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Avoid Crowds, Save Money This Summer

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
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May 23, 2022 5:00 pm

Avoid Crowds, Save Money This Summer

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 23, 2022 5:00 pm

Have you decided yet on a vacation destination this summer? If not, you can still save money by choosing to go somewhere away from the crowds. On today's MoneyWise Live, Rob West will share how picking a vacation spot where other vacationers aren’t flocking can be the key to staying on budget during your vacation. 

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Finishing Well
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Finishing Well
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Finishing Well
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Rob West and Steve Moore
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil

How do you forgive a dead man?

Particularly when he's your grandfather? My name is Brian Dolan, host of a brand new podcast called The Grandfather Effect. This podcast is five years in the making. It contains interviews, ponderings, and wrestlings with my family, my faith, and what forgiveness really looks like in the face of generational sin. If you listen carefully, you'll hear more than a story about my family. You'll hear a story about yours.

Streaming now on the Moody Radio app and anywhere you listen to podcasts. Ask if a certain restaurant was popular, the late, great Yogi Berra said, nah, nobody goes there. It's too crowded. Hi, I'm Rob West.

Have you decided on a vacation destination yet this summer? If not, you can still save money by avoiding the crowds. I'll talk about that first today, then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7200.

Call it 24-7-800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. We reported earlier that air travel is now back up to near pre-pandemic levels, and hotels and vacation rentals are way up, too. 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. That said, it could be difficult to stay within your vacation budget this summer unless you choose a destination far from the matting time. 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 again. When something's in demand and the supply is limited, prices go up. We've seen that with the price of new and used cars this year, and it holds true for vacation rentals, too.

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 that occupancy rates for vacation rentals in Mexico are up 40% over 2019.

In fact, they're actually higher now than in 2019. If you're planning to stay in the US this summer, as most people will, the avoid the crowd 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 calls the most overrated vacation spots in the US. 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 interestingly enough, either of the two Disney theme parks. Disney made the list due to super inflated ticket prices and having to wait hours to get on a ride. That doesn't sound like a fun way to spend a hard earned vacation dollars. So if any of those destinations are on your bucket list, well, you might want to book in the offseason. 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 further 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. That is, of course, if you can find a vacancy, and that's the chance you have to take by waiting. Now, the reason for this is simple, and it holds true for airlines and hotels. Airline seats and hotel rooms are highly perishable items. If they go unsold on a given day, well, 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. Where would those destinations be? Well, 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 US 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, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Nags Head on North Carolina's Outer Banks, and finally, Colorado Springs right there 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 and let us know how that vacation turns out. All right, your calls are next. 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and we'll be right back. Delighted to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host. We'll be taking your calls and questions here in just a moment. The number to call to get in on the conversation with your financial topics is 800-525-7000. Go ahead and give us a call right now.

800-525-7000, Amy standing by to receive your call and we'll try to get you on the air quickly. All right, hey, we started today with vacation planning, how you can do it on a budget, staying away from the crowds, hopefully getting out, seeing some of God's creation, and enjoying time with friends and family. If you want to read more about what we were sharing in terms of some of those ideas, an article with the same title as our opening segment today, Avoiding the Crowds and Saving Money This Summer, is available on our website right there on the homepage. It's one of our featured articles at You'll also find another article called 10 Free Summer Family Fun Ideas.

A lot of F's in that. 10 Free Summer Family Fun Ideas, our amazing writer Jim Henry has put that together with some great ideas for you to enjoy time with family. Absolutely free this summer, so make sure you check that out as well. It's all there at By the way, while you're there, create a free MoneyWise account that unlocks a lot of the great things we can offer you, your participation in our MoneyWise community where folks are asking questions and sharing ideas all the time. And it'll ensure that you get our MoneyWise Weekly Wisdom email that goes out each Thursday. Just sign up.

It's free when you get to All right, we're going to begin to take your phone calls today. Again, a few lines open. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000 will begin today in Northern Iowa. Jim, thank you for calling. Go right ahead, sir.

