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The One Guaranteed Investment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 22, 2021 7:03 am

The One Guaranteed Investment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 22, 2021 7:03 am

Everyone likes a “sure thing”, especially when it comes to their investments.  But sadly, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment—or is there? On the next MoneyWise Live, hosts Rob West and Steve Moore welcome Howard Dayton, founder of Compass: Finances God’s Way, for the answer to that question. Then Rob and Steve will answer your financial questions from a biblical perspective.  Learn about a guaranteed investment on the next MoneyWise Live at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central on Moody Radio.

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You know, everyone likes a sure thing, especially when it comes to their investments. But what if we gave you a tip that's more valuable than a roomful of gold? Sad to say there's no such thing as a guaranteed investment, or is there?

You'll have to stay tuned to find out. Today host Rob West welcomes Howard Dayton, founder of Compass Finances God's Way, for the answer. Then it's your calls on anything financial at 800-525-7000.

800-525-7000. I'm Steve Moore. A guaranteed investment? That's next on MoneyWise Live. Well, Rob is the former host of this program. Howard Dayton has given some really solid investing advice over the years, but none, I think, more valuable than what he's about to talk about today. Well, that's certainly true, Steve.

And we can't wait to get into it. Howard, welcome back to MoneyWise. Thank you so much, Rob.

It's just great to be with you. Well, we were leafing through your book, Your Money Counts. And by the way, it's a classic. We give it away often on this broadcast.

And if you haven't read it as a listener, I'd encourage you to pick up a copy. But we noticed, Howard, a chapter that was a bit of a departure from advice about managing money. You called it the one guaranteed investment. So today we thought you could let us in on that secret.

It goes all the way back to when I was 28 years old. And that's when I stumbled upon the only fully guaranteed investment that exists on the planet. And at that time, my only goal in life was to become as rich as I could as quickly as I could. And I started meeting for a weekly breakfast with several young businessmen and was impressed because they were sharp and energetic. But more than that, I was attracted to the quality of their lives. They really genuinely cared for one another. Now, at that time, I was part owner of a successful restaurant, was married to my wonderful wife.

We lived in a nice home. I had everything I thought would give me happiness and a sense of accomplishment. But frankly, Rob, I felt something was missing. But these other men, Howard, they were businessmen like you, but they seemed fulfilled, didn't they?

Exactly. I was really surprised to hear these men speak openly of their faith in God. Now, it wasn't completely new to me. I had attended church when I was growing up. However, I really never heard that it was possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And when I began talking about this with a friend, he described how I could enter into such a relationship with the Lord. He shared several biblical truths, Rob, that I had never heard before. The first was that God loves us.

And he wants you to know him personally. In fact, God desires a close relationship with every one of us on the planet. And my friend pointed out two passages from the Bible. First is John 3.16, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. And then John 10.10, where Jesus said, I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly. Yeah, such profound truth. And at one point, Howard, you had a personal experience that really drove that point home. And I'd love for you to share that with our listeners.

Sure thing. Yes, my son Matt, when he was in the second grade, he developed for some reason, a burning desire to win the 100-yard dash at the school's field day. That's all we heard about for months. But there was a problem. His classmate, Bobby Dyke, was faster. Oh boy.

Yeah. When field day came, they ran the 50-yard dash and Bobby just smoked Matthew, beat him badly. And I'll never forget it. Matthew came up, he had tears in his eyes, and he just begged me, Daddy, Daddy, please pray for me in the 100-yard dash.

I just got to win. And my heart just sank. I prayed for him.

But at the sound of the gun, Matthew got off to a quick start. And halfway through the race, he pulled away and he won. And I just totally lost control. I was jumping and screaming. And I had never before experienced such exhilaration.

And then it occurred to me, that's just how much I love my son. And at that point, the coach and all the others there asked Howard to leave the field, but that's a story for another day. We will come back and chat some more with Howard Dayton. This is MoneyWise Live.

Our phone number is 1-800-525-7000. And we'll be right back. 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. Never Enough, Three Keys to Financial Contentment, available when you click the store button at MoneyWiseLive.org. 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's happening in the market. Soundmind Investing has a short video webinar on that topic at soundmindinvesting.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, no matter what's happening in the market at soundmindinvesting.org. Do you feel stuck? Are you tired of going through the motions of faith?

