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Should You Buy a House Now?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2022 5:20 pm

Should You Buy a House Now?

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 11, 2022 5:20 pm

With the seller’s market continuing, many would-be home buyers are wondering if they should go ahead with their plans or give up the American dream for the time being. On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will share some advice about whether you should make a purchase with today’s sky-high home values. Then Rob will take some calls on various financial topics. 

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Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil

Homes are so expensive now that in one neighborhood only cats can afford them. That's because you need nine lives to pay off the mortgage.

I'm Rob West. That's probably not funny if you're thinking of buying a house these days, but I'll make it up to you with some advice about whether you should do it with today's sky-high home values. 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. So let's start out with a little good news. The real estate brokerage Redfin is reporting that sellers dropped their prices on 12% of properties in March. That's compared to only 9% during that month in 2021.

What does that mean? Well, even though home values may be easing just a bit, we're still in a strong seller's market. In March, the median home listing price was just over $400,000, up more than 13% from a year ago and nearly 25% higher than in March of 2020, according to So it's no wonder that so many would-be home buyers are wondering if they should go ahead with their plans or give up the American dream for the time being. As with any other major decision, it helps to have all the information.

You may be wondering how we got here. In other words, just why are prices so high? Well, like so many problems over the last two years, it starts with the pandemic. It takes a lot of lumber to build a house, and the price of that commodity has risen dramatically due to COVID, adding thousands of dollars to the cost of home construction. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the price of all building materials has risen more than 20% since January of 2021 and almost 30% since January of 2020.

In addition to the rising price of materials, the construction industry is reeling from a lack of workers. Planning for skilled carpenters and other trades has fallen off dramatically during the pandemic, all of that making it more difficult and expensive to build a house. We've also had a mass migration of people out of cities and into suburban and even rural areas.

That too is the result of the pandemic, as perhaps hundreds of thousands more people are now able to work remotely. These folks began looking for less expensive places to live, and that's created a huge demand for housing in areas that have traditionally been less populated. In its 2021 report, the government-sponsored mortgage agency Freddie Mac found that the nation had a shortage of nearly 4 million housing units, a more than 50% increase from the years 2018 to 2020. That's produced an incredibly strong demand for houses, particularly among millennials, ages 25 to 34. Now, don't scoff at this next factor that's pushing home values high.

It's comparatively low interest rates. I know the Fed's been raising rates and the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now over 5%, according to, but comparatively speaking, that's still very low. In 1982, get this, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan was above 18%, and over the last 50 years, the average rate has been nearly 8%, well above today's rates, all of which is to say that the recent mortgage rate hikes have done little to curb the demand for houses.

So by now, you're probably wondering, well, when will it end, and maybe how will it end? As we've seen many times in the past, bubbles always burst. The problem is, this isn't a housing bubble like we had before the crash in 2008. Back then, we had lenders giving mortgages to people who were simply not qualified to repay them. We also had a surplus of housing units, so foreclosures were flooding a market that already had homes that couldn't be sold.

Demand vanished and prices fell through the floor. Today, we have plenty of people with adequate incomes, but also a huge scarcity of housing units, so a lot of dollars are chasing after too few homes, keeping prices high. That said, it's highly unlikely we'll see anything like a crash, or even a modest decrease in prices. Although prices are expected to moderate in time, analysts aren't predicting they'll actually fall. So should you buy a house in this crazy environment?

Well, here we have to give a hat tip to consumer expert Clark Howard for identifying a critical question. The answer will help you decide whether to buy a house today, and the question is, how long do you plan to live there? If you feel confident you'll still be in the house ten years from now, it makes sense to go ahead. In that time the market will moderate, you'll see a more normal appreciation, and if you're a short time buyer, it's probably not worth the price of admission in this red hot market. I hope that helps to answer the question, would I buy a house today? We'll be back with your questions just after this.

Stick around. We're so glad to have you with us today at MoneyWise Live. This is biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We've got some lines open today. We'd love to hear from you as we begin to take your calls and questions on anything financial. The number to call, 800-525-7000. Eric Tidwell standing by today managing our phones, and then our team, Amy and Deb, there to serve you as well.

