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Speaking Up for Shareholders

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2024 6:05 pm

Speaking Up for Shareholders

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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May 23, 2024 6:05 pm

From Jeremiah 29:7, we know God's people should seek the welfare of the people and places around them. But is seeking the welfare of our community something Christians can pursue by means of their investing choices? On today's Faith & Finance Live, Chris Meyer will join Rob West with a look at how shareholder advocacy works, and how you can affect change through your investments. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics.

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From Jeremiah 29, 7, we know God's people should seek the welfare of the places and people around them. But is seeking the welfare of our community something Christians can pursue by means of investing choices? I am Rob West and I'm speaking today with an investment manager who's been seeking the welfare of cities all over America and the world by his advocacy work with corporations.

Investors have the opportunity to influence decisions made behind closed doors by corporations as we'll hear today. Chris Meyer joins us today with a look at how this kind of advocacy works. And then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, we always learn something when Chris Meyer is on the program. Chris is manager of Stewardship Investing Advocacy and Research at Praxis Mutual Funds, an underwriter of this program. Chris, great to have you back.

I'm happy to be here. Now, one way, Chris, that Christians can align their investments with their values is by screening out companies that are involved in ungodly practices. Another way is by engaging corporations in a positive way to change hearts and minds. So tell us about shareholder advocacy, Chris, and what you're doing at Praxis.

Sure, Rob. At Praxis, we use seven different impact strategies to make a difference through investments. One of them is shareholder advocacy, and we also call that corporate engagement sometimes.

And it harnesses the power of ownership to create change. Shareholder advocacy makes use of the rights and the privileges of owning stock, and it can take many forms, writing letters, filing shareholder proposals, all the way up to dialogue with company management, which we think is the most effective form of engagement. And our advocacy program isn't about chastising or embarrassing companies, because as investors, we want these companies that we're invested in to be profitable, to succeed. But we also believe that they can do better to help the world thrive through their policies and performance. And we're not alone in this. We partner with other faith-based institutional investors to increase the breadth and the depth of what we can accomplish.

These partners can include pension funds or endowments, church agencies, and we collaborate where we have common ground in interest and capacity. And in doing this work, we've found that it's important to take a long view of change. Yeah, and I think that's a key idea. This is not a sprint. It's a marathon, right?

Absolutely. Meaningful change, I think, always takes time. And when we start an engagement with a company, our outlook for achieving goals is typically in terms of years, not like weeks or months.

And part of that's spent on building a solid foundation. We need to deeply understand the issues we work on, so we familiarize ourselves with the necessary information to speak intelligently and with purpose when we engage the company. And that takes, of course, a lot of preparation. We also seek to build trusting relationships with the companies we engage. This comes over many interactions, both minor and major, with leaders of the company. And trust, as we know, is usually earned, not given.

And so that takes time as well. But companies typically come to understand that we're approaching them in good faith and that we're invested in their success too, not just our own. An overarching goal we have for every engagement is to reach mutually beneficial outcomes. So, for instance, if a power company is able to substantially reduce its air and water pollution, it's great for creation. And the company is probably also more efficient in its operations and better positioned to compete against its peers, and its reputation can benefit as well. So I think in the long term, that's better for shareholders, the company, and the communities where it operates.

Well, that was a helpful overview. Now, Chris, how do you stay motivated when change seems to come so slowly? Yeah, sometimes things can seem kind of hopeless, and I've felt tempted to disengage in the past, but I know that doesn't really help anyone. So I think I've gotten better at recognizing incremental change. There are always setbacks, but recognizing the milestones along the way can go a long way towards facilitating future progress.

And I think individually, we're not responsible for all the problems in the world, nor can we right all wrongs. But I believe our mission is to work toward the wholeness of creation with the time and resources we are given while we honor progress along the way. Well, there's no doubt you're doing that, and we're grateful for our partnership with you. Chris, we're out of time, but thanks for stopping by, my friend.

Thanks so much for having me, Rob. Folks, if you want to learn more, go to praxismutualfunds.com. That's praxismutualfunds.com.

That's Chris Meyer. He manages stewardship, investing, advocacy, and research at Praxis Mutual Funds. 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. Hey, a study out from Edward Jones recently said, despite half of Americans expecting to receive an inheritance in the next 10 years, family discussion remains lacking.

