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The Scholarship Hunt

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 18, 2022 5:12 pm

The Scholarship Hunt

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 18, 2022 5:12 pm

Paying for college can be some of the smartest money you’ll ever spend—but wouldn’t it be great if someone else picked up part of the tab? On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will talk about how you can get some of the nearly 8-billion dollars in scholarship money that is awarded to students each year. Then he’ll answer your questions on the financial topics you’d like to discuss.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Paying for college can be some of the smartest money you'll ever spend, but wouldn't it be great if someone else picked up part of the tab?

I'm Rob West. Believe it or not, each year nearly $8 billion in scholarships is handed out to 1.7 million students. I'll talk about how you can get some of that free money that it's on to your calls at 800.

Call it 24-7-800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. So how expensive is college? Well, the latest data from the College Board shows that the average in-state student attending a four-year public college this year will spend over $27,000, and that's just for one year. For students attending private colleges, the average annual cost is nearly $55,000. With those expenses, it's surprising that the average graduate with student loan debt owes around $37,000.

You'd think it'd be more, but there's a way to make it even less. Many organizations are willing to help you pay for college through scholarships if you meet their qualifications. My wife, Julia, had her own application assembly line going, and she was able to land $170,000 in scholarship money.

Yes, that number is right. Now, granted, that took a lot of work, but look at it this way. You can either put in the time and effort now applying for scholarships, or you can borrow and work very hard later to pay the money back. No doubt a lot of you would rather put in the effort now, so I'll give you the names of online sources for scholarship money, and we'll put links to them in today's show notes at MoneyWise.org. So, you ready to get started?

All right, here we go. Our first source for scholarship money is FastWeb. They host more than 1.5 million scholarships totaling nearly three and a half billion dollars in scholarships and grants. To get started, you create a profile on their site. A search feature helps match you to the scholarships that meet your individual needs.

It'll also keep track of where you've applied a very handy feature. Now, the College Board is best known for testing materials for the SATs and other exams. They also want to help you pay for college once you get there. On their site, you can apply for scholarships and internships. They have leads on about 2,200 programs offering nearly $6 billion every year.

Another great site is niche.com. Like the name implies, they help you find not only money, but also colleges that cater to your specific major and interests. And of course, there's scholarships.com. They have a huge database with more than three and a half million scholarship and grant opportunities totaling almost $20 billion. You can browse by category or set up a profile to help you find scholarships specific to your interests. CapEx is another great source for scholarships. They have leads on $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. They also have a tool to help you calculate the odds of getting into a school of your choice before you even apply.

Chegg is another one. They're best known as an online textbook store, but they can also point you to about 25,000 different scholarships. And they have a top picks of the week feature to help you improve your odds of landing one. Now, keep in mind, a lot of these scholarship opportunities are merit-based, meaning the higher your grades, the better your chances of landing that kind of scholarship. But what if you're more athletically inclined?

Well, there's a site to help with that. Unigo lets you search for athletic scholarships as well as a variety of funding opportunities offered by specific schools and companies. And let's not forget about Peterson's, which is best known as a clearinghouse for information about colleges and universities. They also host about $10 billion in scholarship opportunities. Now, this one's interesting because we usually associate federal aid with borrowing, but the Labor Department sponsors a website called Career One Stop, and it allows you to search more than 8,000 scholarships, fellowships, and grants.

And that's money you won't have to pay back. One final idea, check with the financial aid office at whichever schools you apply to. Sometimes they have scholarship money available too. Okay, we've thrown a lot of scholarship sites at you, and you probably won't use all of them, but you should definitely use more than one. Maybe look for two or three that you find the easiest to work with or best match your needs.

And some of them have other features you might find handy. And remember, we'll have links to all of them in today's show notes. Your calls are next. Here's the number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800 525-7000. I'm Rob West, and this is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Much more to come just around the corner. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

We're delighted you're here with us today. This is biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. That's right, we spend this time each afternoon talking about the Council of Scripture as it relates to the money decisions that we make. Think about your money.