800-525-7000. We look forward to hearing from you with several lines open. All right, let's begin today.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, WMBW. David, thank you for calling, sir. Go right ahead. Yes, thank you for taking my call on your show, Rob. I was wanting to get your opinion on variable annuities with insurance companies, and then I wanted to ask you about Israeli companies. How could I invest in Israeli companies?

Go ahead. Variable annuities with insurance companies, I wanted to get your opinion on that first. Yeah. Well, certainly as you think about annuities, they're not my favorite option. There is a place for them if either A, you've maxed out your other retirement savings vehicles, or B, you're just looking to transfer the risk to an insurance company for a guaranteed return, in some cases where you're looking for a floor on your investments so that you don't lose value. But the downsides are that with annuities, first and foremost, it's really just the cost. There's quite a bit of cost built into these in terms of the various fees and expenses you will pay. You have administrative fees, fees for special features, you of course have the fund expenses for the mutual funds inside them, then there's the mortality expense charge. So when you add it all up, you're going to pay more than you would if you were to just invest in a straight high quality mutual fund on the average.

So that's number one. And then I think number two, you just have to recognize they're treated differently from a tax standpoint. So depending upon what you're comparing it to, if you were to just have the assets grow in a straight taxable account, obviously you'd pay capital gains, but that's a lot less than what you would pay as ordinary income, which is the way this will be treated as it comes out. So I think the question is, is that insurance contract the very best place for you to build wealth over time? Or would you rather do it in a way that's outside of that where either A, you have less expense, B, you have more access to the funds without surrender charges, and perhaps you get the full upside of the investment returns, whereas often in exchange for downside protection, you're giving up something on the upside inside these variable annuity contracts. But give me your thoughts on that, and if there was something specific you were looking at in terms of why you might consider one. Well, one little bit of guts in the bank, you know, paying nearly nothing, and this annuity guarantees three percent, you know, for one thing, and as I'm looking at three percent compared to a quarter of a percent or a half a percent in getting at the bank, you know.

Sure. Yeah, and I think that would be one of the reasons why folks do look at them as saying, well, what if I were to lock in a little bit higher rate than I might be able to get otherwise? The downside is you've got the limited access to your funds at that point, so you are tying it up inside this contract, and if you needed access to the funds, you know, you're going to pay surrender charges for a considerable period of time. So the opportunity you have outside of that would be probably to engage an investment professional to build a portfolio for you where the goal is three to four percent, and yes, you have the risk of the downside, but as long as it's invested with a long time horizon with a proper allocation of investments according to your age and risk tolerance, you know, often you can achieve the same long-term results or better and yet still keep access to your funds and do it in a tax favorable way. So I think at the end of the day, you've got to decide as the steward what's going to give me more peace of mind, help me accomplish my objectives with as little risk as possible, and is that entrusting this to an insurance company in exchange for a guaranteed rate of return or would I rather keep that capital, have a little more access to it? Yes, I'm taking a bit more risk even though you can still be fairly conservative in your investments, but you know, have access to the funds as you need it over time. So I think at the very least, David, what I would do is as you consider this, perhaps talk to two or, you know, three investment advisors about an alternative strategy outside of an annuity contract just to be able to have all of the options at your disposal before you make a decision.

Okay. What about Israeli investing in Israeli companies? Is there a mutual fund anywhere that just trades, just buys, and just has Israeli companies only in it?

There are, sure, yeah. So you can find mutual funds that target specific, you know, international investments, whether that's country specific or otherwise. I wouldn't be able to give you any specific recommendations here over the phone, but I would just say any investing that you do, make sure you're not highly concentrated in one particular segment of the market, whether that's, you know, all in large cap or all in small cap or all international versus domestic. And when you get very country specific, you're just adding risk unless you're properly diversified because if one particular company or excuse me, country, you know, slips into a recession quicker than others or has some challenging economic situations, you just obviously don't have the ability to offset that with other economies performing perhaps better in other parts of the world.

So just be careful in terms of being too concentrated. And I would encourage you, David, to seek out an investment professional. If you don't have one, you can find one on our website, Just click Find a CKA. We appreciate your call today, sir.

To Aurora, Illinois, Kevin, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. Yes. So I've been struggling with trying to find a personal budget for some time. I did meet with someone, but they left me some kind of paperwork with terms and stuff like that.