And here's what they found. 35% of those families that are going to leave an inheritance or expect to don't have any plans on discussing the wealth with their families. You know, we like to say here at FaithFi that, you know, choosing the next steward and making sure that that steward is prepared is a critical and ultimately the last stewardship decision you will make. And so we want to be very intentional about how we communicate values to the next generation, how we really are thinking about passing wisdom before wealth, recognizing that financial capital is just one piece of what we'll pass on. The spiritual and the social capital are critical. Here's what Jean McMahon says from the National Christian Foundations. He says, many families in America have more wealth than they need for the shaping and the spending necessary to positively equip their children and grandchildren.

She goes on to say, legacies that thrive are focused on stewarding God's resources to further his purposes, both within our families and in the world around us. So think about that today. Here's the question. Is the next steward chosen and prepared, which requires a good bit of communication? All right, let's head to the phones. 800-525-7000. We've got lines open.

We're going to begin today in Cleveland. Hi, Renee. Go right ahead. Hi, how are you?

I'm doing well. Thanks for your call. Awesome. Yeah, thank you for the work that you that you guys do. Thank you so much. It's very much appreciated.

My question is, you know, after years of homelessness and other issues going on, it finally has some stability. And I have saved up like $45,000, but I also have like $20,000 worth of debt. And I don't want to file bankruptcy.

You know, God says to pay Caesar what is due Caesar and, you know, just and be a good steward with it. But I don't. I'm 67, near retirement, a couple of years, and I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should take half of that and pay off the debt because I still was able to buy a home, still have a home, with probably about $50,000 left for the mortgage. Okay. I don't know which route to go.

Yeah, very helpful, Renee. Well, first of all, I'm delighted to hear that you've made such progress from having being in a homeless situation to now the stability that you're describing, owning your home, having a relatively small mortgage, and the fact that you've got some savings, $45,000. We do want to get rid of that credit card debt. I assume those interest rates are pretty high. And so there's just not really a productive use of, you know, you keeping that in place, especially when you have the ability to pay it off.

But let's talk about that $45,000 just for a moment. Do you have that earmarked for anything specific, Renee, other than just emergency reserves? Yeah, just emergency reserve. You know, I was, you know, took the advice and was doing this six months, six months to a year emergency fund. I just kept going, you know, and just trying to build it.

Yeah, that's great. Well done. How much do you have on a typical month surplus right now? Oh, technically, it's almost like living paycheck to paycheck, maybe we're having about maybe two or $300 left of pay. So how were you able to put the $45,000 away?

Did something change? Yeah, I took on an extra job. And then anytime I got a tax refund, I just socked it all away.

Yeah, well done. And there was extra money, I was just putting it into the building up. And plus, I have it in a savings account where I can't withdraw from it. The only thing I could do is just add to it. Oh, okay.

Why is that? I did that it was a it was like a get ready type of savings account that helps you to build up your savings. And I just kept it like that. Okay, but you can access the funds now, correct? I can access it.

I can't use an ATM machine or anything to withdraw. Got it. All right. And then you said you're close to retirement. So tell me what that looks like. Have you worked up a retirement budget to figure out what your expenses will look like when you're in retirement? And how will you what will your income sources be?

Um, probably some Social Security and maybe a small pension from my job since I've really only been in this job for about six years. But I've been saving it to the it's a OPERS. Okay, yeah. Been saving it to that.

Yep. So have you run the numbers to determine if you start taking Social Security when you retire, and you start collecting the pension from the OPERS there in Ohio? Is that enough to cover your bills?

Will you be okay? Or will you need to have your mortgage paid off by then in order to make everything work? Um, well, probably when I retire, because I'm planning on going to probably like maybe 69, 70. So I didn't want to go to 70.

I wanted to retire before that. But I'm thinking a mortgage may not be paid off at that time. But I really haven't done the numbers to see what I'll need. Technically, right now, I probably spend about $1,500 per pay. Okay, so that's like about $3,000 give or take a few dollars. All right, so here's what I'd like for you to do, I would recommend you go and pay off that credit card debt, I realize that'll drop you from 45 to 25.

But that's okay. I mean, you're going to save a bundle in interest. And then I would take that amount that you're sending right now to the credit cards, which I would imagine is, you know, about 3%, about $600, and then use that to start saving. Or maybe you accelerate that mortgage payoff, one of the two, because if you're, you know, if you're spending 3000 a month, you'll still have well over six months in your in your savings, because that's only 18,000.

