What Story Do You Want Others to Tell About Your Life?

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money…but rather a legacy of character and faith.” –Billy Graham 

The purpose of a financial plan is more than just earning money. It’s to grow assets that enable you to live an abundant life and steward the resources God has given you. The following three questions are helpful markers to help illuminate your legacy. 

1. What goals have I achieved? A legacy filled with redemptive stories doesn’t just happen. You must dream big, set goals, and work hard every day to make progress. If you want to be thought of as a faithful steward of your resources and gifts, start small. Identify small goals to achieve in six months to a year that build towards bigger overall goals. Long-term financial goals might start with a brown bag lunch three days per week while increasing monthly contributions to your retirement accounts.

2. How did I learn from the mistakes I made? No person’s life journey avoids every bump in the road. There will be times when you make the easy choice instead of the right choice. You’ll do things that hurt others or embarrass yourself. You might lose perspective and place your friends and family behind things of less importance. Although these kinds of mistakes happen, don’t let them define you. When you’re looking back on your life decades from now, these stories of growth will be far more important than the stumbles along the way. 

3. How did I impact others? You may not love everything about your job, but you can choose to show up to work and love your neighbor. You may not be rich, but the way you give your life away will point you and others to the truth proclaimed in Mark 10:45 where Jesus says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” When considering your legacy, you won’t regret spending more time with your family, whether that’s taking your kids to school, or coaching their sports. 

Authoring these kinds of life stories doesn’t just happen. Living an abundant life is a process that combines long-term vision with intentionality. If you need help writing your next chapter, OneAscent Wealth would be honored to talk about your life, goals, and legacy. 

John Beatty -John Beatty

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

205-313-9142, john.beatty@oneascent.com

Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Money Matters 

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com

As your parents begin settling into their final phase of life, their health, residence, and finances could become a significant factor in your own financial planningespecially if your parents have tasked you with settling their estates. Navigating the logistical and emotional challenges associated with caring for an aging parent is a challenge, but these four steps can help ensure that your parent (and you!) are safe, cared for, and financially secure. 

1. Call a family meeting. Gather all close family members for an open, honest discussion. This is the time to discuss finances, health concerns, and expectations from everyone involved. Where will your parent live? How will care be provided if it’s required? These can be sensitive topics, and the conversation will need to be had with gentleness and care; but avoiding the conversation or not communicating openly can ultimately lead to hurt feelings and poor planning. 

2. Gather the essentials. If your parent doesn’t keep all important documents in one location, now is the time to collect things like identifications, wills, online logins, and end of life directives. We can help you make a comprehensive list. 

3. Tag along. Start attending your parent’s appointments. When they go to the doctor, ask questions to familiarize yourself with their health status. Ask your parent to introduce you to their financial advisor and attorney. Make sure the relevant professionals have all important information about changes to your parent’s health, mental capacity, or living situation. 

4. Prepare your parent, and yourself, to finish well. As Moses approached the end of his life, he prayed, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). It sounds counterintuitive but considering the brevity of life equips you to make the most of your remaining days. You not only notice the little things, but you start to prioritize the big things.

Get the logistical, medical, legal, and financial preparations done, so you can use your time for what’s most important: recounting the Lord’s faithfulness to your family (Isa. 63:7) and enjoying the blessings of generations being together (Prov. 17:6). If your parent is entering this stage of their life, OneAscent would be honored to help prepare your family to finish well. 

Matthew Bowerman-Matthew Bowerman

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

Matthew.bowerman@oneascent.com, 205-313-914

Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com 

As your teen prepares to go off to college for the first time, they’ll have to learn to manage their money well. It comes as no surprise that most teens struggle with this the first year or two but teaching your child these five lessons early will help prepare them to be successful in college. 

1. Teach them that bills always come first. When your child is living independently for the first time, they will be tempted to spend their money on fun things they’ve never had before. However, if they’re not careful, they won’t be able to afford the essentials. Make sure you go over a budget with them and teach them that they should always have enough to pay bills before spending for leisure. 

2. Be clear in how much support you will provide. If your child goes to school full-time, they may only have time in their schedule for part-time work. It is essential to be clear on how much financial support you will provide and stick to that plan, so they learn to be responsible for the rest. 

3. Teach the value of saving. While your child may be living on a tight budget, it’s important to teach them to save while in college. Even the smallest savings can help if they lose their job, have an emergency, or want to do something fun over the summer. As little as $50 a month can add up and help them feel more secure while away from home. 