Do you want to make real progress in your life but not know where to start? How to Grow is a book to help you grow spiritually and help others grow as well. We often see the gospel as a 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 moodypublishers.org.

That's moodypublishers.org. How do you reach people who call themselves Christian but don't know Jesus? Find out by reading The Unsaved Christian. Dean Ancera was a cultural Christian. Today, he pastors a thriving church, and he wrote this book to offer starting points that lead to deeper conversations. You'll be equipped to confront cultural Christianity and lovingly share the gospel to the cultural Christians in your life. Cultural Christianity is a huge mission field in desperate need of missionaries.

Get your copy of The Unsaved Christian at moodypublishers.com. Do you know if you have enough? Enough money? Enough house?

Do you know how much is enough? If not, Ron Blue can help with his book Master Your Money, a step-by-step plan for experiencing financial contentment. Learn how to save, invest, and give wisely, how to create a long-term financial plan, and how to get out of debt.

You'll find it all in Master Your Money by Ron Blue, available when you click the Store button at moneywiselive.org. Hey, we're glad to have you with us today on Money Wise Live. We're also glad to have Howard Dayton here. Howard's the founder of Compass Finances God's Way. He's also the former host of this radio program, and today he's helping us understand the one guaranteed investment, and who of us doesn't want a guaranteed investment?

That's exactly right. Howard, just before the break, you told us this wonderful story about your son, and a race that he won against all odds, and how excited you were, and how it occurred to you at that moment, just how much you loved him. And although you love other people, there's no way you love them enough to give your own son to die for them, yet that's exactly what God the Father does for us. He loves us, and he gave us his son Jesus Christ to die for us. The problem is, Howard, as you well know, many people just don't believe they need a Savior, do they? You are so right, Rob, but guess what?

We do. You see, we're separated from God. God is holy, which simply means God's perfect, and he won't have a relationship with anyone who isn't also perfect. And going back to the conversation I had with my friend, he asked me if I'd ever sinned, done anything that would disqualify me from being perfect.

Oh boy, that was easy for me to admit that I had. And he explained that every person has sinned, and the consequence of sin is separation from God. Scripture says it this way, Rob, in Romans 3 23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There's an enormous gap, think about this, that separates us from God. And people try different things to bridge that gap.

Good effort on their part, good moral people, you name it. But the truth is, that's just not enough. Yeah. Well, that's exactly right. I'm reminded of Isaiah 64 that says, all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. We all shrivel up like a leaf and like the wind, our sins, our sins sweep us away.

And so this is obviously a problem. Now, God is holy, and he's just. But Howard, he's also merciful, and he's provided the means for us to be with him for eternity.

So if you would, let's turn the page and you tell us the rest of the story. Yes, Rob, God's only provision to save us is his son, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and bridge that gap between us and God. In John 14 6, Jesus said it this way, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father but through me. And my friend went on to explain that by an act of faith, I could receive the free gift of a relationship with God. And frankly, the transaction seemed to be too good to be true. I've learned in business that anytime you had two people who were convinced they were getting more than they were giving up, you had a transaction. But now I was being offered a relationship with God, and it was totally a free gift.

I'd done nothing to earn it or deserve it. In Romans 5 8, it says it this way, God demonstrated his own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And in Ephesians 2, it tells us, for by grace you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it's a gift of God, not as a result of works that no one should boast. Yeah. Well, Howard, back to your story then. This was a real turning point for you, wasn't it?

It sure was, Rob. I finally grasped that I needed to individually receive Jesus Christ. I had to ask Christ to come into my life, become my Savior and Lord, and I did it. And as my friends will tell you, I'm a super practical person.

If something doesn't work, I stop doing it. And I can say after more than 45 years of experience, Rob, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a relationship with God to Jesus Christ is real. Yes, well, it sure is. Howard, I know there's folks listening today, perhaps some who are right where you are. They've also trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and yet some may be hearing this good news for the first time. Share with them how this decision has changed your life.

Well, Rob, it's changed everything in all for the better. Nothing on this planet compares with knowing Christ personally. And if you want to know the Lord and aren't certain whether you have this relationship, I simply encourage you, ask Jesus Christ to come into your life right now. Settle this issue once and for all by repeating a simple prayer similar to the one that I prayed. Father God, I need you. I invite Jesus to come into my life and make me the person you want me to be.

Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. And you know, Rob, this program is all about teaching God's financial principles, and that is awesome. But we also know that if you've successfully applied every one of those principles that you've learned on MoneyWise and you have no debt and a bunch of cash and you have great investments but still don't have a personal relationship with Christ, all your efforts ultimately will be in vain because you remained spiritually separated from God. Now, if you've asked Christ into your life, I encourage you to begin to listen to other programs on this great Christian radio station, attend a church that teaches the Bible so you can mature in your faith. You can contact Compass at compass1.org or MoneyWise at moneywise.org, and we'd be delighted to help you in any way in your journey with Christ.

I love it. Well, thank you for sharing that clear articulation of the good news, the fact that we all need a Savior and the Lord has made provision that we could be reconciled to him by placing our trust in his Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins. And let me give you one more website, folks. If you'd like to know more about what Howard just described, you'd like to place your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, visit the website needhim.org.

That's needhim.org, and you'll find a clear explanation of everything you just heard described. And Howard, to go to your last point, you know, after we place our trust in Jesus, at that point, from that point forward, and that's the preeminent thing, it's then about stewardship, isn't it? Managing everything the Lord gives me for his glory, including my relationship with him and my relationships with others, and I'm a steward of God's word, and I'm also a steward of my finances. But that's why it's so important to manage what God entrusts to us wisely, isn't it?

It sure is. And what you clearly see in the Bible is that God plays a part with our resources, and we have certain responsibilities, Rob. And I love this program and the way that you communicate what our responsibilities are. We're to be faithful stewards of whatever he entrusts to us.

Wow, that's exactly right. And this is that one area in our lives that often we hold on to the longest. So I'd encourage you today, after you surrender your life to Christ, think about your finances and surrendering those as well.

Put everything under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And as you said, Howard, accepting Christ as your savior and entering into a personal relationship with him, the one guaranteed investment we'll ever make. Howard, thanks for stopping by today, my friend. Loved it, Rob.

God bless you guys. Howard Dayton's been our guest today, and you can read more in his wonderful book, Your Money Counts Now More Than Ever. It's available at MoneyWiseLive.org. Your call's next at 800-525-7000. Don't forget, you can always send us a brief email question, just a couple of lines. The address is questions at moneywise.org. I'm Steve Moore.

We'll be right back after this. 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 MoneyWiseLive.org. If the heavy burden of debt is robbing you of freedom and peace of mind, Christian credit counselors can help. We're a nationwide nonprofit credit counseling organization that has helped over 300,000 individuals in the last 27 years get out of credit card debt 80% faster while honoring that debt in full. To learn how Christian credit counselors can help you, visit christiancreditcounselors.org.

That's christiancreditcounselors.org or call 800-557-1985. 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. Let me ask you today, what makes you different as a direct result of the fact that you belong to Christ? How does your own life, could we articulate, if we had to, I don't suppose it's something we even should think about on a daily basis, but if we had to today on this lesson of Jehovah, could we come up with something of what sets us apart makes us different in this world?

Not all of us, you yourself, me, myself as a direct result of the fact that I know him as a direct result of the fact that you know him. What is it that makes you different? What is it that separates you? Not as a separatist, because we're called a sort of as in the Nazarite vow in the old Testament, we're called to a life of sanctification and consecration in the middle of a very wild world. We cannot come up with some kind of grounds to build monasteries that we're moving into away from a world that we were assigned to minister to. We just can't do it. So it's not separatism, it's being separate in the midst of a very wild world.

What is it that makes us different? You've been listening to Beth Moore with a quick word for today. Beth is excited to announce now that faith has come, a study of Galatians is available as an online experience or as a printed workbook edition.

Grab your copy today at BethMoore.org. And thanks for listening to a quick word with Beth Moore. Hey, super great to have you with us today. It's MoneyWise Live with Rob West. We're taking your calls today on anything financial. We also have a tremendous team floating around in the background, pushing all the buttons, moving all the knobs and faders and getting callers on the air.

And that would be Amy, Dan, Aaron, and Jim. And then loitering, loitering in the hallway is rich. We're not quite sure why he's here today, but he's just hanging out, hoping that his time will come.

And it will eventually. 800-525-7000, that's a number. We have open lines. So what better time to give us a call than when we have open lines?

