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To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085 MoneyWise is a daily radio ministry of MoneyWise Media. Hosted by Rob West and Steve Moore, the program offers a practical, biblical and good-natured approach to managing your time, talents and resources.

Rob West & Steve Moore


    • Jun 29, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 24m AVG DURATION
    • 663 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from MoneyWise on Oneplace.com

    Credit To Avoid With Howard Dayton

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 25:35

    The Bible doesn't speak of debt as a sin only that we should avoid it. While some types of credit are better than others, some should be avoided like the plague. We'll talk about them with Howard Dayton today on MoneyWise Howard Dayton is the founder of Compass Finances God's Way. In his book Free and Clear: God's Road Map to Debt Free Living, Howard has a chapter called Credit To Avoid. It lists several examples: CREDIT TO AVOID 1. Finance companies: Their interest rates are generally sky-high and may run as high as the prime rate plus 10 percent. People use these companies because their credit isn't good enough to work with conventional lenders, and, in most cases, they're desperate for cash. Finance companies that deal primarily in debt-consolidation loans charge enormous fees and closing costs. Pay attention to the difference between the interest rate offered and the annual percentage rate (APR). Closing costs on a conventional mortgage might increase the APR by half a percent. Any increase greater than that should send a clear signal: Stay away! Finance companies are also notorious for their lack of cooperation when payments are late. They're much quicker than conventional lenders to turn the loan over to collections. 2. Payday loans: Also known as "payroll advances" or "deferred deposits." These are very short term loans of $100 to $500 against your paycheck. The Federal Trade Commission warns that the typical APR on payday loans is 391 percent! Imagine borrowing $300 for two months and then owing almost $500. That's a legal form of robbery! The horrendous interest and late fees traps people into making one payday loan after another. These lenders make so much money they don't want anyone to escape. Amazingly, 91% of their business comes from people desperate enough to make five or more of these loans per year. 3. Pawn shop loans: These are short-term loans secured by a piece of property or item of value that's sold if the loan isn't paid on time. Interest rates range from 2% to 25% per month, depending on the laws of the state. Many people who take out pawnshop loans never recover the property they pawned for cash. At times, people get in such desperate situations they end up pawning valuable property that they'll likely never see again. 4. Auto title loans: These loans are usually for thirty days and are secured by a car title. An individual can borrow cash based on the value of his or her car. The high interest rates are not the biggest downside of a title loan, however. If the borrower fails to make the loan payment on time, the lender can repossess the vehicle. One consumer advocate said, "Car title loans are really legalized car theft because you lose the entire car equity no matter what the loan amount is." 5. Tax-refund loans: This is another type of quick-fix loan related to your tax refund. Millions of people look forward to April 15 each year because they're getting a tax refund and need the check from Uncle Sam. Some are so cash-strapped they can't wait for the IRS refund, so they get a tax-refund loan instead. Many tax preparers offer this service for a fee. What they neglect to tell their clients is that the interest rate they pay can run well into the triple figures on an annualized basis. And finally 6. Lending money to Uncle Sam interest free: Many people don't realize it, but that's what a big tax refund is! You've loaned your money to the federal government, and now they're returning it to you without interest. If you receive a big tax return, adjust your withholdings to come as close to a zero refund next year as possible. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How do you go about starting a Roth IRA? ● How should you go about finding the right financial guidance as you near retirement? ● Is it biblical to claim your tithes as a write-off on your taxes? ● Is it wise to pay off your mortgage early? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Betterment ● Wealthfront ● Schwab Intelligent Portfolios ● Vanguard digital adviser ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Talking Down the Price

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2022 25:28

    While haggling is a common practice across the globe, it's something of a lost art in the United States. Today on MoneyWise, we'll discuss how to get the very best prices on many of the things you buy regularly. Many people are reluctant to even try to talk down the price of something they're buying. In American culture, it has become a habit to pay whatever the seller is asking. IS HAGGLING BIBLICAL? And some folks might think that it's dishonest or unbiblical to talk someone down in price, but not so! It's actually good stewardship, making the most of the resources God's entrusted to us. The Bible has many examples of God's people negotiating with others. The spies coming to terms with Rahab in Joshua 2 is just one of them So the men said to her, Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.'" Negotiating is not at all like trying to dodge a debt or evade paying taxes, which of course would be dishonest and unbiblical. As long as the seller has the freedom to say no, there's nothing wrong with trying to get a better deal. WHERE TO START The first thing is to determine where you can negotiate and where you can't. There's no sense wasting your time if you know that the offered price is absolutely firm. Here are some things you can often get a lower price on if you're willing to negotiate: - Your cell phone plan - Your cable package (that's truer now than ever with so many streaming apps) - Your credit card interest rate - Your gym membership. With those, sometimes all you have to do is ask and you'll get a better deal. Some others that'll require more work might include your rent and car insurance. (Caution: Make sure you maintain adequate insurance coverage!) HOW TO NEGOTIATE Now for the nuts and bolts of how to negotiate. Let's say you've decided to negotiate your rent. Start by doing your homework. Use Zillow or Craigslist to find out what others are paying for comparable units in your area. Make a list of a few with lower rents that you can cite in your negotiation. Then be ready to offer something in return for a lower price. Maybe you can pay a few months in advance. Or maybe you'd be willing to sign a longer lease or increase the termination notice from 30 to 60 or even 90 days. Those are things all landlords love. But you can also offer things that won't cost you anything. For example, if you don't have a car, offer your parking space. Or promise not to smoke in the unit. That could save the landlord money. Or not to keep a pet even if they're allowed. The secret to successful negotiating is working toward both parties getting something out of it. You want to make it a win-win. You can also negotiate for a higher salary. A lot of folks are shy about asking for a raise, but right now you've got tremendous leverage. Employers are still desperate to attract and retain good workers, so the market's in your favor. Start by making a list of problems you've solved for the company. Maybe you've decreased the accounts receivable balance or your ideas and suggestions eliminated certain expenses. That's a great start. Then, make a separate list of problems you will solve going forward. Finally, determine your asking salary. You can visit Salary.com or PayScale.com to get an idea of what others are paid for similar work in your area. Now you're ready to negotiate. Make an appointment with your boss to talk about your salary. During that discussion, show your lists of problems solved and problems you'll address. The worst that can happen is the boss says no, and if that happens, hang on to the lists you've made, if you decide to move on, they'll be a big help when you nail your next job interview. If you're buying something, usually a bigger ticket item like an appliance, simply ask, Is that the best you can do? In some cases, the salesperson will bend over backwards to give you a better price or throw in something to sweeten the deal. Bottom line: asking for a better price never hurts. You just might get it. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Would it make sense to draw money from a credit account to pay off a car loan? ● Should you tithe off of money from a consolidation loan? ● How should you invest when nearing retirement? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Christian Giving Is About What God Wants For Us

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 25:14

    The thing God wants for us more than anything else is to reflect his heart. And his heart is one of boundless generosity. We'll discuss that today on MoneyWise. On our Monday programs, we like to get back to first principles to talk about foundational truths that undergird the other things we discuss on this program. When it comes to money, there are only about five general ways you interact with it: 1. You can earn it 2. Use it to live on 3. Give it away 4. Pay it to someone you owe 5. Or you can invest it so that it can grow to meet future needs. So far this month, we've covered earn and live. Today, we want to talk about give. Maybe you've heard someone say something like, Why should I give to the church? I need the money more than they do! WHAT GOD REALLY WANTS Christian giving isn't about something God wants from us. It is about what God wants for us. And what does he want? Ultimately, he wants us to be like him. That's what Christian discipleship and the work of the Holy Spirit is all about molding and making us, day by day, more like the Lord himself the One whose very nature is to give. God is the great giver. Why did he create the universe? Why did he make the human race? Why did he send Jesus to us? All of these things flow from his boundless generosity and love. And this generous God wants us to be like him. The Apostle Peter says we who have come to Christ have become partakers of the divine nature. There are many implications of that, but among them is that the very generosity of God should flow through us. That includes giving financially to support God's work in the world. Unfortunately, many Christians think of giving as a burden as something they have to do. No, it is something we get to do. Giving is a privilege. And it helps us, when done with the right attitude, to experience the joy of generosity, and become people who delight, as God does, in giving freely. BEING A WISE STEWARD Being a generous giver is facilitated by being a wise and faithful steward in every area of your finances. If you plan well, spend wisely, and avoid debt, you can more easily grow in generosity. And by growing in generosity, you'll become more and more Christlike. And that is exactly what God wants for you. 18th-century preacher and theologian John Wesley. I did this a couple of weeks ago as well. One of his famous sermons is called The Use of Money. In it, he says, "Having, first, gained all you can, and secondly saved all you can, then give all you can." There is something implicit in what he is saying and that is wise money management. The only way you can save all you can is by managing your earnings wisely. And that also holds for giving all you can. If you learn to manage money well, you'll be able to give more. Giving money away will make you a more joyful person. Because as you grow in generosity, you will become more and more like the person God intends you to be. In 2nd Corinthians 9:7, the Apostle Paul writes this: Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Giving reluctantly or under compulsion misses the whole point. The God who has given to us so freely to the extent of giving his only begotten Son for us wants us to give freely too. Now, if you find it difficult to give cheerfully, let me urge you to take that to the Lord. Ask him to make your heart like his heart. That might not happen overnight. But if you keep up that prayer, I am confident that God will answer. You'll become a cheerful giver and be more like him. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Are you taxed on the proceeds from the sale of a home? ● Does it make sense to take money out of a TSA to pay off a mortgage? ● Can you sell your home to an adult child for a predetermined price regardless of the appraised value of the house? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The Problem with Possessions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 25, 2022 25:23

    Buying something we really want can be exciting in the moment, but the joy of material possessions has a very short life. Once obtained, the excitement begins to wane. We'll talk fleeting joy vs lasting fulfillment today on MoneyWise. The Roman statesman Pliny the Younger once said, An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. We don't often quote ancient pagan authors, but we'll make an exception when they agree with a biblical financial principle. In this case, that possessions have no real lasting value. FLEETING JOY Jesus gives a long discourse on how we should view earthly possessions in Luke 12. In verse 15 he says, Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. And he goes on to say that we shouldn't worry about what we will eat, or drink, or wear, because the Father already knows of those needs and He will provide. Jesus says, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. And in 1 John 2 we're told, Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Martin Luther certainly knew this when he wrote I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God's hands that I still possess. Luther was merely restating a profound biblical principle, that earthly possessions are fleeting. We're not saying you should sell all you have and live a life of poverty. But it's important to know that possessions always present a problem. THE TYRANNY OF STUFF Things demand attention. You have to store them, clean them, maintain them and fix them, and if you're not careful you'll find that acquiring things tends to push God out of first place in your life. God alone wants to meet our needs and give us peace and fulfillment. He wants to spend time with us and use us in his grand plan for the universe. That gets knocked aside if we look for fulfillment in cars, houses, electronics, new clothes and recreational shopping. Physical things can never meet spiritual needs. We can put this principle into practice through planning and action. PLANNING AND ACTION The first action should be prayer. As believers, we must do this daily anyway, but include your finances in your prayer time with the Lord. Do it together with your spouse if you're married. Seek agreement on how you should manage your money. Planning means having a budget. It's the only sure way to avoid overspending on things you don't really need. Part of it should be a plan for what you'll do with extra money, even if you don't see it yet. The free MoneyWise app is a great tool for helping you develop your spending plan. Look for MoneyWise biblical finance where you get your apps. And if you need more help, you can also sign up with one of our volunteer coaches at MoneyWise.org. STEPS TO KEEP POSSESSIONS IN CHECK Here are some more practical steps to prevent possessions from taking over your life: - We've talked about the 30-day rule before. Wait that long before you buy something you don't absolutely need. The desire will probably go away. Also, reflect on stuff you bought in the past and consider how long it kept you fulfilled. - If you're married, make sure your spouse is aware of everything you purchase. That alone may limit your spending on unnecessary things. You and your spouse should agree on spending. Try to find middle ground if you're at odds over something. - Avoid becoming house poor. Keep your mortgage including principal, interest taxes and insurance at or below 25% of your take home pay. - Only replace things when they no longer function, not when you want a newer, shinier model. Our friend Howard Dayton likes to talk about how he held onto cars until the wheels fell off. - And finally, ask God to help you be more generous. It's counter-intuitive, but the key to breaking the chains of materialism is generosity. You'll find that giving away money and things opens your heart and actually does something to you spiritually which makes giving far more fulfilling and fun than buying things. Well, we hope these ideas will help you avoid many of the problems that possessions can bring both financial and spiritual. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Should you pay off a credit card balance from savings or just pay it down monthly? ● How can you access your credit score? ● What can you do to eliminate your debt without adversely impacting your credit score? ● Will opening a new credit card help your credit score? ● Will closing credit card accounts adversely affect your credit rating? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Credit Karma ● Christian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    SS Benefits for Non-Workers

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 25:27

    Some folks will tell you that you can't get Social Security benefits unless you've worked and paid payroll taxes for at least 40 quarters, or 10 years. We'll explain why today on MoneyWise. There's no question that Social Security is important maybe TOO important. It was never intended to provide more than 40% of what you'll need in retirement, but many people rely on it too heavily for their retirement plan by not having enough in savings. That said, it's especially important to do your research if you haven't worked the required 10 years. That's because the Social Security Administration usually won't inform you that you may be eligible for benefits. So let's get a jumpstart on that research. HOW DO YOU QUALIFY IF YOU DON'T HAVE NEEDED WORK RECORD? Even if you don't have the necessary work record, you may still qualify for Social Security benefits. The first way this is possible is through spousal benefits. You may be able to receive benefits based on your spouse's record, or even your former spouse's record in the case of divorce. Typically, you're eligible for up to 50% of your spouse's benefit if he or she applies for benefits at full retirement age (now 66 or 67). For example, if your spouse is eligible to receive $1,500 a month, your benefit amount could be as much as $750. You'd have to be at least 62 years old and your spouse would have to be receiving benefits already. Now, you can claim your spousal benefits that early, at age 62, but if you do, there's a cost. If you claim them before your full retirement age, your benefits will be permanently reduced by around 32% unless you're caring for an eligible child under age 16. Bottom line: unless you absolutely can't live without the money, it's better to wait for your full retirement age to collect spousal benefits. SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS AFTER DIVORCE You could almost say divorce has no impact at all on spousal benefits. If you're divorced, you may still be able to claim benefits based on your ex-spouse's work record. But there are a couple of conditions: The marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and you can't currently be married. And even if your ex has remarried, you're still eligible based on his or her record. As would be the case with a current spouse, you have to be at least 62 years old to file for spousal benefits, and your maximum benefit would also be 50% of your ex-spouse's full benefit amount if he or she files at their full retirement age. But unlike with a current spouse, your ex-spouse does not need to have already applied for Social Security benefits for you to receive them based on their record. NOTE: Claiming benefits has no effect on your ex-spouse's or or their current spouse's benefits. SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR WIDOWS/WIDOWERS Here, we're getting into survivor benefits. Your eligibility for those depends on the age when your spouse passed away. If he or she worked for at least 10 years and qualified for benefits, then you may be entitled to survivors benefits. As a widow or widower, you only have to be 60, not 62, to file for benefits. You may also qualify if you're age 50 or older and have a disability. And you can file for survivor benefits at any age if you're caring for the deceased worker's child, just as long as the child is under age 16 or disabled. OTHERS WHO MAY QUALIFY Survivor's benefits aren't just for widows and widowers. Surviving children, ex-spouses, parents, and sometimes other relatives might also qualify for benefits. In all of those cases, the amount of the benefit depends greatly on how much the worker was eligible to receive and how many people file for benefits. There's a maximum amount of benefits per family, and that's based on the deceased's work record as well. So I know all of this is confusing, and it's safe to say that what you don't know about Social Security could cost you benefits that you're entitled to. That's why it's a good idea to make an appointment at your local Social Security office and go in with a list of questions. The folks there are generally pretty helpful. You can also get more information online at SSA.gov. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Are NFCs biblically sound? ● How can a church finance a small portion of the costs for a new building? ● When should you start drawing Social Security benefits? ● How can you manage a 401k received in a settlement? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Everence ● AGFinancial ● Thrivent ● ECCU Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Uncle Sam Pays Interest

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 25:37

    You know how Uncle Sam likes to charge you interest when your taxes are late? Well, that works both ways. It's only fair you pay when you're late, and the IRS has to pay when they're late getting your refund check out. We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. Refunds this year are still averaging around $3,000, and as we've said many times before, that's way too much. Your refund is really an interest free loan to the government, so you want to keep it as small as possible. Aim for zero. Now, for a variety of reasons, the IRS is more behind than usual getting refund checks out this year. Several factors have led to delays in getting millions of refund checks out to taxpayers. But the good news is! If your check is more than 45 days late, the IRS will pay you interest on the total amount of your check. Right now, interest is accruing at 4%, but starting July 1st, the rate the government will pay you goes up to 5%, compounded daily. But remember, your refund and any interest the IRS pays you, is of course, taxable, so you need to account for that. No free lunch there. Now, when your refund check finally arrives, or if it has already and is still in your bank account, what will you do with it? Unfortunately, many folks who get big refund checks view it as mad money that's outside the budget, so they can spend it frivolously. But a refund check presents an opportunity, and you should take advantage of it. Here are some ideas of how to do that. HOW TO PUT YOUR REFUND CHECK TO GOOD USE EMERGENCY FUND: If you haven't started an emergency fund, that's the first thing to do with your refund check. Or add to it if you have one already. You want 3 to 6 months' living expenses in liquid savings, and your tax refund can be a great jumpstart. Your emergency fund allows you to handle life's unplanned but inevitable expenses without having to borrow. By the way, the free MoneyWise App can help you get on a budget and track your expenses, so you can see how much discretionary income you have for saving. PAY DOWN DEBT: It's the best investment you can make with your refund. It gives you a guaranteed return on your money, equal to the interest rate you're paying to the credit card company,which is probably a lot. If the refund won't cover all of your debt, that's okay. Pay down as much as you can. START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT: Think of it as finally getting your money to work or you instead of you always having to work for your money. Let's say that back in 2012, you put your 3-thousand dollar refund into a qualified retirement account in an SP 500 Index fund. Today that $3,000 would be almost $12,000. That's the power of compound earnings. Granted, the stock market did incredibly well over the last 10 years. But historically there's no better way to create wealth than by investing broadly in the market over a long period of time. FIX UP YOUR HOUSE: If you've been putting off a necessary home repair, it's okay to use refund money for that. Also, home improvements might help increase the value of the property. Keep in mind that not all improvements are worth the money, so you have to do some research. Realtors are always a good source of information. INVEST IN YOURSELF: Use your refund to get more training, take a job-related course, attend a conference or join a professional organization. Those things can pay off down the road with promotions or at least increased job security. BE GENEROUS: Does this extra cash enable you to be more generous? Take the opportunity to give something more to your church or to further God's Kingdom in other ways. By the way, if you're married, sometimes when money comes into a household, both spouses might not agree on how to use it. It's important to reach agreement. Sit down and talk about it, and really listen to your spouse's point of view. Then, kneel down together and pray about it together. As our friend Howard Dayton likes to say, it's impossible to argue with someone when you're praying together. More than likely, you'll be able to resolve your differences and reach agreement. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● When does it make sense to invest in a Roth or standard IRA? ● When distributing an inheritance from a deceased relative, do you need to gather the social security numbers of those who will receive money? ● Does it make sense to buy a home now or continue to pay rising rent? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Tips For The Open Road

