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400 Years of Thanksgiving

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
November 27, 2021 12:32 pm

400 Years of Thanksgiving

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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November 27, 2021 12:32 pm

Thanksgiving this year is a special one, as Americans mark four centuries of thanking God for His provision. On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk about how 400 years ago this month, the Puritans of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Then he’ll answer various financial questions from a biblical perspective. 

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Today's version of BunnyWise Live is prerecorded so our phone lines are not open. First Thessalonians 5 18 reads, Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I am Rob West wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving, and it's a special one as Americans mark four centuries of thanking God for his provision. I'll talk about that first. Then we have some great questions lined up for you.

So please hold your calls as we're prerecorded today. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. So it was in 1621, 400 years ago this month, that the Puritans of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts celebrated the first Thanksgiving. And the verse we quoted about giving thanks to God in all circumstances may well have been on the minds of those souls as they struggled to practice their faith freely and make a life in the howling wilderness of North America. William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Plantation, would later write of the first year in America, All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage. The Puritans had intended to get to the New World early in summer, in time to put in something of a crop and build houses before the onset of winter. But their voyage was delayed when one of their ships, the Speedwell, proved unseaworthy. They had to turn back and load her passengers and supplies aboard the then very cramped Mayflower. Then the crossing itself was much rougher and took longer than expected. They didn't arrive in the New World until November.

Planning was impossible, and a harsh winter delayed the building of the first houses until late January. All of that resulted in what became known as the starving time for the Plymouth Colony. One hundred and two Puritans had crossed over on the Mayflower. Nearly half of their number died that first winter due to disease and starvation. Twenty-two men survived along with twenty-five teenagers and children, but only four married women lived to see the first spring in the New World. William Bradford would later write of it, It pleased God to visit us then with death daily, and with so general a disease that the living were scarce able to bury the dead. But spring finally came, and those who'd survived had established good relations with the Native Americans who helped them plant crops that eventually became a fair harvest in the fall. That brings us to the first Thanksgiving, when the Puritans were moved to celebrate and praise God for their survival. Now we've all seen artists' renditions of what that looked like with a great many Puritans and a few Native Americans joining in the feast, but that's not how it was. So many Puritans had died that they were actually outnumbered at the feast two to one by Native Americans. About ninety of them were at the first Thanksgiving. It's a good thing they brought five deer and other game and foods to the feast.

It's a little funny to think that the first Thanksgiving was potluck. Joyful as the feast was, William Bradford didn't forget those who'd perished the previous winter, and to mark the event, he used a passage from Hebrews 11. All these were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them from a distance, admitting they were foreigners and strangers on earth. They were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He had prepared a city for them. Many have forgotten the reason the Puritans had dared to venture into the harsh new world in the first place, religious freedom. Persecuted for their faith in England, they fled to Holland first, but English authorities even pursued them there, leading many to undertake the perilous voyage to America.

And since they landed hundreds of miles further north than their charter permitted, the Puritans felt they must draft some form of government for the colony, which became known as the Mayflower Compact. In it, we read this, Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and of one another covenant and combine ourselves together. Bradford would later write of those times, Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are. And as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shown unto many.

And 400 years later, we Christians in America still give thanks to God for His provision. We hope your day is as blessed as the first Thanksgiving. Hold your calls. We're prerecorded today, but we have some great questions coming up. I'm Rob West, and this is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live. Rob West, your host. Our team is taking some time off today. We're not in the studio, so don't call in, but we've got some questions we lined up in advance.

Let's head to Canton, Ohio. Hi, Landon. Thank you for your patience.

How can I help you? Hi, thanks for taking my call. I have a question about student loans. I have a total of about $26,000 in student loans divided by eight loans with the same provider. These loans are ranged between about $2,000 and $5,000 with different interest rates between about two and four and a half percent. Now, I have about $13,000 that I'd like to pay off the student loans with, and I'm also kind of looking to refinance some of the loans since they're about 5,000 or 5%.

I know I can get that down to a little bit less, and my question is should I pay that $13,000 pre-finance, sorry, or after the refinance? Yes. Landon, are these federal loans or private or both? These are federal.

Okay. Yeah, the only downside to refinancing them with private loans is you're going to lose some of the flexibility in the repayment options. So, you know, you've got income-based repayment options and various provisions in these federal loans. If you got into a real tight spot financially, it would allow you to eliminate or reduce the amount that you're paying in temporarily until you could, you know, get back on track. And as soon as you go with a private loan on a refi, you're giving up a lot of those flexible benefits that come with the federal loans.