800-525-7000, give us a call right now. You know, I would love to hear from you if you're someone who placed your trust in Jesus Christ for the very first time today as a result of Howard Dayton's clear gospel presentation. And we love to present the gospel and we had a chance to do that today.

And so if you're out there today and you have a financial question as well. Rob, many of our listeners, well probably most of our listeners, don't know Howard Dayton as well as we do. But we've known Howard for a long, long time and we've heard Howard's total testimony several times. And if he was here he would say that, that he was a man after the buck. His real goal in life was to get rich, and to get rich quick, and to get rich sooner, and to drive big cars, live in big houses, and he was all about that. And of course he was a good guy. He paid his taxes as well. You know what, actually Howard did tell us once that he didn't always pay all those taxes. But you know when he came to Christ, he realized that this is not what life is about. For what good does it profit a man to gain the entire world and forfeit his soul? And God spoke to his heart in that regard and turned Howard's life upside down. And those who knew Howard in the early days were able to stand back with their jaws, you know, drop to the floor wondering just what happened to this guy who wasn't all that fun to be around.

And now he's a ton of fun to be around. Generous loves the Lord and lives the life that he preaches. And so if that's happened to you today, maybe not today, maybe yesterday, maybe last week, and you'd like to tell us something about that, we'd love to hear from you. Here's our phone number one more time 800-525-7000, especially in regard to your money and your finances, which like it or not, God often takes control of. You think you know what God's plan is for your life until he takes a look at your checkbook. And then you find out he has plans that are different from yours. And that's what a life of faith is all about.

Let's go to Boise, Idaho. Hey, Roy, what's on your mind today, sir? I have a question or maybe feedback about, yeah, I give to God monthly and the way I've been doing it over the last four years has been through, it's taken monthly directly out of my checking account. And every now and then I've wondered, what am I, am I cheating myself at all by not writing that check, by not going through the discipline of writing that check, by not writing that check, I don't have, you know, how you see the little comic saying, you've got maybe a little devilish person on one shoulder and an angel on another shoulder saying, angel, you know, yeah, you got to give your money to the work and the angels going, you know, 300 bucks, that'll get you to the West Coast for a weekend or whatever, you know. And just every now and then, I thought about that, about it being convenient, directly coming out of my checking account to where I fellowship.

Am I missing anything by that? I don't necessarily lose sleep over it. But, you know, I thought I'd go ahead and voice that and just see what comes of it. Well, I'm glad you did, Roy. I think it's a fabulous idea to explore because, as we say often, giving is an act of worship. So the question is, what means of giving will best allow you to worship the Lord through your giving? I would encourage you, given what you've just raised, to try it and see if it's not a more worshipful experience for you. Let me tell you a little story. Our good friend Ron Blue, who's an author and one of my mentors, joins us regularly on this program, the author of Master Your Money. Ron read a book, and after doing so, and it was on giving, this point was made that perhaps you may be not experiencing what God fully has for you as an act of worship if you're not taking your whole tithe to the storehouse every week and doing that as a celebration and an act of worship and just raise this idea you might want to think about it. And I don't think there's a right or wrong answer.

The point is, what's the right way for you? Well, as a result of that, he made a change because he had been giving exactly the same way that you had. And what he decided to do was, every Sunday morning before breakfast, he would pull out his QuickBooks. That's what he uses to track his own financial affairs and total up all the income they received for the week.

And he gets some royalty checks from books and consulting agreement, whatever it is, and total up all that income, take a tenth of it, and he would write the check out, and then take it down to breakfast with his wife, Judy. And she, they would put it on the table, they pray over it, rejoice at God's provisions, she signs the check, and then they together, back when they used to go in person to church, and I don't think they've returned quite yet, they would take it with them and drop it in the plate or whatever it is that was best. And it became something that together, they were able to celebrate every Sunday morning, God's provision, and their opportunity to give back.

And, you know, I think that's really it. It's a personal matter between you and God, I would be prayerful about it, and then decide what's the best way for you to give in a way that's going to allow you to experience everything God has for you as that being an act of worship. Roy, great question, and one that we should all ask ourselves, because as we become more and more attuned to giving digitally, and using machinery, and software, and apps, and things like that, sometimes we ourselves forget just how much we're giving, and why we're giving it.

And if giving is an act of worship, you don't want to put that on autopilot. So great question, great question today. We hope Rob's comments helped you.