This is kind of more confusing than anything. And I really need to get a lock on this. My rent and electric bill is a major thing, car insurance, and I do need some minor car repairs, but I got debts and collections that I want to address, too, that, you know, they start out from under 100 to 100, the mid 300 range, you know, they just snow pile. So I was just wondering, are there any resources like a plug and play or something like that on the Internet that I can use?

Yeah. Well, I'd love to direct you to the MoneyWise app, Kevin, and I can start you off with a six month pro subscription just as our gift to you. Basically, you go to your app store search for MoneyWise biblical finance. And then if you give your team when we're done here today, your contact information, once you create a MoneyWise account, we'll make sure you get a pro subscription.

Here's what you'll be able to do inside the app. You can for sure create your spending plan. But there's three different approaches to managing money.

And I'm confident one of those will fit your style. One is just a track only where you're connecting this to all of your institutions, your checking and savings accounts and credit cards, if you have them, downloading transactions automatically, and then they're just being categorized by budget category. So you can just see what's going on.

Those are for folks that really want to be hands off. If you want to be a little more proactive, you could use the second option, which is the plan and track. So you'd actually build a budget based on what you think you need to spend to cover your lifestyle each month, including those debt payments, and then you track against it and see how you're doing. And then the third option, which is what I'd recommend, and it's more hands on, but it's really going to give you what you're looking for, especially in light of the situation you just described, is our digital envelope system where you actually create your spending plan, you create and fund digital envelopes out of your checking account electronically. You're not actually moving money, but you're allocating the money in your funding accounts to those envelopes. And then as transactions come in, it reduces those envelopes. So at any moment during the month, you can look at your digital envelopes and see exactly where you stand in eating out or gasoline or whatever those budget categories that you set up. And I think that's going to give you kind of what you're looking for to make sure that you've got a plan that balances, because that's the key, that we're making sure those debts are being paid, including getting caught up on those those debts that are behind, and then ultimately staying on budget every month, because a budget is only as good as your willingness to stay on track and make sure you control the flow of money in and out. So does that sound like what you're looking for? Yes, it does, because I just get frustrated with, you know, trying to write down this is what I make.

But every time it seems like I don't spend a lot of money, but yet it seems like I never have enough money to pay my rent on time. It's just done in increments and I get tired of it. Yeah. Well, we're going to help you out with that. Once you get set up in the app, you'll be able to schedule a meeting with a coach right there in the app. And I would encourage you to do that as well. This is somebody who can not only help you get this set up and make sure you're using it properly, but perhaps even help you look over your budget, see if there's any ideas on how you can cut back and save money. So you stay on the line, we'll get your information, make sure you get set up, and I'm confident this will get you pointed in the right direction, Kevin. But be sure to check back in with us.

I'd love to hear how you're doing along the way. Thanks for your call today. Well, folks, a lot more to come on MoneyWise. All the lines are full. Let's see, Ms. Bratton in Florida, we're coming your way.

Andrew's in Cleveland, Nancy in Florida as well. And perhaps your call, 800-525-7000. Stay with us as we apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live. We're glad to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live. Let's head right back to the phones.

We'll head to Florida. Ms. Bratton, thank you for calling. How can I help you today? Hi, Ms. Bratton, are you with us? Yes. Okay, we've got you now. My apologies.

Thank you for calling in. You go right ahead. Yeah, I went to Honda and I financed a car for five years and I paid already two years, but the interest they are charging is too high, 9.5. I wish to know if I can lower the interest because I need to pay my three years. Yes. So if I understood you correctly, you have a five-year car loan at nine and a half percent and you've been paying on it two years. So three years remaining, is that right? Yes, that's right. Yes, and that's very high as you pointed out.

So we'd love to get that lowered. Do you have an understanding of why the rate was so high? Is your credit score low or what was the reason? No, my credit score is good and I tried to talk to them. The bank is BNC and they didn't want to do no business.

They don't want to change it and I am thinking to go to another bank and see if they can help me, but I don't trust them. Yeah. What is your credit score, Ms. Bratton?

Do you know? I think it's almost eight. Eight hundred? Yeah, seven point something. All right, seven hundred and something.

Well, that's good. And do you have documented income? Yes, I have my income. Okay.

