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Celebrating 21 Years & A New Look For Us!

by Ron Bare

At the end of October, we held a 21-year anniversary celebration event! It was a wonderful evening with great food and friends, an encouraging challenge from Chuck Bentley and amazing musical entertainment from Voices of Lee. In addition, we looked back at the last 21 years of Bare Wealth Advisors and Ron set a great vision for where we hope to head in the coming years. We are committed to helping you have great impact and tell your story intentionally for generations to come. For those of you who were in attendance, we hope you were blessed and inspired. If you could not make it, we missed you!

At our celebration, in addition to the above, we launched a new look and feel for Bare Wealth Advisors!  As many of you know, 2021 was our “Year of Intentionality.” We felt that this was the right time to be sure that we were intentionally telling an accurate story of who we are and what we do. We worked through an in depth 6-month process being sure we did this well. We are so excited with the results! We will be sharing more of the details of our rebranding in the coming months through our blogs and social media.

When going through the rebranding process our goal was to listen and think about you and your needs or desires when working with financial professionals. We know one of your biggest desires is to make a difference, an impact – in your families and in our world through causes you support with your time, talent, and your treasure. Knowing that the busyness of life and sometime the worries of this world can get in the way of this kind of living, we are committed to forming trusted partnerships with you to help you plan intentionally and give generously to your impact areas (family and giving decisions). Ultimately, we believe, as many of you do, what we invest into the next generation and charitable causes are what will last well beyond our lifetimes.

Our focus is helping you maximize your impact (with the financial capital you are stewarding) for your family and the causes or good you wish to make on this world as part of your legacy.  We do this by providing wealth management and holistic financial planning grounded in Biblical wisdom to encourage generosity, empower vision, and influence the world for good. In the coming months we will continue to share the details of our rebranding including our NEW tagline…”Beyond Abundance.” We look forward to helping you grasp this exciting vision!

Intentional Family Time

by Jim Wahlberg

As we focus on our “Year of Intentionality” one of the most important areas where we can be intentional is with our family. Unfortunately, this can also be the area that is easiest to neglect. When I think of being intentional or deliberate with family, my mind immediately goes to my childhood and the example that was modeled to me.  I think it is safe to say that each one of us was shaped by what we experienced in our childhood.  When I think back on my upbringing, I’m thankful that I can reminisce on mostly fond memories and experiences.

A few things that my family did intentionally were:

  • Eating dinner together as a family each night. I remember playing with friends in the evenings and being told I needed to be home by 5:00.  Many times, I argued that it wasn’t fair that I had to be home while my other friends were still playing.  My parents put a value on making sure we had a time each night that we were all together and we could talk about our day.
  • Family vacations. These are one of my most cherished memories. My parents grew up in Minnesota and most of my extended family were still in that area, which meant we had to be intentional to see our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Most summers, we would pile in the station wagon for a road trip to see family.  I’d sit in the back with my two sisters and proceed to drive everyone crazy while I’d see how close I could get to the imaginary line dividing our seats without crossing it.  When my dad’s “claw” would reach around the seat and latch onto my knee, I knew I’d crossed the line!  The 20 or so hours each way that we’d spend in the car were all worth it when we had time away from our normal distractions at home and got to make incredible memories on those annual vacations.

Now that I have the responsibility as a parent of three young kids, I am tasked with being intentional with both my wife and our kids.  James 4:14 says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  As summer is about to begin, I’d encourage each of you to take a moment to identify what you are doing intentionally with your family, whether with a spouse, children, grandchildren, or maybe even friends whom you see as family.  Eat ice cream, day trip to the beach, jump in the pool! Understand that our time on earth is a mist that will soon vanish…take time today to make an intentional moment!

Intentional Financial Planning

by Adam Black

When you hear the term “financial plan”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s planning for retirement, finding a way to get your kids through college, or buying your first home. Personally, the first thing that I think of is “process”. When I think of the goals I have in my life, I know that most of them will not be accomplished overnight. To determine the best path forward, I had to sit down to evaluate what I have, what I’ve done so far, but most importantly, where my heart is. Taking the time to do that was an awesome process of self-discovery – but that was just the beginning.

