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October 27, 2020 8:03 am
If you had the name one utility where you're probably getting gouged every month. Would you say it's your electric bill maybe water cable TV. Well, those are all good candidates, but more likely it's your cell phone. That's right. Americans spend an average of $100 a month or cell phone service building that barely existed just a generation ago. Today financial planner and teacher Rob West shares some cost-saving ideas that will take your calls and questions on any topic at 800-525-7000 805 five 7000.
I'm Steve phone bill that's nice right here on Roberts and how smart comes such a part of our lives, that's true, Steve. It would be difficult to get along without one these days and our dependence on them, really makes it such that were reluctant to take a hard look at how much were paying every month for the service. As you mentioned, it can run as high as $100 a month or more.
One problem with taking a hard look is that it seems like you have to take a hard look about every six months things are seem to be changing a lot that doesn't make it easy, but you got some ways to trim the costs so let's get started what's first well no doubt Steve the quickest and easiest way to save money in your cell phone bill is to switch carriers. I would many people don't realize is that the big three carriers that would be Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Each own discount services that use the same towers and have the same coverage areas.
Verizon has visible AT&T owns Cricket wireless and T-Mobile has Metro by T-Mobile so those would be places to start your search for a lower cost carrier and I will actually have links to those discount brands in today show notes. Who knew okay but what if I don't want to take a chance that the coverage area won't be the same if I switch to one of these discount guys in that case you would explore other plans with your current provider if you're paying for unlimited data. Check your usage which you may find that you don't need all of that and by the way, you can check that by logging into your provider's website. If you don't require that much data then you could look at switching to a lower cost plan okay but you can forget about that. If you're always sending around videos of your grandchildren, Rob and those people will remain with him and you don't have grandchildren who is now. It's gotta be you got yeah that is me but should I get that a lot. Well nevermind Olivia, if you're listening. I love you I will see Habre about his next it will save money when you have to replace your phone.
It's far too easy to go along with whatever upgrade your current carriers providing instead think he used you don't need to have the latest iteration of your phone.
I look for a used model perhaps on eBay or another online seller. The trick, though, is to wait until her few weeks after a new model comes out which happens to be right about now. You'll probably find a lot of the older models for sale. Just be sure to get the warranty if you can, and that's good okay but I use what else. Well, it simply had to get on a family plan. If you haven't already, you may be able to lower your cost $25 a month per line, especially if you go with one of the discount carriers but you have to be especially careful with how much data you use each month you want to choose a family plan with enough data so you don't get hit with those extra charges which can add up and hurry okay good reminder. Alright, alright what's next well as we continue to walk through the Steve. There's so many things we can do for instance most plan offer a discount of around five dollars a month just for signing up for auto pay. But here again a word of caution, make sure you have the deduction taken from a credit card not directly out of your checking account. That way if there's a problem like double billing. You can dispute the overcharge more easily yeah, but don't forget the pathos credit card charges every month right to what's next on your list. Well, another thing that most people don't realize is that many carriers offer special discounts they sometimes have special rates for the military, teachers, and seniors. For example, they may also offer special deals through your employer as well.
I didn't know about that early.
Some of those.
It never hurts to ask a right got me more young couple smartphones are expensive and most people buy a case to protect their investment again because it's so convenient, they usually go with the one provided by the carrier, but they can be expensive, sometimes upwards of $50.
So look on Amazon or eBay for something cheaper. Also, Steve thought a lot of folks don't realize this next one is out there, you can probably get a free cell phone insurance plan for your credit card instead of paying for it catches you have to pay your monthly bill with your credit card. In some cases purchase the phone itself within so check that out and see if that's an option for you and maybe a way to save up to $10. That's great, great tips for cutting your cell phone bill.
Thanks, Rob. Your calls next. 805 five 7000. Many people adopt an attitude toward marriage and finances that it will all work out somehow. But sadly, it often doesn't financial woes can devastate a marriage but there is a better way.
