by Curtis Burkholder
As a young boy growing up on a dairy farm, I remember my mom talking about adding money to her Christmas Club. At the time, I didn’t understand what this meant. What I understand now is that she was intentionally setting money aside each month so that when Christmas came around my parents would have money saved to be able to buy gifts. Instead of just buying gifts out of their monthly income they had a lump sum saved to buy gifts. My parents valued generosity at Christmas time and knew that it wouldn’t happen naturally. They intentionally planned to save monthly so they could be generous at Christmas time. They had a vision of being able to enjoy giving as well as experience the joy of my sisters and I opening our gifts. This was one of the earliest examples of intentional generosity that I remember.
For many of us, giving and generosity does not occur naturally but requires intentional thought and planning. 2022 at Bare Wealth Advisors is the “Year of Intentionality.” In addition, one of our core values is generosity. Today, we’ll consider how intentionality and generosity are related. Generosity is a way that we can inspire others, a way to enrich our relationships, and allows us to expand the influence of what we manage. This kind of generosity requires intentional thought and planning.
Generosity inspires others by making an impact upon their current situation. It may be a gift that is made right when funds are needed to pay a bill or to meet the current need of a charity. Generosity can also provide funds for an organization to venture into new areas of opportunity. Then, as we share stories of generosity, others are inspired to give as well. This can cause a community to gain momentum around generosity.
Giving generously enriches relationships as it communicates, “I value who you are and know what is important to you.” Generosity requires intentional thought and planning to find a gift that reflects who the person is as well as their interests. With an organization, giving can also enrich the relationship between the giver and the organization as it allows gratitude to flow back and forth between the giver and the recipient.
Generosity expands the influence of what we manage by sharing what we have with others. Instead of keeping money, time, or talent to ourselves, as we share our resources it allows us to influence others in ways we would not have been able to do otherwise. We can encourage, train, and teach others as we share what we have.
The apostle Paul in a letter to the church at Corinth encouraged them to excel in the “grace of giving.” To excel in something requires hard work and effort. It does not occur naturally but requires sacrifice and discipline. To intentionally live a generous lifestyle requires us to say “No” to some things and make sacrifices so we can say “Yes” to others and be generous. This requires us to have a vision for our giving and to intentionally plan. Just like my parents saw on Christmas morning when they watched the joy on our faces, the energy that it takes to intentionally be generous is well worth the effort.
As you think about your personal life and giving strategy, take time to consider one area or cause that you feel inspired to be more generous in. Consider the potential impact of an increase in your generosity and develop a plan that will help you accomplish that goal. (We would love to help you create this plan!) As you develop a plan, make sacrifices, and take steps towards greater giving, you will be living in intentional generosity and experience the truth, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”
by Tina Bare
As we are now halfway through our 2021 Year of Impact focus at Bare Wealth Advisors, we wanted to encourage you that giving back to organizations with your time and talents can be as important as giving your treasure. Many organizations rely very heavily on the support of volunteers and would not be able to survive without them! Ron and I (Tina) have been involved with a local youth ministry, the Parkesburg Point, (parkesburgpoint.com) for many years. We have served in different capacities – from board member to Bible study leader to cooking meals, staffing retreats and mentoring. At times we question do we have “the time” to volunteer and do these things, but we have always found that the Lord extends our time, blesses us, and fills us when we give of our time and talent to His work. The impact is two-fold; the Point meets the needs of those they serve and we in turn are impacted through the interactions that occur. I asked Amy Walton, Volunteer Coordinator at the Point to share her perspective on how volunteers impact their ministry:
“The Point addresses the spiritual, academic, emotional, and physical needs of the students. Volunteers have served those needs in many ways and help carry out the vision of a victorious life. One volunteer couple responded to a student who moved 41 times before coming to The Point. As a high school student, he could not read. Our volunteer couple began to address his academic needs by helping him learn to read. The time spent with this young man turned into a long-lasting relationship. Through their love and encouragement, he began learning about his passion to pursue real estate, learned how to budget, buy a car, and an apartment – and enjoyed eating family meals, something many of us take for granted! As a successful adult, he thanks The Point and this faithful couple for changing his bleak outlook into a life filled with hope, purpose, and love.