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 25:16

    Before you hit the road with your family this summer, be sure your prepared! Today on MoneyWise, we have some tips for the open road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a great list of things to do before and after heading out this summer. HITTING THE ROAD If you want to be prepared for anything along the highways and byways, start with inspecting and maintaining your vehicle. It's important to perform routine maintenance and follow your car's maintenance schedule. That'll keep your warranty in good standing and help you avoid breakdowns. So inspect your car's fluid levels, wiper blades, tire pressure, lights and air conditioning. Next, you'll want to check for any recalls on your vehicle. Dealerships do those repairs for free, but a lot of people still drive cars with safety recalls. Things get busy in the summer, so don't wait until the last minute to schedule repairs. And if you have kids, their safety is your main concern. Children under 13 should ride in the back seat. Babies from birth to 12-months should sit in a rear-facing seat. From one to three years in, a forward facing seat is appropriate, and a booster seat for kids four to seven years old. It's also a good habit to check the rear seat every time you leave your vehicle to make sure you haven't forgotten about a child or pet back there. Sadly, the NHTSA says nearly 40 children die each year due to heatstroke from being forgotten in a car. While we're on the subject of safety, you'll want to put together a basic safety kit before hitting the open road where anything can happen. Make sure you bring these items: A cell phone and charger, first aid kit, flashlight, flares, jumper cables, a jack, water and non-perishable food items, washer fluid, and the always useful duct tape, for leaky hoses. Now, it may seem liberating to just head out with a general destination in mind, but since you don't always know what lies ahead, planning your trip carefully may save you a lot of headaches. Check road conditions, weather, and traffic before you set out. Smart phones have plenty of apps for that, and of course, they come in pretty handy if you have to call for a tow truck. If you're renting a car, pick it up a few hours early so you can get familiar with it before heading out. Check the manual for safety features. Get acquainted with the dashboard and switches so you don't have to do that while driving. On some makes, even the location of the trunk and fuel hatch buttons can be a bit of a mystery at first. Okay, that's your pre-trip checklist. Now that you're ready to hit the road, try to drive during non-peak hours. Those would be during morning or evening rush hour, Monday through Friday, weekend afternoons and evenings during summer. Instead, leave between rush hours on Friday or early Saturday morning. On the return trip, try to leave after the morning rush on Monday if you can afford the time away. Also, try to avoid night driving. A National Sleep Foundation survey found that over 100 million people have fallen asleep at the wheel at some point. Pull into a rest stop if you feel yourself getting fatigued. Get out and stretch your legs. It's also good to keep the air conditioning at a cool setting while driving. Warmer temps may make you feel drowsy. If you have older children who are qualified to drive, a road trip can be a good way for them to gain highway experience, so share the driving as long as you remain attentive in the shotgun seat. You also want to share the road. Keep your eyes peeled not just for other cars and trucks, but also motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians that tend to be out in droves during the warm summer months. Pay attention to the distance you give other vehicles. There used to be a guideline that you should leave one car length separation for every 10 miles of speed, but in recent years analysts have realized you have to give more than that at higher speeds when stopping time is critical. So adjust accordingly and never tailgate. Getting there a few seconds faster is never worth putting yourself, your passengers and other vehicles at risk. And it goes without saying that everyone should be buckled up. The American Medical Association says traffic accidents are a leading cause of deaths in the U.S., but wearing a seatbelt can greatly improve your odds of surviving a crash. One final thought: Make sure you've factored gasoline prices into your vacation budget. Highway and interstate gas stations tend to have the highest prices. We hope they help you have a safe and enjoyable experience this summer! On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it wise to use funds from a 401k to pay off your mortgage? ● How do you determine the wisest thing to do with an annuity? ● When is it wise to bail out of the stock market? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● CareerDirect Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Lessons From Past Bear Markets With Mark Biller

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 25:19

    Proverbs 21:5 teaches, The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. And if there's one place that calls for diligence and not making hasty decisions, it's your investments. We'll talk about that today win investment expert Mark Biller. Mark Biller back is executive editor at Sound Mind Investing. Many Americans are nervous that the bears are about to be unleashed on Wall Street. But SMI just published an article that will help you prepare for whatever lies ahead. It's titled, Lessons From Past Bear Markets: Are you Prepared? Mark Biller says investors really aren't used to prolonged stock market downturns anymore. The 2018 and 2020 selloffs were as deep as what we've experienced this year, but they happened faster and ended much sooner. 2018 was three months long, while 2020 was really just one month from top to bottom, and both were followed by really rapid market rebounds. This year's downturn is going on six months now and investors haven't had to deal with many of these longer downturns in the past dozen years. A PERIOD OF ECONOMIC TRANSITION? Biller says we do seem to be at the end of a couple of longer-term cycles. One is the 30-year trend in globalization, which appears to be shifting away from greater global integration toward less globalization of the economy. That's not all bad. There are some positives that are likely to come out of that eventually. But it's definitely inflationary in the short-term, which makes it likely that inflation is probably going to be a lot stickier, or more persistent, than we're used to after decades of falling inflation. The second big issue is that, because the Federal Reserve suddenly has to deal with inflation for the first time in a few decades, it means they can't be single-mindedly focused on economic growth anymore. That growth focus has been great for investors, because every time the market has slipped in recent years, the Fed would come in and boost growth, which also boosted the financial markets. Now, the Fed is clearly saying that's over - their focus is on getting inflation down and investors expecting the Fed to come to their rescue again could be in for an unpleasant surprise. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM PAST BEAR MARKETS? So what lessons can we learn from past bear markets, assuming we're entering one now? Biller says the main point of the article is to reinforce the idea that investors need to be diversified and patient, and if they can do that, the long-term trajectory of the markets is higher. The article shows a 50-year log chart of the SP 500 index, which simply means the chart shows the market's past moves in percentage terms instead of price terms. That chart shows the last seven times prices have declined 20% or more, including this year's selloff. The point of the chart is that when you zoom out over a longer period, you can barely even see this year's downturn. You basically see this series of upward bouncing curves going higher over time. So the long-term prospects are still bright for the patient and diversified investor. PREPARING FOR A POTENTIAL LONGER BEAR MARKET If this is a new bear market and its length of decline matches the average of the prior six bear markets, we wouldn't expect it to end until sometime in mid-2023. That seems like terrible news, right? But there is a silver lining. Because while we do think there are some things an investor can do to prepare for whatever downside may still be ahead of us, there are ways to take advantage of any further decline. You can do that in a couple of ways. The first is to be sure you're prepared financially. If you haven't been investing with borrowed money, you can survive any bear market. Just maintain your strategy and wait it out. A BEAR OPPORTUNITY For some investors though, bear markets are more of an opportunity than a threat. Lower stock prices are bad for people who have to sell, but they offer temporary bargains for people who have money to buy. Younger investors, in particular, can potentially benefit from a bear market by adding to their holdings. That may be by continuing to buy through their 401k plan at work. You also have to be prepared psychologically. Yes, we have problems in the short term, but the long-range outlook is positive. Years from now, stock prices will likely be far higher than they are now. Everyone loves the idea of buying low and selling high, but it's crucial to realize that It's through these bear market cycles that investors are given the opportunity to buy low. That doesn't mean anyone hearing this should run out and buy all the stock they can right now. It's simply to say that when properly prepared for, bear markets can be more of an advantage than a disadvantage for investors with a longer time horizon. FOR THOSE IN OR NEAR RETIREMENT Now, for someone in or near retirement, without a long time horizon to recover from big bear market losses, it's a tougher situation. Hopefully, those that are close to retirement age are already well diversified and have less of their money allocated to stocks to begin with. One of the biggest problems after the big bear markets in 2000 and 2008 was people who sold when the markets were plunging to their lows, and then were too frightened to get back reinvested once those bear markets ended. Several years after the bear market ended, many people still had their assets in cash and missed the big market rebound. That's what you DON'T want to do. Biller says is best advice to someone who feels they're too exposed to stock market risk right now is that, if you feel like you need to lighten up, do it with a specific plan in mind. Make sure that plan covers not just raising some cash now, but exactly how you're going to get that cash reinvested back into the market later. That might involve working with an advisor who can do that for you, or using a disciplined, mechanical process like what SMI provides. Don't let fear govern your investing decisions. Have a plan and don't panic sell as the market is falling. Remember that bad market periods are eventually followed by good market periods. After 13 years of rising prices, younger investors are finally getting a chance to buy at lower prices. So they should view that as an opportunity rather than a threat. BOTTOM LINE Investing success over the long-run comes from developing a practical, personalized strategy that focuses on owning quality investments. Then you must have the patience to stick with your plan and wait for the market to reward you over time. For more investment advice, visit SoundMindInvesting.org. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How can a church invest in Christian products? ● What is the best way to give money to grandchildren? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Church Cash Reserves - How Much is Enough? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    God Knows Your Needs But Do You?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 25:12

    Money isn't the most important thing in the world, but that doesn't mean it's unimportant. In fact, money is of such significance that Jesus mentions it over and over again in his teaching. He knows we need money to live on, and he wants us to manage it wisely and well. More on that today on MoneyWise. On Mondays, we go back to first principles and talk about foundational truths that undergird everything we discuss on this program. Last Monday, we mentioned that there are only five things you can do with money you can earn it, you can use it to live on, you can give some away, you pay it to people you owe, and you can invest it so that it will grow for the future. Those five things are easy to remember: earn, live, give, owe, and grow. Today, we'll talk about living using money to live on. LIVING ON YOUR INCOME Beyond the basics, food, shelter, clothing and transportation, there are many other things money helps make possible: a good education, quality medical care, financial protection via insurance, and investments to meet our future needs. There are many practical aspects to managing your cost of living, but let's start with a big picture concept a first principle. And that is this: God knows your needs, and he has committed himself to making a way for you. In Matthew 6, Jesus told us: Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these So do not worry, saying, What shall we eat?' or What shall we drink?' or What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. The writer to the Hebrews reinforces this is in Hebrews 13, when he writes: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for [God] has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear' Scripture is not telling us that we can financially irresponsible and God will cover for us. But it is saying that we can trust Him to meet our genuine needs. Here's one more relevant verse: It's 1st Chronicles 16:9. In context, a prophet named Hanani is scolding one of Israel's kings for not trusting God, and he makes this striking statement: For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. So again, God knows your cost of living needs, and if you are fully committed to him, he will make a way. Again, there are lots of practical aspects to managing your cost of living, and the Lord expects us to manage to the best of our ability and wisdom. That would include making a spending plan and tracking spending so that you have clear knowledge of where your money is going. Our MoneyWise App can help you with that. GOD KNOWS YOUR NEEDS. BUT DO YOU? Do you really have a good handle on what you need to live and support your family? That is, not all the stuff you may want, but what you really need? A spending plan can help you figure that out. And here is perhaps the most practical thing to keep in mind: Don't spend more than you earn. Actually, it's crucial to live on less than you earn so that you can set aside some money for the future. The thing to remember with managing money is that just like with an exercise program the effect is cumulative. If you develop a plan and stick to it, the cumulative effects will eventually appear. You'll notice you feel more confident about your finances because you're more prepared for unexpected expenses. You'll notice you're less stressed out over money. You'll see your debt going down and your savings going up. Bottom line: Develop a plan and and stick to living on it all the while trusting that the Lord knows your needs and stands ready to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Can you go to a bank other than our mortgage holder for a home equity loan? ● How do you determine whether you're able to retire before full retirement age? ● Is it wise to help a family member to get a mortgage when they don't have great credit? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Consumer Debt Rising with Neile Simon

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 18, 2022 25:37

    Americans are starting to break out the plastic again, and that means consumer debt is once again on the rise. Today on MoneyWise, Neile Simon with Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors joins us to discuss how you can get help with getting out of credit card debt. Neile Simon is is a Certified Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors. Simon shares the latest figures on U.S. personal debt. SURGING PERSONAL DEBT In one month alone debt levels jumped by over $40 billion to a total of nearly $4.5 trillion. That's an annual increase of 11.3%, far higher than was predicted and setting a new high. There are two types of consumer debt: Non-revolving debt, which includes things like car and student loans. That debt grew by about 8.5% to nearly $3.5 trillion in February alone! But revolving debt shot up far higher. Credit cards and other types of revolving loans jumped by over 20% to more than $1 trillion in a single month! This is a fast-rising trend. The January increase was only about 4% WHAT'S CAUSING THIS? Analysts believe inflation, now at a 40-year high, is a major culprit. Prices for almost everything have shot up, putting a strain on budgets. Prices at the pump are especially painful right now. WHAT'S THE SOLUTION? Most people will have to tweak their budgets to adapt to the new reality of rising prices. Some categories will need to be cut to account for higher costs in other categories. The important thing is to stay on a spending plan and find a way to spend less than you earn. PLEASE do not think of credit cards as a solution to an income shortfall. That will only make the problem worse. But what if you're already buried under substantial credit card debt. What's the solution? IS DEBT SETTLEMENT THE ANSWER? We're getting more calls these days about debt settlement. But Simon says debt settlement (which is different from credit counseling) is not the solution either. Debt settlement may lower your monthly payment, but it often leads to paying more interest overall. It also puts you at risk of continuing to use consumer debt to make ends meet, ultimately digging an even deeper hole. CHRISTIAN CREDIT COUNSELING Christian Credit Counselors doesn't do debt settlement. When people sign up with Christian Credit Counselors, they will work with their creditors to dramatically lower interest rates and arrive at one affordable monthly payment. CCC has existing arrangements with all major credit card issuers to lower your interest rates. Clients ultimately pay less interest and are typically able to pay off card debt up to 80% faster than by doing it themselves. For more information, visit their website at ChristianCreditCounselors.org or call 800-557-1985. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How much actual cash should you keep on hand? ● Does it make sense to take money out of retirement investments to pay for moving costs when going into full-time ministry? ● Can you move 401k funds into an I-bond? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    No Longer Skeptical About Faith-Based Investing With Matt Rusten

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 25:25

    Many investors want to apply their faith to the way they invest their money. And a small, but growing industry of faith-based investments is seeking to meet that desire. But many still have questions. Matt Rusten joins us to help answer those questions today on MoneyWise. Matt Rusten is executive director of Made to Flourish, a ministry dedicated to helping Christians live their faith seven days a week, not just on Sunday. Matt writes for the Eventide Center and recently penned an article titled Why I Was Skeptical of Faith-Based Investing and What Changed My Mind. Matt share his journal now an advocate for faith-based investing. His first real concern: Matt believed faith-based investing funds were fiscally irresponsible, and therefore, represented unwise stewardship. He said his analysis of the numbers led him to a clear verdict: smart money commits to low-fee index funds, while stupid money chases returns in actively managed, high-fee funds. Faith-based funds, values-based funds, socially responsible funds they all seemed simply like the latest gimmick by which actively managed funds continued to underperform. But Matt said that was only true on the basis of my second concern: He believed faith-based funds were shrewdly packaged products designed to make money from those with a weak conscience. This is a reference Romans 14, which described Christians with a weak conscience, whose moral alarms were always going off like a malfunctioning alarm clock. To the issues of stewardship and conscience, he added a third critique, this time with a theological lens: He believed faith-based funds were overly optimistic about their moral purity, and weren't sufficiently realistic about the moral ambiguity of our world. Afte the Fall, he reasoned, life and work in this world is always tainted by sin. In the prophet Jeremiah's words, the heart is deceitful above all things. Since sin is pervasive, it crops up in unexpected ways and places. The implication for investing seemed simple: it is naive to think we can invest only in companies that align with God's creational purposes. The world especially the world of business/investing is far too messy. Even companies with the best of intentions can cause untold harm, which is not always evident until many years later. The solution, he thought, was not to embrace a highly developed boycott mentality, but to recognize that we are not polluted by participation in an imperfect world. After all, Jesus told his disciples to pay their taxes to an evil government, and Paul ate meat sacrificed to idols, arguably aiding the idolatry industry. Such is life in a fallen world. WHAT CHANGED HIS VIEWS Over time, Matt said his views bagan to shift. Regarding underperformance and high fees, he began to see that ethically-run companies who create compelling value for people and planet tend to perform very well over the long term. Their business models are intrinsically sustainable making them less susceptible to the unpleasant surprises that can plague unsuspecting investors. Secondly, on the issue of faith-based or values-based funds being packaged for those with weak consciences, he came to see that investing is ownership. For two reasons, this magnifies our moral responsibility: Owning shares in a company helps the company succeed. And, more importantly, shareholders are directly profiting from the company's business activities. Effectively, a shareholder becomes a partner in its business model. His tangible first step was to ask what companies he actually owned through his investments, and whether he was happy benefiting from them financially. Thirdly, his thinking about the moral ambiguity of companies changed. He realized that some companies practice business in ways that align with God's Love your neighbor' command while others do the opposite. Some companies purposely create value for their various stakeholder neighbors customers, employees, suppliers, etc. Others often exploit those same neighbors. Eventually, Matt says he realized he had come to a different view of business. You can read the full article here. Discover more resources for faithful investing, ate Eventide's Faith and Investing Center at FaithandInvesting.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it wise to move a portion of your investments into physical gold? ● Do have to wait until you're at least 62 years old to take Social Security benefits? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● SSA.gov Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    To Buy Or Not To Buy (a House)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 25:16

