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Busy Mom’s 4 Steps to Spiritual Balance

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2024 6:21 pm

Busy Mom’s 4 Steps to Spiritual Balance

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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April 17, 2024 6:21 pm

We don’t often think of time management as one of God’s financial and spiritual principles, but we definitely should. And certainly, busy moms know how critical it is to keep these things in balance. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Crystal Paine to share some tips on time management for achieving spiritual balance. Then Rob will answer your questions on different financial topics. 

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Look carefully, then, how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Ephesians 5, 15 and 16.

Hi, I'm Rob West. We don't often think of time management as one of God's financial and spiritual principles, but we definitely should. Busy moms certainly know how crucial it is. Crystal Payne joins us today with some tips on time management for achieving spiritual balance. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith & Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, we're always delighted to have Crystal Payne back on the program. She's the creator of MoneySavingMom.com, which you need to check out if you haven't already. Crystal, welcome back. Thank you so much for having me back.

It's an honor to be here. Crystal, we're trying to get at how busy moms can manage their time and stay spiritually balanced when things are moving at a frenzied pace, I'll say. It's something you have first-hand experience with, right?

That's for sure. I'm a mom of 6, ages 19 down to 1, so we're doing ABCs and ACTs at the same time. We have one with significant medical complexities and disabilities, plus I work full-time running MoneySavingMom.com, like you said, and writing books and podcasting.

Yes, so you are the perfect person to weigh in on this. And of course, you also have the book The Time Saving Mom, and in it, you outline a four-step process for how busy moms or stay-at-home dads can get control of their time. So let's walk through them quickly. What's first? So first off, pray. Really starting our day in that posture of prayer and reliance on the Lord. Instead of trying to white-knuckle your way through life and your own strength, this changes how you approach life.

You feel a lot less stressed, you feel more at peace, and it really helps you to focus your energy on those things that truly matter in eternity. And this can just look like a quick flare prayer, as I call it, that you shoot up throughout the day when you feel overwhelmed or aren't sure how to approach something, or you just feel extra tired or weary. Yeah, don't let your busyness crowd out this all-important step, and that is to be prayed up. All right, Crystal, what's next? So next up is prioritize, and in The Time Saving Mom, I outline what I call the six times two priority system.

So this has been such a game-changer for me. I have six priority areas that I wrap my time and my life around, but I only pick two to focus on per day, and then I rotate the ones that I focus on. So instead of trying to do all the things every day, that's how you really end up feeling completely stressed and frazzled, I just focus intentional time on two areas.

So for instance, that might look like an at-home date with my husband, which would be the marriage priority area, and then coffee with a friend, which would be the friendships priority area. So that would be one day, and then maybe the next day, I might spend extra time decluttering and catching up on laundry, so the home priority area, and then have a game night with the kids, so the kids priority area. So you just rotate through the priority areas, focusing on two per day. That's so helpful, and there's something about the power of focus that allows you just to be much more intentional and really make some progress.

I love that, kind of focusing that down to two. Now, I know the next step is to plan, and you actually recommend using Google Calendar and time-blocked to-do list to do this. So how exactly does that work? So this is a hybrid system that I use both an electronic calendar, Google Calendar, and then a handwritten list, and I find this is really the key for me to have lots of irons in the fire but not forget the important things. So I write every single thing down that I need to do or remember even the tiny things in my Google Calendar as an all-day task, and then I assign it to a day that it needs to be done by. And then every night before I go to bed, I write out a handwritten time-blocked to-do list with everything mapped out for the next day, so it's like a budget but for my time. Oh, that's so good, and then you can just make sure each day you're checking off those things that were intentionally placed on that day. That's just really helpful.

All right, the last one is prep. So what does a busy mom need to know about preparing for the day? I've really found that a successful day begins the night before, so one way that we set up our days to run much more smoothly is we take 30 minutes before we go to bed to quickly pick up the house, figure out what we're having for breakfast, make lunches, and get the bags and backpacks ready and set by the door, and then lay everyone's clothes out for the morning. These simple things make such a difference on our mornings and on the entire rest of the day. Wow, Crystal, that was so good. I can imagine our listening audience right now is saying, I want that.

How do I get that? Well, check out The Time Saving Mom, her book, or go to moneysavingmom.com. Crystal, thanks for helping us with some practical ideas to stay spiritually balanced. Thank you so much for having me. All right, we'll do it again real soon.