Thanks so much. Here's our phone number. We have open lines. Give us a call. 800-525-7000. Anything financial going on in your life?

Let's chat about it. 800-525-7000. Christian Healthcare Ministries enables believers to show love for one another by sharing each other's health costs. Through CHM's voluntary health cost sharing programs, members uplift each other spiritually and financially. CHM is an eligible option under the Affordable Care Act and a Better Business Bureau accredited charity.

Interested? Learn more by calling 800-791-6225 or online at chministries.org. Investing is more than just returns. It's an expression of who you are and what you value. Does the way you invest your money reflect your identity as a Christian? Eventide we design investments for performance and a better world so you can invest with the confidence to reach your financial goals while remaining true to your Christian values and commitments. We call this investing that makes the world rejoice. More is available at investeventide.com.

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It's not a pep talk or a try harder speech. Parents Rising offers real help for real problems that every parent faces. Parents Rising.

Check it out at moodypublishers.com. Three ways that you can pray for Moody Radio. Pray that we would be faithful to the word. Pray that we would present the simple gospel simply. Pray that listeners would be drawn to Christ. Three important prayer requests. We're serious about them and serious about asking you to join us in our mission of making Christ known. Thanks for your commitment to Moody Radio and for being a part of our prayer team. Siri, I need some advice.

What's up? I have questions about planning for retirement, long-term care insurance. I don't know where to start. It sounds like you need the MoneyWise app. It's a free app that will help you find those answers and more.

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Okay, searching for MoneyWise on the App Store. With SRN News, I'm John Scott. Republicans have pushed a proposed pro-life amendment to the Kansas Constitution through the State House on the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision protecting abortion rights. The measure was approved on an 86-38 vote. It goes next to the Kansas Senate for debate possibly next week. The Biden administration has suspended new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on U.S. lands and waters for 60 days as officials move to reverse the energy and environmental policies of the Trump administration.

Lloyd J. Austin, a 41-year career military veteran, has won Senate confirmation to become the nation's first black secretary of defense. The stocks struggling to a mixed finish on Wall Street, the Dow dropped 179 points, the NASDAQ gained a dozen, and the S&P dropped 11. This is SRN News. Good to have you with us today. It's MoneyWise Live. Rob West taking your phone calls at 800-525-7000.

I'm Steve Moore. So what is it? Is it giving, saving, spending, automobiles, housing, credit cards, paying for college, having faith and trust in God for all of those things?

Maybe it's something else. If you'd like to talk about it, we'd love to chat about it, and we'll give you God's perspective as best we can on these things. 800-525-7000. Let's continue on. Boston, Massachusetts. Hello, Maria. Nice to have you there today. Oh, hi. Thank you so much.

How are you? I really appreciate both of you, and I called a year ago, and yeah, so my question is, so I'm 58, and I have a mortgage with no PMI. It's about 3.4% interest.

I've owned it for, well, five years. I have probably about 18 years to go because I've doubled up, and it's about 150,000 more, and I have about 250,000 in 401K investments. I have 50,000 in cash, and I own a car just about under 10,000. My question is, because I'm working, I keep accumulating cash, and I'm maxed out with what I've put in the 15%, and my company match is 6%, so I've maxed out on that.

I just want to invest my cash wisely. I just started this job a couple years ago, so I'm just saying, with that cash, I know I need the six months of emergency, but I have a lot more than I need, so how should I best invest it, and just so my long-term goal is to go back overseas, teach nursing as a medical advisor maybe in two to three years, or maybe five years, yeah. Great, excellent, and so once you did that, obviously you'd be working for compensation. That wouldn't be a volunteer position, correct?

Well, I was overseas for about six years, and I did volunteer for about six years. I'm a nurse practitioner, so you know, most likely the countries that I want to go to, you can't get paid, so it would be sort of like a small stipend kind of thing, but so I mean that's something to think about, but as far as goals. What would you think you'd need each month in the way of income from your investments to live on? Do you have any idea?

Right now? No, no, once you go overseas in a couple of years. Yeah, well, so you know, the good thing about a lot of these countries, you really don't need a lot to live on, although the cost of living is going up. I mean maybe, maybe a thousand a month, maybe, you know, but then there's, yeah, maybe a thousand maximum. That would be a high end, yeah, to live on and have good everything. Sure, you owe about 150 on the house. What do you think it's worth?

