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Investing for Real-World Change

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2021 2:18 pm

Investing for Real-World Change

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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October 15, 2021 2:18 pm

Today many investors want their assets to do more than provide for their financial futures—they want them to reflect their faith values as well.  On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk with Stella Tai of Praxis Mutual Funds about looking beyond the bottom line to ways we can steward the non-financial impact of our investments. Then Rob will answer your calls and questions on various financial topics. 

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This is Jamin Baxter and I serve as Business Development Director for Moody Radio. The only reason we're able to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ on the radio is because of financial support from listeners like you. We also have businesses support us too, like United Faith Mortgage.

Faith and family is at their core. It's why they choose to be such a close partner with our station. It's why they specifically advertise on Christian radio stations across the country.

It's why father and son John and Ryan still lead the company to this day. Check out United Faith Mortgage and their direct lender advantage at Thanks to you and to United Faith Mortgage for supporting Moody Radio. United Faith Mortgage is a DBA of United Mortgage Corp. 25 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York. Licensed 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. This is Jamin Baxter and I serve as Business Development Director for Moody Radio. The only reason we're able to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ on the radio is because of financial support from listeners like you. We also have businesses support us too, like United Faith Mortgage.

Faith and family is at their core. It's why they choose to be such a close partner with our station. It's why they specifically advertise on Christian radio stations across the country.

It's why father and son John and Ryan still lead the company to this day. Check out United Faith Mortgage and their direct lender advantage at Thanks to you and to United Faith Mortgage for supporting Moody Radio. United Faith Mortgage is a DBA of United Mortgage Corp. 25 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York. Licensed 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. Today, many investors want their assets to do more than provide for their financial futures. They want them to reflect their faith values as well. Hi, I'm Rob West. God calls us to be faithful stewards, and that means looking beyond the bottom line and stewarding the non-financial impact of our investments too. I'll speak with Stella Tai of Praxis Mutual Funds today, and 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 advice for your financial decisions. Well, fortunately, we have more options to help investors align their portfolios with their values than ever before. And here to talk about them is Stella Tai, the Manager of Stewardship, Investing, Impact and Analysis at Praxis Mutual Funds.

If you're new to this idea, Praxis is a leading faith-based family of mutual funds and an underwriter of this program. Stella, we're delighted to have you with us today. Thanks, Rob.

It's great to be here with you today. Stella, you have a unique role and an unusual journey in the mutual fund industry, so I'd love for you to start there today. Help us understand what you do and how you came to work with Praxis.

Thank you. Here at Praxis Mutual Funds, I am privileged to do a couple of things. The first is that I guide the promotion and the integration of impact across our various funds. And two, I also manage our community development investing efforts, and this relates to impact investing. I have been engaged in the development of financial products, which we put out in the community to meet the needs of low to moderate income individuals. You asked me briefly about my history before coming to Praxis, and it's a long one, but I'll start by saying that I was raised in Kenya.

You can hear probably that in my accent. Yes, I love it. I became a Christian as a teenager, and by the time I was graduating from college with a business degree, I already knew what my, maybe today I could call it my vocation. At the time, I didn't know what it was.

I didn't know what it was. My life's work, I knew that I wanted it to be at the intersection of finance and human flourishing. I came to the U.S. over 20 years ago to do an MBA in economic development and finance, and doing this MBA in a Christian college, I was challenged to think about how can we use money to achieve the greatest good, not just for the owners of the money or the finances, but for everyone in society. I've been in this field of community development finance for most of that time. It's an exciting journey, and the work that you do is incredible. I'm so excited for our listeners to hear about what's possible as they think about the intersection of their investments and their values. As you well know, Stella, Praxis has a long history in working to understand the real world impact of investing and delivering values-aligned impact to your clients.

We've just got about a minute before the break, so perhaps we'll just start, but I'd love for you to talk about that a bit. Why has this work been so important? The reason that this work is so important, Rob, is because at Praxis, when you think about investment management, it starts with the recognition that God owns it all, which means that our investors and the Praxis team are all course stewards who are entrusted by God with these investments.

Our job then is to ask ourselves the big question, which is beyond the goal of financial returns, what are the faith values and what are the objectives of the true owner, who is God, of the investments which will end up impacting the world positively? Well, it's so exciting, Stella. When we come back from our break, we'll begin to talk about the real difference, the real impact that can be made as we think about these investments that you're involved in.

