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Healthcare Open Enrollment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2021 5:18 pm

Healthcare Open Enrollment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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October 29, 2021 5:18 pm

With November just around the corner, it will soon be time once again for open enrollment season.  So, you’ll need to consider what your healthcare needs will be in 2022. On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk with Lauren Gajdek of Christian Healthcare Ministries about a great way to meet your healthcare expenses and save money at the same time. Then Rob will answer your calls and questions on various financial topics. 

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Not licensed in Alaska, Hawaii, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. It's that time of year again. And no, I'm not talking about the upcoming holidays. It's time to consider your healthcare needs for 2022. Hi, I'm Rob West. Yes, in a few days, it'll be healthcare open season. Lauren Gydeck is with us today to talk about a great way to meet your healthcare expenses and one that will almost certainly save you money. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, it's always fun and educational, I'll say, to have Lauren Gydeck with us on the program. She's vice president of communications and media at Christian Healthcare Ministries, where they give believers an alternative way to meet their healthcare costs. And Lauren, welcome back to the program.

Hi, thank you for talking with me today. Absolutely. So this is, of course, a very busy time of year for you and your team at CHM Healthcare Open Enrollment. Why don't you begin by defining that for us?

Sure, yeah. Well, at Christian Healthcare Ministries, we don't actually participate in open enrollment because folks can enroll with us at any time. However, this is a time of the year when people are generally looking for, you know, they either need to renew their health plan or they're looking for a different way to take care of their healthcare costs. So that being said, it's, of course, also a very busy season for us as well.

Yeah, I can imagine. And a lot of folks thinking about healthcare and wanting to look for ways to make it fit into their budget. Why is open enrollment important, Lauren? Well, it's important because, as I mentioned, you know, this is really the time of year that people start thinking about, you know, oh my gosh, what am I going to do for my healthcare for next year? You know, and their employer might have a plan that they're going to be having to re-enroll in, or like I said, they might be looking for, you know, something different, maybe something they haven't tried before, a different option such as Christian Healthcare Ministries.

Yeah, very good. So obviously, as folks look at that, this is that window of time that they need to take advantage of that. And what happens if they miss open enrollment 2021? Well, if they're looking to enroll, say in their employer's health plan, you know, then they will not be able to get the coverage that they're looking for for next year. But with Christian Healthcare Ministries, you can, it's okay, if you miss the deadline, you can enroll, you know, in February, if you want to, you can enroll in March, you can enroll whenever it's convenient for you.

Yes. Talk about how all of this relates to the Affordable Care Act and potential fines, if you miss a deadline, and specifically how Christian Healthcare Ministries complies with the ACA. So technically, the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act is still in place. But practically speaking, you know, there was a law passed by Congress a few years ago regarding the budget. And essentially, that eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance or an alternative to health insurance. So there is no penalty any longer. But what's nice with CHM is that we've always been compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

And so, you know, we are an eligible option to have that instead of what your listeners might currently have in your listeners might currently have in place. Yes. And are people still required to have health care in place? Yeah, technically, they are right.

They are. But again, there is no penalty if you do not. However, it's such an important thing to have in your life. You know, if you think about it, if you have a couple of kids, and one of them breaks his arm, and you get a hospital bill, oh my goodness, you know, the x-rays and everything $7,500, you know, most folks really can't afford that. So I would say it's very important to have some kind of health provision in place so that you can take care of your family.

I couldn't agree more. And Lauren, specifically as it relates to open enrollment, what is the open enrollment period that our listeners need to be aware of? Well, the open enrollment period, according to the website, for most health plans, again, not CHM, but for most health plans, is Monday, November the 1st, through December 15th of this year. Very good. Lauren Gydeck is with us today from Christian Healthcare Ministries. And when we come back, we're going to talk about what CHM is and how perhaps in this window of time, you can look at an alternative that perhaps will be a bit more budget friendly. That and then your questions just around the corner at 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We'll be right back. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live.

