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Cut Your Healthcare Costs

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2024 5:15 pm

Cut Your Healthcare Costs

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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April 22, 2024 5:15 pm

How often do you get a chance to buy something you really need, of higher quality, at a lower cost? You’re probably thinking, “Not very often.” But there is a way you can do just that. On the next Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Lauren Gajdek to explain how you can cut your healthcare costs. Then Rob will answer your questions on various financial topics. 

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The following program was prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. How often do you get a chance to buy something you really need of higher quality at a lower cost? Hi, I'm Rob West.

You're probably thinking, not very often. Well, you'll get a chance to do just that today. Lauren Gydeck joins us with the details, and we have some great calls lined up, but we won't be taking your live calls today because we're prerecorded. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, we always look forward to having our friend Lauren Gydeck on the program. She's vice president of communications and media at Christian Healthcare Ministries, an underwriter of this program. Lauren, welcome back.

Thank you so much for having me back on the program, Rob. Absolutely. You know, Lauren, we often recommend that folks do some spring cleaning of their finances at this time of year, and that means looking at some expenses that are taken for granted, like health insurance.

Would you agree with that? Yeah, absolutely. This is a great time to take another look at finances. They're kind of already on people's minds because we're just coming out of tax season, and some people got a refund. So it's a good time to think about savings goals and polish up that budget a little bit.

Yeah, no doubt about that. And one way folks can cut their costs is by finding more affordable healthcare, and joining Christian Healthcare Ministries is a great way to do that. So I'd love for you to take a moment and just give us a rundown of the options and rates.

Yeah, I'd be glad to do that. First, though, I want to make sure that your listeners know that Christian Healthcare Ministries is not an insurance company. We are a biblically-based alternative to health insurance, and we've been around for over 40 years, shared over $10 billion in medical bills during that time. But as far as the programs are concerned, we have bronze at only $92 a month with a $5,000 personal responsibility, a silver program with $138 a month for $2,500 personal responsibility. Our gold program is $240 with $1,000 personal responsibility, and then our senior share program is only $115 a month with zero personal responsibility.

And still staggering to think about $10 billion with a B shared since 1981. Now, we said that this is an opportunity to get something that's not only less expensive, but also greater value. So talk to us about why being a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries is actually better than most health insurance. Sure. Yeah. What our members tell us they really appreciate about CHM is they're not limited to a provider network, so they can go to the doctor or hospital of their choice.

You know, as long as the treatment is eligible, according to the CHM guidelines, they can have that confidence to work with their doctor, you know, and not have to wait on treatment, but get done whatever they need to get done. Yeah. And another thing, of course, is that CHM has a faith component. Speak to that for a moment.

Yeah, I'd be happy to do that. So CHM draws our concept from the New Testament, where it says in the Book of Acts that all of the believers pooled their resources together and they shared what they had. So CHM does that in a very practical way nowadays with medical costs. And we also, you know, it's so important to us, the spiritual component of what we do. So we also pray for each other. We send each other cards and emails of encouragement. And it's just a really great example of the greater body of Christ.

It really is. And Lauren, for somebody out there today who's saying exactly how does this work when I show up to the doctor to get my treatment, what happens then? Would you just explain that quickly? Yeah, I'd be happy to. So when you go to the doctor, you just let them know that you are a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries. It's not an insurance company, but you tell them that you're a self-pay patient, because legally that's the case. And a lot of times they will have an automatic discount that they will give you and or our staff can help negotiate the medical bills on the back end on your behalf. And then you send the bills to CHM and we'll make sure that they qualify according to our guidelines and send you a check for reimbursement. Okay. So you pay the medical provider and CHM sends you a check as long as the medical bills meet the guidelines, right? Correct.