Hi, I'm 69 years old. My wife and I are married. We're longtime listeners since way back in the days when Larry Burkett was on. We established a plan. We listened a lot, took a lot of what he said in. We set our goals. We met them, pretty much exceeded them. And with the tools that we got for our financial packages, it looks like we're going to be good into our 90s. We think our stewardship and our giving are where they should be. And with all that now at 69, I'm looking at minimum required distribution coming up soon where we're going to have to take out more money. So it's like, okay, we did the old plan, but now what's the new plan?

Because I really don't know. Yeah. Well, first of all, thank you for your testimony, Jim, and for mentioning the late Larry Burkett. There's not a week that goes by that somebody on this program doesn't mention the impact that Larry and the Ministry of Christian Financial Concepts had on their lives.

It's amazing to see how God continues to use what Larry started and continues to bless folks with his, not Larry's, God's financial principles that Larry was so effective at delivering. You've applied those principles, Jim, and now you're experiencing the fruit of that. As you say, listen, we've accomplished or even exceeded our goals and objectives.

What now? And I think there's an opportunity to step back and say, okay, if there's really only a few things we can do with money, the money we live on, the money we give, the money we owe for debt and taxes, and the money we grow. As we move through our lives, actually, we eliminate several of those, right? So the live bucket, if you will, that's our lifestyle. At some point, we say enough's enough. You know, we've capped our lifestyle. We don't need to have any more in the way of lifestyle.

So that bucket goes away. And then we pay off all of our debt and we're not paying any more taxes. In fact, the more we give, our taxes tend to come down, so that bucket's gone.

And so we're just left with the grow and the give. And the question is, how much should we allocate to each one? And I think the beginning point of that is to say, well, what is our financial finish line? We need a finish line for lifestyle.

That's the live bucket. That's how much we want to spend on an ongoing basis to fund our lifestyle. But then we need a finish line for our balance sheet as well, for that amount that we want to save. And as you said, you were planning to be able to cover your lifestyle well into your 90s.

I think that's a good idea. Most folks today, from a planning perspective, will plan through age 95 because folks are living longer. And if the Lord tarries and you're in good health and we don't know what our next breath will be, but we should certainly plan to continue to fund our expenses through our mid 90s at a minimum. And you could live longer than that.

Clearly, a lot of folks are. But at some point, we need to say, OK, there's a finish line to that. And beyond that point, we're not just going to continue to accumulate, which really then just puts the spotlight back on that giving bucket. Now, you may have plans or desires with regard to an inheritance and how you want to bless the kids, but that could also be done now by way of actual gifts that are given, but also through giving, starting to help to develop that giving muscle in the next generation or heirs and letting them participate with you in that.

And then also the direct giving that God might lay on your heart to do now. You mentioned a required minimum distribution, and that's a great opportunity for giving, because when that time comes, Jim, at age 72 and you have to take that money out of those retirement accounts, IRAs, and you don't need it because, as you said, your expenses are essentially covered through a qualified charitable distribution. You can actually make a gift of the required minimum each year directly to a ministry or charity, satisfy that RMD requirement from the government and ensure that they get more. And you don't add anything to your adjusted gross income because it's not actually being realized by you.

So everybody wins in that scenario. But give me your thoughts on that and tell me your thoughts on this idea of setting a finish line and perhaps increasing your giving over time. Yeah, we actually have a giving bucket in our annual budget that's for the tithes, and then we have another one for above the tithes. And when things come up, we do give. The idea that you did bring that sounds kind of interesting is bringing the kids and the grandkids maybe into some of that to say, okay, when we got this minimum required distribution, there's going to be, it's not like we're wealthy, but there will be enough that you could make a dent in some kind of local charity or local need that comes our way and maybe get some input from them.

Yeah, I like that idea. Well, I think that would be great because here's the opportunity, you know, as you think about what you're passing on to them, of course, there's someday going to be the financial capital that you'll pass on, but there's the spiritual and the character capital as well. And the idea that you would take a portion of what God has given you and actually allow that to be used in such a way that you can allow them to experience the joy of giving with your influence and participating with you in that activity. Using a donor-advised fund is actually a great tool for that.