I know you're going to give us some stories about that and really help us to process what this looks like. Folks, this is exciting work. This whole space of faith-based investing is maturing.

There's more options than ever before. And as you think about your role as an owner of individual companies through your investing with God's money, I want you to think about the impact you're having. We're going to help you do that today. We'll come back with Stella Tai of Praxis Mutual Funds just around the corner. More to come on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West. Joining me today is Stella Tai of Praxis Mutual Funds. We want to seek a bottom line return when it comes to investing God's money, but what about the non-financial impact of our investments? What about the alignment of our investing with our values? That's our subject today. Stella, just before the break, you were talking about the work that you do in the impact investing, the real world impact that's taking place as a result of the investments. I'd love for you to tell us a bit of the history and even the methodology of how you go about that. Yes.

Great question, Rob. I would like to let the listeners know that from the very beginning, Praxis has been committed to moving beyond just the simple avoidance of certain stocks. That is a valid approach, but we are committed to using all the tools at our disposal to make a real difference in the lives of people, but also for creation care, which supports kingdom values. This work is guided by our stewardship investment philosophy, where we emphasize the screening, company engagement, positive investing, and our core values, where we seek to focus our investment activities on businesses and practices that enhance life. I'm pleased to say that today, more and more sophisticated tools are available to incorporate impact into portfolios.

I'm sure you've seen that. Not just for the institutional investors or high net worth individuals, but also for the everyday investor. Rob, this really excites me.

Well, it does me as well. I mean, this is a game changer, Stella, because this makes this type of impact investing available to all investors, which was not the case just even a few years ago. Let's talk about, though, that real world impact. Give us some examples, Stella, of how Praxis mutual funds reflect kingdom values and some of the impact that's occurring.

I'm glad you asked, Rob. Praxis has been working very hard at developing strategies that capture the kingdom values we want to see in our funds that bring this real world impact. At this time, we have seven strategies that we use, and I'm not going to go through them here, but they will be elaborated in our impact report. I would like to mention just one of our strategies, which is community development investing. And here, Praxis commits 1% of each of our funds to investments, not to be confused with contributions or grants, but investments that benefit first neighborhoods and individuals before financial gain. This is a commitment that's unique to Praxis, and it allows us to bear witness to our faith, which calls us to stand with the widow and the orphan and those seeking really to be set free. Yes, that is phenomenal.

And as they say, Stella, the proof is in the pudding. You referenced a moment ago the annual impact report that Praxis produces. I know the second annual edition has just been released. Tell us about that impact report, what folks would find in it and where they can get it. The production of our impact report is a new effort to us that we're very proud of.

And this is only our second year producing it. And I can tell you that going through this process has really helped bring an even greater focus to how we understand and deliver impact. What I can say is that producing a report of this depth and length, as you'll see once you get a copy of it, is truly a significant undertaking and it's a constant work in progress.

A lot goes on behind the scenes. For example, we have to figure out what's the best methodology for Praxis to manage and measure impact, or what's the best way to source the data that we need to put the report together. More importantly, though, I have to say that beyond those technicalities of putting the report together, the main reason for producing an impact report is so that our investors and other stakeholders would know what the impact of our funds has been for the previous year. So the report then becomes an important accountability tool for our investors who are faithfully trusting that we are delivering the impact that we've promised. And we hope that when they review our strategies, and then they read the stories of real impact on real people, real small businesses, real companies and communities, they can get a sense that we are both transparent and accountable to them and the faith values that we share, and that we are indeed making a difference together.

That's powerful. Well, I know the 2021 Praxis Real Impact Report was recently released, and I'd love for our listeners to check it out. Just head over to Stella, any other examples come to mind of the real change that's taking place in support of Kingdom Values that is exciting to you? Yes, I actually have two examples.

The first, Praxis was recently engaged in a dialogue. We joined with members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. This organization is called ICCR.

You're probably familiar with them. For a dialogue with Delta Airlines on their efforts to promote human rights and combat human trafficking. And I'm pleased to say that that dialogue went well. It culminated in Delta, which is a leader in the airline industry, issuing an anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking statement that outlined their commitment to this issue. And then one more example I could share is, last year we purchased the African Development Bank's Fight COVID-19 Social Bond. This was the largest dollar-denominated social bond ever issued in the capital markets.

