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Are You Buying into Busyness?

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2024 6:43 pm

Are You Buying into Busyness?

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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May 6, 2024 6:43 pm

As if you don’t have enough to do – here comes May! And with it, the graduations, sports playoffs, and end-of-school events that keep you hopping. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about how you can avoid buying into the busyness. Then he’ll answer your questions on various financial topics.

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As if you don't have enough to do, here comes May and with it, the graduation, sports playoffs and end of school events that keep you hopping.

Hi, I'm Rob West. We all treasure these important life events and the memories they create. What we don't enjoy is the stress. Today we'll talk about how to avoid buying into the busyness. Then we'll take your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. We live in a noisy culture. We're bombarded with messages about how to live, what to think and what to buy. May seems to be one of the noisiest times of the year, especially if you've got school age youngsters. At this time of year, the pressure to fill up the schedule, buy the right stuff and meet the expectations is very high.

Here's the problem. In times of stress, we're tempted to take our eyes off the Lord and become entangled in worldly attitudes. We buy into the busyness and it becomes a way of life, not very peaceful. Colossians 2-8 warns against the futile thinking behind all this stress. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Much of the hollow thinking we fall for these days is just materialistic and self-serving.

Here are a few examples of the lies we tell ourselves. The future will be secure if I accumulate a lot of possessions. My family will love me more if I buy more things and experiences for them. Everyone should get what they want.

All I need is a positive attitude and everything will work out. Being busy is the best way to love my friends and family. The Bible calls these ideas hollow and deceptive because they're lies, glorifying material possessions and selfish desires. The end result of this worldview is just more chaos and less peace. So how do we avoid being fooled by the world's noise? Well, we can focus on God's truth instead.

Here are a few examples. In John 14, 6 Jesus says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Abundant life, peace, hope, and a sure future are only found in Christ. Proverbs 23, 5 says, Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

And simply can't satisfy you. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, according to Psalm 31. Lasting success comes from serving the Lord, not chasing after personal fulfillment. And finally, Proverbs 3, 5, and 6 offers lasting reassurance. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths. When we listen to God's truth instead of the world's noise, we can put our priorities in order. We follow Christ first, allowing him to fill us with his Holy Spirit so we can love and serve the people around us without stress. Jesus knows the pressures you face, whether they're a result of money issues, relationships, a busy schedule or all of the above. Our Lord addressed the same issues with his disciples who were fussing about everything from where to go to where their next meal would come from. The point Jesus makes with them and us is that we don't ever have to fuss and worry when we follow him. Here's what he says at the end of Matthew 6.

Listen to this. So do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink?

Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. When you find yourself overwhelmed, irritable or depressed in the midst of the May Madness, don't buy into the busyness.

Pause a bit and get those priorities back in order. Talk to the Lord, read his word and remind yourself of what's true. In fact, we have a brand new study that we just released that I think may reset you on the promises and priorities that God would have for us. It's called Rich Toward God. You'll find it at our website.

It's a four week study on the parable of the rich fool where Jesus deals through this parable with some powerful themes of pride and prosperity and what it looks like to live rich toward God, the uncertainty of tomorrow, and even what true abundance is. Check it out today at faithfi.com. Just click shop at the top of the page. That's faithfi.com.

Just click shop. All right, we're back with your questions after this. The number, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance Live.

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. Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal or other professional who understands your specific situation. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions now on anything financial. The number to call, 800-525-7000. Again, that number 800-525-7000.

We'd love to hear from you. Hey, before we head to the phones today, in the news today, older Americans have serious concerns regarding future healthcare costs. That's the finding in a University of Michigan national poll on aging. Of the top six concerns about healthcare in the poll, five of them had to do with medical costs.

The other concern also dealt with money, notably financial scams and frauds. Of those surveyed for the poll, 66% of folks over the age of 50 said they're concerned about healthcare costs for the elderly. The same percentage was concerned about assisted living costs, while 53% worried about scams and fraud. The results show the importance of, of course, maintaining sufficient health insurance in later years and seriously considering long-term care insurance. Others surveys actually show that about 70% of Americans reaching age 65 will need long-term care at some point.