Jim, if you aren't familiar with that, I would check it out. Our friends at the National Christian Foundation set these up every day, Think of it like a charitable checking account where the distributions and the contributions could be made right into the donor-advised fund. And then as you and or the kids make decisions on where that money is to go, then you literally with a few clicks of a button, either in your name or anonymously, can grant that out to whatever charity or ministry you choose.

So it's a great tool to use as you're making those decisions. So I begin to give some prayerful thought to what is enough, both for lifestyle and balance sheet, as well as thinking creatively about how you can bring the kids or grandkids into some of this giving and just have some fun enjoying the fruit of what God is giving you and blessing others around you at the same time. Hey, Jim, thanks for sharing your story today. What an encouragement to those folks who aren't quite there yet, but hearing a testimony of how God's faithfulness and his principles work out in the way that they have in your life, I know is an encouragement.

God bless you, my friend. We're going to pause for a quick break and we'll be right back. Thanks for tuning in to Money Wise Live.

We're glad to have you with us today. We've got some phone lines open. We'd love to hear from you. What's on your mind today, financially speaking? Is it your spending plan?

Is it paying down debt, perhaps saving for the future or your giving plan? Whatever it might be, we'd love to hear from you. The number to call is 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open. 800-525-7000. Let's head next to North Miami Beach, Florida. Rosemarie, thank you for calling. Go right ahead.

Yes, how are you? I'm calling because I have a condo that's rented and it's all paid in full, but it has assessments and I get like a 4% return on that. And then I have a townhouse, which my son and I live in, and I have about $30,000 in credit card debt. With the economy, the way it is, all I can do is pay the minimum. I haven't been able to pay them all. So if I sell the condo, I'll have enough money to pay all my bills, including get a new car, which I need because mine has 205,000 miles and it's breaking apart in every single way. And I'll have an extra $200,000, but I don't know where I'm going to put that money.

Yeah, yeah. Well, as you said, the key right now is to get out from under this credit card debt. But at the same time, I want to make sure that we're solving the problem that led to the debt in the first place. Was that money or debt that you accrued over a long period of time just by spending beyond your means? Or was there a single event that led to that? Tell me about how you arrived at that amount of debt. Well, there was an event. I moved and when I moved to another city, I wasn't familiar. I couldn't find a job.

It was just a bad situation. So because I have good credit, creditors are willing to give me all the credit cards I need. But this last five years, I'm struggling and it's making me sick. I can't sleep. I just don't see it going down. As much as I'm working towards it and I work more, but now with the economy the way it is, everything goes up but the salaries. And I'm an independent contractor, so I don't have a 401k. I don't have PTO to take time off.

If I don't work, I don't get paid. So my retirement is that condo. That's what I'm counting off from my old age. But if I don't have that and I'm going to take the money out, I'm going to have an extra $200,000.

What do I do with it so I have something from my old age? Yeah. Well, you've got a couple of options here. As you said, clearly we want to get out from under this credit card debt. It's not only having a financial impact on you, but a physical impact on you. And I can understand why. Especially without steady income, although I'm glad to hear that even as an independent contractor, you have been able to get the work you need to cover your bills.

So you've got a couple of choices. One would be to try to fund this debt reduction through a debt management program where essentially you get on a level monthly payment that fits in your budget. They would get the interest rates reduced through the debt management program and you could pay it off 80% faster.

It would take a good bit of time. But at least you'd see those debts going in the right direction and know that you're working on a plan to get out from under that. And as long as you could build up an emergency fund of at least a couple of thousand dollars to be there to fall back on while you're paying this off. And you're cash flowing positively the condo to not only cover your expenses there, but also to put something away for maintenance and upkeep and assessments, things like that. Then that is one way that you could go.

The other is, as you said, to leverage this hot real estate market, especially there in Miami Beach, one of the hottest in the country. Go ahead and get out from under that at top dollar probably. Take that money, pay off anything you have there as long as you are disciplined and committed to living on a budget so that that money doesn't slip through your fingers.

