Free financial planning for candidates

No-cost financial planning now available for certified candidates for licensed and ordained ministry.

The Candidacy Office at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) has partnered with Wespath and EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to offer financial planning services to certified candidates for licensed and ordained ministry. The services will be offered at no cost to candidates upon certification by their district committees on ordained ministry.

EY has provided financial planning services to retirement plan participants in Wespath-administered plans since 2005. The financial curriculum through EY includes assistance with cash flow; personal savings and debt management; retirement savings strategies; investment allocation decisions; understanding tax issues; and estate and insurance planning. The curriculum is valued at $2,500 to $3,000 per participant.

The EY Financial Planning Services will help candidates evaluate their financial situations and create strategies for improvement. The EY financial planners received special training in the areas of concern for future clergy, including Wespath-administered plans and programs.

“Our work in the Candidacy Office is focused on connecting the future clergy leaders of our church to the necessary tools to complete licensing or ordination, sharing best practices for navigating the process and providing helpful resources to assist in the licensing or ordination process,” said Meg Lassiat, executive director of the Candidacy Office at GBHEM. “As candidates meet their education requirements, debt can become an obstacle. The EY Financial Planning services will provide a resource for debt avoidance and overall better financial management. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide such a valuable resource.”

GBHEM offers additional financial support through low-interest loans and scholarships. Awarding more than $5 million a year, the agency provides several ministry-focused scholarships. To learn more about the financial support opportunities offered through GBHEM, visit www.gbhem.org/loansandscholarships. To learn more about the Candidacy Office, visit www.gbhem.org/candidacy.

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