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Lessons from the Widow’s Oil

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 13, 2021 7:03 am

Lessons from the Widow’s Oil

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 13, 2021 7:03 am

The story of The Widow’s Oil in 2 Kings 4 is a wonderful example of God providing for the faithful in miraculous ways. So, what can we glean from this Bible passage that applies to our lives and faith today? On the next MoneyWise Live, hosts Rob West and Steve Moore reveal instructions from this passage we can apply to our own lives. Lessons from The Widow’s Oil on the next MoneyWise Live at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central on Moody Radio. 


The story of the widow's oil in 2 Kings 4 is a wonderful example of God providing for the faithful in miraculous ways. But what lesson does it hold for us?

What can we glean from those seven verses that apply to our lives and our faith that God will provide? Well, there are many, in fact. And today, Kingdom Advisors President Rob West reveals several of them. And it's your calls on anything financial at 800-525-7000.

800-525-7000. I'm Steve Moore. Lessons from the widow's oil, next, right here on MoneyWise Live. Well, Rob, this passage is one that sometimes is misinterpreted, isn't it? Well, it is, Steve. It's often used by proponents of the so-called prosperity gospel or name-it-claim-it followers to imply that God is like an ATM machine and will always answer your prayers with financial or material gain. Of course, that's not at all what the widow's oil story is about.

That's right. All right, well, let's find out what the passage is really saying, starting with the first verse in 2 Kings 4. Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant, my husband, is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves. All right, what do we take from that?

Well, a couple of things, Steve. First, that the widow's husband had been faithful and was deserving of God's provision, but also the creditor is acting against Jewish law by abusing a widow and orphans, and further, by threatening to enslave fellow Jews, which was also illegal. Okay, and that sets the stage for what follows in verse 2. There we read, And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you?

Tell me, what have you in the house? And she said, Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil. All right, what do we make of that? Well, there is a lesson that we have a part to play in God's provision. You see, he expects us to use what we have, even if it's only one jar of oil. God will often use what we already have to provide in ways perhaps we can't even imagine. And Scripture has something to say about that, about small beginnings, right?

Well that's right. In Zechariah 4.10 we see, Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. You see, sometimes we don't expect God to provide because, well, maybe we lack confidence in the resources he's already given us, but when we fully grasp that God owns everything and that his resources are unlimited, well, our faith in his provision will grow, and so will our gratitude, I believe, for what he's already given us. Yeah, okay. All right, continuing on then, verses 3 and 4, then he said, Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons, and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.

Okay, what about that? Yeah, again, there are several lessons here. First, the widow was obedient. She did exactly what Elisha, as God's representative, told her to do. We must also be obedient as we expect God's provision. That means following his financial principles found throughout the Bible.

We unpack those daily here on the program. Second, the widow didn't rely on her own resources. She went to her neighbors and asked for help by providing additional containers for the oil. You know, it's not always easy to ask others for help when we need it, and I believe we can't let our pride stand in the way. Then finally, Steve, God will put people in your life who want to help you if you ask, and if the need is real and you ask with humility. That won't always be with money, of course. It could be other resources or maybe important information or advice that will help turn things around.

So again, the big idea is don't go it alone. That's good. Okay, continuing on now, let's see, verses 5 and 6. So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured, they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, bring me another vessel. And he said to her, there is not another.

And then the oil stopped flowing. Yeah. Here we see the widow acting with humility. Can you imagine the temptation she must have felt to throw open the doors and tell the neighbors to see what she was doing?

But the widow knew it was God's hand at work and not hers, and she resisted any urge to claim credit for the miracle. Okay. One more verse.

It's verse 7. We read, she came and told the man of God and he said, go sell the oil and pay your debts and you and your sons can live on the rest. Yeah. Again, we see that we have a part to play. The widow's role wasn't finished.

She still had to sell the oil in the marketplace and pay off the creditor. But we also see that God provides exactly what's needed. Okay. We'll come back and chat some more.

Take your calls too. This is MoneyWise Live. Money and life run on the same track. But unfortunately, sometimes it seems like your money is heading in a different direction from your goals. In Never Enough, Three Keys to Financial Contentment, author Ron Blue helps you to break down all your financial options to a basic four and then shows you how to keep it all chugging along in the right direction on the same track.