I'm Rob West. My guest today is Lauren Gydeck from Christian Healthcare Ministries. Lauren is vice president of communications and media, and it's open enrollment season for healthcare. But at Christian Healthcare Ministries, it's open season all the time because this is a way to cover your healthcare expenses with a budget friendly approach. And Lauren, I'd love for you to take just a moment and talk about what actually a health cost sharing ministry is and how it works. So health cost sharing is a biblical way of meeting your healthcare costs, taking care of your healthcare that does not require enrolling during open enrollment time.

People can enroll anytime throughout the year. But we base our ministry on Galatians 6-2, which says, carry each other's burden. And in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. And so we aim to do that in the area of healthcare, that as a body of believers, we are joining together to assist each other, both financially and spiritually with this very important life need. Yeah, absolutely.

It's so critical as we provide for our families to make sure that this area is covered. And CHM is a great way to do that. What makes CHM unique, Lauren, in your view, and why should folks consider it? Well, the first thing I'd say is that we've been around a long time. CHM pioneered the concept of healthcare sharing. And we've been here now for 40 years.

We actually just celebrated our 40th birthday. And two, we are also budget friendly, as you have mentioned a number of times. And what we hear from folks is the two things they appreciate the most are the budget friendly aspect, and also that they feel like they are living out their faith by being a part of a ministry like CHM. Yeah, and that's really critical to know that not only are you handling the healthcare expenses for your family, but you're part of a community of people that are praying for one another and sharing one another's burdens.

And I think it's just a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. Lauren, are there any drawbacks to Christian Healthcare Ministries in this approach to covering health costs? You know, I think the most difficult thing is the learning curve. You know, people are used to a certain way of meeting their healthcare costs. And then they hear about healthcare sharing, and it's an entirely new concept to them. So I think once folks understand that it's not an insurance program, but it is still a very effective way to get your healthcare costs taken care of, then they really go all in and could not be more excited about it.

Yeah. Would you describe just how it works for somebody who's perhaps just hearing about health cost sharing for the first time? You know, when they walk into a doctor's office for an office visit, or they have to go into the hospital for a broken arm for a child, what does that look like under this program? So what you would do is if you're a member of CHM, you would go into your doctor's office or your hospital, and you would let them know, you know, you can call them up or email them, let them know that you are a member of a Christian healthcare sharing program. But technically speaking, you're a self-pay patient.

So what that means for them is they need to bill you directly. And so once you get those medical bills from your healthcare providers, turn around and send them in to Christian healthcare ministries, we work on the bills, we help you get discounts, reduced rates and things of that nature. And then we go ahead and share those medical costs. And when I say share, typically what that means is that we will send you a check, you the patient would get the check, and you would take that to your healthcare provider and pay them directly.

Okay. And what might a family of four expect in terms of the monthly cost for CHM and to be able to have this type of ministry? On our gold program, which is our best program, it's $516 a month. You could also choose from amongst our lower level programs, silver and bronze, or you could even mix and match your different family members to be on different programs.

So $516 a month is the most that any family ever will pay. And that's why we say this is budget friendly, because if you or your family have been to the doctor recently, or you've had to visit the emergency room, you've seen the rising costs of healthcare. So to be able to have the confidence of Christian healthcare ministries behind you is essential.

Lauren, let's talk about somebody in a specific situation, perhaps somebody who's making a life change and starting their own business. How might they specifically benefit from being a part of the CHM family? Well, CHM is great for entrepreneurs and business owners, because as long as you're a Christian living by biblical principles, you know, there's two main things that are really great with CHM. One of them we've already talked about is the whole budget friendly aspect. And, you know, if you're trying to launch a new business or a new venture, you know, or even more than one new business, it can be quite a challenge, you know, to take care of your healthcare costs. Secondly, what's really great for business owners is that CHM is portable, and they can take it with them wherever they go. So let's say you had a business, it didn't quite work out for you, you decided not to do that anymore. But you wanted to try something different, you can take CHM with you. And the word I would use as how this process works is seamless. You know, you don't even have to let us know, hey, I changed jobs, I'm doing this now.