And you can also set up a payment plan too. Excellent. Well, I know even members of our team, Lauren, have been a part of CHM for a long time, and it has been an incredible blessing, especially with the rising costs of healthcare expenses. We so appreciate you being here today. We'll have you back real soon, okay? Thank you. It's wonderful talking with you. Folks, if you'd like to learn more about Christian Healthcare Ministries, go to chministries.org slash faithfi.

That's chministries.org slash faithfi. Well, folks, we're going to head to a break, but let me remind you, we're out of the studio today. Our team is not here. So don't call in, but much more to come just around the corner on Faith and Finance Live. Stick around. Thanks so much for being with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Let me remind you once again that we're not here today. So don't call in, but we do have some great information coming your way that you will not want to miss.

So we hope you can stay with us. Also, since we can't take your calls today, feel free to email us with your questions at askrob at faithfi.com. Hey, before we get into the phone calls we've lined up for today, let me remind us why we gather each day to talk about finances from a biblical perspective, why it's important for us as Christians to handle our finances differently than the world does. Well, once we give our lives to Jesus, we surrender our lives to Him and place our trust and our faith in Him for salvation, because of His shed blood on the cross, paying the penalty for our sin, reconciling us to the Father so we're in our right standing before the Lord. From that point forward, it's about stewardship. What have we done with what we've been given? Recognizing God's Word tells us, to whom much is given, much is required. We're to be stewards of all God has entrusted to us. Yes, our time and our talents and our relationships and God's Word, and that also includes our management of God's money. So here on this program, we want to help you be that wise and faithful steward of God's resources.

We do that when you call with your questions and we take you back to God's Word, talk about the big themes in Scripture, but also help you with some practical answers. Hey, before we head to the phones and the news, a huge percentage of us don't know what a 401k is. That's right, a new survey of 2,000 Americans for Beyond Finance shows that 43% of us lack a basic understanding of how a 401k works, and another 35% don't know what compound interest is, what Einstein called the eighth wonder of the world. Well, this is a strong argument for basic financial literacy courses in high school. Also, and this is more encouraging, a record number of folks are starting small businesses these days. You know, during the pandemic, people left their jobs in droves to find better employment, some of them starting businesses of their own. That trend has continued and even increased. In 2023, a record five and a half million new business applications were filed.

And by the way, women made up 49% of these new business owners, which I think is exciting as well. So what do we need to do with that? Well, we need to have basic financial literacy. We need to start teaching our kids at the youngest of ages the value of hard work, that God created us to be workers, and that we should work diligently as unto the Lord, that money is a good gift from God, and we're to provide for ourselves and our families and enjoy it, and yes, to give it away. And so starting early with give, save, spend, maybe getting some clear glass jars for give, save, spend, so that we can start early teaching that whenever they receive anything from an allowance or a gift, birthday or Christmas, they should divide it up into that which they're going to spend now, or in the near term, that which they're saving for the future. And maybe they print out a picture of what they're saving for and stick it right on the jar so they kind of exercise that delayed gratification muscle and then they're giving right off the top to the work of the local church and beyond.

Maybe get them involved in giving that's even more tangible beyond their local church giving. So starting early with some of those basic skills and understandings, and then moving into the more complex matters like compound interest, the power of it, how it can work for you and against you with debt, the vicious cycle that we can get into of spending more than we earn, which leads to debt, ultimately leaving to no margin or surplus, which leads to worry. And then that vicious cycle that continues. And by the way, at the root of all of that are spiritual issues around contentment and self-discipline and ultimately our trust and faith in God. So these are all big ideas and we need to be training our future adults, our kids, with both financial literacy as well as a biblical worldview of everything, but that includes money management.

What's God's view of managing his money and what does Scripture say? We need to be teaching them. And by the way, my friend Howard Dayton, one of my mentors, the former host of this program, likes to talk about being an MVP parent. That just means we got to model this more as caught than taught. We need to talk about it. The V is verbal communication.