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You'll find it all in Master Your Money by Ron Blue, available when you click the Store button at Great to have you with us today. It's MoneyWise Live, taking your phone calls with Rob West.

I'm Steve Moore. Here's our phone number. Any question you have, anything financial, give us a call. We'll kick it around, chat about it, and see what God's Word has to say about it. In fact, that's where we'll start. 800-525-7000. Toll-free, we have some open lines.

800-525-7000. We're talking about the story, the parable. Well, it wasn't really a parable, but it's an Old Testament verse that we learn from. It's a lesson that most people refer to as the widow's oil.

Anything further, you wanted to add, Rob? Well, I think it's interesting to note, Steve, that not only did the widow have enough to satisfy the creditor, but there was enough left over to live on until her sons could start providing for her, which was the custom of the day. Otherwise, she would have still been destitute and have gone into debt again. I think that's part of God's provision and a key part of this story that we can't overlook. You know, I think just at the end of the day, Steve, overall, this story teaches that we must always faithfully pay our debts when we can. Also, that in our weakness, we see God's strength. We're reminded of our dependence on God.

But then in the case of the widow, we see that not only were her needs met, but she became a source of blessing for others by providing oil in the marketplace. You know, we need to invite God into our financial lives. That's the faith element of financial management. And when we do that, out of a recognition of God's ownership, and that our financial journey can really have an effect on our spiritual journey by our trust and dependence in him, our willingness to live within his provision and be a conduit of his blessing to others through generosity, I think it really causes us to align our hearts with him, which is the ultimate goal, more intimacy with the Father. I like it.

Okay, Rob, thanks very much for that. And, you know, often when we run out as the widow sort of ran out here, we think, well, God's failed me. I've run out.

Where is he? But, you know, God says, I've got something else up my sleeve and stand back, obey me. You'll be mystified as will your neighbors as well. And it's just a wonderful opportunity for us to see God at work behind the scenes when we don't see God at all.

And if that's ever happened in your life, hey, we'd love to hear it. Give us a call today with your thoughts, your questions, 800-525-7000, 800-525-7000. Let's go to Alabama now. And, Charlotte, nice to have you there. And how can we help you?

Well, I appreciate your taking my call. And my son has started up a new business, and I would like to help him financially. I have a business of my own, it's an S-corp, and I didn't know if I could help him from that or just from personal, and how could I help him best financially without getting him into any tax problems and myself? Yeah.

Well, it's a great question, Charlotte, and I appreciate your desire to do this. Does he have a good business plan, do you believe, and adequate reserves to fall back on while he's waiting for it to get up and running? Which, by the way, is usually the most significant problem that it takes longer than you expect.

You don't have enough to kind of weather the storm and savings or reserves at the outset, and therefore the business is not successful. Do you believe those two pieces are in place? Well, I believe he has a good plan. As far as the reserves, that is, you know, that's the question for debate, I believe, at this juncture.

Yeah, yeah. And so I think, you know, being able to encourage him, you know, if the Lord leads you to giving him a gift without any strings attached, making sure that that's clear, that that's what it is, but also not encouraging something that is, you know, doesn't have the right plan on the outset. Meaning, you know, if he needs more in the way of reserves, unless he's already all in, you know, encouraging him to wait, encouraging him to find a mentor of sorts, if, you know, that's appropriate, somebody who's been in this business who could help him navigate the way. In terms of your ability to give, I mean, you certainly can do that depending on what you're looking to do. The annual gift exclusion is $15,000 in cash or assets in any given year to any one person. If you were married, you and your husband could give $30,000 to one person, and it doesn't trigger any kind of gift tax. Beyond that, you'd have to file a gift tax return, and then it would just go against the annual exclusion, which right now is sky high in the millions of dollars. But, you know, that could change down the road. So as long as you're under that annual gift exclusion, then you don't have to think about it. And that could be done, you know, either out of your personal effects or out of your business, and S-Corp flows through to you anyway.

I think one thing to talk about would be if you're not leveraging the tax benefits of that corporation by looking at what can be paid to you as salary versus what's a distribution from profits, which affects how the tax is paid, I'd talk to your tax preparer or accountant about that just to make sure you're maximizing that opportunity. But I think just encouraging the right behaviors, really encouraging him to be thoughtful about how long it's going to take for this business to materialize. And at the end of the day, if you feel good about helping, I'm sure that'll be a blessing and an encouragement to him.