Yeah, it's actually gone up because just of various reasons, so it's probably worth about, you know, maybe 280, 300, maybe around 280, 300, yeah. Okay, all right, so if we, you know, if we had 350,000 after the mortgage was paid off, and I realize a mortgage balance will come down over the next couple of years, your 401k will grow and you'll continue putting money away. But let's say you had 350,000 at 4% interest, if you were to have somebody invest it for income, you know, that would throw off 14,000 a year, you know, 5% withdraw off about 17,500. So that would give you, you know, your 1000 a month, roughly, if you kept that here in the States and had it invested, and then you, you know, took $1,000 a month out of it, you know, that should easily cover it with what it's going to grow to and what that debt's going to decline to.

So it sounds like you should be in pretty good shape. But to your point, you know, how do you invest the money that you have between now and then? And, you know, I think, well, how much per month would you say you have in the way of excess? Well, see, it keeps growing. I talked to both of you about 12, 14 months ago, and so it just keeps growing. And I love to, I just love to give, I, you know, make sure.

So even with that, you know, the Lord is so faithful. So it just seems to grow about 30,000 a year. I don't know if that's good or bad, or I mean, the more I get, the more I give. I love it. Well, obviously, you're living very modestly.

That's a good thing. So I would say, you know, one option would be go ahead and open a Roth IRA, and you could put in 7,000 in that this year. And you could take back your original contributions at any time if you needed to access those funds, but that would give you some additional long term savings, I would probably fund a donor advised fund, which think of that as a charitable checking account with whatever excess you have that you want to give away, you'd get a deduction. As the money goes in, the money would sit there. And then as you decide where to give it ministry, charity, your church, you just go online and make the gift.

Really simple, almost like an online checking or savings account. I do that at NCF, the National Christian Foundation, they call it a giving fund. And then beyond that, I would just keep accelerating that mortgage payoff, even though it's only 3.4% interest.

I mean, getting you completely debt free is going to be a great thing, just because you'll have plenty of money to give away. You've got enough to meet your needs now and in the future wherever the Lord leads. And it'll allow you to keep giving, keep saving and be ready to respond wherever the Lord might take you in this next season. Maria, I remember your call last year and it's nice to hear from you again. And I hope you'll continue to call us once a year or so. Let us know how God is continuing to bless you, whether it's here in the States or somewhere else around the world.

We'd love to hear from you again. And Rob, you know, I just hate it when you keep giving and your money keeps growing. It's such a pesky thing to happen, but you know, it's so biblical. God says, when you know, if you're not faithful with what God's given you, he won't give you something else or something more. But the reverse is true. If you are faithful with what God's provided, he'll give you even more because he knows and sees that you can be trusted.

And what a tremendous witness and testimony that is to others who are watching. Well, it's exactly right, Steve. Crank it through your calculator. It doesn't work. Keep giving and the money keeps growing.

And yet in God's economy, somehow it does work. It's amazing. Maria, God bless you. Thank you so much for calling.

Brooke Park, Ohio. Susan, how can we help you? Well, the problem is I am kind of a compulsive offender and my husband's not working right now because of the COVID that he's laid off.

They haven't opened his part of the casino where in Cleveland where he works. And the thing is that I don't know how to get to a point where, I mean, I pay a tithing and he doesn't believe in tithing, so I pay it on what I make. And then I overspend and I feel like, you know, I could have saved that or I could have gave that to some, you know, partly to someone. But, I mean, we're really in need and I just don't know how to get over that wanting to spend.

Yeah. Well, you know, I think, Susan, first of all, I would make it a matter of prayer. I really ask the Lord to give you the strength, the wisdom, the courage, you know, to live simply and live within his provision. And all of that starts really for all of us with a recognition that God owns it all. And when we understand that, it puts money in its proper place, which is a tool to accomplish God's purposes. And it puts us in the right place, which is the steward or the manager. And we realize then that money is the great revealer of our heart, where we placed our trust and what we value.

This is a really important topic though. So I'm going to ask you to stay on the line and let's talk a bit more about it right after the break. If you don't mind, just hang on. We'll come right back and let's unpack this a bit further. This is MoneyWise Live.

