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Endurance

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2022 5:10 pm

Endurance

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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November 21, 2022 5:10 pm

We live in a fallen world. And as followers of Christ, we too will experience hard times. But the Bible tells us how to overcome them. On the next MoneyWise Live, Rob West will share some reminders about the God we serve that should encourage us all through these challenging times. Then he’ll answer some calls and questions on various financial topics. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Today's version of MoneyWise Live is prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Hi, I'm Rob West. Jesus' instruction to His disciples in John 16, 33, is a strong reminder that we live in a fallen world. As followers of Christ, we too will experience hard times, but the Bible tells us how to overcome them. I'll talk about that today.

And we have some great calls lined up, but we won't be taking your live calls today because we're prerecorded. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Living in a land of religious freedom, we don't experience the type of tribulation that followers of Christ experienced through the centuries, at least not yet. We also are the wealthiest country in history, and often Satan doesn't attack our weaknesses, but our strengths. When we rely on ourselves, then, our strengths become our weaknesses. If money is your stronghold, you become vulnerable. We don't know what the economy will do in the months and years ahead. That uncertainty is especially strong right now, and it's causing a lot of fear.

Folks are worried about their investments, inflation, gas prices, even their jobs. But to say we don't know the future is only partially true. We may not know about tomorrow, but we certainly know that as a disciple of Christ, our ultimate future is secure. With the gift of grace, through faith, we'll one day be with Him for eternity, joyous and safe from all tribulation. In the meantime, we must endure.

More on that in a minute. Just know that God hasn't left us on our own, even though it may sometimes feel that way. In times like these, it's important to remember three things about the God we serve. First, no matter what happens in this world, God is always in control. Not a single molecule moves outside of His divine will. Isaiah 40-28 reads, Have you not known?

Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary.

His understanding is unsearchable. Second, as the Creator of the universe, God rightly owns everything, including us. We are only His stewards of what He gives us.

We own nothing. Psalm 50 verse 10 and 11 reminds us, For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. Taking this to heart should help us to not cling to our money and possessions, but rather, cling to God. And third, God knows your needs.

In fact, He determines them again according to His will. Knowing your needs, God has promised to fulfill them, and He always keeps His promises. Psalm 37-25 reads, I have been young and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Of course, as we often tell you, it's critical not to confuse needs with wants. God will sometimes provide your wants, but He will always provide your needs. Matthew 6 25 and 26 reminds us, Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not of more value than they? All this should be of great comfort when we are fearful about losing the things of this world, especially our money. God is all powerful, He owns everything, and He will never forsake us regardless of what's happening on Wall Street. It also means that any tribulation we experience is the will of God.

If that sounds harsh, it's not. God always has a purpose, and His purpose is always for our benefit. Romans 5, 3, and 4 tells us we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And James 1, 2, and 4 count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God has given us everything we need to know about stewarding His resources. The Bible contains more than 2300 verses on money and possessions.

When we follow His financial principles, we don't have to worry about what tomorrow will bring. God is in control. Any hardships we face are only His way of building our character and conforming our will to His, that we will become more like Christ. 2 Peter 3, 18 reads, Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory now and to the day of eternity.

What may seem harsh now will have eternal benefit, because God is always acting in our best interest. Well I hope this leaves you with hope for the future, not fear. We'll be right back. You're listening to MoneyWise Live, and you can find us online at MoneyWiseLive.org. However, today we're not live, so if you hear that phone number, please don't call. But do stay with us.

There's lots of great information ahead. Back to the phones we go. Caroline in Georgia, how can we help you?

Hi there. I have a family friend who is turning 65 in December, and we need to sign her up for Medicare, but don't even know where to start. With the Advantage plan or some of these GAP plans, perhaps a local insurance agent is the best way to go.