    Before making the biggest financial decision of your life, it's a good idea to get all the facts. What's that decision? For most people it'll be whether to buy a house. Today on MoneyWise, we'll discuss the facts you need to know to make the right decision. After the housing crash of 2008, when we saw home values plummet and stay low for several years, many experts advised people to not look at their home as an investment, but simply as a place to live. That perhaps gave comfort to some, but it certainly didn't help anyone who needed to sell their home, whether due to a job transfer or the inability to make the payments. They were stuck. So while it's easy to say that a home isn't an investment, it sure has a lot of the same characteristics. You're putting money into it like an investment. And in the case of a home purchase, a LOT of money. Also, like an investment, you never want to see the market value of your home decline, because if you have to sell, you'll be taking a loss. TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY Of course, the housing market today is red hot, even though it's beginning to show signs of moderation. Would be home buyers are still faced with a tough decision: to buy or not to buy and just keep renting. The Wall Street Journal did an analysis of the current market to answer that question, and the most obvious finding was that anyone buying a home today will have to wait a good deal longer for the investment to pay off. That means buying a home today is not just more expensive, it's also more dangerous because the time needed to break even is significantly extended. To determine the length of time for breaking even, the analysis compared the cost of buying a home to the cost of renting a similar home. Both of those numbers have shot up since the pandemic hit. Rents across the country have risen sharply, but the price of homes has gone up even more. The cost of renting a single-family home went up over 13% in February compared to last year, but home prices increased 20% in March over a year ago. So, in the Wall Street Journal analysis, the break even point is where the cost of owning a home matched the cost of renting the home over the same period. It found that in Austin, Texas, an extremely hot market, you'd need to stay in the home 5.6 years before reaching break even. That's assuming a 10% down payment with a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 5%. That's a huge jump over the 3.7 years it took before the pandemic. And again, those break even times are based on a comparison to the cost of renting a similar home in the same market. Of course, the results vary by market. In Miami, the cost of renting has outstripped the rise in home prices, so the time needed to break even actually decreased a bit to 2.3 years. Well, the upshot of all this is that if you buy a home now and have to sell, you'll be in for a big loss. Let's go back to that home in Austin, Texas with the 5.6-year span of time needed to break even. The analysis showed that if you sell the property after 3 years, you'll lose $30,000 over what you'd have paid to rent over the same period. Why is that the case? Because of all the added costs of home ownership like closing costs, private mortgage insurance, property taxes and maintenance. Those expenses would be greater than the estimated appreciation on the home's value. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't buy a home in today's market. But you should know what you're up against. Two things will help make sure you don't lose money. First, don't buy unless you have 20% of the home value saved up for a down payment. That eliminates private mortgage insurance. Second, don't buy unless you are reasonably sure you'll be in the home 5 years from now. Those two factors should give you enough equity to at least break even if you have to sell. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How can you set up a special needs trust ● How do you determine whether you're taking unnecessary risk in your investment portfolio? ● What should you do about a joint credit card account when your spouse passes away? ● What do you do if you find a credit card account on your credit report that you don't recognize? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Annualcreditreport.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Making a Difference Through Shareholder Advocacy With Chris Meyer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 25:16

    Christians are called to go into the world but not become part of it. That's always a challenge, especially with investing. We'll talk about faith-based investing today with Chris Meyer. Chris Meyer is Manager of Stewardship Investing Advocacy and Research with Praxis Mutual Funds. Praxis is a faith-based family of mutual funds that has been around for over 26 years and prides itself on delivering real-world impact in support of Kingdom values. When many people think of integrating their values with their investments, their focus is usually screening out companies that don't share our values. However, the Praxis approach clearly goes beyond screening. Meyer explains that Paxis believes screening is important, as a clear expression of the values Christians hold. But he says there are also other strategies beyond weeding certain companies out of your portfolio that can make a difference. One of those strategies is shareholder advocacy. The means engaging company to promote positive change. That could mean letter writing, filing sharehold resolutions, and dialogue with company management. Meyer says in most of Praxis' corporate engagement, they collaborate with other faith-based investors and organizations. Praxis is a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a member-based organization dedicated to shareholder advocacy. Meyer says that collaboration helps to multiply their impact. Praxis has been a part of engagement companies are a range of important issues including human trafficking, economic inequality, and creation care. For more information about the efforts of Praxis and its investment services, visit PraxisMutualFunds.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What are I-bonds and are they a good investment? ● Is the The Monte Carlo retirement prediction method accurate, and is it a good way to plan for retirement? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Decrypting Cryptocurrency With Jerry Bowyer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 25:37

    Cryptocurrency is defined as a digital currency or decentralized system of exchange that uses advanced cryptography for security. That's the formal definition, but does it really explain what this mysterious entity is all about and why so many are infatuated with it? We'll talk about that today with Jerry Bowyer. Jerry Bowyer is an economist and MoneyWise contributor. Bowyer explains that the idea of crypto is that it's encrypted. The person who has the key, which is a number, has control of it. They can spend it or give it away, but no one else can access it without they key number. The main proposition of cryptocurrency is that, unlike paper currencies, it's not infinitely inflatable. A country can print an unlimited amount of currency. In contrast, with Bitcoin, for instance, there is built into its algorithm a rule that it can never print more than 21 million Bitcoins. So it can serve as a hedge against debasement of currency. CRYPTO AS AN INVESTMENT However, Bowyer says the data does not indicate that cryptocurrency is an effective hedge against inflation. And there are many concerns with cryptocurrency as an investment class. First, most people don't understand it, and you should never invest in something you don't understand. Beyond that, cryptocurrencies are very risky investments. That doesn't mean that Christians should never invest in them. But it's important to understand the risk involved and to not invest more into cryptocurrencies than you can afford to lose. With crypto, there is at least slight risk of falling victim to hackers. Hackers have made off with billions of dollars in virtual assets in the past year by compromising some of the cryptocurrency exchanges that have emerged during the bitcoin boom. There have been more than 20 hacks in 2021 with thieves stealing at least $10 million in digital currencies CRYPTO VOLATILITY Crypto is also risky because of its wild volatility. When people talk about cryptocurrency, they usually mean Bitcoin. It's the 500-pound gorilla. How has Bitcoin performed over the past year? Bitcoin started 2022 nearly twice as valuable as it was in January 2021. But before January ended, it had nearly lost all of the previous year's gains. It's now selling at around $30,000. So far, a lackluster performance in 2022. But Bitcoin is far from the only cryptocurrency. There were over 18,000 cryptocurrencies in existence as of March 2022. According to Bankrate, the three most popular are: 1. Bitcoin (BTC) Price: $29,155. Market cap: $557 billion. ... 2. Ethereum (ETH) Price: $1,797. ... 3. Tether (USDT) Price: $1.00. CRYPTO PRIVACY Some see cryptocurrencies as a godsend for many concerned about the loss of privacy. But is that really the case? Bowyer says not really. Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, was designed to enable transactions using only digital identities and without the intervention of a trusted third party, like a bank. Bitcoin's introduction in early 2009, when the global financial crisis had decimated trust in governments and banks, was perfectly timed with a growing aversion to these big institutions. But it turns out that cryptocurrencies, in fact, do not guarantee anonymity. Users' digital identities can, with some effort, be connected to their real identities. And in an ultimate irony, the revolution that bitcoin started could end up destroying whatever privacy is left in financial markets. Iit threatens to give big corporations and government a better view into our financial lives and greater control over how we spend our money. In summary, don't invest in cryptocurrency if you don't understand it. And if you do, devote only a small portion of your investment portfolio to this incredibly risky investment class. You can read Jerry Bowyer's informative articles at TownHall.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How should you go about paying down a large amount of debt? ● What should you do if you find a used car that suits your needs but the dealer says they won't accept an outright payment and requires financing? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Christian Credit Counselors ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    A Biblical Perspective On Earning

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 25:28

    There are five ways you can interact with money: You can earn it, live on it, give it away, pay it to someone you owe, or grow it for the future. Today on MoneyWise, we'll offer practical guidelines related to the first of those five: earning. EARNING One of the things Scripture teaches us about earning is that it is God who gives us the ability to produce wealth. You'll find that exact phrase in Deuteronomy 8:18. And, if you think about it for a moment, you'll realize how obvious that truth is. It is God who created us. It is he who gives us the physical strength and the mental prowess to do productive work. And, it's been my observation that he seems to give most people a natural bent toward a certain type of work. For example, some people are very detail-oriented and make good research assistants and accountants. Some people are very personable. They make good salespeople. Some people are brainy. They make for good scholars. These natural inclinations can be fostered and refined, but we don't come up with them ourselves. It's something God puts into us and not just for work-related purposes. Our natural traits may have other applications. But the point is, these things are gifts from God gifts that can help us make our way in the world. This is why we should always be humble about our success in the work world. As Christians we know that everything flows from God. The Apostle Paul touches on this idea in his first letter to the Corinthians when he asks, What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? Of course, you and I are responsible for taking what God has given us and using it to the fullest. Typically that will involve honing our skills and also gaining new ones. And we must do things concerning a job like show up on time, work diligently, and be trustworthy, knowing that how we work is a means of honoring God. GOD'S OWNERSHIP We also need to recognize that whatever we earn whether it comes to us by our current labor, or by way of our investments, or what we receive from a pension, or even by way of Social Security benefits is not really ours. Our earnings really belong to God the One who has given us the ability to make wealth. He entrusts those earnings to us to use as stewards on his behalf. GIVING STARTS WITH EARNING The 18th-century preacher and theologian John Wesley once wrote a sermon titled The Use of Money. In it, he urged Christian believers to do three things. He said, "Having, first, gained all you can, and secondly saved all you can, then give all you can." In other words, the pathway to saving sufficiently and giving generously begins with gaining that is to say, earning, as much as we can. Now, we all know that earning potential will differ from person to person, based on one's skills and career field, and also on things such as one's health and family responsibilities. But to the highest degree possible, we should apply ourselves to earning what we can so that we can take care of loved ones, save for the future, and be generous. If we are able-bodied and of working age, we should seek to earn money through diligent, honorable work, all the while seeing our work as part of our stewardship over what God has entrusted to us. Next Monday, we'll continue with our teaching on the first principles of being financially faithful. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it legally permissible for a church to rent space to a commercial tennant? ● Is title lock insurance a wise thing to buy? ● How do you determine exactly how long it will take to pay off an auto loan when adding extra money to the monthly payment? ● How should you tithe on retirement investment proceeds? ● Does it make sense to use retirement funds to pay off credit card debt? ● Are I-bonds a good option for low-income people to save for retirement? ● Where is the best place to place or invest savings roughly 10 years before retirement? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor ● Christian Credit Counselors ● Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Avoid Crowds, Save Money This Summer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2022 25:12

    Have you decided on a vacation destination yet this summer? If not, you can still save money by avoiding the crowds. We'll offer some tips and advice on that today on MoneyWise. So, a court order has lifted the mask mandate on planes, trains, and buses. With restrictions easing, travelers are expected to be out in force this summer. In fact, a NerdWallet surveyfound that, incredibly, 7 out of 10 Americans are making plans for leisure travel in the next 12 months. Travel is up and so are prices! Rapidly rising oil prices are expected to have a big impact on travel costs this summer. That's putting upward pressure on airline ticket prices and what you're paying at the pump. STAYING ON BUDGET That said, it could be difficult to stay within your vacation budget this summer unless you choose a destination far from the madding crowd. Going where others aren't could just be your ticket to saving money this summer. If a spot is popular, you can expect to pay higher prices for travel there and lodging once you arrive. It's simple economics supply and demand. AVOID THE CROWDS So let's start our search for vacation destinations by eliminating a few places where you're likely to have trouble staying on budget. Heading that list is Mexico. If you can believe it, occupancy rates for vacation rentals in Mexico are up 40-percent over 2019. In fact, they're actually higher now than in 2019. If you're planning to stay in the U.S. this summer, the avoid the crowds rule remains in effect. That's why it's no surprise that the most expensive domestic destinations are all big cities. The top five include: New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami, but avoiding any big city will likely make staying on budget much easier. You might also want to avoid what TheTravel.com calls the most overrated vacation spots in the U.S., and again, these all have big crowds. They include iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Times Square in New York, the Four Corners Monument where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet in one spot, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, and either of the two Disney theme parks. EARLY BOOKING = PRICIER Speaking of booking, it's a general rule that to find a vacancy, you want to book as far ahead as possible, and that makes sense for availability. But did you know that the farther ahead you lock in your reservation, the more likely you are to pay top rates? It's true. On the other hand, the closer you are to your vacation dates, the less you'll pay. Now, the reason for this is simple. Airline seats and hotel rooms are highly perishable items. If they go unsold on a given day, they're gone forever and can never be sold on that day again. That's why prices fall as a given date nears. And that rule is especially true if vendors aren't seeing hordes of people clamoring for travel and lodging accommodations, which is the reason you can save money by staying off the beaten path. OFF THE BEATEN PATH Where would those destinations be? For starters, just about any national park. And you don't have to be a camper to enjoy them. Most have ample hotel and motel accommodations nearby. Topping this list, according to U.S. News, are the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Olympic and Sequoia National Parks. You can take in the glorious sights of God's creation from your car by stopping in dozens of scenic overlooks, or by day hiking the trails, then return to your comfy hotel room at the end of the day. Outside of our nation's parks, budget-friendly destinations include: ● St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S. ● Gatlinburg, Tennessee with a tramway that takes you from the town to the mountain tops) ● Nags Head on North Carolina's Outer Banks with great beaches and the nearby Wright Brothers Museum in Kitty Hawk ● And finally, Colorado Springs on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains. Those are all great places where you can get more for your vacation dollars while staying away from the crowds. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Would it be wise to reduce contributions to a retirement plan to build up an emergency fund? ● Does it make sense to take a company pension as a monthly payment or a lump sum? ● Is it wise to sell a rental property to pay off credit card debt, even though it would greatly reduce household income? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Inspire Insight ● Christian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Mortgage and Housing Update With Dale Vermillion

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 25:20

    There's no doubt this is a challenging time to buy a home, but could the situation be improving for homebuyers? We'll discuss that today with mortgage expert Dale Vermillion. Dale Vermillion is author of Navigating the Mortgage Maze: The Simple Truth About Financing Your Home. As far as we know, it's the only published book that looks at home buying from a biblical perspective. Dale says there are signs that the red-hot housing market may being cooling just a tad. ● Residential starts decreased 0.2% last month according to government data ● Applications to build fell 3.2% ● Zillow's home value forecast calls for a gradual slowdown in annual home value growth from the current pace of 20.9% to 11.6% growth through April 2023. ● Over the next three months, Zillow expects home values to grow 5.2%, down from 5.5% growth in the previous month's forecast. ● Zillow's forecast for existing home sales has been lowered as well, to 5.73 million sales in 2022. That would mark a 6.4% decrease from 2021. These are all signs that home values will likely moderate some in the months ahead, but working against would-be home buyers are mortgage rate increases. RISING INTEREST RATES After a long and sustained period of incredibly low interest rates, there was really nowhere to go but up. And as the Federal Reserve looks to battle rising inflation, they have no choice but to elevate rates. It's difficult to predict when we'll see the rise in mortgage rates begin to level off. But Vermillion says many analysts predict that by the fourth quarter of 2022, we'll see rate rises taper off, likely settling off somewhere in the low 5s (percent) or perhaps the high 4s. Many industry expects believe that's where interest rates will be in 2023, but that prediction is far from unanimous, and of course, only God knows for certain what the future will bring. Still, compared to historical rates, interest rates are likely to remain relatively low into next year. TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY How do you decide to rent or buy a home in this market? - Start with a sound household budget - Do you have at least 20% for a downpayment? - Can you purchase without becoming house poor? - Create a house-buying budget. Decide what you can and will offer. Don't get caught up in the emotion of bidding wars. - Talk to a tax preparer about the tax benefits of homeownership and how that factors into the decision. The tax benefits may increase with rising interest rates. Vermillion says it likely only makes financial sense to buy a home if you plan to live in it for at least 7 years. To be more competitive as a buyer: - Make sure your credit is in the best shape possible to keep your interest rate as low as possible - Make sure you have a strong down payment - Have a pre-approval in place, not just a pre-qualification - Check out local homebuyer incentive programs You can read a lot more about landing the right house with the right mortgage in his book, Navigating the Mortgage Maze. And learn more about Dale at DaleVermillion.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is day trading always tantamount to gamblign? Is it biblically wrong? ● Where should you deposit money from a cash settlement to ensure it's safe but liquid and accessible? ● How you can you invest a small amount of money conservatively? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● NerdWallet ● Discover online savings ● TreasuryDirect.gov Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Aligning and Igniting Your Generosity Passions With Eric Most

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 25:19

    2 Corinthians 8:2 says, For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. In that passage, the Apostle Paul is writing about the joyful giving by the impoverished Macedonian church for relief of the saints. It's a message that should inspire us today. We'll talk about that with Eric Most. of the Eric Most is president of National Christian Foundation (NCF) Rocky Mountains, based in Denver. Eric's passionate about spreading God's glory throughout the nations, and he's an expert in mobilizing resources to help you participate in that more fully through your giving. In the passage quoted above, Paul is writing to the wealthy Corinthian church about the generosity of the poor Macedonian churches. We live in the wealthiest nation in history, so Paul could just as well have written that to us. Paul writes about the joy of giving, especially sacrificial giving. And Eric Most says we can still experience that kind of joy today. BE INTENTIONAL It's important to be intentional about our giving. Think about the things you're passionate about; the causes the Lord has placed on your heart. He encourages Christians to start by supporting their local church. But beyond that, give a lot of intentional thought (and prayer!) to how and where you will give. When you're intentional about your giving; when you have plan for how and where you'll give, it's also okay to say no sometimes. If God has placed a different giving opportunity on your heart, and you're clear about that and have a plan for your giving, you don't need to feel guilty about passing up a particular opportunity to give. Eric says developing a family mission or passion statement can really help you to clarify where your giving dollars should primarily be devoted. NCF offers practical expertise and guide books to help you develop a plan for your giving and maximize the impact of your gifts. Also communicate with your family to find out what each member of your family is passionate about supporting. Teach your kids the joy of giving. Think about the legacy and the impact that, by God's grace and for His glory, you're trying to create. Once you find your giving passion and make a plan, you can also leave room in your giving budget for those times when the Holy Spirit may prompt you to give outside of that plan. Here are a few things you can do today at NCFgiving.com: ● Open a Giving Fund at NCF (donor-advised fund) to start granting to the causes you care about ● Visit the Generosity Library for a curated collection of books, podcasts, videos, and more ● Start a conversation with to explore your unique giving opportunities and questions For general help and guidance in creating your giving plan and strategy, visit Ncfgiving.com/strategy. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it wise to use a lump sum of money for home improvements? ● How do you determine the best way to give to one family member without making others feel you're treatment family members unequally or unfairly? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Capitol One 360 Checking Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    A Small Beginning To Investing

