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Lessons from Today’s Retirees

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2024 5:19 pm

Lessons from Today’s Retirees

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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May 21, 2024 5:19 pm

Inadequate savings, faulty assumptions, and high inflation could create barriers to a comfortable retirement. So, what can we learn from recent retirees about how to avoid these pitfalls? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Matt Bell to share some lessons from today’s retirees. Then, Rob will answer your calls about finances.

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Are you confident you'll be able to retire comfortably someday? Are you taking steps to make that happen?

Hi, I'm Rob West. Inadequate savings, faulty assumptions, and high inflation could create barriers to a comfortable retirement. Can we learn anything from today's retirees? Matt Bell thinks we can, and he joins us to talk about it. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, it's always a treat to have Matt Bell in the program. Matt's the Managing Editor at Soundmind Investing and underwriter of this program. And Matt, great to have you back. Rob, it's always great to be with you. Matt, the Employee Benefit Research Institute does the Retirement Confidence Survey every year, and I'd love for you to share with us what the latest data shows about how people are feeling about their retirement prospects.

Sure. Yeah, fairly high levels of confidence is kind of the bottom line. In the latest report, nearly 70% of people in the workforce today and a little bit higher numbers of those who are now retired say they feel at least somewhat confident they'll have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement. Now, not surprisingly, Rob, one of the top retirement-related concerns to come out of that survey among both groups centers on inflation. Today's workers say higher prices are simply making it tougher to save for their later years. And another concern from both groups is the possibility that the government may make changes to the American retirement system.

Interesting. Well, I don't think it's a bad thing to be concerned about those things because it inspires folks to prepare for whatever might happen in retirement, although I don't think it will be easy for lawmakers to make wholesale changes to retirement laws and regulations. Nevertheless, what lessons can workers learn from this survey? What stands out to me, Rob, are several areas of disconnect, either between worker optimism and their actual preparedness or between worker expectations and the actual experiences of today's retirees. So, for example, while high numbers of people in the workforce are confident about how well their finances will hold up in retirement, a large number of today's oldest workers, 43% of those age 55 or older, have less than $100,000 saved for retirement. Yeah, that sounds low, and yet that's something many people could probably do something about.

Yeah, that's right, Rob. I mean, while we can't control how the stock market performs, a lot of us do have some control over how much we're setting aside for retirement. Another area of disconnect, Rob, has to do with the fact that a lot of today's workers say they intend to work past the traditional retirement age of 65, and yet just 19% of today's retirees actually retired that late. So, I think it's important for all of us who are working today to see that many of today's retirees stepped out of the workforce earlier than they had intended to. And while some did so simply because they could afford to, most in that situation had to retire because of health issues or changes at their workplace. And one related note, Rob, large numbers of today's workers, 75% in fact, are counting on being able to work for pay to some degree in retirement, whereas only 30% of today's retirees actually have.

Interesting. Now, Matt, you mentioned about the actual date they plan to retire. I know one of the disconnects in marriage is often spouses don't know when their other spouse plans to retire. We've actually seen some studies on this, haven't we?

Yeah, that's right. And that's kind of surprising. I mean, it really shows the lack of communication about really, I think, a lot of financial topics, but it's interesting and it's noteworthy that, like you said, high numbers of married couples report that they're not sure when their spouse intends to retire. So, can you imagine seeing your spouse head out the door in the morning someday with the golf clubs instead of the briefcase and that's your first hint that they've retired? Yeah, definitely a breakdown in communication there.

So, make this one of the notes along the way here from today's broadcast that you need to have that conversation if you haven't already. Now, Matt, what are the takeaways from these two areas of disconnect that you highlighted a moment ago? Well, I think they both have to do with setting realistic expectations. I mean, you don't want to create a retirement plan that's based on an absolute best case scenario. For example, a plan based on having to work until you're age 70 or having to be able to generate some work-related income in retirement. The ideal would be to build a plan where those things will be helpful if they work out, but they're not absolutely necessary.