What would you suggest? Yeah, that's a great question. Medicare's annual open enrollment is from October 15th to December 7th each year. However, your friend can enroll in Medicare three months before and all the way through three months after turning age 65. And unless she's covered by an employer-sponsored plan, she'll need to do that or face a permanent penalty. And I do think it makes sense to look at either an Advantage or a Medigap plan, depending upon her health status.

Oftentimes, one will make more sense than the other. You can really start looking for information, and it's a great resource, actually. If she hasn't been to Medicare.gov, that really is the place to start. But getting a health agent who can specialize in this particular area, I think, will be a great help in just comparison, shopping, all of the plans. You can do that online, but having somebody to guide you can make a lot of sense. So, she does want to obviously make this decision within that window.

So, starting now to begin to research the options at Medicare.gov, I think, makes a lot of sense. Is that helpful, Caroline? It is. Thank you very much. Okay, we appreciate your call today.

Thanks very much. Let's take another one of your emails. We receive emails all the time, plus questions posted to our MoneyWise community at MoneyWise.org and in the MoneyWise app, which we're grateful for. This one comes from Ruth. She writes, I have a small business that I run as a sole proprietor. Do you have any tips on how to keep my business money separate from my household and personal funds?

And I would say, Ruth, absolutely. The first thing you really need to do is set up a separate saving and checking account for your business separate from your personal financial saving and checking account. And then all the business receipts should go into the business checking account so that you can pay your expenses and your salary, which you would transfer to your personal checking.

You can set that up as an automatic transfer, but that's really key to really providing this separation at the outset. Another good thing is to make an automatic transfer of a certain amount each month from business checking to your personal. And that way, your quarterly estimated taxes are done so you have the money in your business savings account to pay that bill.

So you'll want to go from business checking to business savings every month, the amount of that quarterly estimated tax bill. And then you also want to set up the business as an LLC to protect your personal assets. I would also get a separate liability insurance policy for your business. It's also important to keep really good records and books related to the business separate from your personal finances. You know, you want to be able to defend any business deductions related to expenses with the IRS and not having those commingled with your personal finances is really key, but also having a good set of books to be able to document and justify those expenses is really critical. So I think you're on the right track even asking this question, Ruth, it's really important that you think through your process and having an accountant or a CPA help you set all of this up and make sure that you are doing things properly from a tax standpoint is really critical. But I'm glad you're asking this question and I'm confident you can do things in a way that will be productive for you between the business and your personal finances. So thanks for checking in on that.

Another email. This one comes from Frank and Frank writes, Should I spend any extra money that I get to pay down debt or save for retirement? And Frank, this is a great question. You know, so often our handling our finances comes down to priorities, right? It's a productive use of money to give. It's a productive use of money to provide for our families. It's also a productive use to save for the long term and to pay down debt. So how do we navigate that in terms of what is most important at any given time? And ultimately, I think it needs to be a reflection of our values.

We need to think through our own goals and objectives in light of where God is taking us. But in terms of this particular question of paying down debt or saving for retirement, obviously, both are really key. So what I would say is if you have high interest credit card debt, about the only thing I would encourage you to save for in terms of retirement would be anything that allows for a match. So if you're going to get 100% return on your money, a dollar for dollar match, that's even far better than credit card interest.

So I would take care of that. But after you have a $1,500 minimum emergency fund, I would put every extra available dollar toward paying down and retiring that high interest credit card debt. Then I would go back to the retirement account at that point and get it up to 10%. But limit your lifestyle in such a way that even after you're giving and after your salary deferral of 10% toward retirement, you still have some margin, something left over at the end of the month after all the bills are paid so that you can increase what you're sending toward debt reduction. Now, if the credit cards are eliminated, where would that surplus go? Well, it could go toward accelerating the payoff of a car note. It could even go toward perhaps an extra payment or so each year to your mortgage, which will cut a 30 year mortgage down to about 26 years. So I think it's important to first establish that emergency fund, then fund our matching on our 401k, then laser focused on that credit card debt, back to the retirement account bumping it up to 10% and then margin toward extra debt reduction. The goal being let's get completely out of debt over time.

