Everyone to whom much was given much will be required and to whom they entrusted much they will demand the more.
Hi, I'm Rob West. Luke 12 48 is a powerful verse about stewardship. We should set goals for using the resources God entrusts to us. Today I'll talk with Ron Blue about how those goals may change later in life. Then it's on to your questions at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live! Biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, Ron Blue is the founding director of Kingdom Advisors, the author of many books on biblical finance, and a personal friend and mentor, so it's always a blessing to have him on the program. Ron, welcome back. Well, what a delight to join you again, Rob.
Thank you. Absolutely. And Ron, they say that if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. So I guess setting goals for our finances and using money wisely is very important.
Wouldn't you agree? Oh, absolutely. And I think there's really three things to remember, Rob. Goals give you direction. You can change goals as time goes on. I tell people to write your goals on the sand, on the seashore, and when the wave comes and washes it away, you reset it. So it's not something that's a once and for all. And I think as you set goals, you develop convictions about what you believe God would have you to do. So it's a process, not an event.
That's really helpful. Perhaps that even can help us to set some goals, because maybe if we see them as permanent, we'll resist doing it, because we're afraid we'll get them wrong. But if we know they'll change over time, that may give us the encouragement to go ahead and get that goal setting done. All right, Ron, younger folks may have certain goals like, of course, saving to buy a house or maybe to put the kids through college. But you tell us that later in life, those goals will, of course, change.
Tell us about that. Well, as your life changes, and you know, I've lived for a long time, Rob. I'll be 81 in a month. And I've seen that my goals have changed multiple times, and they're far different today than what they were 30 years ago, 20 years ago. And I think one broad change is that you switch from accumulation to distribution as your goals. And as you see your adult children grow and parent, you see different needs that they may have, and that'll affect your goals. And I think goals, when they're met, it frees you up to give. And your lifestyle changes as you get older also. So that's why I say you write them in sand, because they change over time. But that's okay. That's the way life is.
That's right. Well, to switch from accumulation to distribution requires that we know when we have enough. So how do we set that financial finish line? Well, if you have goals, you know, it's easier to see younger, or fund college education, buy a home, buy a car, whatever it may be. But I think later on, as you age, you can set distribution goals and ask the Lord, Lord, do I have enough, and how much is enough? And then you're freed up to give when you know that you have enough. And most people never really answer the question, how much is enough? So it frees you up to give, and that's the biggest thing about setting goals as you get older.
Oh, that's so important. Ron, you also mentioned that distribution includes not only giving to ministry or charity, but also to our kids. How do we know the appropriate amount to leave for an inheritance?
You pray a lot. And I think you asked yourself a couple of questions, Rob. One question is, what's the worst thing that could happen if I give X amount to X child? And then kind of what is the likelihood of that, and what is the consequence of that? And as you talk that through, you begin to think about how you're going to handle each child. And you know that I've said forever that if you love your children equally, you'll treat them uniquely, just the way God treats us uniquely. So it took Judy and I, the first time we went through this, at least two years to answer those questions about what's the worst thing and what's the consequence and how likely is it to occur. And it was different for all five of our children. So that's the advice that I would give.
Give yourself time, and if you ask the right question, you'll get the right answer. Well, you're never going to be able to handle God's money as wisely as you possibly can without a plan and without some goals. And Ron, you've helped us to think about both of those today. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Thank you, Rob. Enjoyed it again, as usual. All right. Ron Blue, financial author and teacher and regular contributor here on the program. Stay tuned.
Much more to come just around the corner. We'll be right back. Well, we're thrilled to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob Last year host. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions today. The number is 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open and room for you.
Again, 800-525-7000. You know, it's always great to have our friend Ron Blue stop by. He's a regular contributor. Of course, the author of many books on personal finance from a biblical perspective. And I would remind you that Ron's advice and experience is featured regularly in our weekly wisdom email right here from Faithfi. Each week, we send a special email message from me, plus the trending articles, videos and podcasts on a variety of financial topics from a biblical worldview to encourage you as a steward of God's resources. It's free and you can sign up and join literally thousands, tens of thousands of others who are receiving it each week in their inbox. Just go to faithfi.com.
That's faithfi.com and click sign up to register. All right, let's head to the phones. 800-525-7000 will begin in Woodstock, Illinois.
