Early planning can avoid IRS trouble—and provide well when retirement comes.
As a lawyer who advises churches on a variety of issues, I’ve had many difficult conversations with church leaders. One of the most difficult discussions, however, involves telling a church and its pastor that it’s too late to fund the pastor’s retirement.
Far too many pastors reach retirement age and can’t consider retiring—even if they desire to—because they do not have enough in retirement savings. Alternatively, a church board may want a change in leadership, but faces resistance from a longtime pastor who is unwilling to step down because of the financial uncertainties he or she will face. Then there is the heartbreaking situation in which a pastor dies, leaving no viable means of financial support behind for the surviving spouse.
These problems unfortunately arise more often at churches across the nation than they should. Even more concerning: when a problem …
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