If you're like me, watching little kids do an Easter egg hunt is a pretty beautiful thing. But I always feel bad for the littlest of the pack.
It always seems so traumatizing to see that little one run for an egg she has her eye on, only to have a bigger kid sweep in and steal it at the last second. Hi, it's Doug Hastings with Moody Radio, and unfortunately this same kind of situation has become a traumatizing reality for families all across the country. Families are out searching and finding their dream home, only to have it pulled away by another hunter at the last second, which is why I'd really like you to meet my friends at United Faith Mortgage. Unfortunately, this faith- focused mortgage team can't scare off the other hunters, but they can very quickly get you pre- approved and make it look as good as possible to sellers.
They've specifically made a commitment to this podcast and our listeners to do all they can to help you. You can find the entire United Faith Mortgage story and especially read how their direct lender advantage can often save your family monthly and lifelong money at unitedfaithmortgage.com. From time to time we're asked, is insurance biblical? Another way to phrase the question might be, should people of faith worry about insurance? Maybe it would help to define faith.
Hi, I'm Rob West. You won't find the word insurance in the Bible, but faith appears hundreds of times, providing a clue as to what God may think about insurance. We'll look into that and then take your calls at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live at the intersection of biblical truth and your finances. So, as I said, the word faith appears in the Bible anywhere from 300 to 500 times, depending upon your translation. And in many of those verses, a promise is either stated or implied. For example, Ephesians 2-8 reads, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God. Romans 10-9 makes the same promise when we openly express our faith. It says, Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. And in Acts 21, when the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, What must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. So we get a clear picture of what faith is and what it does. Faith is believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died on the cross for your sins, and that he is the only way to eternal salvation. The promise is that having faith will save you from eternal damnation.
And there could be no greater promise or gift. We shouldn't attach other meanings to biblical faith or assume promises not made. The Bible doesn't say we won't have hardships in this life, including financial setbacks.
In fact, quite the opposite. In John 16, Jesus says, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world. And in Romans 12-12, we find, Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
And finally, in Acts 14-22, through many tribulations, we must enter the kingdom of God. So by faith, we are promised eternal salvation, not safety from troubles of this world. That's the first reason why I think the concept of insurance doesn't run counter to scripture. The second reason is that the Bible repeatedly tells us that it's wise to take precautions. Proverbs 27-12 reads, the prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. And in Proverbs 13-16, we find, in everything, the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. And finally, Ecclesiastes 7-12 tells us, for the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money.
And the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it. King Solomon is telling us that while we must accept the circumstances God lays before us, wisdom, like money, can make hardship easier to endure. Having a plan to recover lost assets in case of a financial calamity is certainly wise, and that's exactly what insurance is. The third reason I think the Bible supports the idea of insurance is that we're told to provide for our loved ones. 1 Timothy 5-8 reads, But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. Proverbs 13-22 tells us a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. And in 2 Corinthians 12-14, it reads, Children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
Unless you've managed to save up an enormous quantity of wealth, how would you be able to provide for your family without insurance should something happen to you? Further, the Bible says we're obligated to compensate others whom we've harmed. Exodus 21 and 22 are full of examples of this.
While you probably don't have oxen that will trample your neighbor's vineyard, the lesson is clear. If we love our neighbor as ourselves, we'll make them whole if we caused their suffering. If you caused someone serious injuries, say in an auto accident, do you have the resources to make them whole, to compensate them for their medical expenses and lost income?
You almost certainly need insurance to do that. Finally, there's the fact that insurance is often required by law, and Christians are to obey civil authority as long as it doesn't conflict with God's law. So those are the reasons why I think insurance is, quote, biblical.
In short, because it's practical, wise, and it helps us follow several of God's financial principles. I hope that's been an encouragement to you today and that you can take this and apply it to your financial life. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000, 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live. Stay with us. We'll be right back. So glad you've joined us today on MoneyWise Live.
I'm Rob West. This is the program where we recognize that God owns everything, and therefore we're stewards, and money then is a tool to accomplish God's purposes. How does that apply to your financial life? Well, that's what we want to talk about today. We're going to mind the scriptures and see if we can pull out the word of God, the word of God, the word of God, the word of God, the word of God, the word of God. That's what we want to talk about today. We're going to mind the scriptures and see if we can pull out the principles that apply to what you're dealing with. Is it how much to save or invest?