It has a way of finding a thread throughout every facet of your life. Everything generally involves some element of money. The question is, how should we handle it? What's the appropriate lifestyle? Should we borrow? How much should we give? You know, as we think about all these things, we want to go to God's word and say, what are the principles we can pull out? What is God's heart related to His money? Remember, it's all His, the cattle on a thousand hills, for the earth is the Lord and everything in it. So, if it all belongs to Him, that makes us a steward of every dollar we receive. Remember, the Bible says it's even the Lord who gives us the power to make wealth. So even your provision, it all comes from the Lord. The question is, how can you be a faithful steward with what He's entrusted to you? The key is to live within your means, within God's provision, which means we're not leveraging tools like debt to live beyond our means.

We find contentment within God's provision, and we're able to then give generously, to save for the future, to help somebody in need, and to enjoy what we have along the way. So, we want to help you find God's heart as it relates to the decisions and choices you're making with your money on this program each day. We've got some lines open to do that together. Here's the number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We're going to begin in Chicago with Adam, WMBI. Adam, how can I help you, sir? Hello, I had a comment. You're talking about ways of paying for college. I did a great deal of upfront research before I selected the career that I selected. I selected a career that suited my abilities and my ability to actually learn. I happen to be a person of disability, so that's a little bit of a challenge in many different fields. I was completely dependent on government funding to live my day-to-day life, and needless to say, it's been almost 10 years now since I had received government funds.

Wow, yeah, that's great. Well, I think you've hit on a couple of things here, Adam. Number one is we should pursue work that we know has the ability to have a future. Certain careers are growing and accelerating. We ought to see what future opportunities exist in a career field we're interested in that has great prospects in the future, but also aligns with our passions in gifting. I think when we can bring all of those together, especially if we're going to borrow some money for college, which I would encourage you not to do if at all possible, we want to make sure there's a job that's going to allow you to pay that back in a timely fashion. So unpacking how God has wired you and how that intersects with the career potential I think is key, but then trying to find ways to cover the cost of education, which as we started today, you know, there are so many opportunities for scholarships and grants. Some of them you may not qualify for, but the key is have you done the legwork to try to find ways that you can offset the cost of college, both in advance through applying for scholarships and grants, but even work study and having a part-time job, you know, other means in the summer even between semesters, you know, building up some reserves.

I think all of these things when you put them together can ensure that you're not coming out with a degree but also saddled by the burden of debt that can be really problematic, especially as you're just getting started. So Adam, great council today. We appreciate you weighing in with your story. God bless you, sir. 800-525-7000. Charles is in Hope Sound, Florida, WRMB. Charles, how can we help you? Yes, sir.

I'm just curious. I bought a condo two years ago and paid right at 250 for it and looking to sell it and I'm thinking I can get around 375 and I probably put about 35,000 in it for different things, you know, just remodeling, air conditioner, generator because it's up in the mountains, and just wondering would I have to pay capital gains on that little bit over the amount I'm going to get? Was this a rental property, Charles? We've rented it some and we've lived there some.

It's a secondary home. Okay, yeah, so if it was not your primary residence for two out of the last five years, then you don't qualify for the exemption that's available for a gain. So it would be, there would be capital gains tax on your profit. I think the key is you have to recognize, number one, the way you determine that capital gain is to calculate, you know, you subtract the adjusted basis of your property at the time of sale from the sales price it's sold for. So basically you sold it for a certain amount, you'd subtract out what you paid for it, you'd subtract out any improvements that stayed with and enhanced the value of the property minus sales expenses like legal fees and sales commissions, and that's going to result in a true gain that you had. And then based on what you're describing, you'd likely pay a long-term capital gain which, you know, is either going to be zero but more likely they're 15 or 20% depending upon your income tax bracket. So it will be taxable and the key is it's not on the whole amount, it's on that true gain and that would be calculated in the way I described.

So I think this is an opportunity for you, Charles, to visit with a tax preparer, a CPA or accountant perhaps that you've worked with to prepare your taxes to let them know that this was done so they can calculate exactly what your true gain is and then they'll tell you what that capital gains rate is based on your income bracket. Does that make sense? It sure does. Okay, thank you. All right, yes sir, we appreciate your call today. 800-525-7000, Janice is in Columbus. Janice, how can I help you?

