in for a meeting! We have received some great feedback on how these were helpful.
  2. Books and devotionals. We have given out many “Purpose Driven Life” devotionals and “Splitting Heirs” books for those working through the estate planning process. We are excited to talk to you next time you visit us to receive feedback on the usefulness to these resources.
  3. We have written blogs on how to live a life of purpose, how to retire with purpose and how to vacation on purpose. Let us know if you missed any or check out our website as all previous blogs can be found at www.barewealthadvisors.com
  4. Tee shirts! We had “Run with Purpose” tee-shirts made and have seen them being worn in the community. If you have not received one stop by anytime to pick one or two up as an early Christmas Gift.

We look forward to hearing from you and any stories you have on how living ON PURPOSE has helped you or those you care about. Blessings to you and your family as we enter the Christmas season! A time to be thankful and reflect on faith, family and friendships – the things that matter most!