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 25:16

    Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10. That passage refers to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The old wept, knowing it wouldn't have the grandeur of the old temple. Is there a lesson here about investing? We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. INADEQUATE RETIREMENT SAVINGS A Bankrate survey has shown that Americans are saving far too little for retirement. About a third of us save 10% or less of our income. One in five save 5% or less, and a full 20% of Americans are saving nothing at all. You don't want to be in those groups. And this is a lesson about starting small. If you think you need hundreds or thousands of dollars to start investing, and you're living paycheck to paycheck, you'll never get started. The good news is you don't need that kind of money. GETTING STARTED But you do need to get started because financial security requires investing putting your money to work and allowing compound earning to grow what you invest. This starts with getting on a budget that enables you to spend less than you earn. Your budget, or spending plan, will determine how much discretionary income you have left over after you've paid all of your monthly expenses. By the way, the free MoneyWise app is a great way to set up your budget. It has three different options for budgeting and one of them will be perfect for you. We have trained volunteers to help you set up a budget and find ways to spend less for the things you need, so you can invest. The only charge is for a simple workbook you need to get started. Just go to MoneyWise.org to sign up with one of our coaches. DON'T BE AFRAID TO START SMALL Even if you barely have anything left over after the bills are paid, no matter. It's okay to start small!! You can even start investing with pennies. How do you do that? Start putting your spare change in a cookie jar or coffee can. You might be shocked to see how much is in there after just a month or so. And I would advise against using one of those coin counting machines at the grocery store that give you a voucher you can redeem at customer service for paper dollars. They take 8 to 11 percent of your money, and you don't want to start investing with a loss like that! So you take your rolled up coins to the bank and deposit them in your account. Now this is important: You have to move that money to someplace where you don't see it. So can set up an IRA at an online bank like Ally Bank, Marcus or Capitol One 360 Checking. You can choose a target date fund that's pegged to the year you expect to retire, and the account will manage itself. You can sit back and watch your earnings grow. If you use all of your coins in parking meters, you can try the five-dollar bill rule. Every time you get a 5-dollar bill in change, you can't spend it. Instead, it goes in the cookie jar. Then at the end of the month, you deposit your cookie jar money just like you would your spare change. Also, I know a lot of folks use debit cards for everything these days and they handle very little cash. No worries! You still have several micro investing options. You can check out Acorns, an app that links to your debit or credit card accounts. Every time you use the card, Acorns rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar. It then transfers that tiny extra amount to a savings or investment account, automatically. That's especially helpful, because most brokerages require a minimum deposit to start, often thousands of dollars. In addition to Acorns, there's Betterment. It also has no minimum investment and charges a low .25% management fee. Then there's Stash. It requires only $5 to get started and you can invest for as little as $1 a month. And one more: RobinHood. It's not a so-called robo-adviser, like the others. You have to pick your own investments. But, there's no minimum deposit required and all transactions are free. So those are all good low cost or no cost investing opportunities for folks invest small. We hope you'll get started today! On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it wise to invest in silver or gold given soaring government spending and its potential future impact on the value of the US Dollar? ● How do you determine if your mortgage payoff amount is accurate? ● How should you balance paying down your mortgage with investing for retirement? ● What is the wisest way to finance significant home repairs? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The Problem With Possessions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 25:23

    Buying something we really want can be exciting in the moment, but the joy of material possessions has a very short life. Once obtained, the excitement begins to wane. We'll talk fleeting joy vs lasting fulfillment today on MoneyWise. The Roman statesman Pliny the Younger once said, An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. We don't often quote ancient pagan authors, but we'll make an exception when they agree with a biblical financial principle. In this case, that possessions have no real lasting value. FLEETING JOY Jesus gives a long discourse on how we should view earthly possessions in Luke 12. In verse 15 he says, Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. And he goes on to say that we shouldn't worry about what we will eat, or drink, or wear, because the Father already knows of those needs and He will provide. Jesus says, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. And in 1 John 2 we're told, Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Martin Luther certainly knew this when he wrote I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God's hands that I still possess. Luther was merely restating a profound biblical principle, that earthly possessions are fleeting. We're not saying you should sell all you have and live a life of poverty. But it's important to know that possessions always present a problem. THE TYRANNY OF STUFF Things demand attention. You have to store them, clean them, maintain them and fix them, and if you're not careful you'll find that acquiring things tends to push God out of first place in your life. God alone wants to meet our needs and give us peace and fulfillment. He wants to spend time with us and use us in his grand plan for the universe. That gets knocked aside if we look for fulfillment in cars, houses, electronics, new clothes and recreational shopping. Physical things can never meet spiritual needs. We can put this principle into practice through planning and action. PLANNING AND ACTION The first action should be prayer. As believers, we must do this daily anyway, but include your finances in your prayer time with the Lord. Do it together with your spouse if you're married. Seek agreement on how you should manage your money. Planning means having a budget. It's the only sure way to avoid overspending on things you don't really need. Part of it should be a plan for what you'll do with extra money, even if you don't see it yet. The free MoneyWise app is a great tool for helping you develop your spending plan. Look for MoneyWise biblical finance where you get your apps. And if you need more help, you can also sign up with one of our volunteer coaches at MoneyWise.org. STEPS TO KEEP POSSESSIONS IN CHECK Here are some more practical steps to prevent possessions from taking over your life: - We've talked about the 30-day rule before. Wait that long before you buy something you don't absolutely need. The desire will probably go away. Also, reflect on stuff you bought in the past and consider how long it kept you fulfilled. - If you're married, make sure your spouse is aware of everything you purchase. That alone may limit your spending on unnecessary things. You and your spouse should agree on spending. Try to find middle ground if you're at odds over something. - Avoid becoming house poor. Keep your mortgage including principal, interest taxes and insurance at or below 25% of your take home pay. - Only replace things when they no longer function, not when you want a newer, shinier model. Our friend Howard Dayton likes to talk about how he held onto cars until the wheels fell off. - And finally, ask God to help you be more generous. It's counter-intuitive, but the key to breaking the chains of materialism is generosity. You'll find that giving away money and things opens your heart and actually does something to you spiritually which makes giving far more fulfilling and fun than buying things. Well, we hope these ideas will help you avoid many of the problems that possessions can bring both financial and spiritual. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Should you pay off a credit card balance from savings or just pay it down monthly? ● How can you access your credit score? ● What can you do to eliminate your debt without adversely impacting your credit score? ● Will opening a new credit card help your credit score? ● Will closing credit card accounts adversely affect your credit rating? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Credit Karma ● Christian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Take My Yoke and Learn From Me

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 25:35

    In Matthew 11, Jesus says, Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me. Today on MoneyWise, we'll talk about what that might mean with regard to money. There are plenty of practical things you can learn about money by reading books or even listening to the radio! And those practical things are important things like preparing a budget, managing cash flow, and participating in a company-sponsored retirement plan. But you can do all those things wisely and still fall short of being a faithful steward. BEING A DISCIPLE That's because, from a Christian perspective, how we handle money is part of our ongoing discipleship. Disciples are learners. In fact, the word comes to us from a Latin word that means scholar that is, one who studies a particular area and gains expertise. Now, as Christian disciples, what are we learning about? Well, to state it most succinctly, we are learning about Jesus who he is, what he did, what he taught, and what that means for us. To use Jesus' own words, he is the way, the truth, and life. And, to use a proclamation that has resonated down through the ages in the Church, Jesus is Lord. JESUS' LORDSHIP Being a disciple involves recognizing that Jesus is Lord over not just so-called spiritual things, but over everything everything you are and everything you have. That includes our finances. Jesus tells us that we can trust God to be our provider. That doesn't mean we can sit around and be lazy, but it does mean God knows our needs and he will make a way financially for those who love and serve him. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us we don't need to worry. Look at the birds of the air, he says. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. And he asks, Are you not much more valuable than they? Jesus also calls us to radical generosity. Remember how he commended the poor widow who gave all she had? And what about his challenge to Give and it will be given unto you? Jesus also calls us to a life of financial faithfulness. Recall his parable in Luke 19 about a man of royalty who went away for a time and entrusted financial resources to his servants? Put this money to work, he said, until I come back. You and I should see ourselves in that parable. The Lord has assigned us a task. Our job is to be as faithful to that task as we can. A WORD OF WARNING Now, Jesus said many other things about money. But let's conclude with this a warning about what money can do us if we don't approach with an attitude of financial faithfulness, trust in God, and radical generosity. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says this: No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. And then he drove the point home with this very clear application: You cannot serve both God and money. The word money here is actually the Greek mammon. The idea it carries is broader than just money itself. It has to do with all the things money can buy and the attitude that it can foster in us that having money makes me, in the words of an old poem, the master of my fate and the captain of my soul. You can see why Jesus said, You cannot serve both God and money or mammon. A mindset that money puts me in charge of my life goes against the very essence of Christian discipleship. We are not masters of our own fate or captains of our own souls. Jesus is our master. He is our captain. He is Lord. So, by all means, learn the practical aspects of managing money. But always remember that, for the disciple of Jesus, managing money well is part of something much, much larger. It's about serving him who is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is Lord. And so we gladly take [his] yoke and learn from him, recognizing that he loves us and he is with us every step of the way. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What are the rules surrounding Social Security as a spousal benefit? ● What is the best way to honor God with your tithe when you're not yet rooted in a church in a new town? ● How do you determine the best way to invest expendable income in a volatile market? ● When does it make sense to invest in an IRA instead of a TSP? ● Is Bitcoin a wise investment? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Big Demand for Boomerangs

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2022 25:35

    Millions of workers have left their jobs looking for better opportunities, and it's putting retirees in great demand. We'll discuss how that may impact you today on MoneyWise. AN UNPRECEDENTED EMPLOYEE SHORTAGE We've talked about the Great Resignation before. Due in part to the pandemic and increasing work from home opportunities, folks have been resigning in historic numbers. That's led to an employment gap at all experience levels that employers have yet to fill. A recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls this a workforce crisis and says The most critical and widespread challenge facing businesses is the inability to hire qualified workers for open jobs they need to fill. There are now more than 11-million open jobs in the U.S. That's nearly twice as many as the number of unemployed workers. So it's not surprising that employers would look to retirees as one solution to the worker shortage, if they can get them to un-retire. There's even a name for retirees returning to the workforce:. BOOMERANG EMPLOYEES And in many cases, hiring back the boomerang employees is actually preferred over taking on younger, entry level employees. Retirees, especially recent retirees, already have the skill-set needed for the job and experience at solving problems. They also tend to have lower training costs and greater productivity. But why would retirees return to a job they've already decided to leave? Well, some do it for financial reasons. They simply need the money as today's high inflation rate eats into their buying power. Others discover that retirement isn't all it was cracked up to be and they feel unfulfilledor bored. Employment experts say the high demand for retirees gives them a definite advantage in these negotiations and they know that they can be choosy about what conditions they'll accept. And just because retirees get calls from their former companies doesn't mean that's where they end up. Less than half of retirees thinking about going back to work would consider their past workplace. Nearly two-thirds said they'd look for opportunities somewhere else. They can do it, too, because again, the pandemic has enabled millions to work from home who didn't have that opportunity before. Employers have accepted the fact that many jobs can be done anywhere there's a wifi connection. OPPORTUNITIES You don't necessarily have to be a recent retiree to benefit from this trend, either. Many employers are offering training opportunities, especially technology training, to those who've been out of the workforce for longer periods of time. The Great Resignation is giving retirees opportunities they've never had before without having to go look for them. In many cases they just need to keep their resumes and LinkedIn profiles up to date. Employers are coming to them. WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU? So if you're retired and thinking about going back to work, how do you decide what's best for you? Answering a few questions first can help. Do you want to work full-time or just part-time? How flexible do your hours need to be? Working from home, many people have found they can pretty much set their own hours, just as long as the job gets done on time. You also have to think about compensation. If you're receiving Social Security benefits but haven't reached full retirement age yet, your benefits will be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn above $19,560. You'll get that money back after you reach full retirement age, at which point you can earn any amount without your benefits being reduced. So the pandemic led to the Great Resignation, which led to a big increase in boomerangs. There's a sentence you never thought you'd hear. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Does it make sense to withdraw money from a 401k early to pay off a home loan? ● How should you invest a lump sum of cash on behalf of a teenager? ● Should you prioritize paying off a mortgage or investing more for retirement? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The Love of Money

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 25:18

    Mark 4:19 says, The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Jesus' warning in the Parable of the Sower teaches that the love of money makes us useless to the Kingdom of God. We'll talk about how to avoid that today on MoneyWise. FINANCIAL LESSONS IN PARABLES Jesus talked about money second only to the Kingdom of God. So it's not surprising that the subject of money and possessions is so prevalent in His Parables. Not everyone agrees on the exact number of parables in the Gospels as the definitions of what constitutes a parable differ, but 40 is probably a safe number. Of those 40 parables, nearly half directly address money. Think of the pearl of great price, the lost coin, the silver talents and of course, the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4. THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER In that parable, Jesus talks about four kinds of soil where the sower casts his seed. Let's look at each of them and what they mean. In verses 3 and 4 we read, Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it The hard soil in this passage is usually seen to represent someone who is hardened by sin. He hears the Word but doesn't understand it. It sits on the surface and becomes bird food. The birds, of course, are usually seen to represent Satan, plucking away those lost in sin. Then in verses 5 through 7, Jesus says, Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Here, the stony soil represents someone who at first seems to take great delight in hearing God's Word, but his heart doesn't follow along. He has no foundation, so when trouble or hardships come along, he loses his faith. Hardship, of course, can be many things, but very often, it takes the form of financial difficulty. It could be a job loss, a business failure or in so many cases, debt. Without a firm foundation in God's Word, particularly God's financial principles, what seemed to be rock solid faith disappears in the rocky soil. Okay, now we come to the third soil. In Mark 4:7, Jesus says, Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. At this point, we might not think Jesus is talking about finances, but several verses later he goes into more depth about each type of soil. In verses 18 and 19, He addresses the third soil, saying, And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. So there's no question that Jesus is talking about the danger of loving money more than God. The Gospel is choked out not only by the worries of this life, and more specifically by the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things. The warning is that achieving great financial success can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than having financial difficulties. That's because when we acquire wealth our sin nature makes us want to believe that we did it all on our own. So while we may have great wealth, there's no fruit. We're proven unfaithful. There's nothing wrong with acquiring wealth. Money itself is neither good nor bad. More on that in a minute. THE FOURTH SOIL Now, you can avoid becoming any of these first three soils by being the fourth. Jesus describes it in verse 20, saying, But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. We want to bear fruit in all of our Christian walk, but we should pay particular attention to our finances because Jesus did so in this parable. We have to remember that God owns everything and that He is sovereign. We have to remain grateful and generous with those resources. The more generous we are, the less of a stranglehold finances will have on us. Giving breaks the hold of materialism. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What is a good option for an online savings account or loan? ● Does it make sense to break up I-bond purchases in smaller increments? ● How can you invest in a way that is consisten with your values? ● As a government employee, should you invest money outside of a TSP? ● How do you go about starting a nonprofit organization? ● Should you prioritize building up an emergency fund or paying off credit card debt? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Ally Bank ● Capitol One 360 Checking ● Marcus ● BankRate.com ● NerdWallet.com ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor ● Christian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Workplace Changes Here To Stay

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 25:20

    Many of the changes brought on by COVID were temporary but some are here to say. That's especially true in the workplace. We'll talk about those likely permanent changes today on MoneyWise. Due to office shutdowns during the pandemic, employers bent over backwards to keep work flowing, giving employees much greater flexibility, including working from home, like never before. It was a trend already underway to a limited extent, but analysts say the pandemic catapulted the workplace years or decades into the future practically overnight. HERE TO STAY Organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz, the guy who coined the term the Great Resignation, now says many of those changes are here to stay. Klotz predicted a year ago this month that COVID would spark mass resignations. He sure got that one right. A record 48 million workers left their jobs in 2021, and the trend continues, with four and a half million of them saying I quit this past March alone. Employers are paying a lot more attention to the needs of employees in an effort to retain them and recruit new hires, instituting policies to help with physical, mental and financial health. Klotz says the result is a series of changes that might not have taken place for another 30 years, most notably job flexibility and expanded work-from-home opportunities. The result is that millions of workers have now learned they can do their jobs anywhere. WORKING REMOTELY It's not a matter of keeping them down on the farm. Workers have proven they can be productive on a farm or anywhere else, like the kitchen table or even the local coffee shop. All they need is broadband Internet. Rather than returning to the office, millions of workers are moving to the suburbs and rural areas, keeping their jobs without having to commute. Or they're looking for new opportunities that allow them to work remotely. For employees that must come into the office, employers have stepped up onsite changes, including things like a 4-day work week and greater flexibility with hours. It's not like they have a choice. A study by CareerBuilder showed that job announcements giving employees work-from-home opportunities now draw seven times more applications than onsite positions. And they the gamut of fields, with managers, tutors and therapists being among the most popular with applicants looking for remote work opportunities. Applicants are insisting on flexibility and wellness like never before. A LinkedIn survey found that nearly two-thirds of job seekers now say that the chance to better balance work and home life is a top priority. Many other departing workers have cited low pay, a lack of advancement opportunity and employer disrespect as the chief reasons they quit. Another change sparked by COVID is the huge increase in the number of people leaving jobs to start their own businesses. The Census Bureau reports that applications to form new businesses hit 5.4 million in 2021. So by now you're probably wondering just who are these companies offering perqs like work-from-home and hour flexibility? It's no surprise at all that topping the list is Zoom Video Communications. Dell computers is also on the list, along with the travel app Hopper. Intuit is also in the mix, offering work from home for tax professionals, including attorneys and CPAs. The health field is well-represented. United Health, Trusted Health and BroadPath Health Solutions are all giving their employees the opportunity to work from home, among other benefits. That's what's happening in today's workforce. We hope you can put some of that information to use. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What's the difference between a standard financial advisor and a Kingdom Advisor? ● How do you recalculate Social Security benefits if you reenter the workforce after beginning to draw SS benefits? ● Is there a way to avoid capital gains tax on the sale of a rental property? ● If your employer doesn't offer a 401k plan, where should you invest? ● What can you do about a late income tax refund? ● Should you hire a professional to handle your taxes or do it yourself using online software? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The DNA of Saving?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 25:25

    Is there such a thing as a saving gene, a piece of DNA that makes a person put something aside for a rainy day? Sadly, no. We don't inherit good savings habits. We have to learn them. We'll talk about it today on MoneyWise. Saving begins with having the right attitude, one that makes you want to hang on to those hard-earned dollars. So the next time you're at work, think about why you're working, and it's probably not so you can spend frivolously. Both spending and saving are governed by habit. The more you do something, the easier it gets. CHANGING ENGRAINED HABITS Now, have you noticed that it's really tough to break a bad habit by just not doing it? It leaves a void. It's actually much easier to replace one habit for another. In this case, you want to replace the bad habit of frivolous spending or impulse buying with the positive habit of saving. Obviously, you will need to be on a spending plan to get started. You have to know your income and necessary expenses each month, and that will tell you how much discretionary income you have. That's your spending plan. START WITH A SPENDING PLAN And there's no better way to set up your spending plan than with the free MoneyWise app. It has three different ways, including a digital envelope system, that you can use to put together your budget. Once your budget is in place, with the discretionary income you have left over, you can develop your saving plan. Don't think of it as saving just to save. Instead, set goals for yourself. First is your emergency fund. Start with a goal of $1500. Then a month's worth of expenses, then another, until you have 3 to 6 months living expenses in the bank. Notice how that saving plan is incremental and starts small. That's important and very practical. START SMALL! Start with small, short-term, attainable goals. Trying to change too much too quickly often leads to failure and discouragement when it comes to changing habits. For example, don't think I'll save $1500 this year. Instead, think of it as just $30 a week. When it becomes routine to save $30 a week, increase it to 40 or 50-dollars a week until you establish that habit. Having short term, attainable goals like that is a natural brake on your spending. You'll want to hold off on impulse buying so you can stay on budget and reach your weekly savings goal. BE CAREFUL Be very careful with debit cards. If yo're using the MoneyWise app, it will alert you when you overspend in a category, but why not avoid it in the first place? Write yourself a sticky note that says, Have I reached my savings goal this week or this month? That little reminder can take the fun right out of over-spending. Here's something else a lot of people don't realize. The urge to buy a particular item usually has a shelf life. It will go away. So for small purchases, give yourself a 24-hour rule. Put it on hold for a day and see if you still want it tomorrow. Often, you won't. For larger purchases, you can use the 30-day rule. It says to wait a month before buying anything over $100, unless it's an absolutely necessary expense. Here's another trick. While you're in that waiting period, don't think about the price tag just in terms of money. You can also think about how expensive the item is in terms of your time. Divide your weekly paycheck by 40 so you know how much you net per hour. Then consider how many hours you'll have to work to pay for that expenditure. Keeping those things in mind will definitely take the fun out of impulse buying. But remember, you're replacing that short-lived fun with the satisfaction of knowing that you're reaching your savings goals and staying out of debt! Saving isn't a genetic trait. It's an acquired habit, but it's one you can learn! After awhile, it will become part of your financial DNA. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Are you able to get a portion of your spouse's Social Security benefits? How does that work? ● Should you roll over a 403b account into an IRA? ● After paying off a house, does it make sense use freed up money for a car purchase? ● How should you manage financing surrounding an addition to your home? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor ● Ally Bank ● Capitol One 360 Checking ● Marcus Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Capital Gains Loophole?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 25:35