Let's be systematic in our long term savings to maximize the effects of our compounding, but let's live well within our means, which is really the key to every financial success. And I hope that's helpful to you, Frank. Thanks for writing us. Folks, we're going to pause for a quick break. Again, we're not here today taking some time off, so don't call in.

But more questions just around the corner. This is Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I'm Rob West and we'll be right back.

Don't go anywhere. It's great to have you with us on Money Wise Live today. But unfortunately, today we're not live. We're prerecorded and therefore won't be taking your calls. However, we've lined up some calls in advance that we think you'll find helpful.

So stay tuned and enjoy the rest of the program. Back to the phones we go. Let's head to Virginia. Ernie, you're next on the program, sir. Go ahead.

Okay. I'm 75 years old, retired from the post office. My wife and I have never been on a budget and we have the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. But ever since I turned 65, I'm getting info from Medicare, Part A and Part B, encouraged me to sign up.

Is that to my advantage to sign up to those two programs? Do you have, as a federal retiree, Ernie, are you covered through the FEHB, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program? I think that's what they call it. Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Yeah. Well, you know, so typically without retiree coverage, you would have to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when you're first eligible. But it's not mandatory if you have other coverage.

Now, everyone who paid enough into the Medicare system during their work years is eligible for Part A. You would have to actually choose to get Part B. So there is a difference in coverage. You know, the FEHB plans generally have more coverage for services like emergency care and vision and dental and that type of thing. So I think it would be worth looking into. But it is not mandatory if you have this federal employee coverage. So you could go to Medicare.gov to read up a bit more about it just to see if it would be beneficial to you.

But you certainly don't have to do it. Thank you. If I wanted to start a budget, where would I go to see what that feels like?

Yeah. Well, I think, you know, Ernie, no matter how much we make, having a plan for our money is really critical to being a good steward because we give every dollar a name. The idea is that as the provision comes in from whatever sources, we tell it where we want it to go instead of it just kind of slipping through our hands.

And it allows us to be more proactive about how we plan to use God's money, how we can create a surplus or a margin to fund our goals and objectives no matter what season of life we're in. I think the first question is just to determine kind of what would be the most effective process for you. Would you rather use kind of like a smartphone app, something that's a little more automated and digitally inclined, or would you rather use a more tactile kind of paper and pencil and envelope approach, which feels like it would be better for you? I'm not sure. I've never done it.

Okay. Are you handy on the smartphone? Do you use apps regularly? Not regularly. No, sir. I can try it.

Yeah, you can try it. Well, we could give you a six-month pro subscription to the Money Wise app and have a coach come alongside you to help you set up your budget. That might be the best thing to do. The other approach is a bit more tactile where you essentially would just keep a little pad with you and just jot down every expense you have over a 30-day period or better yet over a 60-day period just to try to capture all the spending. Not only those things you get a bill for in the mail, but the other spending you do that I call discretionary where you're stopping at a coffee shop or you're going out to dinner or you pick up an article of clothing, something like that, and you got to get all that down in one place. What that's going to do is begin to capture what your expenses are on a monthly basis so that you can put it into a budget by category and compare your income, your net income, to your actual spending to see how you're doing and to determine if there's any areas you want to make a change in or cut back in so that you can free up more on a monthly basis. Then you could use a physical envelope system to actually control the flow of money especially with those discretionary categories. The alternative is a more digital approach where you essentially would connect the MoneyWise app to your financial institutions whether you use credit cards or checking or savings or all three.

All the transactions you have would automatically be downloaded. You would categorize them into housing and transportation and food and those types of expenses. Then you would look and see how much you have left over at the end of the month and be able to control the flow of money that way. I think either of those could work for you.