Hi, thank you so much for taking my call. My husband and I have a 49-year-old handicapped daughter and we are currently working on a special needs trust to care for her should both of us die before she does. And her caregivers right now are all paid by her I.O.

waiver but her condo utilities, everything else that it takes for a home, is paid by us. So we're working to decide on whether we should have a revocable or irrevocable special needs trust for her. Over the years, you know, the state aid and for the developmentally disabled has changed and we've had to change our will several times. So now we're working on this special needs trust.

Yes, yes. Yeah, well I think the key is obviously, you know, the special needs trust is going to give you the most flexibility here and what you're trying to do is to make sure that you have the ability here and what you're trying to accomplish. It allows you to maintain control over it while you're living and then you can set it up so the assets are made available by the trustee according to your wishes. You know, it has to come in from a third party, someone other than the beneficiary, but it allows for you to care for her beyond your life and based on certain triggering events. As to revocable or irrevocable, that's really going to be something you'll want to be a state planning attorney as to what's the best in your situation given the laws of the state, given your net worth and just what you're trying to accomplish. So I wouldn't want to weigh in on that without knowing the details, but I think you're certainly headed in the right direction in terms of, you know, with a handicapped daughter who's going to be a lifelong dependent, you certainly want to make provision for her needs again beyond your life, you and your husband, and this is the way to do it to make sure that she's still able to take full advantage of Social Security disability and other benefits, but also still have the resources she needs to maintain a quality of life.

So Janice, I think you're certainly headed in the right direction, but I'd get legal opinion on exactly the finer points of how you should set that trust up. We appreciate your call today and all the best to you and your husband as you care for that sweet daughter of yours. We appreciate your call. Well, it looks like all the lines are full. We've got lots of great questions coming up on retirement and giving. How do you give to perhaps a small church and is it okay to give tithe money beyond the church? That's what Terry wants to talk about.

Perhaps your question as well. 800-525-7000. This is Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We began by talking today at the start of the program about scholarships. That's right, paying for college and how you can take advantage of some wonderful scholarship and grant opportunities out there to cover the cost of college. There are some wonderful websites that will help you identify scholarship resources and the very best scholarships for your child, depending on age and background, the career they're pursuing, a whole host of issues.

So take advantage of them. If you missed a part of that or if you'd like links to those scholarship resources we mentioned at the beginning of the program today, check out the show notes for today's broadcast. The easiest way to get there is just to head to MoneyWise.org and right there on the homepage you'll see today's episode called The Scholarship Hunt. When you click on that, in the show notes today, you'll find links to all of the great websites that we mentioned. The College Board, FastWeb, Niche.com, Scholarships.com, CapEx, Chegg, Unigo, it's all there, including the links.

So go to MoneyWise.org and then click on The Scholarship Hunt and you'll find all of those great resources and all the best to you if you try to find your portion of the eight billion dollars in scholarships that will be handed out to 1.7 million students in the next year. All right, let's head back to the phones today. Terry's been waiting from Bangor, Maine and Terry, how can I help you?

Thank you. I received a gift that is considered income and I want to pay ties on it in the tune of nine thousand dollars. That's the tithe portion. Now, the church that I go to is a very small church. We do not have a building. We've met at home.

We're now meeting in a school. And I want to know if I should give the whole nine thousand to my local church or can I give a portion to the local church and give other places part of the tithe? Yeah. Well, I appreciate, Terry, that you want to be found faithful with giving as or according to the amount that you received and you want to give a tithe. And that's wonderful. A tithe literally means a tenth. And I believe that the tithe should be the beginning point of our giving. And if we look at the we look at scripture, we see that really in the Old Testament, the tithing concept was clearly there, although the word means a tenth. There was actually three tithes in the Old Testament. So there was one for the Levites, one for the temple, one for the poor.

And, you know, it totaled up to about twenty three and a third percent every year. And then there was even some additional giving that was done beyond that at the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths and a whole host of other times. Now, when Jesus enters the scene, he takes it to an even higher level and he shows us a different way of giving, whole life generosity. And he modeled that with his life as a sacrifice. But when he talked about money, Terry, he said, we should give as we've been blessed in Luke six. And to whom much is given, much is required in Luke 12.

And then he commended the poor widow who gave her last two copper coins. So why am I telling you all this? Well, I think the bottom line is it's between you and the Lord. And what we recognize is that a tithe is a great way to give systematically, to recognize God's ownership and his provision in your life.

