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Why We Don’t Give More

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
June 28, 2021 8:03 am

Why We Don’t Give More

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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June 28, 2021 8:03 am

Did you know that Christians gave a larger percentage of their income to their churches during the Great Depression than they do today? On the next MoneyWise Live, host Rob West explains why church giving isn’t where it should be and why believers don’t give more. Then it’s your calls and questions on various financial topics. That’s MoneyWise Live—where biblical wisdom meets today’s finances, weekdays at 4pm Eastern/3pm Central on Moody Radio.

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Not licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. Did you know that Christians gave a larger percentage of their income to their churches during the Great Depression than they do now? And that was true before the COVID pandemic hit. Hi, I'm Rob West. There's no question that church giving isn't where it should be. We'll talk about that first today and what's stopping us from giving more than it's onto your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, where God's word is the foundation for all our financial decisions. So there's no question that church giving suffered during the pandemic. While some churches actually experienced an increase in giving, more than a third saw their weekly giving drop. On average, Christians today are giving only about two and a half percent of their income to the church, while during the darkest days of the Great Depression, they gave 3.3 percent. Now, every Christian you ask will tell you they'd like to do more, but some thing or things prevent them from doing it.

So let's take a look at what those might be. The reason people cite most often is financial bondage. They'd like to give more. They'd like to tithe. By the way, only about five percent of Christians do tithe. Some say they'd like to even give sacrificially above the tithe, but they can't. They have too much debt, or they have some other financial limitation or obligation.

Financial bondage can show itself in many ways. Debt is the most obvious, but there's also hoarding and just spending foolishly. The more debt you have, the more you hoard, the more you spend, the less you're able to give to God's kingdom. Now, sometimes debt or the lack of income are just excuses that people use to explain why they don't give more, when the real reason is they just don't want to. Other times, people do have real financial problems that limit their ability to give.

I don't want to point fingers or make anyone feel guilty. That's between the believer and the Holy Spirit. So that's financial bondage, and it's usually the reason people give for not being more generous to their church and God's kingdom in general. But there are two more major obstacles to giving.

Spiritual bondage is next. Our desires, our will, is not in tune with God's will. As a result, we make life decisions that prevent us from giving more. In spiritual bondage, we simply want other things more than we want to give.

And that doesn't have to mean buying a lot of stuff. It could mean having more money than you need in your savings account. 1 Timothy 6.10 warns us about spiritual bondage. It reads, The solution is to pray that the Holy Spirit helps align your will with God's will. We should do this all the time, but especially when we feel convicted about giving. When your will is aligned with God's, you'll find a way to give more. Now, the last obstacle is emotional bondage, or we might call it a lack of emotion. You just don't feel passionate about giving. In physics, that's known as the first law of motion.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest. It takes energy to overcome that. Our natural state is to not give. So, for example, if you're in emotional bondage, you might shy away from learning about giving opportunities because they make you uncomfortable. You might skip your Wednesday night fellowship if you know a visiting missionary will speak. Instead, you should feel excited or emotional about giving.

It's a very tangible form of worship, which we were designed to do. So here's how to overcome that lack of emotion. Just start giving more.

I know that sounds too simple, but it really works. Giving breaks the chains of emotional bondage to our money. Jesus couldn't have said this any plainer than in Matthew 6.10, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Put simply, the more you give, the more you will delight in giving. Any or all of these obstacles—financial, spiritual, and emotional bondage—can limit how much you give.

But you don't have to allow it. You can get on your knees and ask God to make your will conform to His, to give you clear direction on how much you should give and where. You can ask Him how to show your gratitude for everything He's given you, in particular, your eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. James 1-5 tells us, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. Exercise your giving muscle today and watch the joy that will follow. Your calls are next.

800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, where God's Word is the foundation for all our financial decisions. Delighted that you've joined us today on MoneyWise Live. Biblical wisdom for your financial journey.

