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Why Christians Don’t Give More

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2022 5:30 pm

Why Christians Don’t Give More

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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August 30, 2022 5:30 pm

If you ask Christians if they’d like to give more, the answer is always yes. So why don’t they? On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will welcome Ron Blue to talk about some obstacles to being more generous that folks may not realize they can overcome. Then Rob will answer your calls and financial questions. 

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If you ask Christians if they'd like to give your questions at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Today we'll talk about three of them. But first, tell us how you came to this realization that people often have more giving power than they even realize. Well, you know, Rob, God showed me something with the very first client that I had.

And it has proven true now for 40-some years to be consistent. When I first set up shop as a financial planner, my first paying client was a man who, and his wife, who said that their goal was to give a million dollars and to retire as soon as possible in order to give their time to the mission field. And they wanted to maintain their lifestyle, which was reasonable. It was not real fancy.

It was just a reasonable lifestyle. They were giving 15%. I asked him what his net worth was, and he said about $350,000 and what his income was, and he said about $85,000 per year. And that was in the early 1980s. And he and his wife wanted to give a million dollars, which seems out of reach. So were they able to do that?

Yes, they were. As I gathered their information, what I found was that they had a lot more assets than what they thought, which is pretty typical. Most people know what their income is, but they don't really know all that they own and all that they owe. And I was able to call he and his wife and say, you better sit down because I think you can give a million dollars. And I showed him that if they gave away some of their property, they would lower their taxes without lowering cash and lowering their taxes increased their cash. So that allowed them to give more. And when you ran that out over five years, they were able to, and that's important, they took a long range view. And you ran it out over five years, they were able to give 200,000 a year away. And they still maintain their lifestyle. And as a matter of fact, their net worth remained the same also pretty much.

Incredible. Well, that really highlights these one of the three reasons we're going to mention that Christians don't give more. And that is that people aren't aware of what they have, as you said, they weren't even aware of the giving potential they had through their balance sheet because of their assets. But the second is, they're not aware of the ways to give.

Talk about that. Well, many times they can give property, for example, that was one of the things they could have given stock that had appreciated in value. And both of those things avoid the capital gains tax. That's probably one of the biggest mistakes that I think people make in their giving. They don't realize that they can give off their balance sheet certain things. And it's not limited to real estate and stock. It could even be a business interest that somebody could give. Great. And we know that giving fund through our friends at the National Christian Foundation, what's otherwise known as a donor advised fund is one of the most powerful tools in all of this to accomplish what you're describing.

All right. Well, then there's the third reason, though, Ron, and that is that they didn't have a plan. And that's what you gave them.

That's exactly right. And that's people we found over time, Rob, that people could give five times more than what they thought just by having a plan to give. So most people are reactive in their giving rather than proactive in their giving. So they don't plan to give and consequently, they don't give what they could give. And this is significant, Ron. You said in your experience, you found that folks through a plan could give five times what they were planning to give prior to the giving.

And that really is a game changer. Well, folks, if you want a plan that can help you do what Ron is describing so you understand what you have and how you can give it away and what the plan looks like to support it, perhaps a certified kingdom advisor is what you need. You can find a CKA at

Just click the button that says Find a CKA. Ron, really great to have you. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks, Rob.

Financial teacher and author Ron Blue was with us today. Your calls are next. 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, where God's word informs every financial decision. Much more just around the corner.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I'm Rob West, your host, taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We've got lines open. Let's head right to the phones.

Houston, Texas. Tina, you're our first caller today. Go right ahead.

Hi. I recently retired from the school system, and I have two of my funds in 403B's, and I'm trying to decide where would be the best place to put them. I do have an account, a brokerage account that's already opened up. It's a Roth account, and then I have just a regular account. So my question is, could all of that be transferred into the Roth? It's the kind of Roth where the taxes are taken off up front.

So I wasn't sure if I should put it in that Roth or open up an IRA or another Roth for them. It's about 72,000. Okay. And that's in the 403B, 72,000?

Yes. It's in separate ones, though. It's like two 403B's. One is 12,000 and like 12,998, and then the other is about 60-something thousand.