Once I knew what I wanted to accomplish, I had to take action-steps to get there. The most important financial aspect of my plan was to live within my means. Without this discipline, most (if not all) plans would fail. I had to discern where money was flowing – how much I was spending money on takeout, how much I was giving, how much I was spending on gas, and so on. This process wasn’t fun, but from it I was able to figure out how I could achieve my goals and set guardrails on my financial journey.

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to intentionally take the time to go through this process. As you dream of your future, think about how it is impacted by your finances and consider the steps you need to take to make that dream happen.

You may not have the know-how on earning the most money in your investment account, how to save for your goals while being tax-efficient, or how to effectively give your money generously to make your financial plan flourish, but that’s okay. We would love to help you discern what those goals are and help you get there, all while building a deep relationship of trust and intentionality. For those we already serve – we love serving you! For those who we do not have the honor to work with yet, understand it’s a process, but a fulfilling one when done with intentionality and purpose.

I’ll leave you with my favorite catchphrase that I believe summarizes a key point to an intentionally built financial plan: “Trust the Process”.

Thoughts on the crisis in Ukraine

by Ron Bare

Like you, all of us at Bare Wealth Advisors are concerned about the recent world events, most significantly the Russian invasion into Ukraine. In the days ahead, please contact your team here at Bare Wealth Advisors if you have specific questions on how this affects your personal financial plan. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share some overall thoughts and words of encouragement.

  1. There will be plenty of blame to go around for this event in the days and months ahead – for now, I suggest praying for peace and protection for the nation of Ukraine.
  2. We are seeing extreme price movement in food and energy, which is likely to continue. Keep in mind, the US was energy independent within the last couple years. I believe our country has the capability to produce the energy we will need in the long-term. Since Ukraine is a large producer of wheat, we will continue to see increases in our food costs until this uncertainty is behind us.
  3. In my opinion, Russia desires control and money from both energy and agriculture (mostly energy) and that is what this war is about. In my opinion, Putin does not want to start World War 3.
  4. Financial Steps to take:
    1. Live within your means – spend less than you earn
    2. Give generously to those in need – here is a link to 20 organizations that are helping people in Ukraine: https://www.ncfgiving.com/stories/help-for-ukraine-10-charities-on-the-frontlines/
    3. Minimize debt
    4. Think long term – this too will pass. Continue to “work” the financial plan we have put in place. If you are adding to investment accounts, please continue to invest and possibly increase the amount of money you are investing. You are investing into some great companies that over the long term may reward you with good profits. If you have excess cash (margin) in your financial plan this may be a great time to consider buying some of these companies shares.
    5. Do not fear: Read Matthew 6: 19-34 (read verses 25-27 below)
      1. V25: That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food or drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t your life more than food, and your body more than clothing? V26: Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? V27: Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

Thank you for trusting in our team. We are here to serve you and we would be happy to help bring clarity to any questions you have concerning your personal financial plan.

Sincerely,

Ron Bare and the entire Bare Wealth Team

Intentional Generosity

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.”

No more waiting!

by Ron Bare

I remember as a child waking up on Christmas morning full of excitement and anticipation for what the morning would bring – a special breakfast, stockings, and…presents!

However, growing up on a dairy farm meant it was also a morning of waiting. The cows still had to be milked on Christmas morning just like every other day, and that meant that I had to wait until all the morning work was done, showers for my parents who were doing the work, and breakfast to feed those who already put in half day’s work until I could get to those presents! Ugh! Time seemed to move so slowly!

Then, the moment finally came -the Bible was opened, and the Christmas story read. And we could begin opening presents! Whatever the gifts were, they were usually worth the wait! However, by the next year I somehow would forget the gifts from the prior year and be looking ahead to what the next Christmas would bring.