Yeah, that's exactly right. Well, Matt, we've just scratched the surface on this. I know we're going to continue to unpack this. In fact, folks, after this break, we'll talk about Social Security, what do retirees need to know? Also, how can you use a calculator to estimate how much you need and what about debt in retirement? We'll even talk about a biblical perspective on retirement.

Much more to come with Matt Bell today. He's managing editor at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of this program. And by the way, there's a helpful article. It's titled Helpful Lessons from Today's Retirees. You'll find it right there on the home page at soundmindinvesting.org. Back with much more right after this. Stick around. Great to have you back with us today on Faith & Finance Live.

With me today, my friend Matt Bell. He's managing editor at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of this program. By the way, we're talking about an article you'll find at soundmindinvesting.org. It's called Helpful Lessons from Today's Retirees. Now, before the break, Matt was sharing with us some of the data that came out from the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Retirement Confidence Survey. And Matt was sharing with us a bit of the disconnect between worker optimism and their actual preparedness. Matt, anything else that stood out to you from this study we need to know about?

Sure. One other thing that stood out to me is the benefit of running the numbers on retirement. That means using a retirement calculator to estimate how much money you'll need in retirement and how much that means you should be investing right now in order to give yourself the best chance of achieving that goal.

Surprisingly, from the survey, only half of today's workers have taken that step. But those who have run the numbers, it really shows the benefits. They tend to begin saving more. And that just makes sense. I mean, the more real we can make retirement, the more we can see what we need to do in order to retire successfully, the more likely we are to take those steps that we need to take.

There's no doubt about that. Now, Social Security is, of course, a big concern for retirees. So what should future retirees know about this area? Well, for starters, it would be helpful to find out how much you're likely to receive in benefits. The Social Security income that people will receive, the benefits they'll receive, that'll be an important source of income in retirement for most of today's workers. However, back to the survey, fewer than half know what their benefits will amount to at their planned retirement age. And less than 60%, according to the survey, have thought about how the age at which they claim benefits will impact the amount they receive.

And now all this information is readily available at the Social Security administration's website, which is SSA.gov, or by looking at your Social Security statements. Yeah, that's helpful, Matt. Of course, one of the biggest hindrances to a comfortable retirement is debt. So let's talk about that area and perhaps anything the survey revealed.

Sure. For some reason, this year's survey apparently didn't even ask about debt. However, last year's survey did. And during that survey, nearly two-thirds of workers acknowledged that debt is a problem for them. And that issue is not likely to have disappeared between that survey and this survey.

So we can assume it's still present for a lot of people. Now, while last year's survey didn't break down debt into specific types, other surveys I've seen point to an increase in the number of people bringing a mortgage into their later years and how that can really hinder their financial freedom. So, Rob, as we've recommended before, it's wise to plan to retire your mortgage by the time you retire. And if rates ever go down again and you decide to refinance, be careful not to reset the 30-year payoff clock to a date that's past your intended retirement age.

That's great advice. And that may lead some retirees to extend their years of work so they can sync up that retirement date with their payoff, right? Yeah, that's right. I mean, the mortgage is typically people's biggest expense. And so, wow, if you can get that taken care of by the time you retire, that just gives so much more freedom and flexibility in your retired years. Yeah. That also takes us back to what you talked about a moment ago, and that is Social Security. We tend to recommend that folks who don't need the Social Security money right now, especially if they're continuing to work, that they delay taking Social Security to get those guaranteed increases. Would you agree with that?

Yeah, absolutely. And one other benefit of doing that is that if a man is perhaps earning more in his lifetime than his wife is and he's got the bigger Social Security benefit, typically men pass away earlier than women do. And so she would be able to move into his benefit. And so it benefits her if he delays his benefits as long as possible so that she'll be able to make use of that larger benefit.

That's great advice. Let's stay with that, though, for a moment. You mentioned that we men will just, based on the averages, pass away before our wives. What's important for this season of life to think about, Matt, so that a spouse, perhaps a wife who was not as involved in the finances, is prepared to take over that responsibility?

