Financial advisers see planning through Christ’s eyes

| Kathryn Elliott | September 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

Nest eggThree faith-based financial advisers recently talked about how they approach financial planning by bringing Christ into their workplace.

Dan Kuplic, a financial adviser and member of Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, owns an Ameriprise Financial franchise that allows him nearly the same flexibility as an independent financial adviser. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has invited Kuplic several times to give a “Faith and Finance” talk at its engaged couples’ weekend.

“Money isn’t the root of all evil: love of money is the root of all evil,” Kuplic told The Catholic Spirit. Although many folks think of retirement as a time to rest in luxury, Kuplic said he’s met many Christians who don’t want to stop their “work” of building the kingdom of God on earth as they get older.

“When you get to heaven, God says ‘Well done good and faithful servant,’ not: ‘you took the last 15 off?’” Kuplic quipped.

Kuplic said his advice fluidly incorporates the “economic realities” his clients face and the principles of Christian discernment.

Practically speaking, he said, there are three “bandits” on the road to retirement that folks should anticipate:

  • First, their cost of living rises under fixed income.
  • Second, they need good health insurance.
  • Third, medical emergencies and standard health conditions bring unexpected costs.

Fishing for stewardship

After 14 years in the business, Luke Bauman decided to start his own company, Bauman Financial Group.

Bauman used the analogy of Jesus multiplying the fishes to illustrate his role in helping clients’ achieve material well-being. Jesus used fish, a financial commodity of the day, to provide for the people, said Bauman, a member of St. Peter in Delano.

But people around Jesus had to catch the fish and bring them to market so God could work, Bauman said. His role as a financial adviser is to mobilize things on the temporal side so that God can provide.

“I am a servant in their situation. They’re the stewards of their money. My responsibility is . . . teaching,” he said.

Clients need to know “how many fish they have,” Bauman said, adding that in tough financial times that may mean conservative, low-risk decision-making.

Bauman said even when he has to deliver “bad news” — that a client’s financial picture may not allow for everything that was desired — it gives the client freedom to move forward.

One of the ways God uses him, Bauman said, is simply to listen to the life stories and personal concerns of his clients. It’s not dramatic, he said, and many times he doesn’t know exactly how God used him.

“Money is a hammer — it’s a tool. It’s something that helps you live your life, not the other way around,” Bauman said.

Everything is a gift

As a faith-based financial adviser at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Kevin Bonine said that part of stewardship is recognizing that everything is a gift from God. “My level of peace, well-being and comfort is directly related to the gifts God gave me,” Bonine said.

Bonine encourages clients to explore how their decisions now will enable them to honor God with their money, leisure and volunteer efforts in retirement. Locally, Bonine said he worked with a retired couple that moved from a town in Wisconsin to the east side of St. Paul because they wanted to live and serve in a less fortunate community.

Although non-Christians make such altruistic decisions too, only a Christian is motivated by his or her response to God’s love, Bonine said.

“I can’t plan for that, but I can respond to it and strengthen it as I guide them,” he said.

10 ways to prepare for retirement

  • Start saving, keep saving
  • Know your retirement needs
  • Contribute to your employer’s retirement savings plan
  • Learn about your employer’s pension plan
  • Consider basic investment principles
  • Don’t touch your retirement savings
  • Ask your employer to start a plan if none is available
  • Put money into an Individual Retirement Account
  • Find out about your Social Security benefits
  • Ask questions

Source: U.S. Department of Labor website:

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Category: Retirement Planning