It's really just what's a better fit for your temperament, wiring, and personality. At the end of the day, Ernie, getting on a budget and sticking to it, I think there's no doubt that's going to make you a better manager of the resources that God has entrusted to you. Why don't we start with the digital option? Let's see how it works for you. Again, one of our coaches would be happy to walk alongside you as you set this up at no cost just to see if it's something that is beneficial to you.

So you stay on the line. We'll get your information and we'll have somebody reach out to you to get all of this set up. We appreciate your call today, sir. Let's head to Ohio, James. How can we help you? James Rickards Yes, thanks for taking my call.

My wife and I have purchased iBonds the past couple years. Some family had mentioned that you could actually gift more money and so that would be greater than the $10,000 limit. Is that true? Ernie Weyand Yes, you can gift a savings bond to adults or children. A child under 18 can have a treasury direct account if the child's parent or other custodian also has a treasury direct account and sets up a linked account for the child.

You would just need their full name, social security number, and treasury direct account number. So you've got a few steps there but it's certainly doable and you can give up to $16,000 this year per person without reporting it to the IRS. If you go beyond that, it doesn't create a taxable event for either party. You just have to let the IRS know that you went beyond the 16 annual exclusion and then that's going to chip away at your lifetime exclusion which is north of $11 million. So you've got a long way to go before you get close to that but it is absolutely possible.

Is that helpful? Ernie Weyand So, that is. Am I able to gift my wife and my wife to me in that same manner? Ernie Weyand No, no. Keep in mind, even though the annual exclusion is $16,000, the limit per person per calendar year to buy the electronic I-bonds is $10,000.

So no one individual can put in more than $10,000 whether it was a gift or done as a direct investment. Ernie Weyand Okay. All right. That's very helpful.

Ernie Weyand Okay. Yeah, treasurydirect.gov is the place to go and you'll get all the information. They've been incredibly busy as of late so we're getting lots of reports that, you know, it's difficult to get through on the phone. I mean, the good news is you can do it all online and now that we're through this huge rush at the end of October for the folks that wanted to get the 9.62% rate, that has passed and so a lot of the volume has dropped off so hopefully you'll have a pretty good experience as you get that set up. But it's a great option. I will say for longer term money though, James, you know, money that has a time horizon beyond five years as attractive as that rate is at 6.8% right now for the next six months, it is going to begin to drop pretty quickly, I think, you know, next year. And so you will get to a place where this rate is not very attractive. So for young kids in particular and for adults that have longer term money, I much prefer a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio, especially given where the market's at right now in terms of long term growth. The rates we're seeing on these I bonds are temporary.

They're going to come down pretty quick next year. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. Okay, very good. Thank you.

Absolutely. Appreciate your call today, James. Thanks for being a part of the program. Hey folks, let me remind you before we take our break that the MoneyWise app is available in your app store. Just search for MoneyWise biblical finance. You'll find broadcast archives, you'll find our learn tab with the best content in biblical finance all in one place, podcasts, articles and videos. You'll also find our money management system where you can use our digital envelope system or just our tracking system. Whatever you want to do, it's right there for the taking.

MoneyWise app, search for MoneyWise biblical finance. We're going to pause MoneyWise Live. We'll return right after this. Stay with us. This is our final segment of a broadcast we previously recorded. Thanks so much for being with us today and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of today's program. Let's head back to the phones.

Dallas, Texas. Hey Cecil, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. No problem. Listen, I just heard you say the interest rates would probably drop on the I bond here in the near future. I have an I bond and I purchased it and at that time, I guess a few months back, six months or so, and it was 9.6 if I recall correctly. As we go forward, the next iteration, will my bond that I presently hold, will that drop to, like you mentioned, I think it was 6% or something like that, or will it hold for the next five years or so at 9 point something?