Is it whether or not you're on track for having enough when you get to a later season in life? Is it how to give more effectively, or what about that debt you've been looking to pay off? Whatever's on your mind today, we'd love to hear from you. We've got lines open, and we'll take phone calls here in just a moment. Here's the number 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Look forward to speaking to you. Let me first remind you about the MoneyWise app that's available in your app store today.
Whether you are on the Google system or Apple, whatever it is, it's there. Just search for MoneyWise biblical finance. Not only can you listen to our broadcast archives, you can post a question in the MoneyWise community.
Our coaches are regularly checking in there. We'd be delighted to respond. Plus, you'll hear from other MoneyWise community participants. We've got our learn tab, or our discover tab, where all of the best content in Christian finance comes in in one place.
Podcasts, articles, videos. You'll find a host of topics, and really excited for you to get in there and see all the content that's there. And then thirdly, our digital envelope system, which you can connect to your institutions, manage your spending plan. It's all there in one place. It's the MoneyWise app.
Search for MoneyWise biblical finance when you head to your app store today. All right, as I said, we have some lines open. Here's the number 800-525-7000.
We're going to begin today in Orlando, Florida. Hello, Colleen. Thank you for calling. How can I help you?
Hello. So, we are on a journey of trying to get our debt down. And I currently recently just paid off one credit card, and I have two left that are about $5,000 now. And so I was paying $200 on my other credit card.
And so I know the snowball effect. So I was going to start applying that $200 to my next one, but then I am with Experian. So they check my credit.
They give me emails, and they said that I could get a loan for $5,000 with a $100 payment that will have it paid off in the next three years. And I figured if I put $200 towards that, I could do it in double the time. And I just wanted to see if that would be wise.
Yeah. Well, you know, Colleen, I'm not a big fan of that approach. And I'm going to tell you why. And you may say, well, that doesn't apply to me. And then we can, we can certainly talk about that. But the reason I typically don't encourage folks to do that is, as soon as we take the debt and then take out a new loan to consolidate it, even though the interest rate arguably will come down, and we would want to ensure that it does, it tends to take the pressure off. And so often, what's not done is the hard work to get out of the cycle that led to the debt in the first place, which is living on a balanced budget, well within your means, monitoring the flow of money in and out, having a spending plan that you stick to, you know, very strictly, and, you know, getting past what will ultimately cause you to run up some credit card debt again in the future. That's just been my experience over the years and counseling probably thousands of families through this, is that that's the net result. A year later, they've got this, you know, other new debt, and then the credit card debt is back.
So, you know, I think that would be my first concern. The second is just the tendency with that lower payment and lower interest rate to say, well, my best intention was to put 200 a month, but, you know, we had some unexpected expenses over here, or this came up on the side, and man, we'd really love to take that trip. We've been, you know, stuck in the house for a long time. And so we kind of find other ways, and we, you know, rationalize that by reminding ourselves that that interest rate is a bit lower. So I think for those reasons, I'd, you know, encourage you to perhaps stay on the current track you're on, you know, and just continue to, you know, tick away at these debts and get them paid off sooner rather than later. But if you were to say to me, Rob, I've really dealt with all that, I've demonstrated I can live on a budget, you know, we've been very strict with applying this money, we have every intention to continue to do that.
And I've looked at both the cost of taking this out as well as the interest rate. And it just makes a lot of sense that of course, on paper, that can work to your advantage, as long as those other elements don't creep in here. Does that make sense, though? I mean, 100% sense, yeah.
Yeah, yeah. So I think that's really the decision you need to make. I mean, the only other option I would throw out there, which is probably bucket number three, if you will, is credit counseling. Our friends at ChristianCreditCounselors.org would be delighted to at least take a look at what they could do with this. These accounts would be closed.
It does in fact enter your credit score, although it may be noted that you're not going to pay for, although it may be noted on the report that you're in a credit counseling program, but essentially they'd get the interest rates down, you'd have one fixed monthly payment, and through credit counseling you can pay this off 80% faster on average. So I would at least give that a look before you made your final decision. They're wonderful folks, they'll pray with you, they'll encourage you, they'll analyze your situation and tell you exactly what they can do. And again, it's ChristianCreditCounselors.org. And Colleen, I appreciate your call today. I hope that was helpful to you.