Hi, Cindy. Thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi, thanks for taking my call. I listen to your show all the time. I love it.
Sorry, I don't know if I can say it, but my husband went home to be with Jesus in August. And he had a, I guess it's an annuity. It says type IRA on it.
And it's for like $66,000. I'm not really sure what to do with it. I need to do something with it because I'm listed as the primary beneficiary, but this was probably way before we had kids.
So the contingent is his brother who wasn't very good to him. So I just, I don't want to leave it. If something would happen to me, I would want it to go to our kids, obviously. But I'm just really not sure what to do with it.
It took a almost $20,000 hit lost last year, of course. I was just wondering what you think I should do with it. Yeah, yeah, very good. Well, Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's passing and certainly grateful for the hope of heaven that we all enjoy as believers. And I appreciate this decision you're trying to make as you're wanting to be a wise steward of what God has entrusted to you. Are your bills covered, Cindy, or are you going to need to pull out a portion of this to help to supplement that? No, I'm a nurse. I still work.
We have a severely disabled son. But in this year, my daughter's getting married. Probably my son is getting married. And I have a 401k that's pretty good.
I mean, it's down to like $750,000. So I don't need it for my future necessarily. Yeah, yeah.
Okay. Yeah, well, as a spouse, you're going to have more options than if you were inheriting this as a non spouse. And so, you know, most contracts permit a spouse to determine what to do with an annuity. After the owner dies, a spouse can often choose to change the new annuity contract into their name, assuming all rules and rights to the initial agreement and delaying the immediate tax consequences. They'll have the ability to collect all remaining payments and any death benefits and choose beneficiaries. So the spouse then becomes the new annuitant. And when that happens, then the spouse, if it's already been what's called annuitized, and there was a stream of income being paid out that would then come to the spouse in the event that it's not annuitized and it's just continuing to grow, then you would have the same rights and privileges of the owner, your husband, in terms of how you proceed, both letting it continue to grow, rolling it out to an IRA potentially, or beginning to annuitize it at some point in the future, which means you would just initiate a lifetime payment stream out to yourself. So I think that's the first question is, would you like to leave it there and just let it continue to grow now in your name as the annuitant, or are you wanting to roll it out to an IRA or begin to draw an income from it?
Do you have a sense of what direction you'd like to go there? Well, it says annuity date in 2030, so I guess it's not, but we were getting a tiny like $90 every three months or something from it. I kind of was thinking just to cash it out just because I have these big weddings and stuff, although I don't want to just toss it away either. Sure, sure. Do you know if the money was put in pre-tax by chance? I really don't know. That's okay. Yeah, no problem. And do you have a financial advisor, Cindy, that you've worked with?
Okay. Yeah, I think it would be good to have somebody look this over because you absolutely should be able to take it out. And if you want to take it out, you know, you may want to consider taking half this year, half next year, assuming it's all going to be taxable if it went into the annuity on a pre-tax basis. But you're going to want to factor the taxes into how you elect to take this money out and then what you do with it after. So one option would be it gets rolled to an IRA and then you could choose to do with it what you want at that point. Again, assuming it's pre-tax money, it could be put into CDs that mature at various points based on how you need the money.
It could be, you know, just sitting in cash type, you know, accounts and then available for you to take distributions to pay for wedding expenses and things like that. But I do think you need an advisor or at the very least the insurance agent who sold this to your husband and you a while back. Are you still in contact or do you have a relationship with somebody at the insurance company? No, there's a number to call. I left a message and they just said fill out the form. So it's been, actually I've been trying to work with this since October.
It's a little frustrating. Okay. No, I understand. Would you rather connect with an advisor or do you have a family member or friend that could help you look this over?
What do you think would be the best option? Maybe an advisor. Yeah.
Okay. Well, what I would do then is head to our website at faithfi.com, faithfi.com and click find a CKA. That's going to stand for Certified Kingdom Advisor. And when you contact them, Cindy, just let them know the situation. Just say, listen, I'm just trying to analyze what I have here, understand the tax implications. You don't necessarily need somebody to do money management for you, investment advice. You really need somebody from a financial planning standpoint just to help you look at where you've got your assets, what income sources and assets you have today, including this annuity. And what's the best way to position it to minimize the tax burden, but to also give you access to the money you need to pay for the things that you have coming up on a relatively short term basis. And then perhaps they at the same time could just look over how you're positioned with the other assets just so you can make sure that you're as you're working, you're continuing to save for the future in an appropriate way.