And clearly that's what you're doing. And I believe that if we're going to follow that model, that we should start with the local church. Now, does that mean we have to give every bit of whatever the Lord places on our heart to give to the local church? Well, again, I think that's between you and the Lord. But I love the idea that you want to be systematic and proportionate in your giving.

I love that you want to take right off the top and honor the Lord. And I would say clearly that should start with the local church. And, you know, in Malachi, again, the Old Testament, which was replaced when Jesus came and fulfilled the law of Moses, but it says, bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, which would most closely be aligned with today's local church. And as so many pastors teach, that's God's plan A.

That was clearly his plan to take his message to the world through us and through the local church. So I think at the end of the day, I would say, yes, it should start with your local church. I like the idea of you giving the whole tithe to your local church. But if between you and the Lord, he leads you to do something else with this or other giving along the way, I would certainly follow the leading of the Lord. And I would also say, let's not be legalistic about it. I would look at, you know, how you can give even more over time.

Does that all make sense, though? Yes, that works very well. That is very helpful. Thank you very much. OK, Terry, listen, I know the Lord is pleased with your desire to be generous with what he's entrusted to you. I appreciate your call today very, very much. Cindy's in Springfield, Missouri. Cindy, how can I help you?

Hi. I recently left my career of 17 years in the public school system in Missouri, which was a really good retirement system. And I'm getting ready to start a new career with the county government, basically, which has its own retirement system. Now, I can buy years into my PSRS through my teaching career, but they are very expensive. Or I can put money into the new system, which doesn't accrue as much. And I'm kind of torn.

I don't know what to do with that. Yeah, yeah. You know, I think, Cindy, it's really going to require somebody to kind of analyze the finer points of each of these plans. I realize, you know, with public education, the retirement system there can be very good.

The government plan can be as well. I think the key is which is going to be the better internal rate of return, meaning where are you going to get the most for your money and where should you focus in terms of your dollars moving forward? So I'm going to encourage you to connect with a certified kingdom advisor.

I think this would be worth a few hours of your time for a professional to analyze both of these options and tell you how you should proceed moving forward, just so you can make sure you're making the very best decision. You can find a certified kingdom advisor there in Springfield, and you go to our website, moneywise.org, and just click find a CKA. We appreciate your call. MoneyWise Live will be right back.

Stay with us. Thanks for tuning into MoneyWise Live. As you start out in the new year, yeah, just a couple of weeks into a new year and you're thinking about your finances and wanting to get things on track, perhaps get organized this year and maybe start that spending plan you've always wanted to keep tabs on. Well, we can help you do that with the MoneyWise app. Download it wherever you download apps. Just search for MoneyWise biblical finance, and there's three approaches to money management in one system.

You get to decide which one fits best your personality. You can connect to your institutions, download your transactions automatically, even have them categorized into your spending categories. It's called MoneyWise biblical finance, and you can download it for free today. Let's head back to the phones today. By the way, in just a few minutes, Bob Dahl will be with us, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments. He joins us each Monday for a segment on the market from a biblical perspective. Certainly interested in hearing what Bob has to say today.

The market down over 500 points with rising interest rates, really an interesting time in the stock market. Bob will be here to weigh in in just a few moments. George is in Miami, Florida, listening to WRMB. George, how can I help you, sir? Hi, how are you doing today? Excellent programs, as always. We'll hear you down here.

And I have a question for you. I have a land trust program transaction that I did right now. It's holding cash about $85,000. I have a mortgage, which is still at $5.35 for about $80,000 left in the balance. I just applied to retirement. I have about $25,000 in an IRA and about $10,000 cash.

I applied because of a condition that I have, and I thought it was wise to apply on early retirement. Now, on the mortgage side, what do you recommend to use the funds that I have available? Is this cash money in a money market to pay off the balance on the mortgage? Or you use that towards investments as we saw today, the markets will be free. So those are my questions. Sure, it's a great question.

I'm sorry, what were you going to say there? My wife is working, covering partially some of the expenses. Okay, so are you getting a pension, or what income do you have now that you're retired? Well, basically Social Security and some funds that I have out of the IRA.

