Faith and Finance: Wisdom from Rev. Billy Graham

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We live in a fast-moving world. Our tax code is fluid, investment markets can move more than a percent in moments, and life in general happens. Still, all of this speed doesn’t satisfy our appetite for information, insight and direction. 

The old adage that leaders are readers rings true. I am often asked to recommend books that will help people better understand their financial situation. The desire to learn is genuine but the fluid conditions of our financial world rarely allow for great and easy answers. 

The challenge of addressing changing financial landscapes and laws is so severe that I don’t even use a textbook for the senior level financial planning course I teach at Purdue. Indeed, there has not been a single semester among the 14 semesters I’ve taught at Purdue, during which a correction to previously disseminated information was not required. Things change! We supplement the class with recent white papers and research along with long-standing financial principles that tend to remain constant. 

A large church in Indianapolis asked me to teach a short course on retirement planning based on a book by Rev. Billy Graham called “Nearing Home”. I had not read the book and was naturally concerned for the previous mentioned reasons to support a particular book on retirement planning. After further review – and reading the book – color me pleasantly surprised!   

This is not a book about specifics. Instead, it addresses general yet very accurate thoughts about the retirement process. Nor is Rev. Graham’s book about facts and figures. Rather, the book considers things readers should consider as they plan for their future. “Nearing Home” deals with the reader’s retirement, a spouse’s retirement (which can be just as traumatic) and things to consider about the grieving process. 

Rev. Graham notes that throughout his life “people taught me how to die but nobody told me how to grow old.” There is far more to retirement planning than simple budgets and cash flow. The emotional aspects are inherent in the retirement decision for everyone involved. Men especially tend to have their self-worth based on their occupation and the loss of a professional identity is a grief all its own. 

The book offers sage advice, reminding us to “be proactive so others won’t have to be reactive.” How wise! The majority of estate planning done in my office is inspired by someone dealing with a parent’s, sibling’s or close friend’s poor planning! The common cry is, “Please don’t let me make the same mistakes!” 

There are many books about finance that I read and recommend to others.  Yet I always caution the reader to use the stories and situations as a foundation for understanding. Beware of facts and figures as things change. I remind my Purdue students that Internet searches are data dependent not date driven. Consequently, research often yields outdated information. 

“Nearing Home” is a book of timeless wisdom and an easy read. It also offers timeless advice on matters of eternal consideration.

Disclaimer: Do not construe anything written in this post or this blog in its entirety as a recommendation, research, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. Everything in this post is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. I or my affiliates may hold positions in securities mentioned in the blog. Please see my Disclosure page for full disclaimer.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar-main”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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