Sure. And that's typically the case. I mean, it's not the case in every household, but it often is the case that the man is making some of the financial decisions, maybe has those relationships with a financial advisor, with a lawyer, with an accountant.

So one really, really beneficial, really helpful step would be to make sure while you're both alive that you both have a relationship, that your wife has a face-to-face relationship with these various financial professionals so that things can continue on after you pass away. Yeah, that's really helpful. And Matt, of course, just doing the blocking and tackling of making sure that for whatever spouse is not as involved, whether it's the man or the woman, that there's a comprehensive listing of all the professionals, all the financial accounts, login information.

I mean, that can be a missed step very often. Isn't that right? Yeah, for sure. And I mean, things like beneficiary designations and having a will in place or a trust, if that's appropriate for you, all of these things that we feel like are backburner sorts of things, we'll get to them someday, one day. But I'll tell you, it truly is as boring as some of these documents can be. It's really an act of love to have all these things in place so that things are just easier for those you leave behind.

Yeah. Matt, let's finish today with a biblical worldview of retirement. As believers, we don't subscribe to the same approach to retirement that the world does, that there's some sort of expiration date on our calling that at 65 we just automatically move to a life of leisure. That's not the biblical model. So what then is a biblical approach to retirement?

Yeah, it's an interesting tension that I think Christians, that we as Christians live with. So the culture kind of defines retirement painted in a certain picture that really we don't find any evidence for that picture in Scripture. So our whole lives are intended to be, are designed to be lives of service and contribution. However, the fact is, most of us will one day retire from a paid job, whether for health issues, the health issues of a loved one, a change at work or God redirecting our efforts toward more volunteer work. For one reason or another, most of us, the statistics tell us, will in fact one day retire from paid work. So it's important spiritually, it's important vocationally, it's important emotionally to plan to continue to work as long as we possibly can. But it's important financially to plan to retire perhaps earlier than we thought we might.

Yeah. I love what Ron Blue says. He says we should think about retiring to something and not from something and really talking not only to our spouse, but to the Lord about what that season of life should look like. Matt, do you think it's possible that we could even over accumulate and miss out on an opportunity to do some more significant giving during our working years?

I do think so. I think too often we succumb to fear. You know, we read headlines about how people are just not well prepared for their later years. And so we just assume that we need to be accumulating more and more and more. And so there too, it's kind of a tension we live with. We want to be wise. We want to provide for our family's needs long term. So we want to make sure that we're thinking and being very intentional about setting aside enough resources to provide for our families long term. But we don't want to live in fear, especially if that makes us over save or under invest in God's kingdom work while we're still alive. Because I think in part we miss out on the joy that way. You know, what a joy it is that while we're still living, we can see and we can participate in the contribution to God's kingdom work.

Such important lessons to learn about retirement. Matt, thanks for stopping by and sharing this with us today. My pleasure, Rob.

All right. That's Matt Bell, Managing Editor at Sound Mind Investing. You can read a lot more in this helpful article. It's titled Helpful Lessons from Today's Retirees. You'll find it right there on the homepage. It's soundmindinvesting.org. Again, soundmindinvesting.org.

Just look for Helpful Lessons from Today's Retirees. All right. Your calls are next. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. And if you prefer not to call, keep in mind, you can always send us an email and askrob at faithfi.com.

That's askrob at faith, the letters F-I dot com. We'll be right back. Stick around. 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.

All right. It's time to take your calls and questions today. 800-525-7000. That's right. We've got lines open and we're ready for your calls.