And then the P is practical examples. Let's let them live it out. You know, Julie and I one time gave our kids, over a 30-day period, the entire eating out budget for them to figure out what we were going to do with it as a family. And it was so much fun on a Sunday afternoon to watch them sitting around the kitchen table talking about, you might say, negotiating how we were going to spend or how they were going to direct us to spend our entire eating out budget over a one-month period of time. And they were saying, all right, if we do this, we can't do that. Well, I really want to go here, so maybe we can give that up. And, you know, they quickly realized, number one, how quickly the money goes, but number two, that it's about decisions and priorities.

And there's not unlimited resources, so we've got to make some hard choices from time to time. All of these things are things we can teach our kids, so they are prepared for a lifetime of faithful stewardship. Hopefully we can help you with that along the way here on this program. All right, we know you have questions today, and I want to try to help you with some answers. So let's dive in. We're going to begin today in Arizona. Sharon, you'll be our first caller. Go right ahead. Oh, thank you so much.

I appreciate you taking my call. I have looked online, and I thought I understood this answer, but I'm not sure, and I wanted to check with you. I know that you can combine the RMDs you owe if you have more than one IRA and pay it just from one IRA, and it covers the rest of them. Does that also apply to a small inherited IRA? If I take more than is required for the RMD from that, does it apply toward the RMDs required for my other regular IRAs? Yes, that is true. So for inherited IRAs, often they can have a different required minimum schedule, the amount, the minimum amount that has to be withdrawn by the survivor, in some cases the surviving spouse or other person.

But the total required minimum distributions that you have to take for the year, including your inherited IRA plus any other tax-deferred accounts that have RMDs, as long as you take out enough to cover the required minimums for the total, it doesn't matter whether you pull it from one account or multiple accounts. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. I just wasn't sure, because the inherited rules are different, so I just wasn't sure it was the same in that case. Yes, that's exactly right.

So as long as you know what that inherited required minimum is, you can add that amount to any other required minimums, and then you can pull it from the account of your choosing. That's wonderful. Do you have time for a second question? Yes, ma'am.

Go ahead. Is it preferable when you want to move a stock from an IRA to a street account to cover the RMD, is there any difference moving it when the stock is up or when it's down? Yeah, well, if you're taking the RMD not from, let's say, a money market or the cash portion of your IRA, but you're having to sell a stock, it, I think, is helpful to think about what stock you're selling in order to do that. So are you liquidating an individual stock position in order to free up the cash to pull that money out? No, you're allowed to just transfer the stock.

Oh, I see what you're doing. Yeah, so you're actually just going to move it to a taxable account, is that correct? Yes. I see, yeah. So in that case, no, it doesn't matter because really what you're going to be doing here is taking that distribution based on the value of the security at that point, that's going to be a taxable distribution, and then from that point you'll pay capital gains.

So that's less of a concern in the way that you're doing it. Thanks for your call, Sharon. We'll be right back. So glad you're with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

Hey, our team is taking some time off. We're away from the studio, so don't call in, but we've got some great information that we've planned in advance coming up in just a bit. Before we do that, though, let's tackle an email or two. By the way, if you have a question you'd like to send along at any time, you can do that at moodyradio.org slash finance.

You'll find a form to submit your questions. This comes from Dan. He says, how long should the average person save tax returns, home sale papers and other similar documents? Dan, many people save tax records for three years. I would be more comfortable keeping them for seven years. Home sale papers I'd probably keep forever. They don't take up much space, and you never know when you'll have to refer to them later, especially related to establishing cost bases.

So hopefully that's helpful to you. Let me tackle one from Brian quickly. He says, do you have any thoughts about Bitcoin as an investment?

I certainly do, Brian. You know, Bitcoin and probably any other cryptocurrencies are here to stay, but that doesn't mean you have to invest in them. They're far too volatile for the average investor, highly speculative. So I would put your money in a properly balanced portfolio of high quality stocks, mutual funds and bonds, perhaps some precious metals, and then keep it there for a long time.