Okay, so the extent of your retirement is Social Security plus the $25,000 in the IRA, which obviously isn't going to go very far. So talk to me about your monthly expenses. What does it take roughly for you to cover your expenses all in on a monthly basis? About $2,100. About $2,100, okay. And how much of that is coming from your wife's income? She's giving about $1,100, $1,200.

Okay, $1,100 of that. And how long does she plan to continue to work? We haven't discussed it yet, but she likes to, she's a teacher, and she likes to teach maybe another five years, I would estimate. Okay, and does she have a retirement plan through the teacher's retirement system?

No, she doesn't. Okay, so what is your thinking longer term once she retires? Are you all going to try to live on just either of your Social Security combined income? Yeah, I'm partially, I'm a real estate broker, so partially through other means obviously, but mainly through the Social Security retirement, yeah.

I see, okay. Yeah, I think the challenge is right now this is money that's not in a tax deferred or tax-free environment, so it's taxable money. At 62, you're retired, you're not going to want to take on a lot of risk with this money. The challenge is you've got roughly five months worth of income.

That's pretty good. I'd like for that to be a little bit higher, but clearly by you eliminating your largest monthly expense, that will bring your total lifestyle spending down, what it takes for you to cover your budget, because I imagine your mortgage is a big chunk of that 2100. Given that the interest rate is a little bit higher than we would typically see right now at five and a quarter, 5.3, the challenge is are you going to do that in the market in a taxable account? You'd have to invest it, you'd have to get a rate of return that after taxes is going to be at least 5.35%, and it's going to be in a portfolio that's fairly conservative given that you're no longer working, which means you don't want to be taking a lot of risk. So I think the key for you right now would be probably best to just go ahead and wipe out the mortgage, but I would try to really keep your lifestyle spending as lean as possible because whatever you were putting toward the mortgage, I would then redirect that 100% toward getting your emergency fund up to about 12 months worth of expenses, so about $21,000, $25,000, and then beyond that, I would then start looking at perhaps taking that money and investing it systematically each month. I think the key for you all is, again, to keep your lifestyle as lean as possible, stay completely debt-free so that when your wife does want to retire, that you all can live on what Social Security can provide, and if she can wait until, because she enjoys her work closer to full retirement age, that will make sure that she maximizes that Social Security check between now and then so you get as high a payout as possible, because you took probably about a 25% or 30% hit on that monthly check because you took it early at age 62.

I'd love for her to avoid doing that if at all possible. I think the other key, George, is that in addition to making sure you recapture the mortgage payment and put it into savings, anytime you sell a piece of property as a realtor, let's not find ways to spend that on lifestyle spending. Let's sock that money away so you can put away a nice nest egg that, again, could serve you really well down the road if you all had unexpected, let's say, medical expenses or something like that. Does that all make sense? Yes, it does. Thank you. Very wise. Okay, very good, George. Listen, we appreciate your call today. I'm sorry, did you have anything else to add?

No, that's it. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Very good. George, we appreciate your call today. You know, folks, when we think about our investments and our retirement, the key is how can we approach this season of life where we've been diligent savers, we've got our lifestyle lean, and we've got all of our debt taken care of and completely out of the way? I mean, that's going to put you in the best position, I think, to be free to follow the leading of the Lord during that season of life.

Quickly to Baltimore, Maryland. Mary, just about 90 seconds. How can I help you? Oh, hi.

Yes, thanks for taking my call. I am of surviving. My husband had an IRA, and I'm of surviving.

And I'd like to know how do I get that money or who decides on how it's distributed. Yes, was there a beneficiary designated on that IRA? It was, but he's deceased. It was his brother, and he's deceased now, too.

Yes, ma'am. Well, if an IRA is left without a designated beneficiary, or if the beneficiary is deceased and it's not updated, it's paid to your estate. And when this happens, it would be distributed by the estate. The IRS rules dictate the account has to be fully distributed within five years, and it would be distributed along with the rest of your estate or with your brother's estate. So it's going to be falling back to the probate court to determine how this money is going to be distributed.

I would contact the person who's handling that estate, and they can work with the probate court to determine where it should go. This is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions.

In just a moment, we'll head back to the phone. Sue in Nashville wants to know about pulling some money from retirement to help her son, perhaps get into rehab. Lydia's in Orlando wants to know about contributing to a 403b. But first, Bob Doll joins us each, well, normally Monday, although with the holiday yesterday, we bumped it to Tuesday with his market commentary.