Very good. And that's not the Roth version of the 403B, correct? The one that I have opened up at the brokerage account? Well, no, the 403B is not a Roth, correct? No, not with the school. No, it's not.

Okay, very good. Yeah, so since you're no longer with the school, it probably makes sense to go and roll that out to a traditional IRA. You do have the ability to convert that to a Roth.

I wouldn't recommend it if you're still working, and you really don't get the added benefit of the years of tax-free compounding that you get in the Roth. So probably best to leave that in a tax-deferred environment, which means you will pay tax on it as it comes out because it went into the 403B pre-tax. So essentially, once you roll that over, Tina, to the new IRA, you're going to have two accounts.

You'll have one Roth with the existing funds that you opened at the brokerage firm, and then you'll have the traditional IRA, which will receive the rollover funds from both 403B's, putting it all together in one place. And then you would manage it that way, and then in retirement, depending on the tax code and whether you're still working and so forth, you could decide, do I want to pull from the pre-tax money, the traditional IRA, or do I want to pull from the Roth bucket? And you'd have both options, and then the key would be getting those invested in a way that makes sense for your goals and objectives. You could do that kind of on your own with some high-quality mutual funds or index funds. You could use what's called a robo-advisor solution where essentially it manages it for you using an algorithm that builds a low-cost indexed approach to investing. Or you could hire an advisor to actually take a more proactive approach to managing those funds. But in any case, you would still have the two accounts, the traditional and the Roth. Does that make sense?

It does make sense. Good. Yeah, so I think that's your next step. You just contact the plant administrator, let them know once you've opened that new IRA and you've made the decision on how you're going to manage it, where they're going to be transferring it, you complete that paperwork, and they'll get that rolled out.

So it should be a fairly simple process. Are you retiring or are you going to be working somewhere else? No, I actually just retired. I retired to help with my aging mother who needs care, but I would like to eventually maybe get something that's part-time while I help assist with her. Yeah, very good.

And are you going to need to draw an income from either of these accounts or do you have your income covered with another solution? Well, I'm getting teacher retirement. Okay, very good. It's okay right now. I do have another question. Do I have time to ask the question?

Yes, ma'am, go right ahead. I have an emergency fund like you recommend, but it's just in a savings account and it's not really gaining much interest. So do you recommend the online banking banks or what would you suggest? I do, just because you're going to get a much better yield on your savings account. So for instance, at Marcus right now, which is the retail operation of Goldman Sachs, on their high-yield savings, it's up to 1.7% and going to be continuing to head higher as rates head higher. And that's with no fees, no account maintenance fees, and still all the protections of a brick and mortar bank, FDIC insurance and so forth. So that's why I like the online banks because they're able to pass a lot of that savings on in the form of no fees and higher yields on their savings and bank products. So you just head to or Capital One 360 or Ally Bank, any of those three I think would serve you well.

And you can link that right up to your checking account electronically so you're never more than a couple of days away from the money through an electronic ACH transfer. Great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Great, Tina.

God bless you. Thanks for calling today. 800-525-7000, we've got a few lines open for you.

Let's head to Miami. Mark, thanks for calling. Go ahead, sir. Hi, good morning. Thank you for taking my call. Yes, sir. I have a question. My question was, I went to a client groups and so they do have all my information because I have a card with them that's special. And I was at the line in one of the one of the credit camps and they say, hey, would you like to save 30 percent today? And I said, I mean, of course, everybody want to see it. And then she does something and they say, oh, wow, you qualify.

I'm like, qualify for what? And then she said the credit card. I said, no, I don't want no more credit card. And she said, oh, you don't want it? I said, no, no more credit card.

So she said, OK, I finish up and went home. And after two days, I receive a letter stated that, oh, we give you the wrong percentage. We would like for you to get a better rate at your credit card, not my credit card. And then seven days later, I receive a credit card under my name from that club. And I'd like to know if I can cancel that credit card without it affecting my credit, since they already want my credit without my permission. Yeah.

Yeah, it's really interesting. I mean, the key is I would I would call them right away and just let them know what happened. They're going to have an online recording of that call because you would have had to authorize them verbally to pull your credit and they wouldn't have extended the credit card without pulling your credit. The process of you authorizing a lender to pull your credit for the purposes of evaluating your credit worthiness is what's going to put a hard inquiry on your credit file, which would cause your credit score to drop temporarily.

