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Student Loan Forgiveness

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2023 6:28 pm

Student Loan Forgiveness

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 8, 2023 6:28 pm

Student loan forgiveness is popular among the millions of Americans who owe more than $1.7 trillion for their education. But it definitely has its detractors as well. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Jerry Bowyer to talk about several reasons why he’s not a fan of student loan forgiveness. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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Politics is by its very nature controversial, perhaps none more so than the administration's move to forgive student loan debt. Hi, I'm Rob West.

Student loan forgiveness is popular among the millions of Americans who owe more than $1.7 trillion for their education, but it has its detractors, our guest, Jerry Boyer, among them. We'll talk about it today and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, our resident economist, Jerry Boyer, joins us again today. He's a columnist at the Christian Post and author of The Maker vs. the Takers, what Jesus really said about social justice and economics. Jerry, great to have you back with us.

Always a pleasure to be with you. Jerry, before we get into the forgiveness part of this story, let's talk about the debt itself. I mentioned $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Is that a bubble, Jerry, waiting to burst? Well, that's the enabler of the bubble. So I happen to think that college has become a bubble to some degree. In 2008, 2009, when the housing bubble was bursting, I was doing a lot of speaking engagements and sometimes people would ask, well, what's the next bubble?

And I said, higher education. And I think that's actually turned out to be, you know, pretty much true. The cost went up and up and up without the value going up as much. In addition, there was a move towards kind of a secular approach, which is very hostile to Christian values for a lot of schools.

So you know, basically, it became a lower quality product, because there was a lot of indoctrination going on, and a more expensive product. And it was creating people who were qualified for jobs that were going away, and not training people for the jobs that we have a shortage of, like things like welders, etc. So I think there was a college bubble. Debt enables bubbles, debt is the thing that gets blown into bubbles to make them into bubbles. Yeah, so easy money, and the proliferation of student debt is really at the core of the bubble you're describing, right?

Yes, absolutely. The government basically lending, regardless of people's credit worthiness, using easy money created by the Fed, that that's where bubbles come from. Now, government policy says, here's where the bubble is going to go. So if there was a lot of policy that was really pushing housing, like we want to get to 70% homeownership rates in America, no matter what the credit quality, well, that determined that a bubble formed in housing. Well, the shift was we got everyone's got to get a college education, you're nobody if you're not a college grad, which of course is nonsense.

You can't earn a decent living unless you're a college grad. And that determined that the easy money would go into college. So that's where that's why the bubble formed there this time.

That's helpful. All right, Jerry, help us understand the scope of what the administration is proposing here. It's not to forgive all of the debt, is it?

No, there's some means testing going on. There's some debt that the government doesn't have any direct control over. And there are also some limits. It's a lot of debt, you know, could be half a trillion dollars that we're talking about.

But it's not all of it. But it's enough to make a difference in terms of changing people's incentives. And it's enough to make a difference in terms of the order of magnitude of the federal deficits. Yeah, just about a minute till our next break, Jerry, of course, we've been rocked by inflation during the past year, what would forgiving that much you said almost half a trillion, perhaps, in outstanding loans due to inflation and the national debt? Well, the government owns a lot of this debt, which means it's a source of revenues for them. So if they're getting rid of a source of revenues, and they're not decreasing their spending accordingly, then that means more borrowing. And the way our system is currently working is a lot of the new borrowing by government is being done by the direct creation of money, rather than people investing in treasuries.

The Fed, the central bank is the biggest investor in treasuries. So I wouldn't say it's a lot. It's a big event in terms of inflation in terms of the order of magnitude, but it is inflationary. Yeah, I think that's key to understand here, especially during a time where everything is focused on getting inflation under control. Here we are proposing something that is at its core inflationary, right? That's right. And what we're seeing out of Washington is every piece of legislation has anti inflation slapped on it, especially the pieces of legislation that are actually pro inflation. Interesting. We're talking student loan debt and the administration's proposal related to it.

Is it constitutional? And what is a biblical perspective on this? How should we think about this in light of a biblical worldview? We're talking with Jerry Boyer today, columnist at World Opinions, author and our resident economist. Much more to come just around the corner. Stay with us on Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. With me today, Jerry Boyer, our resident economist and the author of The Maker vs. The Takers, What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics. We're talking today about student debt and the forgiveness proposal put out by the Biden administration.

Jerry, we talked about the effects of this forgiveness, which could be as much as a half a trillion dollars. Let's talk about the constitutionality of it. Most opponents of this plan maintain it's, in fact, unconstitutional.

What's your take on that? Yeah, I think that's true, and it has had trouble in the courts, and the courts aren't necessarily often strict constructionists when it comes to the Constitution, so they can be kind of easy on unconstitutional laws, and yet they've struck down parts of this. One of the issues is separation of powers. Who's in charge of spending? That's the House of Representatives, which is focused on the power of the purse. But the deeper issue is enumerated powers, which is the federal government of whatever branch only has the power to do the things that are explicitly enumerated, listed out in the Constitution, and there's nothing like this. And the problem isn't just the forgiving of the debt, the problem is being the holder of the debt. For the federal government to be a student lending agency is itself unconstitutional. Then to go on, I think, it adds insult to injury to then just arbitrarily, by presidential fiat, forgive a major part of that loan.