Bob is chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments, where you can learn more at crossmarkglobal.com. And Bob, I got a sneak peek at your dolls deliberations for the week, I saw the title, the Fed has announced the removal of the punch bowl. Explain that. Yeah, so we all know that the Fed, when things aren't so good, comes to the aid of the economy by providing all kinds of monetary stimulus, otherwise known as the punch bowl. And when the party gets rip-born, they keep filling it.

And when it gets rip-born too much, and they start seeing people having too much to drink, they start to withdraw the punch bowl. And that's what they're doing. It's all happened the last few months, the start of it. And that is the main reason markets are so concerned. Well, volatility continued today. I saw the market was down about 550 points.

I know each day has its own headlines. What's driving the market right now? Just what we're talking about, the bond yield backup is the overhang for investors.

Some 10-year Treasury yields moved up 8 basis points from 180 to 188 just today. And they're up 37 basis points just since the first of the year, Rob. That's a big move in two weeks.

Yes, it sure is. Bob, I know in your 10 annual predictions, which a lot of folks rely on to think about their investments for the year, you said you were expecting energy and financials to be among the leaders. Tell us how they're doing.

Knock on wood, and thank the good Lord and whatever else it takes. They're the only two sectors that are up year to date. So we'd like to end that prediction right now. Thankfully, in our portfolios, we're overweight those sectors. So we're benefiting from the two sectors that are up amongst all the carnage.

Yeah, let's just put a checkmark next to those and move on. Talk about just both domestic and global growth. What are you seeing in terms of how strong the consumer is and what you're expecting moving forward this year for corporate earnings? So in the big picture, we're thinking that the US and global economy is good.

Not as good as the record-setting pace last year, but above long-term trends and importantly, picking up overseas. And that bodes very well for earnings. We're in the still early days, Rob, as you know, of releasing fourth quarter earnings and they're reasonably good.

There's some blemishes there, but they're reasonably good. And we think with a strong economy, we'll get good earnings this year. And that's key to having the market be okay this year. You know, you remember the theme we have for our 10 predictions, tug of war between earnings tailwinds, that's the good news, and valuation headwinds. And that's the bad news.

And we think it's going to be a standoff. Yeah, yeah. Interesting. All right, Bob. Well, I appreciate you checking in, folks. If you want to learn more about Bob Doll or Crossmark Global Investments, you can do that at crossmarkglobal.com. There on the homepage, you can also subscribe to receive Bob's Dolls Deliberations, which is his weekly investment commentary.

I rely on it weekly. And Bob, we're grateful you stopped by today. Talk to you in six days, Lord willing. All right. God bless you, my friend. Back to the phones today.

Nashville, Tennessee, a great town. Sue, how can I help you? Hi, thanks for taking my call. I am calling about my son. He is mentally ill. He is on disability, Medicare, Medicaid. But the system is just so broken.

There are good other private sector programs out there, but they do cost about anywhere from 10 to 16,000 a month. We're seriously considering this. But it is risky. Is it a good idea to pull from our retirement? If we do, how do you build that back up? We're 56. I think we're in a good place financially. Honestly, I feel a little selfish not wanting to do it.

Yeah. Well, Sue, I can understand the real challenge that this is. I mean, clearly, you want your son to be in a better place. You want him to get the help that he needs. Ultimately, we're concerned about his spiritual condition. And then beyond that, we want his physical needs met and for the Lord to allow him to break through on whatever strongholds he has in his life. And clearly, rehab can be a part of that.

The extent to which you all have the ability to do so, I know you would want to do that. And yet, you've got to look at both the financial and the non-financial side. Financially speaking, the first question is, can you afford to do it? And sometimes the Lord may lead you to things on paper you don't feel like you can afford to do. And so I wouldn't say that if you feel that the Lord is leading you this way, you shouldn't completely discount it just because maybe you're not quite where you want to be financially in terms of your retirement savings.

But you should take a look at that. And perhaps if you haven't done some retirement planning just to see, where are we at? Are we ahead?

Are we behind? And what are we going to do to fund our retirement when we're unable to work down the road? So you can factor this decision in from a financial perspective with some real understanding of where you're at.