4. Use credit cards wisely. Helping your child get their first credit card can be a wise way to help them start building credit and ensure they can pay for emergencies. However, the temptation to use it irresponsibly will be strong, so make sure your student knows the responsibility of a credit card and takes it seriously. If used irresponsibly, credit cards can harm their credit instead of helping it, so have a conversation about responsible payment before signing them up.

5. Remind them that college is an investment. Most kids don’t realize the magnitude of the investment that is a college degree. College is expensive and sometimes comes with massive amounts of debt. They need to remember that the return on investment is much higher if they finish and make good grades.

With these tips and a little bit of learning as they go, your child will be well-equipped to handle a college campus. You can start teaching these lessons as early as you want, just as you can start saving for college at an early age through various investment avenues. If you’re ready to learn more about college saving plans, contact OneAscent today.

Heath Morris-Heath Morris CFP®
Senior Lead Advisor
205-313-9142, heath.morris@oneascent.com  

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascent.com

Before joining the financial industry, I spent several years serving as a pastor. Throughout my preaching ministry, two things surprised me when it came to the Bible and money. 

The first was how frequently God’s Word speaks about money. Take the book of Proverbs for instance. Proverbs has 915 verses, and 101 of them make mention of money (that’s 11% of the whole book). Did you know that Jesus spoke about money more than he did any other topic? More than heaven or hell, family or famine, salvation or sanctification, money was never far from our Lord’s lips. 11 of Jesus’ 39 parables (28%) either centered on money or used money as an illustration. Clearly, God has a lot to say about money.

The second thing that surprised me was how holistically the Scriptures speak about money. On the one hand, riches and possessions are spoken of positively. Wealth can be seen as a blessing from God (Proverbs 10:22). Profit is used as a motivator for hard work (Proverbs 10:4). Leaving a bountiful inheritance is encouraged (Proverbs 13:22). On the other hand, Scripture gives us strong warnings about money. We are told that toiling simply to acquire wealth is a fruitless endeavor (Proverbs 23:4-5), riches are fleeting (Matthew 6:19-21), and that wealth makes kingdom-living extremely difficult (Mark 10:23-25). 

Blessing and Warning. It’s the inescapable tension that God uses to speak about our wealth and possessions. Have you ever felt this tension? Do you think you feel one side of it more than the other? Consider examining your next credit card statement. Ask yourself, “Does my spending, investing, and giving show that I’m living to serve myself? Or to serve the Lord and bless others?”

If you’re looking for an easy resolution to how your heart should feel towards money, I’m afraid that answer can’t be found. God never completely answers this question so we will continually be asking it of ourselves. But perhaps this final word from Proverbs 8:9-10 can provide some guidance: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” Consider the “give me neither poverty” as the guardrail on your left, asking if you are ignoring opportunities to steward and grow what God has given you to serve those around you. And consider the “nor riches” as the guardrail on your right, asking if your money has replaced the Lord as the source of your security and provision.  

Matthew Bowerman-Matthew Bowerman
Associate Advisor at OneAscent Wealth                                                                                                  matthew.bowerman@oneascent.com, 205-313-9142

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Money Matters

If you are a follower of Jesus, then God has made you part of His plan and has gifted you to accomplish the works He put you here to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For you are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ Jesus, which God has planned beforehand, that you should walk in them.”   

One of the twenty listed spiritual gifts in the New Testament is giving. God has gifted many of you to have a generous spirit, regardless of how much money you have. This gift is not limited to the wealthy. Giving comes in many forms.

The wealthy, however, have a different calling according to Scripture. They should develop this gift of giving because God has stewarded so much to them. Deuteronomy 8:17-19 says, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant… …And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods…” Well, the outcome for you is not good!

The truly wealthy have a bigger responsibility, and if you are among them, let me encourage you. Why do you think God gave you the gifts and talents to acquire wealth? For what purpose?  Why you? Why has He given you so much?

At OneAscent Wealth, we believe it is because He has chosen you to be one of His appointed stewards that He trusts with His resources. Most would agree that all that we have is not ours, but His, and He wants us to be very generous with it to bring change and hope to a hurting world. The questions for many are,

“How can my wealth be given in an impactful way?”

“Who can I trust?”

 “Where can my resources be given to have the greatest effect?” 

If you are asking yourself these questions, OneAscent Wealth could be of assistance. We take people through a process that helps them understand their passions and interests and then connects them to local, regional, and worldwide ministries. Let us know how we can help.

Don Ankenbrandt Headshot-Don Ankenbrandt 

Director of Stewardship and Strategic Engagement, OneAscent Wealth

To set up a conversation concerning this article, email dankenbrandt@oneascent.com or call 205-313-9142.