And if you stay under those thresholds, you won't even have to consider the tax implications. Charlotte, we wish you and your son the best as you help him work through this. Thank you very much. If you get down the road a bit and you still have a question about this, feel free to give us a call back. 800-525-7000.

Chicago and Rod, how can we help you, sir? Yeah, now that I'm retired and I have gotten retirement accounts set up and comfortable about that, I felt it was time for me and my wife to look at long term care insurance. And I know there's several different versions out there. I've seen one proposal for a hybrid policy of where it has the long term care component, but it also has a life insurance policy and its whole life and policy. And I know many of the financial Christian financial advisors that vies against whole life that terms the cheapest in the long run. But this looked very appealing versus the long term care insurance where we pay a premium every year and just go on from there. Absolutely.

Well, you're exactly right. You know, I'm a fan of long term care insurance as long as you can afford it. You fit into the right net worth category where it's warranted. And I think anybody who's north of 250-300,000 in assets, less than a couple of million dollars would probably be in the sweet spot.

You want to be in the right age to go out and seek it between 55 and 65 typically is when you want to be looking at that where it's still cost effective. And you want to find a company that's committed to this space with an A plus plus rating that really has a commitment to the long term care insurance space. It's a bulk of their business. And therefore, because this industry is now old enough, what we're seeing is that the annual hefty increases, which by the way, can't happen on a per policy basis have to happen across all of the policyholders based on a state by state basis. A lot of those increases cause people to be in a situation where initially they could afford it and then they got priced out of it. And it became a problem. They had to drop the policies.

We're seeing some of that level off. But it's still expensive. I mean, you can expect to pay, you know, $7,000 a year for a standalone policy, depending on what kind of riders inflation protection and, you know, the other types of riders that are there.

And so that's got to fit into the budget. But if it does, it can provide a really significant, you know, risk abatement from, you know, what is potentially the biggest challenge you could have financially in this season of life. Because, you know, if you have a need for in-home care or assisted living or, you know, full nursing home care, it's very, very costly.

And the statistics tell us, especially those who are healthy now and going to live a long, long time, if the Lord tarries, that's where you have a likelihood that you can need this type of care on average from 18 months to three years. And this kind of policy could ensure that you're able to do that in a way that reflects kind of how you want to be cared for as opposed to relying on government assistance. Rod, you bring up a great consideration and that is a hybrid policy.

You know, a lot of folks are just really don't like the idea of the use it or lose it expenses. And so they like coupling it with a death benefit. And these hybrid policies have become even more popular than traditional long term care insurance as of late. And so I liked the linked benefit of that as you add a long term care insurance rider, which can be, you know, really helpful. There's some flexible premium payment options. It's easier to qualify for coverage, you know, with the hybrid policy. And, you know, it might even allow you to pay for a family member who provides care for you. Plus the permanent life insurance policies build cash value. So if this is something you're looking to do, I would encourage you to go ahead and check that out. I think the next step for you as you settle into your retirement budget is to get a long term care insurance specialist, an agent who can go out and shop this for you with some of the leading carriers in this space, present you the options and help you navigate what the best policy is for you based on your situation and ability to pay.

There's obviously so many pieces and parts to this that we couldn't nail that down on the radio. So if you don't have an advisor, I'd connect with a CKA there in the Chicagoland area. Ask for a referral to a long term care insurance agent, somebody who specializes in this space. And you could find a CKA on our website, Just click find a CKA. Rod, we're glad that you got through today. Thanks very much. Down the line if you need some additional help with that, feel free to contact us. I think you know how to reach us and we're glad you're there today. Thank you very much. The way to reach us on this radio program typically is by calling 800-525-7000.

800-525-7000. We have some open lines so now's a great time to call. This is MoneyWise Live. I'm Steve Moore.

We'll be back with more after this. You probably have a strategy for your finances, your career, even your retirement. But do you have a strategy for your giving? At the National Christian Foundation, we can help you create a giving strategy to inspire your family, maximize your resources, and leave a lasting legacy of faith.