It's just a function of the algorithm that determines what your score is. It has a part of it that factors in the fact that you're out there looking for new credit. The credit card itself is not going to be a problem. It's actually going to increase your overall credit limit.

And closing it is going to have a negligible impact that will recover in a short period of time. But what's the bigger issue is if you didn't authorize this, then there's a real breakdown going on there that you need to call attention to because they need to hopefully correct this with the credit reporting agencies and cancel this in such a way that it was never issued to you. So I would call them back right away and just let them know that you believe a credit card was extended to you without your approval and have them do the research on what transpired during that call.

Again, there should be a recording of that information that they can reference and see if they can rectify that both in terms of closing it out in such a way that it appears like it was never issued and then clearing that up with the credit bureau. Does that make sense? That would make sense. Yeah, I'm having a little trouble hearing you, Mark, but I think that will be your next step. If you have trouble, once you contact them and you have a question, feel free to give us a call back. You can also report this to the Federal Trade Commission if they can't resolve it.

But hopefully it was just a simple error that can be resolved. I would go ahead and reach out right away. We appreciate you checking with us. This is MoneyWiseLive, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We're going to pause for a break when we come back. More of your questions at 800-525-7000. We'll be right back.

Welcome back to MoneyWiseLive. I'm Rob West, your host, taking your calls and questions today. We'd love to hear from you. Let's head back to the phones. Chattanooga, Tennessee. Linda, go right ahead. Hi, thank you both so much for taking my call today.

I have a quick question. I'm in the process of decluttering a good thing. However, I've run up on the file that has a lot of my receipts where my husband and I have given to ministries over the years. And a lot of these ministries do not give an end-of-the-year, like, statement that we can kind of put with our tax documents, showing that we, you know, did give this amount. And so I've held onto these receipts for a long time.

So is that necessary? I mean, in the event that there's an audit of some kind, I mean, should I have to produce those? Yeah, generally speaking, you would hear that you need to keep documents for at least three years. I would say a minimum of five years. You know, generally you'd want to keep donor records for a minimum of five years in order to comply with the IRS requirements. But, you know, they're not totally clear about, you know, how long you are required to keep them. I think it's just a good practice to hang onto those for at least five years. And if you can store them securely, that way you can always go back and justify what you've done. But I feel like, you know, that probably is a reasonable time period for you to do so. Okay, then. And it's not likely that we could contact that particular ministry, say, for 2019, and they would give us maybe a letter at that point.

Yes, that's right. And I think that's the key is that if whatever documentation you have, I would certainly hang on to that. If you're lacking some documentation.

I don't know that for years ago I would go out and try to recreate that. But I think whatever you've got, I would keep in a secure place. Hopefully you have a fireproof safe where you can keep these records for the appropriate amount of time.

And that way, if you ever needed to defend what you've done in terms of your tax reporting, that you would have the documentation to do so. Okay. That sounds great. Thank you so much. Very good. Thank you for calling, Linda. God bless you.

To Charleston, South Carolina. Jeff, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Yeah, this is Jeff Wade. I have a question for you.

Yeah, go ahead, Jeff. Yeah. We've got about a half a million dollars just sitting in cash. Well, it's actually in the market, 60, 40 stocks and bonds. Not earning a whole lot, of course, right now. We're about twice retired. I'm about to retire. Trying to decide what to do with those funds as we go into retirement.

Our pensions and Social Security more than cover our expenses. I'm just trying to figure out what to do with that. Both of us are very conservative. What are your thoughts, sir?

Yeah, Jeff. Do you have somebody managing this or are you handling this money yourself? No, we've got someone managing it, yes. Okay. And roughly how much do you have in this portfolio or portfolios?

It's about $500,000. Okay. And what would you say the breakdown is, Jeff, roughly between stocks and bonds? It is 60, 40. And 60 in bonds or stocks?

Yeah, 60 in bonds. Okay. Very good. Yeah. And what kind of downside have you experienced this year in the market? This year, like everybody else, we were down 18%. Now we're down about 10, I think, last I checked.

