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Choosing to Live Smaller Reflects Our Values

Moving to a new town gave Bishop Jon Anderson and his wife Robyn Sand Anderson the chance to downsize — and revisit how their financial choices reflect their values.



Bishop Jon Anderson
Southwestern Minnesota Synod
Redwood Falls, Minnesota
August 2016

After I was elected to serve in a third term as bishop, my wife Robyn and I decided to live smaller so that we can live our values. What has this looked like for us?

  • We finally moved to the town where our synod office is located. I am thankful to be done commuting, which consumed energy in many ways. And we downsized as we bought our new home to give us more financial freedom.
  • This freedom set Robyn free to continue to pursue her work as an abstract acrylic artist. When she is free from financial pressure as an artist, she experiences greater joy as she explores her creative passions.
  • We hope to travel more in this chapter of our life, to see our children and explore God’s world. Having a smaller house allows us to re-allocate our financial energy so we can do what we care about. We don’t want to lose out on time with family members because of what our old house costs to maintain and improve.
  • This decision to live smaller also allows us to increase our contributions to our retirement accounts as we prepare for our retirement in the next decade.
  • As we moved to a smaller home, we also sought to be set free from an overabundance of possessions. There are still boxes to sort through in the basement, but we have made great headway in the past year. We are still storing a few of our children’s things, but they are all out of the nest. One step at a time.

Robyn and I have much to learn about this season of life and all of its opportunities and challenges, but we are trying to position ourselves well. We encourage you, as you are able, to find ways to make choices with your financial energy that will serve your values and your future.

This submission describes a personal perspective on an aspect of the ELCA benefit program that may or may not reflect the experience of others.

email Share your Wellness Voice at livewell@porticobenefits.org

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