So, if you were to stay in the federal loan program, what I would do is go ahead and pay off the ones that you are able to with the $13,000 and then do a direct consolidation loan with the rest, which is just a, it's still a federal loan. It's not going to improve your interest rate. It's just going to give you an interest rate equivalent to the aggregate rate you were paying across whatever loans are still in place. And it's going to protect, you know, those flexible repayment plans and even the forgiveness programs if you qualify for those at some point. But it's not going to improve your interest rate situation.

If you were though to say, I'm okay giving up the flexibility that comes with the federal loan program, I'm just really concerned about the total interest I'm paying, well then you absolutely could consider looking at private loans, but I would pay off whatever loans you're going to pay off first, because that's then a smaller amount that you have to qualify for based on your income and your credit score in terms of qualifying for the very best rates and terms on those new private loans. Does all that make sense? And if so, give me whatever questions you have. Yes, it does. Okay. So you think it would be better just to stick with the federal loans and even try to do the debt snowball or the avalanche method with those or do a direct loan with the same federal? Yeah, I do the direct consolidation loan just to simplify things. So you've got one payment and I would pay off the ones that you're able to prior to doing that.

And then moving forward, you would still have the same interest rate, but you'd protect these flexible repayment options. I see. Yeah. Thank you very much.

Okay. Landon, God bless you. And we appreciate your call today.

All the best in getting these paid off. Let's head to Plainfield, Illinois. Hi, Edwin. How can I help you? Hello. How are you? Very well. Thanks. Okay.

I have a question. I got two kids, 13 and 9, and I want to get them started in savings. I've been saving for them. You know, I got like maybe a thousand for each, but I want to start handing the money to them so they can go into the bank and saving and so they can see all the profits. And my question is, if you have a better idea at what bank can I go to or any other option?

Yeah. Well, I think the key to that, Edwin, is, first of all, what type of account? And that's going to come down to whether you want them to automatically get the money in terms of them controlling it at the age of majority in their state. Or do you want to have control over it once they turn, let's say, 18, if that's the age of majority, until you feel like they're ready for it? Talk to me about the control factor.

Well, I want to have some control there after, maybe, because I don't know. Because with one, it's like he saves everything. He don't like to spend. And the other one, he's thinking ahead before he got the money, where can he spend it, you know?

So, I think that's really key. So, if you open what's called a custodial account, it's automatically going to be their money at the age of majority. And if they want to buy a sports car, they can. The other option would be you keep it in your name, but perhaps in two separate accounts earmarked for each of them. You then invest it or put it into a savings account, whatever you want to do with it. And then at the appropriate time, you could distribute it to them once you feel comfortable, that it's not going to further any negative lifestyle choices that they're making or that they're responsible enough to handle it, you know, those types of things.

You could even use it in a very specific way. So, for instance, if they had student loan debt, you could say, I'll match payments toward the debt to reduce the debt. You could say, I'm going to give it to you, but it's specifically going to be used to get you into your first apartment.

I mean, there's things you could do that promote the right behaviors as opposed to just writing them a check for a large sum that they're not equipped to handle. So I think that's the first thing. The second thing is then how does how do you want to invest it? Do you want it to be completely secure and therefore it goes into a savings account like you mentioned? Or do you actually want to invest it so you begin the compounding effect and you put it in, you know, to some good high quality mutual funds and you can see it grow over time, but you recognize there's risk associated with that as well. Talk to me about how you want the money to grow. I was thinking just to put it in the bank so they can see the bank and how that works. But if I can have that grow for them, that would be great. I didn't think about the mutual funds and all that stuff.

OK. Well, I think that's the key. If you want the money to grow, I'd probably use one of the robo advisors like Betterment or the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios to put it in a high quality ETF based fund that's low cost that's going to allow this money to grow as the market moves over time, very highly diversified. And you can actually use it as a teaching tool for them as well. So I think that's, you know, that's one option. But again, there's risk.

