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Retirement Health Care Costs

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2021 5:15 pm

Retirement Health Care Costs

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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September 6, 2021 5:15 pm

You may have seen estimates for sky high health care costs during retirement that most workers could never hope to amass. But are those numbers really true? On today's MoneyWise Live, Rob West will share some surprising new information from a top brokerage firm on that topic. Then he’ll answer your calls and questions on various financial topics.

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One listener that stands out that I worked with recently was this older couple that was interested in refinancing. They reached out to a few different lenders and their credit wasn't the best. I know some of these other bigger banks, you just won't hear back from them, which I cannot stand. Not everybody has the 780 credit scores and never had any hardships in their life.

I'll walk you through what you have to do. How can you end up being able to do this refinance, whether it's two, three, six months from now? Back to that older couple, we worked with them for months and months to improve their credit and we were able to get the loan done. We were saving them hundreds each month, thousands of dollars a year, finally got themselves into a situation financially that they can handle and they could start saving money each month, saving for retirement.

At the end of the day, they just could not be happier, which just put a huge smile on my face. We are United Faith Mortgage. One listener that stands out that I've worked with recently was this older couple that was interested in refinancing. Their credit wasn't the best. Not everybody has the 780 credit scores and never had any hardships in their life.

I'll walk you through what you have to do. How can you end up being able to do this refinance, whether it's two, three, six months from now? We worked with them for months and months to improve their credit and we were able to get the loan done.

We were saving them hundreds each month, thousands of dollars a year, and they could start saving money each month, saving for retirement, which just put a huge smile on my face. We are United Faith Mortgage. United Faith Mortgage is a DBA of United Mortgage Corp. 25 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York. License mortgage banker. For all licensing information, go to, corporate NMLS number 1330, equal housing lender.

Not licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. Today's version of MoneyWise Live is prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. You may have seen estimates for sky-high health care costs during retirement that most workers could never hope to amass, but are the numbers really true?

Hi, I'm Rob West. One of those forecasts says a 65-year-old couple will have to spend as much as $400,000 during retirement. But some surprising new information from a top brokerage on that topic today.

Then we have some great calls lined up, but we won't be taking your live calls today, because we're prerecorded. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. So I really was surprised to see this coming in an article on the T. Rowe Price website, because brokerages often go with very high numbers when estimating retirement health care costs. One obvious reason for that is they want to encourage folks to invest as much as possible during their working years to pay for health care in retirement.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think we can do without the fear factor. That's why it was refreshing to see a brokerage state plainly that the catastrophic estimates are wrong for the majority of retirees and to back it up with facts. That said, health care costs truly are retirees' top spending concern and not without reason. The article states that planning for retirement is easier if you take a different approach for calculating those expenses, and it lists three steps for doing it. First, stop viewing health care as a huge one-time expense. We don't think of our smartphone as costing $75,000 during our lifetime, which it might, by the way. So why look at health care costs that way? You don't prepay your phone bill, and you won't prepay for health care.

Instead, to reduce the fear factor and make planning easier, look at those costs not for 20 or 30 years, but on an annual basis. Second, separate premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. You know what your monthly premiums will be, or you can at least estimate them with some degree of accuracy.

You can't do that with out-of-pocket expenses. Premiums for Medicare and prescription drug coverage will make up about 75 percent of health care costs for most retirees, no matter which Medicare coverage they choose. Since these fixed month-to-month expenses comprise the bulk of annual health care expenses, most of that spending is predictable, and you can simply make it a category in your monthly retirement budget and pay for it out of those funds. That leaves only 25 percent of total retirement health care costs unaccounted for, but it's still the biggest source of uncertainty when planning for those costs. These are the dreaded out-of-pocket expenses, which will vary greatly month-to-month, depending on the individual. Here, the article recommends setting up a liquid savings account with enough cash to meet your annual out-of-pocket expenses.

Think of it as a health savings account, but obviously without the tax benefits of an HSA. You would then replenish it as needed to meet your estimated annual out-of-pocket expenses. Third, take those huge estimates for retirement health care costs with a big grain of salt. They're usually based on a single type of coverage that requires the most out-of-pocket spending.