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If you're investing for retirement or any other goal you may be wondering if it's possible to enjoy both profit and peace of mind no matter what the market sound mind investing is a short video webinar on the topic of sound mind investing.org SMI has helped tens of thousands of Christians learn to be wise and faithful stewards in the area of investing profit and peace of mind matter what's happening in the market. Sound mind investing.org begin to realize how your life influences the most wonderful night powerful reminder maybe the next great you mean God gives you the opportunity to bring believers across your friends before God to take every opportunity found only when we get to find out how God used that is robbing you of Freedom and peace of mind. Christian credit counselors can help where nationwide nonprofit counseling organization has helped over 3000 individuals in the last 27 years get out of credit card debt 80% faster while honoring that data and phone to learn how Christian credit counselors can help you visit Christian credit counselors.org Christian credit counselors.or call 800-557-1985 two moneywise live. So glad to have you along with us today were talking about cell phone plans, at least at the start of the program in our question of the day was how have you managed to keep your cell phone costs in line that was on Facebook. We were delighted to have a number of folks weighing in on that question Brenda said I gotta TracFone years ago and I've stayed with that I pay about $10 a month. That's where you pay-as-you-go. Mike said one ways to save is to never buy the latest phone that comes out probably some advice I should take myself know the next one is the one you should take us out ahead on the rampart by not buying every phone that comes out you Sandy said as a senior I had my child put me on their plan, which may be maybe that's something you're looking to know it. What phenomena go back to the other one about not buying every phone by every phone but there's that fruit one that you you tend to line us up at midnight arch you got no no you don't do that anymore but I do. I do watch the and they have the big reveal advance. I do actually want those cool cool new telecast gets me every time. That's all right, here's the phone number again.
Speaking of tax, you have to use a little bit of it yet on the program today. Dial your phone, cell phone, old-fashioned phone, the kind of for you crank the handle and put it up to your ear. If you have one of those that'll do just call 800-525-7000. If you have a question or comment or complaint for Rob West today 800-525-7000 Evansville, Indiana hi Misty, thanks for contacting us today and what is your question military for year and he took out a life insurance policy held back on the whole life policy and wondering you know being the military sure chirps well Misty, you were not big fans of whole life insurance. I would rather make sure that he has the proper amount of coverage by buying pure insurance which is really term insurance.
Were you just bathe pay the mortality expense for a certain period of time could be 10, 20, 30 years something like that. Assuming he's healthy you an updated periodically and so you know if you're 10 years into a 20 year policy can replace it with a new 20 year policy as you go tends to be very inexpensive which means you can get the proper amount of coverage starting with probably 10 to 12 times his income.
But then adding on beyond that for specific situations and then do his saving in other vehicles. Obviously, the military retirement if he's planning to stay there for some time is very good, but additional savings options are available like a Roth IRA. Things like that where he can get the full upside of the market as opposed to getting the returns that come with whole life, not to mention the fees and expenses that can you put a drag on those over time so that would be my preference. It's not that there always wrong or there's never a place for whole life insurance policies. I just think for the average person buying the amount of coverage you need. During the time you needed which is your working in savings years, and then saving separate from that in tax-deferred vehicles is a better way to go.
But given that he sorry got it in place. You wouldn't want to cancel it or drop it until he has something else in force that can replace it, just to be sure he has that death benefit in the event somebody's counting on him for income or other reasons. Does that make sense though not sure he understand what he got. He thought it would take a lot more than what it so I may have been misled with the whole thing yeah well and yes it is to be a great opportunity to dig into that perhaps go back to the person who sold it to him or somebody else's knowledgeable in the area who could really get in the fine print, it's one of the other challenges I think frankly with these types of policies as they can be confusing doesn't mean they all are but I think just understanding what you have, how it's growing, how you access the cash value as it builds up and you can take it out or you can borrow it and there's tax ramifications just all of those things make it somewhat complex. So I think understanding what he has and then if, again, he's gonna make a change. Make sure you have a new policy in force before you release this one mistake or glad that you call.