You know, so that you have a nest egg built up when you get to retirement that could supplement Social Security and so forth. So if that works for you, I'd had to again, faithfi.com, click find a CKA, perhaps reach out to two or three of those Certified Kingdom Advisors and find the one that's the best fit. Okay, thank you so much. All right, Cindy, all the best to you and thanks for calling today. If we can help further, don't hesitate to give us a call back.
800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got several lines open today and we'd love to hear from you as we tackle your questions and comments. Mary, we'll be coming your way in just a moment after the break, so you stay right there.
A quick email before we head into our first break today. This one comes to us from Karen. She wrote to us at askrob at faithfi.com. She said, On one of your recent programs, you mentioned being able to have all of your bills paid when you die or pass on to heaven. How would a person set this up?
I enjoy your program here on WFCJ in Ohio. And Karen, it's a great question. The way you would do that is just by having a simple will. That will would name your executor for your estate and the executor would be responsible for paying off all of your creditors. So that's covering those bills that you owe, including the debts that you have out of your estate to the extent there's money available. And then with whatever's left over, to distribute those assets according to your wishes. The will is going to make sure that the court's not making that decision, but you are. And that's why it's important that you have that set up in advance. Of course, if you have minor children, really critical because that would name the guardian as well. So just connect with a godly estate planning attorney and ask them to put together a will for you. And that will ensure that everything's covered at your death. That is the last stewardship decision you'll make.
We want to get it right and do it according to what we believe God is leading us to do. 800-525-7000. Back with your questions after this. Stay with us.
Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions. I've got a few lines open.
What are you thinking about today? Let's tackle it together. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. To Missouri we go. Hi, Mary.
Thanks for your patience. Go ahead. Yes.
Well, anyway, yes. Well, I have a chance to move out my house. I've been in this house for a long time.
A good 30 years. And, you know, I've been thinking I would like to have a change. But, you know, I'm really kind of afraid to sell my house. But, anyway, I have a chance to move over there nearby into another state, not too far from here, where my son is. And so I had thought about it and were thinking, okay, that would be a really good move for me. It would be, you know, good, you know, something else to do with my life. That is what I'm thinking. But at the same time I'm afraid to give up my house because, you know, we hear about hard times.
I mean, my house has paid off. Yes, ma'am. If I get over there and something happens, you know, where am I going to be at?
Where would he be at, you know? We'd have to – I'm always – I know a few homeless people right now. Yes, ma'am. So let's break that down a little bit in terms of thinking about, you know, the possible scenarios here and just helping you make a wise decision. So you're feeling led at this point to relocate to this other state. So if you're going to do that, then you'd need to sell this home, which it happens, Mary, to be a pretty good time to sell a house. You know, we're coming off of a really hot housing market that was firmly a seller's market. People were paying through bidding wars premiums over the market asking price, you know, of 10, 20, 30 percent above the list price on houses.
And they were getting sold out from under them, you know, in 24 hours with multiple bids coming in. That's all changed in the last six months because of the higher mortgage rates and a looming recession and just a general cooling in the housing market, which has made it still a good time to sell because housing prices are still high. We haven't really seen much of a decline.
We've had a slowing in the growth rate. We haven't really seen much of a decline in housing prices. And houses on average in this country are selling at 97 or 98 percent of the list price. So it's still a great time to sell even though it's moved more to a buyer's market, which just means that if you're relocating to another market, you should be able to pull a lot of equity out of this house that you own free and clear, get the benefit of the increase in the value of the home that you've seen over a long period of time. But when you then move, if you were to buy something also for cash so you no longer so you don't have a mortgage on it, it's a better time now to buy than it was, you know, even several months ago just because, you know, the environment is a little more favorable right now for buyers. So I don't think it's a bad time at all. And basically you'd be moving from one free and clear home to another free and clear home.
But give me your thoughts on that. And were you thinking about doing something different? Well, yes. Getting into an apartment, I guess. Well, that's, you know, my son lives over there and he lives in an apartment. And I thought, well, OK, he wants me to get an apartment instead of a house. I thought, well, we should move together then. But, you know, I just don't want to waste my money on an apartment. I don't know why I feel like it's a waste.