So glad you're here today. We'll be taking your calls and questions in just a moment on anything financial. We do have some lines open and we'd love to hear from you. Here's the number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West, and each day we set aside this hour on this program to look at God's heart vis-a-vis the Scriptures as it relates to your money. More than 2300 verses deal with this topic of money and possessions. The question is, how should we orient our hearts toward our money? If it's all God's and we're charged with being his money manager and we recognize based on Jesus' words, where your treasure is there, your heart will be also, that our heart follows our money. The question we all have to answer is, what does our spending say about what we value most?

And does it tell the story that accurately reflects what God is doing in our life? You know, the late Larry Burkett used to say that the way we handle money is the clearest indicator into what's going on in our lives spiritually. Show me your checkbook, he would say, and I'll tell you what's important to you. Well, that can be somewhat challenging when we begin to process that. What does our spending say about what matters most to us?

And perhaps it changes in order. We've all been there, and the good news is we can leave it all at the foot of the cross. We want to help you navigate that. Whether you find yourself in a season of want, maybe you're really struggling financially. This pandemic has taken a toll. Your hours have been cut. Your income has been reduced. You've lost a job.

You have medical bills you've not been able to pay. Whatever it might be, we want to help you find God's path forward from here, trusting him as our provider. Maybe you have an abundance, and we want to know how to navigate that as well. Remember the apostle Paul said, in both seasons of want and of plenty, we need to find contentment. That's a learned behavior, and yet I believe it's one of God's big ideas for his children.

Let's live with joy and contentment, because that's where we find the greatest intimacy with the Father. We'll help you do that today. Here's the number again, 800-525-7000. We have some lines open. Looking forward to hearing from you. We're going to begin today in Fort Payne, Alabama. Mike, thank you for your call today. How can I help you, sir?

Hey, good to be with you. I have been working since I was 16 full-time. I've already put in 21 years at one job, 21 in August at another job. They may do an early buyout. If they do, I may take it. So is there an advantage or disadvantage, assuming I could roll my 401k into my wife's plan that's with Edward Jones?

Is there an advantage or disadvantage to doing that, or should I keep it separate? Would it be? Does she have a 401k at Edward Jones? She does. Edward Jones is the manager of it through the bank that she works at.

Sure. Yeah, you're not going to be able to combine those. Those retirement accounts have to stay in each of your respective names. So if you had, let's say, a 401k at another place of employment, your active employer, and you had an old 401k, assuming that plan administrator allowed it, and most do, you could roll that old 401k into your new one, but not your wife's. The same would be true with an IRA.

If you had an IRA or you opened a new IRA, which is perhaps what I'm going to recommend here, you can roll your 401k to your IRA, but we can't take an account, a retirement account that's titled in your name, and merge it or roll it into an account in her name, be it a 401k or an IRA. Now, why would you want to roll it out to an IRA instead of leaving it there? Well, the benefits are mainly these. Number one, you just get more control over it, both in terms of how the fee structure is put together, because you would choose, do you want to manage it yourself?

Do you want to hire an advisor to do that? You have complete discretion over that, as opposed to inside the 401k, the fees and expenses are built in, you don't have a choice. You also have more control over the investment options. Mike, inside that current 401k with your previous employer, you've got a menu of investments to choose from, but that's it.

You can only choose from what's on the menu. When you get it into an IRA, you can essentially invest in any stock, bond or mutual fund, or through a self-directed IRA, you could even invest in real estate, although I wouldn't recommend that, unless it's beyond kind of your core retirement investment assets. So those are really the primary reasons you'd want to move it out and roll it into an IRA. What do you plan to do work-wise moving forward? Oh, I'll find something else to do.

I have a landscaping business too, so I just work for the man 45 hours a week, plus I do that on the side, so I'm going to work. It just may not be where I'm at now. Yeah, and you may not have a company-sponsored retirement plan available to you where you land, is that right? It's possible, especially if I end up part-time, but with the exception of our vehicles, we're debt-free. Okay, very good. And we have about a year in emergency funds in the bank. That's great. And we have other investments that bring in money too, so financially right now we're in pretty good shape.