So if we, a year or two from now, the market's in, you know, the economy's in a recession, the market's down, you know, 20 or 30 percent, this portfolio is going to be down with it and you'd have to wait for it to come back. But it gives you the very best possibility of seeing this grow and outpace inflation, because right now, if you just put it in a savings account and, you know, for instance, Allianz Credit Union has a kids savings account paying a little better than a half a percent. Capital One kids savings account would be another option. Although those are custodial accounts, I think it sounds like we're headed toward an account that, you know, you would have in your name. But in either case, a savings account would be secure, whereas stock market investing has the potential for growth, but it also has the potential for loss as well. So I think you need to think about that.

You know, do I want to keep it in my name? It sounds like the answer that is yes. Am I willing to take some risk with the chance of a better return? If the answer to that is yes, then I'd look to one of the robo advisors, Betterment or Schwab Intelligent portfolios. The last thing I would throw out is whether you'd want to consider a 529 plan, which would be if you wanted earmarked specifically for retirement.

You can visit, excuse me, to learn more about that. Edwin, you have some things to think about, my friend. Call me back with any other questions. This is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

So glad you're along with us today. This is biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Hey, if you'd like to check us out on the web, you can do that at You can donate while you're there. We rely on your financial support to bring you this broadcast and all of our ministry offerings every day. We are listener supported, and so if you'd prayerfully consider a gift, we'd be grateful.

Just head to and click the donate button. Hey, our team is taking some time off today. We're not here, so don't call in, but we've got some great questions lined up that I know you'll enjoy.

We'll head next to Tampa, Florida. Hi, Barbara. Thank you for your patience.

How can I help you? Yes, I had a life insurance policy that was taken out in 88, and it's just a small policy, and it's $20,000. And of course, over the years, the premium has gone up, and I'm now paying $128 a month for this policy, and that's like $1,536 a year. And I'm wondering if it wouldn't be wise just to drop it.

Yeah, I'm in favor of that. Is there a cash value that's been accumulating with this, Barbara? Do you know? No. Okay. No, patient at heart. I suspect this is not money anybody that is one of your loved ones, any of your dependents is counting on, is it? No.

Yeah, okay. So really, there's not a need for this. I mean, the purpose for life insurance is to provide for the needs of those dependent upon us in the event of our untimely death. And so if someone is counting on the income that we're earning or if there will be expenses incurred as a result of our passing or if we have a lifelong dependent, I mean, those would be reasons to have insurance and it's life insurance. And it's primarily for your working years. And at that point, when you're gone, if nobody's depending upon you, and you have other assets to take care of things like burial expenses, then this is really unnecessary. It's an expense that you could remove from your budget and redirect that to additional savings or giving or whatever else you might want to do. And clearly, it will continue to get more and more expensive because the mortality expense is just simply a function of your age and the life expectancy of somebody who's a female at your age. And so as you age, it will get more and more costly and again, it's not needed. So I would completely concur.

I think this is an expense you can let go of. Okay, well, good. That was my thought.

My son, he wasn't sure. Do you have assets that would cover your burial expenses and funeral and that type of thing? Yes. Okay. All right. Yeah. So that's the key. If there's other assets there, you can do some pre-planning and make some of those decisions in advance to take that stress off your family members during a difficult season.

But apart from that, I'm not hearing any reason for you to have this policy and I'm sure you could find other purposes for that money. So, Barbara, thank you for listening and calling today. May God bless you. Let's head to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hi, Elliott. How can I help you?

Yes, thank you. I have a family trust that I've put very few assets into. I established some 20 years ago and our kids are still around. We are just by ourselves now and I'm wondering if it's just better to, I haven't really spent a lot of effort putting toys in the boxes as the saying goes and putting things into the trust and I'm wondering if, should I just convert the thing to a simple will? When I got the trust, I was concerned about inheritance taxes going up and I don't think that's really happened. So, I don't have a large estate. So, what do you think? Yeah.

Well, I appreciate you asking the question. You know, it really is a legal matter. I mean, I would say if there's not any complexities, major real estate holdings, any desire to be able to control the inheritance based on timing, if you had dependents that were underage or lifelong dependents or you wanted certain triggering events to happen before your assets are distributed. I mean, those would be reasons why you would want a trust and for protection from a liability standpoint or from an estate planning tool.

But if none of those really apply, there probably isn't a significant need for it and certainly if the assets aren't retitled in it, it's not going to do you any good anyway. So, you're going to need to visit with an estate planning attorney to draft that will if you don't already have one or if you do, to at least update it and review it. And I think at that time, you can talk about whether there's any other benefits that you would want to have as a result of having this trust since you've already done the work to draft it. I mean, the only thing I can think of just based on the limited information I have is if you wanted your estate to pass outside of probate, you wanted it to happen anonymously, things like that would be why you might use a trust. But beyond that, it sounds like a simple will in your situation would probably cover it. But again, it's never a bad idea to get some legal counsel.