That's my question. Yeah, that's a great question, Cecil, and it does adjust every six months based on the prevailing rate. So when you purchase the electronic bonds, you get the rate at that time and that rate, no matter when you buy it, is good for six months from the date you purchase it. So you will have the original rate from the day you bought it. Once that six month mark passes, then you will get the current rate and it will adjust at that point. Now the newest rate took effect on November 1st and it dropped from 9.62% down to 6.89%. And so your rate will adjust for the next six months. And once that passes, well then you'll get the new rate. So you will see that systematically coming down since these very attractive rates are temporary and they will revert back to what we're accustomed to in the twos and below.

Does that make sense? Yeah, but that means I better keep an eye on the rates and then kind of calculate whether it's worth to withdraw the money and pay the fee or whether it's just kind of hang in there, I guess. Yeah, that's exactly right. And these are 30 year bonds, but anytime after 12 months, you can redeem the bond. At that point, the interest will be credited. And then if you do that after a year, which is the minimum that you have to hold it, but less than five years, you will have a penalty of the last three months worth of interest as you redeem that. And so, yeah, I would keep an eye on it, just determined at some point it may make sense to take that money and redeem it and put that elsewhere. Yeah, as long as it's more than the current rate, I guess it'll keep compounding and it'll be okay, I guess. That's right. That's right.

And then you could put another 10,000 in next year because you can do 10,000 per person per calendar year. Hopefully that's helpful to you, Cecil. Thanks for calling in today and clarifying it is a great question.

To Corpus Christi, Texas. Lisa, you're next on the program. How can I help you? Hi, I listen to your program every day. And I'm always hearing about the MoneyWise app and don't really know how to get started, but I do need a budget.

Yeah, very good. Well, we'd be delighted to help you with that. The easiest place to learn more about it, Lisa, is on our website at MoneyWise.org. Just click the app button at the top of the page and you can read all about it. Essentially, the money management portion of the app allows you to set up your budget, connect to your institutions. If you're a pro user, download your transactions automatically into the app so it's constantly being downloaded. And there's three different approaches built into the app to be able to manage money. And the idea is that some folks are a little more directional and hands-off in their budgeting, and some folks are a little more detailed and hands-on. For the directional folks, you're able to essentially just download your transactions and see them by category so you can monitor your spending and make course corrections along the way.

But it's pretty hands-off in terms of what you're doing each month. All the way to the more detailed and hands-on approach, which is what we call our digital envelope system, where as the transactions are downloading, they're automatically being placed in digital envelopes. You would fund the envelopes automatically out of your checking or savings. And this is not actually moving money, but it's moving it inside the app so that as you have your checking account balance, you can see how that's distributed among your envelopes. And as the transactions come into those envelopes at any time, you can see exactly what's left in each envelope.

One might be something you're saving for vacation six months from now, and one might be your food envelope where you're using it all the way down to zero every month and then refunding it when you get a paycheck. That would be the most hands-on approach. But the good news is that you can find a system that works for you, and we've got our team here that will come alongside you to make sure you're using it properly and getting the most out of it.

You'll download it in your app store, either the Google Play or the Apple App Store. Just search for MoneyWise Biblical Finance, and you can get started today. And Lisa, for calling, I'd be happy to give you a six-month pro subscription so you can try it out.

Does that sound good? That would be absolutely fantastic because I do need a budget because I don't see everything. I don't see where I'm spending my money the most. And inflation is sky high right now. And I can't, we've got to get something to where we can plan and be prepared.

And that's really what's so key here. And the nice thing is that you're actually able to go in each month and set up a new plan. So if you need to, you know, something's going to change in December, different from November, as you set up the December plan, you can just roll November forward, or you can tweak it, you know, because you know, things are going to change for Christmas, you know, that type of thing.

And obviously, you can factor inflation into that as well. So I think this will get you what you're looking for, Lisa, and perhaps help you guys stay a little more on top of your finances. So you hold the line, we'll get your information and get that right out to you.