And one of the key ways to offset those costs is long-term care insurance. In fact, I think that's where our first caller wants to go today. So why don't we dive into that? We'll go to Naples and talk to Susan. How can I help you? Hi Susan, are you with us? All right. We don't have Susan at the moment. We will try to get her back on.

Let me dive back into this. You know, there's two things that jump out at me. Medical costs in this season of life being elderly, the second being this idea of significant financial scams and fraud.

Both are things that we should be paying attention to. I mentioned the stat about 70% of those in this season of life, 65 and older, will need long-term care. That's typically going to come down to somewhere between two and four years that they'll need it. But at $10,000 a month, and that's what care can look like if you need full nursing care, well that can erode your assets in a hurry.

So what we say is for those between $200,000 in assets and $2 million, which is a big swath of the American investor, you really need to look at long-term care insurance. Now it can be expensive. We recognize that. And so that's why you've got to make sure it fits into your budget, not only on day one, but that you can absorb increases along the way because we certainly have seen those. And they can be 25%. In some cases, you know, folks are paying double what they originally paid.

And you might say, Rob, how do I anticipate that? And I realize you can't. Now, if you get to a place where you're seeing dramatic increases in the cost of the premium for long-term care insurance, there are ways to deal with it. Notably, you might need to go back to the insurance company and actually ask for a reduction in benefits. Maybe they're going to back you down on the daily benefit amount that they'll pay. Maybe they're going to increase the waiting period, the period from which you qualify for the long-term care insurance policy to start paying out.

And when they actually pay it out, maybe it moves from a month or two months to six months, something like that. All of these things can help you kind of right size that premium if it gets out of control. But apart from that, you're just going to have to rely on your own assets to be able to cover this major cost. And of course, if you spend your assets down, you would have to rely on Medicaid at that point. That would mean that you're going into a Medicaid approved facility, which may not be what you're looking for. So I think you've got to consider long-term care insurance in this season of life.

Make sure it fits the budget and the increases. But it is something important, I think, to look at as you consider this. Now, the other piece of this survey is, of course, those concerned about financial scams and fraud. And, you know, in this season of life, there are some very real concerns there. We're seeing more and more of these all the time.

Here's some of the more popular or common ones that we're seeing today. One is the grandparent scam. So this is a type of social engineering attack where the fraudsters actually claim the victim's grandchild is in trouble. So they might be pretending to be police, calling and saying the grandchild has been in an accident or involved in a crime. And they'll ask them to take out large sums of money or make a wire transfer to, quote, save their grandchild. They might even use the real name of the victim's grandchild, along with other identifying information to make it more believable.

You just need to let those seniors in your life or if you're in that category listening today, just be on your guard for that. If you hear something along these lines, that should kind of trigger a warning sign, an unsolicited call from someone claiming that a grandchild or a loved one is in danger should immediately put those red flags up. Often they'll ask for money as cash, gifts, gift cards or wire transfers. Don't let them, you know, get off the phone or threaten you if you try to verify the information.

You know, all of these things, I think, are things you need to be looking for. Another of the more common ones is a government imposter scam. So this is where the fraudsters contact older people claiming to be representatives from a well-known government agency. So think Medicare, IRS, even the Social Security Administration. They may use what's called a caller ID spoofing tactic where when you look at your phone, it actually says internal revenue service or Social Security Administration.

And this is, again, one way for them to try to seem legitimate. Well, once you're on the line, you know, they're perhaps even going to tell you what your Social Security number is to try to legitimize the call. Now, what they'll typically do is they'll ask you for, for instance, in the case of the IRS, they'll say there's an issue with your return and they'll collect information to, quote, secure your tax file. But in reality, they'll use it to file phony tax refunds and commit identity theft. In the Social Security scam, they're going to claim your Social Security number has been suspended due to an alleged crime. And in order to reinstate it, they're going to demand payment, usually in the form of gift cards.