So, I would make an appointment with a godly estate planning attorney, either draft or update that will, have this conversation at that time, but I suspect you'll find the trust is probably not necessary. Okay? So, what is the limit for inheritance tax of your stuff right now?

Yeah, it's over $11 million. So, you're probably not going to have any problem there. No, not any problem. Thank you. Okay.

All right, Elliott. God bless you. We appreciate you calling. Thanks very much. Well, folks, let's quickly take an email before we wrap up for the day. If you'd like to send us an email, you can do so at questions at Bev says, Hi, Rob. Can you explain briefly how it works when you trade in your car and you still owe money on it when you're financing another one?

And I can, Bev. This comes down to whether you have positive or negative equity. That is, is the car worth more than the loan that still exists on it or does it worth less than the loan that exists? If it's worth less than you owe on it, you're upside down and that means you have negative equity. At that point, I would consider not selling that car.

I would try to hang on to it to at least pay it down enough to where you have positive equity so that you could then sell it either through a dealer or as a private sale to get rid of it and then at that point, you can buy your next car. So, I'm going to hang on to it as long as you can. And Bev, we appreciate your email today. We're going to pause for a brief break and much more to come on MoneyWise Live.

Stay with us. How should we as Christians think about investing? What if we could invest our money in a way that aligns with what we believe? At Eventide, we believe it is possible to love God and love our neighbor in the very practice of investing. We design investments for performance and a better world so you can invest for the future with a sense of wholeness and purpose. We call this investing that makes the world rejoice. More information is available at If you're investing for retirement or any other goal, you may be wondering if it's possible to enjoy both profit and peace of mind no matter what's happening in the market. SoundMind Investing has a short video webinar on that topic at SMI has helped tens of thousands of Christians learn to be wise and faithful stewards in the area of investing. Profit and peace of mind no matter what's happening in the market at It's been lingering in your mind for the past few months.

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Navigating the Mortgage Maze, available when you click the store button at With us are our news. I'm Bob Agnew in Washington. The President and First Lady stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard Station Brant Point today to meet with U.S. troops for Thanksgiving Day. And after about an hour inside the station, the Bidens went outside and greeted about 20 service members in uniform, in person, wishing them all a happy Thanksgiving. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade looked a little more like its old self today after being crimped by the coronavirus pandemic restrictions last year. The parade is the latest U.S. holiday event to make something of a comeback amid the ongoing pandemic. The holidays are one of the busiest times of year for food banks around the country. Thanksgiving prices have been up 14% this year, affected in part by that backlog in the supply chain, along with soaring inflation, putting a dent in budgets for many working families. U.S. markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

They are set to reopen tomorrow for an abbreviated trading day. This is S.R.N. News. I'm mainly calling about tithing.

Very good. You know, let me just explain to you what it is, Chastity. I appreciate you asking because it is a very effective tool for your giving. Think about it like a charitable checking account. Essentially, you make a gift to the donor-advised fund. At that point, then you would be able to grant the money out to charities, not-for-profits, ministries, including your local church, as you wish, with the click of a button. One of the benefits is, number one, you get the deduction for the amount that goes in in the year that you make the contribution to the donor-advised fund, regardless of when it's distributed.

So that's number one. Number two, it consolidates that gift receipt in a sense, because if you're giving to multiple ministries or charities, you're getting all of those gift receipts throughout the year. You know, it just adds to more paperwork. But when you make a gift into your donor-advised fund, you've got one contribution receipt that you use for your tax reporting purposes. At that point, you know, if you were to open one at National Christian Foundation, where we recommend, you just go to, you'd log in and with a couple of clicks you could give. One of the other benefits is you can give anonymously as well.