Yeah. Well, if you have the ability to buy a home free and clear, I kind of agree with you. You know, you can take advantage of the increase in the value of that property over time. And rental prices tend to be still very high right now. And so, you know, with high rent rates, I like the idea of you buying that home. You know, the average rent in the United States in the 50 most populous city has increased 23 percent since 2020. And it's pretty flat in the last six months, which means it's still at the high end of that range.
So I would agree with you. Now, are you planning to move in together or just relocate to the same area? I believe relocate in the same area.
Yeah. So I think as long as you have enough time to get to know the area well and where you'd like to live and what part of town and you feel like you know that you're going to stay there for at least five to seven years, then I would say go ahead and buy something. If you're unsure of that, you feel like, well, I don't know where I'd want to settle and I may not be I may not like it. And if you think that there's a reason why you may move within, you know, prior to five to seven years, well, then I'd rent because you don't want to pay all the transaction costs of buying a home in this new state only to turn around and sell it.
That would be very expensive. But if you feel like you know enough based on everything you know today that you're going to be there a while, then I don't know why you wouldn't just go ahead and buy something. And then you're not, you know, throwing your money away on rent when you don't have to.
Oh, wow. I think I can't throw away my money. So I think that's really the decision. Here's what I would encourage you to do.
Make it a matter of prayer, Mary. Spend the next couple of weeks just asking the Lord to give you a piece about one direction or the other. Second, I'd start, you know, maybe visit on your next trip to visit, get a realtor and start looking at what housing prices cost and where you'd like to live. Thirdly, I'd really think honestly and hard about whether you believe when you make this move that you're going to be there for at least five to seven years.
And if all those things line up, then I think that might be a good indication that this is a good direction for you to go. Thanks for your call today. Quickly to Missouri. Hey, Stephen, how can I help? Hey, thank you for taking my call and God bless you.
Thank you. So my question to you is, several years ago, probably twenty three, twenty five years ago, my wife and I bought Peace Farm ground. It's only 60 acres. OK. And quite honestly, you know, we we you know, we gave about a thousand dollars maker for it. Well, now all this ground in the area is selling for five and six thousand dollars an acre.
I mean, it's crazy. Yeah. Yeah. So my question to you is about capital gains. Somebody, well, through conversations with some of my friends, they're telling me that, you know, if you've owned the place for more than five years, you don't have to worry about capital gains. Is that true? Only if it's your domicile. Has this have you lived here as your primary residence? No, actually, it's just a piece of ground. OK. All right.
So then it would be subject to capital gains. Let's do this, Stephen. I've got to hit a quick break when we come back.
We'll talk about how you determine whether or not it's subject to capital gains and what you might be willing to pay. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. Just before the break, we were talking to Stephen. He's in Missouri and he and his wife have a piece of farmland that they're looking to sell. And he was asking about capital gains. He's had someone tell him that if he's owned it for more than five years, perhaps he wouldn't be subject to capital gains. And the reality is what they were probably referring to, Stephen, only relates to your primary residence. If you lived in a home for two out of the last five years as your domicile, then you can exclude up to $250,000 in profits or $500,000 as a married couple.
But again, that only applies to your primary residence. So apart from that, this would be subject to capital gains. And the gain is the difference between the selling price and the original purchase price. And then the rate that would be applied to that, since you owned it more than a year, would be a long-term capital gain rate.
And for most folks that are married, filing jointly, that have income, not the gain, but your income between roughly $90,000 and $550,000 for one year, you would be at a 15% capital gains rate. Again, based on the profit that you had upon the sale of that piece of land. Does that make sense? Well, that answers that question.
Yeah. Good news is you should have a lot of profit there and you get to keep 85% of it. But yeah, you would have a capital gain. The only way to avoid that would be prior to the sale. If you wanted to give that away, a portion of that piece of property to what's called a donor-advised fund, and you wanted to do some charitable giving with it, that would be one option.
You wouldn't have to give the whole thing. Whatever portion you were going to give away, you'd just give that percent of the property to a donor-advised fund prior to the sale. Then you'd miss out on that capital gain. You could also do what's called a 1031 exchange, which is essentially where you identify and buy a similar property, also an investment property, within 180 days. You can essentially roll the profits into that new property and you would kind of kick the can down the road on the capital gains until you sell that piece of property. So it's a way just to kind of extend this investment through another piece of property without actually paying that capital gain.