To learn how, visit slash ncf. The financial wealth you leave behind could be the best thing that ever happened to your loved ones or the worst. In Splitting Heirs, giving your money and things to your children without ruining their lives, Ron Blue explains why it's important to make these decisions now instead of forcing your heirs to do it later. Splitting Heirs will foster a real appreciation for the precious resources that God has entrusted to you.

And it's available when you click the store button at Hebrews 4-12 says, For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Here's Beth Moore with a quick word. You are safe and entrusting your life and your entire future to God. He's not going to mess you around. He's incapable of doing it because in every single attribute He's got, He is holy.

He is completely distinct. Now, let's see what the word means. And this is really the lexical form of the word for holiness, kadas. In Scripture means, and I'm reading out of a lexical age of the Old Testament, to be clean, pronounce clean, ceremonially or morally, to consecrate to God, declare as holy, treat as holy. People or things are set aside and reserved, here's our word again, exclusively for God, exclusively for God. In other words, what God is saying to you today and what God is saying to me today, no matter where you work, please understand you are exclusively mine in that place. There's no turf where we are called and where we pour out our life's energy that is supposed to be something that is compartmentalized from God.

It's all His turf. He says, right there in that workplace, right there in that position, you are exclusively mine. I have called you. I have purposed you. And I have plans for you there.

You've been listening to A Quick Word with Beth Moore. Beth and Tim are thankful for the grace gift to serve you. Your letters, prayers, and support are a vital part of this program. To request this month's thank you gift, text the word GIFT to 57682. Again, text G-I-F-T to 57682. See you next time for another Quick Word with Beth Moore.

Great to have you along today. It's Money Wise Live, taking your calls and questions about anything financial. Remembering, of course, that where we start is that God owns it all, and it's His Word, the Holy Bible, that we rely on for all of our wisdom to the best of our ability. Now, if you call us with something like, should I buy a new garbage disposal? I'm not sure what God's Word says about that. Rob, what do you, I mean, off the top of your head, anything? Yeah, I'm a big advocate and proponent of garbage disposals. All right, there you go.

Well, see how quick it happens around here? 800-525-7000. Speaking of quick, we happen to have the backup team with us today. Behind the scenes, our technical crew, Courtney, Gabby T., Clara, and of course, Jim Henry, really doing yeoman's work today, and we're honored and blessed to have them pushing all the buttons, doing all the faders, talking to you when you call. 800-525-7000. Brandon, Mississippi. Hello, Sharon.

How can we help? I have recently retired, and I purchased a house, and I'm trying to decide. It's been about a year, and I'm almost to the point of thinking that maybe it's cheaper to rent than buy a house because I live alone, and the maintenance, and then when you add to the house payment. Well, the house payment is cheaper, but when you add termite insurance, home warranties, and I don't know what you think about that part, homeowner's insurance and maintenance and all, it just almost gets overwhelming. So, I was considering selling it and getting an apartment. Yeah.

Well, Sharon, I mean, you're right. You've got to count the cost, and clearly, the mortgage payment is just the beginning of what it takes to actually maintain a home on an annual basis, and you rattled off the expenses you would be expected to have. I'm not a big fan of home warranties just because so often the fine print undoes what you expect it to do, and you have less control over who the people are that are coming in to do the work in your home, and you're at their mercy as to whether or not they decide to try to repair something or replace it. So, what we find is, at least Consumer Reports tells us that majority of people are unhappy with those, and obviously, there are some exceptions. I'm sure there's many out there in our listening audience who are thrilled with their home warranty.

It's just not my favorite approach. That might be one you could let go, but you would need in the alternative to put away some money for maintenance. There's something called the 1% rule, which basically says you should set aside at least 1% of your home's value every year for home maintenance.

So, a $200,000 home, you'd put away $2,000 a year or $180 a month into a savings account specifically for home maintenance outside of your emergency savings because that's because of expected wear and tear on the house that you need to be planning for. But I think at the end of the day, what you need to do is just take a hard look and total up all of the expenses in that housing category, Sharon, that you just mentioned, and put that alongside the expenses that you'll have in an apartment, which clearly you'll take some off, but you'll still have others. Of course, utilities are going to go in both places and natural gas and those types of things, but you could drop the HOA, you could drop a lot of the maintenance and that type of thing, and then compare them side by side. I think the only other downside we've got here is that obviously there's a cost to selling this property, so if you're new into this home and you had the expenses on the transaction going in, you're going to get hit on the expenses on the transaction going out beginning with probably 6% to a realtor and then other expenses beyond that. But if it's the right decision for you because it makes more sense, it's less upkeep for you as a single woman, and the budget works better, I wouldn't hesitate. And then you could take any equity you bring out of it and use that to bolster your emergency savings or even invest it for your future.