That's not even necessary. You just are a CHM member for as long as you want to be one. That's great. You talk about CHM, Lauren, as a family, I'd love for you to describe the CHM community and what folks are becoming a part of when they join CHM. I would say that CHM is really nothing more than an extension of your local church. And it's like instead of having maybe a few hundred folks that you would meet with on a weekly basis, it's like having a huge family of believers, hundreds of thousands of folks all over the country who are supporting you. And not just financially, as I mentioned before, but spiritually, you know, you have people who, if they become aware of your need, they can pray for you, they can send you cards in the mail. You know, sometimes people exchange e-mails, and it's just a very encouraging way, you know, to be part of the larger body of Christ, I would say.

Yeah, absolutely. And I can imagine a lot of folks are excited about this. When they call into CHM, what's the first thing that will happen? What might they expect? Well, you know, I don't want to toot our own horn, but, you know, we have had a lot of folks who have complimented our member services, staff members. So, you know, if you would call in a member services person would answer the phone. And they're very compassionate, very kind, always willing to help. And we know that the people calling in are sometimes facing some really difficult times in their lives. And I would just say that our staff is very motivated by compassion, and you'll be treated like a person instead of a number.

Very good. Well, we're grateful for our partnership with Christian Healthcare Ministries here at MoneyWise. And folks, I would encourage you to sign up for our website. We would encourage you to check it out to learn more. And, Lauren, how can they do that?

How can they get more information? Well, you can go to our website. It's, Or you can call us 9 to 5 Eastern Time, 800-791-6225.

800-791-6225. Excellent. Lauren, thanks for being with us today. Thanks for having me. That's Lauren Gidek with Christian Healthcare Ministries.

Again, to check it out. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us on MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

So glad you're along with us today. In just a moment, we're going to be taking your calls and questions on anything financial. 800-525-7000. Before we do, let me mention, we often refer to the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation here on the program. Those men and women who have taken their professional competency and experience and really purpose themselves to be specialists in biblically-wise professional financial advice through a 50-hour university training, pastor and client references, a statement of faith, code of ethics. It really is the gold standard for biblically-wise advice. And if you'd like to connect with a professional in your area, we'd recommend you visit our website,

Just click Find a CKA. All right, let's take your phone calls. In just a moment, we'll be talking to Lisa about selling her home and debt management with Nancy.

But first is Trenton, Missouri. Hi, Vera. How can I help you? Hi, Rob. Yeah, I just had a question about, I sold my farm, and I'm going to have that vest.

I'm 80 years old. I visited three financial advisors or counselors and one was a CKA, CPA, and a LUTCF wealth management. So I believe I connected with one of them.

I just got to have another opinion here. So you visited with three different professionals, each for the purpose of considering them to take over management of the proceeds of the farm. Is that right?

Yes, how I can invest it for God's best interest. That's what I'm looking for. Very good. And one of the three you said you really felt like you had a good connection with? Is that right? Yes, I do. He's a fan and he's very, very interested in helping me, not just himself.

You know what I'm saying? Yes, very good. And his business is basically fee-based investment management. Would he charge you a percentage of the assets that you're turning over for management?

I have not asked him that, but I was going to. Okay. But I think managing director of whatever, I'm sure they don't work for nothing, but you know.

Yeah. Well, I'm glad to hear first of all that you, after selling the farm, you're thinking about seeking wise counsel. You know, I suspect you have quite a bit of money coming in the way of the proceeds of this sale, Vera.

And the last thing you want to do is put it on autopilot. As you said, you want to be a good steward or manager of these resources. And I think having somebody who's a professional who can invest based on your goals and objectives where God is leading you, but bringing their professional expertise to bear and not making emotional decisions one way or the other based on the ebbs and flows of the market, but really investing with a strategy that's long term in nature, but appropriate for your age and objectives. I'm also glad to hear that you interviewed three and that one has really stood out as being a good fit for you in terms of rapport and communication. I like the fact that you're saying he's more interested in what's going on in your life and your needs than selling you something.