Remember, the Bible talks about investing in terms of steady plotting. So we always want to maintain that long term perspective, and we'll come out best in the end. All right, let's head to the phones now. We're going to go to Marilyn.

Hi, Esther. Thanks for calling. You can go right ahead. Thank you for taking me. I appreciate the ministry, yours and former Larry Burkett, and I got many information out of that helped me in the process with finances. Good. Thank you for saying that.

You're welcome. Today I have a question. I'm age 69. I'd like to know what is the best investment with a good tax write off? I have three retirement incomes. No debt. My house is paid, car is paid.

I took my 401K out to start a business which is now nine years old and have a retiree life insurance through the state. And basically for the last couple of years I just spend my money. Yes. I don't owe anything.

Yes. And I have good income every month. Okay, great.

Only taxes. Okay. Let me ask you, Esther, you mentioned you have three retirement incomes, so I assume those will... Well, let me ask, are those going to continue for the rest of your life, or is one of those related to a business that you're operating? And so obviously your willingness to continue to operate that business is dependent upon the income. Help me understand what you've got coming in.

I have a state retirement, security retirement, military retirement, and also European retirement coming in soon. Okay. So all of those will continue until your death, right? Yes. Okay.

And then what about the small business? Is that something you're still operating? Yes. We grow every year, which is good. We're well known.

I would say where we live that is going well. The taxes I sell is way too much every year to pay, you know? Yes. I don't know if there's anything you know I can do to write off besides the charity I'm given, and thank God that lowers the taxes, you know? Yes.

Well, that's great. I'm delighted to hear that you're generous, and obviously if you're getting above the standard deduction, then that gives you the opportunity to, you know, deduct those contributions up to a certain amount. You know, if you're working and you've got self-employment income, and I assume that's how this is set up. Is it an S-corp?

Is that right? Explain a little bit. What is the tax structure of the business that you're operating? I'm an LLC, if that's what you mean.

Yes. All right. So you're paying the self-employment taxes on the portion that you're drawing out, and I realize that can add up quickly. I like the idea of you, you know, if you have surplus, and do you have a certain amount each month that's surplus that you could put away?

You were breaking up, so I couldn't quite understand. No problem. Do you have a surplus each month, Esther, that you could use to fund a retirement account that could reduce your taxes? Yes. Okay. So what you might want to look at is something called a SEP IRA. Have you familiar with that term? I heard it before, but I did not further look into it.

Okay. SEP stands for Simplified Employee Pension. Think about it like an IRA, an Individual Retirement Account, which you may have heard of, and it's like a traditional IRA or a 401k in the sense that when you make a contribution, you're getting a tax deduction. That amount that you're contributing to the IRA is being excluded from your taxable income for the year. The problem is that with a traditional IRA, you know, even if you're over age 50, the most you can put in in a tax year is $8,000, at least for 2024, which for self-employed people who don't have access to a company-sponsored plan like a 401k, they run into, they bump into that annual contribution limit and then they can't put any more away.

Whereas with the SEP, you can put them in quite a bit more. You can put in up to $69,000 for 2024 or 25% of your compensation, what you're paying yourself from the business as compensation, whichever is less, either 25% of your compensation or $69,000. And then that would allow you to put that into that retirement plan. It could then be invested and then all of that money that went into the SEP for the year would be excluded from your taxable income and you'd get a deduction on it. Does that make sense? That makes very good sense because I don't want to have it as an income where I have to pay taxes all over and over again.

I want to reduce the taxes as we grow anyway. That's right. Yes, ma'am. And so I think that would be a great option for you. Do you have an advisor that you've worked with in the past? That maybe sounds naive, but a lot of you guys would have heard.

And also the state had provided several retirement conferences and there was a multitude of overwhelming information. OK. Are you comfortable using the Internet? Yeah. OK. What I would do is find a certified kingdom advisor in your area at faithfi.com.