Of course, this week hasn't been good either. Yeah. And you're not planning on touching this money anytime soon. It's going to be free to continue to grow. Is that right? Yeah.

This is intended to go to the kids and grandkids and church. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I think the one thing you could do given that you're trying to be more conservative with this would be to move toward perhaps as the market recovers over the balance of this year and into next year or if we were to see a recovery even that's temporary in the next couple of months, perhaps getting to what is a more palatable allocation for the longer term, I think would be important. So if you guys feel like even at 60, 40, given that 18% downside you experienced, if you'd like to limit that downside exposure, you might want to move to more of a 70, 30 type approach, again, as the portfolio recovers. And then that puts you in a position where if we were to go through this again, you feel better about how you're positioned but you can still keep the long term in mind because given that your income is covered and this is money that can grow to be given away or left as an inheritance, you want to outpace inflation because you're losing purchasing power with this money all the time.

So you want it to grow but you also don't want to open those quarterly or monthly statements and kind of have some consternation as a result of the volatility. And so I think moving toward that 70, 30 model in concert with conversations with your advisor probably would make some sense and give you a little bit more peace of mind. How does that sound though?

That sounds pretty good. We are 65 and 70. Where does that relative to that age, is the 70 where you think we should be? Yeah, so we typically use the 110 minus your age just because people are living longer. So at 65, it'd be a 45% allocation to stocks. At 70, it'd be a 40% allocation to stocks, which is where you are now. The question is, do you want to be on the more conservative end of that rule of thumb? And it sounds like perhaps you do, especially given the fact that your income is covered. It gives you an opportunity to just posture yourself a little bit more conservative, which is going to limit your downside even more.

This has been an unusual period because as the interest rates have been rising, the bond prices have been falling with the stocks, which just kind of was impacting you from both sides. So I think you're probably in a good range right now. You're certainly not out of bounds by any means, but I think getting a little bit more conservative and moving forward would probably serve you well given the fact that you want to be conservative.

So that'd probably be the place that I would go, but I'd talk to your advisor about it as you make that final decision. But listen, all the best to you guys, Jeff, in this next season as you think about retirement and what God has for you next. We appreciate you checking in with us.

Folks, we're going to take a quick break. We've got some great questions coming up. Lines are open for perhaps your question today, 800-525-7000. Give us a call. This is MoneyWise, and we'll be right back.

Yeah, thank you for receiving my call. My question is, I'm getting the life insurance on my dead husband, and they told me it's tax-free. If I get that money and put it in the bank before I decide what to do with it, would I incur another tax at the end of the year?

And I don't know. Yeah, no, that's correct. As the beneficiary of life insurance policy, those life insurance proceeds, Agnes, are not included in your gross income. You don't have to report them, and it is not taxable. Okay, my second question is, the pension, I just got it later that my husband was receiving a pension from a fund. I don't know how much, the total amount. I'm asking, is there an option rather than monthly payment to me, like rolling it over to an IRA, is that an option?

Yes. You'll need to check with them as to the options they're making available to you. You'll likely have the option to receive that as a monthly benefit or roll it out as a lump sum to an IRA. And at that point, you would just need to go ahead and open that IRA.

You decide where you want that to be housed, who your custodian will be, and largely that will be driven by, do you want to have an advisor who's managing it or do you want to manage that and select the investments yourself? But once that IRA is open, then you would just have them issue that rollover from the pension into the IRA, which is not a taxable event, until you begin taking a portion of it out. You could also ask them about the option to receive a monthly check, but I'd probably opt for, and I don't know all the details of what they would give you for either, so you'd want to explore that and perhaps have an advisor look at that with you.

But I would look at the option of rolling that over as a lump sum so you have access to the full amount as opposed to just taking the monthly check, although both options should be available to you. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Okay. All right, Agnes, God bless you. We appreciate your call today. Let's head, well, we'll stay in Illinois, WMBI Hoffman Estate. Kathy, go right ahead. Oh, good afternoon.

