Category Archives: Plans

Step 1 for A Secure Financial Future – Take Stock!

Whether you have broken your 2020 new years resolution by now or not, for the most of us, our finances continue to be a concern.

Here is the first step towards planning for a Secure financial future.

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Take Stock of Current Financial Status, that is,

  • Calculate your current NET WORTH.
    • Do this at least quarterly; certainly
    • do it once a year!
  • Compute the current value of all your assets (what you own).
    • The total of non-obligated funds (balance) at all bank accounts
    • The fair market value of all real assets you own
      • trade-in value of cars, motorcycles, boats, scooters, trucks, etc.
      • Current fair market value of all real property you own
        • house(s), farm(s), land(s), etc.
      • Current trade-in value of equipment and appliances you own
        • TV’s, Refrigerator, tools, computers, sound systems, etc.
      • Current trade-in value of all furniture, jewelry, antiques, etc.
    • Compute the current value of all financial investment instruments
      • (these are the value of these instruments
        • that will be available to you on demand
        • after deductions of all penalties, fees,commissions etc.)
      • Cash payout of all retirement accounts
      • Cash payout value of bonds, stocks, etc.
      • Cash payout of life and other insurance policies
        • if any;
      • Cash payout of all other investments
  • Compute your total debts (Liabilities);
    • Current short term loans
      • (those payable within 1-5 years)
      • credit card(s) balance(s)
      • total current value of all car loans/note(s)
      • other short term debt(s)
        • e.g. lease or rental obligations
    • current value of total long term obligations
      • Mortgages/house payments
      • Student Loans
        • many student loans have a payoff value
          • attached to your total balance
      • Other Long term contractual Obligations
        • current value of total child support payments
        • current value of alimony or divorce settlements, etc.
        • current value of all other court ordered payments, etc.
  • Compute the Net Worth
    • = Total Current value of Assets – Total Current Value of all Debts.
    • This is the foundation of all planning for a secure financial future!
    • The numbers need not be super accurate.
    • This is just a birds eye view of your current position
  • Now that you know your current financial status,

  • the Next Step is to SET SOUND FINANCIAL GOALS
    • That is, clarify where you want to be
    • That’s in the next Post

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Orientation for a Secure Financial Future

Scanning the landscape of your financial future?

There are about six major ways to become wealthy:

  • Be Born into a Wealthy Family

    • It goes without saying that
      • if you are the child, relative, or heir of
        • Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, or
        • Africa’s Aliko Dangote, or Mexico’s Carlos Slim, or
        • any of the royal families in Kuwait, Oman, or Dubai, etc.
          • you WILL also be wealthy.
    • But this path to wealth is not available to over 99% of the planet!
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  • Marry into a Wealthy Family

    • Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle
      • married into British Royalty and into Wealth!
    • The wives of Rupert Murdoch, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk
      • all married into wealth.
    • However, this road is reserved
      • for only a tiny sliver of humanity. 
      • It also appears that
        • the wealthy generally marry
          • people of similar economic status.
  • Win a Lottery Jackpot with a Big Cash Prize

    • The odds of winning the mega million jackpot in the US
      • for example, is over 1 in 300 million
      • that means it is ‘possible’ to lose over 300 million times
        • before you win once!
      • It also means that you may never win
        • if you play the lottery every day
          • of a 100-year life span
          • (that is about 36,600 days!)
          • and never win!
      • As a means to wealth,
        • winning the Jackpot is therefore a ‘false hope’
        • for the majority of us.
      • Note:  Forget about the publicity
        • around those who win;
        • the prize money
        • (less the portion
          • that goes to the organizers)
          • is coming from all those who did not win,
            • (that is a lot of people!)
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  • Steal Money From Plenty of People or From a Wealthy Person

    • The problem with this approach is that
      • it is illegal and you may get caught, 
      • it is anti-biblical, unethical, and immoral; moreover
      • people/the wealthy will work to protect their money, and
      • therefore the success rate of achieving lifetime wealth
        • through thievery is also very low.
    • Therefore, this is not a viable approach to wealth
      • for average person
      • (some still try to make a living
        • by scamming people out of their money).
  • Become a Successful Professional in a Well-paying Industry 

    • Note: “successful”
    • Also Note: “well paying industry” of the economy, meaning
      • star athletes, champion sportsmen, movie stars, etc.
        • at the top of their profession
        • (Usain Bolt
          • the 100 meter Jamaican world record holder
          • is reportedly worth over $30 million
            • in 2019!);
      • professions requiring high qualification, and
        • that are in high demand
        • but with low supply of workers, for example,
          • brain surgeons, computer whiz, fund managers, etc.
    • Also Note: Working for income in an excellent but regular job
        • is not usually a means to wealth!!
    • The possibilities here in my judgment are greater
      • than the previous listings
      • but still for most people
      • it is not a feasible way to build lifetime wealth.
  • Start and Run Your Own Successful Business 