That's faithfi.com. Click find a professional. But let's do this. I want to help you a little bit further to make sure you're squared away. So stay on the line. We'll talk a bit off the air and we'll be right back. Stay with us. Glad to have you with us today on faith and finance live.

I'm Rob West. Hey, our team is away from the studio today. We're not here, so don't call in. But we lined up some great questions in advance.

We'll get back to those in just a moment. Let me take this opportunity, though, to mention how vital it is that you support this work. If you've found some benefit in this program, you listen regularly, you've been encouraged and you want to help us take this message to others. Just head to our Web site, faithfi.com and click give with a gift of twenty five dollars or more. We'd love to send you our brand new study called Rich Toward God. Again, that's faithfi.com and just click give.

All right. Before the break, we were talking to Esther in Maryland and she's in her late 60s. She's got three retirement incomes coming her way. She also started a small business that's been very successful. And as a result, she's paying more taxes than she would like.

So we were talking about how she could contribute to a SEP IRA to get that money socked away for the future, but reduce her current tax liability. But Esther shared with me during the break that she had a testimony that she wanted to share as an encouragement related to tithing. So, Esther, share that with us.

Well, thank you for giving me the opportunity. So I was at one time really poor. I went to every pocket sometimes and gave up the coins to pay by bread, literally. So my first tithing I paid was eight dollars.

I remember in California and the next day on Monday, the person didn't bring out the baby. I said, Lord, this is wonderful. You said you opened the windows of heaven. I gave my last money, so to speak, eight bucks. And now I have nothing.

However, two weeks later, the lady came and she bought me 80 dollars for babysitting. And from that time, I always tithed. However, there were times they were not always rosy still in times, you know, and I was short of fifty three dollars paying for the rent. And I battled in my mind with the scripture, if you give, it's the only time we can test God.

We will open the windows of heaven. Prove me in this and this battle in my mind back and forth, because if I would have had paid my tithing, I would have had to pay $50 late fee on the rent. And I said, Lord, then I have to pay extra. So in church, even I battled this. And by doing it often in time, I battled it in my mind and listening to the pastor who said, especially when you don't have gifts, write on the envelope, ha ha.

So I wrote down ha ha ha. On Tuesday, the following Tuesday, I had a job interview. On Thursday, I was called that I got the job. And on Friday, I was called the same week that I get automatically a four step pay increase.

Wow. You can't outgive God, can you, Esther? No hard work, dedication, honesty, no greed. I learned in the favor of God. I started off with the department working as an intern, as a youth advocate, case manager, probation.

Later on, I ended up working at headquarters. So I have a very good retirement from the state. And I want to encourage everyone always to take God first, even in situations financially that doesn't look good. Or you hear a lot of people saying, oh, the church wants the money.

Well, he never says that he wants us to be poor like a church mouse either. Wow. I really appreciate that testimony. You know, I'm confident that there's somebody who was listening today by divine appointment that you've been an encouragement to.

You've encouraged me. And what I'm taking away from your story, Esther, is, first of all, God is trustworthy and faithful. He is our provider, no one else. Second, that we're just called to faithfulness. To whom much is given, much is required. Faithfulness is about long obedience in the same direction, faithful to opportunity. And when God has given you the opportunity, you have consistently said, Lord, I'm going to put you first.

Even when you cranked it through your calculator, it may not make sense. And yet God provides. And he's not a cosmic vending machine.

You know, we're not giving to get. But when we do it with the right heart posture and we do it as an act of worship and we do it as a demonstration of trust, what we know is that God is faithful and he owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he has told us in his word that he will provide for us. And you've certainly seen that play out in your life. And now you've given testimony to that today and that honors the Lord. So I just want you to know, I appreciate you sharing your story. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity. God bless you in the things that you do. Thank you. That means a lot. May the Lord bless you as well, Esther. You have a wonderful day and call any time. What a blessing.

And let's go to Tennessee. Hi, Angela. How can I help you?

Hello. Thank you for taking my call. I appreciate it.