You will likely choose a better plan. Those frightening estimates also reflect the worst case scenario, focusing on the small minority of retirees whose health status requires maximum out-of-pocket spending for years and years. The vast majority of retirees won't experience that. Now for the numbers you've been waiting for. T. Rowe Price estimates that half of retirees with traditional Medicare Parts A and B, a prescription drug plan, Part D, and a supplemental plan will spend less than $1,200 a year on out-of-pocket expenses.

That must come as a relief, but it gets even better. Only one in ten will likely spend more than $4,700 a year on out-of-pocket expenses. And even then, that person probably won't spend that much year after year. Imagine a medical condition that takes several office visits and maybe a CAT scan or MRI to diagnose, but then is cured or controlled at a far less expense. Now all of this makes retirement health care cost planning easier and far less scary.

Here are the steps you should take. Compare premiums and out-of-pocket costs for various Medicare coverage options, including prescription drug coverage and choose the one that fits your needs. Then calculate your premiums based on that plan and make a category for them in your monthly budget. And finally, keep enough in your savings account to meet annual out-of-pocket expenses. Do that by reviewing those costs in prior years. So there you have it.

For the vast majority of us, retirement health care costs don't have to be frightening and can be realistically planned for. By the way, the article we referenced will be in today's show notes. And we're going to pause for a brief break. We'll be back with much more. Stay with us.

It's great to have you with us on MoneyWise Live today, but unfortunately, today we're not live. We're pre-recorded and therefore won't be taking your calls. However, we've lined up some calls in advance that we think you'll find helpful.

So stay tuned and enjoy the rest of the program. Luz in Miami, Florida, just south of where I was born and raised. Luz, thanks for calling today. How can we assist you?

Thank you for your program. I made a living will and health care surrogate and power of attorney on the name of my oldest daughter. I have two daughters. At the time, I couldn't put my youngest daughter for several reasons.

So everything is under my oldest daughter. And as far as I understood, that was to stand for life, unless I wanted to change it. They told me that every year I should read it. And then in the back of it, I should put the date and my signature, like saying, I still agree with this. But you mentioned something about up-to-date wills. What does that mean? And is this affected because it's 14, 15 years old? Yeah.

You know, a couple of thoughts there. I mean, your will doesn't expire. So it, you know, should, I mean, there's nothing that would cause it to not be in force. But some of the reasons why you'd want to update your, especially your will, but some of these other documents are state and federal tax laws are constantly changing, which may or may not affect you. So you want to be aware of any changes that may affect your estate plan. Probably for most folks, you know, shouldn't be any changes that would result in any kind of tax situation. But life changes as well. So minor children growing up, you know, a birth or an adoption, a marriage or a divorce, a death of someone named in your will. Once your children reach the age of 18, you know, if you have a change in circumstances of your executor or guardians, you want to provide for a charitable or other organization, your church or ministry, and you make that decision after you had originally created your will. You know, so those would be the kinds of things and that and if you move out of state, which, you know, state laws and, you know, can vary by can vary by state. And so if you move, you know, that would be another triggering event. So I think generally, what the common advice is, is that every three years or so, you ought to at least have your will reviewed doesn't mean that it's no longer effective. It just means that there may be a reason to update something based on your life situation.

So I'm not trying to add unnecessary expense to you by, you know, visiting with an estate planning attorney, but at least, you know, if you're in contact with the person who originally drew it up, it might be worth just saying, you know, is there anything I need to consider that needs to be updated and just think through exactly what you had originally named and what you the decisions you made for your will and see if there's anything that you would like updated just based on what's changed since you drafted that document? Does that make sense, Luz? Yes, it does. But one more question. My house was not included in any of those papers. At the time, it was like kind of a rush because I was having a medical procedure, which I was thinking I wasn't going to come out of it. Being a nurse, you know, we are the most difficult patients.