That's certainly a positive indicator. I think perhaps the follow up question is exactly how would my money be invested based on what you're hearing from me? How much would be in stocks? How much would be in bonds? If we were to get into a recession, how much might I expect this portfolio to go down before it recovers?

How will I be communicated with and how often and how do you get paid and what does that look like? And there should be a lot of transparency there. But if you can get comfortable with all of those things, I think this is perhaps the direction that you absolutely should go.

Because, again, I think given this new season you're entering into with this significant sum of money, I would wholly concur that you need a professional investment advisor overseeing this on your behalf. Does that make sense? Absolutely. And I've listened to your program so much.

I just love you guys. But I wrote down two names of godly stocks and I would like to further the kingdom as much as possible. It's not just for my, you know, I want to help spread the word.

How do I do that? Yes. And so are you talking, Vera, about making sure that the investments that are selected are god-honoring specifically?

As much as possible, yes. I thought you had two that I wrote them down and of course now I can't find them. Okay, yeah, no problem. So you're probably talking about a couple of fund families. Well, I would say two things in this area.

Number one, I'd be happy to give you some names to look at. But secondly, I would love it if this investment professional had a competency in deploying a faith-based investing strategy. And that would mean that he or she would already have investment models in place that would be appropriate for you that intentionally either avoided certain companies based on your values or embraced other companies because of the difference they're making in the world.

And not all advisors can do that so that would be a question that you'd want to ask. In terms of some of those investment families that we're most excited about, the work they're doing as faith-based investments, I would mention Eventide and you can find out more at Another one would be Praxis. P-R-A-X is an X-ray I-S.

Both phenomenal fund families that are really focusing on investing in companies that not only are generating a great bottom line return but also making a positive impact in the world both here in the U.S. and abroad. Is that what you're looking for? That's exactly what I'm looking for. All right, very good. Well, Vera, yes, go ahead. Well, I have two sons and I really would like to give them each a certain amount of money now. I want to see how they spend it, how do they handle it.

It will help me determine what happens when I'm gone. Yes, okay. Well, you can absolutely do that and I think it's a great idea. This year you could give up to $15,000 and it would fall under the annual exclusion without being applied to the lifetime gift exclusion that's out there.

It's still quite high but you wouldn't even touch that if you keep it under $15,000 per child for this year and I think perhaps beginning to see, as you said, how they'll manage it now to prepare for when you might ultimately transfer a much larger sum down the road and want to make sure that it's not going to any way be a stumbling block and they'll be a wise manager if that is a great idea. Vera, God bless you. Thanks for calling. We'll be back with much more on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us.

Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. Thanks for being with us today. 800-525-7000 is the number to call to get in on the conversation. We have two lines open and perhaps one of those is for you.

Let's head back to the phone's Cleveland, Ohio. Hi, Nancy. How can I assist you?

Hi, thank you. I have a niece. She's 42 years old. She had a major surgery in September that she had to be off her full-time job and she doesn't go back until December. Anyway, she's in a lot of debt and I'm looking for a, it's not credit cards, it's loans and medical bills. And I'm looking for a good company that will help her deal with her bills, show her how to deal with her bills and deal with the company that, because they are really threatening to garnish her. Once you go back to work, they are threatening garnish. So I'm just looking for a good company that will really help to keep that from happening, dealing with her bills and to help deal with the company that she owed this money to.

Yes. Well, Nancy, I appreciate you calling on her behalf and obviously it sounds like she wants to really make good on these to the best of her ability. I realize the amount is probably daunting and she's frustrated by the fact that she can't get these paid. And yet, if her desire is to do so, I would hope they'd be willing to work with her. You know, she's got a couple of options.

I mean, one would be to engage them directly. You know, the medical field is very good typically about working with patients on payment plans that fit their budget because they know if they don't start somewhere and take a monthly amount over time that they're probably not going to recover what they've lost. And so, you know, I think the key would be that she works very hard to figure out exactly what does her budget look like, what expenses can she eliminate, what margin can be freed up by cutting back in certain areas. And then once she knows how much she can afford, then perhaps making a detailed list of every bill that she has and then just starting with each one, perhaps the largest one first because they'd be the most likely to try to seek a judgment and see if she can't negotiate a payment plan that would fit within her budget so at least everybody agrees to it. She's now an on-time payer and perhaps it could keep them from taking any further action.