That's Crystal Payne, one of the busiest moms we know. Learn more at moneysavingmom.com. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. We'll be right back.

The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions. We've got lines open, room for you. You can call right now at 800-525-7000.

Again, that number, 800-525-7000. Here's what we want to do each day on this broadcast. We want to take an hour to dedicate to helping you be a wise and faithful steward.

Here's the reality. God owns everything. You're a steward.

I'm a steward. We're a money manager for the Lord. And money is one of his good creations, so long as we don't allow it to compete with our devotion for God.

And we see in Scripture that it absolutely can. The parable of the sower. You remember the weeds were choked out by, in part, the deceitfulness of wealth. You remember the parable of the rich fool. We saw clearly he was called by God in the story told by Jesus, the parable. He was called a fool because he was putting his treasure in the things of this earth. He was building bigger barns and trying to eat, drink, and be merry as a result of the things he had stored up for himself without being rich toward God.

And because of that, his life was demanded of him. So, we want to help you see God as your ultimate treasure and manage his money as a tool faithfully in line with Scripture. Well, we do that as we gather together around the practical decisions and choices you're making every day in your financial life.

So, what are you thinking about today? Let's talk about it. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.

Again, that's 800-525-7000. Also coming up a little later in the broadcast, my producer Amy Rios will join me. We'll dive into the mailbag and find out what questions you have on your mind. Those come to us by way of moodyradio.org slash finance where you send those in. We dedicate a portion of our time each day, or each Wednesday I should say, to tackling a few of those questions and we'll do that yet again today.

Alright, before we head back to the phones, or to the phones or the first time I guess I should say, let me dive into some news from today. A couple of things that stand out to me. Number one is a huge percentage of us apparently don't know what a 401k is. A new study of 2,000 Americans for Beyond Finance shows that 43% lack a basic understanding of how a 401k works. And another 35% don't know what compound interest is. I think this is a strong argument for basic financial literacy courses in high school. Fortunately we're seeing more and more of those, but it's also a good reminder that as parents we've got to model this.

We've got to be talking about it. We've got to find practical ways to teach financial literacy starting with Give Safe Spend at the earliest of ages. Where as kids get allowance money or maybe gifts at birthdays and Christmas, they're dividing it up between not only that which they're going to spend in the short term, but saving it for the long term, learning the practice of delayed gratification and limited resources.

Maybe in a clear glass jar for save, they print out or you help them print out a picture of what they're saving for and they tape it right on the jar so they can remember why they're saving. And then clearly we want to take a portion and put it into the give bucket or jar so that as they start developing that giving muscle, they understand what it looks like to give to the local church and even beyond that to other needs that they might experience more tangibly. And then as they grow up, obviously that gets more complex, compound interest and developing a spending plan, maybe even investing. Of course, the value of diligent and hard work as unto the Lord is obviously a critical skill to teach. But alongside that literacy is also, I think, a biblical worldview of money management. God owns it all. The things I was talking about a moment ago that we need to live with contentment, that money is a tool. It's not an end.

It's a means to an end. You know, as we model that for our kids by giving generously and talking about the importance of our role and being found faithful as a steward. Well, again, more is caught than taught. So we're modeling that we're imparting that to our kids so they can carry that into their adult lives. A study I saw recently said largely the way you handle money today, your view of money was in place by the age of nine, which means that your environment, what was modeled for you by your parents, how much money was available or the lack thereof, informs how you handle money subconsciously today.

And that, combined with how God has wired you and your understanding of God's word and spiritual formation, I think ultimately drives the decisions, the heart posture underneath those financial decisions we're working out every day in our financial lives. Well, starting by understanding that in your life and then beginning to transfer that to our kids, I think, is a critical skill. Anyway, hopefully that's given you a few things to think about today. Not trying to scare you.

I'll tell you, I carry this responsibility and weight as well with my own children, but it's something we need to be encouraging each other in all the time. All right, I'm ready to take some phone calls today. It looks like I've got four lines open. You can call right now at 800-525-7000. Let's begin today in Kansas. Hi, Fred. Go ahead, sir.

Yes, thank you for taking my call. My question is, I pay, God's always blessed me, and I have, instead of paying 10%, I pay 11% off of gross. My question is, when I start receiving Social Security, is there a formula or to know what part is security has given us that we didn't put in ourself?