And its goal was to mitigate the negative social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Africa, which I can tell you, even today, are still pretty devastating. Yeah, no question about it. Well, unfortunately, we just have about a minute left, Stella. We're going to have to have you back. But I want to conclude today by allowing you to share the new motto you've adopted at Praxis and what it means to you. Our new motto is investing together, impacting the world.

And maybe I'll just pull up one word out of that. So the word together, investing together, it reminds me of something we saw in the trends report from the forum for sustainable and responsible investing, which says that sustainably invested funds grew by over 42% in the last two years. And so when you think about together, you think about all those actors that are coming into this space. We saw that at the Faith Driven Investor Conference, which some of us were a part of, where we had investors from over 50 countries that participated in that conference. So we're bearing witness to the impact that the faith community can have on kingdom values together. There's endless ways to think about how impact will flow through sustainably invested funds. And we are happy to capture this potential. Well, Stella, this is exciting work. It's so encouraging to see that investments in our pensions and 401ks can deliver real world impact for the kingdom. Thanks for being with us. Thank you for having me. Stella Tai of Praxis Mutual Funds has been our guest.

You can learn more at That's P-R-A-X-I-S Hey, we're going to pause for a brief break. We'll be back with much more. Stay with us. We're grateful you've joined us for Money Wise Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

This is biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Our team is taking some time off today, so I want to encourage you not to call in because no one's here to receive that call. However, we've got some great questions that we lined up in advance. And so let's get right to those. Next up is Roger in Illinois listening to WMBI. Hello, Roger.

How can I help you, sir? Well, sir, my question has to do with RMD or the IRA with the RMD amount. My understanding of the rules, incidentally, I'm 81. So then, you know, I'm already doing — having staked the RMD — is that I can donate it and not have to claim the interest as earnings, but I still cannot put it down and get the deduction off of my regular taxes as it's being a donation. That's correct. Again, my understanding is I can give the money, but I cannot designate what it has to be used for to wherever I give it.

That would be at their discretion. That's the way I have understood it, so in past years that's what I have done. I used a column or the page where you can write off, okay, this was my RMD and I don't let it in with my interest earnings.

Yeah, yeah, you're essentially right, Roger. I mean, this is called a qualified charitable distribution. It's made to an eligible charity and then that amount is subtracted from your adjusted gross income, meaning you don't have to pay taxes on it because you would have had to recognize it as income and therefore you're not, but you can't then also take it as a deduction. That would be a double dip, but one of the other benefits is that the ministry or charity gets the full value of the amount that's been given, so there's no taxes that would have otherwise reduced it prior to it being given if you were to receive it the normal way you would an RMD, so everybody wins. You're satisfying the IRS's in a required minimum, so they're happy. You're happy because you're reducing the amount of income you recognize because your adjusted gross income is lower and the charity's thrilled because they're getting a contribution that's higher perhaps than they would have otherwise received, so you know, if you haven't been doing it, I'd say absolutely don't miss it, and if you have, I'd say continue on. Yes, and the reason this question came up with a person that's on our church board and we go to the same small group, she was saying to me, well no, you can put it down as a donation, and I said no, I cannot. The only benefit as far as the benefit is I do not have to put it down as interest income, but she was quite vehement that she was right, and she does do taxes for herself and family, and she also was involved with another church. She helps keep their books and everything, and I thought, well, have I been doing it wrong?

Have I been missing out? But I definitely don't want to have the IRS say, hey, you can't do that. We want to have a talk with you.

Come down and talk to us, and I don't ever want to have to go in and talk to them. Yes, I understand. Well, essentially, you're right. I mean, normally with the required minimum, you're taxed at your income tax rate on the amount you withdraw, and you're not having to do that. So you're satisfying the required minimum, and you're not recognizing that income, which is therefore reducing your adjusted gross income because you're not paying taxes on it, and the charity gets the full value of the amount that was transferred because they certainly don't have to pay any capital gains or any kind of tax on it, and everybody wins. So yeah, you would not be able to, though, turn that into a deduction, because that would allow you to miss the recognition of the income and take the deduction. That's considered a double dip.

