Thursday, February 17, 2011

Complicated tithing question for my financially-savvy tithing-paying readers. Anyone?

I'm just now rolling over the 401(k) from Steve's last job to our current retirement plan. We paid tithing on the money we contributed, but obviously not on the money contributed by the firm or any interest that accrued. The same is true for the current retirement plan: tithing paid on money we put in, but not on matching funds or interest.

So now that we're combining the plans, it just seems like it's getting super complicated. When we're retired and withdrawing this money, how will we pay tithing?

Should I:

  •  keep track of the dollar amount that we've paid tithing on already....all the way until we're 65 and living on this money? (Where will I keep this information that I will be sure to find it in 30 years??) Then I could write one big tithing check on interest and matching funds, and then an annual check on additional interest.
  • just give up on trying to keep track, switch tithing to net instead of gross, and pay tithing on everything when we pull it out down the road, meaning that we'll be double paying on some of it?
  • pay less tithing this year equal to the amount that we've already paid on retirement contributions, then pay on net income in the future and plan on paying tithing on everything we withdraw when we're retired? This one doesn't feel quite right to me.
I'm genuinely perplexed about how to proceed. I know tithing is personal and up to the individual, but I would love to hear what has worked for you in this situation. Any ideas?


abby said...

you lost me at 401(k).

whit said...

I am not sure what you want to do. I don't even know what we are doing. The thing that popped up for me is where to keep track of numbers now to find in 30 years. Just make a google doc and you can keep adding numbers to it, or email it to yourself.

Sarah said...

mark and i have talked about this before and i don't remember what we concluded, if anything.
no help.

Courtney said...

Jeff and I had similar discussions because we both had 401ks that have been rolled over and with multiple companies. It was all getting pretty complex. I think we decided to not pay on the 401k money until we withdraw it because then we are covering our portion, the employer portion and the interest. Then again the only time I see the tax paperwork is when I sign it so I could be wrong.

everydayjami said...

you lost me at financially savvy:)
but, i agree with courtney.

Gary Arnold said...

NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18: The First Tithe - a tenth of crops and animals and commanded to take the tithe to the Levites.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27: The Second Tithe aka The Festival Tithe - a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29: The Third Tithe aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe - a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.

Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?

The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus didn’t tithe. Paul didn’t tithe. Peter didn’t tithe.

Christians should give generously and sacrificially. No percentage. No rules. Just pray and let the Spirit guide you.

Jord said...

We JUST talked about this. I hadn't even thought about paying tithing on our 401(K) and just figured we'd take the money and run. :)

But we decided to keep paying tithing on the gross now, when we retire subtract our total contributions from our total nest egg, and pay a 10% tithe on the rest. I don't know about the rollover/employer contribution stuff...that could make it complicated.

Just pay what you feel you should in the easiest way possible.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Elinor, an OLD Tithepayer who is Anonymous only because my ancient computer won't let me in, otherwise. We didn't have 401K's but we had to make a choice when Social Security came along. My first thought was oh, we paid on our gross income before retirement. Then I was embarrassed that I'd even thought of that because we can never get out of debt to God because for all we give he does immeditely bless us. King Benjamin said we owe for our very breath...So for us it was pay on the gross whenever it came in, including Social Security and we have so many tithing blessings stories we fill little books with them. We can never pay too much. Just do what the spirit prompts for now, and don't worry about down the road. It isn't just in monetary returns but in health, safety, and in all that our posterity learns from ou obedience, plus the extreme satisfaction in seeing all that tithing provides. Wouldn't it be a great country - & world -if it was run the way those who manage tithing donations do it. I'm carefully being non-denominational because you speak the language of those who truly do tithe, plus also pay offerings for the poor, sick & on and on, & give time, means and all the rest, and I know you are truly blessed. When crunch time and trials come, you know you have invested in the right places so you can claim the blessings of peace and comfort. We love you.