Thank you so much for taking my call. So my question is, I have a pretty good credit score at 820, but I'm wondering how do I go about to increase my credit limit? Yeah, so you're looking for an increase in your credit limit for what type of credit? A credit limit increase for credit cards, or are you looking for some other type of loan? Well, I'm going to be starting an LLC. Actually, I'm looking into starting an LLC soon, and as I was doing my research, one of the things that was mentioned was having a higher credit limit is a good place to start.

Yeah. Yeah, the challenge is the type of debt that you would be using. I mean, if it's a brand new business, you're going to have trouble getting some sort of line of credit to be able to use for the business exclusively. If you're looking at relying on credit cards, it's one thing to just fund the monthly cash flow needs as the business grows, and you're trying to build equipment or take on equipment or other things you need for the business, but you've got a good steady income coming in, the challenge is businesses often that are new take longer than you anticipated to get up and running and can be more costly. And so that's where I would just be very careful.

But in terms of a business credit card or even a personal credit card, you could simply call and ask for a credit limit increase. My concern, though, Kathy, is just making sure you use that really responsibly. Okay. All right. Okay.

Thank you so much for your help. Can I ask you one more question? Yeah, sure.

Go right ahead. So I did take care of your advice and I opened an iBOND, but now I'm thinking about opening one for my niece. She is 10 years old. But if I do that, can I take it out maybe after two years and then move it into stocks and bonds for her? Yes, you can. So it would have to come out and go into a similar titled account. So essentially it would be a custodial account that you would open for her. You would be the one opening the account, but in custody for her. And then at the age of majority, that becomes her money. So if you opened a similar account with the same title, a custodial account for your niece at, let's say, a brokerage firm, then you could essentially redeem the proceeds and then make a transfer into the other account that's like titled.

And then at that point, you could deploy it in stocks and bonds. Oh, okay. Thank you so much. You're welcome, Kathy. Thank you so much. We appreciate your call today. 800-525-7000 to Rome, Georgia. Tim, you're next on the program.

Go ahead, sir. Thank you for taking my call. I have a question about a fixed index annuity. I know I've heard on your program before you usually don't recommend them, but this annuity is based on an index from you get to choose from them from the company. And it says that you don't get any downside. In other words, you can't lose money. But if the market's up, you can, of course, earn based on whatever index you choose. What's your feeling on that? Yeah, I think it's certainly a way to transfer the risk away from yourself to the insurance company.

And a lot of people do them because of what you said. The floor on the downside is nice. So what are you giving up? Well, you're giving up the upside because you're going to get a portion of the upside based on how they calculate that. You're not going to get the full value of the increase of that index, which is in part how they mitigate the risk because they're using certain investment instruments to protect you from the downside. So I think the question is just in exchange for that downside, are you willing to give up some of the upside? And I think for most folks that are long-term investors, they're saying, listen, I want to keep full access to my money because with an annuity product, you're going to have surrender charges and penalties if you need to tap the money.

And I'm willing to take the risk on the downside to get the long-term trend that I'm shooting for, which is the overall long-term performance of the stock market and whatever indexes you're looking at. And I think for most folks, I like that option better, even though, yes, you have the ability to lose money. You're getting the full value of the increase of the investments over time and still keeping access to your funds, which I think is the real upside of staying out of an insurance product for your investing. Now, that's one thing I was kind of concerned about because they said after maybe, I think it was like five years, I could withdraw up to 10%.

That's it for per year. Yeah. So you're locking up your money and you've got some fees and expenses built in, and then you've got the fact that you're not realizing the full upside. But for some folks who are really just ultra concerned about the downside protection, that's why these products are sold because there are a lot of folks that that just gives them greater peace of mind. But for me, I think if you got the right allocation, you've got the right time horizon, you're not overly anxious about this, you can kind of see the bigger picture even in a market like this where the market's down on a thousand points in a given day. You just kind of turn off the news and know that I'm not in it for a week or a month or even a year. I'm in it for five or 10 or 20 years and the long-term trend is going to be up if we look historically.

And if I can do that and get full benefit of that upside compounding over time, plus still have access to my funds, then that's probably for most folks at least my recommendation to go that direction. So Tim, I hope that gives you something to think about as you ponder this one. Certainly not a right or wrong decision.