Thank the Lord. Well, you're doing a lot of things right here, Mike. You're following biblical principles. You've obviously lived within your means, you've been saving for the future, you've paid off all your debt, you've got plenty of emergency funds, in fact a bit more than I would even say is necessary, but that's not a bad thing. I think it's really all about kind of where you're most comfortable in terms of your liquid reserves. So what I would say is if you land somewhere where you do have a 401k, you could look at merging that in. In the meantime, I'd probably roll that out to an IRA that you could open at Charles Schwab or one of the other discount brokerage houses, or a Vanguard, something like that, roll it out, and then you would choose from the investments.

If you've been happy though with how it's performing, you could leave it there until you get settled in your new place of business and then make a decision at that point whether you wanted to roll it into a new 401k if you have one or out to an IRA. Does that all make sense though? It all makes perfect sense. I appreciate it.

All right. God bless you, Mike. We appreciate you checking in today and thanks for listening. Well, great to start out with somebody who understands these principles and is applying them, and here's the fruit of that. You get the freedom that comes with knowing that you've got financial stability under you. Now, that doesn't replace where our trust is because that's in the Lord, not in our things.

Those can evaporate in a hurry, but Mike's putting himself and his family in a position and his wife where they can experience God's best because they're following these timeless principles we find in his Word. More to come on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us on MoneyWise Live, taking your calls and questions today. 800-525-7000. We've got a few lines open.

800-525-7000. Let's take a quick email. This one came into our email box, questions at moneywise.org. This came from Abby and Jack, and they said, How do I know or how do we know when it's the right time to begin saving for retirement? And this is a great question because we don't want to just jump right out of the gate saving for retirement if we haven't taken care of some other perhaps more important priorities first.

And this would often occur just as we're getting started. I would want to make sure, Abby and Jack, that first of all you're giving systematically. I would put that priority number one. Second, I would want to make sure that you're living on a budget, that you've got some margin, and you've got a spending plan controlling the flow of money in and out. If you have credit card debt, I would save an emergency fund of $1,500, and then I'd focus on paying off the credit cards, again, going back to that balanced budget, making sure you're only using the cards for budgeted items so you can pay it down to zero. Once the credit cards are at zero, I'd get that emergency fund up to three to six months expenses and an online savings account linked to your checking. Then it's time to begin thinking about saving for retirement. I would start with at least the matching portion of your 401K or 403B if your company offers that and then look to go up to 10 to 15 percent of your take-home pay. Now, that's just kind of the general guidelines I would provide.

There may be some other priorities you'd want to mix in there if you're saving for a down payment on a house or something like that, but that would be at least the pecking order for me before I would begin thinking about saving for the long term. We appreciate your call. If you, or excuse me, email. And by the way, if you want to send an email, we'd love to hear from you.

We try to read as many of them as we can on the air. Just send it over to questions at moneywise.org. All right, we're taking your calls and questions today. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.

Let's go to Chicago, Illinois. Christine, thank you for your call today. How can I help you? Good afternoon, Rob.

Thank you for taking my call. My question is I was told or heard that if somebody is divorced and married over 20 years, you're eligible for your ex-spouse's Social Security. But what my question is, is I'm four years older than my ex-husband and I'm nearing retirement age. And I was wondering, do I wait for my retirement age that I'm eligible to take care of their Social Security or is it their retirement age?