Christmas Day more than 2000 years ago the world was also in waiting. Waiting on a promised Savior who had been foretold hundreds of years prior. But finally the wait was over. Jesus Christ was born! Unexpectedly, he came as a baby…. grew into a man…and died on a cross for the sins of the world. This was and is great news! He lived a perfect life, performed many miracles, and taught and modeled for us all how to live a life of impact. A life that is willing to serve, put others first, and ultimately die for others who are underserving of such sacrifice. Jesus was and is THE gift of Christmas.

“For God so loved the world that HE gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16. This gift lasts throughout eternity and is not like earthly gifts that rust and rot away or are quickly forgotten. He is the gift that forever changed the world and was worth the wait. He is the gift we should all reflect on every day, but especially during the season of Christmas, not to be lost in the hustle and preparations of the upcoming day.

Throughout 2021 at Bare Wealth Advisors, we have carried the theme “Year of Impact” both internally and with our valued clients. As we come to the end of another year and bring the “Year of Impact” to a close, I am drawn to the impact the life Jesus had on all of humanity. 2021 years after his birth we are still celebrating this life on the most widely known holiday celebrated each year. The life of Jesus Christ is the most impactful life of anyone who has ever lived and one we should look to model. He did it not with much wealth (actually very little), but rather with a life that served, loved, and ultimately was laid down for others – you and me. So, as we celebrate another Christmas season let us remember that the wait is over! The best gift ever has been given to all! And we are free to live a life like Jesus, a life of impact.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 

 

Larry Burkett – A Life of Impact

by Ryan Kurtz

As many of you know, our theme at Bare Wealth Advisors for 2021 is “Impact.” Specifically, we are challenging our staff and clients to ask, “how can we use our resources and lives to have an impact on others?”

As I reflect on my life and career, a man comes to mind that was very influential in my own life as well as extremely influential in our industry.  Even though he is no longer with us on earth, Larry Burkett epitomizes a life of impact.

Larry passed away when I was 25 years old, and I was never able to meet him.  My remembrance of Larry Burkett was when I spent afternoons as a young boy feeding animals and milking cows in the barn on our family farm.  Typical of many farmers, the radio was playing, and every midafternoon a show called “Money Matters” aired. It was a “call-in” type of show where people would ask Larry financial questions and he would answer them.  I was always struck by the way Larry gave answers to callers with knowledge for each financial situation while simultaneously integrating Biblical wisdom with the answer. His words were full of love for each person regardless of the financial situation – even if the caller found themselves in very negative appearing circumstances.  Years later, as I began my career in the financial field as an advisor, part of my desire to help others came from wanting to “be like Larry” – to give loving financial advice integrated with God’s Word.

In addition to the radio show, Larry published over 70 books in his lifetime, and sales of these books now exceed 11 million copies.  As I prepare for meetings with clients, I still have many of his books in my office that I pull out from time to time to see what Larry said about a certain topic.  It is interesting to me that when I look up the advice he gave in his writings there is almost always a Bible reference included.

Not only did Larry impact me personally (and many others) through his radio broadcasts and writings, Larry was also instrumental in starting or helping to start a number of wonderful Christian financial ministries. At Bare Wealth Advisors we still are closely connected to several of these ministries, and they continue to impact so much of what we do each day. Some of these organizations that we use and connect with regularly are Kingdom Advisors, National Christian Foundation, Crown Financial Ministries, and the Money Wise radio show.

As I reflect on the impact that Larry’s life had on me and many others, I ask myself, “on who am I having an impact?”  “Am I having the same life changing impact on others as Larry’s life impacted mine?”  I will always be forever grateful for Larry’s life and the way God used him to influence me in so many areas of my life.

Having an impact through Volunteering

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.