In terms of garnishment, you know, only a judge can garnish your wages unless we're talking about the IRS or something like that. So they're going to have to take her to court for that. Obviously, she wants to keep it out of that situation and so getting into an agreeable payment plan can make a lot of sense. If she wants some counsel from an organization that deals with debt all the time, most often credit card debt, but they could still weigh in on this, I would have her reach out to and talk to one of their counseling specialists who can really look over her situation and perhaps give her some further advice.

But I think leaning into this as opposed to ignoring it or trying to run away from it is key to getting them back on a plan where everybody's agreed that she's actually making progress toward paying these off which should keep it out of court. Does that make sense though? Oh yes, that's very helpful and one last question Rob and I'll make this quick. I have a coin and I'm not sure if it's valuable. How can I find a good reputable coin company? Yeah, well I would go online and do a search and read the reviews. You know, there are some some great websites out there and I think the key is you're going to want to find the one that's the highest rated to ultimately get an appraisal on that from a legitimate source.

So I don't have one in particular. You could look though at the Numismatic Association. This would be the association that oversees this industry and they could refer you to some reputable dealers in your area.

So just google Numismatic Association and then I would look for the one that's the highest rated or recommended for you to get that appraisal. And listen, we wish you the best of luck. Thanks for calling today. Peter is in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Peter, how can I help? Hi Rob, thanks for taking my call and what I wanted to ask about is I have been thinking for some time about the Christian ministries that do share like health costs and wondering about how do you incorporate that into your your health plan? Do most people just leave their business health plan? My wife carries our insurance through her work. Do most people just drop out of that and just put their money into the the sharing ministry or how does how do people balance that? And you know for everything from routine medical checkups to you know extensive procedures that might have you in the hospital for a while.

Sure, sure. Yeah, you know if you're going to switch to something like this you know typically you would release or let go of your traditional health insurance and then you would use a health cost sharing ministry to cover your medical bills entirely realizing fully what the program is all about. So on the gold program you would typically be looking at the most around $500 a month or less probably somewhere around $400 or a bit more and essentially you know you would be responsible for anything under $500 per incident in terms of the cost. So routine doctor visits things like that that don't amount per incident to at least $500 you'd be coming out of pocket but anything over that would be shared entirely. In fact they cover a hundred percent of eligible bills and they've shared over six billion dollars going back now 40 years as the original and longest running health cost sharing ministry. So I think the key would be to look at okay if we're going to save quite a bit of money every month we would want to take a portion of that and set it aside until we reached you know a bit of a reserve specifically earmarked for health care expenses so that we could you know be able to come out of pocket for the routine type events and services. Now remember you're typically going to get a significant discount on those because you're a cash payer and so you know as you tell them that typically they'll work with you and CHM will actually help you negotiate those down but you will be taking care of those out of pocket up to that $500 threshold at that point everything else is covered and of course you know all the way up to the major expenses you know that can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more than that. So I think this first thing is education Peter and then looking at how something like this would come alongside you comparable to traditional insurance which this is not comparing the cost of the two and then really making a plan to build up that reserve so you can you know be able to cover those out-of-pocket expenses for those smaller ticket items medically related. Does that make sense?

I see. Yes it does and if I may just one other very quick question and that is since you know we will be personally on the hook for this now is of course just wondering how quickly do they usually send you a check to cover the expenses or whatever you know how are they yeah do they do I mean there's a pretty quick turnaround time great customer service and you know they know that you need to be able to you know cover those bills on a timely basis and so they have a wonderful team ready to respond as quickly as you need once bills are approved to get those checks out so you can get reimbursed. So I'd visit the website perhaps talk to somebody on the phone get all your questions answered review the FAQs I think that'll help you and we'll be right back. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live I'm Rob West so glad you're along with us today. I want to say thank you to my team today doing the wonderful work behind the scenes is Eric Tidwell and Amy Rios, Dan Anderson and Jim Henry I couldn't do this without them. We're glad you're along as well hey we've got some lines open I'd love to hear from you what's going on in your life today we'd certainly love to serve you and are grateful that you invite us into your stories each day with your financial questions we'll try to shed light from God's word on what's going on in your financial life and help you move forward with contentment and confidence and peace of mind. Here's the number 800-525-7000 we've got several lines open right now 800-525-7000.