I enjoy your show very much. Thank you. My question today is, should we pay off our home mortgage or keep the savings toward a new vehicle? Keeping in mind, we may have to sell the home in a year or two because of an aging parent in which we would have to sell and move in with the parent.

Yeah, very good. Angela, I love the idea of you all getting out of debt, especially if that's a conviction of yours. I think that God's word affirms that. I don't think debt or borrowing is a sin. But I do think it does mortgage the future. It predetermines our future spending when we borrow. It may deny God an opportunity to work in certain cases, but I think there are productive uses of debt. And that a home is a great example where, you know, you're borrowing for an appreciating asset and it's also where you live. And so I like that. Now, I also love the idea that you would make a goal to be completely out of debt. And I think there are a variety of ways you can go about that.

And the timing matters because we don't want to deplete you of all of your liquid reserves. In this case, you're thinking about a home mortgage versus buying a car. You also have this potential home move. That's less of a concern to me at this point, because even if you were to decide to put 100 percent into the home and you were to pay it off, that's OK because you're going to get that equity out when you sell it. And then you could decide either to put it into the next property or if you're moving in with someone to care for them and you are going to hang on to that equity. You could, you know, put it in savings or you could even invest it depending on the time horizon. So that's less of a concern than whether or not it makes sense for you to go ahead and pay it down or off now versus saving for the car.

So let's run through a few of these options. What is the home worth today to the best of your knowledge? One hundred and eighty thousand. And what do you owe on it? Thirty seven thousand. And what are you paying and what's the current interest rate on that?

Five point five percent. OK. And tell me about the car purchase that you're going to have to make. How much are you looking to spend on that?

Anywhere from thirty five to forty thousand. All right. And would this be a new vehicle or a used?

Hopefully used, if you can find them nowadays, but probably a new one. I understand. All right. You know, rates are high right now. And so that's the challenge. You know, even for new vehicles, I mean, you've got some, you know, that are offering some incentives.

So you could certainly look for that. But, you know, the average new car rate today is still at seven percent. Even for somebody with a 660 credit score and higher, all the way up to 780, used cars are pushing 10 percent. So, you know, I like the idea of you prioritizing the car pay off a payment first, going ahead and buying that that car with cash because we're going to save money on interest. You're certainly going to be paying more in interest than you are in the mortgage. And if you're itemizing, you can deduct that interest on the home, not to mention the fact that the car is a depreciating asset. So I think, you know, assuming you keep an emergency fund in place, I'd prioritize buying the car versus paying off the mortgage and then just try to do that out of current cash flow along the way.

Maybe a look at sending an extra payment a year or something like that. I want to get your thoughts. Unfortunately, I've got to hit a break, so stay there. We'll talk off the air. And just a quick reminder, we're not here today, so don't call in, but we're going to head to a break and much more coming just after this. Stay with us. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

Our team is away today, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance and we'll be going to those here in just a moment. Let me also remind you that the advice that I give each day on this program is general in nature. We offer principles and ideas that apply at a high level. They are not personalized, so that's why you should always seek professional financial advice. And if you'd like to find a professional who shares your values, we, of course, here at Faith and Finance Live recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. These are men and women who've met high standards and they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of financial decision making.

You can find one at faithfi.com. All right, back to the phones we go to Tennessee and talk to Steve. Go ahead, sir. Oh, yes. This is Steve from Mississippi. Oh, okay, Mississippi. I'll take that.

Go right ahead. Oh, yes, sir. I had one hundred and thirty five. I thought it was one hundred and forty. This one hundred and thirty five in an IRA and it's going to be matured in July.

And I was wondering if you had an advice on something to do with it. Yeah. So when you say matured, do you have that in like brokered CDs or something? Yes, sir.

In the CD at the bank. Okay. And what is your age? Sixty nine. Fifty nine? Sixty nine.

Sixty nine. All right. And then in terms of other retirement assets, what do you have?