800-525-7000. It's always great to have my friend Matt Bell along with us. You know, one thing I would just add to the practical advice that Matt shared is we take a different view on retirement than you might hear from the culture or in the world. And that is that we were created to be productive. Now, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't find the right rhythm of rest and leisure throughout our working career. But certainly in that retirement season where we may no longer work for pay because either we choose not to or we physically can't. But we do want to continue to be productive in service to the Lord, realizing our calling doesn't expire. And we should be saving for that season so that we can continue to live at a lifestyle we believe God has called us to alongside Social Security and other guaranteed income sources that we might have. But I think it's really critical that we be in prayer asking the Lord, Lord, what are you calling me to in retirement? Not necessarily just what am I moving from and how can I use my skills and ability and wisdom as an elder statesman to contribute and to give back and to serve others, bringing glory to God as our provider and creator. And so what an opportunity for us as we lean into this incredible season of life with preparedness, with wisdom, with lots of communication if you're married and being ready for what God has next for you.

I hope that's an encouragement to you today. Let's take your phone calls. Again, we have lines open with whatever you're thinking about in your financial life today. Give us a call. 800-525-7000.

We're going to begin in beautiful Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hi, Olivia. Go right ahead. Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my call. I really appreciate it.

I have a question. We've been diligently working to get our debt down and our credit scores improved. And we have four credit cards. Three of them have zero or negative balances because we pay them immediately, even before they post if they're used.

One credit card is a retail card and the credit limit is forty six hundred. There was a two thousand dollar balance. I just made a six hundred and ninety five dollar payment on the card prior to the due date and was going to make another payment. And when I went into my credit karma, I checked are my credit scores and it dropped twenty one points on both TransUnion and Equifax, stating that the reason it dropped is because of a decrease in my balance, which kind of surprised me because I thought getting out of debt would increase my credit score because we're looking at purchasing a new car in the next three to six months.

And just wondering why did that happen? Yeah. So did you have a charge alongside that large payment? Did that two thousand dollar charge come all in one month?

No, not at all. OK. And so that was a balance you were carrying over a number of months and then you just made a large payment against it? Yeah.

What happens is, every month I've been paying down on the card and I thought I would just get this taken care of this month on making a large payment on it. And that's what happened. Yeah. OK.

Very good. Well, I mean, typically the biggest driver there is around credit utilization. And clearly, you know, that two thousand dollar balance, did you say the limit was forty six hundred on that? Correct.

OK. So the the credit utilization was above that 30 percent threshold, which does start to pull your score down. Now, the fact that you paid it down, I mean, there really isn't anything in the credit scoring algorithm that negatively affects you by simply paying down a card.

It's usually the other things around it. So if there's a late payment, obviously, in this case, there wasn't. You know, the credit utilization ratio changes because not only do you pay it down, but you pay it completely off and close the account. And so that changes your overall credit utilization in the aggregate across the rest of your cards. Doesn't sound like that would apply here because you paid it down, but you didn't pay it off and close it. So I'm not hearing anything that would have negatively affected you other than the fact that you're getting it your credit utilization down even lower by paying this large amount. And you're not showing any kind of charges in the other direction, especially since any charges you have during the month, you're paying it off before the cycle ends. And so therefore, the zero balance is being reported to the bureau.

So you're doing all the right things. You know, they do look at your credit mix and the quality of those lenders does factor in, although this wouldn't have been something new because it sounds like you had that retail account open. But usually those retail cards in some cases are backed by a lender that's not necessarily top tier credit. It might be more, you know, one level down, not necessarily a finance company category, but maybe kind of in the middle, and that can negatively affect you. But I think overall, Olivia, the idea that you would be an on time payer, that you would work toward getting your overall credit utilization for individual cards as well as in the aggregate down below that 30 percent threshold.

And it sounds like the only one where that's an issue is this this retail card. And then just continuing to keep them open to show that longevity in your credit history is all the right things. So I don't think that this is going to affect you for any length of time.

I think you'll probably, in fact, see if you were to go back in a month later that that that score jumped right back up. So I think you're going to be in good shape for this upcoming purchase that you have. And I don't see anything negative regarding the the actions you're taking here. Is that helpful?

OK. Yes, it is. So I guess I'm OK then if I want to make another large payment on that card. You absolutely should be again, as long as you're not charging it up and then it's being reported prior to that payment showing that you're increasing your credit utilization significantly, which in this case you're not. You're just bringing the total debt down.