    The capital gains tax has always been controversial. Some want it higher, some want it lower, and some wish it would just go away. When you buy something that appreciates in value, then sell it, that's a capital gain which is usually subject to taxes. But there's a loophole. We'll explain straigh ahead on MoneyWise. First, a definition. What's a loophole exactly? It's an escape clause that Congress leaves in the tax code, either intentionally or unintentionally, that gives us a break on taxes. And the loophole we're talking about here is called a step-up in basis on capital gains taxes. YOUR BASIS Your basis is what you pay for an asset minus any costs you incur to improve it. An example would be adding an addition to a rental home. That cost would be added to your basis when you sell the property, decreasing the amount of gain and the taxes you'd pay. Now, what's a step-up in basis? or stepped up basis? That's when the basis of an inherited asset is recalculated higher than the original price when the owner dies. The tax code specifies that the new basis is stepped up to the current market value of the asset. This holds true for stocks, bonds, real estate and other tangible property. The stepped up basis is one of the few breaks you'll find for capital gains in the tax code, so you always want to make the most of it when you can. Of course, it's possible that an inherited asset may have declined in value, but that's rarely the case. You don't have to be rich to benefit from the stepped up basis clause. Anyone who inherits a house from a parent then sells it can take advantage of the stepped up basis. HOW IT WORKS Let's look at how this works. Let's say Bob buys a share of stock for $10 and over the years, the share appreciates to $25. If Bob sells it, he'll pay capital gains tax on $15. That's based on the selling price of the stock, $25, minus his basis (what he paid for it), $10, for a taxable gain of $15. But now let's say that Bob doesn't sell. He holds on to the stock until he passes away, at which point the value is, again, $25. In his will, Bob left the stock to his niece, Susie, and she inherits it at the current market value of $25. If she then sells it, does she owe capital gains on the $15 the stock appreciated, like Bob would have? No. That's because the basis resets at the time of Bob's death to the current value of $25. If Susie then sells it, her gain is zero and so is her tax liability. The IRS gets nothing from the sale, and that is a rare thing. Now, there are certain provisions that can be good or bad for surviving spouses inheriting property, depending on the state where they live. Residents of nine community property states can take advantage of what's sometimes called a double step-up in basis rule, but really, it's just the full basis step up. It means that the full step-up in basis can be used by the surviving spouse on all assets the couple accrued during the marriage, except other inheritances and gifts. In all the other states, the surviving spouse would also get the full stepped up basis if the deceased spouse was the sole owner of the asset, but only half the stepped up basis if the asset was jointly owned. Let's use another example. John and Mary are a married couple and let's say they bought a rental home for $100,000, which appreciated in value to $200,000 at the time at the time John dies. Since the property was jointly owned, if Mary then sells it, she'd be entitled to just half of the stepped up basis, essentially, John's half. It would apply to only $100,000 of the home's $200,000 value. So the tax basis for the property would increase to only $150,000, not $200,000. Subtract the 150 from the sale price, and Mary will owe capital gains taxes on $50,000. THE TAKEAWAY Okay, we realize we've just given you a lot of provisions and numbers to digest, but the takeaway is that the stepped-up basis is a huge benefit for surviving heirs, and you don't have to be rich to be blessed by it. Anyone inheriting a an asset (a home, farm, small business, etc.) and then selling it would face a much bigger tax bill without the stepped-up basis provision. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What are your options to either trade in or refinance a car with a remaining balance? ● How should a young person begin saving for major expenses? ● What are the tax implications of a shared bank account upon the death of one of the account's co-owners? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Ally Bank ● Capitol One 360 Checking ● Marcus Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Money: A Double-Edged Sword

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 25:14

    English philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon wrote, Money is a great servant but a bad master. Perhaps the greatest decision you'll make about finances is will money serve you or will you serve money?To put it another way: Will money be a blessing to you or a curse? We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. IS MONEY A MASTER OR SERVANT? The First Commandment in Exodus 20:2 and 3 states, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. Because money can so easily become an idol in our lives a false god there's definitely a financial application for these verses. Money can become a lower case G god and master leading to spiritual destruction. In Matthew 6, Jesus warns, No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Obviously, that passage is about greed, but at a more basic level, it's also about idolatry. That's because idolatry is the root cause of many sins and greed is certainly included. In Ephesians 5:5, the Apostle Paul says, No immoral, impure or greedy personsuch a person is an idolaterhas any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. And Paul makes an even more direct connection in 1 Timothy 6, Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. So we see that money can, indeed, be a very bad master. THE POTENTIAL BLESSINGS But money is a double-edged sword. It can also be a great blessing. Remember, money itself is not evil. The LOVE OF MONEY is the problem. What we do with money can also be a spiritual barometer. Larry Burkett was fond of saying how you use money is an outward sign of an inward condition. And that's an idea that we struggle with a lot in Western society. God has given us so much in wealth and material resources, and along with that comes the great temptation to hang on to as much of it as we can. HOW TO BREAK THE CURSE Fortunately for us, God has modeled exactly how to break money's curse of greed and idolatry,and that's with generosity. He gave us His only Son that we might spend eternity in heaven with Him. What could possibly be more generous than that? So we see that giving is the antidote for greed. The Lord doesn't care how much money we have, but He's keenly interested in how we use it. In Luke 21, Jesus praises the poor widow for giving her two mites, which was all she had. To God, that was far more generous than the temple offerings of the rich Pharisees and Sadducees. So we see that money can be a blessing when it's used for good. It can provide clean drinking water for children around the world dying of disease. It can feed the poor and fund Bible translations for people starving for God's Word. God gives us His wealth and His resources to glorify Him, not indulge ourselves. Of course it's okay to enjoy some of what He's given us, but within reason. And when we give to further His kingdom, money actually becomes a double blessing, not only to the recipient, but to the giver, as well. Randy Alcorn's book Giving Is the Good Life is filled with stories of believers who once thought every penny they made belonged to them. But their testimonies reveal they were never satisfied thinking that way. It was only when they came to know the blessing of giving that they became truly happy, and experienced the good life. The point is that money only becomes a curse when we allow ourselves to love it more than we love God. But it becomes a blessing when we us it to show how much we love God. And generosity is the biggest tool the Lord has given us to accomplish that. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● How do you advise a friend who is inheriting a large sum of money? ● Is it wise to buy a home right now? ● Is there a point at which you no longer need life insurance? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Stop Helping Adult Children

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2022 24:57

    As parents, we always want to help our children. But at the same time, we don't want to encourage our children to have a slack hand. That sometimes leads to tough decisions. We'll talk about that today on MoneyWise. TO HELP OR NOT TO HELP? Some parents find great joy in helping their adult children financially, especially if a child has chosen a career field that doesn't pay very well. It's a joy that can be experienced while you're still living, as opposed to leaving an inheritance. The problem is that many parents are willing to help their kids even to the point of their own detriment, even when it jeopardizes their retirement. A recent Bank of America survey showed that more than half of parents are sacrificing their own financial security for children who should be supporting themselves. More than 3 out of 4 parents said they provided at least some financial support to their kids when they left the nest. This inability to cut the financial umbilical cord can have a detrimental impact on both parents and children. The kids may begin to expect regular financial handouts and become dependent on them. So much for the joy of helping. And as that survey showed, many parents are likely to go beyond the occasional financial gift, creating a pattern that threatens their own financial security. Too much help can also jeopardize the parents' marital relationship when one parent sees the need to put on the brakes, and the other wants to continue full speed ahead. In another survey by Bankrate, half of retired couples said they'd made or are making financial gifts to their kids that impacted their retirement savings. Sometimes this starts when the parents are in a strong place financially and they can easily afford helping their kids. But the recent pandemic showed that anyone's income can be negatively affected by unforeseen circumstances. In an economic downturn, the kids may be expecting more help. At the same time, parents are less able to afford it. And many parents will be reluctant to share their financial difficulties with their children. The effects of unbridled giving to kids can have long term consequences. Not only can it prevent parents from saving enough for retirement, it may also condition the kids to expect a lifestyle they can't afford. It may also lead them to make critical choices that inhibit their ability to earn more and become financially independent. All of this can also negatively impact the parent/child relationship. When financial support is expected, it's often not appreciated. Parents may then resent being taken for granted. TIME TO PULL BACK? Now, you may know that you've been helping your adult children too much and enabling them to remain dependent, but you're struggling with the idea of turning off the financial spigot. God's Word has encouragement and advice: Proverbs 22:6 tells us, Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. It's never too late to start teaching your children financial responsibility. And Proverbs 29:15 reads, The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. God wants and expects you to help your children achieve independence. In their book, Beyond Success and Failure: Ways to Self-Reliance and Maturity, Marguerite and Willard Beecher write that parents need to gain freedom from their children so that children can be free of their parents. The parent has to take the first step. They also maintain that parents shouldn't do anything for a child that he or she might do for themselves and profit from it. So you may have a weaning process ahead of you. You might begin to give incrementally less to your adult but still dependent child or you can set a deadline when all financial help will stop. Either way, you're likely to experience some bumps in the road, but the payoff will be worth it. Then, start putting the extra money you'll have into your retirement account. When the day comes when you have to stop working, you'll need it more than your children will. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it a good security practice to divide your money between multiple checking accounts? ● Can paying off loans cause your credit to drop? ● Would it be wise to extend the benefits of a whole life policy? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Putting a Face On Corporate Engagement With Robert Netzly

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 25:27

    Elon Musk's agreement to buy Twitter is a warning shot for companies that ignore calls to end selective censorship practices. Today on MoneyWise, we'll talk about that and how you can join the fray with investing expert Robert Netzly. Robert Netzly is the CEO of Inspire Investing, an underwriter of this program. Netzly talks with Rob West about the Twitter news and points out that the social media giant isn't the only company facing a backlash these days. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking Disney to task after the company waded into politics and took sides with LGBT activists against a new parental rights law. You may not have the clout that a billionaire or a governor has, but you can have clout by joining with hundreds of thousands of others that share the convictions and beliefs that you want to be reflected in the corporations you invest in. STANDING TOGETHER Netzly says we can change companies, but we can't do it alone. We need to stand together in one voice. The potential power of biblically responsible investing is enormous. Christians and people of faith represent $21 trillion worth of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs in retirement accounts. which is immensely more than the $44 billion Elon Musk paid for Twitter. Together we can vote with our dollars and endorse good companies and engage the not good to change. Inspire is leading the charge to urge companies not to steer away from Christian or just traditional family values. One example of this is Smuckers. This is a major corporation with a long tradition of family-friendly values but appears to be caving to political pressure. Inspire is encouraging Christians to sign a petition at inspireinvesting.com/smuckers to urge Smuckers to stay true to its longstanding principles. But Netzly says it's also important to proactively support and invest in companies that are following biblical principles and making the world a better place. GET INVOLVED To learn more about biblically responsible investing and to get involved in this movement, visit Inspire's website at InspireInsight.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● What should you do with a lump sum of money just before retirement after paying off your mortgage? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to Questions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Consumer Debt Rising with Neile Simon

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 25:37

    Americans are starting to break out the plastic again, and that means consumer debt is once again on the rise. Today on MoneyWise, Neile Simon with Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors joins us to discuss how you can get help with getting out of credit card debt. Neile Simon is is a Certified Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors. Simon shares the latest figures on U.S. personal debt. SURGING PERSONAL DEBT In one month alone debt levels jumped by over $40 billion to a total of nearly $4.5 trillion. That's an annual increase of 11.3%, far higher than was predicted and setting a new high. There are two types of consumer debt: Non-revolving debt, which includes things like car and student loans. That debt grew by about 8.5% to nearly $3.5 trillion in February alone! But revolving debt shot up far higher. Credit cards and other types of revolving loans jumpedby over 20% to more than $1 trillion in a single month!This is a fast-rising trend. The January increase was only about 4% WHAT'S CAUSING THIS? Analysts believeinflation, now at a 40-year high, is a major culprit. Prices for almost everything have shot up, putting a strain on budgets. Prices at the pump are especially painful right now. WHAT'S THE SOLUTION? Most people will have to tweak their budgets to adapt to the new reality of rising prices. Some categories will need to be cut to account for higher costs in other categories. The important thing is to stay on a spending plan and find a way to spend less than you earn. PLEASE do not think of credit cards as a solution to an income shortfall. That will only make the problem worse. But what if you're already buried under substantial credit card debt. What's the solution? IS DEBT SETTLEMENT THE ANSWER? We're getting more calls these days about debt settlement. But Simon says debt settlement (which is different from credit counseling) is not the solution either. Debt settlement may lower your monthly payment, but it often leads to paying more interest overall. It also puts you at risk of continuing to use consumer debt to make ends meet, ultimately digging an even deeper hole. CHRISTIAN CREDIT COUNSELING Christian Credit Counselors doesn't do debt settlement. When people sign up with Christian Credit Counselors, they will work with their creditors to dramatically lower interest rates and arrive at one affordable monthly payment. CCC has existing arrangements with all major credit card issuers to lower your interest rates. Clients ultimately pay less interest and are typically able to pay off card debt up to 80% faster than by doing it themselves. For more information, visit their website atChristianCreditCounselors.orgor call 800-557-1985. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How much actual cash should you keep on hand? ●Does it make sense to take money out of retirement investments to pay for moving costs when going into full-time ministry? ●Can you move 401k funds into an I-bond? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Pyramid Schemes Still Exist

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 25:16

    While we may not hear as much about pyramid schemes these days, make no mistake, they're alive and well. Today on MoneyWise, we'll help you spot the warning signs to avoid being a victim of these schemes. The biggest reason folks fall for pyramid schemes is greed. It's the desire to make a quick buck. Solomon sure knew what he was talking about when he wrote Proverbs 21:5,Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty. THE PYRAMID SCHEME Pyramid schemes are sometimes also called Ponzi schemes, named after Charles Ponzi who operated in the early 1920s. Posing as an investing expert, Ponzi guaranteed clients a 50% profit within 45 days or 100% profit within 90 days. The first people to buy in actually received those returns, but Ponzi was actually paying those folks with the investments of later investors. As long as greedy people continued to invest, the scheme went on. But that meant more and more investors had to be paid, and when not enough new people were lured in, the whole thing collapsed, as all pyramid schemes do. By that time, the scheme had gone on for over a year and cost investors $20 million. That would be $270 million in today's dollars.Of course, all of this is highly illegal and Ponzi eventually served many years in prison. Many such schemes aren't quite as blatant or obvious as they once were, but they definitely still exist. The leopard has merely changed his spots. LEGITIMATE MULTI-LEVEL OR PYRAMID SCHEME? It's almost impossible to google pyramid scheme without getting hits that also contain the phrase multi-level marketing. And that's for good reason. Many so-called MLMs are actually pyramid schemes in disguise. The Federal Trade Commission is charged with protecting the public from such scams. It defines an MLM as a company that sells products or services through person-to-person sales. Some are legitimate, but some arenot. The FTC says a pyramid scheme MLM can look a lot like the legitimate version and may even sell actual products but warns thatit could cost you and the people you're pressed to recruit a good deal of time and money that you'll never get back. Pyramid scheme promoters will lure you with promises of how much you'll earn. They may tell you that you can quit your job and get rich by selling the company's products, but the FTC says that's a lie. They also say that most people who get taken in by a pyramid-style MLM eventually realize that they'll never be able to sell enough product or recruit enough new victims to make any real money. In the end, they lose everything they've put into becoming an independent distributor for the pyramid scheme. THE WARNING SIGNS So how do you spot one of these pyramid MLMs? The FTC has some warning signs: ●Promoters make extravagant promises about your earning potential. Don't be taken in. Those promises are false. ●Promoters emphasize recruiting new distributors for your sales network as the real way to make money. That's a dead giveaway. In a legitimate MLM program, your revenue would come from selling the product, not from recruiting family and friends. And think of the damage to those relationships if loved ones are also defrauded. ●Promoters play on your emotions and pressure you to buy-in now or you'll lose the opportunity of a lifetime. They'll discourage you from taking time to study the company. The FTC says if that happens, Leave by the nearest exit. Any company that tries to pressure you to join is one to avoid. ●And finally, distributors buy more products than they want to use or can resell, just to stay eligible for potential emphasispotential rewards or bonuses. You can't make money by selling to yourself. Those are the warning signs of a possible pyramid-style multi-level marketing operation. Forewarned is forearmed. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How do you know when you're on track to have sufficient retirement savings? ●How do you determine when it's time to retire? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    6 Principles for a Solid Investing Plan With Mark Biller