And you'll have 25. So maybe we try to accelerate that mortgage payoff. But I would go ahead and pay that off. Now, the nice thing is, if you wait till 70, you'll maximize your social security check, because you're going to get about 24 to 26% more at age 70 than you would have gotten at full retirement age.

So that's good. But I do want you to go ahead and take the next step of putting that retirement budget together. Try to anticipate, you know, before the mortgage is paid off, what is it going to look like in retirement for me to live on a monthly basis, and hopefully your expenses will come down. Most people live on 70 to 80%. You may be at the upper end of that range still having a mortgage, but hopefully you're eating out less, maybe less work clothes, things like that. And then let's just figure out exactly what your income will be at SSA.gov and then match that to your monthly spending.

So you know what that looks like, and you know how long you have to work. But in the meantime, I'd go and pay off the debt. Thanks for your call Renee. May the Lord bless you. This is Faith and Finance Live on Mooney Radio. A quick break and back with more questions right after this. Hey, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.

Before we head back to the phones, I'm going to ask you for a favor. We're a listener supported ministry here at Faith and Finance Live and June the 30th is the end of our fiscal year. This is a really important time for us to hear from you. April the first we said we're on track, but we need to finish strong with $175,000 from listeners. Well, we've already seen 100,000 of that come in.

However, we've still got more than 75,000 to go and we've only got about five weeks to do it. So if you count on this program, maybe you've found this to be a blessing in your life or you've applied something you've heard on the program and it's been helpful to you as you steward God's money. We just ask you to go to faithfi.com and click give and the reason why is ultimately so we can see people freed up to experience God's best as they handle money his way. And that's why we love the stories of life change like this one.

Take a listen. Thank you so much for this program and everything that you do. I've just learned a tremendous amount of wisdom with finance and how to kind of tackle investment. So you always would say to save up three to six months of an emergency fund before you make any kind of crazy investment. And so I started doing that and almost to the exact day that I saved up six months of an emergency fund. I lost my job and God called me into global missions. So because I had the six months emergency fund there, I didn't have to be frantic and look for a different job. And I was able to really focus on my ministry and go to training that I needed to do. And I expedited that entire process and I literally leave for the mission field in January. So without this program and your advice, who knows where I would be right now, but I just wanted to call in and just say thank you so much for everything that you do.

Well, that's why we do what we do. And she says you talking to me, but it's really about this entire team, Amy and Tahira and Gabby T and Dan and the entire team here at Faithfi that makes this happen every day. But it's also you, those of you who support this ministry. And so if you would consider a gift of any amount, a hundred dollars, a thousand or ten thousand, it would help go a long way to helping us meet our goal by June the 30th. Just go to faithfi.com and click Give.

That's faithfi.com and click Give. All right, let's head back to the phones. We've got lines open. 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's go to Pennsylvania. Hi, Kyle.

How can I help, sir? Yeah, I just quit my job and I'd like to know what I should do with my 401k because my 401k was attached to the company I was previously with and I can't get into the next company's 401k matching program until a year. Okay. Will they let you roll the old 401k into the new one? They should.

I didn't ask, but that's my impression that that shouldn't be a problem. Yeah. I mean, that's not always the case. It typically is. Not always.

So you would need to ask. But that's generally what I recommend. It just keeps things simpler. You won't have duplication of investments.

You just kind of have everything in one place. And then once you ultimately retire, I would look at rolling that out to an IRA just so you have a little more control over it. That's probably at the time where you'd have enough accumulated in the way of assets that you'd want to consider hiring an advisor to manage it for you at that point. But I think in the meantime, just consolidating that 401k into your new one even prior to you getting that matching is generally the way to go. Now, if you were looking to do something specific with it because you wanted to manage it or you had an advisor in mind to manage it, you certainly could roll that one out to an IRA.

It would give you more control over it. You wouldn't be limited in your investment options. But if you don't have a plan along those lines, then I think putting it all in your current 401k can make some sense. But I can't get the company matching 401k yet. It's still sitting in the old 401k in my previous company. Is it still safe there or do I need to move it somewhere else so that no money goes missing? Yeah, no, it's absolutely safe there. Once you separate from a company, I would encourage you to roll it out. The fees tend to get a little bit more expensive, and there's just really not a good reason to leave it there. But there's not any concern over it.