That should actually work for you, not against you. Hey, thanks for calling today. All the best to you, Olivia. Call any time.

Kirsten in Illinois. We're coming your way after the break. And then Howard, who's also in Illinois, will also be looking to talk to Charles in Florida as well.

Eight hundred five, two, five, seven thousand. We'll be right back. I'm so glad you've joined us today for Faith and Finance live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today.

Eight hundred five, two, five, seven thousand is the number to call. Let's head right back to the phones to Yorkville, Illinois. Kirsten, thanks for your call today. Go ahead.

I have a question. So I called before and I say thank you for what you guys provide, because I have. So my husband passed away just about six years ago and I did have to move and I bought a house.

And just knowing what things to look for and what kind of questions to ask, I did take that. Is it the PMI for just six months? So that no, that that one hundred and twenty dollars total because it was just twenty dollars a month. That saved me thousands of dollars of interest. I didn't have to pay because there was a difference of paying.

They're charging more to come up with the 20 percent down payment paid less than knowing I had the money and later. So I say to myself, I don't know how many thousands of dollars. So for that, I say thank you. That's awesome. So my question.

Yes. So my question is, after I was paid for for my husband's funeral and I finally bought a headstone memorial stone. I still have about five thousand dollars, just just shy of that sitting. I didn't know what to do with it. So I put it in the money market checking account. I really haven't touched it since I bought the headstone, but it doesn't seem to make very much. So I'm just curious if I should have it somewhere else.

I see that like the CV rates are pretty good. And if that month is a combination of rainy day fund slash emergency fund, like put there and forget about it type thing. Trying to be I want it to grow because for what I have, I have six kids at home. One is now in college.

Five are still under 18. And I wasn't sure if I was going to be staying home or continue to work. I do get Social Security for them. I work the minimum.

You know, I work full time, but it's the minimum I can to keep my benefits. So I have it available to me. But I just I have lots of moving parts. Yeah, boy. Incredible, Kirsten. Well, what you're doing is amazing. And wow, the Lord is obviously just continuing to show his faithfulness to you. You're making some incredible decisions and managing a lot.

So let me just commend you for how you are being that wise and faithful steward over what God has entrusted to you. Let me ask you, you know, with your the work that you're doing and the Social Security for the kids. I mean, is that enough to cover your expenses? Are you getting by every month? So essentially right now, what I have coming to me, the only able to purchase I were considered, you know, we're below the poverty line.

And what I make is is it's minimal. We were only able to buy the house. I was only able to buy the house because of the Social Security that comes in. I get what is I think it's five hundred seventy two.

No, three hundred seventy two for the five kids that are still under 18. And then I qualify for other systems and this and that for, you know, like whether food or at school. So right now, Social Security pays my mortgage. And then I'm conscious, though, because I had one age out last year that every two years I'm losing income.

And I'm conscious that in about four years or so, I'm going to have to take a different job. Sure. Sure. Yeah. But you'll obviously, you know, potentially they'll be out on their own. And so you'll have the ability, I think, to work a little bit more with less responsibility at home, you know, as each one moves on to what the Lord has for them. So you're not having to dip into this twenty two thousand each month.

This has really been a consistent amount. Yes, I haven't. I needed to pay for the headstone.

But aside from headstone, I haven't touched it. Wow. Amazing.

You're doing an incredible job. Well, I would move it to maximize that interest rate. I wouldn't put it in a CD because you do need it available if something unexpected were to come. And we know the unexpected will come at some point. But, you know, by getting that interest rate up to, you know, the current high yield savings rates at five percent, you know, you could add up eleven hundred dollars to that over the next 12 months.

I mean, they will fluctuate. But the good thing is with FDIC insurance, it's very safe, almost as safe as you can get. And you're getting a good rate of return. So what you probably want to do is just go to bankrate.com and look for one of those high yield savings accounts at one of the online banks that's highly rated, that has no fees, no minimums and is offering something competitive, which is going to be five percent plus. And then you transfer it over from the money market, link that to your checking account and then just let that continue to grow. Apart from that, I mean, I think you're doing a fabulous job. It sounds like you even have a retirement plan that you're contributing to, right? I do. I have an employer sponsored account and I think I'm just about my 15 percent.