So those would be the only two ways to avoid that. Does that make sense? That makes perfect sense. Alrighty. Thank you for calling, sir. Thank you for taking my call. Happy to do it.
God bless you. 800-525-7000. We've got three lines open to Chicagoland. Hey, Armin, thanks for calling. Go ahead.
Good afternoon. Thanks for taking the call. I just wanted to ask a question about my 401k rollover request. I work for a company that closed down in 2021 and sold some of the assets to another company. And then I requested my 401k to be rolled over to an IRA and not been receiving those funds. I filled out all the proper paperwork with the account numbers and everything of where they would roll to. But upon never receiving a check or that rollover, I learned that they said that the administrator has to approve that and there is no such administrator to be found. So I'm curious to know what rules or laws apply to this.
The latest request I've made is about 60 days ago and I still haven't received anything. Yeah, well, there are plenty of laws that govern this. You know, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor administers and enforces the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or what's called ERISA, that covers most private sector pension plans and retirement plans.
So, you know, there's plenty of both federal and state regulations that affect everything from the way they are administered to how they're advertised. I think the key here is this should be a pretty rudimentary process. I realize it complicates things with the company closing down, but the money in that 401k doesn't disappear. It usually just remains in that plan unless the plan itself is terminated and then it's rolled over to another account. So I would contact, have you been in touch with that plan administrator that still has the custody of the assets? Yes, and they said that the plan itself was in the process of being dissolved, but that's been over the last nine months and the status has never changed.
It's still in the same status as it was last summer. All right. And you've submitted the rollover paperwork to the plan administrator? Yes. Okay.
All right. And so, yeah, I would, yeah, it's really interesting. You know, I would, and you've actually talked to a person or you've just reading a website or what? So I have spoken with a person after submitting the paperwork and calling in basically weekly for the last six of the last eight weeks regarding this, just to check. And they say there is a person that's taking responsibility for that, you know, getting the direction from the administrator and dissolving that plan. But they're dependent on the employer. And I said, well, that's such an odd use of terms because that employer doesn't exist.
Yeah, well, I would continue to pursue that. I mean, the other approach, which is not going to be quick, but you would call the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration. So they're ultimately responsible and there's a place there for you to submit a complaint or report a problem concerning your retirement benefits plan. And so I would do that. Basically, if you just Google, you know, Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration or EBSA complaint, you'll find a place on the Department of Labor's website, dol.gov, where you can submit, you know, this complaint. And you'd also be able to find, you know, where a list of answers to questions as to how you resolve this. But I would kind of be working both ends of this, continuing to work with the company and tell them, you know, you want your money immediately and, you know, you've submitted the paperwork and you're ready to get it out of there. You could also let them know that you're submitting a complaint to the Department of Labor. But I would go ahead and do that as well just to get somebody working on it from that end also.
I know this is frustrating. So, but I think those are your two next steps, you know, here based on the situation. So keep us posted on how that turns out. Armin, I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. Let's head to Ohio. Hi, Judy. Thanks for calling.
Go ahead. Thanks for my call. Um, I am 64 and just retired. My husband will retire hopefully in about three years. We went to a dinner that for someone who claimed they were a retirement advisor, that doesn't mean versus just anyway. He told us that based on the money that we have with this one person, which is a 401k at IRAs, our home, our annuity set up that we have almost a million dollars and he said this man is probably taking as much as 2% of that money annually for his fees, which he said comes out about $13,000 that he gets every year. Is that a line or that's how all I mean, we paying way too much to this man just for we don't really do anything but sit on the money. I don't know if you can get around that or that's fair.
Sure. So now the person that bought you the dinner that gave you this information, did he actually look at your statements to determine the percent you're paying? Or is he just saying I suspect that's what you're paying?
Well, that was what he said in the general meeting. He looked at our statements and we're going to talk to him again, but he said as a rule that financial planners will charge. Yeah, generally not 2%. So usually one to one and a half percent would be customary, but only for those assets where they have discretion, meaning they're investing those assets.
So that typically wouldn't be a 401k or an annuity, but it could be that IRA money. So I would visit with your advisor now just to say, Hey, can you disclose in plain English exactly what I'm paying and for what services and get a bit more information. Hang on the line. We'll talk a bit more off the air and we'll be right back. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on faith and finance live here on moody radio, taking your calls and questions on our final segment today to Spokane. We go, hi Tammy. Thanks for calling. Go ahead.