Tell me a little bit more, though. I understand you're not getting the matching on your new 401k, but you are able to open one and start contributing. Is that right? To my new company? I should be able to open up my own 401k, yeah.

So that's what I'm saying. What if you were to take that old 401k and roll it into the new one right now? Again, there's not necessarily a concern over you leaving it there, but why not go ahead and get it where it's ultimately going to be, start managing it there, and then eventually you'll start adding to it. Okay, yeah. All right. That would be the way that I'd go. Just keeps things a little simpler. It's one less account for you to keep up with. But thanks for your call, Kyle.

All the best to you and your new employment. Let's go out to Wyoming. Hi, Jim. Go ahead, sir.

Hi, Rob. Hey, let's talk about the brave new world of planning. Okay, I thought you were gonna say the Braves because you know, I'm here in Atlanta, and you want to talk about the Braves. I'll talk about the Braves anytime but no, you're talking about the brave new world of planning.

All right, go ahead. First time in my life, I've actually got a plan. I'll be 66 this year, planning on working another, oh, I don't know till I'm 70, 71 and beyond if I want to because work is good. And so, and I'm going to be in a fairly good position.

Right now I don't own a house but I set aside a building fund to either build a new home, I can do the work most of the work myself, and, and or buy a condo or a small house. And push that aside, that'll be a debt free situation. But then I may probably have as much as $600,000 to be invested and grow over the next five years, you know, to produce to draw some income out of on retirement, so forth. And so that that's a, it's a fairly good position to be in. But I'm really hoping to grow that beyond 800 $900,000, and I will be making some contributions to it and grow it. So it's kind of like to take the steps going into all this if you were to talk to someone say, here's three or four steps you got to take to start working this plan and putting it together. It's good to have, you know, tremendous detail on it but God, yeah, and specifically around how to deploy the 600 in a way that grows it over the next five years to that eight or 900,000, or just preparing for retirement in general. Well, growing, growing, growing that that money so that that that love that some is larger to drop it.

That makes sense. All right, I'm going to take a break. I'll give you my thoughts on the other side. Stay right there.

We'll be right back. I hope you're having a great day we are here at faith and finance live, we've got a great team here today and we've got some great calls that have been coming in and we've got room for perhaps one or two more at 805257 thousand before the break we were talking about Jim in Wyoming Jim's a planner he's got a plan and it has to do with between now and five years from now when he's hoping to retire around the age of 71, he's got about 600,000 in addition to funds that he's going to use to either build or buy for and he's wondering how to grow that 600,000 to eight to 900,000 so that he's got a meaningful nest egg that he can start to pull from to supplement retirement income and was just wondering about the steps to get from where he is today or to where he'd like to be and the good news is Jim you mentioned to my producer that you were going to try to put away somewhere between 50 and 100,000 more into that 600,000 so let's stay on the conservative end of that. Let's say you're going to put 10,000 a year for five years 50,000 into the 600. The good news is even with just a 7% rate of return, which is pretty modest with you adding 10,000 a year to that 600,000 you're going to be right at 900,005 years from now. If we change that to four years and you add that same 50,000 you're talking about about 830,000 but again that's only at a 7% annual rate of return which is you know the market has done better than that.

But let's say we're entering a period with you know higher grade inflation lower growth that maybe the this market is a little more sideways than it is up like it's been the last 20 years I think that would be a fairly modest rate of return. And the way you do that is you'd probably want it at 65 you know to have a typical portfolio of maybe 45% in stocks maybe 50% in bonds and fixed income and then maybe 5% in precious metals. And then you know between now and age 70 maybe you drop that 45 in stocks down to 40 and you bump up the fixed income to 55 and you start to slowly drop your stock allocation. But even when you're at 70 in retirement you still want to have 30 to 40% in stocks because we want you to be able to convert this roughly 900,000 to an income stream that lasts for the rest of your life and you may live another 25 years or more. So I think we need to take that long term approach and keep some equities in the portfolio.

And then the way I would do that is by hiring an advisor but let me get your thoughts on that first. Jim are you still with us? Looks like we lost Jim.