I think it's just about crime. I've been there for nine years. And I'm in the match, I think the first three dollar for dollar and I think, you know, half a percent for the next like one and a half or something, something along those lines. And I did open up a Roth IRA. And I remember when I and that was the thing is this this money, this this particular twenty twenty five thousand dollars that I have put away. I remember when I opened up my Roth IRA, the I just want to make money in there.

I just I was uncertain if I should put any more of that into that Roth because it was, again, in case I chose a home or what I was you know, I was unsure what I was going to do. But I contribute fifty, aside from my check, going to my work, I put fifty a month to a Roth. Excellent. Way to go. I love that. I think that's great. I wouldn't add any out of that twenty two thousand. I'd hang on to that. But if you can continue systematically contributing to that Roth, that's fabulous. Are there any other kind of pain points that you have, things you're struggling with? I mean, would it be helpful to you if we had somebody come alongside you and just help you think about your budget or do you feel like you have a good handle on that? I do need help with my budget just because I used to have one after about the fourth kit. I was never able to keep that.

I would never get my ducks in a row in my head. OK, well, let's do that. We'll. Yeah, we'd love to have a certified Christian financial counselor connect with you and work with you, you know, remotely over Zoom calls just to get everything set up, get you in the FaithFi app. We'll cover a pro subscription for you. They can help you get that budget in place, establish some rhythms on how you can manage that using the envelope system.

There won't be any cost to you. We're going to pay for all of that and just make sure that you have some confidence that, you know, the system is working for you and that you, you know, you're already doing a fabulous job. So it's not like anything's broken here, but we'll just give you that sounding board of somebody that can help you get everything set up and create the control system for the flow of money in and out on a monthly basis. OK? OK, lovely. Thank you. Awesome. You are welcome.

So you stay on the line. We'll get your information and then we'll get that certified Christian financial counselor in touch with you. And then I'm also going to send you a book. It's called Wise Women Managing Money, and it was written by a good friend of ours, Miriam Neff, after her husband passed, about this role that you've now stepped into that a lot of women are stepping into. And this isn't always the case, but in some cases, maybe they were not making the financial decisions or, you know, their husband was the one kind of doing all the daily routines. And again, that's not always the case, but in some cases it is. And this might just give you some additional insights when you have some time.

And I'm sure free time is is precious. But when you do, I think this book will be a blessing to you. So, Kirsten, keep up the good work. May the Lord bless you.

You know, as we head to this break, let me just pray for you and then you hang on the line and we'll get your information and get a counselor in touch with you and send you that book. Father, we just lift Kirsten up to you. Thank you for just her faithfulness. Thank you for these amazing children that she is providing for. Thank you for your provision and faithfulness in her life.

Just give her wisdom. We just pray for provision, Lord, in the future, some protection over her family. Thank you that you are our ultimate treasure, Lord, and we can count on your promises. We love you. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

God bless you. We'll be right back. I'm so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance live here on Moody Radio. We're taking your calls and questions today. Let's head right back to the phones. Howard, you've been waiting very patiently, sir, there in Illinois. Go ahead. Hello, Rob. I just want to say thank you to you, to your wonderful staff, to all your supporters that make this show happen, especially our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you so much. Hey, Rob, actually I'm going to be 64 tomorrow, but I was informed by my employers, who are just wonderful people, that they're phasing out my position.

It sounds bad, but in August sometime. I do have a union pension that I receive. I started taking that when I turned 60. But my question is this, is that I do need the additional income that Social Security would bring. If I was to sign up for Social Security and say have it start after August sometime, since I've already made over and beyond the allotment they allow to make, would I be receiving a check or how would that work? Would I still get a check? Or I heard of some sort of a clawback law or something like that if you make over and beyond the amount.