Volunteers also help carry out the programs that work towards our mission. Each month 150 volunteers from multiple churches come and serve home-cooked meals to our students each day that we are open. This service covers a nutritional and physical need for our demographic which falls below the poverty level. Other volunteers use their gifts and talents to teach cooking, woodworking, boxing, electrical work, skateboarding, tutoring, reading, and music. Additionally, we have volunteers who open their homes and pools for our Summer Bible Study students to swim—giving a chance for students to experience a peaceful, faithful atmosphere that they strive for in their own future home.
Volunteers support our mission, make an incredible impact, and show that true service does not require anything in return—we are grateful! Hundreds of volunteers have been serving, praying, supporting, giving, and believing in The Point for the last 18 years—the impact is priceless.”
We at Bare Wealth Advisors love to help you intentionally manage your wealth in a way that aligns with your God-given purpose for maximum impact – but, we also want to encourage you that there are so many ways to have impact outside of finances. We challenge you to ask yourself, “How can I leave an impact not only through my finances but also with my time and talents?”
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” – Proverbs 11:25.
by Ron Bare
Who or what are you impacting? This is the question we are asking at Bare Wealth Advisors in 2021. Each of us has an impact on someone or something, either in a positive or in a negative manner. Our mission at Bare is to help our clients “intentionally manage wealth that aligns with their God given purpose for maximum impact.” Our desire is to assist you in having the maximum impact with the wealth you are stewarding. What I (Ron) have learned over the past 25 years as a wealth advisor is that most of us aspire to having impact, but many things (both good and bad) easily get in the way of accomplishing this goal.
I recently heard a speaker say, “whenever we have excess it is easy to be wasteful.” It’s easy to think of this in terms of food, or time, but what about wealth? If you have more than enough, do you easily find yourself investing the extra into relationships or causes to help create impact? Or do you spend it on more temporal or short-term fun?
At Bare, we believe God has given us complete freedom to use wealth for enjoyment and for blessing our families, but also for SO much more! We believe in being intentional with excess wealth decisions so we can leave an impact and legacy. The end goal of managing wealth should not be endless accumulation. You have probably heard the saying, “you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul full of our stuff.” When we die, only what has been invested into people and impact will last. That is what we are passionate about. Imagine a world where we took the excess resources we have and intentionally invested these funds into causes or people for positive impact.
Let’s dream together about a few areas of possible impact:
Family – have we purposely invested into our families’ dreams, whether that be education, launching a business, or helping to fund a passion?
Local communities – how can we improve the community we live in? Do we know our neighbors and their struggles? Are we involved in local ministries? What other ways can we help our community?
World problems – what problem around the world do you wish to see positive change in? Clean water for all? Elimination of hunger? End of human slavery? Value of human life? I am sure we could name so many more.
Let me leave you with a simple formula for intentional money management so you can have meaningful impact:
- Work hard to earn a living and bring increase to your business. We were made to work and improve the earth. (Genesis 2:15)
- Learn to be content. Not an easy task but the more we learn contentment the more we can focus on the needs of others. (Philippians 4:12)
- Set long term financial goals – college, family, retirement, or other. When you know your goals, it is much easier to calculate how much you will need to accomplish those goals.
- Set a financial finish line. This can be an annual cap on your living expenses or a cap on your net worth. When this is set, work hard to grow your income or net worth (increase is good), but commit to using the increase for impact on others.
Following this four-step formula can help you intentionally have an impact in your family, local community, and the world. We look forward to working with you in 2021 to help you set and accomplish your goals and to begin discussions on what kind of impact you wish to leave this world!