Well, nothing really. I mean, just little savings and just what's coming in from Social Security. All right. And so you're living off of Social Security alone at this point? Pretty much. Yes, sir.

All right. And is that enough to cover your bills every month? Pretty much. We're going a little bit from the IRA. We're like five hundred a month. Okay. Five hundred a month from the IRA.

Now, that's been in CDs. So has it been paying interest and then you've been pulling the interest or something? Yes, sir.

Pretty much. Okay. Now, I mean, I like the number that you've got there at five hundred a month because basically you're pulling, you know, about four percent a year, which is realistic. And, you know, you've been getting a decent interest rate on those CDs.

That's not going to be around forever. Do you have any emergency savings beyond the IRA currently? No, very little. Okay. And do you have any surplus on a monthly basis that if you're really buckled up, you know, or buckled down, I should say that on your spending, you could start to put something away a little bit every month?

Maybe a little. Okay. I mean, I think that would be key. I'd love for you to get up to six months worth of expenses.

It might take some time, but I'd love for you to get to a place where you've got something to fall back on. So if something comes out of left field, especially given that you're kind of living right up to the edge, that you've got the ability to cover that. With the IRA, I mean, given that you need, you know, five, six thousand a year, I think we do need to get this invested. I mean, typically at 70 years old, I'd say you might want a portfolio of 30 percent in stocks, maybe 10 percent in gold, maybe 60 percent in fixed income type investments. High quality bonds, U.S. treasuries, maybe even some more CDs. So we've got a good stable portfolio.

It's not very volatile. It's paying a good amount of interest, a nice yield. Those bonds will increase in value as interest rates fall whenever that comes.

Maybe it's next year at this point with inflation. And then the stock portion, even though, you know, that'll ebb and flow, you know, it gives you a growth component over time. Because here's the thing, I mean, depending on your health status, I mean, you might need this money to last the next 30 years if the Lord tarries and you're in good health. So, you know, we can still take a long term perspective even at age 70. And I think, you know, getting this invested and I would recommend using an advisor, somebody who can manage it for you so that you can take out that 4 percent a year.

And the goal would be over time, not in any given one month or quarter or year, but over time you'd be able to maintain roughly that $135,000, maybe grow it a little bit for inflation, but still pull out the $5,000 or $6,000 a year you need to supplement. So that would be my best advice. And if you don't have someone, I'd recommend you connect with a certified Kingdom advisor there in Mississippi to help you do that.

Okay. Well, I sure appreciate it, sir. Who is a certified Kingdom advisor?

Yes, sir. So here's where you'd go. If you're comfortable using the Internet, just go to faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com and click find a professional at the top of the page and then you'll do a zip code search.

CKA is the only designation in the financial services industry for men and women who've met high standards and character and competence. They've signed a statement of faith. They've signed the code of ethics. They've been trained to bring a biblical worldview and they've had a pastor and client reference and met an experience requirement. So they're highly vetted. And, you know, I think, you know, these are trusted folks that you could connect with.

I'd interview two or three there in Mississippi and then find the one that's the best fit. Okay. Well, I sure appreciate it, sir.

All right, Steve. God bless you and your wife. And thanks for calling today. We appreciate it. Let's go to Alabama.

Hi, Milton. Go ahead. Hey, thank you for making my call.

Yes, sir. So, yes, I have a VA loan that I started last year around August and I'm interested in refinancing. Now, the lender told me that I was able to refinance my loan without a lender's fees within a year. So I called them and I asked them, I told them the interest rates were kind of low for VA if I was able to refinance and they told me no, that they were not low enough yet to make it worth it for me to refinance.

Right. So I wondered, is that true that they might waive my lender fees and when can I find out when is it worth it for me to do the refinancing? Yeah, it's not going to be, unfortunately, Milton. What is your current VA interest rate? 7.25.