Yeah, boy, it's a great question, Fred. You're hitting on something I've been wanting to explore for a long time, and I'm going to do it here sometime soon, to try to come up with a percentage that's at least the best representation we can get on for a typical retiree based on your age, kind of what percent of every check might represent what's being returned to you that you paid into the Social Security retirement trust fund versus what was coming back in the form of either growth, because, remember, that was invested, and now there's some growth component to that. And, remember, your employer, if you had W-2 wages, they put in half of it, so there would be half of it that they put in beyond what you received. But another way to get to that, apart from establishing some percentage or methodology for that, would be to pull your MySSA.gov statement. It will show you the total amount that you paid into Social Security during your working life. And then what you could do is say, okay, if I were to collect Social Security benefits from the day you started collecting them, the amount of that first check, and you run that out to your life expectancy, and this is where you'd have to make some assumptions, is that kind of life expectancy today, which is 83, or do you want to say that, you know, based on longevity in my life, and if the Lord tarries, of course, I want to go to age 95.

I mean, you'd have to pick that far, how far out you go. But let's say you picked age 95. Then you could say, okay, of this monthly check, I'm going to get times the number of months taking me all the way to age 95. Here's the total amount I'm going to get from Social Security.

And then you could look at, okay, what percent of that total number that I'll get is represented by what I paid in from your MySSA statement versus the overage, and that would give you a percentage that you could then use for your tithe. Does that make sense? That does. I appreciate it, sir. Okay. Thanks for your call, Fred. I hope that helps. The other approach is a simplified approach, and it's just to say everything I get is a gracious gift from the Lord and just tithe on it right off the top.

But I totally get it. You've been tithing on the gross from all along the way, so I understand that only a portion is your increase. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. I'm so glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Hey, if you'd like to find an advisor in your area that has attained the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation, and 1,500 men and women across the U.S. and Canada have, which, by the way, is the highest credential, the only accepted credential in the financial services industry for folks who have met those high standards around character and competence and a regulatory review and experience requirement, pastor and client reference, and they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of financial decision-making. CKA is the only industry designation that represents all of those things. And you can find a Certified Kingdom Advisor when you head to our website, faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com. And then right there at the top of the page, just click Find a Professional. All right, let's head back to the phones. We've got several lines open today. If you have a financial question, we might have an answer for you.

We'll certainly give it our best shot. 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's go to Spokane. Hi, Leo. Go ahead, sir.

Yeah, hello. I've got another grandchild. I spoke to you about my first in regards to opening a 529 forum or custodial account. And with the first one, I did a custodial account, and now I understand the 529 has changed in a better way. That might be a good option for my second grandchild.

Okay. Have there been improvements to the 529 that make it less restrictive only for college? But if he chooses not to go, are there other options that are now available?

Yes, absolutely. The big change, and this kicked in this year, is that any unused funds with some restrictions can be rolled from a 529 plan into a Roth IRA, which would set that child up then with some funds for retirement way down the road, growing tax-free. But the compounded effect of that tax-free growth would be significant. Now, the limitations are on that, that that money has to have been, that account would have had to have been open for 15 years. Typically they are, especially if you start early, before rolling it into the Roth. If you started it later, it would just have to stay in the 529 until you reach that 15-year mark, and then it could be rolled to the Roth. And then it had to have been contributed at least five years ago, so any money rolling into the Roth has to be at least five years in the account, and it would be up to a lifetime cap of $35,000. So depending on how much was in there that was unused, only up to $35,000 could go into the Roth. But all that being said, it's still a wonderful addition to the 529 plan, because now you don't have to pull that money out and pay a penalty on it. You have the ability to roll that into a Roth IRA, which is a wonderful savings tool for any child student starting out in their adult life, because it would just prove to be a significant asset down the road. Now, the other thing to think about on the 529 versus the custodial account is, with the custodial account, number one is that that's going to be the child's asset at the age of majority. So regardless of his or her spiritual and financial maturity, they're going to have full access to that money at typically the age of 18, which just means if they're on the wrong course in that season of life, that money could be used for purposes that you wouldn't have allowed or if it were up to you. So just realize the implications of that.

So the alternative to that is either the 529 or you could keep it in your name or jointly titled you and your wife earmarked for the child, invested in any way you want, doesn't then have to be used for college, but you would choose the day and time that you would actually give access and control to the money by way of gifting down the road, as opposed to it being required when he or she reached a certain age. Does that make sense? I see.

