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Pre-Tax Withholding, Tithing, Retirement, Etc.


Judd

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I'm not really looking to discuss this from a spiritual angle but more a practical one. How do you strategize tithing payments with different with holdings? For instance, if you have 5% of your paycheck withheld for a 401k, are you still paying on gross and, if so, just plan on paying the interest that accrues as it's paid out to you in the future, or do you defer payments on all of it and then just pay a full tithe on it as you collect it? How do you keep track of this as it's obviously quite complicated and stretched out over several decades?

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I have and continue to pay on the gross.  I want the blessings now.  I respect the Lord's work/purpose and His Church (much more than I do this rascally government).  There may be some interest/dividends earned/accrued in my investments as time goes on but I have to consider that much of the increase is negated by ongoing inflation.  I will have to ponder and pray on what "increase" I will want to render tithing on.  Hopefully I will be guided by the spirit in those years.

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I pay on the gross while working, but on top of the deductions I put towards my 401k (which I already paid tithing on) there are contributions made to it by my work also.  So I plan on paying tithing on that as I withdraw it from my retirement account.  How much? I don't know. What ever feels right.

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We've been paying on our gross, although union dues (that don't seem to do anything for us) are taken out and we're required to pay 3% into a pension plan, $500 is subtracted every month for my health/dental insurance, and $150 taken out every month to go into our HSA.  We've been doing this the last 5 years or so, but I was thinking when we receive the pension someday, will we not pay tithing on some of it because we already paid it?  This is getting complicated.

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I don't tithe on the money that is collected for Social Security, because if I live long enough I will be receiving it back, and if I do then I will likely get back more than I ever paid in.  So, I will tithe on it when it starts arriving.  If I die before I start receiving more than I paid in, then the Soc Sec administration will keep the rest, so in the end I will not have received it, and that means the Lord and I are square.

 

I think you should probably treat your 401k similarly.  Don't tithe what you pay into it, but tithe on it when you start receiving distributions.  This will make it easy to correctly calculate and tithe the gains in the account.  And, should there be a balance in the 401k when you die, then specify in your will that the balance will be tithed before it is distributed to your heirs.  Keeping in mind, of course, that if you have enough left over in your estate the feds or your state might take a cut off the top, first.

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We've been paying on our gross, although union dues (that don't seem to do anything for us) are taken out and we're required to pay 3% into a pension plan, $500 is subtracted every month for my health/dental insurance, and $150 taken out every month to go into our HSA.  We've been doing this the last 5 years or so, but I was thinking when we receive the pension someday, will we not pay tithing on some of it because we already paid it?  This is getting complicated.

 

That complication is why I don't tithe on what I pay into social security, nor what I pay into my two other retirement accounts.  I explained my strategy on Social Secuirity and tithing in the earlier post.  Since the money I pay into my other two retirement accounts will be coming back with interest, and I cannot foresee how much the gain will be in advance, it seems simplest to not pay tithing on what I pay into them, and then tithe the distributions when they come.  And to tithe the remaining balance (if any) in my will after I die.  This seems to cover all the bases.

 

I also don't tithe my income taxes, because I consider that a "cost of doing business", much like a grocer would not tithe on the cost of goods sold.  He cannot do business without buying stock, and I cannot be paid for my living wage without Uncle Sam taking a cut.  The grocer's cost of goods sold and Uncle's cut of my income is not "increase". 

 

I've discussed my tithing practices before in this forum, and I know there are some here who think It's weird, or even wrong, but every time I think I will just cut out the complications and pay tithing on the gross irrespective of income tax I get a creepy feeling.  It actually almost makes me gag. 

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Then there is the complication of whether it is a traditional IRA or 401K or a roth IRA or 401K.

I think all these complications are why you just need to pray about it and be willing to do what the Lord asks.

For example the Lord may ask someone making $15,000 a year to do it after retirement deductions and someone making $200,000 on gross all because where much is given much is required or perhaps the Lord does the opposite because the lower income person needed to develop more faith in the Lord and He had plans for how he wanted the one with more income to spend his money helping other people.

This is what I figure. There are a LOT of complications you could get into with retirement and tithing. If I willingly do what the Lord wants now I suspect he will inspire me simply when retirement comes then.

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I pay on net right now but I round up so often it probably is around gross. I will probably tithe money from my 401k and IRAs when I retire at full value even though there will be some double-tithing.

 

I also try to pay all my tithing in January. That way if I lose my job God owes me a refund.

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