We wish you and your son the very best. Thanks Ringgold, Georgia hello Kathy you're on with Rob West about yeah you know, I've heard about it. In fact, I've seen that they won some awards waged by JD power, which is a very reputable but I can't tell you I know anything first-hand about it.
Kathy other than the really position themselves as a low cost provider and they roll everything together so you get the text in the talk in the data and it tends to be less expensive now. The key is always going to be what kind of coverage they have, especially in your area so you want to look at that probably talk with other people maybe get online and look at some reviews, so I'm aware of it.
I wouldn't necessarily say it's anything like a scam but I would just say make sure that with the lower cost doesn't come a lower quality of service that's going to leave you frustrated. So there's always a balancing act there but specifically whether or not something I can endorse I just don't know enough about work left for your call today. Kathy wish you the best on that. Here's our phone number by the way, 800-525-7000. And speaking of always looking for a balance read that will I think we have to take a break here, but Ed called were almost out of time here, but he says what is cell phones have to do with the gospel. That's what I want to hear about get along fine with my phone because I have a flip phone that goes back a couple years. What does cell phones and managing our money have to do with the gospel. Yeah well here's what we recognize Steve is that it's all belongs to the Lord and yet we are called to be managers of God's resources. So when it comes to managing our money. We want to know what's on the heart of God as we see money as a tool.
It's not. And in some means to an end and I would say the same thing is true with cell phones right it's a means to an end. To stay connected with those we love and spend an effective means to share the gospel with some risks as well that we need to be very cautious and well said about this moneywise live in your thoughts as well be right back right. Do you know if you have enough money house.
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What was it that we might be able to help you with and give you God's perspective on, let's be honest here, even though there are only 2300 verses in God's word that deal with money and finance and things like that.
There are a lot of principles there that will apply to most of the practical things that we deal with each day. So if we can help you give us a call. We have some open lines at 800-525-7000 would love to chat with you Chicago Tina what's on your heart today. How can we help my mom. I do what I want you. You well couple thoughts are Tina the first is I would just can step back from all of this and say what are we trying to accomplish. Well were trying to accomplish. Couple things. One is we need a death benefit. We need life insurance.
That's equal to the amount that is necessary on your life for somebody who's dependent upon you for income or who will assume additional cost at your death because of a burden placed on them in the classic example would be as if you're the caretaker of small children that would now need full-time daycare that would be an added expense beyond what's in the budget today. If you're an income provider and that income goes away, and that income is necessary to maintain lifestyle and cover all the expenses they need one insurance to offset that in the same would be true for your husband.
If you are married and so you need to ask yourself what is the right amount of coverage that we need and for what period of time and typically we talk about the period of time that insurance is needed. It's during those working years when you're saving because keep in mind if you saved throughout your working life using your wealth as an income generating tool investing that systematically in the stock market tax-deferred vehicles you should build up enough wealth that when you retire or God redirect you to something else in that season of life. You no longer need insurance because if something were to happen to either of you. You're not generating income. That way you would still have Social Security, you'd still have your retirement assets to be able to fund your lifestyle and so the need for life insurance goes away.
That's an expense that comes off the books, if you will.
So the question is what is that proper amount of coverage and as a rule of thumb, we would say you start with 10 to 12 times the income you might add in a major expense that's going to happen, you know, in a relatively shorter period of time, like a college tuition that needs to be funded or a payoff of a certain amount of debt something like that. So for an $80,000 a year salary. We might start with saying like that $800,000 worth of coverage that we could then convert into an income stream. During the remainder of those working years equal to that $80,000 a year so that that doesn't place a hardship on the family that typically is going to be most cost-effective when done through term insurance so you and your husband in case of that $80,000 salary you would glance. Okay what is going to cost for me to get a 20 year policy or 30 year policy with $800,000 for the coverage you just with the term policy only and then you would add that in your budget after you shopped around and went through the medical underwriting and selected the policy and the separate question is how are we saving for the long term and that's where we would prefer you to use tax-deferred retirement vehicles, a company-sponsored retirement account, like a 401(k) or an IRA or some other type of plan. Depending on what your work option is and what availability you have in terms of the whole life policy you were not big fans. For the reasons we've already said in that it tends to get very expensive. Later in life. It's bundling a savings vehicle with the life insurance and often times you just end up underinsured in terms of what you actually need and the death benefit and there are better ways to save for the long term outside of insurance contracts.