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Money Matters

Hays LatimerHays Latimer, a Senior Lead Advisor for OneAscent Wealth, has been serving clients for over 17 years. Here he shares with us tips for finding a financial advisor that will best meet our needs as well as five timeless principles to guide our financial decision making.

Choosing a Financial Advisor. Not everyone will be a good fit everywhere. It’s not just about choosing a good advisor, but one that fits your needs. Most importantly, do you believe they’re trustworthy and a person of integrity? If you don’t, the rest won’t matter.

Rely on your gut feelings, but also ask yourself if you believe the advisor would be willing to tell you hard truth. Sometimes we must deliver bad news, and it’s important that the relationship is strong enough where we can be compassionate but honest, and the client can be receptive. You also want an advisor who is a good communicator. It really doesn’t matter how smart or how good they are if they cannot communicate well. It might take some time to figure these things out, but a great way to learn more is by asking questions. 

Five timeless financial principles for every income level. 

1. Spend Less than You Earn. If you have a negative income every month, it’ll be impossible to reach any financial goals.

2. Avoid the Use of Debt, When Possible. Mortgage payments are perfectly reasonable. Highly avoidable debt, such as consistent credit card debt, can be a pitfall.

3. Give Generously. We’ve found that our most financially content clients are the ones who are generous. They see money as a tool, not only for their own needs, but to glorify God and meet others’ needs. 

4. Plan for Financial Margin. Ensure you have cushion in your monthly cash flow, so you are well-equipped to handle unexpected opportunities or expenses.

5. Set Long-Term Goals. I firmly believe that we cannot focus on the long term if our financial house isn’t in order today. 

Finding Peace and Contentment In Your Financial Life. My hope is that every one of our clients feels peace and contentment because they worked with us. It’s so encouraging for me to hear clients share how thrilled they are about the position they’re in because of what we’ve done together. If you’re looking for more clarity, confidence, and contentment in your financial life, I would love to talk with you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial goals. 

special feature OneAscent Wealth Dark Blue BG-Hays Latimer

CFP®, CRPC®, Certified Kingdom Advisor® Senior Lead Advisor

205-313-9142

Hays.latimer@oneascent.com

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Money Matters

In Matthew 19, a rich man approaches Jesus and tells Him that he has kept all the commandments of the law and asks if this is enough to earn eternal life. Although this man believed that he had never sinned, Jesus knows this is not true and challenges him to “sell what you possess and give to the poor….and come follow me” (Matthew 19:21 ESV).  

What Jesus saw in this man was that he was breaking the commandment against idolatry by worshipping his wealth instead of God. Jesus invites the man to turn from his idolatry and follow Jesus instead. The rich man instantly realizes he cannot do this because he loves his possessions too much and so he simply walks away.  

We may look down on the rich man for his idolatry of wealth, but the truth is that many of us are guilty of the same thing. Whether we consider ourselves rich or not, we can fall into the trap of worshipping possessions and money. It can creep into our lives slowly and eventually become the main driving force behind everything we do. Even if we are doing other “good things” like the rich man was doing, we can still be sinning in our hearts by worshipping something besides God. Jesus reminds us in this story that what matters is the attitude of our hearts, not just our external behavior. Unfortunately, idolatry can be hard to notice because it is a matter of the heart. So how do you know if you are idolizing money and possessions? I’d encourage you to begin searching your heart by asking yourself these four questions. 

1. Do you regularly dream about having more or are you satisfied with what you have?

2. Do you joyfully give to God and others as He leads, or do you tend to make excuses and put off giving?

3. Do you feel a twinge of jealousy when others get something you don’t have, or are you able to celebrate and enjoy their happiness?

4. Do you often worry about losing what you have, or do you trust God to be your provider in all circumstances? 

Following Jesus means leaving behind every idol and directing all our worship, trust and love to God alone. It means obeying Him and being willing to do whatever He calls us to do with our wealth. We may forget it at times, but Jesus is worthy of all our devotion, love, and praise. Following Him is a great adventure that is so much more fulfilling than amassing wealth for ourselves. May each of us leave behind the idol of wealth and follow Jesus with our whole heart.   

David Hinshaw-David Hinshaw, Wealth Management Certified Professional® Advisor, OneAscent

David.hinshaw@oneascent.com, 205-313-9142

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Money Matters

1. Saving Honors God and Serves Others. Many are familiar with Jesus’ instruction to “not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19). However, the Bible does call us to set aside for future needs. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Saving honors God because it values money as a gift that He has given to us. Jesus also tells us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). His point is not that wealth itself is evil, but that we’re not to choose material things over godliness.