But hopefully that helps you my friend so I would think you're right on track. Good news is you've made a great progress and if you do need an advisor to manage this money I'd just go to faithfi.com and click find a professional there at the top of the page and you can find a certified kingdom advisor there in Wyoming. Let's go to St. Louis. Hi Bill how can we help you sir? Yes I saw something new picked it up on Facebook.

We know everything's true on there. I wanted to know if it would be profitable to put this in what's called an IUL. There was a whole bunch of pros involved with the IUL and they were showing all these negatives with this Roth IRA. I got involved in this Roth in 2008 and I've been pretty good about putting $500 a month into that and I could actually step that up to a max and wanted to know what your take was.

I've got some expendable income I don't have a lot going out and would like to know if it would be advantageous to put it all in this thing. Any of it in this thing or maybe you know a 50-50 split and also about bumping up and increasing my contribution to this. Yeah what do you have in the Roth today Bill? I'm about $175,000. Alright and are you over the age of 50? Yes. So are you trying to max this out with just putting in another $8,000 this year?

If I could do that and that's the number I need to do then that would be the route that I would be willing to take. Yeah if it's a Roth IRA not a Roth 401k but a Roth IRA you can put in up to $7,000 and then if you're over age 50 another $1,000 taking you to $8,000. You know there's nothing wrong with the Roth IRA in fact it's a great vehicle but it's not inherently risky or conservative. It has everything to do with the type of investments you choose for the Roth IRA. So the Roth IRA is just a type of account that has tax advantages. And those tax advantages specific to the Roth is you put in after tax dollars so you earn the income, you pay the tax, then you make your contribution to the Roth. And the IRS will allow that money with whatever you choose to put it in whether it's in a you put it in fixed income or stocks or precious metals or a combination of the three.

However much that grows to you don't pay any tax on the growth and when you pull it out in retirement you pull it out tax-free. And so there's you know there's nothing wrong with the Roth the question is what investments are you choosing inside the Roth and with $175,000 you'd probably be choosing either ETFs or mutual funds. And they you can be as conservative as you want or as aggressive as you want with the selection of those funds. So I would probably stay in the Roth and if you have questions about how do you grow it responsibly without taking unnecessary risk well that might be where you'd want to hire an advisor to actually make the investment decisions for you with your goals and objectives in mind.

I'm not a big fan of IULs I mean that stands for Indexed Universal Life. It's basically a permanent life insurance policy that includes a cash value component and a death benefit. And then you choose how your cash value grows you know that by splitting between a cash value account and an account that tracks a stock market index. So the reason they're sold and typically people don't go buy them they get sold in IUL is because they have a floor on the downside. So that sounds appealing because I can't lose money right and you can lose money in the market if you invest in just a typical mutual fund inside that Roth. So what's the downside? Well the downside is you're not getting 100% of the upside. So they're going to give you a portion of the upside in exchange for limiting your downside.

Well the problem is when you look at historical performance the way we get these nice average annual returns over a long period of time like 9% annual growth for the S&P 500 is because in the up years some of these those up years were up dramatically. And if by limiting your upside let's say they only give you you know the first 10% but the markets up 30% well they're going to keep 20. And by giving that up in exchange for the downside protection I just think you're severely limiting your overall rate of return by capping that market performance. That combined with the fees and the taxes you know I think and by losing access to your money I'd rather see you leave that money in the Roth and just hire an advisor to pick the investments that ultimately will accomplish your objectives. But I've thrown a lot at you there Bill give me your thoughts on all that.

I totally picked up on everything you were putting down there. I actually do have an advisor that I have handling this money right now and he's putting it in there and I'm using my vehicle is Ozark National and I don't know if they changed hands or not. Because it's depressing to me to open up that envelope and say hey I had this and now it's down here or whatever. So I look at the long term and like you said with the average here's the up 30 and then we're down to this and I feel like I trust this guy because we've gone to church together by knowing everything. And I feel like I'm kind of back dooring him on this deal but I basically wanted to get a second opinion on what I was doing. And I wanted to know if that do you think that the Ozark National is a good out that you stay with because they've been around for a long time.

They have but they're an insurance company and I'd rather you be in a straight investment account not mixing your insurance with your investment so I'd want to know what kind of investments he's using for you. Let's talk a little bit more off the air I'll take a break and we'll be back with more of your questions just around the corner stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on faith and finance live here in our final segment today we'll try to get to as many calls as we can. Let's go out to Chicago Hi Jenny Thanks for calling Go ahead. How can I help you? Hey Rob thanks so much and of course I love your show so like two quick questions for this.