The IRS won't let you do it. So appreciate your call today, Roger. You continue on and do some wise giving, as you have been, sir. We appreciate it. On to Erie PA. Hi, Linda. How can I help you?

Hi there. My husband and I are in our later 70s, and we have three grown children all in the ministry, and we have a home with about 30 acres of property and maybe say 150,000 in assets. How do you divide that? Two of the kids do not need homes. One does need a home when he retards from the ministry. The value of the home would be more than splitting the assets.

How do you do that? Yeah, well, I think the starting point, Linda, is really to think through the philosophy behind how you want to gift these assets. There's only three places you can gift assets for an inheritance or to pass it on as wealth transfer after your death, either the government in the form of taxes, heirs or ministry or charity. And you need to decide as the steward of these assets how you want it allocated. How much do you want to give as an inheritance? How much do you want to give away to support God's work? And we certainly want to minimize any taxes that would be required.

Fortunately, the state tax is so high most people don't have to think about that. And then for the portion that you want to give to your heirs, I think you need to talk about how you want that done. You know, clearly all the assets could be and will be liquidated upon your death and could be distributed equally if you want, but it doesn't mean you have to. In fact, financial author Ron Blue, one of my mentors, often talks about the fact that if you love your children equally, you will treat them uniquely.

Now, that flies in the face of a lot of what we think as Americans because we just think that's unfair. And yet Ron makes the case one child may have a greater need than another. One may have worked in a family business. You know, in his case, one was a single mom and really needed help and another, you know, was doing really well financially. And so he and Judy have made decisions based on those differing circumstances. I want to send you a copy of his book called Splitting Errors.

So you stay on the line. We'll get you a copy of that. And we'll talk a bit more about this as well. Stay right there. Folks, we'll be back with more MoneyWise Live after this.

Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. I'm Rob West, your host. Hey, our team is off today, but we've got some great questions lined up in advance. So don't call in.

There's no one here to take that call, but sit back and enjoy. Before we go to the phones, we've got some emails that have been piling up. Let me try to tackle a couple of them because we love to give you answers to your questions, even when they come by email. And this first one comes from Lisa and Terry in Birmingham, Alabama. And Lisa and Terry write, Where should we give our tithe if we're between churches? And I think this is a great question. Clearly, you all want to honor the Lord with your giving. And I think the tithe is a great beginning point. We see the tithe throughout the Old Testament. It actually preceded the law of Moses.

We see reference to it in the New Testament. Now, we're under grace, right? But what we see in God's Word is that we should give proportionately and we should give cheerfully as God provides for us. And since we've seen the cross and what Jesus did for us, I think perhaps we should raise the bar. And so I like the idea of starting with the principle of the tithe a tenth to the storehouse, or what would be considered today the local church, and building that right into our plan. Now, if you can't do that today, you haven't been giving. Most Christians today, on average, are giving about two and a half percent, not ten percent. Well, let's start somewhere and begin giving systematically on a percentage basis as God provides from all sources. And then let's try to move that up over time so you can get to that ten percent number, what Randy Alcorn calls the training wheels of giving.

But let's not stop there. Then as you begin to see God work, and as you see his faithfulness, and as you get connected to God's activity in the world through your local church, perhaps look for ways to give free will gifts beyond that, maybe even sacrificial gifts. And I promise the Lord will do a work in your life. It will bring great joy as you give. It's amazing what happens. Now, what if you're between churches?

Well, that's the question that's being asked here. And I would just simply say, give wherever God plants you on a weekly basis. Maybe instead of doing a monthly tithe, maybe you take it a week at a time, calculate at breakfast before you go to church, whether you're still online or in person, and figure out what is the provision that came in this week and tithe to that church. And eventually, when God places you somewhere else, then I would just put your whole tithe there. But in the meantime, I would just be cheerful about your opportunity to fund the work wherever God leads you as you move around. And we'll pray that the Lord makes it clear where you should land here very, very soon.

All right, let's take one more. And this simply says, and by the way, this comes from Bill and Anita, and they ask, how can we improve our credit score? And, you know, credit scores are becoming all more important these days, as they're used not only to determine your credit worthiness, whether you will get approved for a loan, but also for insurance premiums, even in your hiring process, just a whole host of issues credit scores are being used for.