Let's head to just, well, stay in the state of Florida. Winter Haven. Deborah, thank you for calling. How can I help you? Hello, this is Deborah. I'm 67 years old and good health.
The only medicine I take is for thyroid, and I'm trying to get off that. So it's an ideal time to buy long-term care insurance. They get much older or six, and to my understanding they won't take you. So it's a good time to buy it, but I can't bring myself to give. I like to do the one premium thing. So I can't get myself to pay the $150,000 for the insurance now when I think that I could put the $150,000 into a separate Roth IRA account and just let it, the interest compound, and just pay for it myself. That way I don't place any money on premiums. Yeah, how are you getting $150,000?
Kind of walk me through the math. Well, I invested in Bitcoin and I made $200,000 or more, and in January I cashed that out. So I have that $150,000 available, plus I paid the capital gains tax at that time short term. So I have the money to do it.
I stuck that money actually in the stock market and I'm making 18% on my own financial advice or actually someone on the radio that's really good. And so I have the money available, but I just hate to pay insurance premiums or something I might not use, and I was told about, you know, life insurance with the rider for long-care insurance, but you're still paying premiums for life insurance and I understand there's pretty big fees with that and so forth. So any of the insurance methods seem to lose money. Yeah, well it, you know, at the first of all I think the key here is recognizing that, you know, long-term care is expensive. You know, bottom line is about seven out of ten people will require long-term care in their lifetime. Now for how long, average is somewhere around, you know, 18 months to three years and, you know, the costs per month can be very high and that's really the benefit of the insurance given just the percentage, the high percentage of people that will need it for some period of time, and then the ongoing costs.
I mean, nationally last year the monthly median cost for in-home care was around $4,500 a month, community and assisted living about the same, and then a nursing home facility, you know, private room can run you upwards of $9,000 a month. So even though $150,000 sounds like a lot, and it is clearly, it's a significant amount of money, you know, you could run through that if you needed, you know, nursing home care for an extended period of time. Now, to your point, long-term care insurance isn't cheap, and so I think you would have to find that policy that works for you in terms of the daily benefit you're looking for, the inflation rider, which, you know, that's going to continue to make these costs increase over time, which would pretty much, you know, require that you have this $150,000 invested to outpace that. But, you know, through a policy like that, as long as it fits into your budget, which clearly you can, at the very least, pay for the premiums out of the funds you're describing, would give you that added peace of mind that if you had, you know, a real need in this area that was very expensive, that you'd have the staying power, you know, to continue with that for as long as you needed it without running through this money.
But clearly, I mean, to your point, it's something you may not use, as with insurance, you know, most insurance we don't ever want to have a claim, right? But it's there to offset a risk, and probably the biggest risk you have in terms of eroding your wealth in this season of life is this need for health care. So I think you've just got to balance those two, Deborah, and perhaps getting, you know, a life, excuse me, a long-term care insurance specialist who could walk you through the various types of policies, the coverages, the riders, the cost, and then compare that to the averages of what you might have to spend if you were seven, you know, one of the seven of 10 people that need this type of care, you know, for some period of time. And then at the end of the day, you've just got to prayerfully make that decision as the steward of these resources. And if you decide just to, you know, rely on these funds and what they'll grow to between now and when you need them, that's certainly a viable option. The other is, you know, to invest in an insurance policy that would be there to at least take a good portion of the daily costs that it would take to fund this type of care.
Does that make sense? It makes sense, except that the insurance premium that you're paying the insurance coverage is usually only up to four years. There's really not many or any insurances that will pay more than four years. And what you will pay is four years. Sure, sure.
No, that's a good word. But keep in mind, on average, you will need less than that. The average is 18 months to three years. And so four years would be on the outside end of that.
But it sounds like you've done your homework. We're going to be right back after this. Stay with us. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live, so glad to have you along with us today. Phone lines are open 800-525-7000. Just before the break and we were talking to Deborah and we were discussing long term care insurance. And, you know, this is a challenging area because, again, the costs for long term care, if you need it, and seven out of 10 Americans 65 years and older will can be very expensive. And yet these policies are very expensive as well. Average annual premium around $2,700 for a single woman, about $2,000 for a single man, over $3,000 for a couple really does require and that's annual premiums that you consider fully whether this is something that makes sense for you and can fit well within the budget. And then what type of policy?