    • Note again “successful”
    • Starting and running a business requires
      • special skills
        • which many people do not appear to have;
      • willingness to take risks,
      • willingness to bear full responsibility
        • for your own welfare.
      • But with risks comes financial reward
        • that can grow without limit
          • into lifetime wealth,
          • as long as the business continues to grow
            • and is successful.
    • The proportion of people who can take this is also greater 
      • than than the previous options!
  • Get A regular career and invest wisely

    • in other Successful Businesses
      • over a long period of time!
    • Note: you do not have to be successful at
      • starting and running a business; but
        • you must be good at picking successful businesses
          • over a long period of time!
    • This means using modest regular income, and
      • saving all you can, while
      • investing in businesses that are successful,
      • over a long period of time,
        • will generally compound into wealth!
    • This is the most available route for most people!
      • More next time.

On a final note:

  • Becoming ‘wealthy’ need not be your goal, rather
  • Make it your goal to become Financially Free:
    • Have enough to tithe and give to the work of the Lord.
    • Have enough to cover your budgeted expense
      • including miscellaneous, as well as
      • unplanned and unexpected expenses.
    • Have enough to cover for emergencies.
    • Save enough to guarantee a desired standard of living in retirement.
    • Have enough to leave a legacy for the next generation!
    • Have enough to be generous and make a difference in the lives of others.
  • This we can all do
    • If we start early,
    • with much planning, prayer, and discipline!!

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The Minimum Monthly Payment Trap!!

As a general principle, debt is bad unless

  • It’s an investment debt, examples of which are,
    • education loans in an area and, in an amount that makes economic sense
    • a mortgage,
      • a loan to purchase a house or real estate,
        • for which at least you have a real asset to sell off later,
        • it can be viewed as a form of saving at the least;
        • you may be able to build equity over time, and thereby
        • to increase your net assets position; or
    • an asset that will produce returns
      • greater than the cost of servicing the debt,
        • i.e. your earnings on the asset is greater than interest paid on it;
      • for example, a business or some form of an investment instrument
        • that produces an additional and an ongoing stream of income.

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Long Term Loans,

  • credit cards, education loans, business loans, mortgage loans etc.
  • even for ‘good investment loans’ (debt) have one trap:
    • the ‘Minimum Monthly Payments’ trap.
  • ‘Minimum Monthly Payment,’
    • is the amount you are required to pay on your outstanding balance
      • at regular periods (usually monthly, but also quarterly, yearly, etc.)
      • over the life of the loan;
      • meant to at least cover the interest on the loan.
    • But it may not cover your total monthly interest,
      • which means the amount you owe could be increasing
        • even while you are making regular payments!
  • When you take out a loan, your loan balance
    • which is your total debt on the loan,
    • continues to earn interest,
      • by the day, month, etc. depending on the loan details; it may also
    • increase when you fail to make a payment
      • because you get charged a penalty for late or non-payment,
        • which is then added to your loan balance!

 If your minimum payments do not cover the interest,

    • in each period,
    • the unpaid interest is usually added to your outstanding balance
      • (this is called ‘capitalization’ of the interest)
      • that is, it’s like you took a larger loan in the first place;
    • future interest payments may be calculated on
      • the unpaid interest plus the original balance (‘principal’);
      • which is now the new and higher ‘principal’,
      • therefore your debt is growing, even as you are making
        • regular payments towards it!
  • Example, say you hold a balance of $25,000 on a credit card/loan
    • at 15% annual interest rate computed on each month’s balance, you must pay
      • $3750 per year in interest (25,000 x 0.15) or
      • $308 – $312 per month (3750 /365 * 30 days; or $3750 /12 months) or
      • $500 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
        • ($25,000 * 0.15)
    • If you miss one minimum payment,
      • the $500 may be added to your balance of $25,000
        • at the end of the period
        • to become $25,500.
        • Your annual interest at 15% is now
          • $3825 per year (25,500 * 0.15) or
          • $314 – $318 per month (3825 /365 * 30 days; or $3825/12 months) or
          • $510 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
      • Additional fees (penalties) may also be added to your loan balance.
    • If on the other hand
      • you are in financial difficulty and ask for reduced payment
        • that is less than your interest payments,
          • say you want to make a $100 payment,
          • instead of the minimum payment of $500
        • you will be paying less than the interest payment
          • (of $308 – $312 per month);
        • your outstanding interest may be capitalized
          • i.e. added to the initial balance of $25,000:
          • which is $208 – $212: the difference
            • between your monthly interest
              • ($308 – $312) and
              • the $100 you paid
          • will be added to your balance;
          • other ‘late penalty’ or ‘non-payment’ fees
            • may also be added to your balance
          • other ‘finance’ or ‘financing’ charges
            • may be added to your balance and
          • the total loan balance will increase.
        • Then what looks like a relief (less than the minimum payment)
          • turns out to be bad for you in the long run

There’s more. Check back tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and (soon) on YouTube;

Email me at reach4himwdray@gmail.com

About Reach

A little introduction about Reach Ministries Int’l!