And then I would say what you would do at that point is begin to put that into a like a SEP IRA, which is for folks in your position that own their own businesses or independent contractors, where you could put away a good bit of money in some cases upwards of $50,000 a year. And then you would begin to dollar cost that average that into the stock market. And while the market is down here, could it go further?

Sure. But you're clearly buying in at lower levels than you would have three months ago or certainly a year ago. And then you could build a stock and bond portfolio that would allow that money to grow on a tax deferred basis as you move more and more of it into that SEP IRA. So I think the key for you right now is really just to figure out what's the option that you feel the best about in terms of getting out from under selling off the condo and paying everything off and then investing that or trying to ride it out, keep the condo, let that continue to appreciate.

And again, South Florida Real Estate has done well, probably will do well in the future, and then trying to use a debt management program to pay off the debt a little bit slower, but certainly without paying as much interest as you will at these higher interest rates. But give me your thoughts. Yes, I think the second one, just going through these management companies, the better choice just because I'm not very good with stock market and that's very unstable for me. I wouldn't be able to handle that.

I like something like knowing that I own a property and I know it's going to appraise and the money's there and I'm comfortable with that. Well, I think that's a great option. And the good news is you've still got all of your options open at some point. If you decide, you know what, I just can't do this anymore. I need to sell the property and pay this off.

You can do that, but you're keeping your options open. So where I'd go from here is I'd contact our friends at Christian Credit Counselors, Rosemarie. You'll find them online at

They're believers. They'll go over your budget. They'll go over all of your debts. They'll tell you exactly what the new interest rates will be.

They'll come up with one monthly payment that fits in your budget and then help you start to make some real progress on that. The other key, though, is let's make sure we cut as much of our spending out on a monthly basis so we can free up more margin because I really want you to fund an emergency fund of at least three months expenses, especially as an independent contractor, so that when the unexpected comes, and it will, you're ready to pay for that without putting anything ever again on a credit card. Thanks for your call. We'll be right back on Money Wise Live. Stay with us.

Thanks for joining us today on Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. In just a moment, we'll be heading back to the phones. We've got some lines open, perhaps one of those just for you.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. Before we head to those phones, let me talk to you about waiting. Yeah, when it comes to our finances so often, there's pressure out there to spend our money right now.

You've all heard it. Don't miss the opportunity. This is a once in a lifetime. Buy before the interest rates go up. Don't miss out on this investment option that's going to be great for you. And there's pressure to act fast when it comes to spending or even investing money. And we've just got to be careful on that. You know, as stewards of God's money, we need to be careful in how we manage the King of Kings resources. Psalm 33 18 says, Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him. Listen to this on those who wait for his faithfulness. You know, we serve a God who is not in a hurry. He has a plan for us, and it's a good one.

We just have to pay attention. So there's often wisdom in waiting. And I think one of the keys is that when we wait, it gives us several things.

Number one, it gives us the time we need to listen to the Lord, to read his word, pray about a decision. We don't have to always move so quickly. Waiting gives us time to consider other options, especially when it comes to a big purchase. Taking the chance to or the opportunity to step back and perhaps even wait 30 days before you make that big purchase will often result in you making a different decision. Waiting gives you time to get wise advice from a financial counselor or financial advisor even.

So I think, you know, there's real benefit there. Now, when it comes to husbands and wives in this, so often, we've married the opposite to us. One of us might be the, well, just look before you leap kind of person. The other is slow and methodical about making decisions. Keep in mind, God didn't give you a spouse to frustrate you, but to complete you. So take the time to appreciate what other brings to the table in making decisions. There might be a little tension there, but listen to each other and recognize that God can often speak through your spouse as you're making big decisions. Is it ever unwise to act quickly? No, I think there's a place for that. As long as you've got all the information and advice you need, you can absolutely move quickly in some cases without being foolish.

So I would just say if you're contemplating a big decision, just remember there's wisdom in waiting before you jump. All right. Okay, let's head back to the phones. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. That's 800-525-7000. In just a moment, we'll be in Tampa.

