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Baskets of Eggs
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As a ten-year-old wanting to raise money for a bicycle, I got a job. Mom assigned me to feeding the chickens and gathering the eggs. I got paid by the egg. Reliability was not my strong point. Sometimes the chickens weren’t fed until evening and I groped for eggs in the dark.

My worst idea was using my new butterfly net to hold the eggs, eight or ten as I recall. “Look at this,” I hollered as I slammed open the screen door and ran toward the kitchen. Unfortunately, the net sack at the end of my pole swung into the door frame. By the time I got to Mom, I offered only a sodden mess of shells with a long trail of yolks and whites oozing behind me.

Sad reality—I’d placed all my eggs in one basket.

For years people have been advised not to do that with their financial “eggs.” Diversify. It won’t save from all heartache and trouble, but thoughtful planning can help with future challenges. For many, especially Christians, their income is divided into three “compartments”: a tithe of 10% or more to the Lord; savings; and immediate needs. For the sake of God’s blessings, this is the right order of the “baskets” (ref. Malachi 3:8-12).


“Savings” really encompasses possessions, plans, and possibilities. Possessions comprise of all the things you own. Part of your savings is to maintain, improve or replace as need arises. Plans are for future: college, travel, retirement, etc. Possibilities encompass the What-if? Situations of life: What if I die—or my spouse dies? What if a prolonged illness or nursing care?

What-ifs are the totally unexpected. The family who places all its “eggs” in the basket of one individual: the house, the cars, the bank accounts all in one name, or even in joint ownership, may find themselves in financial crisis should the owner or one of the owners die or become a resident in a care facility.

My daughter’s elderly and senile neighbor left his wife and went to live with his son. The son almost immediately placed dad in a nursing home. I saw the wife soon after she received notice from the state that because she and her husband didn’t have the $150,000-$200,000 per year cash to pay for his care, he’d had to sign over their joint savings, their joint-owned home plus his car to the state along with the home’s contents—apart from her personal belongings. She would be allowed to live there until she died, but she had no part in its equity or value.

Every wife, every husband, every child needs to create savings of her/his own. Children can have custodial savings or CDs in their names with that of a parent, grandparent or guardian. Joint accounts should be “or” not “and.” Individual accounts should carry POD (pay on death) instructions. Probate can take two years or more. Each should have his/her own “basket” for survival.

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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