Yes. If you're divorced, you may still be able to collect or claim benefits based on your ex-spouse's work record. As long as the marriage lasted 10 years and you said it was 27 and you aren't currently married, even if your ex is remarried, you're still eligible based on his or her record. So as would be the case with a current spouse, you have to be at least 62 years old to file for divorce benefits and your maximum benefit would also be 50% of your ex-spouse's full benefit amount if he files at his full retirement age. But unlike a current spouse, your ex-spouse does not need to have already applied for Social Security benefits for you to receive the benefits based on his record. And then finally, claiming those ex-spousal benefits has no effect on your ex-spouse or their current spouse's benefits. And then at some point, if you want to switch to your own benefits because that's higher and you would be entitled to the higher of the two, which means you could let yours continue to grow, then you would leave that behind and then based on your own work record, you could switch over to your retirement benefits at that point. So if you have further questions or you want to know kind of how to handle all of this, I would perhaps schedule an appointment with the Social Security Administration.

They're doing virtual visits and you can go to ssa.gov, Christine, and I think that will help you perhaps look at your record and his and actually get real numbers and talk about the best strategy. But generally speaking, that's how it would work and we appreciate your call today very much. 800-525-7000, taking your questions today.

Lombard, Illinois. Ann, thank you for calling today. How can I help you? Hi. I'm going to be getting a bit of inheritance and I have a mortgage that has about $100,000 on it, 2.5%.

And my broker wants me to take the money and invest it because he's thinking he can make more in the market rather than me paying off my house. So I think I know the answer, but I thought I'd just run it by you. Okay, very good. Talk to me, Ann, about your conviction in this. Let's set the financial side aside for a moment. Tell me, what do you feel like the Lord's leading you to do? I think pay off my house and get out of debt. Yeah, yeah.

Well, I think that's a good choice. I mean, as I've said before to other callers, I've been doing this a long time. I've never had anybody call back and say, you know, I paid off my house and I couldn't sleep after I did that. I regretted it.

I just don't get that call. And the reason is, yes, there's the financial side of the equation, which is, could I take the money that I'm paying 2.5% interest on, put it to work and, you know, after tax, do better in terms of the reward than I'm doing over some period of time on the mortgage. And if I'm one of the 18% of people that itemize my deductions, you know, take the benefit of the deduction on the mortgage interest. You know, if you do the math there, 82% of people don't even use that.

They take the standard deduction, especially after it was doubled a couple of years ago. So there's that side, which is the financial equation, and then there's the non-financial side, which is, you know, A, you have a conviction to be debt-free. You understand the Council of Scripture and how it changes the relationship. B, you just want greater peace of mind knowing that you own your home, or you want the flexibility of being unencumbered. All of those, I think, potentially outweigh the financial. Now, does that mean it's wrong to hang on to the mortgage and invest the difference?

No, I think you've just got to wrestle through it for yourself, between you and the Lord, and establish your convictions and make a good decision. But I wouldn't let anybody talk me into investing the money if I really had a desire to be debt-free, and I would fully support that end. So if it were me hearing what you're saying, I'd say, I'd pay it off, be debt-free, don't look back, and, you know, just enjoy all that comes from that. If you had said something different and said, you know what, I'm comfortable with this mortgage because, you know, I could pay it off at any time, and I really want to try to get a better return on the money, I'd say, that's completely fine, too. But I think, just based on what I'm hearing from you, I'd go ahead and pay off your mortgage.

I think you'll be glad you did. Does that make sense? I think so, too. It makes 100% sense, because then I heard someone say, you know, you own what you own, and who knows what they're going to do with your 401Ks or whatever in the future, you know? Yes, I mean, there's some of that swirling around. I mean, I would just say to that, I think, you know, 401Ks, in terms of how they're treated and classified, it would be very difficult to get legislation through that would threaten anybody's 401Ks just because of how important those are to Americans.

I understand what you're saying, just about being able to own real property outright. There is certainly something to be said about that. So I would proceed accordingly, and I think that's a good decision. And by the way, if you want to consider an advisor who shares your values, who perhaps, not that they're better or worse, just understands the Council of Scripture and perhaps would see your side of it a bit more effectively, you could look into having a certified kingdom advisor work with you.