But next up, Kokomo, Indiana. Hattie, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. Yes, I retired in 2004 from a large company and they filed bankruptcy. And it was a force, you know, retirement because I was a salary employee. So I took out a five-year term from somebody at church of 50,000. But it's all I got right now because in 2009, I lost all my medical insurance and everything. And that runs me about 6,800 a year. And this is up to 135 and I had breast cancer in 2014 and 2019. So I really don't know what to do at this point.

I'm at 135 a month and it stops when I'm 85. Okay. And so this is just a straight term life insurance policy, Hattie? Is that right? Yes.

Yeah, it's a five-year. Okay. And what is the death benefit on it? What will it pay out if something were to happen to you?

50,000. Okay. And who's the beneficiary on that?

My grandson. Okay. And it's to bury me too. I see.

Okay. Is that really the primary purpose for it? I mean, is he a lifelong dependent? Does he have a need for this money or is it really just to cover burial expenses and then to bless him with whatever portion is remaining?

Yeah. And whatever expenses I have after that. I have a condo that I brought in 2004 brand new, but it won't be paid for. And a lease card, I know you can turn that back in. I don't plan on having any bills except for what's necessary to live on. Sure. And do you have any other assets?

Checking accounts, savings accounts? What other assets do you have? None. None. Okay.

Cancer and things. Okay. And so you're living on Social Security alone? And retirement. Okay. And what is the value of that retirement account?

It's monthly $1,183. Okay. All right. Very good.

Yeah. So I think the opportunity here is to say, you know what, this is going to run out anyway. And if the Lord gives you more time and none of us know when he's going to call us home, but you could clearly outlive this term policy and you obviously have other uses for this $135 a month. So I think the question is, you know, could you look to canceling this policy and reclaiming that $135 and perhaps begin setting that aside every month to build up a savings account that could be used for these burial expenses? And look to do that in a way where you make some of those decisions in advance, do some of that planning and put this money aside because once you've accumulated what you need, Hattie, to cover those final expenses, then that's money you can reclaim in your budget at that point. And this policy may never pay out if you live beyond the term, at which point it will certainly be cost prohibitive. So I think perhaps there's another way for you as you consider what you might do to eliminate this policy, which really has no purpose other than to provide for these final expenses, right? Right.

And they're saying it's no guarantee or anything, and I had another friend look at it, but I had never been told that I could just put this in savings, and I didn't think I could get anything else burial because of having cancer twice. But in 2019, without further treatment with prayer and communion, the Lord totally healed me without any treatment. Wow.

Well, that's incredible. And we certainly serve the great physician, so I'm not surprised to hear that. Well, I think that's the opportunity you have is to begin to think through how you might plan for the costs that you would incur, you know, funeral costs and so forth, and begin to set this money aside to build something up so that whatever assets that you have could be converted to pay for this in addition to reclaiming this life insurance. So I would give that some careful consideration because I know you could probably use these funds, and at some point, you know, this life insurance policy is going to go away anyway, so you might as well take that money right now and begin setting it aside. Thanks for your call today. Listen, all the best to you. And if we can help you along the way, don't hesitate to let us know.

Hey, before we take our next break, let me remind you just a few lines open. We'd love to hear from you and perhaps get you in on the program today in our final segment, 800-525-7000. Let me also remind you that MoneyWise Live and MoneyWise Media is listener supported, which means that we rely on your financial support in order to do what we do on the air each day. You can give quickly and safely online on our website, Just click the donate button.

You'll find a secure web form there where you can give online. You'll also find our address if you'd like to mail a gift in, or you can call toll free and talk to our team. We would certainly appreciate your gifts prior to June 30th when our fiscal year ends as we plan for an exciting year of ministry beginning July 1. You can make your gifts today. Again, Just click the donate button and thanks in advance. We're going to pause for a brief break and we come back much more just around the corner. Some great questions coming up, perhaps yours as well.

The number to call is 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions.