But thanks to the Lord, I'm here. But my house, I have to do estate planning, you call it. Can a planner, what you call it, you just said the name, can a estate planner, can they do the house as well as review those three items that I just mentioned to you earlier? Can they do all of it? Yeah, well, they can make sure that the home is properly named in your will and in any other documents. For instance, if you had a trust, you probably don't. But yes, they can make sure that everything is handled properly from a titling standpoint, and as it's handled in the will. So if you don't have an estate planning attorney, I'd probably start with whoever did that originally. But if if that person is no longer, you know, in this area to assist you, you could connect, excuse me, connect with a certified kingdom advisor in your area and ask for a referral. Hopefully that's helpful to you. We appreciate your call today. On to Oakesdale, Washington. Dee, how can we assist you today?

Hi, thanks for taking my call. I have a, well it's probably to you, a very silly question. My husband and I have no will, and I'm really wondering if it's necessary to visit an estate planner when everything that we have, bank accounts, mortgage, everything has been both of our names, and his retirement plan, I'm listed as the sole beneficiary. So are we going to really run into some problems under those circumstances? Yeah, I think a couple of thoughts would be, you know, is there, what if something happened to both of you at the same time? You know, so then you would be leaving it up to the court to decide, you know, how your, you know, assets and property is distributed at that point. And so that's where a will would actually cover everything that's not, you know, with a named beneficiary, and I think would, you know, be helpful to you. Beyond that would be some of the other kind of documents and legal instruments that I think would be helpful to you to have in place, you know, such as a living will, a power of, a durable power of attorney, health care surrogate, those types of things. So, that would probably be my consideration as you think about whether or not you need something beyond just named beneficiaries. I think it would be helpful to have that will that covers, you know, everything that's not included in one of those accounts, and it'd be worth your time to address that. And you could deal with some of these other legal instruments that I think you'd be glad to have just so your wishes are carried out with you and your husband in that season of life. So, appreciate your call today very much, Dee. I hope that's helpful to you. On to Chicago, Illinois.

Just a few minutes left. Tammy, how can we assist you? Hi, thanks for taking my call. I'm calling because I have a mortgage and I had to have it modified. I was behind on some of the payments because of an issue with four being laid off, and they had me do like a second mortgage, which is like a lien on the property, and they said I couldn't pay the second mortgage off until I pay the first mortgage off. And I'm wondering about what if I wanted to refinance?

Is there any way to get around that? You know, that's a good question. So, was the second loan a home equity loan or a HELOC or was it just, you know, this additional amount that was put into firm it? Exactly. That's what it was. Okay.

Yeah. So, the only way really to get rid of this second loan is to pay it off or do a refinance and roll it into a new mortgage containing both loans, assuming, you know, you have the equity to do that and the credit score to go with it. Does the, would a refinance make sense on its own? Tammy, I mean, tell me about that first mortgage that you have. Well, right now, I mean, my interest rate is not bad. It's not, it's not a bad interest rate.

It's like five something. But my credit score was affected with my payments would be being behind on my payment. So, do you know what your credit score is currently? It's only 635. Okay. Yeah. So, you're going to struggle a bit.

I mean, you'd only need to save a point for this to make sense. Probably a point and a quarter would be ideal. And so, you know, once you get above 640, you're going to open up a few more options, certainly above 740 is where you're going to begin to qualify for the very best terms and interest rates. So, I think it'd be worth looking into refinancing it. If not, I would just really prioritize with any surplus you have beyond your emergency fund or any credit card debt you have, trying to get that second loan paid off as quick as you can. But it'd be worth looking into refinancing. would be a great place to start. You could certainly check with your current bank.

I'd get two or three offers before you make a final decision. As long as you can save at least a point and the expenses are not more than one to two percent of the loan, then you're planning to stay put there for five to seven years. That can make a lot of sense. We appreciate your call today. Folks, thanks for being along with us. We're going to pause. This is MoneyWise Live, where God's word intersects with your financial life. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West.

This is where God's word intersects with your financial life. So glad to have you along with us today. Hey, our team is taking some time off today. This program is prerecorded, so don't call in today. Wait till we're live in the studio. But we do have some great calls all lined up, ready for you today.