It does. Just one other question on the 529. Since I'm retired, can it still have the option of going to the Roth IRA or do you have to be employed to do that? In terms of the earned income on it? Yeah. Well, it would go into the Roth of the beneficiary, so it wouldn't go into your Roth.

It would go into a Roth for the beneficiary, which would be the child. And would they have to be working in order for that to happen? No.

No, they would not. Oh, I see. Okay. Wonderful. All right. Well, you've been very helpful. Thank you so much. You're welcome, Leo. Listen, if you're looking at 529s, you may want to check savingforcollege.com.

It could be that the state of Washington's 529 is inferior to another state's plan and savingforcollege.com can help you figure that out, both in looking at potential state tax deductions versus a better performing plan or a plan with lower fees outside of the state of Washington. So you might be worth just checking that out and see if there's a better plan out there for you to consider. But you sound like a wonderful, generous grandfather, and we appreciate you checking in with us today, sir. God bless you. Folks, we're just getting cranked up here today. Still more than half of the program to go. And we'd love to tackle your financial questions today. Looks like I've got about five lines open at 800-525-7000. Also coming up a little later in our broadcast, in our final segment, we'll jump into some questions that were sent to us electronically.

We look forward to tackling those on on Wednesday's broadcast, which is today. And then finally, let me just mention to you that our brand new study Rich Toward God is out. If you're looking for a study on money and how we handle money, according to God's word, that you can use with for personal study, but also with a small group. Maybe you have a small group of church of men or women that you're constantly looking for just great practical biblical content that you can explore together with a group of believers around a topic that intersects with your life. Rich Toward God is a great one. It unpacks the themes of true abundance and pride and prosperity. What it means to be rich toward God, even the uncertainty of tomorrow, which a lot of people are thinking about just given all that's spiraling out there around us right now. Check it out today. Faithfi.com.

Click Shop. Back with more after this. Stay with us.

So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. Hey, a quick correction. That's right. I do say things wrong from time to time.

Leo called. He's a grandfather. He's got a second grandchild. He was asking about the 529.

And I stand by everything I said except one thing. And by the way, this provision around Secure Act 2.0 that changed how you can use money that's left over in a 529 plan after the funds are used for college, where it would typically have to come out as a non-qualified distribution, which would have a 10% penalty. Secure Act 2.0 now allows for up to $35,000 to be rolled to a beneficiary's Roth IRA. So you have a student.

They don't use all the money or don't go to college. Up to $35,000 as long as the account's been open 15 years and the money that you're rolling over has been in there at least five years, could be rolled over up to $35,000 into a Roth for the student, which would be a great head start towards saving for retirement. Now, here's the exceptions on that $35,000. In the year that you convert it, you can only go up to the limit for that year. So if it were this year, you could put in $7,000 this year in terms of rolling it to the Roth. The lifetime amount you can roll to the Roth is $35,000. So that would happen over a series of years. But the question Leo asked about was, does the beneficiary, the child, have to have earned income up to the amount you're rolling over like they normally would with a contribution to a Roth? I said no.

The answer is actually yes. So he will have to have earned income up to the amount you're rolling over in a given year, up to the limit for the year, which in this calendar year is $7,000, and then only a max of $35,000 over a lifetime for that individual. So I know we're getting a little complicated there, but bottom line, Leo, he does have to have earned income. But this is a great new feature of the 529 plan because that was always a concern for a lot of folks.

What do we do if we have money left over now, at least up to $35,000 over time, you can roll that into a Roth. All right, let's head back to the phones. To Florida we go. Hi, Erica, go ahead. Yes, good afternoon to you, sir. Thank you for all you do.

Thank you. If I have a question for my daughter. She was working with a company and they lost a lot of the money so she had 100,000 left over. But she left the company, and she wanted to know if he should put it in an IRA or in a Roth. Yes, so is it a 401k that she has with her previous company? Yes, but they didn't match anything. Okay, that's what she had put in and they lost a lot on their stock. Okay, I understand.

This is all she has left. Sure, and do you happen to know there's two types of 401ks, and this is going to directly relate to your question. There's the traditional 401k, which is like the traditional IRA where the money goes in tax deferred, meaning you don't pay tax on it as it goes in, and then it grows tax deferred. But there's also a Roth 401k, which means she's contributing after-tax money to the 401k.