So go back to the budget, compare those side by side, and pray through it, and if you feel led to go apartment, I don't have any problem with that. Sharon, God bless you. We wish you the best with that. You're listening to MoneyWise Live 800-525-7000. For 30 years, Soundmind Investing has been helping Christians reach their financial goals with step-by-step guidance for investors at every stage, from those just getting started to those getting ready for retirement. Through scriptural principles and practical suggestions, SMI offers financial wisdom for living well.

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Hmm. It sounds like you need the MoneyWise app. It's a free app that will help you plan your budget and track your spending, like the three dollars you spend every morning on coffee.

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With SRN News, I'm John Scott. The House is voting on the impeachment resolution against President Trump and now has the votes to carry through with the impeachment. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting a Democratic attempt to swiftly call the chamber into emergency session for an impeachment trial of President Trump. A growing number of restaurants nationwide are opening for indoor dining in defiance of strict COVID-19 regulations in their states, saying they are being targeted unfairly and are barely hanging on. In Oregon, a movement to defy an indoor dining ban began on January the 1st and is gaining steam despite warnings from state inspectors.

Similar revolts in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington and California. Stocks closing mixed on Wall Street. The Dow fell eight points.

The Nasdaq gained 56 and the S&P was up eight. This is SRN News. Nice to have you with us today. It's MoneyWise Live without your calls.

Well, we just wouldn't have much to say and do. So here we are again, 800-525-7000. In queue, in line, Jeff, Christina and Lida, thank you so much for your patience. How can we help you help your mom? Hello.

Thanks for taking my call. My mom is 92 and she's in frail health. She has a lot of wounds and stuff that are healing, but she has spinal stenosis, can't walk very well. She has been a widow for 17 years and she has been out of money now since about 2013 or 14. And my sister and I have been giving her money every month to help her.

Her house is for sale, but it's been on the market for almost 20 years and absolutely no offers with different realtors because she lives in a small town. So I'm in about 90,000. My sister's in probably 110-120,000 and we don't know what to do. My sister and my mom both are resistant to Medicaid, but my fear is that if she has another extended nursing stay for rehab or nursing care that it's just going to send us to the poor house. And we just don't know what to do at this point. I mean, there's nothing in writing that says that my sister and I have given her all this money, even though she says in my house sales, you'll get your money back, but there's nothing written down except our checkbooks, you know, saying that we were written it out to her. So we're just in a quandary of what, what to do at this point. It's just getting cost prohibitive to upkeep her. She's full time care. We're staying with her at night, taking turns at four of us, but the other two siblings do not contribute at all except for staying with her at night. So we're just, she has to have the care. So we don't know what to do. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, Lida, I completely understand where you're coming from and know this is so difficult and challenging. You know, there's a very few things, if anything, that prepares you for having aging parents, not only financially, but emotionally and all the other things that go with it because we want to honor them.

We want to do the right thing. And yet we know it's a difficult season, especially if there's real financial constraints. Of course, Medicare is the health insurance program doesn't cover nursing home stays. Medicaid is the government program designed to help people in the situation your mom is now experiencing. You know, while Medicaid facilities are usually not the best in a given area, I would just do some research to see if there are any that measure up. Now, you also in some states can supplement, you know, the Medicaid.

And so depending on what state you're in, I see you're in the state of Florida, you'd have to check to see. But there is an allowance for family supplementation of Medicaid. So that way, you might have the ability to upgrade to another facility. And I think perhaps sitting down with the rest of the family just to, you know, after you've done this research, looking at what the options are in your state, and you know what assistance can be provided to supplement therefore to get her in the very best facility possible, making that information available to the entire family, letting them know here's what it's going to take to get mom into this type of facility that we can feel good about.