I'm sure you'll enjoy them. Now, getting back to those calls, we'll talk to Matthew, who's in the Twin Cities area. So, Matthew, I understand you're a part of a small home church and you're having trouble figuring out how to tithe, huh? Yeah, well, I can tell you a little bit my story.

I'm in my late 20s. I got three young kids, you know, married for five years, and we did not tithe probably the first three years we were married, and just being disobedient more than anything. And, you know, I felt convicted and, you know, submitted to the Lord to start doing that, and definitely saw the blessing in our life, and it was a really good thing. And now, like I said, you know, I don't have a 501c3 church.

It's me and two other families. So where to tithe kind of turns into a problem, and so I end up, you know, not tithing regularly. I just keep track of it on my paychecks, you know, how much I'd like to, and then when I need arises, I do that, and I just was wondering if you had any advice on a more clean way to do it or a better way or so.

Yeah, well, a couple of thoughts. One would be you could open what's called a Giving Fund at the National Christian Foundation, The technical name for it is called a Donor Advised Fund. They call it a Giving Fund, but essentially think about it as a charitable checking account where you can make contributions as often as you like. When you make them, you're essentially, you know, getting credit for the contribution when you make it, and then you're going to get one statement every year from ncf that you would use, you know, if you itemize your taxes for deducting those contributions. And then that money sits there, and whenever you decide you want to gift it out or grant it to a Christian ministry or charity, any nonprofit, you would essentially log into the website and, you know, with a couple of clicks of a button, kind of like, you know, you do online bill pay, you just gift the money out.

You can do it in your name or anonymously. But the thing I like about that as kind of option one is it gives you a place to get that money out of your checking account. So you're not just kind of keeping track of it, and then down the road you're like, ah, maybe I can't part with this. You know, you can just make it systematic and, you know, every month you're giving it to the Lord. And then, you know, you have the freedom and flexibility to decide where to distribute that, whether you and your wife are going to do that a couple of times a year or at year end or whenever the Lord leads. I think that would be a great option for you, again, just so you could build it into your plan and get it done.

And then, you know, if you guys create a C-3 or, you know, something down the road you'd have that option. Otherwise, I'd probably just, you know, ask the Lord where am I being fed apart from my local church? And then you could certainly tithe it there, so to speak. The only other option you may want to consider is just setting up a separate fund if this house church has needs. You know, so if as you guys are, you know, perhaps there's another family or two that comes and, you know, at some point there's some expenses related to a meal you guys want to share together, you know, one night or something like that, you could just kind of have your own fund on the side. You wouldn't be able to grant it out of the donor-advised fund because that wouldn't, you know, be going to a charity. But I think in this case, the Lord knows your heart. He doesn't need your money. And so, you know, if you wanted to keep it available for the church family, so to speak, these three families, for whatever purpose He leads you to use it for, you know, you could do it that way. And I think either one would work.

Tell me your thoughts though. So your option one, what restrictions are there? You said I can only give to a charity. So is it, I mean, does it have to be like a 501c3 registered somewhere? Or what are the restrictions on how I can give?

Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah. So from a donor-advised fund can only grant to a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. And with National Christian Foundation, they would add an additional requirement that it only go to a not-for-profit that isn't, you know, antithetical to Christian values, which I can't imagine, you know, sending something there anyway.

So do they have like a registry on not all of them? Oh, yeah, yeah, tens of thousands of charities. So any, yeah, and if you wanted to give to one that they is not in their system, they would contact them and get a copy of their nonprofit status, and then you could make the gift. So it's not like you'd be limited.

But what you wouldn't be able to do is give it to an individual or something like that. Right, like a member of my church. Yeah, okay. Well, that's interesting.