Do you know which kind it is? No, I think it's before taxes. Okay, so then she would want to roll that to a before-tax IRA, which is called a traditional IRA, because then she's not going to create a taxable event. So it's just moving from one account to a similar account with a different title, one's 401k, one's IRA, but there's no taxes generated. Now, at that point, she would have the option, if she's young and it makes sense, for her to convert that to a Roth, but however much she converts would be added to her taxable income for that year. And so if you're getting closer to retirement, typically it's not worth it because you're probably at the peak of your earning years, so you're already paying a lot of tax. So the last thing you want to do is add more taxable income, especially if you don't have a lot of years left for the Roth effect to work its magic, where it's growing tax-free. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. I was wondering, she's with another company that has a 401k.

Okay, yeah, so that would be the other option. So instead of rolling it to the traditional IRA, if her company allows, and not all of them do, most do, and she'd just want to call her plant administrator to ask, but she could just roll that right into her new 401k that she's actively contributing to. And the benefit there is now all the money's in one place, she's only selecting one set of investments, and then once she separates from that company down the road, she could roll all of it out to an IRA at that point. Yeah, but because of her age, she's very skeptical and concerned about the stock market and everything like that. What is her age?

Pardon me? What is her age, if you don't mind me asking? Sixty-two.

Sixty-two. Okay. Yeah, I mean, here's the way to think about that. I mean, I get that. And yes, I mean, even though the market recently hit new highs, there's a lot of, you know, question marks around the U.S. economy. We have some big macro challenges that, you know, we have a lower birth rate, and so that means that our population is not going to be growing as quickly, and therefore we're not going to have as many workers, and we've got a lot of national debt.

I mean, there's a lot of geopolitical issues. And yet, despite all of that, and we've certainly had our challenges in every decade historically, the very best place to build wealth over time in a properly diversified portfolio is in stocks and bonds. And even at 62, let's say the Lord Terry's, and she lives to age 95, she's got 30 years for this money to last. And so it's not like you have to take a short-term perspective on it, even if we hit a major recession next year, and I don't know that we will, most economists are not predicting that, but let's say we did. I mean, she's got decades for this money to recover, and every other recession or even, you know, crash that we've had historically, the market has recovered and moved to new highs. So I think even though she wants to get more conservative at 62, maybe she's got 50% in stocks, 50% in bonds, to create less volatility, she can still take a long view.

And the way you overcome inflation and the effects of inflation on your money is to invest so you can grow it. So that's just something to consider. So I agree she should get more conservative, but I think, you know, her moving to cash or getting out of the market because she's concerned about, you know, short-term volatility is probably not the way for her to grow this money, offset the effects of inflation, and have it available down the road.

Just something to think about. Thanks for your call. I don't think she wants to get out. I just think she wanted to know if it's the IRA or the Roth.

I wouldn't leave it. I would probably roll it into the 401k, and that way everything's in one place. If she doesn't do that, then I'd go to the traditional IRA, not the Roth.

If she goes to the Roth through a conversion, she's going to have an extra $100,000 in taxable income. So I hope that helps you. If she has further questions, tell her to give us a call. We'd love to chat about it. Quickly to Birmingham.

Hi, Lydia. Go ahead. Thank you. Your two previous callers set me up really well for my question because it has to do with the Roth IRA.

Awesome. What's better, a Roth IRA or a gold IRA and why? A gold IRA just refers to the fact that you have a custodian that's equipped to handle physical gold. So the physical gold is bought, it's stored in a safe, and then the value of the underlying precious metal as it increases or decreases drives the price or the value of that IRA. And it could be both the traditional version or the Roth version. So it's not a traditional IRA or a gold Roth IRA.

It's traditional or Roth and then gold or non-gold account. Now let's do this. I've got to take a break. When we come back, I'll get your thoughts on that. We'll finish the question and then we'll jump into some emails. So Lydia, if you don't mind, stay right there. We'll finish up right after this break. We'll be right back. I'm so glad you've joined us today for Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

This is where we apply biblical wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. And just before the break, we were talking to Lydia in Birmingham. By the way, I have a special affinity for Birmingham, Lydia.

You know, I'm a Samford grad, so I love your city. That's wonderful. That's great.

That was my dream school. Is that right? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. But I didn't go there, but I went to Mobile. All right. All right. Well, I love Alabama. It has a special place in my heart.