And we need to all do our part and perhaps pray going into that meeting that the Lord would just, you know, give the entire family a vision for their role in that and perhaps according to their ability, each could step up to do their part. You know, the home would be excluded from Medicaid assets. So that obviously, Lord willing, if that sells, that would be helpful, at least while those assets are available. Do you have a realtor involved in this? And have you tried to dig down into why it's not selling? Oh, yes, we've been.

We've had several. It's just that the economy being the way it is her properties own commercial, so she can't get a reverse mortgage. She has three or four acres. And it just is not, nothing's moving. It's a small town. It's nothing, no growth.

It's the only county in the state that loses population every year. There's nothing going on over there. Yeah. Do you think if you were able to, I'm sorry, go ahead.

No, go ahead. Well, I was just gonna say, do you think if you were able to lay out the case having done some research about what the options are and what the need is in addition to Medicaid to supplement to the point where, you know, she could get into a facility you could feel good about that perhaps some of the other family members would step up? I've done so much research. She just was in a very good rehab place. And she came home with sores on her backside. I mean, there's not enough around the clock care for people who cannot walk and move themselves. And we just have gotten a field up from that by having her home and having full time care at home. But it's just costing us to death. Yeah, my sister and my mother are absolutely refusing Medicaid, refusing, will not sign it.

I see. So I'm just thinking, Oh, my goodness, what do we do? I mean, I just, I'm so afraid that we're going to get to that point. It'll be too late to get her on Medicaid.

Yeah. Well, I believe you're doing everything you can. And I think what we need right now is just the Lord's supernatural intervention here to bring unity to the family around the course of treatment, perhaps think about bringing in, you know, outside, you know, a third party who's objective.

You know, the siblings don't get a vote on Medicaid unless they have a power of attorney. So this is ultimately going to come down to her decision. But let me pray for you here and just ask the Lord to bring some wisdom here and a path forward.

Clearly, you want to honor her and do what you have to do. And yet I realize resources are limited. And so we need the Lord to intervene. And so Lord, we just call on you right now and ask that you'd be in the midst of this situation. Lord, that you'd bring wisdom, that you'd bring clarity, you would soften hearts, and you would just bring real direction to how to proceed so that the care is provided for this woman in a way that needs to be done so that there are no further complications or health issues as a result of the lack of care. And Lord, we're just going to trust you for supernatural wisdom today.

James 1 5, you said if we lack wisdom, we should ask and you would give it to us. And we're calling on that today. And so we're going to tell you today we trust you.

And we know you love her far more than we do. And so we just ask for you to guide and direct and we ask this in Christ's name. Amen.

Amen. Lida, God bless you and your kids and especially your mom. And we wish you the very best as you work through this. We know your heart is in the right place. So we'll just ask God to intervene.

Thank you very, very much. Rob, how about an email question before we hit our next break? It's been a while since we've taken one. Let's see.

Our next one is Todd. He says, Hello, guys, my current car is breaking down and I owe $5,600 on the balance. I've found a used car and it's a really good deal. I have the money in the bank to pay off the old car. Should I pay off the old car loan or add it into the new car loan?

Thoughts? Well, yeah, I mean, if you've got a $5,600 outstanding note, hopefully the car is worth more than the outstanding balance on the note. So if you sell it, which I would do private party, you're going to do the best there. Do your research, get it cleaned up, perhaps once over by a mechanic, make sure it's in good working order, and then try to list it and get as much as you can pay off the note and then put as much down as you can on this next car. If you have to borrow because either A, it's going to deplete you of necessary emergency reserves, make sure whatever you end up with in a payment does fit into your budget.

And so you'll want to take a hard look at that. Also, make sure you factor in the cost of the insurance and fuel and so forth. But I wouldn't worry about paying it off right now. Let's get it sold for as much as you can and use those proceeds to pay this off and then get ready to buy that great used car that you found. And if you'd like to send Rob an email, keep it to just a couple of lines if you want to hear it read on the program, just a couple of lines and then the address is questions at, questions at

We'll be back to say hi to Kristina after this. Do you feel like your hands are tied with debt preventing you from serving God? If you have credit card debt, Christian credit counselors can help through our debt management program. We can get you out of credit card debt about 80% faster while honoring your debt in full. For more information on how Christian credit counselors can help visit Christian credit counselors dot org.