What company is the best one? Because costs can vary significantly for similar policies from company to company. Then what is the right daily benefit amount?
And should you have inflation protection? What kind of waiting period before it kicks in? And then what's the benefit period for the length of time that it will last? On average, women need services longer than men, nearly four years, about two years for men. And so this is something that I just encourage you to get with a knowledgeable expert, a professional that specializes in long term care insurance before you make a decision as to whether it's right for you to consider your options, make sure it fits well within the budget, and compare the cost to the assets that you have to see if this is a risk that you have the ability to offset with insurance. So connect with somebody in your area to explore this.
If you're going to do it the best age range to do it is between age 55 and 65. And I hope that helps you. Let's go back to the phones. Jeff is in Chicago, Illinois. Jeff, thank you for your patience. How can I help you? Hey, good afternoon.
I have a question. I'm looking to retire in the next three years, and the employer I work for has a cash balance retirement, which means I can take the annuity or they would just pay me the cash. They'd pay me out instead of the annuity. And the annuity would be roughly $200,000. I mean, the cash would be roughly $200,000, and I owe $100,000 on my home. So I was wondering if it makes sense to pay that, the home off.
It's at a low refinance rate of two and a half percent. Just taking that big of a chunk out of the retirement benefit. Does that make sense?
Yeah. Talk to me, Jeff, about you said I believe you're three years out from retirement. What will your income picture look like at that point? I receive a pension from the military, and then I'll have $750,000 between my 401k and my IRA. Okay. So from the mill... Go ahead. Sorry. I was just going to say all my minimum expenses would be covered, but paying off the house would actually leave a little more margin in my budget.
Very good. I like this plan a lot because you have other assets, namely the 401k, nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. You've got the military retirement, by the way, thank you for your service, sir. And I like the idea that you would be debt-free by the time you reach retirement, even though you have a low interest rate on that.
Being unencumbered, the flexibility and freedom, not to mention the peace of mind that comes from that, I think is something you'd really enjoy. I think the key is, what's the timing that makes sense from a tax standpoint in terms of recognizing these withdrawals from the pension? So I'd work with your tax preparer on that. It could be, Jeff, that you want to spread this out over the next three years and time the payoff over three tax years with your retirement date so that as you're entering retirement, you've got your expenses as low as possible, which I know you'll really enjoy and take some of the pressure off the income that you have in the investments, but not require that you pay any additional tax than is necessary.
So I would check on that, but apart from the tax picture, I love this idea of you being completely debt-free given the other assets that you have. All the best to you in this exciting new season of life coming up. We appreciate your call today.
Well, folks, we're going to pause for a brief break. Much more to come on MoneyWise Live. Phone lines open 800-525-7000.
Stay with us. Thank you for joining us today on MoneyWise Live, where God's word intersects with your financial life. I'm Rob West, taking your calls and questions on anything financial. We'd love to hear from you. What's on your mind today? 800-525-7000 is the number to call.
We have, let's see, five lines open. 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you today.
Let's head to Lincoln, Nebraska. Trudy, thank you for your patience. How can I help you today?
Hi, thank you for taking my call. I am 56 years old and I'm on a very limited income. I'm disabled. So I make 973 from government disability and 144 right now with my VA, my Veterans Administration disability.
So right around $1,150 a month. And I have no new debt. I do have some old debt I need to take care of. My main concern is I have really old IRS debt around $24,000.
It's past 10 years old. Old medical debt $3,000 and Colorado Christian University $2,000. So that's my debt. I have no new debt. My total expenses are roughly, well, I just did the math and I'm down to $280 a month is all I really can afford to put and do the right thing with what God has provided me with. So I guess my main question, sir, is with this very little bit, how can I, just Colorado Christian alone, it's 21% interest.
And then with the interest on the IRS, I'm trying to understand how to manage it. Yes. So have you contacted them to see either party to work out any kind of offers in terms of getting the interest rate down or a payment plan? And what is the status of these? Are you current on all of these debts?
I am not, excuse me, I am not current on actually any of them. The old medical debt is in collection. Colorado Christian, I just, that's new debt, but that went into collections. I didn't have, was unable to make payments on time. And so it went into collection. I spoke with the collection agency and they say, look, this is the way it is.
