Missionary Payment going up

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QuestionAbound
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Missionary Payment going up

Post by QuestionAbound » 27 Jun 2019, 16:26

The monthly payment required of our missionaries is going up by $100 in certain areas, effective July 1, 2020.

I hope that money goes back to the missionaries to help with groceries, but we'll see.

Just another way the church is playing with numbers. :roll:

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mom3
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by mom3 » 27 Jun 2019, 22:04

I am out of words on this one. I get that costs of living go up. But the capital source to fund those increases is already stretched. Plus missionaries in my area live in members homes. Pay no rent. The members get no reimbursement. Most of the missionaries don't buy groceries or their groceries get subsidized by the ward members. Dinners are covered by the ward members. So ....

Sorry bad week for me in the church needs money category.
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DarkJedi
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by DarkJedi » 28 Jun 2019, 04:39

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... rease.html

So back in the day there weren't exactly dinosaurs roaming the earth because the majority of people I knew thought the dinosaur bones were leftover from the matter unorganized that became earth but was previously something else, but I served a mission. This was way prior to the initial the monetary equalization. In those days they printed a list of approximate costs for each mission, but when you put your papers in (and they were actual papers) you had no idea where you were going. If you got lucky and were called to Mexico it'd be about $50 per month. The most expensive mission was Alaska at $450. I went to New Zealand which was about $250. I was also a convert with no family in the church and paid that money by myself (meaning I had to save it all and scrimp all the time before and during the mission. There was a class difference in "rich" missionaries and "poor" missionaries in the mission.

All of my sons who served were under the $400 plan but each of them served in places where it clearly does not cost $400 to support them. The equalization fixes the rich and poor thing to a great extent but not totally. My sons were all in areas of the world where they were fed each day my members. Our family's thing was also that each of them pay half of their own mission - about $5000. They had to work and save that on their own. My boys were not pressured to go on missions (by us), it was their choice, and each of them saved more than they needed. I really don't have any problem with the way it worked for them, even though I knew we/they were subsidizing costs in places where it really did cost $400 or more. That's part of what what the equalization was about, and encouraging members to feed missionaries was part of the cost control. I was recently told by our MP feeding the missionaries is not necessarily emphasized any more and that we are not obligated to feed them (this was in response to criticism about the time missionaries were allowed to come to members' homes for dinner). On that aside, I'm more than surprised that missionaries are even allowed to stay at members homes, Mom. That has not been the case here for decades, and it is in fact not allowed under any except emergency circumstances - don't want any Jezebel's taking advantage of those poor boys after all.

I have no problem with the $400 and I don't really have a problem with $500, although I would have expected a more incremental increase. Here's what I have a problem with: those not from the 18 countries. I fully understand that $400 or $500 per month is well beyond the means of many South Americans or Africans to the point it would be impossible even for ward or stake support. And I don't have a problem with supporting them from the "general" missionary fund that quite a few people seem to give to. My belief is that's what that fund is for. But it's one of those things that bugs me about church financial disclosure - the church doesn't tell anyone that those South American and African missionaries don't pay anything and they don't tell you how they are financed. I think we are left to believe most of it comes from the general fund that people voluntarily donate to, but in reality as far as I can tell it comes from your and my kids' $400 per month. Each of my sons had multiple companions who paid nothing for their missions, and neither did their parents or wards. Just sayin.

All that said, I don't know that $500 is all that unreasonable and to some extent it is meant to be a sacrifice.
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nibbler
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by nibbler » 28 Jun 2019, 05:16

I think this pricing history is correct, feel free to correct:
  • Pre-1990: Missionaries paid the actual expenses of their mission. Get called to a mission in a third world country, pay relatively little. Get called to Tokyo or London, pay a lot.
  • November 1990: Church announces a new system that equalizes the amount each missionary pays regardless of the mission they are called to.
  • 1991: $350
  • 2003: $400 (about a 14% increase from what it was before)
  • 2020: $500 (25% increase from what it was before)
A 25% increase is a pretty big hit to take all in one go.

Adjusting for inflation and taking $350 in 1991 as a starting point:
  • 2003: $460-$470
  • 2019: $650-$660
Adjusting for inflation and taking $400 in 2003 as a starting point:
  • 2019: $550-$560
Now... I don't know about anyone else, but my wages haven't exactly kept pace with inflation. I'm just putting the idea out there.

Also one important factor, the $500 per month is what missionaries coming out of the USA are expected to pay. I believe there's also a plan in place where the cost of a mission is adjusted for people coming out of other countries. I know where I served if the price they were expected to pay was even $100 a month then no one would serve a mission from that country. So I think there are two levels of equalization, one to address the standard of living costs of the missionary and another to get everyone paying the same amount regardless of area served.

But if they make accommodations for missionaries coming out of less prosperous countries why not make those same accommodations for less prosperous missionaries coming out of more prosperous countries? I think they do make those accommodations, except they aren't widely advertised. They want to still create that expectation that people pay the $500 a month, even if it hurts significantly.

Still.