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We often see the Gospel as the starting point of the Christian life rather than the main point of all life. How to Grow, a new book by Daryl Dash available at That's God's wisdom for your finances, that's what we're all about here on Money Wise. Your host is Rob West. I'm Steve Moore and we're chatting with folks all across the country, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and right now it's Chicago. Christina, thanks for your patience. What's on your mind?

Hi. My question is regarding the TSP fund. It's a Thrift Savings Plan that my job offers. My husband and I are both nurses with the government and we both have funds, our funds going into this program, and there are different funds inside. So right now we're splitting it between a C fund and an S fund, 50-50. We had it 100% in a G fund but one of the, I guess, people at work told us that it would be better if we had it in a C fund and the S fund rather than just keeping it all 100% in the G fund. So we're not sure how this goes.

That's a great question, Christina. Let me start by defining some terms for the benefit of our listeners. You mentioned the TSP, that stands for the Thrift Savings Plan. It's just a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniform services. So very similar to a 401k or 403b or even a 457, just happens to be for government employees. And then Christina also mentioned the various funds. So think of your 401k, you've got mutual fund options.

Well, in the TSP, they just give them a letter name. So she was in the G and now she's in a mix of C and S. Let's talk about that though, Christina. What is your age, if you don't mind me asking? I'm 37. Okay. And your husband?

He's 36. Okay, got it. You almost missed that one.

That wasn't a trick question. So I totally agree that the G fund is not the place for you. Why? Well, the G fund is short term U.S. Treasury securities. So this is going to be a very stable but very low return fund and at 37 and 36 respectively, you've got a lot of time on your side and so you want this to grow.

So what about the C and the S? Well, the C fund is essentially the S&P 500, the 500 largest domestic U.S. companies. And then the S fund would be equivalent to the total stock market index.

So the company is not in the S&P 500. So you're basically highly concentrated toward growth stocks. And I think that's probably the place for you to be, not forever, but at least right now while you've got, I don't know, 30 years of growth ahead of you, you have the ability to take a little bit more risk and this is going to perform quite a bit better. Now, at some point, you could move to more of a balanced type fund.

So there is other funds that are called their lifestyle funds that have the ability to be more conservative as you get closer and closer to retirement. But I think as long as you understand the risk associated with it, if we were to get into a recession or the market were to have a significant decline, your portfolio would go with it. Last March, you would have opened your statement and you could have been down 35% in one month. And as long as you didn't sell anything or quickly moved to the G fund, it would have come right back and gone to all-time highs. But you've got to be prepared for that and be ready to kind of ride the ebbs and the flows. A bear market last year, it was the quickest one ever in terms of bull to bear and back to bull.

Typically, they'll happen over 18 months or even up to two or three years. And so you've got to be willing to weather that storm. But as long as you have at least 10 years, which you've got 10 years perhaps times two or three, then you just stick with it and know that you're taking risk. But it's a good diversified portfolio. You're not highly concentrated in one or two companies.

You're in hundreds of companies. So you're going to capture the overall moves of the broad market. And so you're going to see some ups and downs. But overall, the long-term trend should be up.

And you'll certainly do quite a bit better over the long haul than than in the G fund. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. Thank you so much. All right. God bless you. Thank you for calling. God bless you. Thank you. Thanks, Christina. Bye-bye.

Devonport, Iowa. Jeff, thanks for your patience, my friend. How can we help you? Yeah, I've got a long-term care policy on myself. I'm protecting just under a million dollars in assets and it's costing me about $2600 a year. But unfortunately, I couldn't get my wife insurance because she doesn't make the height and weight ratio on their table.

Yeah. Am I kidding myself just having myself insured? No, but you are leaving yourself open as far as a risk. And you're right, they do have charts that determine requirements for height and weight for prospective policyholders. And that's a part of the underwriting process. What I would recommend though, Jeff, is that they don't all have the same underwriting requirements.

So just like one might treat one medical condition like high blood pressure or diabetes different than another, they will have different ratios for height and weight. So what I would recommend you do before you give up on this is, you know, go out and find a long-term care insurance agent who really specializes in this area who can take and shop this around among the other long-term care providers. It could be that you end up with two different companies, one for you and one for her that's the best fit that will ensure her to cost that's reasonable and give you that peace of mind and protection. At the end of the day, if it's just not possible now based on height and weight, then you would just want to take that same amount and just go ahead and sock it away every month and invest it so you'd have that down the road. But don't just assume that your company is going to be the same way the others will be.

