Planning a Pastor’s Retirement
Learn key strategies and find out your options.
Planning a Pastor’s Retirement
Image: Huy Phan / Unsplash

A 2015 survey of more than 4,000 pastors nationwide provided a sobering statistic: one in five pastors do not save anything for retirement. And those who do save for retirement still don’t save nearly enough. Without a retirement plan, a pastor will likely face substantial financial challenges when his or her career comes to a close.

According to the survey, the median amount pastors had set aside for retirement was around $30,000—which would certainly not cover living expenses for someone who could live up to 30 more years after they retire. What’s also troubling is a recent Barna study found the median age for a US pastor in 2017 is 54 years old, meaning many pastors may be about to finish their careers without a proper retirement in place.

For pastors planning to use Social Security for retirement, that option isn’t looking promising, either. Eighty percent of respondents from the 2015 survey indicated they contribute to Social Security and expect to draw from it in their retirement years—however, based on October 2016 projections for Social Security, the fund for Social Security will be depleted by 2035 unless legislative action occurs soon.

Where do pastors in your church fall in this spectrum? Do they have a plan for retirement? And what is your church doing in order to help ensure pastors have future success? Many pastors want to plan ahead, and many churches want to help them—but many don’t know where to begin.

In “Planning Your Pastor’s Retirement”—a free webinar featuring respected attorney, CPA, and Church Law & Tax Report senior editor Richard R. Hammar—pastors and other church leaders will find guidance for developing comprehensive retirement strategies, including critical information related to pastoral retirement planning, church plans, deferred compensation plans, tax-sheltered annuities (such as 403(b) plans and IRAs), and housing allowances.

Watch the webinar recording to gain a clearer understanding of the options available and the confidence needed to create and follow a successful retirement plan.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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