Just a minute, we'll head back to the phones. But first, it's Monday and glad it is. I've been looking forward to hearing from Bob Doll for the last week. Bob is chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments and joins us in this segment each Monday to share his insights on the market. And Bob, I hope you have some insights today.

You always do. But what do we need to know? Well, we need to know that the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down eight weeks in a row, Rob. That's the longest streak since 1923. It's been painful.

But today, we forget all that because it's all green. A big update today. Overdue markets oversold. I think there's more to go on the upside.

But I'm still not convinced we've seen the bottom. You know, the entire decline, Rob, has been valuation related. Inflation goes up, so interest rates go up, so price earnings ratios come down, during which time analysts have raised their earnings estimates. So investors have more than marked down valuations than analysts have been able to push earnings up. I fear we're going to see some earnings revisions to the downside, and that's going to keep us from having a big rally and going back to all-time highs where we were not too long ago. Yeah. So in terms of the economic data and the forecasts from companies as they're looking out over the balance of the year, what do you make of where we stand today and what we might see as this plays out?

Well, there's a dichotomy there as well. Economists, Rob, as you know, are decreasing their GDP estimates for the U.S. economy for this year to put numbers on it coming into the year. Analysts were looking for three plus. The number today consensus is two minus a little bit.

I think 1.9 is where we are. During which time, analysts have raised their estimates for company earnings. And of course, it's earnings that move stocks, but the fear is the analyst quote will be the last to know it's time to cut the estimate. So there's a tug of war going on there as well. My fear is the economy is going to slow, not a recession. We've talked about that before. My guess is not this year, but there are a lot of smart people saying otherwise. Yeah.

Yeah. Bob, let's talk about price to earnings ratios. Obviously, that's a key metric in terms of stock valuations. Where were we?

Where are we today? And what's the right level that we should be at to say that the market is fairly valued? So the long term average, which corresponds kind of the last 10 years, last 25 years and even longer, is about 16 times earnings. Of course, 50 percent of the time this market sells higher than 50 percent of the time lower. That's just an average.

We were in the 20s for some time during pandemic and post-pandemic right up to the end of last year. We came into this year at 21 and a half times earnings and we're around that 16 times level, a little bit higher than that, but under 17. So you might say we're closer to fair value. Of course, markets that are overvalued often go to undervaluation before they come back to normal.

So it's good to know in the long term sense, but it's not a good timing tool for the market. Yeah. Bob, obviously, inflation continues to be the headline, but also wages. Any new developments on either of those fronts?

Yeah. You know, it's only straws in the wind and somewhat anecdotal, but we're starting to see some signs that both overall inflation as well as wage rates in particular are coming off the boil a bit. The stronger evidence I would give, of course, is the government relief of inflation, consumer price index and producer price index just a couple of weeks ago for the month of April, down from March. And you know, we've been talking about sometime in the second quarter, inflation peaking and falling for the balance of this year, but not back to where we were. So to still unacceptable levels, but we're seeing evidence of some decline in inflation. All right.

Last question, Bob. Obviously, one of the headlines last week driving the market down was related to Target and a few other retailers. Anything to make of that? Were you surprised by how big of a miss there was there on their earnings? Yes, I'm surprised more so how hard the stocks were hit. The company came out with good revenues, better than expected. The problem is we're beginning to see some margin pressure as customers are starting to bellyache about paying the higher prices. So the investment community is concerned that there will be earnings pressure on these companies.

That's why they hit them so hard. Interesting. All right, Bob. Well, we always appreciate your comments and sentiments, my friend.

I know this is a great time for stock pickers like you who can get in there and find some bargains. I'm sure you're doing plenty of hunting, huh? We're trying.

We're trying through the rubble to find the gems. All right. Very good. Well, we'll look forward to talking to you next week.

Thanks, my friend. I'm here. Bye. All right. Bob Doll, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments.

You can sign up to receive his dolls deliberations at All right. Back to the phones we go.

Tampa, Florida. Michelle, thank you for waiting patiently. Go right ahead. Yes.

Hi. I've been a state of Florida employee for 25 years now and I'm 50. So I'm eligible to retire in five more years.

