The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Savings and Investment

         Have you ever seen one of those fancy RVs with the bumper sticker that reads:  I'm spending my children's inheritance?  Most of us probably do not have the Rockefeller kind of wealth to leave to our heirs and we probably haven't lived on an inheritance that anyone left to us.  You and I for the most part have worked hard to sometimes barely get by or at least live pretty comfortable lives.  From a young age we have heard the admonishments to save and invest our money--save for college, save for marriage, save for retirement.  These are certainly good bits of advice, but to what extent should we make sacrifices in the now to save for the uncertain future?   Here is today's question for consideration:

          Is taking advantage of present opportunities more important than saving for an unknown future?

             Saving and investing took a hit in recent years as many with 401Ks and other retirement and investment accounts saw their values plummet.  Many retired senior citizens found themselves having to return to the work force because they no longer had the funds they had counted on to keep them in their accustomed life styles.  Others on the cusp of retirement were forced to remain in the work force to compensate for lost savings. Some even suffered health problems arising from stress or even committed suicide. The financial crisis that has been sweeping the world has had a devastating effect on the savings that people had put away.

             Perhaps our values have been misplaced.  Perhaps our children don't really have to have the education from the more expensive college or we don't really need to have more house than we can realistically afford.  Most of us would probably agree that going into excessive debt is not a sound financial plan, but could it be that setting savings goals that do not conform with our present budget might be equally ludicrous--especially when we look at the uncertainty of conditions in our world.

          I'm not advocating hiding money in a mattress or just frivolously frittering away our finances.  I'm suggesting judicial spending with some allowance for fun, fancies, and philanthropy.  Don't deprive yourselves of enjoying life now because you have to save for a future that may or may not exist.  Aren't we somewhat presumptuous to be counting on having something we don't have yet?  Sure saving for something may allow you to have something in the future that you don't have now, but then again it might not.  The only thing we ever know that we have for sure is the present, and the future is really a big maybe or maybe not.

         Sure, it's a good thing to have some savings set aside for our retirement in our current societal form.  Many years ago people often didn't live as long as they do now and families often lived together and took care of the older members.  Our thinking about families has changed to a great extent.  We rely more on government care through the programs like medicare and social security.  The alienation of familial interdependence has been supplanted by government care and the private resources of how much one has saved.   Is our modern society sacrificing something very important?

          The Bible teaches us not to worry about money and needs, and not to store up treasures on earth but to lay up treasures in Heaven.  Now whether or not you accept Christian beliefs, if you really dwell upon this concept you might see the practicality of it.  Number one--worry will make you sick, sad, and uncomfortable.  You should do what you need to do to take care of yourself and do your best to take care of others. The second point is what I have been saying--treasures here on earth are temporal and subject to loss.  If we disregard the religious aspect of the statement, we can see that intangible treasures could also be memories, traditions, and relationships.   My suggestion is that one be realistic with the money and possessions that one has, but don't depend totally upon them to the exclusion of enjoying life. 

           From the standpoint of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge, what we have been doing is time consuming, but I have seen it as a sort of investment.  At the outset, some bloggers stated that they would like to do it but they didn't have the time.  I suppose any of us could have made this excuse.  My question would be why do you blog?  What is the purpose of blogging?  For many of us we are trying to establish a "platform" as they say.  I was already blogging every day so the A to Z Challenge did not really take up that much extra time in the mere act of posting articles.  Commenting did.  It was an investment to me, but how about you?   Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section of this post or if you wish this might be part of what you would like to talk about in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post.

29 comments:

  1. I have spentmany hours commenting,if I hadn't been doing that I probably have been watching TV, AT LEAST I have learnt about many other people around the world and it's been fun.I have found new friends which is priceless.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Good Morning Lee

    Your Question?
    Is taking advantage of present opportunities more important than saving for an unknown future?

    I believe we need to cease opportunities, invest and save but not make that the primary focus of our life. All of life is a balancing act and everything should be done in moderation and with a biblical perspective in mind.

    We need to learn to be content with what ever state of life we are in.

    Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

    God bless you, Ron

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  3. Investment it may have been, but it has more than paid off. I've found some great blogs and some wonderful people through the Challenge, most of whom I know I will continue to follow even after the Challenge gets over.
    I've said it before, I am saying it again- thank you!

    ~ Rayna

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  4. I think the blogging has been a good investment, both in terms of networking and furthering my writing skills. It's helped me with consistency and meeting deadlines.

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  5. Good advice Arlee, thanks for sharing.

    I especially like the parts about stress/worrying. It is true that too much of this will make you sick.

    Today's guest blogger is Michelle McLean!

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  6. Certainly enjoyed your post. The question about allotment of resources for now or the future is a good one. Sometimes I think we think we can protect our future by careful saving or planning. But really today is all we have. There is no guarantee of tomorrow.
    God is ultimately the provider.