At Bare Wealth Advisors, one of our core values is Generosity.
We believe that cheerful and generous giving inspires others in their purpose, enriches relationships, and expands the influence of the resources we manage. All year long we love to lead our clients in conversations regarding generosity and strategic giving. But certainly, something happens between Thanksgiving and year end that ramps up those conversations. There is a clear connection between gratitude and generosity. A connection between heart and function. So here are some thoughts below about how you give in heart and in function.
How in our hearts:
- As Jesus is sending out His disciples part of His instructions were “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8b) As we recognize God as the owner and we as the stewards it positions our hearts in gratitude to give freely with no strings attached.
- “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7) This is a great chapter packed with why we should sow generously and give what is decided in our hearts.
- “Each person is to give what has been decided in their heart to give.” (2 Cor 9:7) Giving is to be strategic, prayerfully considered, and is different for each person/family/business.
- By Faith. “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” (2 Cor 8:2-3)
How in our function:
- Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs). These are great tools that make giving easier in so many ways. A DAF is basically a savings account for giving that provides the tax deduction the year you place money in the DAF. It can be directed out immediately to charities of your choice or wait until you decide to give it later. It simplifies giving record-keeping to one place, provides ability to give anonymously, can be used to maximize bunching strategies with the current itemized/standard deduction tax law, and so much more.
- Giving 100% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). For 2020 only! You can deduct up to 100% of your AGI using charitable gifts of cash. These donations must go to an operating nonprofit. You can not use a DAF for the increased amount. (Though a single charity fund is an option)
- Out of Assets not only Income. We often only think of giving based on income and out of cash. However, there are lots of ways to give the same amounts but in a more tax advantaged way. Several examples would be: charitable SWAP donating appreciated stock and using cash then to buy back the stock to improve basis, gifting portions of business ownership, giving of grain or other commodities, Real estate, and more.
- Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) – IRA accounts have no required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020. But those age 70½ or older can still make gifts directly from an IRA to a nonprofit up to $100,000. This gift donates pre-tax dollars. The earned income is not once taxed because it goes directly to the charitable organization.
Please reach out to us with questions as you consider your generosity goals! We would encourage you as Ron Blue says, to consider “doing your givin’ while you’re livin’, so you’re knowing where it’s goin’.” For it is better to give than to receive.
(We have recently completed a new video sharing more about our roots of generosity – please check it out! (www.barewealthadvisors.com/about/values/givingroots/)
Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; therefore it is important to coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.
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.
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.
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 .
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 .
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 .
By Ron Bare
We are approaching the end of another year – if you’re like me you often wonder how the year went by so quickly and you begin to understand that our time on earth is short – even if we live to age 100!
Since time is short, we must look to make the most of the resources God has entrusted to us. As you reflect on another year and make plans for the next, consider the following thoughts on generosity that will help us leave a legacy well beyond our time on earth.
Excel – In 2 Corinthians 8:7 Paul talks about excelling in your grace of giving. Just as we work hard to excel in school or our careers, we should also work hard to excel in our grace of giving. The best way to do this is to push ourselves to a higher standard than the year before.
Decide – In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Paul also tells us to decide in our hearts how much to give and to do it cheerfully. We should decide in our heart by setting goals and committing to giving back to the Lord the best or first of all our resources. We should do this not because we have to but as an overflow of our love for Christ who died for us.
Be ready – I Timothy 6:18 Paul again tells us to be ready to share with others and by doing so we will be storing up treasures for the future. I’m not exactly sure what these treasures include, but I believe Jesus when he said “It is more blessed to give then receive”. You never know when God will prompt you, so be ready to share – and be blessed!
We often set goals near the end of a year for the upcoming year. This year why not DECIDE to set some giving goals for 2018 that will help you EXCEL in generosity, so more people will be blessed! In this way you will be READY to share with those in need and store up treasures for your future.