I'll have my 30 years service. I checked with my retirement with Florida retirement systems and I have an option between a pension plan that I have to buy into or the investment plan that I'm currently in. If I choose to buy into the pension plan, it's $67,000 that I have to pay. And what it would do, the investment plan would pay me $1,000 a month till I die.

The pension plan would pay me $2,000 a month until I die. Yes. This is all because the market is so poor.

Sure, sure. Do you obviously have the ability to transfer for the investment plan to the pension plan if you buy in and you can pay for that out of your investment plan balance, but do you not have enough in that is the $67,000 the shortfall? Exactly.

That's exactly it. I cringe at the thought of taking out a loan to buy in. Yeah, I wouldn't do that. So what is the balance on the investment account right now?

It's $157,000. Okay. All right. And what is it you're looking to, I mean, do you, how far off is retirement?

That's my first question. If I could retire at $55,000, that would be wonderful, but I had not really planned to retire until I'm 62. Okay. And if I have to work past then, then so be it. Okay.

And when you look at your budget, what do you think you will need to generate from this investment plan or pension to cover any gap that Social Security doesn't cover? I'm not sure. Okay. To be honest, my property is paid off. You know, I don't have any credit card debt. I just have my car payment. I don't have any other debt.

Okay. Well, you know, I would say because you don't have the money right now to convert to the pension, even though that may seem like a great option for you because you're transferring the risk to the FRS, the Florida retirement system and not bearing that yourself. But because you have a shortfall there and because I think, you know, your time horizon is still good in the sense that, you know, you've still got, you know, potentially, you know, 10 years, 12 years for this money to grow.

And even, you know, what we were just talking about with a potential recession later this year, next year, you know, typically those only last 11 months on average. So we would kind of move through that and all things being equal, we'd move to higher highs. And the nice thing about the Florida retirement system, it's a great retirement system. And the investments will give you 100 percent of the upside as opposed to you moving into the pension plan and being limited to what they will pay out. And they will turn around and invest that and just keep the difference. So I think, you know, given what I've heard today, apart from doing some planning with a financial planner to look at all of your financial life, I think just focusing on this one decision, given the gap that you have, I'd probably just continue to work, continue to put in your 3 percent or whatever you're putting in each year and let the investments do what they're going to do over the next 10 or 12 years to accrue as much as you can. You're already on track to pay down or pay off your debt by the time you retire completely. That's a great thing so that you can keep your lifestyle as minimal as possible. So that between the what these investments grow to and what you could pull out as a monthly income plus Social Security, you should have what you need.

So if it were me, I'd probably sit right here where you are and just continue to dollar cost average into the retirement account. Okay. Thank you so much.

I appreciate your time. All right, Michelle. God bless you. We appreciate your call today.

Let's finish in Tampa, Florida. Michelle, I've got just a few moments left. How can I help you? Excuse me. Elizabeth is where we're headed next. Wheeling, Chicago.

How can I help you? I would like for you to give me an explanation of the meaning of minimum requirement distribution. Yes, ma'am. So the required minimum distribution or what you might often hear referred to as an RMD is the amount that you have to take out each year from your retirement account. And it's based on a table that is furnished by the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. And basically, it's an amount that relates to your balance and your age. So when you reach age 72, the IRS says you have to take out a minimum amount each year from your IRA, your tax deferred account, which is going to generate tax revenues for them because it's taxable money. And then you're free to do with it what you want at that point. So you'll have to take that once per year and get that money out and at least meet the minimum or else you'll have penalties at that point. You can do what's called a qualified charitable distribution that we talk about often.

And that's where instead of taking that money and pulling it out and putting it in your account, you can transfer it to a charity and perhaps even offset other giving you were planning to do out of cash, satisfy the RMD, but to not receive the taxable income that comes with it. We've got to finish the program. You stay on the line, Elizabeth, because I want to make sure you understood that and answer any questions. We appreciate your call.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Thank you to Jim and Amy and Amy and Dan. And thank you for being here as well. Come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-14 10:04:54 / 2023-04-14 10:21:22 / 16

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