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  7. I didn't participate in A to Z but have enjoyed seeing how many others are using the letters. Commenting and posting takes time but you are so right, you must decide why you're doing it. Is it worth it? Is it too time consuming? Am I balancing everthing properly? i ask myself these questions daily about everything, not just blogging!

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  8. Hi, Lee,
    Wow! I have had so much fun blogging with a whole community of fellow bloggers. What wonderful people I have met! I have made some friends that I intend to keep in touch with, (including you) and look forward to many pleasant hours ahead of me.
    Thanks for all your effort and investment in this challenge!
    Ruby

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  9. I have a good friend, who is very "good" with his money. He works a regular job (same as me), and has taken his money and invested it here and there.

    His investments has made him a "Millionaire". He may be rich in money, but he has not done much else other than make home improvements to the point of his house being way overdone for the neighborhood. I tease him by saying his back yard looks like the Hearst Castle.

    He keeps saying he wants to travel, but cant afford to.

    He is in his 60's, and I think he is missing out on a lot of life by not experiencing life. For him it is all about the $$$ he can accumulate.

    Sig

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  10. Arlee, this challenge is an investment of sort and I have enjoyed it, I did two S posts today, hope you don't mind! I feel it is important to put some money away if you are able but we do only have today and are to rely on God to provide for us, yet still we need to be responsible with our money.

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  11. Yvonne - you and others I think have diverted some of their innvestment of time to more rewarding things. TV is just feeding the brain and senses with empty mental and emotional calories. The activity of blogging entails a satisfaction of actually doing something, learning, and reaching out to others. I'm very thankful for your devotion and efforts in the Challenge.

    Ron -- You are correct. However, I think one can be discerning about opportunities. I really think many opportunities we encounter have real value: Helping someone else in need, going somewhere or doing something we may not have a chance to experience in the future, spending time and money with kids and grandkids-- there are many things that people forego because they can't afford it. What have we gained in life if we amass a healthy nest egg but never experienced much in life or enjoyed the money we made? But you are so right about Balance.

    Rayna -- that's the way I feel and I hope the others who participated feel the same way.

    Alex -- Yes! A great endorsement for our endeavors.

    Matthew -- we should not ruin our health with worry.

    Jan -- Amen! It's a message that contradicts what society often preaches. Balance is the key.

    Grammy - my time and effort was an investment that had a really good return for me and others from what is being said.

    KarenG -- another endorsement for balance.

    Sig -- I think you make a good point. It's sad to spend our final days in this world with regrets, it's difficult to find solace in mere possessions. Live while you have the health and ability to enjoy life. A lot of people talk and dream about someday and someday nevers comes.

    Shannon -- you can make as many posts as you care to invest your time into. I appreciate the way you have been so dedicated in your efforts. Balance is once again the answer. The Bible presents us with a paradox about money and possessions. Jesus tells the rich man to give everything to the poor and follow Him. Not many people have ever actually done this and who is willing to go that far. It comes down to balance in our lives.

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  12. I think the reason I didn't participate is because I like to blog about the things that are on my mind, not necessarily tied to a letter of the alphabet. Also, I don't blog 7 days a week - I only blog Monday - Friday, and I didn't want to commit another two days to blogging. But in terms of opportunity and investment, your challenge was wonderful. It connected bloggers with other bloggers and expanded everyone's network. That is a very good thing.
    karen

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  13. Seeing that I had no followers when I started this challenge, and seeing that I have 19 now, I would say this has been a great investment of my time! And since my husband is a CFP, I'm all for saving money. For one thing, it delays gratification, which is a great life lesson. Instead of buying something now on credit, save up for it and buy it with cash later. Of course, easier said than done *sheepish*

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  14. well...i got bogged down with some family matters in the last few days which in turn disrupted my ability to take care of commenting in the usual manner that i normally do. then i went off His trail so to speak and crashed and burned. my readers gave me a great deal of encouragement yesterday!!! i'm grateful to Him for them. now i'm catching up again:)

    PRAISE ADONAI !!!

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  15. We all invest in what is most important to us. I want to invest in relationships and this challenge has definitely helped me in that respect.

    Have a great day my friend!

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  16. Great post; I think savings and time go hand n' hand. We need to do our
    best to spend them wisely. I know I don't always, but for the most part, I do. IMHO My husband might differ, when he sees me back online typing away, while he is on his laptop reading reviews. It is all about what works for you, what are you needs, wants and desires.

    I started blogging to find people like me; In all the years I have moved been a military spouse, I did not find a lot of creative souls. People just kind tilted they head at me; I would never have thought of that. I have met 2 crafty souls in the past 25yrs... not a great record. I bought a magazine, Somerset Studio and started going to the blogs mentioned throughout the articles and found a new world...blogging!

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  17. I have always been a check to check person, when single and still while married. My husband just works part-time and we are still check to check and have our little one coming VERY soon now. We don't have anything to put into savings but we are definitely storing our treasures in Heaven!