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 25:28

    Proverbs 21:5 tells us, Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty. That's one of the most quoted verses about investing, and with good reason. It lays the foundation for a successful investing plan. Today, Mark Biller joins us with 6 principles to help you steadily plod your way to a sound investment plan. Mark Biller is executive editor at Sound Mind Investing. 6 PRINCIPLES FOR INVESTING IN TURBULENT TIMES The SMI newsletter has an article with6 principles to help us keep a level head in turbulent times. The article begins with the idea that investing is like riding a roller coaster while wearing a blindfold. You can't tell when a steady incline will give way to a precipitous decline. Unfortunately, there's no way to make market volatility completely disappear it's an unavoidable part of investing for most people. But you can stay steady through the ups and downs by using a well-defined and disciplined investing strategy. Of course, there's no single strategy that is right for everyone. But every good long-term strategy incorporates six core principles. 1. DIVERSIFICATION:The first principle is that success doesn't come from hoping for the best, but from knowing how you'll handle the worst. What we mean by that is that since market downturns are an inevitable part of investing, your plan should account for that. The best way to do that is through diversification, which means purposely selecting a range of investments that march to different drummers. Holding different types of investments that tend to respond differently to economic events helps to smooth out the overall volatility of your portfolio. The hope is that if some of your investments zig, others will zag. Much of the modern investment business is built on research that shows there are ways to combine various types of assets in ways that reduce risk without sacrificing much in the way of returns. 2. CLEAR RULES:It's that your investment plan needs to have clear-cut, easy-to-understand rules. The more specific and actionable they are, the better you'll be able to make investment decisions quickly and with confidence. For example, instead of a plan that calls for significant investment in small-company stocks, try to define that more clearly. Perhaps instead the plan says, 30% of my portfolio will be invested in small-company stocks. That's straightforward and measurable, whereas the other is too open to interpretation. Also, your strategy should not only tell you what to invest in, but it should also offer precise guidance in telling you how much to invest and when to buy and sell. But even someone just plugging away in their 401k can do this by defining how much and how often they're making their contributions. 3. PLAN SHOULD REFLECT LIMITATIONS:Principle number three is that your investment plan must reflect your financial limitations. Never ignore the words higher risk. Every day, people who thought it'll never happen to me find just how wrong they were. Investing isn't a game where gains and losses are the means of keeping score. Money isn't an abstract commodity. For most of us, it represents years of work, hopes, and dreams. An unexpected financial loss can be devastating. So a good investment plan should discourage you from taking risks you can't afford. Your top financial priorities ought to be getting debt-free and building an emergency savings reserve. That's building the appropriate foundation that makes you financially strong enough to bear the risk of loss from investing. Possible exceptions might include contributing to a workplace retirement account, especially if your employer matches your contributions (essentially free money). 4. STAY WITHIN YOUR COMFORT ZONE:Your investment plan needs to keep you within your emotional comfort zone. Don't adopt a strategy that robs you of your peace and takes you past your good night's sleep level! If you do, you'll likely bail out at the worst possible time. The amount of risk you take should be consistent with your investing temperament and your season of life. That's why some sort of risk assessment is usually part of the startup process when you're working with a financial avisor. 5. PLAN MUST BE REALISTIC ON EXPECTED RETURNS:The fifth principle for a solid investment plan is it needs to be realistic concerning the level of return to expect. Over the years, we've occasionally had people ask us to recommend safe investments that will guarantee annual returns of 10%-12% or more. If by safe they mean there's no chance of the value of the investment falling, we don't know of any investments like that. Investments that are safe in that sense typically pay much less than 10-12%. That said, the recent spike in inflation has created a rare exception: I-Bonds, which currently yield close to 10%. Return and risk are inextricably linked. Investment vehicles that offer a higher rate of return than normal do that because they have to in order to entice investors to accept a higher level of risk. 6. START SMALL AND ASAP:Your plan should encourage you to begin investing with small amounts, so you can get started as soon as possible and take full advantage of the power of compound interest. One example in the article describes two young people named Jack and Jill. Jack started depositing into an IRA when he was really young, kept it up for just 10 years, and deposited about thirteen thousand dollars total. Jill waited until she was older to start an IRA, but then deposited way more than Jack $120,000 over 40 years. They both earned the same rate of return. Despite Jill depositing about 9 times more than Jack, his IRA ended up being slightly bigger at retirement. It's kind of a fanciful example designed to make a point more than offer a blueprint. But the point is a powerful one, and it's simply that Jack's earlier start, even with smaller amounts and fewer deposits, turned on the power of compounding much sooner. And time plus compounding can be a remarkable formula. And that brings us back full circle to Proverbs 21:5 that you started the program with: Steady plodding brings prosperity. Remember, it's never too late to start. Sure, the best time to start investing might have been 20 years ago, but the next best time to start investing is today! You can find more articles and investment advice atSoundMindInvesting.org. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●When does it make sense to surrender an annuity? ●What are good resources to access to learn more about wise financial management and investing? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●The Sound Mind Investing Handbook Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Avoid Crowds, Save Money This Summer

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 25:12

    Have you decided on a vacation destination yet this summer? If not, you can still save money by avoiding the crowds. We'll offer some tips and advice on that today on MoneyWise. So, a court order has lifted the mask mandate on planes, trains, and buses.With restrictions easing, travelers are expected to be out in force this summer. In fact, a NerdWalletsurveyfound that, incredibly, 7 out of 10 Americans are making plans for leisure travel in the next 12 months. Travel is up and so are prices! Rapidly rising oil prices are expected to have a big impact on travel costs this summer. That's putting upward pressure on airline ticket prices and what you're paying at the pump. STAYING ON BUDGET That said, it could be difficult to stay within your vacation budget this summer unless you choose a destination far from the madding crowd. Going where others aren't could just be your ticket to saving money this summer. If a spot is popular, you can expect to pay higher prices for travel there and lodging once you arrive. It's simple economics supply and demand. AVOID THE CROWDS So let's start our search for vacation destinations by eliminating a few places where you're likely to have trouble staying on budget. Heading that list is Mexico. If you can believe it, occupancy rates for vacation rentals in Mexico are up 40-percent over 2019. In fact, they're actuallyhighernow than in 2019. If you're planning to stay in the U.S. this summer, the avoid the crowds rule remains in effect. That's why it's no surprise that the most expensive domestic destinations are all big cities. Thetop fiveinclude: New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami, but avoiding any big city will likely make staying on budget much easier. You might also want to avoid whatTheTravel.comcalls the most overrated vacation spots in the U.S., and again, these all have big crowds. They include iconic landmarks like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Times Square in New York, the Four Corners Monument where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet in one spot, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, and either of the two Disney theme parks. EARLY BOOKING = PRICIER Speaking of booking, it's a general rule that to find a vacancy, you want to book as far ahead as possible, and that makes sense for availability. But did you know that the farther ahead you lock in your reservation, the more likely you are to pay top rates? It's true. On the other hand, the closer you are to your vacation dates, thelessyou'll pay. Now, the reason for this is simple. Airline seats and hotel rooms are highly perishable items. If they go unsold on a given day, they're gone forever and can never be sold on that day again. That's why prices fall as a given date nears. And that rule is especially true if vendors aren't seeing hordes of people clamoring for travel and lodging accommodations, which is the reason you can save money by staying off the beaten path. OFF THE BEATEN PATH Where would those destinations be? For starters, just about any national park. And you don't have to be a camper to enjoy them. Most have ample hotel and motel accommodations nearby. Topping this list, according toU.S. News, are the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Olympic and Sequoia National Parks. You can take in the glorious sights of God's creation from your car by stopping in dozens of scenic overlooks, or by day hiking the trails, then return to your comfy hotel room at the end of the day. Outside of our nation's parks, budget-friendly destinations include: ●St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S. ●Gatlinburg, Tennessee with a tramway that takes you from the town to the mountain tops) ●Nags Head on North Carolina's Outer Banks with great beaches and the nearby Wright Brothers Museum in Kitty Hawk ●And finally, Colorado Springs on the doorstep of the Rocky Mountains. Those are all great places where you can get more for your vacation dollars while staying away from the crowds. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Would it be wise to reduce contributions to a retirement plan to build up an emergency fund? ●Does it make sense to take a company pension as a monthly payment or a lump sum? ●Is it wise to sell a rental property to pay off credit card debt, even though it would greatly reduce household income? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●Inspire Insight ●Christian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Get More From Your Groceries

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2022 24:57

    What if you could save almost a third of your grocery budget by doing nothing?A study done a couple of years ago revealed that Americans waste almost 32-percent of the groceries we buy because we throw out food that may still be safe, but has passed its sell-by date.The typical family spends $900 a month in groceries, so cutting out this waste could save nearly $300 per month.Rob West says that's not as easy as it sounds, but you may be able to save $100 per month. Best if used by or before means the date when the product has the best quality or flavor. It's not referring to safety.Most foods can be consumed after those dates. Note thatthis does NOT apply to infant formula and baby foods. You might also see a sell by date on a package. In most states, that's just a suggestion and the item can still be sold after that date, often at a reduced price. A freeze by date means the date by which the item should be frozen to maintain optimum quality.Again, with the exception of baby products, none of these labels is an indication of thesafetyof food items. How to know when an item is safe According to the U.S.D.A, foods not showing signs of spoilage should be okay to use depending on the individual item and the temperature where it's stored.One other exception to this is eggs. Some states prohibit sell by dates on eggs and some require more restrictive expiration dates. In any case, it's probably best to not use eggs after any type of end date. How long should items last? Here are some examples: Fresh eggs in the shell should last 3 to 5 weeks in the fridge. Bacon 7 days refrigerated or a month in the freezer. Raw hamburger 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Steaks are at their peak for 3 to 5 days refrigerated, and 6 to 12 months if frozen. Cooked Fish 3 to 4 days refrigerated or 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Raw Chicken Turkey 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 9 to 12 months in the freezer. Fresh Shrimp, Scallops or Squid 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 6 months frozen. Foods that may last indefinitely: Honey It has antimicrobial properties and if it's sealed and stored in a cool place out of sunlight, you could leave it to heirs in your will. I think they found some in the ancient pyramids that still looked good. Canned goods As long as the can doesn't have rust, dents or swelling, it should be okay. Packaged foods like cereals are also good well past their best by dates, although they can develop an off flavor. Factory-sealed maple syrup lasts indefinitely, but once opened, keep it refrigerated. Salt is itself a preservative but usually comes with a use by date of 5 years. After that, it may pick up a bad taste. Dried Beans are good for 10 years if stored in a cool place, out of sunlight, in factory packaging or sealed buckets with reduced oxygen levels. Whole grains have a one-year shelf life if frozen, or 6 months in a cool, dry location in airtight containers. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: I grew up in the foster care program and don't have many resources.I need surgery for chronic pain I've been suffering from for several years.How can I find the money to help pay for this surgery? I've inherited some money and need to know where to put it.I'm a little concerned with putting it into the stock market given recent volatility.What would you recommend? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Empty Nest Finances Pt. 2 With Jim Burns

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 25:25

    An empty nest, aging parents, and having enough saved for retirement. These are the issues facing many couples in their fifties. We'll discuss those challenges with author Jim Burns today on MoneyWise. Jim Burns is the author ofFind Joy In the Empty Nest: Discover Purpose and Passion In the Next Stage of Life. Not long after the average couple becomes empty nesters, their parents begin to rely on them more. After children leave the house, they tend to circle back to mom and dad and expect their parents to handle certain things for them. Burns says you have to re-negotate the process and make your expectations clear. Also, help your adult kids to clarify their own expectations for their lives. To be clear is to be kind. Remember that your job as a parent is to help them become fully responsible adults. Burns says it's important to talk about your parents' finances and bills long in advance. Don't wait until the need is pressing. Communicate with your parents years earlier about how you can work together to be there for them as they age. Whether with you adult kids or your parents, having honest conversations about money and expectations is critically important. Learn more about Jim Burns atHomeWord.com. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How can you get started with investing later in life? ●What is a second mortgage and when does it make sense? ●When does it make sense to stop paying into cash value life insurance policies? ●How do you determine if you'll owe capital gains tax on the sale of a home? ●Is it prudent to refinance a mortgage right now? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●Schwab Intelligent Portfolios ●BankRate.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Future Job Insecurity

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 25:16

    Bill Gates once said, The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life. That may be true for things like computer operating systems and smartphones. But if technology eliminates your job, you'll certainly notice. We'll talk about careers at risk of being replaced by new tech today on MoneyWise. JOBS AT RISK OF BEING REPLACED If you google future, jobs and eliminate, you'll get scads of lists about jobs that technology might do away with in the years ahead. Some could be expected, like mail sorters and meter readers. But others are surprising and include air traffic controllers and even pilots. It's been said that there's no such thing as job security, but there is employment security. That means there will always be work the trick is to make yourself ready for it. It could also mean choosing a career that's less likely to be eliminated by technology. These would include things like healthcare workers, software developers, specialized repair technicians and teachers. And with today's employers desperate to find new workers, it's a great time to consider a career change. Employers are easing prerequisites and more willing to provide on the job training. They're far more likely now to consider hiring someone who's trying to switch over from another field. Making a career change is much more difficult when unemployment is high. THE FIRST STEP So, if you're thinking about a career change, what's your first step? It's making sure you actually need or want to switch careers. Your current job might not be in danger of being automated and you might enjoy what you're doing just not where you're doing it. So changing companies, not careers, might be a better move. CHANGING CAREERS But if you really don't like what you're doing , start by making a detailed assessment of your skills and interests. Take a career assessment, many of them are offered online. Your answers will generate a list of occupations where you're more likely to achieve success and satisfaction. Job satisfaction is important, but through this entire process, you also have to keep earning potential in mind. If going into a new career at entry level means temporarily less pay, you'll have to adjust your budget accordingly. Now that you have a list of new career possibilities, the next step is whittling them down. It could be a long list, but consider each possibility carefully and cross off those that aren't appealing to you. With that complete, you now have a much shorter list with maybe five possibilities or so. These are the occupations you want to start researching and try to keep an open mind. Start rounding up job descriptions for each of your remaining career possibilities. You also want to look at education requirements. Will you have to go back to school? If so, for how long? And how much will it cost? After gathering all that information, you'll probably eliminate a few more occupations. Maybe you have only a few left. Prioritize them, then take the one that best meets your needs and put an action plan in place to prepare for it. Talk to employers and workers in that field to find out what's needed. It could involve going back to school or getting the necessary training some other way. This leads us to the most difficult part of changing careers: making a commitment to landing a job there. If you have to start at a lower level, be willing to do it, just so long as you can earn enough to still meet your monthly obligations. A good verse to meditate on during this process is Proverbs 16:3, Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is silver a good investment right now with inflation in mind? ●How do you approach taxes as an independent contractor? ●How do you determine when it's time to stop paying for life insurance? ●Is it wise to take money out of a 401k to pay off credit cards? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    A God's Eye View of Money With Howard Dayton

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 25:22

    Isaiah 55:8 says ​​'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways', declares theLord.That's a profound statement that certainly puts us in our place. But don't think it lets us off the hook. We'll discuss on MoneyWise, we'll discuss a God's eye view of money. Howard Dayton is a MoneyWise contributor and the founder ofCompass Finances God's Way. He's also the author of several books on biblical finance. A GOD'S EYE VIEW OF MONEY We can't manage money wisely unless we understand God's perspective on it. Howard Dayton says he's convinced Jesus said so much about money for two reasons: How we handle our money impacts our fellowship with Him.He wants to help us handle money wisely. Jesus revealed a direct relationship between how we handle our money and the quality of our spiritual lives. In Luke 16:11, He asks a penetrating question:"So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" Every time you apply one of God's financial principles, you will find yourself drawn closer to Christ. On the other hand, if you are unfaithful, your fellowship with Him suffers. But there's another reason why Jesus taught so specifically on the handling of money. THE IMPORTANCE OF MONEY AND HANDLING IT CORRECTLY He knows that money plays a big part in our lives. We spend much of our time working for it, deciding how to spend it, grappling with debt, thinking about where to save and invest, and praying about giving. The Lord knew money would be a challenge, even a source of conflict for many of us. So God wants us to manage money wisely, and that's why He's given us clear, practical truths in the Bible that really work. They are His roadmap to guide us on our financial journey. GOD'S ROLE AND OUR ROLE God has certain responsibilities, and He has given other responsibilities to us. Most frustration in handling money comes because we don't realize which responsibilities are ours and which belong to the Lord. It's helpful to understand this division as you evaluate your current situation. God's responsibility is that of the Owner. He created all things and owns everything. Psalm 24:1 tells us,"The earth is the LORD'S, and everything in it" Scripture gets even more specific. Leviticus 25:23 identifies God as the owner of all the land:"The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are ... my tenants." Haggai 2:8 says He owns all the mineral riches of the earth: "'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,' declares the Lord Almighty." HOW DOES OUR VIEW OF MONEY CHANGE WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD'S OWNERSHIP? Every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, "Lord, what do You want me to do with my money?" The question becomes, "Lord, what do You want me to do withYOURmoney?" When we have this attitude and handle His money according to His wishes, spending decisions are just as spiritual as giving decisions. The word that best describes our responsibility is steward. Stewards manage someone else's possessions or money. Our responsibility is summed up in 1 Corinthians 4:2,"It is required in stewards that one be found faithful." Before we can be found faithful, we must know what we are required to do. Just as the operator of a complicated piece of machinery studies the manufacturer's manual to learn how to operate it, we need to examine the Owner's manualthe Bibleto determine how He wants us to handle His possessions. You can find out a lot more about this topic and many more of God's financial principles in his bookFree and Clear God's Road Map To Debt-Free Living. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●What is the best way to will your house to your kids to avoid probate? ●How should you go about investing money for a child's future? ●Is it wise to leave an emergency fund in a savings account? ●Is it prudent to combine retirement accounts into an IRA? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Preparing for Recession

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 25:19

    Proverbs 6 tells us that we must be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Today on MoneyWise, we'll talk about what that means for your investments should we enter a recession. First off, we must always put our trust in the Lord to provide for our needs. Joshua 1:9 is a powerful reminder of that. It reads,Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. That said, we must also do our part, preparing as the ant does for possible hard times ahead. And there are increasing indicators that the economy may be heading into a recession. ECONOMISTS SAY RECESSION COULD BE LOOMING But plenty of economists are now predicting that the U.S. will enter a recession this year for several reasons: the war in Ukraine, interest rate hikes, decreasing economic growth and skyrocketing inflation. So what does that mean for your retirement portfolio? Investment advisors are weighing in with their advice and it's interesting to note that much of it is what we say here everyday. For starters, think beyond the next recession, whenever it may come. Have a long term investment plan and stick with it. Recessions are always temporary. Market downturns are always temporary. Trying to predict or time the market is difficult for the smartest brains on Wall Street. Consider all the managed funds that do no better than index funds and sometimes much worse. YOU LONG RANGE PLAN Now, what should your long range investment plan look like? First, it should be based on your time horizon. When is your best estimate for retiring? Ideally, you want that date to be at least 10 years out. Here, a target date fund can be a big help. These are mutual funds or exchange-trade funds (ETFs) that rebalance your portfolio periodically, shifting to more conservative investments as you near your retirement date. Robo-advisors do much the same thing. They're digital platforms that use algorithms to manage your investments without human supervision. Another key part of your long term investment plan should be dollar-cost averaging. That simply means you contribute a set amount to your retirement account every pay period, no matter what. That means when the market's up and shares are expensive, you buy fewer of them. When the market's down and shares are cheape, you buy more of them. Then, when the market recovers, those additional shares you bought will increase in value right along with it. But if you sell during a recession, you lose out and lock in your losses. SAFE-HAVEN INVESTMENTS If you feel you must tweak your portfolio, the time to do it is before a recession hits, not after. In that case you might look at what are called safe-haven investments. These would include some cash and short-maturity bonds, and right now, we'd recommend I-bonds. They're adjusted every six months for inflation, and currently are yielding near 10-percent. You can't redeem them for one year, and if you cash them in before five years, you'll lose a few months' interest. But in this current inflationary period, they're tough to beat. Gold would be another safe-haven investment and a hedge against inflation. In theory, it moves opposite of the market, but not always. For that reason, gold should be a very small part of your portfolio, no more than five or 10%. DIVERSIFY! If you're not using a robo-advisor or a target date fund, you have to decide what the other 90-percent of your portfolio will be. Here we look to Ecclesiastes 11:2,Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. Your portfolio should be well-diversified to weather a recession without serious losses. Assets would include some index funds, safe fixed income securities like the I bonds I mentioned, and even real estate or real estate investment trusts. taking these steps should get you through the next recession, whenever it comes, with peace of mind. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is it wise and appropriate for a church to take liquid funds out of savings and invest the money in the market to seek a better return? ●Should you take out small life insurance policies on adult children? ●What is the best way to get started with investing? ●Would it be wise to pull money out of retirement savings to pay for private rehab treatment for an adult child? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Big Demand for Boomerangs