All right. Well, then you should definitely look around because if you have favorable credit score, you've got good income. There's no reason you should be paying that amount of money at that interest rate.

So I do a couple of things. Number one is I talk to your bank and see what they could offer. Are you comfortable doing business on the Internet? Would you be willing to do some searches on the Internet for a possible lender?

To tell the truth, I'm not very good with the Internet, but they can tell my son to help me with that. I think that would be a great idea to get your son involved. And here's what I'd tell him. I'd tell him that you really need to try to find a lender who can help you refinance this car loan. Try to do it with a three year loan so you're not extending the term because I don't want you to go back to a new five year.

I want you to stay at three years or less. And now that you've paid it down, hopefully you've got a little bit of equity in it. If you could put a little more money down, you might have to if for some reason you were upside down in it.

But where car prices are, you shouldn't be, especially if you bought this two years ago. And what I would tell him to do is go to two different websites. One is called And he can put in there that you're specifically looking to refinance a car loan for 36 months with your credit score. And he'll get a list of lenders and it'll prioritize those lenders that are the highest rated and that have the lowest rates and terms. And I think I would look at at least a couple of online banks and there's no problem there from a safety standpoint. They're all FDIC banks and you know, one is just as good as the other. But I would look at who can offer you a much more favorable rate and terms. And then you could check also with your local bank as well.

But ask him to help you with this process. And I'm pretty confident if you've got the income and you've got the credit score, and if you have got some equity in that car, that you should be able to get this refinanced on a much better rate. Okay. Okay, my balance is almost 17,000.

Okay. You know, the car was 23, when I bought the car was 23,000. But with the interest it's going to be very high.

Yeah. So that's one question you're going to need to find out and he can help you with that. You can go to or,, and see what the value of this car is.

Hopefully because you bought it before some of the supply constraints we've got going on right now in the car market, hopefully you didn't overpay and it's worth more than you owe on it today. And that will ensure you don't have to put any more money down. If you have any other questions along the way, give us a call. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live.

Stay with us. We're thankful you've joined us today for MoneyWise. Hey, if you'd like to support the ministry, we'd be grateful.

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Click the Donate button. All right, back to the phones we go. Andrew has been waiting patiently in Cleveland, Ohio.

Andrew, go right ahead. Yes, good evening. Thank you, guys, for taking my call. Appreciate you. I love your ministry. Thank you.

Question. I am about to retire within the next year to two. I'll be 66 later this year. And I have a mortgage on my home and I have a 401k with my job. And I'm wondering if I should pay off my mortgage when I retire from my 401k or should I just continue to pay the mortgage with my retirement funds or what do you think?

Sure. Give me a few of the details. What's the current balance on the mortgage? How many years do you have left to pay on it? And then finally, what's the balance on the 401k? Okay, I owe about just over $100,000, maybe $102,000, I believe. I have a refund in 2010 for $25,000. So I still have, you know, maybe 14 or so years to pay on it, I believe, or maybe let's see, from 2010, I refiled for $25,000. So maybe 13 years or so?

Yeah, something like that. And the 401k has been taking a hit. But right now, last I think it had about $220,000 in it.

So yeah, it would probably eat up about half of it right now. I don't plan to retire for another year or two. So, have you done your budget at this point? Do you have a sense of with the mortgage included, what would be your monthly expenses? And then what income sources are you looking at in retirement to cover that? Yes, I will be looking at my social security, you know, roughly, you know, me around $2,500, $2,600 a month from that. I already get a couple of different pensions right now to total about $1,100. So, you know, we're talking about $3,600 of income when I retire. And, you know, my budget is, you know, my house knows around $1,200, $1,300 a month, you know, and my bills are, you know, I'm probably at maybe a couple thousand dollars, you know, a month with, you know, taxes and, you know, $25 at the most. Yeah, so you believe that you'd be able to cover your mortgage and all your other bills with the income sources you'll have, social security and the pension, still have a little bit left over without you touching the mortgage, right? Without touching the 401k? Yeah, yeah, I mean... Yeah. So I think, you know, the thought process here is obviously I'd love for you to be debt free by the time you retire.

That'd be great. But the question is, does it make sense, given that you've still got over $100,000, you're probably 12 or 13 years away from having it paid off, to essentially cut that 401k in half. You know, you've built up quite a bit of compounding power over the years as you funded that 401k.