    I have to give your last question some good thought and comment on it in the mega post!

    Have a blessed day Arlee!

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  18. I started off blogging because I was told that for a writer, a platform was important.

    The community I've connected with has turned blogging into a pleasure. I love seeing other bloggers I know in the comment sections of sites I've found.

    I've learned about blogfests....which I'd never heard of before. The growth from those challenges alone has made all of this worth while.

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  19. The A to Zs I did get to visit were great. Loved them! And you're right--commenting takes longer than the actual writing a blog post.

    And I blog because I like to feel that I'm not alone in this crazy dream called "I want to be published". I've met some wonderful friends through blogging.

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  20. I think blogging is one of life's 'ice breakers' and that there are some really lovely people (like you) who have much to contribute and from whom I enjoy learning. One's reputation is a mirror, of sorts, to the person within. I think that a positive intent, the sincere desire to do what is right overrides human fraility, for it's impossible to go thru life without mistakes; it's impossible not to forgive the innocent mistake. Save for the future? Yes, within reason. God helps those who helps themselves. And you have a lovely blog; thank you for stopping by my blog.

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  21. Very thought-provoking post!

    Coming from a generation which wants everything--the house, the cars, the boat, trendy getaways--NOW, without working hard, I consider your question with interest. (For what it's worth, my husband and I are not of the norm with that way of thinking.)

    Values should be considered above many other things. That's what keeps us from having credit cards, and paying cash for everything.

    But I can understand the argument to enjoy ourselves now, for we don't know what tomorrow brings. So long as we don't live beyond our means, that is.

    Wow! I've rambled. I'll cut it off now. :)

    Thanks for your (much more concise) comment on my blog today!

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  22. Very good blog with some very good wisdom. We "worry" way to much about a future that we are not even promised. There must be a judicial division between emergency planning and laying up treasures in heaven.

    I honestly (took awhile to get here and scriptures like Psalm 37) don't begrudge the rich and wealthy for all they have. Sadly, for the majority of them it is all that they have and ever will have. It is easier, Jesus said, for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heave. The rich young ruler refused heaven because he loved his wealth and could not give it up.

    How said Jesus asked, what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Wisdom from Godly pastors and friends, fervent prayer, and frugal choices can help us both live now, lay up treasures in heaven, invest in the Kingdom and leave a litle for our kids.

    I forget who made the comment, it was eiter David, Solomon, or one of the writers of the Psalms, but they said in relationship to gathering and hoarding wealth to pass on to the kids, "How do you know if your kids aren't idiots?" The idea is you may work hard to gather and leave it to kids who might squander it unwisely. I am not saying not to leave wealth, but hopefully you know your kids well enough to answer that question.

    Ecc 2:19 - Psalms 49:10

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  23. Karen -- you invested with your comments and I thank you for that.

    Kierah --- sounds like the time you invested in the challenge gave a good return.

    Bud -- I think you've been doing pretty well. I've gotten behind too.

    Lisa - relationships are an important investment.

    Ellie -- the online community is good for finding others with our interests.

    Trudy -- look forward to your May 3rd post to hear more.

    Raquel -- I guess blogging is good for expanding a platform-- that's what I keep hearing. But it's a good place for social networking and discovery as well.

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  24. Jackee -- blogging provides great networking opportunities for like-minded people. Hope you'll come back again.

    Kittie -- thank you for your visit and please stay in touch.

    Janna -- feel free to ramble whenever you want.

    Gregg -- once again you had a lot to say and it was all important. Thank you for investing that time with your good words.

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  25. i like this post, arlee bird, as i often wonder about and dread the future, if it is that we should have one. I don't think that being wasteful because we have no certainty of what tomorrow brings, but then again, i do wonder too what will become of what we do save.

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  26. Arlee, thanks for your comment about "1491". It's been awhile since a non-fiction book has grabbed me like this one has. I'm going to have to read it again! However, I'm irked that, with so much knowledge out there about the Americas, so little has reached textbooks. This is not right! A fellow blogger suggested that "The Mayflower" is also interesting. So, it's on my list. (

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  27. too left -- we never really know. Just Trust. Thank you for visiting and please come back.

    Kittie --So glad you came to visit. "1491" impacted me as well. It's been a few years since I've read it. But a skewered agenda driven course of teaching has been placed in our educational system. Another book that I found very interesting about American Indian culture is actually an older book that recently went into reprint and can sometimes be found from bargain book dealers. It's called "Captured By The Indians" edited by Frederick Drimmer. It's a fascinating collection of accounts from people who had lived under captivity with the Indians. It is quite detailed and often rather shocking. It was put out by Dover Publications.

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  28. I am blogging to network with other future authors and other like-minded folks. It also helps me become more accountable with my writings.

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  29. Pal-- sounds like a good investment to me.

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Lee