Beginnings

  • After much prayer, I began activities for this ministry in March this year
    • when my family finally joined me in Greenville Area of SC.
    • This blog was started in 2017.
  • Right now it is
    • me, my wife of 36 years and our children,
    • my good friend Elvis Muhabwa from Uganda,
    • former colleagues, friends, and well wishers, disciples, etc.
      • from around the US
        • in Illinois where I was a pastor for 13 years and
      • around the world who are praying for this ministry, and it can be
    • anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior or who wishes to have such a relationship with him, and who identifies with the Vision, Mission, and Profile of the ministry below.

More About Dr. Ray please also see the link at the home page.

  • In addition, My gifts are
    • church planting,
    • teaching,
    • prayer and intercession
    • prophecy
    • faith
      • I am a dreamer!
      • I believe in miracles (both:
        • the one-of-a kind, all-at-once action of God, and
        • the slow, over-time irresistible favor of God,
          • in answer to prayer!)

The Vision

  • Reach Ministries:  Army of Worshipers whose ultimate prayer is that God is glorified in and through each of them, who are passionate about achieving their God-given dreams and aspirations, and who promote and enjoy healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling relationships in community.

The Mission

  • Through God-centered worship, sound biblical teaching, practical training in important life skills and by creating diverse opportunities for healthy interactions, relationships and service to others, Reach Ministries will raise an Army of Worshipers to fulfill the vision.

The Three Pillars

  • Reach Upwards to God (He is always reaching down to us in Love!)
  • Reach Forward to your goals (Everyone one can achieve their God-given goals)
  • Reach Outward to Others (To give and to receive; to bless and to be blessed in community!)

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  • Why “Reach”?

    • Because we need to respond to God’s invitation to a relationship with him
    • Because we need to keep moving, keep growing, keep getting better
    • Because we need to seek others, see, listen to, serve, and help others
      • which is the  greatest source of fulfillment:
        • we can receive in life;
        • a meaningful and positive impact on others,
        • the greatest legacy ever!

Interested? What can you do?

  1. Share, pass the word around about the following opportunities
  2. Email me at reach4himwdray@gmail.com to join small/prayer group(s)
  3. Follow Reach Ministries on Twitter at reach4himwdray
  4. Follow Reach Ministries on Facebook at reach4himwdray
  5. Check this blog for updates, encouraging, positive, and daily posts
    • (except Sunday).
  6. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Reach! when it comes online soon.
  7. Pray
  8. As the Lord leads!

Believe! – 2

Some Basic Truths For Meaningful, Happy and Successful Life

Believe that:

  • There is a God Almighty

    • He is
    • He sees
    • He knows
    • He loves
    • He will judge
    • He is sovereign
      • (owes no one any explanation, and is
      • free to do whatever he wills,
        • with his creation)
    • He is Holy but he is also merciful
  • You are Special

    • One of a kind
    • In a good way, despite or because of
      • what you did in the past
      • what someone did to you in the past
      • your DNA profile
      • where you were born
    • You have something to say, to give, to contribute, to do
      • in this world;
      • a legacy to leave behind,
      • a mission to accomplish, and
      • a dream to fulfill.
      • Your life has meaning!
    • You are of infinite value
      • to God who loves you and died for you
        • on a cross!
      • to those who love you
        • mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, siblings, bff etc.
        • You add meaning, joy and happiness to their lives.
        • For those who may not ‘love’ you,
          • They are not looking at your true value.
          • They are looking at something other than
            • who you really are!
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  • Things can and Do Change

    • Other opportunities will open
      • Closed doors may become open
      • New doors will open up
      • ‘Doors’ can become walls or
      • ladders may be provided to scale walls!
    • People can change
      • Friends can become enemies
        • and vice versa.
      • Bosses can become subordinates
        • and vice versa.
      • Doubts can become trust
        • and vice versa.
      • Opponents can become team-mates
        • and vice versa.
    • Miracles (impossible ‘coincidences’) can happen
    • New methods, medications, procedures, approaches will be invented
      • making it easier to get where you want to go in your life!
  • Reality, Facts, and Truth Rule in the Long Run

    • There are no ‘alternative facts’
    • Opinions, feelings, emotions, loyalties change, facts don’t
    • Evidence based choices are best
    • Respect True Scientific Discoveries
      • God is the ultimate scientist
      • They are foundation to practically all human achievements 

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  • The Other Side of Life Will Be Different

    • All tears will be wiped away;
    • No more sorrows, sickness, death, or evil,
    • No more scammers, swindlers, thieves, liars, sociopaths;
      • Those who (we) think they ‘got away with it’
        • will not escape the ultimate justice,
          • guaranteed by God!
    • If you have invested in it!
      • I recommend Jesus to you, Personally!
    • Don’t think there will be need for ‘Faith’
      • Faith will become sight
      • It will be like the Garden of Eden all over again!