So where you go from here. Well, step one is to figure out how much coverage you if you're married, you and your husband actually need then to what is the most cost-effective way to do that get those policies in place for the period of time that you need them. And of course make sure it fits in the budget and then make sure you're saving for the long term. Once you do all of those things and you absolutely could drop that whole life policy take the cash value that's built up and cancel the policy and go from there. Does that make sense well one 10 yes, there's a what you would want to do is call and ask not how much you can borrow. But what is the cash value. The amount that could be surrendered or withdrawn completely from the policy and you'd be able to pull that amount out that cash value and then you would cancel the policy at that point it would lapse but that cash value that's built up which was the savings component minus the expenses that have been taken out of it is your money and you're absolutely entitled to that if you collapse the policy Tina were glad that you called today. We wish you the very best with that. Thank you very much.
Tampa, Florida next and Brenda you're on moneywise what's on your heart. I retired unexpectedly and I'm going to be selling my and I should get about $150,000 out of it because I put a large down payment on it.
My daughter and I have a little bit of it, that the great man. I think that I try to put got through with selling the house after January instead of in November number because it benefit me in such a higher tax bracket, and I was wondering your advice on that.
Brenda is this your primary residence that you're talking about yet and have you lived there two out of the last five years, yet okay then you would not be the first of all, it wouldn't be ordinary income tax anyway would be a capital gain but in the case of your primary residence where you live there.
Two out of the last five years, you have up to $250,000 in gains, not the selling price. The game that would not be taxable whatsoever. So if you were to get to help you set. I think 150,000 whatever portion was the profit would obviously be well below that quarter million dollars of exemption on your primary residence in terms of the capital gain so there would be no tax implication to you which gives you the freedom to sell this at whatever point makes sense thousand dollars down from another sound, another out and I with Mary, my husband decided to leave and so out that we lived in and outside the large profit that the down payment has nothing to do with that. The question is if you lived there for 2/5 the last five years is your primary residence, you can have up to 250,000 in profit when you calculate that 250,000 is the selling price minus the purchase price minus any improvements so you can have well below the million dollars of exemption or exclusion on the sale, which means it will be not taxable whatsoever and we hope that you think investing is more than just returns. It's an expression of who you are and what you value is the way you invest your money reflect your identity as a Christian, and even tightly design investments for performance and a better world. You can invest with the confidence to reach your financial goals while remaining true to your Christian values and commitments. We call this investing makes the world rejoice more is available best Eventide.com invest Eventide.com Christian healthcare ministries enables believers to meet their healthcare costs affordably, biblically and compassionately is not insurance but a voluntary cost-sharing ministry based on the biblical example of Christians sharing each other's needs and members are defined under the law for not having health Christian healthcare ministries might be your health cost solution call 800-791-6225 or visit CH ministries.org 1990s major radio verse 13. Remembering those who spoke the word of God in their landline and you may know that you are loved by family, friends, by God, but do you really Dr. Gary Chapman to whites known love five truths about God and your lovely and how God uses it to communicate person and how God is intimately involved in unexpected purchaser, money and life run on the same track. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like your money is heading in a different direction from your goal in never enough three keys to financial contentment. Author Ron blue helps you to break down all your financial options to a basic floor and then shows you how to keep it all chugging along in the right direction on the same track never enough three keys to financial contentment from John Scott, Pres. Robert started a busy day of campaigning with a rally in Lansing, Michigan. Some of Mr. Trump supporters waited for hours in the wet near freezing temperatures to see the president also planning to campaign today in Wisconsin and Alaska retro Biden with two events planned for today in Georgia, US consumer confidence dipped slightly in October as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country of the conference Board reporting that its consumer confidence index fell to a reading of 100.9 from 100.1.8 in September. Stock indexes are closing mixed on Wall Street as the market's momentum slows further on worries about rising virus counts that I'll fail 222 points today.