Plus, I also met my wife there and she's from Birmingham. But back to your question. So Lydia and her husband are young. They would like to invest. They're wondering what's better. And her question was a Roth IRA or a gold IRA.

And what I was sharing before the break, Lydia, was two different things. So it's either Roth or traditional. And then there's gold IRA or traditional IRA or non-gold IRA, if you will. So first, let's deal with Roth or traditional.

So I like the Roth because you said you guys are young. And what happens there is you put in after-tax dollars and you get tax-free growth. So you pay the tax on it, then you put it in, and then it grows until retirement. And then when you take it out, all of the gains, because it was invested, whether it was invested in stocks, bonds or precious metals, you're now going to pull it out tax-free. In the traditional IRA, you're putting it in, you're getting a deduction, so you're not paying tax on the contribution. It grows tax-deferred.

And then when you take it out in retirement, you pay tax on it like income as you take it out. Now, gold IRA or non-gold IRA just has to do with, and by the way, there's gold IRAs for both traditional and Roth, but that has to do with whether or not the custodian is set up to hold the physical metal in a vault, and then your value rises and falls with the underlying price of the gold. Or a non-gold IRA would just be a typical IRA that can hold any marketable securities. So you could buy gold through not the physical ownership, but like a tracker, which is where you buy an ETF that trades like a stock, but it moves with the price of gold, and you could have that alongside stocks and bonds and mutual funds and other things.

So does that help clarify the difference in the categories? That does help clarify which one in your opinion is better, because I'm thinking about inflation and the value of the dollar rising and falling. So if I'm buying gold, is that value rising and falling? Or if I'm putting in money, is that rising or falling?

Yes. So it has to do with what's going to happen with gold in the future. In gold, a lot of people call it the fear trade.

It's also been referred to as a hedge. And the idea there is, you know, it's an uncorrelated asset. So typically, when there's a lot of fear in the system, maybe stocks are falling, we're in a recession, gold typically does well. If there's a major geopolitical event, you might see the price of gold rise.

It's up right now at all time high levels. Now, when you look at gold's performance over a long period of time, like 100 years or more, it's a little more volatile than a typical stock and bond portfolio, meaning, you know, rises and falls in a little more extreme fashion. And the performance is not quite as good over the long haul. The other disadvantage of gold is it doesn't pay an income. So like with stocks, you can get dividends or a mutual fund might pay you dividends or income along the way while you're waiting for the price to appreciate. Gold doesn't do that. So I like gold, but I wouldn't overweight there. So how do I think about gold? Well, I'd probably rather you go with the Roth IRA. And then as a part of a diversified portfolio, maybe you'd have somewhere between five and 10% in gold to be at 100,000, five to 10,000.

And then the rest in largely stocks because you're young, and then the balance in bonds and fixed income investments. And then over time, you'd look at the whole thing rising, gold would do its part. And when the market's going down, the gold would be up even more typically. But then, you know, the rest of the time, the stocks and bonds are doing well.

And that I think, despite the challenges we have, and you mentioned the US dollar, and I get that, but I still think that's going to be the better approach long term for you guys, then putting all your eggs in one basket and gold through a gold IRA, if that makes sense. That makes sense. That's very helpful.

I've taken notes. Okay, awesome. We appreciate your call.

If you want to check out some of the gold tracker ETFs, our friends at soundmindinvesting.org had a lot of great articles on it that you could read up on. So that might be a great way to go. We appreciate your call today from Birmingham. Thanks for being on the broadcast.

Jackie and Anne, stay right there. We'll try to get to those calls. But first, it's Wednesday, which means my producer Amy Rio stops by with some mail. And, Amy, it sounds like we have a few more today, right? We do.

We have three and oddly enough, they, their names of the senders for the emails. I'll start with T's today. I'm not sure how that happened.

Was it intentional? The triple T day. Okay. Let's do it. So the first T is Todd and he writes, I have poor credit. Is there any way to use the equity in my home to pay off some bad debt? I have more than enough equity to wipe out the debt that's causing my credit to suffer. Yeah, I mean, you can do it.

Should you do it? No, Todd, I'm not on board with that. And here's why. Number one, it kind of spreads it out over a much longer period of time because typically we pay back home equity debt very slowly. You know, over we think in terms of 10, 15, 20, 30 years. And so even if it's a lower interest rate, you know, we're paying it back over a long period of time. So we end up paying a lot of interest. Number two, that old bad debt, probably credit card debt is unsecured, meaning there's no recourse on that debt other than, you know, they could try to sue you, but they can't take any of your property.