I didn't know something like that existed. So where do you stand on when to give? How about that question? When to give? Yeah, well, I mean, I think there's something to say about being systematic in your giving. So, you know, as your increase comes in, whatever form that is, commission checks or inheritance or gifts or even Social Security, I mean, you're obviously that's a long way down the road, but just really any form other than kind of an insurance settlement where you have a loss and they're making you whole, I would see that as God's provision, your increase. And so I would give, you know, at the time the increase is received, you know, so typically that we think about our increase in terms of a monthly cycle just because that's, you know, typically how we get paid either monthly or bimonthly or something like that. I think you're in a little bit of a different situation where if we're giving to the storehouse, you don't have the ability to do that. And so that's where we're kind of creating this other means for you to get it, you know, into a place where that ultimately you can get it into circulation in the kingdom by way of the giving fund. But I would just try to do that monthly for no other reason. You'll forget about it, you know, when six months build up, that number gets larger and you start to have second thoughts about, you know, making the gift and stuff like that.

So I think that would just be helpful to you for you to get into that routine. Yeah. Yeah. I was just wondering what the name of that fund was again. So go to it's the National Christian Foundation, which was started in the late 70s by Larry Burkett and Ron Blue and a guy named Terry Parker.

They've given out, you know, they've just passed through NCF. It's like something like $10 billion now. I mean, it's incredible. It's massive. They are the top five largest charity in the country. But again, they're kind of a conduit.

They don't actually do the work. So you'd go to their website, And then you'd want to set up what's called a giving fund. And that's the tool that I was looking for. All right. Well, that's very helpful. Thank you very much for taking my call. Happy to do it. Appreciate you listening.

And if we can help you with anything else along the way, let us know. All right. Great. Well, hey, thanks. Have a great rest of your day.

Thanks a lot. All right. God bless you, bud. Hey, we're going to pause for a brief break. We'll be back with much more. Stay with us. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West. So glad you've joined us today. This is the program where today's financial decisions meet God's wisdom. We'll certainly do our best to apply God's truths to your financial questions and decisions. We'll do that now by going right back to the phones.

And welcome to MoneyWise Live. Go ahead. Hey, how's it going? Good.

Thanks. So my question is, I wanted to want to know if I should take out a $20,000 loan to start a business. Okay. Tell me a bit more about the business and what you're going to use the money for. So the business is basically custom carpentry or woodworking, cabinets, built-ins, you know, fine woodworking, anything, everything basically along those lines.

And the loan would be to build a shop at my house to work on, to run the business out of. Okay. All right. And is this a business you're already in, Jim, and you're just looking to expand it? Or is this a new venture for you?

Well, currently, you know, work for a company, but doing the same thing, essentially, in the business, you know, it's not, I wouldn't be leaving my job or anything, basically, I'd be trying to, you know, just start out, you know, all my time off and kind of see what happens with it. Okay. So this is going to be on your own time.

So whatever you earn would supplement the income you already have, which you plan to continue earning until such time as you got enough built up that you could go out on your own. Is that right? Yes, sir. Okay. And where would the loan come from? Is this a personal loan or some other type? Yes, personal. All right. So attached to your home or any other collateral? No, sir. Okay. And did you go to the local bank? And what kind of terms are you looking at?

It's about 14%, 46 months for the loan, I believe. Yeah. Okay. All right.

Yeah. I mean, that's an astronomically high interest rate. And I realize because this is a new venture, and perhaps you don't have a lot in the way of, you know, reserves, you know, that's why they're charging this. There's obviously no collateral. So this is assume a signature loan that you're getting.

You know, that's the part that I'm not thrilled about. Have you been able to save up any money, Jim, that you could use for this, either doing it over time? Or is there another way to start to dip your toe into this water without taking this loan out? Well, right now we got about $15,000 saved. Okay. And the reason for the loan would be basically not to, you know, run that drive, but we're not, you know, sure what we should do. Yeah, yeah.

Well, I'm just going to encourage you to perhaps take it a little bit slower. Are you able to meet your expenses right now with the income that you have and live within your means? Yeah, right now, after all said and done, we have about $2,100 left over. Every month? Yes, sir. Okay.