2. Don’t Assume Tomorrow, But Prepare For It. 2 Corinthians 2:13-14 says, “For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.” Paul isn’t saying to ‘give until it hurts,’ but to give out of abundance, helping the needy instead of hoarding riches. In addition to giving, I encourage my clients to plan for financial margin and set long-term goals. Proverbs 27:23-24a says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever”.

3. Give Generously. If we truly believe “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,” then sharing what we’ve been given is foundational (Psalm 24:1). Our first command in giving is to tithe, honoring God with our first fruits. The Bible also talks about generous giving extensively (Luke 6:38, 1 John 3:17-18, 2 Corinthians 9:7-8). For Christians, giving isn’t primarily about money. It’s about the nature of God, how he gives to us, and our relationship with Him. We’re to give out of thankfulness for our undeserved blessings, reflecting Christ’s love. 

4. Biblically Aligned Investing. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus gives the parable of the talents. The servants who invest the talents are told, “well done.” It wasn’t about how much they were given, or how much more they gave back, but that they were faithful to use these gifts to increase their impact. At OneAscent, we believe there’s an additional layer to biblical investing: values-based investing. We avoid companies that profit from things that are dishonoring to God and to His creation, and elevate companies that positively impact the world. 

We want our clients at OneAscent to feel confident that their investments support their financial goals and honor God. I’d love to talk with you about a financial plan and investment strategy that reflects these biblical principles! Call us at 205-313-9142 or email wealth@oneascent.com.

Holden Gully CFP -Holden Gully, CFP® 

Lead Advisor, OneAscent

205-313-9142, holden.gully@oneascent.com

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Money Matters

1. Parents Be on the Look Out. If you have been receiving the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments, please be aware that the current schedule of payments ended with the payment that was paid on December 15, 2021.  In January 2022, the IRS will be mailing Letter 6419 to all families that received the Advance Child Tax Credit Payments.  This is a very important letter that you will need to keep with your other 2022 tax-related documents.

2. Gather Documentation Now. As tax season approaches, it is best to go ahead and gather or request your 2021 annual childcare expense statements, pharmacy reports, charitable donation receipts, etc. Even though the federal standard deduction is high, it may be beneficial for you to gather these to claim on your state return.

3. Business Owner Reminder. Forms W-2, Forms 1099-NEC and any other 1099-type forms need to be provided to the recipient by January 31, 2022, and also mailed to the IRS by that date as well.  

Benefield Hamner Logo-Michael A. Hamner, CPA 

Benefield & Hamner, CPA’s

206 Huntley Parkway, Pelham, 35124

(205) 621-4033

www.cpabh.com

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: Community Partner Community Partner Logo 20 Years 150x150 Vision Financial Group, Inc.

You see it in prices at the grocery store and the gas station. You feel it in your monthly budget. So why don’t the financial markets seem too concerned about inflation?

Remember, financial markets are considered “discounting mechanisms,” meaning they are looking six to nine months into the future. And by June 2022, the financial markets expect that inflation will be lower than today.1

One lesser-known indicator that helps support this forecast is called the Baltic Dry Index. It measures the cost of transporting raw materials, such as coal and steel. The index has been trending lower for several weeks, which in the past has suggested that prices may be more manageable in the months ahead.No indicator is fool-proof. That’s why the Baltic Dry Index is just one of the many indicators that our professionals follow when watching inflation. They also keep a close eye on the Fed, which is responsible for controlling inflation.3

With the economy improving, the Federal Reserve has indicated it will be tapering bond purchases this month. That may help with inflation. The Fed also has prepared the markets for higher interest rates in 2022. That, too, may help.4 For now, it’s important to understand that inflation can influence interest rates, which often play a role in how a portfolio is constructed. We’re keenly focused on what’s next for inflation to determine if any portfolio changes are appropriate in the future.

Vision Financial Logo-Vision Financial Group 

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, AL 35243

www.vision-financialgroup.com

205-970-4909   

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. 

Securities offered through Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc. (CFGS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Concourse Financial Group Advisors, a DBA for CFGS, a Registered Investment Advisor. Vision Financial Group, Inc. is independent of Concourse Financial Group Securities, Inc.

Citations

  1. Investopedia.com, 2021
  2. CNBC.com, November 10, 2021
  3. ClevelandFed.org, 2021
  4. CNBC.com, November 3, 2021
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