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 25:35

    Millions of workers have left their jobs looking for better opportunities, and it's putting retirees in great demand. We'll discuss how that may impact you today on MoneyWise. AN UNPRECEDENTED EMPLOYEE SHORTAGE We've talked about the Great Resignation before. Due in part to the pandemic and increasing work from home opportunities, folks have been resigning in historic numbers. That's led to an employment gap at all experience levels that employers have yet to fill. A recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls this a workforce crisis and says The most critical and widespread challenge facing businesses is the inability to hire qualified workers for open jobs they need to fill. There are now more than 11-million open jobs in the U.S. That's nearly twice as many as the number of unemployed workers. So it's not surprising that employers would look to retirees as one solution to the worker shortage, if they can get them to un-retire. There's even a name for retirees returning to the workforce:. BOOMERANG EMPLOYEES And in many cases, hiring back the boomerang employees is actually preferred over taking on younger, entry level employees. Retirees, especially recent retirees, already have the skill-set needed for the job and experience at solving problems. They also tend to have lower training costs and greater productivity. But why would retirees return to a job they've already decided to leave? Well, some do it for financial reasons. They simply need the money as today's high inflation rate eats into their buying power. Others discover that retirement isn't all it was cracked up to be and they feel unfulfilledor bored. Employment experts say the high demand for retirees gives them a definite advantage in these negotiations and they know that they can be choosy about what conditions they'll accept. And just because retirees get calls from their former companies doesn't mean that's where they end up. Less than half of retirees thinking about going back to work would consider their past workplace. Nearly two-thirds said they'd look for opportunities somewhere else. They can do it, too, because again, the pandemic has enabled millions to work from home who didn't have that opportunity before. Employers have accepted the fact that many jobs can be done anywhere there's a wifi connection. OPPORTUNITIES You don't necessarily have to be a recent retiree to benefit from this trend, either. Many employers are offering training opportunities, especially technology training, to those who've been out of the workforce for longer periods of time. The Great Resignation is giving retirees opportunities they've never had before without having to go look for them. In many cases they just need to keep their resumes and LinkedIn profiles up to date. Employers are coming to them. WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU? So if you're retired and thinking about going back to work, how do you decide what's best for you? Answering a few questions first can help. Do you want to work full-time or just part-time? How flexible do your hours need to be? Working from home, many people have found they can pretty much set their own hours, just as long as the job gets done on time. You also have to think about compensation. If you're receiving Social Security benefits but haven't reached full retirement age yet, your benefits will be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn above $19,560. You'll get that money back after you reach full retirement age, at which point you can earn any amount without your benefits being reduced. So the pandemic led to the Great Resignation, which led to a big increase in boomerangs. There's a sentence you never thought you'd hear. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Does it make sense to withdraw money from a 401k early to pay off a home loan? ●How should you invest a lump sum of cash on behalf of a teenager? ●Should you prioritize paying off a mortgage or investing more for retirement? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The Why of a Will

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2022 24:57

    Nineteenth century author Ambrose Bierce once said, Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate. Humor aside, dying without a will is a sure way to leave your loved ones a legal mess in the probate court and family feuding over who gets what. But you can spare them that difficulty. We'll explain today on MoneyWise. So let's get into the reasons why you need to draw up a written will if you haven't already, and along the way we can dispel some of the misconceptions about wills. Without a will, it will be up to probate courts to determine how your estate will be handled upon death. State law will determine who gets what, and that may be contrary to your wishes. PREPARING A WILL IS AN ACT OF LOVE TOWARD YOUR LOVED ONES Maybe the biggest reason that you need a will is that it will reduce the likelihood of family disputes after you're gone. In a will, you can leave specific instructions as to who gets what, potentially eliminating all the squabbling. It's true that your heirs could still have hard feelings even if inheritances are clearly spelled out, but a will isn't just a set of instructions. It's a document that can express not just your intentions, but your reasons behind them. Our friend Ron Blue spells this out clearly in his book,Splitting Heirs. Simply dividing up your assets equally might be fair, but it isn't necessarily biblical. Ron says, Wisdom can create wealth, but wealth almost never creates wisdom. One child may not be capable of handling money, or another might have much greater needs than your other heirs. So explaining why you're dividing things a certain way can also help eliminate family fighting. Ron also says that if you love your children equally, you'll treat them uniquely. There are other reasons to draw up a will. It's a great way to itemize your assets. Without a specific list of your holdings and possessions, the probate court could take months or years sifting through your financial records. Another good reason to draw up a will is that it can help you provide for heirs with special needs. If one of your heirs is too young or immature to manage money, you can place restrictions on the inheritance with a will. You can also do that with a living or revocable trust. A WILL ALLOWS YOU TO DECIDE WHO WILL CARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN There's one more really important reason for having a will, and this one's often a real sticking point for couples with children. A will enables you to name a guardian for your children. This is one of the reasons that some parents procrastinate in making out a will, because it forces them to decide who will care for the kids should something happen to them. That's not a pleasant thought and quite often, it's a tough decision to make. MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WILLS Turning now to some of the misconceptions about wills, the one you hear most often is, I don't need one. But we just talked about how a will allows you to name who'll care for your children if something happens to you. Without a will, the state decides who raises your kids as well as who gets all of your assets. Another misconception is that your spouse automatically gets everything you have, so you don't really need a will. That's the case most of the time, but different states have different rules. For example, your state may require that your assets be divided equally among your spouse, children or grandchildren, whether you wanted that or not. So you can't assume your spouse will inherit everything. You can avoid all that by having a will in place. Okay, our last myth is, drawing up a will is too expensive. The truth is, writing a will is one of the least costly things that attorneys do. Many of them charge a flat fee to write a will or other basic estate planning documents. The average cost for drawing up a will is around $500. Of course, you can do it even cheaper by filling in the blanks at one of those online legal form sites. That may work just fine, but an attorney can help you address issues that may not come up with the do it yourself approach. And of course, you can find an attorney or estate planner who shares your values when youlook for a Certified Kingdom Advisor at MoneyWise.org. LISTENER QUESTIONS On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●What is the purpose of work (working for a living)? ●What is an ideal amount to have saved in a 401k at age 48? ●How can you move money from a 401k into a Roth IRA, and would that make sense? ●How do you determine what to do with your money after becoming debt free? ●What is the best way to learn the basics of budgeting and managing money? RESOURCES MENTIONED DURING THIS PROGRAM ●Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor ●Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton (book) ●MoneyWise App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Excuses For Not Budgeting

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 25:20

    It's easy to come up with excuses, and when it comes to not having a budget, we've probably heard them all. Today on MoneyWise, we'll list some of the top excuses for not having a spending plan and then help you move beyond them! What a lot of non-budgeters don't realize is that most people eventually do get around to living on a budget. The trick is to set up a plan for spending wisely before you're forced to by overwhelming debt. EXCUSES FOR NOT HAVING A BUDGET 1. I stink at math so I can't budget.You don't have to be Albert Einstein to set up a spending plan. The free MoneyWise app not only gives you three different options for setting up a spending plan and it does all the math for you. Getmore information hereor download it wherever you get your apps and search for MoneyWise biblical finance. 2. My job's secure, so I don't have to budget.Okay, we still have a low unemployment rate and workers are in great demand, but doesn't mean your job is bullet proof. People sometimes lose their jobs unexpectedly even in the best of economies. Everyone needs 3 to 6 months living expenses in their emergency fund, and that's just about impossible without a spending plan. 3. I can always fall back on unemployment benefits if I lose my job.Have you checked out unemployment benefits in your state? They're usually just a fraction of your regular income and oh, by the way, they run out. But if you're living on a budget and saving, you can make any income go much further. 4. It won't happen to me.Talk about putting your head in the sand! We live in a fallen world, and bad things happen to people all the time. In Matthew 5 we find, For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. So again, you have to be prepared with a budget and an emergency fund. Now, some folks cringe just hearing the word budget. They say things like, A budget means you can't have any fun. So don't call it a budget. We like spending plan better, anyway. If you stick to one for a few months, you'll see that a budget isn't restrictive. It's actually liberating. You have the same amount of money. You're just deciding ahead of time where it goes. You still get to enjoy life. In face, even more so, because you're not running out of money or going into debt to do it. A spending plan means peace of mind. That Friday night pizza tastes even better when it's in your spending plan. 5. Now, here's an excuse that in many cases is actually true: I'm afraid to set up a spending plan.Those folks don't want to find out how much they've been spending on things they don't really need. But you have to face up to it to enjoy the reward. In John 8, Jesus says, ... you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. You'll probably be shocked to find out how much you spend on things like groceries and eating out. But that's a good thing because it gives you something to work with. By trimming and planning your meals, you can free up a lot of discretionary income that you can put to better use. 6. Here's another excuse for not budgeting that we hear a lot: I've tried to budget and it didn't work.Well, that shouldn't be a surprise. What life-changing practices work the first time you try them? So try, try again and be encouraged that learning to live on a spending plan truly will change your life for the better. Just brush yourself off and keep trying. 7. I don't need to budget because I've always got money left over each month.Well, that may be true for now, but it's usually temporary. There's something called lifestyle creep. It means the more money you have available, the more you spend. Raises and tax refunds get gobbled up quickly. Then, if you suffer a loss of income, you'll wish you had that money.. If God has blessed you with more than you need right now, that's even more reason to use it wisely. A spending plan will help you be more intentional about your giving. It's all God's money anyway, and we should always use it to give glory to Him. So those are your top excuses for not living on a budget. We hope you're not using any of them. Iff you need help setting up a budget, you can sign up with one of ourvolunteer coaches at MoneyWise.org. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Would you have to pay capital gains tax on a property you sell that has been both your primary residence and a rental property? ●How do you set up a special needs trust for a special needs adult child? ●If your spouse passes, would you have to pay taxes on life insurance benefits? ●How can you get ahead financially on a very limited income? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Misconceptions Lead To Student Debt With Art Rainer

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 25:19

    The cost of education has spiraled out of controle in recent decades. It's easy to get in over your head. Today on MoneyWise, Art Rainer joins us to talk about 6 misconceptions that lead to big student loan debt. Art Rainer is a MoneyWise contributor. He has written many books on biblical finance, and he is vice president of The College at Southeastern. According to theEducation Data Initiative, the average college graduate leaves school with around $40,000 in student loan debt. And themajorityof students will use debt at some point while pursuing their degree. This isn't purely a function of costs. Sometimes, students are taken in by incorrect lines of thought that lead to a lot of debt. So if you are a student, you really need to avoid these misconceptions. Art Ranier recently pennedan article at MoneyWise.orgro help you with this titled: 6 LINES OF THOUGHT THAT RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT STUDENT LOAN DEBT 1. Attending a costly school will get you a better job.Higher tuition does not always equate to higher salaries. Employers don't look at the amount you paid to get a college degree. They just look at your degree. And after your first job, where you went to school starts to take a back seat to your prior work experience. Find a school that makes financial sense for you. 2. You need the college experience.There's nothing wrong with enjoying your time in college, especially if it works with your finances.But more and more students are realizing that having the college experience is not worth having the collegedebt,so they're getting jobs to help offset tuition costs so they won't still be paying on student loans 10 years after graduation. 3. It's ok to stretch out college.Certainly, there is some leniency here, but be very careful when choosing to stretch your degree program. You may end up paying more, and you run a greater risk of not completing your degree. And don't take throwaway classes. Make your investment worth it. 4. You don't need to know what you're signing.You should educate yourself on student loans. Before you sign any papers, understand the commitment involved, what it'll take to pay off the loan and what alternatives are available. You'll need to understand your loan when you're paying it off, so you better understand itbeforeyou sign. 5. Everything will take care of itself.Student loans are stubborn things. They even survive bankruptcy. I'm less concerned with the student who feels burdened by their loans than the one who feels no burden from their debt. Unless you manage to get through the obstacle course of a debt forgiveness program, and that's not easy, your loans will have to be repaid. 6. There's no other option.Without question, the cost of higher education is a formidable challenge for many current and future college students. But this doesn't mean there aren't other options. Diligently pursue scholarships and grants. College costs today are skyhigh,much more than your parents experienced when they were in school. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is a Roth 403b the best investment vehicle for an educator? ●What should you do with credit card accounts of a deceased spouse? ●Should you hold off on giving behind the tithe until debt is paid off? ●How big of an emergency fund should single mother keep? ●When does it make sense to use liquid cash funds to pay off a mortgage? ●What happens to an IRA account of a deceased member when there is no beneficiary listed in a will? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Should You Buy a House Now?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 25:16

    With a red hot housing market and skyhigh home values, it's not an easy decision to buy now. Today on MoneyWise, we'll offer a few tips for those thinking about buying in this historic market. Let's start out with a little good news for homebuyers. The real estate brokerage Redfin is reporting that sellers dropped their prices on 12% of properties in March. That's compared to only 9% during that month in 2021. What does that mean? Even though home values may be easing just a bit, we're still in a strong sellers' market. In March, the median home listing price was just over $400,000, up more than 13% from a year ago and nearly 27% higher than in March of 2020 according to Realtor.com. WHY ARE PRICES SO HIGH? It starts with the pandemic. It takes a lot of lumber to build a house, and the price of that commodity has risen dramatically due to COVID, adding thousands of dollars to the cost of home construction. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the price of all building materials has risen more than 20-percent since January of 2021, and almost 30-percent since January of 2020. In addition to the rising price of materials, the construction industry is reeling from a lack of workers. Training for skilled carpenters and other trades has fallen off dramatically during the pandemic. All of that making it more difficult and expensive to build a house. We've also had a mass migration of people out of cities and into suburban and even rural areas. That, too, is the result of the pandemic, as perhaps hundreds of thousands more people are now able to work remotely. Those folks began looking for less expensive places to live, and that's created a huge demand for housing in areas that have traditionally been less populated. In its 2021 report, the government-sponsored mortgage agency Freddie Mac found that the nation had a shortage of nearly 4-million housing units. That's produced an incredibly strong demand for houses. Another factor pushing prices higher is comparatively low interest rates. It's true that the Fed has been raising rates, and the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now over 5-percent according to Bankrate.com. But comparatively speaking, they're still very low. In 1982, the average 30-year fixed rate loan was above 18-percent! And over the last 50 years, the average rate has been nearly 8-percent, well above today's rates. All of which is to say that the recent mortgage rate hikes have done little to curb the demand for houses. So by now you're probably wondering when will it end? As we've seen many times in the past, bubbles always burst. The problem is, this isn't a housing bubble like we had before the crash in 2008. Back then we had lenders giving mortgages to people who were simply not qualified to repay them. We also had a surplus of housing units. So foreclosures were flooding a market that already had homes that couldn't be sold. Demand vanished and prices fell through the floor. Today we have plenty of people with adequate incomes, but also a huge scarcity of housing units. So a lot of dollars are chasing after too few homes, keeping prices high. That said, it's highly unlikely we'll see anything like a crash or even a modest decrease in prices. Although prices are expected to moderate in time, analysts aren't predicting they'll actually fall. So should you buy a house in this crazy environment? Consumer expert Clark Howard recently asked a critical question that will help you think through this: How long do you plan on living there? If you feel confident that you'll still be in the house 10 years from now, it may make sense to go ahead. In that time, the market will moderate and you'll see a more normal appreciation. But if you're a short term buyer, it's probably not worth the price of admission into a redhot market. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Would it be wise to sell your home to pay off debt or just pay off debt over time? ●Does it make sense to use savings to pay off a home? ●Is it wise to use a home equity loan to pay off higher interest debt? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Talking Trusts

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 25:37

    There are wills and trusts, living wills and living trusts, and even something called a testamentary trust will. Confused yet? Navigating the legal definitions and requirements for leaving assets to your heirs is a complicated business. We'll try to clear up some of the confusion today on MoneyWise. So let's start with some definitions: WILLS:You likely already know that a will is a legal document that details how you want your assets distributed, and possibly your minor children cared for, upon your death. Wills have to be processed through your local probate court, and if you die without one, that court will distribute your assets according to state law. So at the very least, you need a will. LIVING WILLS:A living will is completely different. It has nothing to do with the distribution of assets. Instead, it's a legal document that specifies medical treatments you would and wouldn't want to keep you alive should you become incompacitated. It might also spell out your wishes for other medical decisions, like pain management and organ donation. TESTAMENTARY TRUST:A testamentary trust will takes us back to the distribution of assets upon your death. Think of it as a mini-trust within your will or in a separate document that specifies how your assets are to be managed, usually to protect them for minor children. It only goes into effect upon your death. A living trust:Sometimes called a revocable trust, a living trust goes into effect while you're still alive. It allows you to manage and benefit from your assets during your lifetime. And it's called living or revocable because you can change it whenever you want. So it's different from an ir-revocable trust, which also takes effect while you're living but cannot be changed. So you have to be very careful with that one. Since we get so many questions about living or revocable trusts, let's look at that one more closely. Typically with a living trust, you would designate yourself as the trustee. Technically, you're changing legal ownership of your assets from yourself to the trustee, which, of course, is still you. And again, that happens while you're alive and it's the big difference between a living trust and a will. With a will, nothing legal happens until you die. Then upon your death, the assets in the living trust are transferred to the beneficiaries you've named, and that's done by the person you designate as your "successor trustee." So with a living trust, you're really not giving up control of your assets. You're still free to manage manage your assets as you like, but ownership has been legally transferred to the trust. And as the name implies, you can revoke this type of trust, as well, whenever you want and it's easy to do. Now, who needs a living trust? Well, not everyone, for sure. In most cases, with simple estates, a regular, ol' will works just fine. But the more complicated your estate becomes, the more likely you are to benefit from a living trust. For one thing, they allow you to distribute your assets to heirs without going through probate which is why a lot of folks like them. During probate, which is a public process, the court first determines if your will is genuine. It then makes sure creditors are paid and your heirs receive whatever assets you've specified in the will. That can take time, and if there's a problem, your heirs won't have access to those funds until it's resolved. But with a living trust, your successor trustee takes care of all that privately, and usually much faster. You'll have to do a little homework to determine if a living trust is right for you it may not be. State laws vary, and many states have streamlined the probate process, possibly making a will the better choice. Some have made probate less costly, too, for smaller estates. Also, some assets can be distributed without a will or a trust. These would be retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, joint accounts with survivorship rights, pay-on-death accounts and life insurance. A living trust can solve a lot of problems, like naming someone to manage your assets to benefit your heirs. If you own a business, not having to go through probate means your heirs could have immediate access to funds needed to keep the business operating. But there are also a few downsides to a living trust. More paperwork, for one thing. You have to transfer all of your assets out of your name as the direct owner and into your name as the trustee. That would be things like the deed to your house and your bank and investment accounts. A living trust is also more expensive to draw up than a will. Where a will might cost you $500, a living trust will run more like $1500. This assumes, of course, that you hire an estate attorney to prepare the documents, which we strongly recommend. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Are there good options to lower the interest rate on a student loan? ●Would it make sense to put real estate investment money into a rental property? ●Should your entire tithe go to your local church or can you (biblically) give a portion of the tithe to other charities or causes? ●Does it make sense to sell a house right now or keep it and refinance? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Debt Consolidation: The Easy Way Out