Next up is Dave in Johnstown, PA. Dave how can I help you? Oh yes hi Rob uh I was wondering okay like here in Johnstown we have churches that are shutting down and moving to another and say for instance if I was gonna let's just use a hundred thousand dollars for example put into a dividend paying fund that pays monthly dividends and the church would get those dividends but they cannot touch the principal amount meanwhile if the next church would shut down the one that it's going to cannot be passed on indefinitely and not touch the dividends. Yeah so I think it would it would be how you structure it I mean you could obviously put that money into a trust another more popular vehicle would be what's called a charitable gift annuity where you'd essentially give the full amount away and once you put it into the charitable gift annuity and then the income from that goes to the ministry of your choice into perpetuity.

I think what you're talking about is though if if the ministry is dissolved what happens and I think that would have to be spelled out in advance for instance you know if this were in a trust and the the instructions were you know to give the proceeds or the income to a particular charity you'd have to also spell out what happens if that charity ceases to operate and you know typically it would close down you know it could be you know the the board of trustees could vote to you know roll all of the assets into another church that's going to continue the ministry and perhaps assume the assets but there's just so many scenarios of what could go on I think you know is this something you're looking to do with this income rather than making you know specific gifts directly? Yes mainly because that way it would be a steady monthly income for them instead of just a lump sum and then say in three or four years it's gone then they're back where they started this way they at least have monthly annuity that you know is sitting there. Yeah and are you looking at a charitable gift annuity or another vehicle to do this?

Explain that again. Well I'm just looking I was just curious what vehicle you're looking to do this inside of are you looking at a charitable gift annuity or did you have other some other planning strategy? I was thinking of like a dividend paying stock or different you know just like aries or realty income something like that that gives you a dividend every month. Yeah yeah well obviously during your life if you know something changed then you could redirect those funds I mean the benefit of the charitable gift annuity is it's an arrangement between the donor and the non-profit where you know you could get a regular payment until your death based on these assets and then they get the full amount after your death. What you're talking about is where the income is going to the charity you know each month and I think you know that could be spelled out in you know in a trust for instance but I think you'd want to give consideration to as a part of those instructions what happens if that ministry ceases to exist and then go ahead and make that decision in advance so you can anticipate that. Lord willing that doesn't happen and the ministry you've selected continues to receive the income. So I think there's a number of ways you could tackle this. I'd encourage you to reach out to our friends at the National Christian Foundation Dave and talk to their gift planning attorneys about what you're trying to accomplish and I believe they could help you structure something that would honor your desire to get regular income to the ministry into perpetuity but also account for the fact that something could change down the road and you want to be prepared for that. So and ask them to weigh in on this situation and then give us a call back and let us know what you decide. We appreciate your call today. Lathrop, California. Hi Claude, how can I help you?

Yeah, how are you doing sir? I'm 51 years old. I had to make a certain job change a year ago and had to use a lot of our savings and I just started a new job. I make between $1500 to $1800 a week and I want to know how I can save up money, you know, for the future for me and my wife.

You know, she makes about $2000 a month and I just need some help and where to build some wealth. Yeah, well the key Claude is going to be first of all to recognize your role as a steward of God's resources and so recognize God owns it all and that the Bible is really full of wisdom that you can apply here. You know, the other thing I would say is I would build my giving in right on the front end and be faithful in that. I believe the Lord will honor that. But apart from understanding God owns it all and the importance of giving first, you know, really your financial security and your ability to save for the future and fund your longer term goals, whether that's retirement or the ability to buy a house or fund an education, you know, whatever that might be is going to come down to you living within your means. And I know that's, you know, that might sound simple.