And I realize the market doesn't look particularly attractive right now and a lot of volatility. And you're probably thinking, man, I could, you know, pay this mortgage off and, you know, have at least the guaranteed return equal to the mortgage. And that's true, but you're going to pay a pretty steep tax bill along the way. So what I'd probably do is, you know, at any time you have the option to do that, my preference would be, unless you had just a real conviction from the Lord that you wanted to be debt free, and if you do, that's certainly fine.

I'd say go for it. I'd probably spread it over a couple of tax years, maybe three tax years. So maybe take a third, a third, and a third to get this paid off. But if you're comfortable and you've got the budget to support it, just carrying this debt for the next 10 or 12 years, maybe adding a little bit to it each year, so you cut it down from 13 to 10 years, and you've got the income to support it, I'd probably just let that 401k go and try to pay it down out of current cash flow, assuming you have an emergency fund and you, you know, you're not spending down all of your liquid assets. And that way you could get to the end of this thing eventually, let's say in the next 10 years that mortgage is gone, let's say the 401k keeps growing and that's now worth $300,000 or more, and you've got that then to fall back on if you needed it for long-term care or something like that down the road, but you're not cutting it in half today and then having to take that extra surplus, which you've already got surplus, you'd now have even more without the mortgage payment and you'd be sticking it in a savings account, you know, earning, you know, 1% or you, you know, might invest it, but then you're paying taxes on the gains.

So I think from that standpoint I'd probably leave that 401k there, not pay the tax bill, let it keep growing, even though the next couple of years may be a bit choppy, but let's just try to pay this mortgage down out of current cash flow, assuming you're willing to hang on to the debt for that long. And that's not a problem, like I said, and that's just my 401k, I still have like maybe another 120 and some other investments as well, so I didn't know if that would make a difference or not as far as... And those are outside of a 401k? Yeah, those are outside of a 401k. And what is that invested in? I got it with Cambridge, I have some, I just moved it, matter of fact, not long ago. I think like IRA, I have some of it in an IRA, some of it's like in a, you know, I'm not real sure where it's all, what it's all doing, what is all the rest, but I know it's about 120, I know some of it, I know a good portion of it is in an IRA, I know that, I think at least... Okay, yeah, so it'd be the same situation there.

So again, apart from getting an advisor to look at that and make sure you're invested properly, I'd probably just keep all that growing, you've got plenty of cash flow, you've got margin, you can accelerate the mortgage payoff, I'd probably just stay on this current track you're on as opposed to pulling that money out, getting it out of the market, paying the tax bill, only to just create even more margin when you've already got a good bit in liquid savings as well. Great, appreciate it, that's what I want to know. I was thinking that, but I just wanted to get your expertise on it. Appreciate you having me at it. Yeah, thank you, Andrew, we appreciate your call, my friend, God bless you. Quickly to Nancy in Florida, go right ahead, Nancy. Hi, I would just like to know if having life insurance at this late age of 74 and 75 is worth it. We are paying, we got our life insurance very late in life and my husband didn't believe in it until I convinced him, but I'm wondering because it's quite pricey. Yeah, now what type of policy is it, Nancy? Is it a permanent whole life policy or term policy?

It's whole life. Okay, and what is the cash value on it? Well, it's very low, it's only $50,000 because at this late age, it was just so high to get anything more than that. Yeah, so the death benefit is $50,000 or the cash value? Oh, the death benefit is, we only got it a couple of years ago, so it doesn't have much cash value at all.

I see, okay. And is there a real need for it? I mean, how are you looking at this money? What is the purpose of it if something were to happen to the two of you? For myself, if my husband died, I have an annuity, which is about $4,000 a month and I have my social security. I think I could probably be okay.

My husband, we only have a house payment, which is $1,500 a month and our car, but if something happened to me, my husband, I don't think would be okay. Okay. Let's talk about that a bit more.

I've got to pause for a quick break. When we come back, we'll finish on the other side of this, Nancy, and talk about whether this life insurance is the best way to solve for that. This is MoneyWise Live. A few lines open, 800-525. We're delighted to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live, taking your calls and questions on anything financial. I've got room for a couple more questions.

