“We’re encouraged in scripture to prepare for the future,” says Collin Seitz, who's been a pastor with the EFCA since 1980. “It talks about saving, putting away for a rainy day. And I think I have an obligation as a faithful husband and father to care for life’s eventualities.”
In his late fifties, the pastor describes himself as facing a "10-year window" — a season that involves anticipating, and preparing for, a transition away from active ministry. To him, embracing this truth is simply a "matter of good stewardship."
Seitz first chose to invest with FCMM because of the tax advantages the plan makes available to those in ministry, specifically the deferred housing allowance. And his investment in the retirement plan has evolved over the years — just like FCMM itself. He first began contributing to the organization’s annuity plan, then took advantage of the opportunity to invest in funds like Vanguard and American Funds, when FCMM broadened its portfolio.
“I’m very pleased with the returns we’ve been getting with [these options],” says the pastor, who started saving early and is now watching his funds snowball.
Seitz also believes that good retirement planning isn’t just about him or his family; the church will benefit too. “If a pastor is nearing retirement,” he says, “the church needs to be able to move on and find new leadership. If there’s no plan set up to support the pastor, that can put a church in an awkward position.” So retirement planning becomes a “win-win,” he says.