So as you make those gifts out, you determine whether or not your name passes with that gift or not. Now, you know, the objective, though, in terms of making a gift, especially as it relates to your church, but really, anytime you're giving to Christian ministry, we want to get that money into the hands of the people doing the ministry. So if it's your local church or a water mission somewhere around the world or somebody meeting needs in your community, whatever it might be, you don't want it sitting in an account somewhere, you want it being distributed. And so I think if it's specifically for your tithe, I think you'll probably want to just give that directly. I mean, the only benefit would be if you want to batch your gifts. So depending upon whether or not you want to give a larger amount in one particular year, but then you want to distribute it out over time. So for instance, you wanted to make one major gift to your donor advice fund and then set up a monthly, you know, distribution, if you will, to your church, that would be one option. But if you're not looking to make a significant gift and it's just a matter of, you know, running it through a donor advice fund to your church instead of giving it directly, there really would be no benefit to that. But I've thrown a lot at you here.

Tell me what questions you have. No, that pretty much answers it. I was looking to see if there was a tax benefit if you put in like a large sum of money and then you just distributed it over a few years to the church, if that was the better way to do it for tax purposes. And it may be. And so that's where you'd want to check with your tax preparer just to see, you know, if whether batching it would help you. I mean, one of the main benefits to that is if you can get up above the standard deduction, and therefore you can take the right off on a larger sum of money, you know, that would be one reason why you might want to batch a couple of years worth of contributions into your donor advice fund. You write it off all in one calendar year and then you distribute it over time.

But that would be a question I'd want to talk to my CPA or accountant about to make sure there is a benefit. And if so, this would be a perfect tool for that. Wonderful. Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

Absolutely. Chastity, thank you for listening and calling today. Let's head to Clearwater, Florida. Hi, Matt. How can I help you?

Hello. First of all, love your show. Very helpful. Thank you for doing it. I appreciate that. Greatly appreciate it.

My question is, is that. So with this whole vaccine mandate, I'm kind of affected by it. I really don't want to take a shot. My job is literally said by this date, better be vaccinated or you lose your job. So in that regards, I've actually looked at potentially retiring on this or just doing other jobs until I can go back out and be an engineer again. So the question is, is how much and I know this answer is different for everybody, but how much is enough to retire on? How do I compensate for the increased inflation that's going on to be able to go and find out what my number is?

And is there any basic rules of thumb you could recommend to somebody and say you're going to need this much to go forward with? Does that make sense? It does. Yeah.

And I appreciate the question. You know, the basic rule of thumb that you will often hear is, you know, you're going to need 10 to 12 times your current annual income by the time you retire to offset the difference between your living expenses in retirement and what you might expect to receive from Social Security. So Social Security was never intended to cover more than 40 percent. So at the most, that's going to be 40 percent of your retirement income need. And then the balance of that would be covered as an income stream off of hopefully your savings.

And so that's where if you have 10 to 12 times your income, your annual salary saved up and then we take four percent of that a year and you should be able to make that up through a properly diversified income-based portfolio with some exposure to stocks, that the combination of those two, the annual income coming off of the investments plus Social Security and any other income sources you have kind of lumped in there, you know, should cover it. Keep in mind, you know, typically your expenses would run you somewhere around 80 percent of what your pre-retirement monthly need was just because you're now no longer saving for retirement. Hopefully the kids are off the payroll and you're probably not paying for life insurance premiums. I mean, there's lots of expenses that would come off the table. And so oftentimes, well, a big one would typically be you're debt-free now.

So hopefully you're not paying a mortgage any longer, those types of things. All of the net result of that means you need less. But I think that would be a rule of thumb. Now, there are some wonderful calculators out there that would help you back into that with a more, you know, customized approach to your needs, you know, so you could input some of those numbers. And there's a number of great ones out there. If you just Google, you know, retirement calculators, look at some of the reviews to see which ones are the most favored.

I think, you know, that would be a great tool. But just a quick rule of thumb would be that 10 to 12 times your income. Okay. 10 to 12. Got that. One more question if I could.

This is out of ad hoc. So I'm about 50 years old. Most people would have retired. The problem is, is health care. I have a wife that's very dependent on health care, needs medical benefits.

She's had a lifelong illness. What do people do for health care? Yeah.

When you're essentially self-employed or. Yes. What's the best route? Is there any recommendations?

Yeah. You know, a couple of options. One is you can go out on the open market and just, you know, buy a health insurance policy until you're able to be covered by Medicare. And, you know, they can be expensive, but they are available.

And so you would want to find an independent agent who could go out and shop that for you. Another option to look at that's increasingly popular is a health cost sharing ministry, specifically for believers. So I'd encourage you to go check out Christian healthcare ministries at They would cover on the goal plan, any incident above $500, a hundred percent of that would be shared by its members.