It's made up of some primary categories, even though the actual formulas guarded pretty closely. We know that your payment history is the biggest one, 35 percent. So make sure you pay on time. The amounts that you owe is the next highest at 30 percent. And the key there is you want to keep your credit utilization. That is your total balances versus your total available credit. You want those balances to be 30 percent or less of the available credit.

Better yet, 10 percent or less. That's going to get your score up. So pay those balances down. The length of credit history, not a whole lot you can do about that. But over time, you'll see that credit score increase. Any new credit will actually work against you because that's showing that you're out there seeking additional borrowing power and then your credit mix. Do you have revolving accounts and installment accounts and a mortgage and a car loan? We don't want to take on debt just so we can get our credit score up. But as you have different types of credit, it shows your stability to the credit scoring companies and it will improve over time. So the absolute most important thing you can do is keep those balances low. I would say paid off in full every month and pay on time and over time you'll see that credit score continue to rise and we appreciate your sending that email. If you have a question, we'd love to hear from you. Just send an email to questions at All right, let's head to the phone.

Chicago, Illinois. Angie, you've been very patient. How can I help you today? Hi, thank you for taking the call.

I've only recently started listening to your program for the last maybe year or so and I've learned so much. And so my question is regarding our mortgage and whether or not we should refinance. I think reality I would like to refinance because the interest rate is at five percent, which is a lot higher than what's out there now.

Yes. But making that change is going to increase the mortgage payment because they're offering us a 15-year. I have 17 years left on the mortgage.

Yeah, and so what kind of increase are we talking about as you look at this new 15-year, which is by the way what I'd like to see you do because I don't want you to increase the term, which is right now at 17 years through this refi. So how much higher is that each month? It was nearly 500.

It was 400 and something. And what interest rate do they have you at? Two and a half. Well my current interest is five percent, but they're offering two and a half. Okay, yeah that sounds like, I mean I'm surprised it's that much since you're coming down from five percent.

So I'd get a couple more. I mean I'd love for you to have at least three offers before you take the, you know, you settle on one because it's not only the interest rate but there's the expenses and I'm wondering if perhaps they're getting you to buy down this rate. I'd want to make sure your total expenses for the refi are no more than two, three percent of the loan value at the most. So you know if you're you've got 165,000 we're talking about you know basically three thousand to four thousand dollars at the most that you should be spending on this refi. So in terms of moving forward, can you absorb that higher payment in your budget or is that going to put a strain on you?

It's really going to be uncomfortable. Okay, yeah perhaps you need to look at a at a 20 year and what it's going to come down to is we need to make sure that you know you all are going to, this is going to end up saving you money, number one, but because you're 17 years you're kind of right in the middle between a 15 year and a 20. You know we need to, I wouldn't want to go any more than 20 years, but you're going to want to look at the amortization schedule to see what's the total interest we're going to pay if we just stay with this current loan versus a new 20 year mortgage at you know let's say less than three percent interest. And as long as you're going to stay in the property for that length of time, hopefully till it's paid off or at least seven years or more, then the key would be how many years is it going to take to cover the cost of the refi and then how much total interest are you going to save over the life of the loan. So those are going to be really the operative questions.

So I'd like for you at this point Angie to not give up on this. Let's go back and let's get three more bids on a 20 year mortgage to see if that fits better within your budget and then let's look at those things I mentioned. How much total interest savings you're going to have and then how much every month and let's see both how long it's going to take for you to pay back the cost of the refi and then how much total interest you'll save between now and when you pay it off based on a 20 year mortgage.

And if that fits in your budget then I think that may be your answer. In terms of where to go to get those bids I'd go to your local bank but then I'd go to and look at two online lenders. Let's see who has the best loan programs and rates right now. will tell you that and let's get them to weigh in as well and I think this will become clear. If you have any other questions give us a call back. We appreciate your call today. More to come on MoneyWise Live just around the corner. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us on MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West your host. Do you operate with faith or fear when it comes to money? What motivates you? Is it your faith and trust in the Lord or fear of things perhaps you can't control? Maybe you're afraid God won't live up to his end of the bargain.

Well I talk about that in this week's edition of the MoneyWise Weekly Wisdom. The fact that fear can cause us to do things with money that indicates a lack of trust in God. It can lead to hoarding or a lack of generosity and the opposite of that of course is faith. We want you to lean into trusting the Lord whose promises are true. Who says I will never leave you or forsake us and recognize that even before the first dollar of God's money that we manage we're already in an abundant situation.