Hi, thanks for taking my call. I'm, I'm, I'm very blessed that we had an opportunity to purchase a condo for my daughter while she was attending school and she has now graduated and we're, we're thrilled. She's, she's moving onward and upward and now we have a question about this condo. I have two other kids that will be attending the school and so they'll be living in there. But in the interim, there's about a year where we're going to be renting it out. So, um, my daughter was just asking, um, or do we need to pay taxes on that and how do we tithe on that and who, who actually files the taxes if we do need to, because we are both co owners and we're not making an income on it right now. But, um, yeah, I just want to know the best, best way to move forward.
Yeah, very good. Uh, so all rental income is reported on your tax return. Uh, in general, the associated expenses can be deducted from that rental income. And so you would probably want to get, if you don't use a CPA, this would be the year to do it just so they can figure out exactly what your income is over and above the expenses associated with this business that you're running, essentially this rental property that you're bringing in some income on.
But there's obviously costs associated with that. So it's not all pure profit to you. And, uh, you know, they can help you determine how much tax needs to be paid and what portion is reported on your 1040 versus your daughter.
And whether or not she even has to file a return, depending upon how much income is there for her portion, she may be under the standard deduction and wouldn't need to. Beyond that, in terms of the tithe, we'd kind of apply the same idea here, Tammy, is that, you know, 100% of this money, it's not like your income or an inheritance or, you know, a benefit you're receiving. This is essentially a business and 100% of the money you're getting in rental income is not actually part of your increase, because you have expenses associated with running this business, this, you know, rental property that you have. So, you know, essentially, what you determine is, okay, based on this income that we're getting every month from rent, how much expense do we have every month? What do we need, you know, to put aside for, you know, taxes and insurance, and we've got maintenance along the way and that type of thing. So perhaps you'd look at it at a quarterly basis, or maybe even on an annual basis, just to determine, okay, over this 12 months, what did we bring in, in income and then what expenses did we have against that if you had a mortgage that you'd have interest expense, you'd have, at the very least property taxes, homeowners insurance, you know, that type of thing. And so I think from that standpoint, then once you come up with a true profit number, let's say for the year, then you could say, okay, that's my increase that I was able to bring now back into my personal finances. And then I'm going to apply the principle of the tithe and, and give a 10th and a similar process, although it'd be a little different, would be applied in your CPA determining what in fact, of this rental income is taxable. Does that make sense?
It does make sense. So since we're both co-owners, then we would both report that on our 1040? Yeah, it would just, you'd probably end up splitting it based on your percentage ownership. And each of you would take, you know, your portion of the profit and apply it to your respective returns. Because 100% of that doesn't belong to you.
If you're co-owners 50-50, then technically 50% of that profit or is income to your daughter, and 50% is to you. Okay. Alrighty.
Put us in the right direction. Thank you so much. Good. You're welcome, Tammy. Thanks for calling. God bless you.
Let's see, to Cleveland, Tennessee. Hey, David. Go right ahead, sir. Hey, Rob. You having a good day? I'm doing great. Yeah, thanks for calling. Good. Thank you for your broadcast and I love your ministry. Quick question.
The Social Security Administration, their website, there is a place on there, I don't know if you're, I guess you're familiar with it, where you can log in and set up an account called MySSA. Are you familiar with that? I am. Yes, sir. Okay.
Alright. Where it shows your income from your very first job on up to now and then, of course, it gives you the graph across the top about your retirement, early retirement and full retirement. My question is, I went through an ugly divorce several years ago and those totals at the top, how much, did she get a portion of that or is that already taken out or how does that work? Yeah, your benefits won't be affected by her ability to collect a spousal benefit even as a divorcee. So there are some rules with regard to whether or not she remarries and how long you all were married prior to the divorce. But, you know, her ability to collect on her spousal benefit even after a divorce has no bearing on the benefit that you will receive based on your own work record.
So the numbers that you're seeing there on My Social Security, which give you, you know, that personalized estimate of your future benefits based on your real earnings, your last statement, your earnings history, you know, all of that information is, in fact, what you would be entitled to at those various points when you begin to collect. Gotcha. Okay.