So I would check that out And I think that may give you a, well, we'll give you another option to consider alongside traditional healthcare. We appreciate your call, Matt. Thanks for listening and calling today. We're going to pause for a brief break and then more to come on MoneyWise Live.

Stay with us. Thanks for tuning into MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host. Hey, our team is off today. We're enjoying some time away, which means we're not here to answer your call, but we've got some great questions that we lined up in advance. I know you'll enjoy and learn from. So let's go right back to the phones.

West Salem, Ohio. Hi, Laura. How can I help you? Hi, Rob. Thanks for taking my call.

I've had a question. I have a daughter who is engaged. Both her and her fiance are college graduates and she has debt and he has quite a bit of debt. And I'm wondering once they get married, is she responsible for his college debt if something were to happen to him? No, is the general answer. I mean, these were taken out in his name only and that doesn't transfer to the spouse. That would only be if there was something joint there. Now, obviously, anything that would be estate assets could be used to satisfy his debts as a part of the probate process, but those don't automatically become her debt because, again, they were not taken out jointly.

They were taken out in his name alone. You know, Laura, this does, though, bring up, I think, a great point that we all need to consider and that is that when we're getting married as an engaged couple, we need to tackle as a part of the premarital process the financial area. Perhaps more important than anything else, just from what we know of the statistics on the conflict that money can create. And I think that involves talking about how money was handled in each of our families growing up. What are our money personalities and tendencies?

Who's the one that's the best one to be the kind of the bookkeeper of the family? What lifestyle are they planning to live? And, you know, what expenses are going to be coming with that?

How does that compare to their job track and the income they're going to be earning? What about giving? I mean, all these things, I think, need to be talked about. Plus, as you said, what are they bringing into the marriage relationship, both in the form of assets and debt?

And how are they going to handle that as now one flesh? And, you know, I think opening up those lines of communication with transparency, growing in their understanding of how to handle money from a, you know, a godly perspective is just so key. And so I would just really encourage you to encourage them to consider this area. And one way we can help with that is if you stay on the line, I'll get your information. We'll send you a copy of Howard Dayton's book, Money and Marriage God's Way. And if you give that to them as our gift and just ask them to read through that together, a chapter at a time, I think it'll perhaps give them a little bit more preparation so they go in with their eyes wide open.

But bottom line is this will not become her debt, although there could be some complicating factors as far as settling his portion of the estate upon his death. And otherwise, I think you, you know, that would be the answer that you're looking for. So we appreciate your call today, Laura. May God bless you. And let's head to Olaria, I believe Ohio it is. Elizabeth, go right ahead. Hello, Rob.

Thank you for taking my call. I was recently widowed and I have two young children. My husband's life insurance was split 50% for myself and 50% for my older daughter because he had taken this before my son was born. I was just wondering about the 50% that's in my daughter's name, which is currently in a total control account that she has no access to. How can I, how can I take care of that money in such a way that both children receive an equal share of that? Yeah, you know, that's challenging, given that, you know, life insurance proceeds pass according to how the beneficiaries are designated in the policy, which is why we always need to be updating those policies as changes take place.

And obviously, the birth of a child would affect that. And so, you know, this would be her money just based on how the beneficiary designation was in place. I think one way to deal with that would be if you wanted to handle the distribution of the rest of your estate in such a way that essentially made him whole with this portion going to her because it's in an account in her name, and that can't be changed. But you have control over, you know, your will and how the rest of your assets are distributed at your death.

And again, you could, you know, use the planning to essentially account for the portion that was given to your daughter that excluded your son. Do you follow that? I do. Okay. Very good. Thank you. Yes, ma'am. You're very welcome. And thanks for calling today. Heading next to Lake Worth, Florida. Hi, Richard.

How can I help you? Yes, I just finally got my Social Security disability. And they gave me a back payment back to 2019 lump sum. And I'm just wondering where I'm going to fall in my tax bracket. Is that going to be a taxable income, seeing its income?

Yeah. You know, unfortunately, Social Security disability benefits are taxable as regular income. Now, most recipients don't end up paying taxes because they typically don't make enough. So you'll owe taxes if your total income is more than twenty five thousand or thirty two thousand if you're married and filing jointly.