You need to ultimately make the decision that's most comfortable for you. We appreciate you calling today. Folks, we're going to take a quick break here on MoneyWise Live when we come back in our final segment, more of your calls and questions at 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is where we apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. I'm so glad you're along with us today. Stick around. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live where we apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. Back to the phones we go. 800-525-7000. Tennessee, Kathy, thanks for calling. Go right ahead.

Hi. Yes, I have a 90-year-old mother who has vascular dementia. She's in the late stages and I'm her POA. I am currently on her checking and savings account and what we do is transfer money from her savings account into checking to take care of her monthly bills. I am wanting to move this money that's in the low interest savings account to a high yield savings account. The company that I'm wanting to move it to, since I already have an account there, is wanting to make me the primary and her the secondary and I don't want to do that.

I wanted her to be the primary. So my question is, is there any reason why I can't just put it in her name alone and just continue to transfer as needed into her checking account when she needs the money from high yield and just do it like I have been doing it? Yes. Well, yeah, I think that'd be the only way you'd want to do it. You don't want your name to be anywhere on the account. So you would have the legal authority as the POA to manage their bank accounts or in this case your mom's accounts for her and so being able to execute documents and open and close and change accounts. But you don't want to be listed on there because then you're in part an owner there and that's really not the objective here. Exactly.

And that's what I kept saying. I want her to be the primary. It's her money. And when she passes, she's got a will to take care of anything that's remaining. Yes.

So I think you're just initiating, you're opening an account in her name but as the power of attorney, you're the one executing the documents on her behalf. And that's done every day and there's no reason why you can't do that. Okay. All right. That's all I needed. Okay, Kathy. Thank you for calling. We appreciate it. Let's see. Illinois, Renee, you're next on the program. Go ahead.

Thank you for all you do. I have an old educational IRA. It's about 22 years old. And my son and I are both on it and he doesn't need it for education. He went into the military and he wants to buy a first time house, first time homeowner. And I was reading something that he could use that for first time homeowner up to $10,000.

I think it's one time. And because my name is on it, I was wondering if I could actually give him the second portion, which is a little less than $10,000. But I don't know how that works. And would that be a one time $10,000 for me as well? Or how does that work?

Yeah, that's a good question. So it's a custodial account, essentially, this education IRA for his benefit. So you'd only be able to withdraw the $10,000 for one of you and essentially or for him. And he comes out penalty free.

You would still owe the taxes on it, but it would come out penalty free up to $10,000 for a first time home purchase. But you wouldn't be able to do that twice. Okay.

Okay. What about if he has a spouse? Does that count as his second? No. No, his IRA is in his name only.

So an IRA is for one individual. It can't be joined. Okay. Okay. Well, thank you very much.

Okay, Renee. Yeah, all the best. And make sure you set aside the taxes on that, even though there's not a penalty as that money comes out. But all the best to him as he looks toward buying his first home. That's very exciting. I'm sure he's thrilled to be able to do that. And I'm glad to hear he was able to get through college and still have some money left over, which is a great thing as well. We appreciate your call.

Let's stay there in Illinois, Chicago. Addie, go right ahead. Hi, I was calling because I hear you first off, thank you for all you you do for us giving us information. But I'm really concerned. I have an 800 credit score, but I have several cards that have never really been used.

So they're just there. But because of all the fraud and this and that, I want to close them. But how much will that impact my score?

Yes. Well, the key here is, you know, I like the idea if you have extra cards for you to go ahead and start closing them. I would just do it over time. So how many cards do you have that you're looking to close? I'm probably looking to close at least five because they're more like stores that I don't really go to. OK. And are you looking to seek new credit in the next six months, buying a car or a house or something? No, not at all. And I do have like mixed credit cards that don't have a balance on them, but they do have high credit limits. I just don't want to use them.

Yeah. And do you you you said you do carry a balance on some of these or no? No, on the major credit cards. No, I have like a department store that I pay off the balance every month. OK. And so I'm just trying to keep my score up and, you know, not have to relax the major credit card unless, you know, there was like an extreme emergency.

