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View Poll Results: What percent of your income do you contribute to your church/mosque/temple/non-denominational house
Greater than 15% 1 1.89%
12.00-14.99% 0 0%
9.00-11.99% 4 7.55%
3.00-8.99% 2 3.77%
0.00%-2.99% 9 16.98%
N/A - Don't attend religious functions 37 69.81%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
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How has religion affected your savings rate?

The recent religion threads and conversations with others (in the "real" world") got me to thinking.

Many in the Christian faith feel compelled to tithe the church 10% of their income. As one person told me once, "My whole income is God's, I just get to keep the other 90% for myself".

It seems to me this would have a serious dampening effect on your savings rate. While 10% of your gross income would be significant in and of itself, I assume it would be more like 20-60% of your disposable income (part or all of which could go to savings or investments).

Have those of you that ER'd or managed to amass large portfolios over time through LBYM been giving away 10% of your income a year?

I know the 10% would be tax deductible, so it isn't really 10%, assuming you can itemize.

This poll is meant for people of all religions to respond to. I'd be interested in what percentage of your income is "supposed" to be donated to your religious organization for non-christians as well.

I know it can be a touchy subject, but any reflections on the matter would be appreciated.

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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 02:26 PM   #2
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Well, I am not a member of any religious group. But, I assume that people of faith contribute because they are using their money in a way that aligns with their values and see their religious organization as a way of sharing/spreading those values.

I contribute to several organizations that I feel are aligned with my personal beliefs. Some of these have a political slant to them (which you counld argue that some churches have a political slant if they are telling their flock that its their Christian duty to vote for W) and some are strictly humanitarian organizations.

My contributions are not 10% of my income, but over the last several years as I have gotten my own finances in a better position, I have significantly increased my charitable giving. I know I don't look at it as "if I hadn't given, my nest egg would have been x". I think when you give from the heart, there is no regret and you don't worry about it later. Now, if you give money because you feel obligated, that's another thing.....
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 03:34 PM   #3
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

I don't attend a church and therefore don't donate on regular basis. But my mom is a minister and I often take her out to dinner. She always makes me buy

All kidding aside, we do often keep her church office up to date with office equipment. Computer, copier, etc.
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 05:58 PM   #4
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

I did a poll on charity awhile back and few were big into the church for their main charity (I think 1-2 people). Maybe this poll will give stightly different numbers.

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non-denominational house of reflection?
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

I am a person of faith although I don't attend church since I prefer to communicate with the Man directly. I consider tithing the same as sending money to organizations or people I believe in. For example, I send money to my great grandmother and other family in Panama. I also send money to an educational charity and sponsor a child in Africa. To me tithing is way more than giving money to a church. Atleast when I do it this way I somewhat know it is going to someone or something I believe in and not a Cadillac for the preacher.
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Jimmy Swaggart is an excellent posterboy for all you religious nuts!

"Forgive me lord for I have sinned". He babbled on, tears flowing to the enthralled congregation and TV audience.........."and by the way, if you can spare $100 to the Swaggart ministry, we can get the back seat of the Town Car cleaned up!"
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 06:50 PM   #7
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin

Many in the Christian faith feel compelled to tithe the church 10% of their income.* As one person told me once, "My whole income is God's, I just get to keep the other 90% for myself".*
Yeah, gotta keep the Vatican encrusted in gold, just like Christ wanted!
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zipper
Jimmy Swaggart is an excellent posterboy for all you religious nuts!

"Forgive me lord for I have sinned". He babbled on, tears flowing to the enthralled congregation and TV audience.........."and by the way, if you can spare $100 to the Swaggart ministry, we can get the back seat of the Town Car cleaned up!"
Wasn't he the guy who said he had to raise $8 million dollars by a certain date or he would be "called up" by god? :
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 07:30 PM   #9
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Sorry, I'll have to register as a tither.* It isn't our money, that's how we look at it.* Anyway, we regularly give 10% or more to our church and we also donate to other causes.* At the same time, we have maxed out on our 401K's for more than 10 years, and maxed out on our IRA's since they first came out (switched to Roths as soon as they became available).* We also accelerated our mortgage payments and paid off the mortgage this past spring. Additional savings go into taxable accounts each month. I think we have mastered LBYM!* Both DH and I came from families that scraped by when we were growing up in the 60's, so we learned how to spend conservatively and save religiously (no pun intended!).* DH is retired (at 52) and I (50) am planning to work until May, 2007 (counting, counting, counting...)* He was a splicer for the phone company, and I am a programmer/analyst, so though we have been fairly well paid, we didn't have high-paying executive jobs or anything.* And I have been working part time (32 hours) for the past 4 years.* At this point, we think we are pretty well set even if we live to be 90.

Anyway, getting back to the tithing thing - we believe that by being faithful, we will be blessed, and it seems to be working out that way.* We hope to give in other ways by doing more volunteer work when we are both in ER.*

I really appreciate all the input from the folks on this forum!*

CJ
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-18-2005, 07:43 PM   #10
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

My son's MIL is very religious. She and her husband are nearing retirement, and they have no money thanks to her funding every mission, every food drive, every whatever than came down the pike. The husband is down to earth, and I think he realizes that his wife is off her rocker. I guess he thought he didn't want to either raise 4 girls alone, or worse yet, turn them over to her. And I doubt he had any real options short of divorce to try to control her.

At least he had a government job, and she couldn't give away his retirement benfits!

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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-19-2005, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home and was taught to tithe from the time that I first got my dime-per-week allowance.

I haven't attended church in over 30 years now and don't give money to any religous organization. But I spend money on all kinds of things both for my own entertainment and for causes I believe in.

I think most people who tithe probably get their money's worth. They get social contact with people who they agree with and respect. They get training and education for their children in a safe environment and in a manner consistent with their beliefs. They get a feeling of satisfaction that they are doing socially/religiously responsible things. It seems to me that most active, socially responsible people will end up spending a comparable amount of money to accomplish the same things.
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-19-2005, 10:34 AM   #12
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Having been reared in a somewhat-fundamentalist Christian household and having lived most of my life in the Deep South (except for periods in D.C. and Nevada), I have always felt "guilty" that I don't tithe the understood 10% (although my wife and I are probably more generous than most). "To the point it hurts" I've heard preachers say.

One of the reasons I have chosen not to tithe is because I want to know that I will have a comfortable standard-of-living when I do retire -- two years and counting from now! I also wanted to make certain my children had a reasonable measure of physical comfort and the "finer things in life" (including college educations).

I do not question that the Deity (whatever his/her name, shape and form might be) wants us to be positive in our religious and community support, but I have this deep-abiding "humanistic" sense that he/she wants us to take care of ourselves too -- subject to appropriate caveats about gluttony, pride, excess, the whole bit.

Having said that, however, does not excuse me from giving responsibly to my church, which I try to do (even with the aforementioned guilt). I have nothing but respect and admiration for friends who do tithe, even some I note who have not been as financially successel as my wife and I.



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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?
Old 08-19-2005, 12:23 PM   #13
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Re: How has religion affected your savings rate?

Well, my wife & I send about 1 to 2% to our church but we aim for 5 to 10% on charities overall. I do not include sending cash to elder relatives and a family friend who are near destitute and been responsible people in their lives.
My wife & I feel grateful that we can make these contributions. If we had a tight time financially we would cut back, I suspect the amounts will be less but the %s the same when my wife retires next year. But we expect to volunteer a lot of our free time when retired, how does that fit in? We may go off for a couple years on a Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project or mission related work.
It has been my observation that once a person has their financial house in order it is really a "good thing" to contribute to charity with time and resources.
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