Retirement savings

by TxNVSue2023 42 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TxNVSue2023

    What's the current JW stance on retirement savings? I know it changed. Pre1975 it was an attitude of "don't worry about retirement, this system is ending soon". Is this still their stance or have they losen their stance now?

    Do they discourage their rank & file from savings and investing in 401k/IRA ( speaking from an American perspective)?

    Any and all insight, links to articles and experiences appreciated.

  • littlerockguy


    Matthew 6:33


  • LongHairGal


    Wow, you must be out a long time because the JW religion is still against college/careers and also preparing for the future!

    I am retired today because I did NOT listen to the Witnesses years ago telling me to quit my full-time job and do housecleaning and pioneering!.. Older busybodies with cushy lives were telling young people back then they would never see old age or retirement in ‘this system’.

    The congregations now have many needy people who HAVE reached senior years totally unprepared!. (The old busybodies who preached poverty are not even around to help them).. If you go back to the religion again, do not be surprised if brothers corner you with an envelope looking for monies to give to people there who never wanted to work.

    This is why I am super Glad I’m long ‘Faded’ from the religion.

  • Journeyman
    Wow, you must be out a long time because the JW religion is still against college/careers and also preparing for the future!

    To be fair, for a while after 1975 and into the 1980s, the Society was more 'balanced' (to use a favourite expression of theirs) about savings and financial planning. Since then they've made fewer comments about it, although there was one Awake in 2011 that mentions savings, and even the possibility of what they call "legitimate debt" - a loan for a specific practical reason. I posted on another thread here a few months ago about that.

    There's also this Awake article from 1998 about planning what to do with your estate at death (remove the b from borg): https://wol.jw.borg/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/101998890
    (Amazingly, leaving "valuable things" to the org is only briefly mentioned - you can tell this was written before the current GB took over in the 2000s!)

    They sometimes do advocate saving, cutting unnecessary expenditure and being careful of scams and get-rich-quick schemes. All fair enough. It seems they touch on this subject much less these days, but at least they're not critical of them.

    One thing they don't of course mention though, and that they are still negative about, is seeking more money to put away while of working age, by getting promotion or a better-paid job. That bit hasn't changed! And they're still against university education.

  • LongHairGal


    Not to get off track from the OP. I came into the Witness religion in the late 1970s - and was not yet there in 1975.

    But, during most of the years you mention (the 1980s), I was knocked for having my full-time job, regardless of any so-called more ‘favorable’ views towards savings and financial planning that you mention!

    In fact, I would have to say it seemed the pressure put on me to pioneer was at its height during that timeframe. They were expecting me to pursue poverty. Is this Hypocrisy? ..I’m just so Grateful today that I never listened to the JW religion.

  • TonusOH

    It would benefit the organization to encourage frugality and responsible money management, since that would leave most people with some disposable income that could be donated to the cause. I think they have long since learned not to specifically promote the idea of assuming that their futures are assured by the closeness of Armageddon.

    I guess it's a bit of a conundrum- if you advise the rank and file to prepare for a future in the present system of things, they may lose the urgency that comes from the "sooner than you think" message. But a following that places little value on financial success and long-term planning will find itself unprepared when they are of retirement age. And then they have less to put in the coffers.

  • hoser

    I see many Jehovahs witnesses that earn more than sufficient income but can’t manage their finances. They spend it as fast or faster than they earn it.

    I think part of the problem is the “We’re in the last, last, last part of the final part of the last days” bullshit that the governing body spews from their pie holes. One thing of certainly is this: The governing body, circuit overseer, body of elders don’t give a shit about your financial future or retirement. What they care about is your meeting attendance, field service report and time that you donate to building kingdum hauls. It’s nothing to do with you but all about them.

  • Beth Sarim
    Beth Sarim


    You just hit the ball out of the park!!

  • DesirousOfChange

    I overheard two elders discussing their strategy on their retirement/pension plans. One said he was fully vested in his current union pension plan, so he was seeking to join a different union trade and build a second pension for his retirement. This was over 10 years ago and that elder was not yet 40 years old.

    So much for "Armageddon is right around the corner".

  • LongHairGal


    While it’s nice to hear some Witnesses are smart enough to know they have to plan… the hypocrisy cannot be tolerated!

    I am glad I had the strength of character to resist the pressure put on me by older JWs back when I was a young working woman. I held onto my job.. In the ‘90s (after ‘95 when I was PIMO and preparing my ‘Fade’) an elder made a slip of the tongue in conversation. He admitted he was working extra to prepare for retirement.. But, then he backtracked and tried to change what he said.

    Of course, I saw through it all. They (elders and certain others) don’t want to be quoted as saying they are ‘preparing for their retirement’ or $aving!.. Unfortunately, and very sadly, gullible and younger people in the congregation didn’t prepare and today are suffering.. Words cannot describe how I have no use for this religion.

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