Now, these seem obvious when we hear about them. And yet in the midst of somebody kind of being concerned about what they're hearing, often they'll do things they know they shouldn't. In other cases, it might be a Medicare scam where they're claiming to be a Medicare representative and they're calling to verify, quote, unquote, your Medicare number. And if you oblige, they'll use it to steal your health benefits, which is medical identity theft. Or they might claim that the victim needs to pay a fee to receive a new card or special treatment and ask for credit card numbers. These are all tactics we just need to be on guard against. And I would say you need to let those seniors in your life know about these so that they can be aware of them. And, you know, perhaps when something like this happens, they can take steps to not fall prey to these fraudsters. By the way, another big one, and this really goes for any age, is the whole idea of a phishing scam where essentially you're clicking on a link in an email. You're responding to somebody who's calling on the phone, giving out sensitive information when you know you shouldn't.

So just be on your guard there. Use some common practices of being aware, but also no public Wi-Fi in terms of doing financial business and never give out information to somebody who's calling you. All right, we're going to take a phone call here today in just a few moments.

So if you've got questions, 800-525-7000 is the number to call. We will take a quick break and back with much more after this. Stick around. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. This is the program where we apply biblical wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. Before we head into some emails today, and by the way, if you have a question you'd like to ask and you'd rather not be on the air, you'd just like to send it along, we try to get to a few of these, at least several of them each week. And you can just head to moodyradio.org slash finance and submit your question there.

I've got two great ones here that I'm going to tackle in just a moment. But first, let me mention here we are at the beginning of a new month. We're actually headed toward the end of our fiscal year here at FaithFi. So our year ends, if you will, June the 30th, which means these next two months are pretty critical for us as we finish out our year from a budget standpoint and try to finish strong and prepare with our planning for the year to come for ministry under FaithFi.

And as you might imagine, we've got financial goals to hit. And as a listener supported ministry, this is always an important time for us to hear from you. So we would just simply ask that if you've benefited from this ministry, maybe you listen regularly and you'd like to be a part of the FaithFi community and supporting this work, we'd certainly be grateful and now more than ever, you can just head to faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com and click give.

Two ways to give. One is one time and a gift of $25 or more would allow us to send you our brand new Rich Toward God four week study as our gift to you. The other way to get involved is through or by becoming a FaithFi partner. And this is just someone who supports the ministry at a minimum of $35 a month or more. And for those partners, we're able to send not only our new quarterly publication that's going to be coming out starting this summer, but pre-release copies of all of our studies and devotions. And so the current study Rich Toward God, our next study coming out in July called Look at the Sparrow, a 21 day devotion on fear and anxiety related to money that I think will be a real encouragement to you. And then some great studies planned for the balance of the year. We'll send you a pre-release copy of those and just keep you informed on the ministry as somebody who's kind of in the trenches with us.

And so all of that is available and would certainly be a blessing to us when you visit faithfi.com and click give. All right, we're going to tackle some emails. By the way, we're having just some minor technical difficulties with regard to our phone system. And so you won't be hearing any calls in this segment, but if you're holding, we'd love for you to continue to do that.

Our amazing tech team is working on getting that problem resolved and we're hopeful that we can get some calls on the broadcast here shortly. But first let's tackle some emails while we work on that. This one comes from Paulette and she says, I have two private student loans a total of $70,000 and have an interest rate of nine and a half percent and 10 and a half percent. Would it be wise to try to get a lower interest personal loan or to refinance the existing loans?

And Paulette, it's a it's a great question. You know, I think the first concern when we're talking about student loans and refinancing is are you going from a federal loan to a private? In your case, you're not because you said they're already private loans. But just for others listening, be careful about giving up and refinancing that federal loan in exchange for a private loan, because in doing so, you would be giving up some of the income based repayment options that are available to you.

You may not have needed it to this point, but if you ever got into a situation where your income dropped and you were unable to make your student loan payment with the federal loan program, you're going to have certain levers you can pull related to your income that allow you to drop that monthly payment if you needed it. And so just don't refinance to a private loan and give that up without understanding what you're doing. Now, if you already have a private loan, should you refinance to get a personal loan or refinance the existing private loan?