That question was always in the back of my mind and I wasn't sure about it, but I appreciate you bringing that to my attention. Absolutely, David. Thanks for calling, sir. God bless you. To Spring Hill, Florida. Hey, Chuck, how can I help you?
Rob, thank you for taking my call. Last year when the interest rates were pretty low, we went ahead and refinanced our mortgage, 15-year mortgage, and I took money out to put in a money market fund to replace our roof and other things that might come along that we need to do. So we took out about $22,000 and put it in a money market account, just let it sit there.
That was last March we did that. And my question now is, I mean, I'm civil service retired and we do get a little bit of Social Security, but not a lot. My wife is getting Social Security off of mine, so with that in mind, the little bit of money that we can save, should I put that back into the house at my age now, or should I just keep putting that into the money market account in case things happen? Yeah. How many months' worth of expenses do you have in your savings account? Well, I've got about six months right now. That's with that $22,000, but a lot of that's going to go for the roof.
Yeah. How much do you think you'll have left after the roof? How many months' expenses?
Maybe a third of that. Okay. All right. So you'd still have at least four months' expenses. And did you say you are retired now or you're going to retire?
No, no. I've been retired for a while and I can't work anymore. Okay.
Very good. And do you have all of your bills covered and then have some left over at the end of the month? We do have our bills covered, but very little left over. I have everything budgeted, so it's a zero budget, so the money is going somewhere. But a very small amount of that is going to savings, which I'm putting into the money market account. All right. And how much do you have left on that 15-year mortgage? What's the balance?
About $50,000. All right. And based on your current payoff, are you just paying the scheduled payment every month? Yes, I am.
So what do you have left, 13 years or so? Well, yeah, 14 years, because we did it in March of last year. Oh, okay.
Only a year ago. Yeah. So I think, I mean, if you would have called me before you took it out, I'd say let's not take cash out of the house just to put in savings. But, you know, that's already done. And, you know, I think I like the fact that you've got this four to six months expenses in emergency savings here in this season of life. But I think I'd love for you to also to get rid of that mortgage completely. So I think I wouldn't pull any out of that savings to pay it down, but I would as you have money available, for instance, you know, perhaps you start redirecting it rather than additional savings to principal reduction. Because when we get that paid off, Chuck, if we can do that in, let's say, five or six years instead of 14, you know, that's the largest expense you have in your budgets now gone. And you've got even more margin on a monthly basis, which just gives you more flexibility. Now, after you dip into that six months to put the roof on, if you wanted to build it back up to six months before you start accelerating that mortgage, I think you could certainly do that. And that gives you a little more cushion.
But I like the idea of you getting rid of this mortgage, you know, as quick as you can, as long as you don't put yourself in a position where you just don't have enough in the way of reserves. Does that make sense? Right.
Yeah, it does. So as long as I've got to try to want to try to keep that six month cushion if possible, and then in the money market, so I've got something to fall back on in case of that's right. And you know, that's not a magic number. But that just gives you quite a bit of flexibility that, you know, if you I'd realize you're not worried about a disruption in your income because you're not working anymore. Something that comes out of left field that, you know, now you have the ability to, to rely on that and you don't have to worry about, you know, putting that on a credit card or something like that. So I think I just kind of keep that six month target in my mind.
As a good rule of thumb, if we can keep it there, then we can focus in on accelerating that mortgage payoff. Right. Okay, thank you very much, Rob. Yeah, and you as well, Chuck, we appreciate you calling. Well, folks, we covered a lot of ground today.
It's been a lot of fun to be along with you certainly enjoyed having Ron Blue with us at the start of the program. I love what Ron says, why don't we finish where he started today? And that is this idea of enough. How much is enough? And where are we drawing our clues from in terms of setting our own lifestyle and our accumulation goals?
Is it from the world? Are we caught in the comparison trap? Do we have a consuming desire for wealth and prosperity that could mean we're discontented or envious of people around us? Or are we talking to God and not looking at what other people have, but we're remembering what's true, which is that we're believers and our prosperity lies in the riches of knowing Christ.
And ultimately, when we give, we're storing up permanent treasures in heaven. I hope that's an encouragement to you today. Grateful for my team today, Tahara Haynes, Charles Coletta, Amy Rios and Robert Sutherland. On behalf of them, I want to say thank you for being with us.
Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Have a great rest of your day. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
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