Sure, sure. Yeah, I think the key here is that because you're paying off everything at the end of the month, no matter which card you use, and you're probably only using one or two of them, closing these accounts, you know, the biggest issue would be your credit utilization ratio, which means that as the accounts get closed, that limit comes out of your total available limit, which then pushes the available limit down. And if you were carrying balances, those balances are a larger percentage of the limit that you have. And so that credit utilization ratio, when it trips above 30 percent, really going to start to pull your score down.

That's really not an issue here. So really, it's just going to change your credit mix and maybe your credit history, because some of those perhaps older cards are now out of the equation. But any decline, Addie, for you closing these is going to be minor and it's going to be temporary. So if you have an 800 credit score, could you dip down to 780?

Sure. But the reality is, if you're not out there getting ready to buy a house or a car, it doesn't really matter, because this is going to come back, you know, because you're managing your money responsibly. And again, the main issue, which is credit utilization, isn't a factor for you. So what I would typically recommend with five cards is you do three of them now, and then in six months you do the other two. Given that you're not out there seeking credit, if you wanted to do all five now, you could. I'd probably spread it out, but I wouldn't be concerned about the impact.

Any impact is going to be small and it's going to come back over time. Okay, thank you so much. I just really want to close them. I don't need them, like I said.

And then it's like you almost take even having them around in the house because, I mean, God forbid something happens, you know. Yes. Well, I think that's right, and it just will simplify your financial life. You won't have to keep up with as many accounts.

And it's five less accounts that could be compromised and that you would have to deal with somebody fraudulently charging against them or something like that. So I like the idea of you getting rid of them. We appreciate your call, Addie. Thanks so much.

To Akron, Ohio, WCRF Charlotte, you're next on the program. Go ahead. Thank you so much for taking my call.

I really appreciate it. I have a quick question, and that is I am 60 years old. I was unemployed for a bit. But now I'm working and debt-free, but I guess I needed some advice on my age. I do have going into investments and 401ks and like that stuff.

But what would be the wisest, especially with today's climate, the wisest way to invest and save for retirement and future while I'm also giving and doing all that? Yes. Do you have a company sponsored retirement plan at work, Charlotte?

Yes, sir. OK. And are you contributing to it currently? I am. I'm contributing to that. Plus, I have an old IRA.

And from that, I still have a different company, plus a designated beneficiary account. Sure. OK. And what percent of your income are you putting into your 401k? Right now, I'm putting 10 percent. OK.

Very good. And so are you looking to put more aside because you feel like you're behind or what is it you're really trying to accomplish? Well, I know earlier or up until this point, I have not really been aggressive and I had to pull out a lot of the money that I had to kind of live on when I was unemployed and homeless for a while. And so I'm just kind of re-stocking and I just, you know, knowing the years that I have left to work, I just really wanted to have the best decisions. Yeah.

So I think two things. One is I try to bump that contribution up to as much as you can so you can get as much going into that on a tax deferred basis as possible. So I'd bump that up to 15 percent or you could even ask what percent do I need to put in for me to be able to max out my annual 401k contribution.

I like that a lot. And then secondly, take another look at the investment options in there and just make sure you're allocated properly based on your age and risk tolerance. And if you just stay at that, putting in the maximum every year with a good mix of investments and you do that until you retire, I think that will certainly put you in a much better position moving forward. If you max it out and you had the ability to do even more, you could look at adding to a Roth IRA in addition to that. You could put in seven thousand this year as someone who's over the age of 50.

So I think both of those would be great and would get more money working for your future. Hopefully that helps you, Charlotte. We appreciate your call today. We're just about out of time.

Nancy in Spokane, we're not going to get to your call, but I do see your question here. Your husband passed away. You had a trust that you wanted to redo before he died.

You all never got to it. You're wondering if you can break that trust. You know, you're going to need to check with your estate attorney, but just generally speaking, no living or revocable trust become irrevocable upon the death of the trust maker or makers. So it can't be altered in any way once the successor trustee takes over management of it.

If it was irrevocable, then that would be the case right out of the gate. So obviously this stuff gets very complicated, so I would check with an estate attorney just to clarify all of this. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's passing. Folks, that's going to do it for us. Thanks so much for being with us.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. We hope you come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you there. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 22:29:41 / 2023-03-02 22:46:20 / 17

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