Yeah, we're right there today. You're just not going to save anything. You know, the 30-year rate, I mean, you know, it may dip below, you know, 7%.

Are you on a 30-year fixed rate? Correct. Yeah. You're just not going to save enough even if you could find one, you know, under 7 for it to make sense. You know, I think you're going to need to hold off.

And even if that, you know, ability to refinance without the fees expires because we get beyond a year, what you really want to do is wait until, you know, these rates are down, you know, where you can save a couple of percentage points, which we're still probably another, you know, year or maybe two away from you being able to do that. Okay. That's not what I was hearing. Yeah, unfortunately. I received a call from the lender that bought my loan saying that they wanted to do the refinance that I was able to save up to 1% and I found that strange that they were calling me instead of them calling me. Yeah, but when you reached out to them, they said it doesn't make sense, right? Well, I reached out to the original lender that had my loan. I see.

That's been my favorite one. I got you. They may have been trying to just sell you the call you got and giving you the very best rate that, you know, is available and also may not have been for a 30-year mortgage. I mean, the national average right now this week or last week is around 7.1 and so for a 30-year VA and for a refi, it's up, you know, over seven and a half. So given that, you know, that's just not going to save you any money.

There's just no reason to do it and I understand you want to save on the fees, but I think your better option is just to hold off, wait for rates to come down, which we're still one to two years away from getting down and, you know, probably in the fives, which is where all of a sudden it will make sense to you. Absolutely. So is there a way that I can find out what is the interest rate so I can be proactive and I'll be waiting for them. Where can I find that information?

Absolutely. It's available online. You know, you could use bankrate.com. They'll give you the current VA loan rates by week. It's bankrate.com.

Bankrate.com and you'll just click on mortgages and then VA loan rates and I just watch that as these rates change over time. Milton, God bless you, my friend. Thanks for calling and thanks for your service to our country. Let's go to Iowa. Hi, Teresa.

How can I help? Hi. I have a question about Social Security. I am going to be 68 in September. I retired the end of December of 2022 and have lived on savings for the last year.

So I know about how much I spent over that year. I started my Social Security and now I'm thinking I want to wait. I have about 42,000 in savings. My house is paid for, car is paid for. I have about 260,000 in an IRA and another 105 in a guaranteed annuity.

All right. And so what is the total of the assets outside of the annuity? Outside of the annuity, probably close to 300,000.

All right. And then you have the guaranteed annuity. Have you annuitized that yet or is that just growing?

It's just growing. It's guaranteed 4%. All right. And what's the value of that? I don't know what you mean. The value of the annuity. What is it now? Yeah.

It's about 105,000. All right. And so is your question, does it make sense for you to suspend your retirement benefits and let the check grow?

Yes. And where would you draw the income from that you're currently getting from Social Security while you're waiting? Probably the IRA. And how much do you need per month? Per month, probably about 3,000.

About 3,000 a month. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, that'd be more than I'd like for you to take, although I realize it'd grow at 8% a year. And so you'd pull, you know, quite a bit more, you know, about three times that. So about 12% over the year. And you'd do that for what, another year and a half? Is that right?

It would be about two years. Okay. Yeah.

And then you'd get a check 16% higher, you know, because you'd get 8% a year. Right. So I think you just need to run the numbers on that. I like that option.

There's just a lot of moving pieces here. Unfortunately, I'm out of time today. So let's do this. I'd love for you to either call back tomorrow and we could spend a little more time together or connect with an advisor, a Certified Kingdom Advisor in your area on our website at faithfi.com. But I think you're headed in the right direction.

I'd love to just compute the numbers a little bit more and make sure this makes sense. So let's either talk tomorrow or connect with an advisor in your area. Thanks for your call today. We're so thankful you're along with us today. Thanks to my team today. And thank you for being here as well.

Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. I hope you have a great rest of your day and come back and join us next time. We'll see you then. Goodbye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-22 18:17:01 / 2024-04-22 18:34:17 / 17

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