And thanks for calling today. Again, folks, if you want to learn more about the MoneyWise app, just head to our website moneywise.org and click the app button or you can download it in your app store today. It's called MoneyWise Biblical Finance. Hey, before we wrap up today, you know, one of the most misquoted verses in all of Scripture comes from 1 Timothy. It's 1 Timothy 6-10, which reads, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It's often misquoted as money is the root of all evil, but that's not what it says. But once we understand that, here's why the Bible warns against loving money. First of all, craving money can lead you away from your faith in God.

Here's the second half of that verse from 1 Timothy 6-10. It says, Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. You know, loving money too much makes it an idol, replacing God as the highest priority. Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the first and greatest commandment. You know, money is never really enough. Ecclesiastes 5-10 says, He who loves money will never be satisfied with money.

Only Jesus can satisfy the desires of your heart. And also loving money and God at the same time, according to Scripture, is not possible. In Matthew 6-24, Jesus warns that no one can serve two masters, for he'll either hate the one and love the other.

He'll hold to one and despise the other. Then he goes on to say, You cannot serve both God and money. You see, folks, money itself is a neutral. It's neither good nor bad. Like possessions or prescription drugs or relationships or even food, it's not the thing itself that's evil.

It's what you think about it or do with it that can become a problem. Loving money opens the door for sins like greed, fear, pride, envy and dishonesty to take hold, leading us away from the Lord and ruining our witness. Let me read that verse from 1 Timothy again.

Listen to this. It says, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But that's not all there is. The next verses explain how Christians can avoid the dangers of loving money.

Here's what it says. Flee from all of this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.

Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. You see, folks, if money is becoming an idol for you, turn away from the sinful attitudes and turn back to the Lord. And by the way, if we can help you restore your focus on Jesus in your finances, I hope you'll contact us at MoneyWise.org.

We would be delighted to walk alongside you in that process. You see, what we recognize is that the way we handle money is one of the most clearest indicators into what's going on in our lives spiritually. It really does become a barometer of our spiritual condition. The late Larry Burkett used to say, money and the way we handle it is the clearest indication into our spiritual lives, because it's a tangible expression of what we value and where we've placed our trust. It tells a story about what's most important to us.

You give me your check register, electronic or physical, and I'll tell you where you have placed your treasure, where your heart is, what is your priority. And I think as we begin to evaluate that, it's not that we want to be riddled with guilt. It's that we want to say, how can I make a change so that my money is actually a reflection of truly what's most important, being connected to God's activities, supporting my family, helping those in need, pursuing my long-term goals so I can follow the Lord more fully and be free to live or die, give or go as the Lord leads. That's ultimately what it's all about. But that means we have to put money in its proper context, and that is a tool to accomplish God's purposes. If it becomes an end, well, then we've got it all out of line.

It needs to be a means to an end. And by the way, that end is most powerful when it's something other than us, because we need to be externally focused and we don't want to be too focused on this world. We want to keep an eternal focus with all of it. Well, when we do that, we can experience God's best. That doesn't mean we're not going to have challenges along the way.

We certainly will. Just look at the apostle Paul and what he experienced. But we can still live with contentment because at the end of the day, we know the Lord will never leave us or forsake us. And we can have confidence in his promises and the abundance that we have through faith in Jesus Christ. I hope that's an encouragement to you today, wherever you find yourself on your financial journey. But folks, that's going to do it for us today. We've covered a lot of ground and taken a lot of questions as we apply God's wisdom to the financial situations you're dealing with.

You know, at the end of the day, when we recognize that God owns it all and we're stewards of those resources, we live within our means, set long term goals and give generously, then we put ourselves in a position to experience God's best. Hey, let me mention, if you'd like to support this work, we are listener supported. You can do that on our website at MoneyWise.org. Just click donate.

Money Wise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Money Wise Media. Thank you to Jim, Amy, Deb. Thank you to Dan as well. We appreciate you being along with us today. God bless you. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-22 19:27:55 / 2022-11-22 19:41:25 / 14

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