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 25:28

    What may seem like the easy way out of debt can definitely lead to new problems, and get you in worse trouble than when you started. We'll talk abou the dangers of debt consolidation today on MoneyWise. We're not a fan of debt consolidation for two reasons: 1) It's dangerous, and 2) There's a much better option. We'll explain shortly. THE DANGER OF DEBT CONSOLIDATION Let's talk about the danger first. The tantalizing idea behind debt consolidation is that you'll reduce your overall monthly payment by refinancing several debts into one big one. But in order to make that one payment smaller, you may have to sign up for a longer term loan. That means you'll probably end up paying more in interest in the long run than you would by paying off the debts individually. You might think that having a lower monthly payment will give you a chance to pay more on the principal each month to get rid of the combined debt faster, and that's certainly true. The problem is that all too often, that's not what happens. Having that extra cash on hand leads to lifestyle creep, and folks just just end up continuing to pay the minimum amount each month. That's how the debt gets stretched out over several years, which costs them more in interest. The next problem with debt consolidation isn't necessarily a danger, but it's something to think about. Consolidating your debts could temporarily lower your credit score in two ways: First, whenever you apply for a new credit card (to transfer balances to it) or you apply for a home equity loan to consolidate, that gets reported to the credit bureaus as a hard inquiry, and it'll lower your FICO score. Second, if you get a new card or loan and you close out the old accounts, it will lower the average age of your credit, which also lowers your score. But again, if you're struggling to pay off the debts you already have, let's not worry about a low credit score hampering your ability to get new credit and even more into debt. The greatest danger of all with debt consolidation is that it's really just slapping on a band-aid when you really need a tourniquet. It doesn't fix the underlying problem, which is living beyond your means. Granted, sometimes you can be overwhelmed with a financial emergency like medical bills, but that's usually not the case when someone consolidates debt.More often it's because they're simply overspending and their lifestyle has gotten out of control. And that's how debt consolidation becomes really dangerous. Instead of reining in your lifestyle, you continue to overspend. And if you don't close the accounts you've paid off, you can now continue to charge stuff on them. Then you find yourself having to make payments on those accounts plus the consolidation loan you took out. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but you've only managed to double your problem. Okay, so what's the solution that doesn't breed new problems? Well, obviously you have to attack the underlying issue, not just the symptom. You've got to reduce your spending, and there are two great sources of help for that. The first is to sign up with one of ourcoaches at MoneyWise.org. When you do, a coach will work with you to prepare a written budget that will enable you to meet your monthly obligations without using credit cards. There's no charge for this service except the minimal cost of a workbook. Our coaches are all volunteers who love to help God's people get control of their finances. That takes care of the problem of overspending. Now, to address your outstanding debts, you can get help from our friends at Christian Credit Counselors. They'll put you on a debtmanagementplan,not debt consolidation. And they can help you pay off your debts up to 80% faster than going it alone. They have arrangements already in place with most major credit card companies and lenders to lower your interest rates. You only have to make one monthly payment, and you solve your debt problem without taking out a new loan. Check them out atChristianCreditCounselors.org. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●When does it make sense to combine IRAs? ●How do you revise a trust to include additional family members? ●What is the difference between a certified financial planner and a financial analyst or advisor? ●Is it a good idea to sell a whole life insurance policy? ●Is a 401k a better investment vehicle than a Roth IRA? RESOURCES MENTIONED ●Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Inflation and Your Budget

    Play Episode Listen Later May 7, 2022 25:15

    Economist Thomas Soul wrote of inflation, It's a way to take people's wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all. It's true that inflation hurtseveryoneby decreasing the value of the dollar. We'll discuss ways to reduce that pain today on MoneyWise. HOW BAD IS IT? By some estimations, inflation is costing the average American household $2,000 to $3,000 per year! . And now Bloomberg isprojectingthat inflation, currently running at 7.9%, will gobble up $5,200 of your hard-earned dollars this year! A lot of that will be in the form of much higher food, gasoline and home energy bills, most of which you've already seen. That alone will account for about $2,200 less spending power annually. Grocery prices continue to rise dramatically with the biggest price spikes hitting meat. While wages and savings grew somewhat during the pandemic, analysts predict that those savings will dwindle, forcing more Americans to find work. That won't help with inflation, however, because an expanding labor pool will stunt wage growth. Energy costs have jumped more than 25% since last year. Grocery prices are up nearly 9% from a year ago, while clothing is up around 7%. The federal government has insisted that this inflation is only temporary, but many economists say there's really no end in sight, at least not yet. WHAT CAN YOU DO? A couple of weeks ago we listed ideas to cut spending so you can stay within your budget. Some of them bear repeating as the news about inflation grows more dire. Did you know that many convenience stores will give you a break at the gas pump if you pay with cash? So look for places offering a reduced cash price. You'll have to go inside to pay, so just be sure to avoid the temptation of buying a lot of high-priced junk food while you're in there. Studies show you can also cut spending from 10 to 30% by using cash for everything. It's just harder to part with real dollars than using a credit or debit card. Here's another idea that some folks are trying: oNe day a week, don't spend any money at all. Don't buy coffee at a convenience store that day, and don't browse online to avoid buying something on impulse. By the way, when youhave tobuy something online, did you know that you may be able to save by using an incognito browser? It deletes your browsing history so companies can't see what you've been looking for. Sadly, they sometimes automatically raise prices if they know you really want it based on the number of your clicks. If you have to buy a major appliance, look for scratch and dent items or floor models. Or just plain ask for a discount. You might not get it, but it never hurts to ask! You can also use the 30-day rule for buying anything over $100. How does that work? If you see something you want to buy, write it down and put it on the fridge door. After a month, if you still want it, make the purchase. But the odds are your interest will have waned by then. You can also sign up for paperless billing and auto pay with service providers like ATT and Xfinity and some utilities. Many offer discounts on your monthly bill for signing up. It also makes it easy to manage your account with your smartphone. Those are some ways you can fight inflation on your own.Proverbs 21:20 reads,Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Does it make sense to pull cash out of a retirement fund when money is tight? ●What are the biblical guidelines on where you should give your tithe? ●How do you determine whether it makes sense to keep a long-term disability policy? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    What the Wealthy Know

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 25:18

    Ben Franklin once said, An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Put another way, Knowledge helps build wealth. If knowing things is an important part of managing money wisely, then what do thewealthyknow that others might not? Today, Rob West answers that question. Bank of America did asurveyawhile back of 700 people withassets of $3 million or more. They found that these people had grasped five important concepts. 1. Delayed gratification 80% of these wealthy individuals said that investing inlong-term goals is more effective than trying to get rich quick or spending money now on things that give only temporary satisfaction. Proverbs 21:5 teaches, Steady plodding brings prosperity hasty speculation brings poverty. 2. Avoid debt Proverbs 22:7 says, The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.So the wealthy use debt only with a definite purpose: Buying a home, starting a business, paying for education, or buying a car for work.These are things that offer a return on the investment (ROI).As a side note, you might say that using a credit card to get reward points falls into that category, but only if you pay off the entire balance each month. Otherwise, the interest will gobble up any rewards you might get. It's interesting to note that these wealthy individuals have access to a tremendous amount of credit. They could likely borrow however much they want. But the majority said they use it only when they have a reasonable expectation of a return on their money that exceeds anything they might borrow. 3. Think long-term 85% of those surveyed said their biggest investment gains came by using a long-term buy and hold strategy in the stock market.And they do that bynotwatching the market closely. So it's interesting that these are not the investment gurus you see on financial shows trying to time the market. They just invest in solid companies and hold those shares for a very long time 10, 20, or even 30 years in some cases. No hasty speculation on their part. 4. Consider tax consequences While these affluent folks don't watch the market closely, theydopay close attention to the tax implications of their investments. Help is available for this.We always recommend you consult with a Certified Kingdom Advisor for that. You can find one by going to MoneyWise.org. 5. Invest in sometangibleassets like real estateNow, you may not be able to buy a whole rental house, but earlier this week we talked about how you can buy shares in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), a way that smaller investors can own a piece of big real estate projects. While the Bible encourages us to invest, and it is an important element of stewardship,we never want to pursue wealth for its own sake. 1 Timothy 6:10 says,For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Note that the Apostle Paul is talking about theloveof money, not money itself. As we've said many times, money is just a tool. It can be used for good or for evil. Believers must never forget that God owns everything and we're only stewards charged with managing His resources in ways that glorify Him, not ourselves. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: I've paid on my 30-year mortgage for 15 years.The interest rate is 6.25%.I have a balance of about $60,000.I can get a new mortgage at 3.25%, but is it worth it? Is there a rule of thumb about how much cash one should have on hand?And should that actually be cash?Or money in the bank? Should we invest in gold?I'm concerned about the US currency. I have two nephews for whom I'd like to set aside some money for college.What types of investments do you recommend for that? I have long-term health insurance and my rates have just gone up and will continue to go up.Is it worth continuing to pay for that? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    The Scoop on Career Assessments

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 25:20

    Finding the right work makes life a lot easier. As the saying goes, find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Today, Rob West talks abouthowtofindthat job. Finding the right job starts with finding out what you love and what you're good at. Romans 12:6 teaches that God has given each of us skills that enable us to do good works. It reads,Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them There are at least two times in life when finding the right job or career is especially important: when you're dissatisfied with your present work, and when you're deciding on what education to pursue. One way to avoid dissatisfaction in your future work and avoid wasting money pursuing the wrong college major is to take acareer assessment test. The woods are full of them, online and in print for example, theStrong Interest Inventoryby Myers-Briggs, theCareer Aptitude Testby 1-2-3Test.com (that one's actually free). And of course, there's Crown Financial Ministries'Career Directwhich is one of the few that is biblically based and designed to show your God-given skills and interests. These assessments really aren't tests where you're given a grade like A, B or C, but more of a multiple-choice exercise with no wrong answers.Answer as honestly as possible and base your answers on how you feelnow not on what you'd like to be in the future. The results you get will only be as good as the information you put in. A career assessment will only make broad suggestions for what field or fields you might pursue. For example, it might say that you're well suited for something in the medical field. It won't say that you should become a cardiologist or for that matter, even a doctor.And any results are only a starting point for your career discovery process. You'll need to do further exploration to confirm those results and narrow down the possibilities. In other words, a career assessment will get you to the right side of town maybe even the right neighborhood but you'll have to go up and down the streets yourself. The whole point is to reveal things about yourself that you may not be aware of. And think broadly about your results.Don't focus too strongly on a particular field. An assessment may reveals that you're a good listener, you care about others, and always want to help others with their problems.That could make you a candidate for a career in psychotherapy, but it could also mean that you'd do well in ministry. So think broadly about all the possibilities. You may be a little skeptical, especially if you'll be paying $100 to $500 for an assessment. There are also free assessments, but sometimes you get what you pay for, so let your career exploration begin by checking out the assessments themselves. Read reviews and testimonies of people who've actually been helped by a given assessment. You may want to take more than one assessment to corroborate any results you might get. You should also be talking to people who are actually doing the job or jobs you're considering. Find out what's involved. Being good at something is essential for liking your work, but being well-suited for a particular career doesn'tguaranteethat you'll like doing it. And don't forget that you have direct access to the greatest career counselor God. As you go about your search, pray for wisdom and guidance. James 1:5 teaches, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: My 90-year-old father is a veteran and qualifies for help in paying for caregivers.If he pays me for this service, how do I file that on my taxes? I want to take some equity out of my house since rates are low, and investing that to try to gain a few percent interest on my money.Is that a good idea? I have a 401k that I will be rolling over to an IRA.My neighbor says I should put some of the money into a Roth IRA so that if my kids inherit it, they wouldn't have to pay the taxes on it.Good idea or bad? Should I buy a new car or lease one?In today's car market, which makes more sense? I'm finishing a nursing degree.Many hospitals are offering signing bonuses right now.How are those taxed? I'm on disability, but I am able to work some on the side.What's the best way to manage my money to get the most out of it so that my kids and I can enjoy some of God's provision? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Finding Contentment with Ron Blue

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 25:25

    One of the biggest lies the world tells us is that contentment comes from gain. In other words, the more you have, the more content you feel. But contentment actually startswith a choice. Rob West talks about that todaywith Ron Blue, author of the book,Never Enough. Contentment, above any other trait, should really be the hallmark of a mature believer's financial life.Hebrews 13:5 says,"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.'"The starting point for "enough" is defined in this verse.Enough is what Ialreadyhave. I can be content with what I have becausecontentmentis a choice a decision. Even the apostle Paul learned contentment along the way, and he shared his insight inPhilippians 4,I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot I have learned the secret of being content whether well fed or hungry I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. And in 1 Timothy 6, Paul says,But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.Finding contentment is a process, not an event. The Paradox of Prosperity Ron Blue says one of the main lessons he has learned on the path to contentment has to do with what he calls the paradox of prosperity, which he defines as, "The more you have, the more choices you have, and the less real freedom you have." The world tells us is that having stuff like a bigger home or better car or a more impressive vacation will make us content, but it won't.We forget that we can't have the stuff without the stress that comes with it. How do we find contentment? Ron says that first, we have to make the decision that we're going to be content with what we have, what God hasalreadyprovided. Then we need to pray that God will align our wills with His. James 1:5 reads,If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: Our son, who is still in high school, is interested in learning about investing.What's the best way to teach him? We purchased some EE Bonds to help our daughters offset the costs of college.They're not doing very well as investments, and one daughter has decided not too attend college.Should we reinvest this money somewhere else? I'm downsizing and selling my house for cash.Should I finance my next home?Or pay cash for it? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Get More from Your Groceries

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 25:22

    What if you could save almost a third of your grocery budget by doing nothing?A study done a couple of years ago revealed that Americans waste almost 32-percent of the groceries we buy because we throw out food that may still be safe, but has passed its sell-by date.The typical family spends $900 a month in groceries, so cutting out this waste could save nearly $300 per month.Rob West says that's not as easy as it sounds, but you may be able to save $100 per month. Best if used by or before means the date when the product has the best quality or flavor. It's not referring to safety.Most foods can be consumed after those dates. Note thatthis does NOT apply to infant formula and baby foods. You might also see a sell by date on a package. In most states, that's just a suggestion and the item can still be sold after that date, often at a reduced price. A freeze by date means the date by which the item should be frozen to maintain optimum quality.Again, with the exception of baby products, none of these labels is an indication of thesafetyof food items. How to know when an item is safe According to the U.S.D.A, foods not showing signs of spoilage should be okay to use depending on the individual item and the temperature where it's stored.One other exception to this is eggs. Some states prohibit sell by dates on eggs and some require more restrictive expiration dates. In any case, it's probably best to not use eggs after any type of end date. How long should items last? Here are some examples: Fresh eggs in the shell should last 3 to 5 weeks in the fridge. Bacon 7 days refrigerated or a month in the freezer. Raw hamburger 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Steaks are at their peak for 3 to 5 days refrigerated, and 6 to 12 months if frozen. Cooked Fish 3 to 4 days refrigerated or 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Raw Chicken Turkey 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 9 to 12 months in the freezer. Fresh Shrimp, Scallops or Squid 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 6 months frozen. Foods that may last indefinitely: Honey It has antimicrobial properties and if it's sealed and stored in a cool place out of sunlight, you could leave it to heirs in your will. I think they found some in the ancient pyramids that still looked good. Canned goods As long as the can doesn't have rust, dents or swelling, it should be okay. Packaged foods like cereals are also good well past their best by dates, although they can develop an off flavor. Factory-sealed maple syrup lasts indefinitely, but once opened, keep it refrigerated. Salt is itself a preservative but usually comes with a use by date of 5 years. After that, it may pick up a bad taste. Dried Beans are good for 10 years if stored in a cool place, out of sunlight, in factory packaging or sealed buckets with reduced oxygen levels. Whole grains have a one-year shelf life if frozen, or 6 months in a cool, dry location in airtight containers. On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: I grew up in the foster care program and don't have many resources.I need surgery for chronic pain I've been suffering from for several years.How can I find the money to help pay for this surgery? I've inherited some money and need to know where to put it.I'm a little concerned with putting it into the stock market given recent volatility.What would you recommend? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

    Are REITs Right for You?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 25:35

    Real estate can give you not only an income stream, but also appreciating value. Today, we look at a hands free way to invest in real estate through REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts), which allowaverage investors to get in on significant real estate opportunities. There are two basic kinds of REITs: Equity (90%) and Mortgage (10%).Both are securities where the company owns and perhaps even operates real estate or related assets. They're traded like stocks and are often listed on major market exchanges. REITs allow companies to buy real estate or mortgages using the combined assets of their investors. EquityREITS do better during periods of rising inflation because inflation generally causes the value of real estate to rise. However, higher interest rates arenotgood for REITS. EquityREITs earn revenue from the rent paid on the properties owned, which is then distributed to investors as dividends. MortgageREITSdon'tbuy and manage property themselves. Instead, they lend money to other companies that then purchase and manage properties, or buy existing mortgages. Mortgage REITs mainly generate revenue from the interest they earn on their mortgage loans, which could be for commercial or residential projects. Some REITS, appropriately namedHybrids, have elements of both Equity and Mortgage REITs. So how do you invest in a REIT? The easiest way is with a publicly traded REIT that's listed on a major stock exchange. Most IRAs and 401ks have options for investing in REITS. You can also buy shares of a non-traded REIT through a broker that participates in that particular REIT's offering. A third way is to purchase shares in a REIT mutual fund. Typically, the minimum requirement for REIT investment runs from $1,000 to $25,000. And there's even one REIT, called FundRise that's specifically designed for small investors. You can invest in it for as little as $500. If you're looking to be a real estate investor without having to become a landlord, this could be the way to go. LISTENER QUESTIONS On today's program, Rob also answers listener questions: I own several properties that I'd like to keep out of probate court when I die.Would it be wise to put my children on the deeds? We're 20 years into a 30-year mortgage and would like to lower our interest rate.The lender proposed a new 30-year mortgage.Would that be a good idea? I'm about to retire and want to buy a truck.What's my best option to pay for it? I'm 72 and have a 401k.I'd like to put that money in an IRA instead.How do I do that? You recommend 15% in a deferred compensation program.Would a private pension be part of this amount? What's the best way to research mortgages and construction loans online? RESOURCES MENTIONED FundRise.com BankRate.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them toQuestions@MoneyWise.org. Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook atMoneyWise Mediafor videos and the very latest discussion!Remember that it's your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our websiteor in our app. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085/29

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