You have to pay a hundred dollars a month in order to overcome just the interest alone. Yeah. And so that's a large chunk of what I have. And I, as far as the IRS is concerned, I haven't made an attempt to make arrangement with them for five years. Five years. So, okay. And are they doing any garnishment of your disability?
No, they have no. Okay. All right. Well, obviously on the limited income you have, you know, that money only goes so far. And so, you know, what I would just say to you is that the extent to which you have the ability beyond your, you know, your necessary expenses to keep the roof over your head and utilities paid and, you know, keep food on the table, any additional money, you know, can be used to pay these. I would prioritize the IRS first when you have the ability to do so. And you can certainly negotiate a payment plan or submit what's called an offer in compromise. And perhaps I would check with your church to see if there's a tax professional or a CPA that would be willing to help you as just a ministry to you and to volunteer their time. Somebody who understands, you know, how to do these types of payment plans with the IRS. That's obviously the most important because the IRS can garnish a portion of your monthly benefits to pay for the arrears. They're not doing it to this point.
That's a good thing. Obviously, you don't have the funds to do it. But beyond that, I think, you know, just generally speaking, Trudy, you want to be transparent with these collection agencies, letting them know where you stand, even perhaps furnishing, you know, the details of the income that you have coming in so they understand how limited the funds are you're dealing with.
And at the end of the day, you can only do what you can do. So we're going to have to trust the Lord that he'll continue to provide and give you some wisdom here as you navigate this. But if you were to look at perhaps trying to begin to chip away at these, I would start with the IRS and I would have some representation to do that. So I'd perfectly consider a call to your church. See if you can connect with somebody to help. The only other thing I would offer is that perhaps you check in with our friends at Christian credit counselors dot org. They typically work with credit card debt. And I realize this is not that, but they would have some ideas on how you could approach each of these and perhaps would be willing to help you work on a spending plan or a budget. Our MoneyWise coaches would be happy to help you at no cost as well. Just go to our website, MoneyWiseLive.org and click connect with a coach. So I realize this is a big weight on your shoulders. So we're just going to ask our MoneyWise Live community to be praying for you and let us know as you progress through this, what God does along the way. And I'm confident between Christian credit counselors and our coaches that we can get you some assistance and have somebody that can walk with you through this journey. And we appreciate your call today very, very much. 800-525-7000 to Chicago, Illinois. John, thank you for holding today. How can I help you?
Well, thank you for taking the call, sir. My wife and I have $105,000. We want to split evenly among our seven grandchildren. $15,000 each to make deposits to their 529 plans. And I'm curious to know if that amount exceeds the IRS calendar, your gift tax.
And if so, would you have a suggestion on how best to make that investment? Yeah, well, one of the many benefits of saving for future education and a 529 is that the contributions are considered gifts for tax purposes. So, you know, in 2021, you can gift up to $11.5 million without having to pay federal estate or gift tax because of the lifetime exclusion. If you wanted to stay under the annual gift exclusion, it would be $30,000 per child between you and your wife because you get $15,000 each per beneficiary without using part of the lifetime gift tax exemption or having to pay gift taxes. So I think given the amount of money that we're talking about and the number of grandkids that you have, you'd probably, you know, be able to stay even under that, you know, annual gift exclusion. And then beyond that, you could spread it out over a couple of years to make sure that you do depending on how the math works out. So I think this is a great option and it'll obviously be a huge blessing for these kids as they then have this money to grow between now and college. The only other question would just be if the 529 has not already been set up, John, I would encourage you to visit savingforcollege.com to run some analysis both on what amount is needed to be saved, but more importantly, what's the best plan for you to use. Is it the state of Illinois 529 or is it some other state based on just any tax benefits you would get, not to mention the performance of all of the states.
And savingforcollege.com every quarter ranks all of them and could give you a pretty detailed analysis on which one is the best or at least the recommended one for you and your grandkids. Does that all make sense? Yeah, sure. Thank you much. Okay. We appreciate your call today.
All the best to you, sir. Well, we've covered a lot of ground today. Debts, we've talked about paying off a mortgage. We've talked about saving for college.
We've talked about saving for retirement. What's the question on your mind? We've got a few lines open. 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. A little later in the broadcast, our friend Bob Doll is going to stop by. Bob's a market veteran and market analyst. He's going to give us his weekly MoneyWise market update. That's coming up in the last segment of the broadcast today. Much more to come on MoneyWise Live.