 

Using Your Platform for Impact

by David Denlinger

Like most avid sports fans, I cheer for certain athletes more than others. As a kid, I was captivated by the athletes who performed the best and kept a “likeable” persona. Apparently, these athletes made enough of an impact on me that I would spend hours in my backyard pretending to be them. Since my years as a little squirt, I have gained a greater appreciation for athletes who are outspoken about their faith and have made a difference outside of their sport. As I reflect over some of my favorite athletes, Tim Tebow is someone who has made a significant impact on my life.

In the 2009 NCAA Football National Championship, Tebow wore eye black with “John 3:16” written across it. As the star quarterback and Heisman trophy winner, there was no surprise that he consumed more airtime than the other players. As a result, 92 million people googled the Bible verse John 3:16!

It amazes me how Tebow’s small decision to write John 3:16 on his eye black compelled 92 million people to search it on the internet. Since 2009, Tim Tebow has continued to use his platform to make a significant impact. In 2010, he created the Tim Tebow Foundation which “exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” In addition to his foundation, Tim has written books and speaks in front of large groups of people. It is evident that Tebow is letting his light shine for his maker and allowing God to use his influence to impact the world.

Although wearing eye black might not be the best way for you to influence others, it is important for us to look for ways in which we can make an impact using our God-given gifts and talents. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Whether you are a famous professional athlete or not, we all have a unique “platform” that God has prepared for us. What ways do you intentionally choose to make an impact? What are some new ways you can intentionally make an impact?

National 529 Day!

by Curtis Burkholder

As we continue to discuss ways to have an “Impact” with our time, treasure, and talents, we wanted to highlight that tomorrow is “National 529 Day”! This day was established to focus on the importance of planning and saving for college – through what is known as the 529 plan.  By utilizing a 529 plan, you can help impact someone’s educational life. As you know, education can be expensive. The 529 plan is an excellent way to purposefully plan to save for an individual’s education – whether that be your child, grandchild, or another special child in your life.  If you do not know what a 529 plan is, you are not alone!  Keep reading to learn more about how these accounts can be a helpful and impactful tool when saving for college or K-12 private education.

The 529 plan received its name because it was authorized in section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. It does not actually have anything to do with the May 29th other than it’s a great date to highlight this plan!  The 529 is a college savings plan that allows individuals to save for college on a tax-advantaged basis without paying federal taxes on its growth – but only if it is used for qualified higher-education expenses.  A few years ago, the tax laws were updated to allow families to use funds toward a private elementary or secondary education-up to $10,000/year per beneficiary.

If you contribute funds into a 529 account and the original beneficiary does not need the funds for their education, the beneficiary can be changed to another family member.  This provides flexibility in funding and planning for education expenses as funds can be transferred between different siblings as well as down their family line.

It is also important to understand the tax treatment of 529 accounts. There are tax advantages for contributions into a 529 account.  Each state has established their own plan with an investment company so you will receive a state tax deduction for any amount that you contribute into a 529 account.  However, if you live in Pennsylvania, you may claim a deduction for a contribution to any state’s 529 plan.  This means that you have a wide range of investment providers to choose from for the 529 account.   This also means that you can contribute to 529 accounts for your grandchildren even if they live out of state.

Another important element to consider is how 529 distributions are treated from a tax perspective.  If the funds are used for qualified education expenses, there are NO taxes due on the distributions.  However, if the funds are not used for qualified education expenses, the earnings of the non-qualified distributions will be subject to income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax.

Almost anyone can open a 529 account including parents or grandparents.  No matter who opens a 529 account, anyone can contribute to the account for the student.  If you have grandchildren, you can contribute to their college education by establishing a 529 plan for their benefit or using one that is already established. This can also be useful if your grandchildren attend private school, as you can help cover the cost of their education and get a state tax deduction for any contributions made into a 529 account.  The funds in the 529 account can then be withdrawn to be used to pay for the private school tuition.

Hopefully, you have gained a better understanding about 529 plans, as well as the advantages to using them. If you wish to learn more about 529 accounts and how they can be used for your children or grandchildren with great impact, please contact our office and we would be happy to discuss this with you in greater detail. Happy National 529 Day!

Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; therefore, is is important to coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

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