I think you're going to get a more favorable approach to this type of thinking just because it lines up so well with Scripture. You could go on our website, MoneyWiseLive.org, click Find a CKA, and find somebody to help you there. We appreciate your call today, and hey, once you pay off that mortgage, call us back and let us know. That's always a lot of fun when we get those calls. Well, folks, thanks for being along with us today.

Half our lines are full, which means we've got still a few open, so we'd love to hear from you. 1-800-525-7000. By the way, if you haven't downloaded the MoneyWise app where you can take this program with you on the go, do that in your app store today. Just search for MoneyWise Biblical Finance. You'll find it there.

It's a free download. Much more to come on MoneyWise Live around the corner. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. We're glad you're with us today for MoneyWise Live. I'm Bob Lass, taking your calls and questions on anything financial. This is the program where we apply God's word to today's financial decisions and choices, whatever that might be for you. Here's the number 800-525-7000. In just a moment, we'll be heading to Holland, Michigan, and Joey's in Georgia. But first, Bob has been waiting patiently in Florida with a question about a 401k.

Bob, how can I help you? I have not too much, but I have some in a Vanguard 401k. When I signed up for it at that time, safe, no risk, nothing, and it hasn't made a penny.

What would be a level that would be relatively safe? What could I do with that in there? Yeah, are you still with the company that you were with when you established that 401k? I am, yes. Okay, and roughly how much do you have in there?

Maybe 10,000. Okay, so the simplest option, which I know Vanguard has these funds, is what they call target date funds, which just simply says you tell them your expected retirement date, and they'll pick a target date fund with a date that matches that, and then the idea is based on that target date, the investment allocations will automatically adjust so that as you get closer and closer to that date, the investments automatically get more and more conservative. So you might get to retirement with 70% in fixed income type mutual funds, probably a lot of short-term duration bonds in this environment, and maybe 30% in stocks, whereas 20 years before retirement, it might be the opposite, or even more in stocks. And so that's how these target date funds work. So they take a lot of the guesswork out of it and make sure that you're not too highly concentrated or too aggressive in terms of how you're invested so that as you get within 10 years of retirement, you're not going to open your statement with the market down 30% and see your portfolio down 30%. You might be down 10 or 15, or perhaps a little bit less as you get within five years of retirement, but that's the idea.

So that would be one approach. The other would be to perhaps get somebody from Vanguard to advise you if you want to be even more conservative on some Vanguard mutual funds in the fixed income space where you don't have any portion in stocks. That would be the most conservative, although in this environment with interest rates heading higher, there's a little bit of challenge there. You're going to want to stay with short-term duration bond funds as opposed to longer term because even those can lose value in this kind of environment where rates are rising. So I would say the target date fund is probably the simplest, but give me your thoughts on that. That sounds like the best thing, and I appreciate it. Okay, yeah.

If you just call Vanguard, whoever answers the customer service line, tell them that's what you're looking for, a target date fund. They'll help you navigate that. We appreciate your call today.

On to Georgia. Joey, thank you for your call. How can I help you? Thank you for taking my call, and thank you for your ministry. I've been listening to you guys for many years.

Well, thank you. I'll soon be 47, and we are in a situation of earning a good living. My house is paid for. I have a pretty good bit in my 401k.

My wife doesn't work. We feel strongly about that. But we're in a situation we haven't saved for college, and I have three children, and they've gone to a private high school. So I have a daughter about the end of her senior year, my oldest son about to start his freshman year in college, and I'm about to be a junior in a private high school. And we've found ourself, we're spending so much money on education that, unfortunately, and we hate to be like this, but we don't have anything left over to try. I know that's backwards, but I'm just being honest.

I haven't won any debt for college, but I just don't know what to do. Yeah, yeah. Well, I can certainly appreciate where you're coming from. I know raising kids these days is expensive, and if you have a conviction around keeping them in Christian school, which I was blessed to be able to go to a Christian high school growing up, and just had an incredible experience. The Lord really used that in my own spiritual journey.