If you could help me with that, I sure would be grateful. It's a great question, Howard. And here's the way that works. And so they will not count the amount that you earned prior to starting to collect your benefit during that first year that you begin to earn it. So let's say you retire on August the 30th and whatever you made up until that point, let's say it was beyond the earnings limit, which for this year is $22,320. For the remaining months of this year, 2024, so that would be September, October, November and December, they will look at that on a monthly basis. So it'll be $1,860 a month. And so from that point forward, September 1st forward in my example, if you make over $1,860 for the month, then they're going to start to reduce your benefit by $1 for every $2 you go over. And that's going to ride through the end of the year. And then once you get into 2025, then you're going to be subject to that standard annual limit for that first full year that you're earning benefits. Now, once you reach full retirement age, you can earn as much as you want. But we're just talking about for these months leading up to full retirement age and for that first year until you start a new calendar year where your earnings reset, it's going to be looked at on a monthly basis. Does that make sense?

It makes 100% sense. And I want to thank you. And Rob, one other quick thing I'm really struggling with, I feel like I'm throwing up the white flag by taking sole security. But I don't know. I mean, maybe if you wouldn't mind saying a quick prayer over it because I am looking for wisdom on it.

I'm really, really struggling with this. Yeah. So let me ask you on that. Are you struggling just because you know you're going to lock in a reduction and you'd rather wait, but you're forced into this with the job being phased out or something else? It's partially that, but I mean, I've been working my whole life and to stop, I'm programmed that way.

That's one thing. And the other thing is, I do got other offers, but it's out of state and I just can't leave my wife. We're getting up there in years and I've got to be gone for five, six months at a time and whatnot. It's very difficult.

But anyway, yeah, it's not working anymore. I mean, I'll be working with the church and stuff, but yeah, it's hard. Well, is there a possibility you could find somebody there, something there locally? I mean, what if we started praying and making it known to church that you're ready to be employed, you have certain skills, but it's got to be something right there in town. I mean, perhaps there is an option there for you to continue to keep working.

Yeah. Well, the thing is, is that I would have to sign up for Social Security soon because I want those checks to start. Like I said, I'm blessed with the pension, but I want to keep the income coming in. So, but yeah, I mean, I'm open to, it's just been a fight.

It's been a real struggle. Yeah, yeah. Well, you do have the ability, you know, during that first year, you've got a one-time option that allows you to withdraw your benefits. Now, you'd have to pay it back, and so I realize you may or may not be able to do that, but you've got that option that you could essentially unwind it if the Lord provides something.

So that would be something to consider. Wonderful. Well, I appreciate that.

That's good advice as always. Well, thank you. Let me pray for you. Father, we just lift Howard up to you. Thank you that he understands, Lord, you created us to be productive, to be workers, and whatever that looks like in this next season of life. Lord, would you make that clear to Howard and to his wife? And we're going to trust that you'd continue to provide that right place of employment where he can take the gifts and abilities that have been given to him by you, and we acknowledge that today, Lord.

Use them for your glory and in service to others, and Lord, even surprise him with just your unexpected provision and even possibly the opportunity to continue working seamlessly without even having to transition to Social Security. So we're going to trust you for that. We would ask you would provide something, Lord, that he might be able to continue to work and honor his desire not to have to be gone for extended time from his wife.

So we're going to leave that in your hands. Tell you we love you and trust you today, and we ask this in Jesus name. Amen. Hey, God bless you, Howard.

Thanks for your kind remarks are about the program. I'm grateful. Let's go to Hope Sound. Hi, Charles. Go ahead.

Yes, sir. So I have a question. We had a will made for my wife and myself about 20 years ago in North Carolina, and we moved to Florida. So do I need to change that for Florida, or is it still good, even though it was made in North Carolina? Yeah, I mean, Florida law recognizes and enforces existing wills and living trusts executed in another state. So that's the good news. But there's still reason to go ahead and get that updated.