800-525-7000, that's 800-525-7000. I'm going to stay after for just a few minutes today and so we'll be able to take a few extra questions. If you have something financially you'd like to talk about, I'd love to hear from you.

All right, back to Florida we go. Nancy, just before the break, you were sharing that you all are in your 70s, you and your husband. You've just recently in the last couple of years picked up a couple of life insurance policies with a death benefit of $50,000 on your life and your husband's payable to each other. You're spending a couple of thousand dollars a year on each of them in premium and you're just wondering, does that make sense to hang on to that? You said if something were to happen to him, you'd be just fine given the annuity income you have for the rest of your life plus social security. You think perhaps if something were to happen to you, he'd be a little short if something were to happen and then you'd like to be able to use this death benefit to cover that. I think the challenge is spending a couple of thousand dollars a year on this policy, I think I'd rather see you put that $2,000 a year away. You could eventually build that up into funds that between the two of you, you all could put away $4,000 a year in money that you're not spending on these life insurance policies.

You don't need yours anyway. If he had an extra $4,000 a year going into an account that he could access, eventually this money is there for him and you could stop saving that and you're not continuing to pay toward this policy and eventually you could save even more than that. So I think from that standpoint, it sounds like it's an unnecessary expense, especially given what you could do with that money if you were to free up those resources. Does that make sense? It makes sense. I wouldn't even know where to invest it or how to invest it.

Yeah. What do you all have in the way of emergency savings? About $25,000. And what do you spend on a monthly basis, all of your expenses combined roughly?

About $3,700. So let's call that $4,000. So if you were to put away six months worth of expenses, you basically got that in your emergency savings. So if you wanted to, you could just continue to build that up to maybe a year's worth of expenses.

And that way you'd have the funds behind that to be able to cover what he needs for at least 12 months. And then I think if you got to a place where you had a full year's worth of expenses, then it's a matter of saying, okay, let's put this money to work. And by that time, interest rates could be higher, you could ladder some CDs, one, two, three, five years. And maybe you're getting somewhere between 2% and 4% as rates head up.

You could also look at just beginning the dollar cost average into a stock and bond portfolio, like a balanced mutual fund. It's a mix of stocks and bonds to begin to build wealth that way. But I think the key is you have the flexibility by freeing that money up from these policies. And I feel like that's going to give you a better long-term solution for you all to be able to use this money however you wish, which you may need it before you die. You may need it for long-term care, medical expenses, things like that.

So I think from that standpoint, I'd rather you be keeping it in an account that you own than sending it to a life insurance company. Well, that's good information. Thank you. Okay. Listen, we appreciate your call today. God bless you.

Let's head, well, we'll stay in Florida, Fort Lauderdale. Debbie, go right ahead. Hi, I've got a quick question. We're about to receive a significant gift, and my husband and I are disagreeing a little bit about tithing. What is the biblical principle on giving from a gift?

Yeah. Well, if we look at the principle of the tithe, it would be based on your increase. And so from that standpoint, I would say anything that is your increase that comes from the Lord, and it's all His, so everything we get would be part of our increase, unless it was a return of capital or you had an accident and you had a loss of, let's say, a car, and the insurance company repays you for that. That's not an increase because you're just offsetting a loss, but a gift, an inheritance, obviously your income, the sale of a property that's appreciated, not the portion of what you paid for it that you're getting back, but the gain on it.

I would say that's your increase. So if we wanted to apply the principle of the tithe to that, giving a tenth unto the Lord based on our increase, I would certainly put a gift in that category, whether that's an inheritance or some other type of gift. I think the key would be how are you receiving that? Is it coming in the form of cash or an asset? If it's in an asset, obviously that has to be liquidated first or you may not have the cash to give. And then in terms of how you might go about that, one tool would be to look at what's called a donor advised fund, which is essentially just a charitable checking account where you can make a gift to that, get the tax deduction in the year of the contribution, and then take your time as you and your husband pray and think through where you want to give it away. And then as you make those gifts, you just go in online and distribute those funds to a charity or ministry.

And I'd look at for that National Christian Foundation. But I think to your original question, it's really what is my increase and do I put a gift in that category? And I would say for me, the answer is yes. That's great.

Thank you, and I love that advice. All right. God bless you, Debbie. Thanks for calling today. Omaha, Nebraska. Chris, thanks for calling.