Well, that's tremendous. I mean, clearly you're limiting your lifestyle. I'm wondering if you couldn't just delay this and, you know, fund this out of your own cash flow. Because if you've got $2,100 a month left over, in addition to the roughly $15,000 you've already saved, that tells me, you know, within 10 months, you'd have the money that you need to be able to get this woodworking business started. Now, you wouldn't want to drain your reserves to zero, but at least you could do this without taking on an astronomically high interest rate.

So, I think perhaps just being a bit more patient, Jim, clearly the Lord has gifted you with some gifts and talents in this area. I love the idea that you're not going to just automatically leave your current employer. You're going to do this on the side. You'd be able to add additional income to your family while you build up this business and then ultimately have something that you own.

Clearly, you're gifted at it. So, all of that makes a lot of sense to me. The only thing that I don't like is the terms that I'm hearing on this loan. So, I'd either shop it around and see if you can find more attractive, more favorable terms, especially related to the interest rate, or two, just delay this endeavor until you can fund it out of your current cash flow.

But apart from that, my friend, it sounds like a great, great plan, and we'll certainly be praying the Lord will give you wisdom as you proceed. And thank you for your call today. Let's go now to Sandra in Illinois.

You're on MoneyWise Live. Hello. Thank you for taking my call. I have a question.

I'm, well, recently widowed. My husband had put most of our retirement money, and it was a rollover IRA and a Roth account, into a managed account. So, that would be easier. When we looked into, you know, investing this money, we tried to find a company that was at least morally responsible, morally responsible, because we feel strongly that we don't want our money invested in things that will contribute to like Planned Parenthood, things like that.

Yes. And we're told when we interviewed the company that, that they fell within those parameters. But in going over the companies that our money is in right now, since I've had to take this over, I've kind of been checking that out.

And it looks like several of them are directly contributing to Planned Parenthood. So, I'm not comfortable. I don't, you know, I don't feel like I want my money invested in these type of companies and wondered if there's like Christian investment companies that have managed accounts that, and if there is, is that something I would be able to transfer this money into? It's, you know, I can't talk to the managers and see if I can get it switched within the account. Sure.

Well, Sandra, I love what you're talking about here. And this is actually a really exciting and growing segment of the investment universe. It's a subset of the investment universe that we call faith based investing, where the companies that you're investing in, which as an investor of a company, whether it's through a mutual fund or direct ownership through a stock, you're in fact, an owner. And so there's a growing number of people that want to make sure that their values line up appropriately with their investments, either investing in things that directly benefit the common good through making a social or even a kingdom impact, or perhaps avoiding certain companies because either their direct business is in conflict to their Christian values, or the use of their corporate profits would also be in conflict. And in either case, whether you're embracing certain companies, or avoiding other companies, that fits nicely into the faith based investing universe.

Let me give you a couple of options. Number one would be to connect with a certified kingdom advisor in your area by going to our website at money wise And you'll want to interview at least three and just ask if they do faith based investing.

Many of them do and could manage it on that basis. I think the other option is to go directly to some of the mutual funds that operate in this capacity. I'll mention a few. Eventide would be one of them. You can find them at invest Inspire is another, I'll give you a third, Praxis Mutual Funds, P-R-A-X-I-S, Praxis Mutual Funds would be a third. Any one of those three have phenomenal mutual funds, and they're only based on faith based investing strategy. So whether you want to hire an advisor to do it for you, or go directly to a fund, those should help.

Lastly, at, you can search any stock, bond, or mutual fund to determine whether they're investing in things that conflict with Christian values. We appreciate your call very much today. This is Money Wise Live. I'm Rob West. We're going to pause for a quick break, and then we'll be back with much more. Stay with us.

Welcome back to Money Wise Live. I'm Rob West. We're off today, so don't call in, but here's the good news. We've got some great questions all lined up. We're going to be talking to Jerry in Cleveland about moving from being an independent contractor to a full-time therapist, but first we head south to Miami, Florida. Michelle, you're next on the program. How can we help you? Hi there.