They all vary significantly on these matters and so it's worth a lot more due diligence. Jeff, we wish you the best. Go ahead, Jeff. Go ahead, Jeff.

I'm sorry. Yeah, you're welcome. God bless you as you do some research on that. In this case, Rob, Google is your friend. I would presume you can do a lot of digging that way. Well, actually, I would not rely on Google here. I would get a long-term care insurance agent. They're going to be able to tell you quickly who is the best carrier, that has the best rating, that's committed to this space, but who's going to have the most, perhaps, liberal requirements in this particular area versus another condition and help him find the right company.

Good point. Thanks very much. Zionsville, Indiana. Hello, Nancy. What's your question for Rob West?

Oh, hi. Thank you for taking my call. I get information sent to me from different charitable organizations asking for donations and often they offer matching funds like double it or triple it or this one says they'll match it by five and I'm wondering how do you verify that or is there a way to know that this is true? Yes, it's a great question, Nancy, and the bottom line is you don't. But there are some things you can do because at the end of the day, you're trusting the integrity of the organization that's telling you that there's a match in place to actually do that. And so one thing I would do, number one, is not be afraid to call the ministry or charity and say, I want you to tell me about this match. Is this match conditioned on you getting the funds or have they already agreed to make the gift regardless of whether you get it?

Are there any provisions associated with this and is there still matching dollars available? And ask some questions. I think it'll become clear. I think the other thing to do is to look for the ECFA logo, ECFA, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. It doesn't mean that ECFA is necessarily looking. Was there a match described and was that then offered? But somebody who goes through the rigor of becoming ECFA certified like MoneyWise and Kingdom Advisors has gone through a lot of hoops and takes seriously the financial accountability, which I think then gives rise to some confidence to say, well, this is an operation, an organization or a ministry of integrity, and therefore I can trust that when they tell me there's a match, there really is something out there and it's not just a ploy to get more money.

So there's not a way to verify it per se, but doing a little digging, looking for ECFA and calling and asking some questions, I think will give you a good peace of mind as to whether or not there's something really there. Rob, let's see if we can squeeze in one more. Kirsten, we know you've been holding a while. We thank you for that. And how can we answer your question for you today?

Good afternoon and thank you. I listened to you before and at this point in my life, I have now purchased a home. It's about a year and a half into a 30-year mortgage and I had been planning to reamortize, not to refinance based on what I had understood being good advice from you guys before. But recently my mother said something about maybe I should refinance. I have not looked into it yet.

It's just a thought at this point. I have a 3.75 interest rate on my home. I think it valued at roughly 220. I have no PMI. I had that paid off within just a couple of months. So I'm just trying to figure out what things to consider if I should reamortize. Maybe I should consider refinancing. I don't know if it would drop enough. And again, I bought it in October of 2019.

Okay quickly because we're about out of time. What are you trying to accomplish with the reamortization? Are you trying to change the payment? Yeah, that's what my idea was just so that I can consistently pay a certain amount, which I do. So you actually want to reamortize it so the payment goes up and you pay it off quicker?

Is that right? Or down? I think it would go down. I would continue paying, but more of it would be going towards the principal. Yeah, right.

Okay. You know, I think the first option is looking for a refi. If you can save a point, Kirsten, and you potentially could at 3.75 because rates are 2.75 and below right now and you plan to stay in this home for at least seven years, I'd look at that. You're still new in this loan. If not, you could do a reamortization so the payments repay the accrued interest in full principle by a specific date that you would then provide. But the key is you want to pay it off as quickly as you can and as less interest as possible.

And so I think that's probably the next step is to look into whether or not you could get, based on your credit score and situation, enough of a savings, at least 1%, to justify the refi. Kirsten, we're going to have to say goodbye, but I hope that information helps you. Thank you very, very much, MoneyWise Live. This program is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. And of course, you're in there as well. Thanks for listening. Join us again tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-04 17:17:47 / 2024-01-04 17:38:53 / 21

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