800-525-7000. Stay with us. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West. This is the program where God's word intersects with your financial life. We're taking your calls and questions today. Before we head back to the phone, here in the final segment of the broadcast today, it's a Monday, which means it's time for our MoneyWise market commentary. Our good friend Bob Doll stops by at this time each Monday. He's chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments, a faith-based investment management firm. Bob is a market veteran and analyst, somebody that his counsel is really sought after and has been for a long, long time. We're grateful that he gives us his insights each week into what's happening in the markets.
And Bob, here we go again. Give us your pulse on the U.S. economy just based on the latest data. It's been raging forward. Are we seeing any change? It's still very strong. I hate to throw any flies in the ointment, but things are slowing a little bit. We've got the Empire Manufacturing Survey last week, Rob. We got retail sales.
They were a little short of expectations. Look, an economy as mature as the United States can't stay at this blistering pace forever. But for the balance of year, it will still be most likely above trends. So still a strong economy.
Yeah, very good. Obviously, the Fed's reaction to all of this is something that the market is watching very, very closely. What new insights do we see there? Yeah, so the Fed meeting last week reminded us that emergency monetary conditions and the free money era won't be here forever.
They have the process in front of them of moving from where essentially got the foot floored on the accelerator to eventually they will put the break on. And that's not going to be a straight line. And as it relates to the markets, Rob, the Fed has been the market's best friend. It's still a friend.
Just maybe not the best friend best friend anymore. Eventually, it turned to neutral and eventually they'll become enemies. So the Fed is slowly turning from this massive tailwind to less positive force. And to repeat, that is a process, not an event. The pace of the economy, the pace of inflation will dictate how many quarters it takes for the Fed to begin the tapering process and eventually raise rates. Oh, the cycles of the market and the Fed. Yeah, it seems like some things never change. Are you surprised at the resiliency, though, of U.S. stocks in the midst of all of this?
I am, Rob. It's amazing how well the stock market has done. Now, listeners know that last week was a tough week. We have a lot of it back today.
I mean, think about it. We have rising inflation, the unemployment picture improving, but not as fast as expected. The uncertainty about fiscal policy, all the geopolitical tensions that you know about and the tax package, the spending package with President Biden very much in disarray. That's enough for the market to say, wait a minute, tilt for a little bit. But this strong economy and strong earnings have just powered the market reasonably higher. Yeah, and it continues to remain strong and earnings continue to remain strong as well. Isn't that right?
Absolutely right. You know, I think I said it a few weeks ago. We are in a tug of war when it comes to the stock market. One end pulling hard is this strong growth in the economy, the unbelievable earnings you just referenced. Pretty soon we'll be talking about, you know, the second quarter earnings reports. The other end of the tug of war is this. How long is it going to take for inflation to come back and for interest rates to move up?
And I think that's what's got the market kind of up one day down the next up one week down the next and not progressing upward at the pace it was that we got so spoiled with from the lows a year ago. Well, always fascinating to hear your insights, Bob, on what you're seeing around us. Generally good news. So we'll be happy about that and look forward to you stopping by again next week. We appreciate your time, my friend. Talk soon. Bye. All right. Bob Dolls, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments.
You can find out more at crossmarkglobal.com where investments and values intersect. Let's head back to the phones today to Florida. Ryan has been very patiently waiting. Ryan, how can I assist you?
Hi, and thank you for taking my call. I'm not real sure where to start, but I'll try to make this super concise. So my wife and I are in a lot of debt, some of which we did, most of which we did on our own. And then another portion I did not inherit on purpose or on my own. So when we sold our home, we moved from Indiana to Florida in 2017. It was the first house I ever bought, first house I ever sold.
Did everything that I was supposed to do. We set a budget for what the net proceeds of the house were for our move. About a month and a half after I moved, I got a call from the title company that told me that they overpaid us by $12,000 because they didn't have a house. They neglected to take out a fee from when we bought the house, which was a HUD home. And then basically what it boils down to is at the end of the day, for their mistake to which, again, I budgeted everything perfectly, they ended up not only suing me for $12,000 that they overpaid me, but they got triple the damages stating that I withheld information, which I really did not.