I would connect with an advisor to do some retirement planning, someone who can help you take a look at that. In terms of the actual implications of pulling from a retirement account, there are some exemptions that potentially could allow you to take funds from a retirement account when it's for medical care expenses for dependents. And through a hardship distribution, you could perhaps not have to pay any penalties that would have otherwise been paid.

You would have to add it to your taxable income, but you perhaps could miss the penalty if it's the amount you're taking is limited to the amount of need, what's needed to cover the immediate financial need that relates to the hardship. So I would check with your CPA or accountant as to whether or not this would qualify in your situation, but that would at least help get a good bit of the money going directly toward the need that exists there, in this case rehab, as opposed to having it go not only to taxes but also to pay a penalty if that applies here. And then there's the non-financial side that just says, is he pursuing the best course of action? Is he really willing to get help and stick with it? And is this a solution that has good long-term prospects or has he demonstrated that he's not willing to stick with it and do the hard work? And that's something you're going to have to observe and get some wise counsel, somebody to help you make those decisions, because you don't want to take lightly the fact that you're potentially pulling from your retirement account to help fund this, and yet if it's going to be part of God's plan to help him break through this, then clearly that would be something that I suspect you and your husband would want to do. So I think the bottom line is, yes this should be an option, yes there might be some tax benefits because of the situation, but you need to approach it with a lot of prayer, a lot of wise counsel, you need to observe what he's done in the past and what you truly believe he's willing to do moving forward, because I think the non-financial side of this, him getting to a good place and his placing his trust in Jesus Christ as his savior and breaking through and dealing with the physical issues that he has that are holding him back, that have him in bondage right now, I think are paramount.

And money can be helpful in solving that, it can also create more problems and put you all in a real difficult spot too. So I would get some financial counsel, I'd get some non-financial counsel, and then we'll just ask the Lord to give you some real wisdom here as you make this decision. Sue, I wish I could give you a definitive yes or no, unfortunately I can't, but hopefully that's helpful to you. That was, thank you so much. All right, God bless you Sue, we appreciate your call. We'll ask the MoneyWise community to be praying for you.

We're going to finish today in Orlando, Florida. Lydia, you've been very patient, how can I help you? Hi, thank you for taking my call. I'm an educator, do you hear me?

Yes, I sure do, go right ahead. I'm an educator, I have a pension plan, but in addition to that, I contribute to about 20% to a Roth 403B, and I'm wondering is that the best option or should I put money aside outside of my education or my school, rather? Well, I think you're doing a great job here, Lydia. What is your age, if you don't mind me asking? 45. Okay, so listen, we typically say put 10 to 15% away for retirement. You're doing 20, that's great. Now, if you're starting a little later, that may be perfectly appropriate, so I'm not saying that's too much, but I love the fact that you're prioritizing this and putting a significant percentage away. If you do that every paycheck, that's going to really help you make sure that you have what you need to supplement Social Security and cover your retirement expenses when you're unable to work in the future. Beyond that, I really like the Roth 403B, because you're paying the taxes upfront, which means all of the growth is going to be tax free. So let's say that money grows for the next 20 years or more between now and retirement, all the gains that you have built in are going to be 100% tax free when you take them out. That's a really good thing, because there's a good likelihood that tax rates will be much higher than they are today down the road, even though you're earning less. And all these gains, you won't have to pay any taxes on them whatsoever. So the fact that you're doing 20%, the fact that it's a Roth 403B, I think both of those, I would put check boxes in and say, you're on the right track. Does that make sense?

It does. Do I need to do anything else if I have a pension or is there anything else I should be looking into? I don't think so. No, I think as long as you're putting what you're doing away right now, you've got plenty going into retirement. The only other thing you might want to do is just do some retirement planning just to project out the track that you're on so you have a good understanding of what you'll have down the road and whether that's going to sync up with what you need. But you're on the right track making some great decisions.

So I think you've covered all the bases. We appreciate your call today, Lydia. That's going to do it for us.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Thank you to Gabby T answering our phones today, Mr. Dan Anderson, Engineering, Amy Rios, Producing, and the amazing Robert Sutherland helping with new research today. Come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. God bless you. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-22 13:54:39 / 2023-06-22 14:11:05 / 16

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