But if you earn income in that range, you'll only pay tax on about 50 percent of your benefits. So I think, you know, what you need to do, given that it is, in fact, taxable and this is a change because you're getting this back payment, which is going to result in a larger amount being paid out to you. I think the key for you moving forward would be to, you know, check with a tax preparer to make sure that you have accounted for what you'll owe this year. So you'll set that aside because the last thing you'd want would be to have an unexpected amount be owed and you don't know it. You learn about it later and now you've got taxes and penalties. So this is the year to check with a professional, to run your situation by them and see if there's anything that you owe at this point. Does that make sense?

Yeah, that makes sense. Another question I have is, me and I got this lump sum. I have previous hospital bills that are in collections. And I was talking to my wife about paying them off and she's like, oh, now you got all this money and now you're going to blow it.

And I'm like, I'm not going to blow it. We owed the money. Yes. Now, would it be possible just to eliminate whatever debt I have? Yes, I totally agree with that, Richard. I mean, as believers, we need to honor our obligations. And the fact that you had these hospital bills in collections is that's a debt that you owe.

And so it's not a matter of you blowing it. I mean, you need to be wise and responsible with what comes your way. But a part of being responsible and wise is to take care of your past obligations. Good news is, I suspect you settled with a fraction of the portion that you originally owed because these were maybe charged off and that kind of thing. But yeah, I think making good on those debts is certainly a good thing.

It's honorable, it's biblical. And the key then is moving forward now that you've kind of cleaned all this up and you've been made whole on the disability payments to really put a spending plan in place moving forward that allows you to live within your means, even if things are tight. And that's going to mean you do the hard work to really control your expenses and come up with a workable budget. So hope that helps you, my friend. Listen, I know you've it sounds like you've been through some challenging times, but perhaps this will give you a fresh start as you get this payment. And I'm grateful that you called in today to check with us. All the best to you in the days ahead, Richard.

God bless you. Well, folks, before we head to the end of the program here, let me take a moment and take a few emails, because we often hear from folks that write into us via email and ask for help in their situation. And I'd love to be helpful to you.

So let's see if we can get through a few of these before we round out the program today. This one just says, first of all, from Karen, what is the name of the site to request credit reports from all three agencies? I want to make sure everything looks OK.

If I find a problem, how do I go about fixing or correcting the information that is wrong? And Karen, this is a great question because it's something we all should be doing. We should be looking at our credit reports, I would say, at least quarterly. Because if there's something on there that's not ours, somebody's opened an account fraudulently in our name, they've run up some debt, they've not paid it back, that's sitting on your credit report.

It happens more often than you think. And the credit report is usually the best way for you to find it because they're not going to send you a bill. So how do you go about that? Well, there's a website called That's the place to go get your three credit bureau reports for no cost. You'll want to review those. And then there will be a procedure for you to dispute any negative information that is inaccurate. By law, the credit bureaus have 30 days to verify that it is in fact accurate.

And if they can't, it has to be deleted. Karen, we appreciate your email today. Mike has written into us, it says, I've heard you reference the importance of setting a financial finish line.

Can you elaborate a bit more on what this is and how I go about it? And Mike, I'd be happy to do that. You know, when I talk about a financial finish line, what I'm referring to there is this idea that, you know, God entrusts to each of us differing amounts, right? We see that in the parable of the talents. And that's not based on our godliness or our commitment to him.

It's just part of the way his economy works. And we're to be found faithful with what he's entrusted to us, however much or however little. And I think with whatever God has entrusted to us, we need to live within that provision and we need to live with contentment. But we also should be asking how much is enough, because I don't believe we should automatically spend everything that the Lord gives us.

And so we need to be saying, Lord, what lifestyle have you called me to? And I believe this financial finish line includes both your net worth, meaning how much am I ultimately trying to accumulate? I'm not just saving mindlessly and trying to build as big a portfolio as I possibly can for the future. I should have a goal. And within that goal, I should decide how much is enough, because if I'm on track to reach it or I have reached it, I can give the rest away. And we can also set a finish line for our lifestyle, which means our income. I'd love the idea if you would cap your income and say, we're going to spend up to this amount and anything we earn beyond that is given to the Lord. Pray through that.

Ask him what you should do and then set those financial finish lines. I know it'll be a blessing to you. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us today. So glad you've been along with us today.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. I want to say thank you to my team today, Deb and Amy and Jim and Hans. I want to thank you for being along with us as well. It's always my privilege to come alongside you and talk to you each day. Come back and join us next time, will you? God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-16 19:25:27 / 2023-07-16 19:43:22 / 18

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