That's a real blessing. If you have the opportunity to do that, I think that's certainly something you need to pray through, and each family needs to establish their conviction around schooling choices, not that one's right or wrong. I think that's between you and your spouse and the Lord. But at the end of the day, Joey, I think we've got to look at the giving opportunity as just that.

It's an opportunity to take a portion of what God has entrusted to us, recognizing it's all His, and decide how much not do we want to give, how much do we want to keep. And I think it does come down to perhaps flipping the equation to say, we want to give systematically right off the top. Now, does that mean you start at 10 percent? Yeah, maybe not.

Maybe you start somewhere at 2 percent or 5 percent. I mean, that's, again, between you and your wife and the Lord, and say, we're going to give systematically, because we are going to take God at His word. We realize that this is a recognition of His ownership. It's an act of worship. And clearly, God says there's blessing that comes with that. Now, this is not prosperity gospel. He's not a cosmic vending machine that we give and we automatically get back financially. It may work that way. I've counseled enough people to see that when you crank it through your calculator, giving faithfully, even when you don't know where it's going to come from, somehow tends to work out.

It's just in God's economy, that's, in my experience, how it's worked. But I think, you know, at the end of the day, it's a lifestyle issue. And you've got to say, we're going to give right off the top at some level, because we're going to just trust the Lord, and He says He'll open up the windows of heaven, and we're going to do our part to live within our means on the rest after we start giving. And perhaps you make this as an exercise of faith for six months, and say, Lord, this is what we're going to do. And then we're going to reevaluate at that point.

And I think, Joey, just my thoughts here, that it's only a matter of time before you all say, you know what, we want to reorder our finances to do even more. And that's just been my experience. But I think that's perhaps the approach you need to take, is to start somewhere with systematic giving, and you're going to have to dial back lifestyle in some area to allow yourself to do that.

And then see what God does, and I would say, make a goal to take it for an interval of time, and then see if you don't increase it when you get to the end of that. Give me your thoughts on that, though. Well, I appreciate that, and that makes sense. And again, I hate that we're in this place, but you're right.

I mean, in terms of lifestyle, we can always do less. So I really appreciate that advice. That advice is so faithful to me, and I get it.

I know you guys don't teach prosperity gospel. I appreciate it. Yeah, so thank you.

Yes. Well, you're welcome. Here's what I'd like to do.

You stay on the line. I'm going to give you the six-month pro subscription of the MoneyWise app. I'd love for you to take a test run in there to see if you can't rebuild that budget with Giving First, and then the other priorities that you have from a savings standpoint, and then figure out how to live on the rest, and really control the flow of money in and out where you're tracking it every month. I think that's really the key to being able to live well within your means and make sure that what's most important, and I would say giving to the Lord, returning a portion of what he's entrusted to you, which is 100%, back to him is the priority. And then some savings goals. You've said you want to save for college. That's important. You want to save for the long term. That's important.

But then the key to living within your means for the rest, the discretionary, the lifestyle portion, is all about controlling the flow of money and not letting money slip through your hands into places that aren't as important, that don't reflect your values and your priorities. You've got to have a system to do that. So stay on the line. We'll get you set up with a pro subscription. Call us back.

Let us know how this turns out. More to come on MoneyWise Live. This is where God's word intersects with your financial life. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us for MoneyWise Live.

Biblical wisdom for your financial journey. It's Monday, which means it's time for our MoneyWise market commentary with our good friend Bob Doll. Bob is chief investment officer of Crossmark Global Investments, where investments and values intersect.

You can learn more at crossmarkglobal.com. Bob, good afternoon. Hi there, sir. How are you? I'm well.

Hey, give us an update. What are you seeing in the markets this week? Well, we've got a lot of crosscurrents, as is so often the case. The big news in the last few days, as you know, has been what's going on in Washington, D.C., about more legislation. The bipartisan agreement, Rob, on an infrastructure bill, connected or not connected, depending which day of the week.