We've been given the gift of salvation through trusting in his son Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection on the cross. We start there and realize we have so much, so much even more than we could ever deserve. Well that's what we try to explore here on MoneyWise Live each day.

How can we handle God's money in a way that reflects our trust in him, reflects his ownership and our role as stewards? Well we'll do that together. We're going to head back to the phones today. Next up is Linda in Colorado. And Linda, how can I help?

Well thank you so much for letting me call you. I have a home in Colorado and I owe $63,000 on it and then it has a second for $60,000 and my interest rate's about four percent, maybe a little bit, maybe four and a half. I don't know for sure but my whole payment is $1,500 a month. And my husband's been a vet and stuff. He has cancer and we've been fighting that for six years and he doesn't work as much as he used to. He's a contractor. And so if I could get my payment down lower, it would help us. But every time I talk to someone about refinancing, they say we're better off where we are. Yeah.

I don't know if there's any other place to call. Yeah. So if I understand you correctly, Linda, you have two mortgages and they're both at about $60,000, is that right? Right.

Okay. And what is the home worth? The payment. What is the home worth? What do you believe the home is worth today?

I think about $500,000. Okay. And so you owe about $120,000 on it. How long have you had these mortgages? For 20 years. Okay.

All right. So, you know, there's an opportunity there perhaps to see if they might be willing to help you work on the payment. You know, they oftentimes can recast the mortgage, you know, once you have that much equity to, you know, change the payment, that would be one option. A refinance, the challenge there is you could get the interest rate down, but you're probably not going to address the payment itself until you, you know, unless you were to do a new 30-year mortgage, which 20 years into a 30-year mortgage, I don't recommend. Apart from that, you could look for one of the assistance programs like the mortgage housing assistance program for Colorado homeowners affected by coronavirus. If you're unable to pay your mortgage because of a financial hardship, you know, they have some resources and you can apply online at

But there are eligibility limits in terms of income and so forth. But if this is more of a long-term situation, you know, at this point, other than seeing if they can work with you to re-amortize the loan and get the payment down, the only other option would be a refinance. But again, it's going to involve you getting a new mortgage at a lower rate, but perhaps for a longer term where you'd be resetting this, let's say, instead of having a 10-year payoff, you know, you may have to go to a 20-year payoff to get the payment you're looking for. Now, that would take the pressure off in terms of giving you a payment that perhaps could fit into the budget, but it would extend the payoff of this thing for another 10 years, which I don't like because that means it's going to be hanging around a lot longer and you're going to pay a lot more in interest even with that lower rate. So I think your best option at this point would be to see if there's a way to, you know, find some additional income. Perhaps, you know, you work part-time or he does in addition to what income sources you already have, you know, look for ways to cut back on the budget. So I think all of those are in play and perhaps maybe the best next step for you, Linda, would be to connect with one of our MoneyWise coaches who could look over your situation, look at these mortgages, look at your spending plan, and then advise you on where you might go from here.

You can connect with a coach at our website and after you do that, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call back and we appreciate your call today. Let's head to Chicago. Floyd, how can I help you, sir? Hello, how are you doing? Thanks for taking my call.

Absolutely. Yes, I was, my mom and dad, you know, they deceased, they bought a house and they turned it over to a company, a bank, a mortgage company, I guess, a reverse mortgage, and I want to buy it back. How will I go by to get it back? Yeah, well, you would want to get a payment in full amount from the reverse mortgage lender. Do you know what that amount is?

No. Okay, so that'd be the first step is to let them know that you have inherited the home, that it had a reverse mortgage on it, that they'll be aware of that. You want the payment in full amount for you to take the home back. Once you have that amount, you have two options. You can either pay that loan off in cash or take out a new mortgage to pay off the reverse mortgage. At that point, it, you know, would be something you could take back from the reverse mortgage company and then from that point forward, if you don't have the cash to pay it outright, you'd then have to assume that mortgage payment that you would be taking out. Does that make sense, Floyd?

Yes, sir. Okay, so I think that's where you need to head from here. Get that payment in full amount and I think that'll tell you where to go.