Follow Reach Ministries on Twitter and Facebook;  Contact:  reach4himwdray@gmail.com

YOU CAN DO THIS, LET’S DO THIS!

 

Life After Defeat?… Yes! (2)

In order to have a meaningful and successful Life after Defeat, Step 1 is to separate Who YOU ARE from WHAT HAPPENED (the event).  Now the next steps:

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Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com
  • Take Time to Reflect
    • Avoid far reaching decisions while you are ‘feeling blue.’
      • Choices under such conditions are likely to be
        • emotion driven,
        • ill advised, and
        • wrong.
    • Learn from the experience.
      • Who to trust
      • What to do
      • A better way
  • Keep Things in Perspective
    • The Time Perspective
      • There may be other opportunities.
      • Take the long view.
        • How will this look one, two, five, or ten years from now?
        • How will this look from the other side of eternity?
      • You may have gone through this in the past,
        • remember how you made it through then?
          • You can do it again!
    • The ‘Others’ Perspective
      • In the past your ‘win’ meant others lost!
      • Your experience may not be the best,
        • but it is not the worst either.
      • Others have survived such things
        • so can you!
    • The ‘God’ Perspective
      • He lives, he sees, he knows, he understands, and
        • he loves YOU!
      • He is in control
      • He does not make mistakes
      • All Things Are Possible with him
  • Consider Alternatives
    • Do it again!
      • Success sometimes (often) comes only after several tries
      • ‘Third time is the charm’
      • Believe!
    • Adjust Your Line of Attack (approach)
      • More and better preparation
      • Note the ‘signs’ along the way and make adjustments
    • Change Direction
      • You may not be a fighter pilot but
        • you will be able to design the planes they fly in
      • You may not qualify or be approved to be a doctor
        • but you will be an excellent nurse practitioner or
        • a medical technician, or a surgical nurse, etc.
      • You may not qualify to become an engineer
        • but you will be an excellent and successful mechanic!
      • You get the idea!

You can Do this – Let’s Do this!

Contact:  reach4himwdray@gmail.com

The Next Steps Towards Your Life Goal!

Step One – Clarify  Your Life Goal

  • Write it down in one or two sentences
  • Separate out the means to the goal from the goal itself
    • A friend said to me that if an Angel gave her one wish,
      • she would ask for ‘Money’!
      • “What will you do with it?” I asked.
        • “I will open and orphanage,
          • something I have always wanted to do!”
          • “That’s your life goal, money is only the means to it!”
            • I said.

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Step Two – Find Out All You Can About Your Life Goal

  • List everything you know about it
  • Ask people about it
    • Talk to those who are already in the industry/occupation/career etc.
    • Learn as much as you can from those who are already in the activity
      • Do an internship
      • Get a coach if possible
  • Read about it
    • The internet is your friend – you can find a lot of things there
    • Take notes
  • Take courses if they are available

Step Three – Identify Resources Required and Available to Reach Your Life Goal

  • Time, Skills, Funds, People, Information Sources, Effort (Sweat Equity)

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Step Four – Break Up Your Life Goal into Smaller Objectives

  • Immediate Objectives
    • Today, tomorrow, and for the next one month!
  • Intermediate Objectives
    • One to six months of activities
    • One semester of school
    • One season: Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring (Dry Season or Rainy Season)
  • Medium Term Objectives
    • Annual Objectives leading towards your goal
    • One-to-two-to-three-year plans
  • Long Term Goal – Your Life Goal

Step Five – Take the First/Next Step

  • Start each day with these reminders:
    • “What little thing will I do today towards my Life Goal?”
      • That’s mine
    • “A Journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”
      • Lao Tzu
    • “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
      • Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
      •  Thomas A. Edison
    • “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” 
      • Robert F. Kennedy
    • “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead”
      • St. Paul (Philippians 3.13)
    • “Take care of the details, but also keep the big picture in mind”
      • That’s mine also 
    • ‘The future is now!’
      • Public Domain (Movie, Albums, etc.)!

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You Can Do It!  Let’s Do This!!

Email me at gmail at reach4himwdray@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter, facebook, Reach Ministries:  @reach4himwdray