In addition to a reconciliation bill by the Democratic Party only. All of this is swirling, and I think it's why the markets kind of can't make up its mind. In the meantime, we continue to have the backdrop of amazing economic growth, and we're going to get second quarter earnings soon. They'll be kind of off the charts, Rob.

That's the good news. The bad news is this is going to be the peak. The strongest earnings comparisons. After that, the growth rate is going to slow, and markets tend to like it when growth is accelerating, not when it's decelerating. So, again, I'm not going to be negative, but I think there's going to be more churning going on.

Yeah. Bob, given what you just said about where we find ourselves in this market and economic cycle, what does that mean for investors who are looking out 20 years plus, and what does that mean for investors who are facing retirement in the next five years? Yeah, so a 20-year time horizon is the first education point. It's not going to be like the last 20 years, almost definitively. 20 years ago, inflation and interest rates were high, and as they came down, bond prices went up, stock valuations went up, and the last 20 years have been phenomenal returns. We start with high valuations, low interest rates, high PE. So, I think it's going to be tough to get great returns over the next 20 years.

Start with thinking about half of what you got in the last 20 and maybe divide by two again. Equities should still lead the way, but bond returns are going to be difficult given the expensive start. For those thinking about retirement, you just have to realize your portfolio is not going to grow like it has been.

It doesn't mean run out and put everything under the mattress. It still means equities are likely over any reasonable timeframe to be the better performer over fixed income in cash, but it's just not going to be double digits. Yeah, well, that's a good word because you've seen it all, and you're saying equities are still the place to be, meaning stocks, over the long haul in any time period compared to, frankly, any other asset class that a novice investor would look at.

So, that's the place to be. We just need to temper our expectations is what I'm hearing from you. Exactly right, and always when you own equities, you keep your seatbelt on. The price you pay to get the higher return is a little more volatility.

That's always been the case, always will be, but worth it unless your time horizons from here to the end of your nose. All right, very good. Well, next Monday, we're going to look at celebrating the 4th of July, at least the day after, but we'll talk to you, I believe, next Tuesday, so we appreciate you being with us.

I look forward to that. All right, Bob. God bless you, my friend. That's Bob Dahl, Chief Investment Officer of Crossmark Global Investments.

You can learn more at crossmarkglobal.com. Back to the phones today. Holland, Michigan. Hello, Norma. How can I help you? Hi, thank you for taking my call. I would like your opinion on purchasing long-term care insurance. Can you help me out there?

I can. You know, it's an expensive product, but the data says that around 70% of people reaching age 65 will need long-term care, but only about 25% of those who need it receive it for more than two years. So the idea that you would have something to offset the tremendous expense associated with long-term care, which can run upwards of $8,500 a month or more for nursing home care, is the fact that you would offset what could erode your assets and help you to have something to pay out toward that, so you can receive the care you need and in the way you want it. At age 70, you can get a long-term care insurance policy if your health is good and you have a good family record, but it's going to be expensive. I typically would recommend somebody be looking at this between 55 and 65. So I think it's definitely going to be an expensive product that's going to be even more expensive because of your age. And so for that reason, it may be that you just want to try to fund any need that you would have in this area out of existing assets because it does you no good for you to take on a policy that's beyond what you can afford or perhaps there's some increases down the road that push it beyond your budget and then you have to drop it and it's of no value to you. So I think depending on your health status and what your budget looks like, if it's something you have the ability to fund, I would perhaps connect with a long-term care insurance specialist. This would be an agent who has a particular competency in this area to look across the companies that are in this space, look for the ones that are the highest rated and based on your health condition might give you the most favorable rate and just see what something that would provide some modest daily benefit with perhaps an inflation rider would cost you, look at that vis-a-vis your budget and make a decision.

But the data says that again 70% of those reaching age 65 will need it for probably a couple of years on average. So I would look into it. I'm a fan if you can afford it of using this to offset what is probably your biggest risk toward eroding your assets in this season of life and we appreciate your call today.