Go right ahead. Hi. I've been in low income my whole life. From 18 to 47, I made about 20,000 a year. But due to poor financial decisions, I've been in debt that whole time, paying overdraft fees and basically having a disposable income about $15 to $40 a month. Well, now that I'm reaching 47 now and I'm going to be reaching the 50, I actually got my debt paid off. I owe 3000 in credit card debt, but I'll have that easily paid off. And when Biden became president, I've changed my 401k to guaranteed like, so it's not, you know, going to risk anything. So my question is, do I need anything besides money for medicine and home maintenance and taxes, due to the fact that I've been poor my whole life? And I now that I got enough saved up to give me about 500 a month, will that last me 50 to 62 on my savings and then 62 to 65 through Social Security?

Yeah. So as you put your budget together, Chris, and really you're the one that needs to define your lifestyle in terms of what it takes for you to live, to put food on the table, to keep a roof over your head, gas in the car and the utilities on, and then kind of whatever else, the giving that you want to do and, you know, being able to buy some clothes every now and then. And, you know, I mean, you've got to define between you and the Lord what lifestyle he's called you to. And that could be as simple as you want. And obviously you've demonstrated that you can live incredibly modestly.

And I think that's tremendous that you've been able to do that for a long period of time. But at the end of the day, you know, you've got to define that and have a plan and fill in that budget and say, this is what I believe I can live on. And at that point, then you've got to compare the income sources that you have to that. So what would you say that monthly amount is all in when you look at the things you get a bill for in the mail, but also the spending that you do on what I call a discretionary basis?

You know, if you stop and get some fast food or you eat out or, you know, those kinds of things, you put gas in the car. When you total all that up, how much are you living on right now? It's difficult to say. I'm not trying to be boisterous, but I give a lot.

Sure. Yeah. Well, that's great. When I have, I give, so it's not really on me so much. So spending, my husband pays the mortgage, the car insurance, the utilities, he pays that.

So mine is kind of like my bill. Yeah. And why do you all keep those separate? I'm just curious. We all fight if we join them. Okay.

All right. Well, you know, I think there's something to that. And obviously, you know, I don't know everything that is behind the statement you just made, but obviously money is symptomatic of heart issues. And God's design for marriage is oneness and unity.

And I think, you know, obviously there's something there that it sounds like you all need to work through in that regard. You know, I'd love to see you join this and be able to, as a married couple, say this is God's vision for our family, for us as a married couple and money as a tool to accomplish that. So now how do we want to take whatever money we have available and use it for God's purposes to drive us toward his vision for our future? And that includes the daily spending we do, the giving we do and all of it. So I would just encourage you to pray through that and see if perhaps the budget, the spending plan could be an instrument of peace that would bring you all together around shared goals and a real prayerful opportunity to say, Lord, what do you have for us?

But to your specific vision. So I understand that you're, you know, taking perhaps not if most of the bills are already covered through his income, then you're looking at more of the discretionary type items and you're doing a lot of giving. But that doesn't mean that you can't have a plan for it.

I don't want to remove the Holy Spirit from the equation because you may feel a leading of the Lord to do certain things on a spontaneous basis. But I'd love for you to have a plan for you to spend maybe 30 or 60 days, Chris, and track exactly what you're spending, all the giving that you're doing. You know, where is your money going? And then put a plan together around that that has a budget item for giving and a budget item for every other spending item you do so that you can then evaluate it and say, am I happy with this? Does this reflect what's most important to me?

And you may say, absolutely, it does. Well, then at the end of the day, you have a number that you're solving for and you can say how much savings do I need to be able to fund that between now and Social Security? And then when I get Social Security, the SSA will tell you exactly what you're going to receive. You'll know whether that will support the spending that you're doing. But it all starts with that spending plan.

So I would encourage you to take some time and track, put that plan together. And if one of our coaches can help along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to us. God bless you, Chris. We appreciate your calling today. Well, that's going to do it for us today, folks.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Money Wise Media. I want to say thank you to my team today. Eric Tidwell, his last day. Thank you, Eric. We love you. And Amy and Dan, Deb as well, and Jim. We'll see you tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 05:35:12 / 2023-04-20 05:52:10 / 17

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