And there would probably only be two reasons why you do that want to do that. Number one is you had poor credit when you qualified initially. And as a result, you took on a higher interest rate. And now you've resolved that your credit score is better, you would qualify for the most compelling rate and the prevailing rate today, and that would be at least two percentage points lower than what you're paying currently, then I would look at refinancing and I would look at refinancing with another private student loan lender. Now, if rates move down and they haven't, we're still kind of near the peak of the last 20 years with where rates are today. But if we saw rates coming down because the Fed was dropping the Fed funds rate and that spilled over into the student loan market and we saw rates down a couple of points below where you are today, Paulette, then yes, absolutely it might be a good idea to consider refinancing. But apart from those, I'd probably just stick with what you have. I know you probably are eager to get rid of that 9.5% and 10.5% rate.

And I agree with you, I would love for you to get rid of those as well. It's probably not going to come through refinancing. More likely you're just going to need to dial back your spending and send as much as you can to principal reduction. This one from Don, he said two years ago I invested $10,000 in I bonds specifically for my daughter's college since the interest rates have dropped below 5%. Is there another investment that I could transfer the I bond money to that would have a better return? I've already maxed out my 529 contribution for this year.

Don, it's a great question. I love the 529. I'm thrilled to hear you max that out.

I would look at what you put in there and make sure you have in fact maxed it out. You can put up to $18,000 per beneficiary before you'd need to file the IRS Form 709. And then for a married couple, you can put in $36,000 without filing Form 709. So you really could put in even more than that if you're willing to fill out the 709 just because you wouldn't have to pay taxes on it. It would just eat away at your lifetime estate exemption of $13 million. So you probably have quite a bit more room there, frankly, as much as you want that you could put into that 529. But if you were looking for something outside of the 529 plan, and let's say she has less than five years, certainly less than three years before she's going to college, this might be the time just to take advantage of some of these higher CD rates that we're experiencing right now. I mean, you can get four and a half or 5% on your money essentially guaranteed with FDIC insurance.

So that could be another alternative to get a reasonable rate of return, especially given what might be a relatively short time horizon. So thanks for your email, Don. We appreciate it. Again, if you have a question you'd like to send along, just send it to moodyradio.org slash finance, and you'll find that form there.

Type it in and hit submit. It'll come right into our team. All right, back with more Faith and Finance Live after this. Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, we're ready to take your phone calls.

Thanks for your patience. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. That's 800-525-7000. You can call right now.

Let's go to Naples, Florida. Hi, Susan. Go right ahead. Hi, thank you for taking my call. Sure. I am looking at long-term care insurance for myself, and I'm in my late 50s.

The variable that's probably the largest is there may not be family available to care for me. So I'm looking for peace of mind and any guidance that comes to your financial planning expertise. All right.

Well, I think you're right in looking for this. Have you started to price it out yet with anybody? Yes. Yes, we just started pricing it out with our financial advisory company, and they offered two plans, one being a traditional and one being a hybrid. And that's our starting point. But we're looking to shop other ones and to get any guidance that we can.

Yeah, very good. I like this a lot because this is going to step in and cover the high cost of health care. And as I said earlier, 70% of Americans 65 and older will have that or will need some sort of long-term care, which can run between $5,000 and $10,000 a month, depending on what kind of assistance you need. And especially given that you don't have a plan B already in place, moving in with a family member or something, you want to be able to maintain your quality of life and be able to choose a facility that you would go into if you need skilled care without having to rely on that being a Medicaid approved facility. So that's where long-term care insurance is going to be helpful. Now, with the premiums that you were quoted, how does that fit into your retirement budget? We can do that and we can start making the payments. And I think, well, we had sticker shock, but we kind of, I've preliminary explored that maybe that's something that we set aside and plan for outside of long-term care insurance, but I don't know.

We're still exploring. Yeah. Well, I think just the cost of this over time, even though I understand the sticker shock is high and these premiums can go up and do go up, but I think the insurance is typically the better route to go. What do you all have in the way of retirement assets currently? About $3 million. Okay.

All right. So you're kind of in the position where you could self-insure. I mean, I typically recommend long-term care insurance for people with assets of between $200,000 and $2 million. When you get up into the $3 million plus, you're in pretty good shape in the sense that you should be able to self-insure. And given how long people tend to need long-term care, normally you don't get into a long-term care facility and stay there for 10 years.