On to Florida. Andy, thank you for your patience. How can I help you? Hi.

Thank you for taking my phone call and thank you for your most valuable program. My question today is about credit cards and refinancing. So about seven months ago, I started looking into refinancing our house and I was told that my credit was low and I didn't have any credit cards at that time, just debit cards and paid everything from cash as well. And so the broker told me to go ahead and get a credit card with a minimum balance and use it and pay for it each month, therefore not carrying over any balance. So this past Friday, and I've done that, and this past Friday I decided to try that arena again and I got a different broker that's telling me, you know, your credit is low, I see that you took out a credit card in January and you've been paying it, but he also suggested that I get two or three other credit cards and not use them at all and even stop using the one that I got in January. And it kind of bewildered me because I was asking, well, how am I supposed to build up credit if I just get credit cards and not use them?

So I'm kind of confused and maybe you can help out. Well, I don't concur with that advice. I think the idea is if you look at the credit scoring formulas, the largest portion of your credit scoring formula, the algorithm is based on, which is 35%, your repayment history. And so you want to establish yourself as an on-time payer. And then the next piece is your credit utilization, which means that you just simply want to make sure your balances are under 30% of the limit, and even better than that would be under 10%. And the fact that you're paying these off every month means that that's in fact the case. And then beyond that, it would be your credit mix, the types of credit that you have, which may be hurting you a little bit because if you just have the revolving accounts, you don't have other types of credit like a mortgage or something else that would benefit you from a broader mix of credit. And then credit history, the longevity length of time is probably impacting you as well. But the fact that you have this open account, there's no reason to be opening multiple accounts, especially if you're not going to use them. The fact that you have one account with a zero balance or charging it up and then paying it off, which is the way I recommend you do it every month, that's establishing you as an on-time payer. That's going to do, I think, just about all you'd want to do in terms of building your credit until you can add other types of accounts if that fits into your financial goals, like, for instance, this mortgage you're looking at.

But just opening multiple accounts and letting them sit there, I don't agree with that advice that that would benefit you in any way. Okay, well, yeah, I was thinking about the same thing when I was talking to my wife about it. I said, you know what, I'm going to call the program on Monday and I'm going to ask their opinion on this because I didn't agree with that either, but I'm glad I'm hearing it from a professional like you. All right. Well, we appreciate your call, Andy.

All the best to you, my friend, and God bless you. Well, folks, that's going to about do it for us today. Mary is holding. Mary, you stay on the line and we'll get your call off the air. I know you've been holding a while, and for the rest of the folks that called in today that didn't get through, we'd love to have you check back with us tomorrow. We'll be here taking your calls and questions, but I'm going to stay after and deal with a few of these just to try to answer as many questions as we can today.

We appreciate you stopping by. We've covered a lot of ground today. We've talked about saving for retirement. We've talked about how do you fit your giving into all the lifestyle expenses that you had, and we said you got to start with giving first, and then we've got to dial back our spending. We've got to have a way to control the flow of money in and out. We talked about long-term care insurance.

We talked about the markets. Here's the key, folks. We want to hold everything we have with an open hand, and that posture of an open hand I think is representative of the understanding that God owns it all, that He's the one who puts it in. He can certainly take it out. Our trust needs to remain in Him at the end of the day. He is our provider and sustainer.

He will never abdicate that responsibility to anyone or anything else. By the way, our abundance comes not in our material possessions, but in the abundance we have and the promises of God, starting with the fact that if we place our trust in His Son Jesus, we will be saved. I want to say thank you to my team today, Deb Solomon, Amy Rios, Jim Henry, and I want to say thank you to you as well for being here. It's my privilege to be invited into your stories each day during this hour and give you what I believe is God's wisdom for your financial decisions. We'll be back to do it all over again tomorrow. I hope you'll be here. In the meantime, may the Lord bless you. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-26 04:38:58 / 2023-09-26 04:57:10 / 18

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