So anyway, I digress. So it's basically, so now I have a $41,000 debt on top of our student loan of $70,000 for my student loan, $55,000 for my wife's student loan. And we're not even homeowners anymore. Our whole goal was to come down here, rent for a year and then buy a house.
So now we're trying to rent at these higher prices, obviously. And both my wife and I are college educated and working, but the main thing is, I guess the first portion is how do we get out of debt? And then my other path to that is basically for the last four years, what I've had to do is make sure that I earn the most income so that they don't garnish my wages, but it's like, I don't want to have to do that for the rest of my life.
And so fiblically speaking, I don't know what the right answer is, because I don't want to pay somebody $41,000 for something that I didn't do, as well as, you know, I just I just don't even know where we're at. But we carry this burden every day. And it's, it's very, very difficult. So I just kind of wanted to know your thoughts.
Yeah. Well, first of all, I'm so sorry to hear about all that you've been through. I know this is something that's going to weigh heavily. And it's a bit frustrating, you know, when you go into something with the best of intentions, well thought out, well planned, in your case, trying to honor the Lord with each of these decisions and buying the house that you can afford and, you know, just starting out trying to while you're paying off student loans, and then you have this thing come out of left field with this 12,000 that's now you know, more than tripled. You know, I realize that can be something that is just confusing, and difficult to process. And yet we need to find a path forward where you can honor the Lord and your obligations.
And, you know, provide for your family at the same time. Is this issue with the 12,000 that's now 41? Is that resolved?
And that has that? Was that resolved by a court? Or how did that come down? No, it's not resolved by a court. It's, I mean, they they got their judgment. But basically, what they did was they assigned it to an attorney here in Florida. And then I had to hire an attorney who said that she wishes that she, you know, I had talked to her beforehand, she could have helped me out.
But I digress. They basically all they're doing is consistently checking on my finances to make sure that I haven't had some major windfall. And so I have to like every six months now I have to go through a process of filling out all this paperwork and paying an attorney to make sure that, like I said, they're not going to come garnish my wages because technically by the state law in Florida, as long as I make over 51% of the income, I'm okay.
But that also holds back my wife, which is very discouraging because she's a nurse and she's trying to get her RN, but she's afraid that if she makes more money than me, then we're. Yes. So is there an opportunity to try to work off of the 12,000 that you originally owed and work on a payment plan that everybody would agree to? I mean, is there the option to negotiate at this point? Or have they closed that door? I'm not certain. Honestly, I know when I first offered that to them, they balked and said, no, but, you know, there's, I suppose the possibility of maybe renegotiating that. And that's something that I need to ask God to help me on my pride for, because, you know, my anger towards the situation says, well, I don't owe you anything. I didn't do anything. You're making my life miserable.
But then God says, you know, that's not how we're supposed to be. So, yeah. And they did overpay you. So you got the money that was not yours, right? So I know you want to pay that back. So I think the key is, I mean, obviously the student loans are what they are.
You know, if they're federal loans, there's going to be income based repayment options that will allow you to manage that even though that debt's high and forget the politics of it, a portion of that, or all of it may even be forgiven at some point, just based on what's being bantered around in Washington. I think we need to really focus in on the 41,000 and start by making it a matter of prayer, asking the Lord to intervene. I can just tell you, Ryan, you know, you've sought to honor him this entire way. I just want you to be, you know, honest and just say, Lord, I want to trust you with this. I'm going to submit this to you. I'll follow whatever lead you have, but I'm just going to ask you to intervene miraculously and soften hearts where needed. I would talk to your attorney about re approaching them, about starting up payments to the extent you have the ability to do so off of that 12,000 and see if you can get to somebody who would be willing to, you know, perhaps consider this again. And I think if you could start making some progress where you're not filing every year and looking at all the, you know, who's making the most money and you guys would be free to, you know, follow the leading of the Lord and do whatever he has for you based on this new negotiated payment plan, you would feel a whole lot better.
So why don't you start there? We'll be praying for you. And I want to encourage you to check back in with us along the way.
Unfortunately, we're out of time, so I got to let you go. God bless you, my friend. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. I want to say thank you to my team today, Amy, Dan, Jim and Eric, and thank you for being here. We'll be back tomorrow with another edition of MoneyWise Live joined by Mark Biller. We'll look for you then. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-31 01:25:30 / 2023-10-31 01:43:07 / 18