Number one, it's been a long time and you may want to tweak it a little bit. Number two is, you know, from state to state, there are different provisions. I mean, this, you know, these are not administered at the federal level. Wills are handled at the state level. And so, you know, there are different laws and different decisions that have been made by states with regard to community property. And, you know, Florida laws provides for something called elective share for surviving spouses.

The surviving spouse is entitled to 30% of the assets in lieu of what the surviving spouse is otherwise entitled to under the estate plan and those kinds of things. So it's always a good idea when you have a life change, you want to make a change, you know, on your own accord or you move to another state just because of the differences in the the laws of that state to go ahead and get that updated. So it's not like it's urgent and you're without a will. It will be enforced, but it's a good idea to have it updated. So if you don't have an estate planning attorney because you're new to the area, what I do is reach out to a certified kingdom advisor there in Hope Sound or close by ask for a referral.

They'd all have a godly estate planning attorney that they work with. Okay. All right. Thank you. You're welcome. And let me just say, Charles, this might be a good time for you to go ahead and add other things that you may not have thought of 20 years ago, like a health care surrogate and a living will and a durable power of attorney.

So maybe you can do a few things at once. But thanks for your call today, sir. All the best. Let's finish up today in Indiana. Hi, Esther. Go ahead. Hi, Rob.

Thank you for taking my call. My question is, I know you have said that identity theft is not necessary. But what about identity theft insurance coverage that provides $2 million for stolen funds and expenses?

Yeah. You know, if this is provided to you free of charge, which where would that happen? Well, I just got a notice the other day from AT&T, which is who handles my cell phone service, that there was a breach. And as a result of that, they're going to pay for a year of identity theft protection and credit monitoring. And it gives me $3 million worth of coverage. Well, if they're paying for it, you better believe I took advantage of it.

And I think that's generally what we would say. You know, for most people, you're not going to collect on this. And if it's an expense out of your pocket, I would rather you just follow best practices around not using public Wi-Fi, not clicking on links and emails and given information over the phone to people, you know, using long passwords and changing them regularly, monitoring your credit report, freezing your credit, you know, when you're not opening new lines of credit.

I mean, those are the kinds of things that I would encourage you to do just regularly and we all need to be doing them. But again, if you're offered this free as a result of a security breach doesn't hurt to take it. Now, does it hurt to have added protection in the event that you ever claimed against that identity theft, which is a very real thing and affects millions of Americans?

No, I don't think so. I think what you'll just find is just based on the low percentage of people that ever take advantage of that is just what I would consider an unnecessary expense. But it doesn't mean that, you know, if you're looking to offset as many risks as possible as a steward of what God has entrusted to you, and that gives you some peace of mind to know that you have that. I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.

I would just say, you know, in the average, most people don't collect on it and therefore that's money you could keep in your budget. Does that make sense? Okay.

Yes, it does. Thank you. Do you have time for another question? I've got about 45 seconds. So if we can do it quick, I'd be happy to.

I don't think so. The question is, how much does a person need for retirement? I'm concerned about high inflation and if my spouse should die. Yeah, yeah, I certainly understand that.

I'll give you a rule of thumb since we have just a little bit of time here. I mean, typically what you will hear is 10 to 12 times your income. Now, you might say, Rob, you know, we make $60,000 a year and, you know, that's $720,000.

There's no way. And I would say, okay, but, you know, that's just a starting point. That just gives you a goal.

Where does that come from? Well, the way that we get that is, remember, Social Security was only intended to cover about 40% of your pre-retirement income and most people live on 70 to 80%. And so if you take a 4% withdrawal rate off of 10 to 12 times your income, it's basically going to equal the other half of what you're going to need to maintain your current lifestyle alongside Social Security. At the end of the day, it comes down to how much are you going to spend.

And so I think the next step beyond that rule of thumb is just to run a retirement budget and then back into what's coming from Social Security and how much do we need to have in savings to be able to generate the rest. Hopefully that helps. Thanks for your call, Esther.

Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thanks to my team today, Amy, Dan, Taylor, and Gabby T on our phones. We'll see you next time. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 18:25:52 / 2024-05-21 18:43:12 / 17

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