It's a lot harder to do it than just say it, but it really is the reality. I mean, every financial success depends upon that very basic fundamental rhythm of you having a system to not only understand what it takes to fund your lifestyle and is that appropriate for you, meaning does it match with your income and then how do we control the flow of money in and out on a monthly basis and how do we actually spend less than we earn so that we have margin to fund our goals and priorities and those should match your values where you believe God is taking you. I would start with an emergency fund of three to six months. I would then start funding retirement at least to the matching portion if you have it and upwards of 10 to 15 percent as a goal of your take home pay. And then beyond that, I'd look at any other goals you have saving for a down payment on a house, you know, saving to buy cars with cash, those types of things. But you can't do any of that unless you have margin by living on less than you earn. So what I would do as a next step if you don't have it is really spend some time thinking about what are you spending currently? What is that current budget look like? And then weigh that against the income that you have to see, you know, whether you do have any margin or whether you're living right up to the edge.

And if so, you may need to dial some things back and at that point then it's just a matter of controlling the flow of money in and out. Last thing I would say is you hold the line and we'll get your information. I want to give you a six month pro subscription to the MoneyWise app because I believe that could be a great tool to help you and your wife manage God's money as you set up your budget and whether you use the digital envelope system or just the plan and track or even just the tracking function alone would give you a better understanding of where your money's going and, you know, what changes you need to make so you can truly fund what's most important to you.

So I hope that's an encouragement to you. You stay on the line, we'll get your information and we'll get you registered for that pro subscription. We appreciate your call. Rob is in Crown Point, Indiana. Rob, how can I assist? Rob, it's a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for taking the time. I'll get right to the point.

We currently just received an I bond from a relative of ours. Okay. That basically when I did the calculation, it's worth probably about $16,000 if I cashed it in right now.

Okay. It's getting roughly, I don't know, 4.5%, you know, it matures in an additional 15 years. So I've got my wife sitting here and we're just kind of, you know, this was money that, like I said, we weren't planning and it just came into our goal right now is we're pretty much debt free except for the house. And we're looking to, I'm asking her what gives her peace of mind and, you know, obviously having a major mortgage gone.

We owe, I don't know, I'm guessing probably 60,000 on the house. So I would take a, you know, it would bite at that mortgage pretty good. And her thing is in both of ours, you just like to have peace of mind of just having a mortgage gone eventually doing and hopefully maybe by next year have it gone. But I just didn't know if there was maybe another avenue that you're like, Hey, you know, I bond might be, you might be better off doing this. So that's the main reason or the main question.

Yeah. And so as you think about paying off that mortgage, cause I'm hearing that that's really important to you guys. And I think that's great. Are you on track currently to pay that off as quickly as you'd like, or would it take you redeeming this I bond or some other way to accelerate that to really meet the timeframe you're looking for? Like I said, the mortgage, like I said, where we're hoping to have it paid off by next year, we're just really going to really hunker down and get it gone. So, and on top of that, our 401k Roth IRA, we're, we're pretty much maxed out on that. So I mean, all that, you know, we've been good stewards. So like I said, this is just literally just extra cash that we didn't expect, you know, so we're just trying to.

Yeah. Well, I bonds are a great tool right now, just because of what's happening with inflation. So I'd say, hang on to those because the rate of return you're getting for, you know, basically zero risk, given that it's backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government is not anything you're going to find anywhere else.

So I would say you stick with that. I love the fact that you guys are prioritizing being debt-free. It sounds like you're trying to be real careful stewards of the monies God's entrusted to you. And, and that's great. So I'd say, just keep up the good work, keep doing what you're doing. And we appreciate you checking in with us today. All the best in the days ahead, sir. MoneyWiseLive is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. I want to say thank you to Han and Eric who were managing our phones today. Amy Rios producing.

We had Dan Anderson engineering, Jim Henry helping me with research. And thank you for being here as well. Come back and join us tomorrow, will you? Or perhaps Monday. In the meantime, have a great weekend. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-29 20:10:32 / 2023-07-29 20:26:57 / 16

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