I mean, usually you're only needing that for somewhere between two and four years on average. So I think for you, given that you're a million dollars beyond kind of that threshold, you could go either way. Looking at a hybrid policy is another way to go because these reduce people's fear of wasting premiums by offering two exit strategies. The first is that after the surrender charge period, usually 10 years, you can get most of your premiums back if you decide to cancel the policy. And then secondly, a death benefit is paid to your heirs when you die.

So, you know, obviously leaving an inheritance is important to a lot of people. And so they like knowing that some of the money paid in premiums to the hybrid policy would be given to the kids. And then the last major advantage is that the benefits are guaranteed. So, you know, if you pay your premiums, usually 10 years or less, you'll have a contractually guaranteed death benefit and then a guaranteed amount of long-term care coverage. So that can be, you know, definitely an option to look at. You just need to compare the illustrations and make sure that you have, I would recommend a long-term care insurance specialist as an agent, somebody who really understands these policies.

Maybe this is almost exclusively the area that they work in so they can kind of walk you through all of the, you know, implications here of either type of policy. But, you know, there are so many different pieces and parts to this that I think it would be, you know, you worth looking, taking a look at. Do you have recommendations from your website on people that are strictly long-term care agent specialists? I would wish I did. Unfortunately, I don't. But here's what I would do, Susan, is reach out to an advisor there in Naples, a Certified Kingdom Advisor, and ask for a referral.

Typically, you know, those who work in wealth management because often they do work with so many who are in this season of life, they'll typically have an agent that they work with that hopefully specializes in long-term care. And if you ask for that, I suspect they should be able to make that connection for you. You may need to call two or three, but that would probably be my next, next best approach. So you just go to faithfi.com right there at the top of the page that says find a professional and you can ask for a referral. All right.

I appreciate your help. All right, Susan, God bless you and thanks for being on the program today. We appreciate it. Let's go to Miami. Hi, Connie.

How can I help? Hi. Yeah, quick question. If I wanted to buy a gift certificate, like as if I were going to Macy's to buy a gift certificate for someone so that they could go into Macy's and buy what they wanted. Can I do that with the stocks? Can I go into a broker and just buy a gift certificate of money for someone to take that money and apply it to whatever stock they want to?

Yes, you can do that. And there is a particular website that I've seen folks use for this pretty effectively. It's called stockpile, S T O C K P I L E stockpile.com. And they do now is this for a child or for an adult? It's for an adult. Oh, it is.

Okay. Yeah. So this is typically used for children where you can essentially buy a gift certificate and give it to them and then they would take it to stockpile and they could pick out the stock essentially that they wanted to make the purchase that they wanted to buy the shares in. If it's an adult, I would probably reach out to Charles Schwab or Fidelity, either one of those. And I believe they offer this.

I'm not certain. Again, I've been more familiar with this in the parents and kids or grandparents and grandchildren category. And that's where stockpile.com has been really helpful. I believe that Schwab and Fidelity offer something similar. And so I would probably reach out to one of those two. What about Vanguard?

I'm not sure about Vanguard, but I don't think it'd be hard for you just to click on their website and call that 800 number and ask them. They may have something similar. I'm just not familiar with it if they do.

Yeah, I just want it. I didn't know something like that even actually existed. Okay, it does.

Yeah, it absolutely does. So you're thinking right here, Connie, and essentially what you're doing is kind of seeding, if you will, the start of their portfolio, right? Is that is that what you're trying to accomplish? Well, actually, actually, they have a really great big portfolio, but I need to give them money and they don't want to accept the money. So I figure, okay, I'm going to get them gift certificates. You certainly could do that.

And yeah, I see what you're getting at here. You're trying to kind of get around the system, if you will, with your kids. You know, the other approach would be to buy, you know, a bond that they could redeem as well. You could do that at treasurydirect.gov. But give one of those firms a call and just see if they have something like a gift certificate. They'll be able to tell you pretty quickly, but it does exist.

That's the case. Then thanks for your call. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today.

Eight hundred five two five seven thousand. But here on a Monday, we look forward in this segment of the broadcast each week to being joined by our good friend Bob Dahl. He's chief investment officer and chief executive officer at Crossmart Global Investments. And Bob, good afternoon to you.