And as soon as you put it on your home, now it's secured to your home. And then number three, it just typically doesn't solve the underlying issue, which is we need to live on a balanced budget within our means. Your credit score is not my primary concern right now. It's that you develop good habits of money management. And as long as you're an on time payer and living below your means, so you've got margin to kind of systematically pay that debt back.

But you're not late. You don't have any new debt that's unpaid. Your credit score will improve itself over time. But I don't want to stick it on the home.

Okay, that sounds great advice. So next, Tina writes, our home is paid off and we have a second house with a 30 year mortgage at 2.75%. We're renting out that second property, we have the means to pay off the mortgage. But we're wondering if we should take that money and invest it somewhere instead.

Yeah, it's a great question. I love that your primary residence is paid off. I look at this second home, Tina, as an investment or a business because that's really what it is. And you've got an appreciating asset. Yes, you've got some debt on it. But it's very low, a very low interest rate phenomenal at two and three quarters. And it's rented out, which tells me that because of that low interest rate, you're probably servicing that debt just fine out of the cash flow. Hopefully you have some reserves and something set aside if you need a major maintenance project or something. So unless you have just a real conviction to be debt free, and if you do, by all means go for it. But apart from that, I kind of like the idea of you investing that money.

Now you've got the home appreciating, you got low interest rate, you're cash flowing positive, and you've got that money that you would have used to pay off the mortgage invested for the long term. And I think that's kind of the best of both worlds. But again, if you all pray about it, and you feel like, yeah, the Lord's leading us to be debt free, go for it and don't look back. Perfect.

Okay. So finally, Terry writes, I recently opened a high yield savings account. I'm wondering if moving a large sum of money from my local bank into this account will raise any issues with the IRS? It wouldn't be the IRS. So banks have to report transactions greater than $10,000 to another agency within the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, it's called FinCEN. It doesn't mean it will be investigated. They're just looking for, you know, suspicious transactions. It happens all the time. It's not something that would concern me.

It certainly wouldn't cause me to make a change in what I'm wanting to do with regard to high yield savings. Okay. Thank you, Rob, so much for all your wonderful wisdom and advice. Well, thank you, Amy. I appreciate you bringing the triple T's today. We'll talk to you real soon. Hey, we're about out of time, but let's jump quickly to Chicago. Hi, Jackie, go ahead.

Hi, Rob. My question is about when to start taking Social Security benefits. And specifically, I'm trying to understand the spousal benefit. I'm 62, I'm no longer working. My husband is 63.

He's planning to work until 65 or 67. It was always our plan to defer Social Security until, you know, at least probably 67. But I just read something that talked about how I might consider taking my benefit now currently at age 62. And then once my husband retires and starts taking his benefit, my benefit would then convert to a spousal benefit. And I've tried to do some research on my own, and I'm just not understanding this spousal benefit conversion. So here's the thing, you can receive up to 50% of your spouse's benefit so long as your spouse is taking their benefit. And if you're full retirement age, when you take it, if you take it before full retirement age, you're going to get some percentage lower than 50%. Now, if you delay your benefit, so let's say you start taking your spousal benefit, but you delay taking your benefit based on your own work record, that benefit can continue to grow, whereas the spousal benefit does not.

So typically, what people do is as soon as they're able to and their spouse is receiving their benefit, then they begin collecting the spousal benefit they're due and take that, let theirs continue based on their own work record to grow up until full retirement age, and then even beyond that to age 70. And at that point, you know, switch because you can do that to the higher benefit, which at this point is now not only what you would have gotten a full retirement age, but about 25% higher than that, because you let it continue to grow. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. Okay. Okay, I see.

I understand. But in order to get the full 50, your spouse needs to be collecting his benefit. You can't take it unless he is and you need to be full retirement age. Your spousal benefit won't grow beyond 50%.

That's the max you can get, but your own benefit can grow and will grow as long as you delay it and you can switch one time and take the higher of the two down the road. So hopefully that helps. We appreciate your call today. I know this can get complicated, but thanks for being a part of the program. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Buy. So thankful for my team today, Amy, Dan, Anthony, Jim, and the rest of the cast and crew here at Faith Buy. See you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-17 20:14:28 / 2024-04-17 20:31:32 / 17

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