The NASDAQ gained 72. The S&P 500 was down 10 this is SRN news lies in buying, selling, giving any questions along those lines. That's where were at today with open lines at 800-525-7000 jobs that don't put it on the 800-525-7000 Miami, Florida hello Mary, how can we help.
Thank you for taking my call. Sure young lady in my office discussion today and budgeting and very excited to know about budgeting. So, what resources would you recommend that I get them darted on.
Yeah, what's a great question, Mary.
I'm delighted to hear that you're engaging them in this conversation couple of thoughts. Number one is our brand-new moneywise app is out and we spent the last eight months because I couldn't find an app that had all of the budgeting features in it that I wanted so we had a world-class team go build it in the just hit the app stores in the last couple weeks you'd find in the Apple App Store. You find the Google play store moneywise biblical finance. But here's the bottom line. It will walk them through the process of setting up a spending plan that capturing all of their expenses in the plan tab what their income is and will use a digital envelope system, which means you have an envelope for each category and then you populate that then you connected to your accounts. I like your checking account. Your savings account. Whatever else you want, including your credit cards which download in and then you can allocate each of the transactions into those envelope so at any given time.
Whether you're on your computer on your tablet or using your smart phone you know exactly what's left in each envelope and that's really good to be the key Mary that they understand that there is limited resources and without a plan by giving every dollar and name your money's gonna find its way into places you probably don't want it to go slipping through your fingers. But by keeping tabs on it. Developing a spending plan and then monitoring it throughout the month using an envelope system where when it's gone, you stop spending because the monies out. That's really going to be the key. What I like to do is if you hold on the wind out will get your information and will give you two complementary moneywise pro subscriptions for six months for both of them you can give them to them as a gift from you and hopefully that'll help to get them started. The other thing we can offer as we have moneywise coaches that would be happy to help walk them through all of that if they need it, then you would just go to moneywise live.org to get them connected with the coach.
How does that sound out yet Robin Hood.com what you think young people like well and that's where Robin Hood comes in your Robin Hood has captured the millennial's just because there's no account minimums. There's no fees, and so it offers a streamlined interface. They have a great website, a great smart phone, they don't allow for any mutual funds, which is a downside when you're just getting started. So you have to use individual stocks.
They don't have any retirement accounts either so that's one of the other downsides, but I will have any problem with a very low cost. It offers what's called fractional shares, but they are going to have to pick individual companies to invest in, and often times you just can't get the diversification you're looking for or people are stuck trying to figure out what stocks do I want to buy, which is why often mutual funds are a better way to go but again I don't have any problem with Robin Hood if they were looking for more of a turnkey solution know to get started with investing, I'd probably go to like betterments or the Schwab intelligent portfolios. Both of those are what you call Robo advisors where they'll go through a series of questions and answers and will build a low-cost ETF portfolio which has index funds, index ETF's where they just capture the broad market and that's I think a better way to invest systematically when you're starting out with a very small amount of money and again Mary, that was better meant or what were the other funds you mentioned bro. The other was the Schwab intelligent portfolios okay great Mary, thank you very much for calling and we wish you the best as you work with these young ladies Chattanooga Tennessee WMD WR station up there. Hello Tim, how can we help you or your half $1 million but I'm not block 350 fell in guaranteed corporate… Hundred and 53% TIAA-CREF okay so I thought and it tells me I'm living I'm living right about 25,000 year.
If I left Mitchell on 95.
But my question so do you think that I need to get all stock are you guaranteed money for critical percent extra money. Basically one,