Current cost of a mission:
  • 24 months: $9,600
  • 18 months: $7,200
Cost of a mission this time next year:
  • 24 months: $12,000
  • 18 months: $9,000
Maybe now is the time to equalize the length of a mission for men and women down to 18 months. If nothing more than to keep the financial impact down.

I find myself wondering how this will impact the quantity of youth serving a mission. For any missionary on the fence, will the added cost lead to a significant number of youth deciding to skip a mission?
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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by Curt Sunshine » 28 Jun 2019, 06:18

1.5% annual increase, with a total that is below the inflation rate

The issue is that there was no increase for 16 years, so this feels big.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by SilentDawning » 28 Jun 2019, 07:09

nibbler wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 05:16
I think this pricing history is correct, feel free to correct:
  • Pre-1990: Missionaries paid the actual expenses of their mission. Get called to a mission in a third world country, pay relatively little. Get called to Tokyo or London, pay a lot.
  • November 1990: Church announces a new system that equalizes the amount each missionary pays regardless of the mission they are called to.
  • 1991: $350
  • 2003: $400 (about a 14% increase from what it was before)
  • 2020: $500 (25% increase from what it was before)
A 25% increase is a pretty big hit to take all in one go.

Adjusting for inflation and taking $350 in 1991 as a starting point:
  • 2003: $460-$470
  • 2019: $650-$660
Adjusting for inflation and taking $400 in 2003 as a starting point:
  • 2019: $550-$560
Now... I don't know about anyone else, but my wages haven't exactly kept pace with inflation. I'm just putting the idea out there.

Also one important factor, the $500 per month is what missionaries coming out of the USA are expected to pay. I believe there's also a plan in place where the cost of a mission is adjusted for people coming out of other countries. I know where I served if the price they were expected to pay was even $100 a month then no one would serve a mission from that country. So I think there are two levels of equalization, one to address the standard of living costs of the missionary and another to get everyone paying the same amount regardless of area served.

But if they make accommodations for missionaries coming out of less prosperous countries why not make those same accommodations for less prosperous missionaries coming out of more prosperous countries? I think they do make those accommodations, except they aren't widely advertised. They want to still create that expectation that people pay the $500 a month, even if it hurts significantly.

Still.

Current cost of a mission:
  • 24 months: $9,600
  • 18 months: $7,200
Cost of a mission this time next year:
  • 24 months: $12,000
  • 18 months: $9,000
Maybe now is the time to equalize the length of a mission for men and women down to 18 months. If nothing more than to keep the financial impact down.

I find myself wondering how this will impact the quantity of youth serving a mission. For any missionary on the fence, will the added cost lead to a significant number of youth deciding to skip a mission?
This is good analysis Nibbler and Curtis -- I think it shows that this isn't price gouging. You also hit on other factors since missionaries from weathier countries subsidize missions for people from countries with less means.

Some Wards pay the entire shot for the missionaries. I don't see this as a huge burden, not like tithing for example.
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Roadrunner
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by Roadrunner » 01 Jul 2019, 15:21

While I agree that the increase percentage feels big (25% at once), I think for some of us $500 is cheaper or near equal the cost of keeping them at home. My 19 year old daughter is at BYU and while she does have a job, I heavily subsidize her. Rent, food, car insurance, utilities, and... college tuition all come out of my wallet and total more than $500 per month.

You could argue that a mission adds to the time I’m financially supporting her, which is true, but to me it seems the financial sacrifice is *much* smaller than the time she’s giving up.

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hawkgrrrl
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by hawkgrrrl » 01 Jul 2019, 15:31

I agree with Roadrunner, that this is lower than the cost of NOT being on a mission. Plus, it's still less than I paid monthly in 1989.

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jamison
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by jamison » 01 Jul 2019, 17:30

I have 2 sons that I would like to go on missions. I hope I'm in a more affluent ward when it takes effect. I notice that very few young men from poor families are going on missions. I dont know whether they feel out priced, and would rather focus on their lives by going to school. I understand the cost going up, but realize the church has money. Is as disappointed that it is going up. I guess parents will work two extra jobs to see it happen.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Missionary Payment going up

Post by SilentDawning » 03 Jul 2019, 18:43

Roadrunner wrote:
01 Jul 2019, 15:21
While I agree that the increase percentage feels big (25% at once), I think for some of us $500 is cheaper or near equal the cost of keeping them at home. My 19 year old daughter is at BYU and while she does have a job, I heavily subsidize her. Rent, food, car insurance, utilities, and... college tuition all come out of my wallet and total more than $500 per month.

You could argue that a mission adds to the time I’m financially supporting her, which is true, but to me it seems the financial sacrifice is *much* smaller than the time she’s giving up.
I think that's a good perspective. I never thought of comparing the cost of having a Young Adult at home with the cost of having them on a mission. Also consider the price of car insurance for young adults -- get them on a mission a few states away and your insurance costs go down substantially.

Does the church cover missionaries for medical expenses when on a mission? Or are the parents expected to keep their children on their health insurance package? Assume the parents are in Canada or US and their son or daughter is in the same country...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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