Great to have you. Tell me what you're watching, looking at this week, my friend. We're watching the almost end of earnings season for the first quarter. As you know, Rob, things have come in reasonably well on the bottom line earnings and a little more mixed on the revenue line.

Stocks were up again nicely following the big gain we saw Friday as the employment report says the economy is slowing and that's music to investors ears because it means the Fed might cut rates someday. Yeah, exactly right. And we've talked about this before, but it's a little bit upside down just because we would think that people working low unemployment, that would actually be a good thing. But unfortunately, that's not the way it works anymore, I guess.

Exactly. Sometimes good news is good news and sometimes good news is bad news and vice versa. The markets that are interpreting the slowdown as good news that inflation might come down. So even though there may be fewer new jobs for people, if we can get the inflation rate down, that can elongate the cycle. And stocks tend to like that, Rob.

Yeah, no doubt about that. All right, Bob, I know we just walked past the halfway mark of our corporate earnings results. So what are you seeing? Generally good news. The most important, of course, is how did the bottom line do versus expectations and we're seeing earnings surprises on the positive side.

Best best quarter in ten quarters. So almost back to covid. If I were to pick at it, it'd be the revenue side wasn't quite as robust. So corporations are having a good success improving their profit margins, which is in part meaning they're raising prices. And we're starting to see, especially at low end consumers, some balking at those higher prices. We'll see if there's any teeth to that. Yeah, no doubt about that.

Bob, what about concentrations? I know we've talked about this quite a bit here domestically, but you looked at it this week in your DOL's deliberations in light of some of the international markets. Share that with us.

Sure. So in the U.S., it's typical that the top 10 stocks will be 20, 25 percent of the market's capitalization. Well, now they're 34 percent, which is a record high. And unless we think that's high territory, as we pointed out in deliberations in the UK, the top 10 stocks are not 34 percent, but 48 percent. France, 60 percent. Germany, 61 percent. So concentration in markets outside the U.S. is more prevalent than it is in the U.S., even though we complain.

All right. And then finally, Bob, what about just risk levels in this environment right now where we're still close to our record highs, but we know there are so many uncertainties out there? There are, and I've been a little bit confused by, mesmerized by the fact that stocks are selling so expensively. It's typically versus earnings, the P-E ratio. And I'm looking at my screen, the price earnings ratio on trailing earnings is 25 times, on forward earnings is 21 times. Markets rarely sell at 20-plus times earnings, except when the world is nearly perfect. And I would argue this world is not so perfect. We've got issues.

So stocks are not particularly cheap. Things have to go really well to get a noticeable improvement here. Yeah, very good. All right, Bob, we always appreciate your time, my friend. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. All right. That's Bob Dolly's chief executive officer at Crossmart Global Investments.

You can learn more and sign up for his weekly dolls deliberations at crossmartglobal.com. All right, let's get back to the phones and round out the broadcast with as many questions as we can. We'll head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hi, Chris, go ahead.

Hello, thank you for taking my call. I have a situation that I think a lot of people might be going through right now. And I've been talking to some people and doing some research and I just can't find a good solution to it.

And I was wondering if you could give me some advice. My wife and I are currently separated and there's a divorce settlement agreement out there. And as I'm looking through the agreement, I noticed that I'm going to be able to keep the house, but I'm going to need to provide $35,000 to her, which I don't have on hand. So in order to do that and also take my wife's name off the mortgage, I'm going to have to refinance. The bad part about that, obviously, is I have a really good low rate right now. And the rates for refinancing currently are not very good. And I was just wondering if there's any other strategies out there that I could be thinking about, whether that be dipping into my 401k or anything else like that, because I really do want to stay in the house. Yeah, yeah, I can appreciate that.

And Chris, I'm so sorry to hear what you're dealing with here and we'll certainly be praying that the Lord restores your marriage. You know, normally, and this isn't always the case, but this is most often the case is that lenders will allow once this process is finalized in court and once there's a marital settlement agreement in place, they will allow the spouse who's receiving the home to assume the mortgage and therefore you would take one spouse off and the other spouse would be the sole person on that mortgage. And so you would be able to retain your great loan rate that you have right now.