Sure. When my husband passed away four years ago I was feeling very urgent about getting my financial house in order and put my home in a trust worked with an estate planning attorney and he had suggested putting my checking account saving accounts investment accounts all in a trust as well. And my financial advisor recommended not putting my IRAs in the trust.

So I'm confused as to why the two different thought processes there. Well there's just not really any need to put the IRAs in the trust because they already avoid probate through the beneficiary designation so you can designate your kids as beneficiaries and the assets will go directly to them. Now the only reason why you might want to do it is if you wanted to try to control the distribution of those assets beyond your life. So you might say well listen I've got minor kids and I want to make sure that you know the money goes to them you know over time or based on them in certain ages or that the trustee disperse it in a way that makes sense based on their needs because they don't need this large lump sum of money all at one point. Those would be the reasons but if all of it is immediately passing to your kids at your death and they're old enough to receive that then there is no need for the trust because that beneficiary designation gets the money straight to them outside of probate. Okay that makes sense. I was under the impression that and not like it's millions of dollars believe me but that tax wise it was to my beneficiaries advantage to have it in a trust as opposed to just having them listed as beneficiaries.

Is that not true? No it's not because there's no inheritance tax so they won't pay any tax. The only tax that would be due would be on your estate before they inherit it but there's not even going to be that because currently the state tax doesn't kick in until you have an estate worth more than 13 million dollars. Now even if that sun sets with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expiring at the end of 2025 it's still going to be a 5 million dollar threshold so you won't have any estate tax they won't have any inheritance tax the only tax they'll pay which would be regardless of whether they receive it directly through the beneficiary designation or through the trust because this money is in an IRA.

No matter how they get it they're going to have to pay tax on it when it comes out of the IRA is income, but they're not going to pay it, you know, just by virtue of receiving the asset until they take a distribution. Got it. That's good to know. Thank you very time for one more quick question. Sure. Go ahead. Okay.

Yeah. So in addition to that the bulk of my retirement funds, which is around 800,000 but the majority of that is in a traditional IRA. So I last year I moved a chunk into a Roth IRA which of course created a huge tax fit for me. And so my tax preparer was saying why did you do that? Why not just worry about the tax consequences when you need to start taking your required minimum distribution. And yet, my financial planner is saying yes, this is the wise thing to do now.

So you're wanting me to weigh in on who's right. I'll play along. You know, I kind of like the idea that you did that. How much of the 800,000 did you convert?

Only 48,000. So the game plan was to do around, you know, we're looking at it so it wouldn't push me into the Irma or whatever it is, you know, so I would have to put more on my Medicare. So that was kind of where the cap was. Okay. Yeah. I mean, I certainly wouldn't do the whole 800,000. That'd be a huge tax liability.

But I think you doing that over time. The nice thing about that is, you know, tax rates are low right now. And we don't know what's going to happen the election. We don't know where taxes are going.

But if they're going anywhere, they're going up. And so the nice thing is that, you know, you are in a fairly low tax bracket right now, because it doesn't sound like you're working. Or let me ask, are you retired? Are you working? Yes, I was blessed to be able to retire. I lost my husband, which was a glass, but it allowed me to retire early.

Yeah, well, I'm so sorry about that. Yeah, so you don't have a lot of earned income, and tax rates are low. So the idea that we take a portion of this and start paying the tax on it now, while rates are lower. I mean, if nothing happens, then the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is going to expire at the end of 2025 and rates are going up. So the idea that you would go and start systematically paying some of that tax now, and then you won't have the RMD on that portion, you could let it keep growing for the kids, makes a lot of sense to me. And doing it where you stay under the Irma, I think makes sense as well. So I'm on board with that. I mean, you know, I would always seek the counsel of your CPA because I'm not a CPA and they can give you a better tax advice. But just from a planning standpoint, I don't have any problem with what your planner suggested. Right.

I kind of was going that route as well, but I just wanted, you know, the third opinion. Happy to do it. God bless you, Jenny. Hey, stay on the line. I'm going to send you a book. It's called Wise Women Managing Money.