Thank you. I have really a question because I work in education where I'm receiving my retirement through TIAA-CREF, and I'm just wondering if, you know, because other people that I know that work at other places have like 401ks and different things, I wanted to get an idea of how that measures up in terms of savings. And you know, both schools that I've worked with, the first one took the funds and put it in stocks, but it was like sort of like a shared stocks where, you know, you didn't really know which stocks went to a pole, and a broker that you've never met kind of plays around with your money a little bit. And I didn't really get a lot from that, so what I ended up doing was just putting it in savings.

How would that fare against other types of savings? And if you have any suggestions for other companies that would help me, I would love to hear them. So are you limited though in terms of the investment options you have based on your current work that you do? So for instance, tell me about this TIAA-CREF offering. Is that still available to you, or do you have the ability to go outside of that?

They do give us the ability to do that. They have one other company, but I'm not too familiar with it, and the other company is the, you know, they do a little bit of matching with TIAA. I guess there's some type of partnership to use that option.

Yeah, very good. Well, I'm very familiar with TIAA-CREF, and it's a great institution with some great investment options, and if there's matching available to you, Michelle, I would take full advantage of that. The key is to get in the right investment mix, you know, with these funds and using the TIAA-CREF mutual funds, whether they're their own funds, which they've got, you know, what they call life cycle funds, which are based on a target date of when you would expect to retire. They have some something called a lifestyle fund, where, you know, is really geared toward the level of risk you want to take, and then they have their featured funds, which have, you know, different investing styles. So they've got some that focus on stocks, others that are in the bond area, international, multi-asset, with a combination of all of them, but they have some great mutual funds to pick from. So I think the key is, first of all, how do we maximize what's going in on a monthly basis, and that's going to be by, at the very least, taking full advantage of the match, and then beyond that, you know, getting, I think, a target of 10 to 15 percent going in every month.

So that's the first thing. Then the second thing is, what is the right investment mix for you? And the idea of mutual fund investing, if that's what you were describing, is a great way to go, because it's allowing you to take a smaller amount of money, you know, not hundreds of thousands of dollars, and deploy it across a wide range of investments. You know, Ecclesiastes 11 talks about, put your portion in seven or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may come, and the idea there is you want to be diversified.

You don't want all your eggs in one basket. So that's why you'd have, you know, a broadly diversified portfolio, even at your age, you know, you'd probably want the majority in stocks, but you'd want a little bit of bond exposure, and you'd want to make sure you're not just in the U.S., but that you have, you know, international stocks, and small cap, mid cap, large cap, and, you know, those types of investments. And that's where, if you want kind of a plug and play solution, you can use the target date funds, or the lifestyle funds. And in either case, it would make sure that the investment mix is appropriate for you. Or if you want to be a little more aggressive, you could, you know, pick one of the featured funds and actually pick an all stock portfolio mutual fund. And, you know, there'd be professional money managers, even though you don't know who they are, you know, you could count on them being somebody who's very, you know, well experienced, and has proven themselves in their track record, because they're a part of a great institution, and they would just make sure that there's a really good manager there. So, I like that option. If you want some advice on which funds to pick, you could either connect with a representative that would be made available to you through TIAA, or you could go out to an independent advisor, pay them for their time, and have them look over all the investment options, and help you make the selections. Does that make sense?

It does make sense. I had, my follow-up quick question to that is, the funds that you're talking about, and all the different options that possibly would be given to me, are those protected? And by protected, I mean that I had co-signed for my niece to complete college, and she'd be faulted on the loan, and I'm afraid that they may come to me to pay for her loan, and I was just wondering, are retirement funds protected?

Yes, generally speaking. I mean, there's no federal protections in place shielding necessarily like an IRA from seizure in a lawsuit, but you know, generally retirement assets carry a certain amount of protection, and you know, in terms of creditors, you know, they are protected up to a certain amount. So if it's the assets in what's called an ERISA plan, which is the type of plan we're talking about, you know, they are protected from creditors.