If you do end up taking out a mortgage to cover the payoff, I'd get at least three quotes before you land on one and perhaps could give you the best loan program. We appreciate your call today. We're heading south to Florida. Hi, Kevin. How can I assist you? Hey, good afternoon, Rob.

Appreciate you taking my call. Sure. Got a question in regards to handling debt and also being trying to try to invest money at the same time. So right now, my struggle is every time I get a paycheck, I definitely want to go ahead and pay off some of my credit card debt that I do have, but I also do want to go ahead and invest some of that as well, too. So I was wondering if you'd give me like maybe a percentage as to how much of my income I'm receiving on a bi-weekly or monthly basis that should go ahead and be set to debt and how much of that should be set to investments.

Yeah, yeah, it's a great question. How much do you have in credit card debt, Kevin? Right now, it's looking at about 10, no, 9k.

9,000. And do you have a 401k at work or are you looking at contributing somewhere else? I do have a 401k as well, too, yes. All right, and are you contributing anything currently? Yeah, 5% and they match as well, too.

They match the full 5% dollar for dollar? Yes. Okay, and so are you looking to put more to work beyond that, and that's your question, or are you wondering if you should even be doing that? Well, right now, I'm currently just investing right now and I'm doing some trading with crypto and I'm also going into some stocks as well, too. But I definitely want to go ahead and have that pull up out of there and that's what I'm referring to most, mostly, because the 401k, I'm always doing that. Every paycheck, you know, 5% is going out and once again that matched by my employer.

Yeah, very good. Well, I would stay with that because you're getting 100% return on your money. You're not going to get that anywhere else, but I'm going to encourage you, Kevin, in two areas. One is not to do any more investing until that credit card debt is paid off. You know, you're just not going to find a guaranteed return of whatever that interest rate is on those cards, 12 or 15,000. So, you're getting 100% return in the 401k match, but apart from that, you're not going to find any guaranteed return. So, I would set that aside and really focused on taking 100% of your margin and snowballing that debt, you know, piling every extra dollar beyond the minimum payments for all the cards on the lowest balance until you get all of them paid off. Then we can look at, you know, you perhaps investing this.

So, you're getting 100% return in the 401k. Secondly, I'd want to make sure while you're paying off the credit cards, you build up an emergency fund if you don't have one of at least $1,500. And then before you invest, once the credit card debt's paid off, let's get that up to three to six months expenses. Lastly, I'd be really careful with investing in crypto and trying to play speculative investing.

It just doesn't pay off in the long run. I don't think crypto is going anywhere. The technology the blockchain technology behind it, but in terms of it being a prudent investment, there's just way too much volatility and speculation for me. And I'd encourage you to stay away from it. I'd encourage you to be more of a steady plotter with your investments and just be a dollar cost averaging into the broad market as opposed to trying to pick the winners and losers. That's just my perspective. But in terms of the priority order, I'd go $1,500 in the emergency fund.

Everything focused on the credit cards and then additional long-term investments after that. We appreciate your call today. Quickly to Indianapolis, Indiana. Bobby, I just have about a minute.

How can I help you? I wanted to, we're trying to get everything set up, our will and all that, and I want the money from the house to go to my two daughters and my four grandchildren. What's the best way to do that? Well, you can spell that out in a will, Bobby. That's fairly simple, where you would, you know, basically decide and reflect in the will exactly how you want your assets to be distributed. The executor would handle that at your death, and if you're married, it's you and your, after both of you pass away. And it can be passed very efficiently through the probate court, according to the last will and testament. So the next step for you is to visit with an estate planning attorney, someone who could draft that will for you.

It should be less than $500 and, you know, it will make sure that it's done right and enforceable and according to the laws of the state of Indiana. So that's where I'd head next. And perhaps while you're there, you could think about a living will, a healthcare surrogate, even a durable power of attorney, to deal with some of those other issues if you're incapacitated so that you have determined who can make decisions on your behalf.

But everything you described can be taken care of in the will and an attorney can help you with that. We appreciate your call today. Folks, that's going to do it for us. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. So thankful for our friends at Moody. I want to say thank you to Deb Solomon and Amy Rios and Jim Henry for their support today. I want to thank you for being here. This is where God's word intersects with your financial life. Come back and join us next time, will you? God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-05 09:02:59 / 2023-08-05 09:19:51 / 17

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