And it was written for widows who are now taking sole responsibility for managing their finances after their spouse passes. And I think it'll be an encouragement to you. Thanks for calling today.

Let's go to Cleveland. Hi, Polly. How can I help? Yes, I have a question about a credit card debt. This was incurred on a credit card of a blind girl whose family took a little bit of liberty with her funds and they maxed out a card that's in her name only. And now that needs to get she's taken charge of her own financial affairs again. And I've been helping her with this and she would like to get rid of that debt. And the one family member left said, no, it's not her responsibility.

It's there. They made the debt, but they're not really doing that much on it. So she wants her name cleared because she has no credit because of that.

What's a good way to get rid of something like that? Wow. This is a tough one, Polly. Did did she sign on the agreement to open the card? I think she did when she took the card out. It was some years ago and the brother in law wanted her to get some credit. So he got a card for her. And then how was the money used? Was it used for her care?

No. OK. And obviously it was not with her permission. Not really, but but she had given the card to them. So when I talked to the credit card company because it's family and she had allowed them to use the card, they could do nothing about it.

Yeah. So what is her desire at this point? Is she wanting to get them to go ahead? She would like she would like to get rid of the debt.

There were some other things, but we aren't putting any charges against the family member because that relationship with them is more important than money. OK. Yeah. So she's willing to step in either on her own or with somebody else's help and try to pay this off, even though she didn't ask for the money to be used and it wasn't used for her benefit. Is that right? Yeah, that's right.

But she only has Social Security. Yeah. How much does she owe? And what's the balance?

I think it's twenty six hundred dollars. OK. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what I would recommend, does she have any surplus, you know, after her bills are paid each month?

Nothing. She does each month. She has a little debt. And so I think that we're thinking about just taking a little bit out each month and paying it off.

Yeah. What I'd probably do, Polly, is reach out to my friends at Christian Credit Counselors. They'll close the account because that's what happens when you go in debt management. They'll get the interest rates dropped to usually a half or more of what the current interest rate is. And they'll put her on a fixed monthly payment, probably with a twenty six hundred dollar balance, probably about three percent and per month, which is seventy eight dollars. And but the combination of that one monthly payment that she can send every month combined with that much lower interest rate, I think will go a long way toward helping her get that paid off even quicker with less interest. Does that sound appealing to you?

It does. I think, you know, I was looking at the account and I mean, she's paying like sixty dollars interest a month. Yeah. And I just need to get taken care of. And I thought you might have some good ideas.

Yeah, I think that's the way to go. And these are wonderful folks. They're all believers at Christian Credit Counselors. I think there'll be a real encouragement to her. So just go to either you or she, go to christiancreditcounselors.org. Do you need the phone number or are you comfortable reaching out? It's interesting. This has been an interesting experience for me dealing with a blind person that has to suddenly take over their financial affairs. Yeah, I can imagine.

Well, what a blessing that you've walked alongside her. Here's the phone number. It's 800-557-1985. I'll say it again.

It's 800-557-1985. And let them know that you heard about this on Faith and Finance Live. They'll take good care of you. All right. Appreciate that. Yes, ma'am. Thank you for calling.

And what a blessing that you're walking alongside her. Tina, unfortunately, I see your question. I'd love to answer it, but I'm not going to have time to do it justice today because I'm out of time. So if you stay there, Tahira will see if she can get you perhaps rescheduled for tomorrow's broadcast.

We'd love to get you on first. Well, folks, as we head toward the end of the program, let me just say thank you for listening each day, for your encouragement. What a blessing it is when you call and you tell us how the Lord has used this program in your life.

And let me also say, if you have a story of how God has shown up and perhaps how, as you've applied these principles, it's allowed you to be that wise and faithful steward, would you call us and tell us about it? You know, we heard that powerful story earlier of that young lady who heard the program. She said, you know what? You're right.

I'm going to do that six month emergency fund. Lost her job. Had the opportunity then to listen to the Lord instead of having to run out to get another job to pay her bills.

And she's on the mission field now. That's what it's all about. We want you to be freed up so you can live or die, give or go, according to what the Lord has for you. And here on this program, we want to be an encouragement to you and all of that. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Big thanks to my team today, Jim Henry, Tahira Haynes, Amy Rios, and we're grateful for our call screener today, Lynn. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-23 18:42:56 / 2024-05-23 18:59:44 / 17

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