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That's moodypublishers.org. Applying God's financial principles to your pocketbook and, yes, perhaps even your checkbook, this is MoneyWise Live. Just before the break, we were speaking with Susan in Ohio. She spends a little bit more than she wishes she did spend.

Her husband's currently out of work just kind of struggling with the whole scenario. Rob? Yeah, Susan, so as I was saying, you know, when we understand God owns it all, and our role then as steward, and money then becomes a tool as a means to an end, and that end is most effective when it's something other than us, it puts everything in perspective. We also realize what Jesus said is true, that our heart follows our money. Remember he said, where your treasure is there, your heart will be also. And so the question we all have to wrestle with, and this isn't just a question you have to wrestle with, I do, and Steve does, and everybody listening, does the way I use and allocate God's money reflect what's most important to me? My values, my priorities, my convictions?

And if not, what changes do I need to make? Now, I realize that just like there's all kinds of therapies for the things we're dealing with, it's, you know, retail therapy is a real thing. And, you know, it's a spiritual matter at its core. Because as the late Larry Burkett used to say, money is the clearest indicator into what's going on in our lives spiritually. Show me your checkbook, and I'll tell you what's most important to you. And so it's as much spiritual as it is financial. In fact, it's more so the financial is just the tangible expression of really what's going on at a deeper level spiritually in terms of where do we place our trust and recognizing the abundance that we have without spending a dime.

Because what's far more important than material things is what we already have. And that is that the Lord sent his son Jesus to die on the cross force and pay the penalty for our sin. Right there is enough. Jesus is enough. And we celebrate that. And we're thankful for that. And then we are thankful for God's provision. And we live within that. And we have to learn this idea that the Apostle Paul talked about, and that is contentment.

And remember, he didn't say I was born with it. He said, I learned to be content. I've been in times of plenty. I've been in times of want.

And I've learned to be content, because the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. And therein lies, I think, the gratitude that we need to have. And so perhaps the starting place is to begin to understand God's review of money.

And I'd like to send you a book that'll help you on that journey of understanding that. Number two, evaluate your spending in light of that recognition and ask the question, does my spending reflect my values and my priorities? Number three, begin to perhaps keep a gratitude journal.

This is something that all of us could benefit from. Just writing down each day the things we're thankful for, because we have so much that he's already given us. And then I think as we begin to, you know, allow our minds to be transformed and renewed by studying the scriptures and understanding what he has for us, it will change our heart, which will change how we handle his money. And then ultimately, we put a plan together, a spending plan together that reflects that and says, I want to pursue what's on your heart, Lord. And as you change my heart, then my spending will be oriented in that way. And I want to live well within your provision, not outside of it, even though the world will let me do that with something called debt. And the only way once you have that plan, you're going to be able to stay on track, and you're going to have some months where you go off, we all do. But the only way you're going to be able to do that is to have a budget, have a spending plan that says, here's where my money is going to go.

And yes, this is a reflection of what's most important to me. And it's not so stringent that we can't enjoy it. And doesn't mean you can't build in a portion of it that is just, you know, for fun or something that you enjoy, or you want to be able to splurge on every now and then, but it's got to be in the plan. And in a season where your husband's out of work, that plan is so important.

And it's probably a season where you're going to have to take a few of those extras out. But when you live within it, it's freeing and ultimately, it will lead you to a more intimate relationship with the Father. So I hope that's an encouragement to you. It's something that's not easy. And yet when you live that way, I promise it will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of your life, including in your relationship with the Lord. You know, I agree, Rob, budgeting is not easy. But the longer you do it, and the longer you're successful at it, the easier it becomes. And it really does transfer over to the easy side because your perspective on living life changes.

Yeah, it's not just rules. Let me pray for Susan before we before we let you go, Susan. Father, we just lift Susan and her husband up to you. Lord, thank you for your provision in their lives, even in a difficult season in the midst of COVID, and a job that ours have evaporated.

Lord, we tell you today, we trust you. And I just pray that as she leans into your word and an understanding of who you are, as her provider and sustainer, and that you will never abdicate that responsibility to anyone or anything else. Lord, that she can trust you. I pray that you would just allow her to have wisdom.

James 1-5, give her wisdom in navigating the resources you've entrusted to her, that she can make good decisions, that she and her husband will be aligned, and that this area of money would be an instrument of peace in their marriage. Lord, we love you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. And Susan, let your husband know that we're praying for his future employment as well. God bless you. Thanks so much.