So yeah, I think, you know, you wouldn't have to necessarily worry about that with just maybe a few exceptions. I would say, it sounds like this has already been done, but you know, that's why the Bible is so clear about not co-signing, because you know, the Federal Trade Commission tells us in 50% of the cases where somebody has to co-sign in order for someone to get a loan, 50% of the time they can't make good on it, and the other party has to step in. And you know, that's I think why the Bible speaks to this, because it can create relational and financial damage. So you need to go into this being ready, willing, and able to step in if your daughter, or excuse me, I think you said your niece can't, just because you know, you don't want to trash your credit in the process.

But yeah, retirement assets would have general protections, especially against creditors. But bottom line is, this is just a great way for you to be putting money away systematically for your future. So we appreciate your call today very, very much. Let's head quickly to Winter Haven, Florida. Mary, you're next on the broadcast. Go right ahead.

Thank you for taking my call. So I, my mother just turned 80. She's worked all her life, and I would like her to be able to enjoy her, you know, having a house without the mortgage. She owed $38,000 on it. I'm 57, facing retirement in 10 years. So I was thinking about paying it off for her and or making the payment.

I've done a little bit of research, but I'm trying to do it as smart as possible. I've heard about a ladybug deed that I want her to feel safe that nobody would ever take her home. But, you know, when she passes, I would get the home. She still calls the shots there. She still makes the rules, but I just want her to be able to enjoy no mortgage for the last years of her life. And then it would also be an investment for my retirement when the time comes.

Yes. Yeah, I think what you're talking about there is a ladybird deed versus a traditional what's called life estate deed where, you know, the owner of the property in this case, your mom, the life estate holder, also called the grantor or life tenant, maintains possession of the home as long as they're alive. And that would be something you'd want to talk about with an estate planning attorney. You know, generally speaking, if you're concerned about Medicaid, if she were to go into a nursing home or something, you know, you generally don't have to sell the home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage. You know, obviously upon the death of the individual, the state may attempt to recoup from the estate whatever benefits it paid for care, including from your home's sale. But the bottom line is if you want her to be able to stay there, I think, you know, your next step would be if you want to pay it off in a lump sum to contact the lender directly with her permission, because they'll have to authorize it to get the payoff and then make sure that the it's paid in full and the mortgage is canceled and considered paid in full. And then I talked to an estate planning attorney about how to use, you know, either a ladybird deed or a traditional life estate deed for estate planning purposes to make sure she's protected and that the home is protected.

And you could connect with a certified kingdom advisor in your area by going to our website and ask for a referral to a godly estate planning attorney there in Winter Haven to give you the best counsel. And we appreciate you thinking about your mom. You're certainly on the right track here.

It sounds like you were a wonderful daughter, just really wanting to be there for her. And that's a great, great thing. Let's go quickly to Cleveland, Ohio. Jerry, you're going to be our final caller today.

How can we help? I have a question about my, about Social Security. I work, I have a full-time job, but I work independently in the evening as a therapist. Yeah. I'm under contract, I'm contracting work. So my question is, does the contracting work automatically go into Social Security for whatever benefit I might get when I retire or when I file my taxes at the end of the year?

Or is this something, is there something that I should be doing differently? Yeah. Well, as a self-employed individual, you pay Social Security taxes on your 1040. In W-2 income, you know, part of that's paid by your employer. But, you know, when you don't have an employer per se, as an independent contractor, you pay both the employer and the employee parts of the Social Security tax. So the total self-employment tax is 12.4% of your net earnings up to $137,000. And then you also have to pay Medicare tax on top of that of 2.9%, so the total is 15.3. That covers all of the Social Security taxes, which means that that additional income is counted in terms of your total income for the period in calculating your Social Security benefits down the road.

So it's an added expense for an independent contractor, self-employed individual, but it is beneficial because you'll enjoy the benefits when you get to that season of life. So we appreciate your call today, hope that helps. Well, that's going to do it for us today, folks. So thankful to have you along with us. I want to say thank you to my team today, Deb and Amy and Jim Henry. I want to say thank you to our call screeners today and thank you for listening. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. This is the program where we apply God's word to your financial decisions. Come back and join us next time, will you? We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 19:41:49 / 2023-09-02 19:59:43 / 18

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