And I can understand why you wouldn't want to get that up. And then on the heels of that, you would need to, and I realize the timing of all this may be an issue because that assumption process doesn't always happen quickly, but on the heels of that, potentially you could take out a second mortgage just for the 35,000. So you're increasing the overall amount that you owe by 35,000, but through the assumption, you're keeping the first mortgage intact with that great interest rate.

And you're just paying the higher interest rate on a second. Have you looked at that option or considered that? I have. I've gone to the bank where I currently have my mortgage and asked them about assumption and they pretty much said that's something that they don't do.

Okay. Have you talked to your attorney about that? I mean, I don't know legally if there's any recourse to that.

I think it could be that it's up to each individual bank, but this is a very common thing. And I might push that a little bit further before you just accept that at face value. Sure. Now you were mentioning about the divorce having to go through and be finalized before the assumption could take place. That's right.

Yeah. It does require you have to have that finalized in court before you'd then apply for that assumption process. And so most lenders will require that divorce decree before you can even start working through the assumption process. But I would still think that they would be able to tell you that if they're going to allow it to say, no, you can't do it today, but once that divorce decree is in place, then yes, you can start the assumption process. But if they're saying, no, we just won't do that period, well, that's an entirely different thing.

But I would make sure you get to the right department and thoroughly vet that conversation before I just accepted that, no, they don't do that because perhaps you're talking to somebody that doesn't know that or doesn't understand that process following a divorce decree. Okay, that's helpful. Thank you. You're very welcome, Chris. We appreciate your call and all the best to you, my friend.

Let's go to Chicago. Hi, Robert, how can we help? I have a problem with a law firm that I reached out to, to renegotiate some credit card and get the interest rates down. But they haven't done anything.

They've been taking $1,500 a month. And now I have two lawsuits outstanding. Yeah, I'm so sorry, Robert, if you would have called before you told me you were doing that, I would have said stay away from those. Unfortunately, there is just a lot of bad actors in that space.

I'm not saying that this one is, although I don't like what I'm hearing. What we recommend and this is perhaps as a separate issue, the first issue is kind of getting your money back for non-performance because it sounds like you paid a lot of money and they haven't done anything for it. And so hopefully that lawsuit will help you rectify that situation and get them at the very least to reimburse you and cover your court costs. But separate from that, you still have the debt. And what I would have told you then and I'll tell you now is the best way to take care of that piece of it is what's called debt management, not debt settlement, where you pay an attorney to kind of come in and negotiate a lower payoff and let these get delinquent and all of that. Debt management is where you keep the balances current.

It never goes into a default or collection status. They drop the interest rates because of the debt management program that's available, usually half or more. Those interest rates will come down. And at that point, then you would just make one level monthly payment with the lower interest rate. And by doing that, you'll pay that back on average 80 percent faster.

So where I would head next while you're trying to resolve the lawsuits that you have against this attorney who has not performed the way you paid them to do so is separately contact ChristianCreditCounselors.org. That's ChristianCreditCounselors.org. And what they'll help you do is slide you into one of these programs for debt management. They'll tell you based on who your creditors are exactly what that reduced interest rate is that you'll be paying. They'll calculate your new monthly payment, which you'll pay through them, and then they'll distribute it each month to each of your creditors. So again, those accounts don't get paid off in full and you create a new debt.

They stay right where they are. You're just now paying through the nonprofit credit counseling agency, which is what allows you to have access to those lower interest rates. And then I would go to work on your budget and really try to trim your spending because even with those lower rates, I'd still love for you to send above and beyond that scheduled monthly payment so we can get that principal balance coming down as quickly as possible. So I know you're going through a lot here, Robert, so we'll wish you all the best and certainly be praying that the Lord would allow you to see this through and get this rectified. God bless you, sir. Thanks for calling today. That's going to do it for us. Let me say a big thanks to my team today, Anthony, Amy, Dan, and Jim. Couldn't do it without them. Also the rest of the team here at faith by faith and finance lives, a partnership between Moody radio and faith five, a wonderful rest of your day and come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-06 20:35:09 / 2024-05-06 20:51:29 / 16

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