Let's move to Evanston, Illinois. Colleen, thank you for calling today. What's your question? Good afternoon. I really appreciated your answer to the previous caller. Thank you. I am going to be retired in April.

I'm single, never married, 68. Things are going to get real tight. And just wanting your guidance on tithing, I've always tithed on the gross as well as giving other charitable contributions.

So just wanting your wisdom. Okay, very good. Well, I'm excited for this next chapter. Tell me what you're most excited about.

What do you think God has for you in this next season? I have had plans, but COVID has kind of put them on hold. Sure. Just doing a lot of volunteer work.

Doing a lot of volunteer work. Yeah. Yeah. Very good.

Well, that's for sure. And just know, Colleen, that this is that season where you have the most in terms of experience and wisdom to bring to bear in God's service. You know, it's a time for you to begin thinking and praying and planning and including creating that retirement budget. And so you may have already done that, but if you haven't, let's put it all on paper. Let's get it into a system that we can track it and let's figure out exactly what you need.

Have you done that yet by chance? I am right in the middle of it because I need to decide how much I'm going to have to draw down for my retirement account to supplement my Social Security. The Social Security is basically going to cover the major monthly expenses. I do still have a mortgage. That's my only debt. It's about $80,000 for my condo. And of course, there's an assessment that goes with that as well as taxes and insurance and all of that. What do you think that amount is you're going to need each month to supplement your Social Security?

Best guess. I think I'm going to need a couple thousand a month. Okay, two thousand a month. And how much do you have in retirement accounts? A little over $300,000.

Okay, so let's call it $325,000 that you've got available. We typically use 4% as a starting point. That's going to be $13,000 a year.

That's not going to quite cover. That's going to give you basically a thousand a month. So if we double that, now we're pulling 8% out, which is a bit more than I would like.

And that simply means based on the conservative nature of the portfolio we'd want in this season of life, not taking an inordinate amount of risk, you're probably going to be dipping into principles. So I think it's just really important that you look for ways to trim that budget. I realize once the mortgage is paid off, that will help. But that's down the road a ways. Could you work part time for the next year or two while you're able?

Things that would supplement your social security and allow you to not have to dip into that 401k, because that's the key. Now, should you be giving in this season? Absolutely.

I think it's a recognition of God's ownership. You can never outgive God. That's between you and the Lord as to how much, but I would give systematically and proportionately, and I'm confident the Lord will honor that in many ways. But beyond that, you've got to order your finances in such a way to live within what you have available. And I would just try to pull as close to four or 5% as you can, without going much over that. I just don't want you to run through this money. Now, it's still going to last a couple of decades, even if you have to pull an extra 100,000 a month, Lord willing, the market is good.

And even if it's not, we're going to take the long view and eventually it will recover. So I think the key for you, Colleen, is continue to dial into that spending plan. Look for ways to cut back. Look for ways to bring in some additional income even in these first couple of years of retirement. And then if you don't already have one, look for an investment professional to manage that $325,000 for you when you retire. If you don't have someone, just go to our website, MoneyWiseLive.org. Click find a CKA, put in your city and state. I'd interview at least two or three.

Find the one that's the best fit for you, but keep giving. Rob, find a CKA. Obviously, that stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor, but that's not just one set group of people like investing. We have CKAs in several different areas of financial expertise, right?

Yeah. And just one point of clarification. These men and women don't work for MoneyWise. They have earned a designation and it is the gold standard for biblically wise professional financial advice, kind of like CFP is for financial planning from a secular standpoint.

CKA is for the Christian viewpoint. And you're right, Steve, in five disciplines, investments, financial planning, tax and accounting, estate planning attorneys, and insurance professionals. Okay. Anything in the area of electrical or plumbing? Because technically that's where I need my most assistance.

Yes, I'm aware of that, given some of the stories I've heard about you and ladders and 220 and drywall. That guy right there. No CKAs. Okay. No CKAs.

He's Rob West, always pulling the proverbial leg. I'm Steve Moore. Thanks so much for tuning in and listening today and this week. We pray you'll have a wonderful weekend. Look for opportunities to help someone and perhaps even share Christ during this unique COVID situation.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. Again, have a wonderful weekend. Join us again on Monday.
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