Yeah, well, the U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to take this up, perhaps in the next month or so, so we'll be watching that closely. Jerry, if student loan forgiveness is upheld, what message does that send to folks who've already paid off their loans? Well, we have to distinguish between the message it sends and the message we should receive. The message it sends is, you're a fool if you pay off your debts. I would not receive that message, however. I would say that somebody who paid off their debts wasn't foolish because they practiced good character and they learned self-discipline. So it may seem like somebody who went for a four or increasingly it's a five or six-year party in something that doesn't give you any decent income with a lot of easy classes and they had a good time and then most of it got, you know, got paid off. They didn't get away with anything because they lived with profligacy and they didn't get the character-forming implications of borrowing and then repaying. So it sends the wrong message, but we don't have to receive that message.

Yeah, yeah, that's helpful. Jerry, is this fair to taxpayers? Well, no, of course not, right, because it's the taxpayers' money.

And this is the thing that's kind of odd. You know, President Biden didn't forgive debts because it wasn't owed to him. It was owed to the American taxpayers.

That's our money. So the Bible speaks positively about forgiving debts. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, for example. And I happen to think that that's really about forgiving debts, not just sins. Yes, there's sins too, but I think Jesus actually talks about forgiving debts as well. But that's forgiving money owed to you. If I forgave some, if I loaned someone money for college and then forgave the debt, that's biblical. It's optional, but it's also biblical. But the president is forgiving debts owed to us. So he's kind of forgiving on our behalf. That's not the biblical concept of debt forgiveness.

Yeah, that's helpful. Jerry, let's talk about the biblical concept. A lot of folks are equating this to the Jubilee that we see in the Old Testament. But I know you've said to me, Jerry, you don't think that's the right analogy, right?

No, I think it's the opposite. I mean, in Torah, right, you have Deuteronomy 15, which has debt forgiveness laws, you have Leviticus 25, etc. But those were done in contrast to the way it was done by the empires around Israel. And in the empires around Israel, a new emperor would come in, and he would issue debt forgiveness, and that would make him popular. That seems to be more like what we're seeing now, a Babylonian model. I think the president is doing more like the Babylonian model than the Torah model. The Torah model is when you lend to somebody you know in advance, it's not going to go more than seven years.

So you can take that into account. It tends to be for the poor, and again, you're the one forgiving it. It's not a presidential decree or a kingly decree. It's there in Torah, and the king of Israel doesn't have a thing to say about it. It's kept out of his authority. So I would say what we're seeing now with debt forgiveness from the executive, which is more like the monarchy, is a lot more like the pagan Babylonian model than it is the biblical model of debt forgiveness.

Interesting. So if you were to look to Scripture, where do you see the most clear parallel to what's going on here? I would say the parable of the unfaithful steward, who was too old to dig ditches and too ashamed to beg, but he didn't do his job very well, and he needed favor. So he forgave debts that weren't his debts in order to curry favor with people.

That is not a positive example. That's why it's called the unfaithful steward. He is called shrewd, right? So there's a smartness to it, but it's not moral. So in this particular case, when politicians get in trouble, and this is not just President Biden, this goes back thousands of years, when politicians get in trouble, they issue debt decrees that don't cost them anything because somebody else's debt is being forgiven. And I think that the parable of the unfaithful steward is really a pretty well perfect parallel to what the president recently did.

Interesting. Jerry, so would you say then that neither the Old or the New Testament are supportive of this? Right, because the Old and New Testament are not in conflict with one another. There's one God, right? The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.

And if you look at that and say, oh, that doesn't seem right to me, then you need to read them both more carefully. So no, the Bible does not support this. If we had a system where there's a voluntary forgiveness of debt, then that would be biblical. We could even have a system that puts limits on debt, like Torah does. Now, I don't think that Torah is obligatory for nations other than ancient Israel, but you could still have something built on that model. You'd know in advance, oh, it's the fifth year, so this is not going to be fully paid back, and it would all be legal, there'd be no presidential decrees.

You could have a system like that. We could talk about the benefits of a system like that, putting a limit on debt, but that's not what we're doing. We're basically currying favor from a president who is being seen negatively in terms of the economy, who is pleasing part of his economic base, young people with high college debt, and that is the opposite of the biblical approach.

So Jerry, as we put a bow on this, what would you say to someone who's listening today? They're a believer, they want to be faithful in honoring the Lord with his money, they owe some debt, this would be helpful to them, but there's a stirring in their spirit about this and just wondering whether or not to accept it. How would you help them process that decision? Well, that's a good question, because Christians have to impose on themselves the burden of not benefiting from government programs which are unconstitutional. I would say we don't, but what they might want to do is redeem that money and say, well, okay, this program is not proper, I'm not going to personally benefit, so maybe that goes into God's economy. So maybe the debt forgiveness is something that they use to give more to the kingdom. Now, of course, if their conscience are bothered by it, like meet sacrifice to idols, then they could just turn that down and keep sending checks to the government to pay off that debt.

I would say that's a conscience issue, though. I do not think it's immoral to say, maybe somebody thinks that Social Security is not constitutional. Well, I don't think that makes it immoral to get your Social Security check, because you're forced to participate in that program.

So we don't pull out of the world. There are certain detriments, high taxes, whatever. There are certain benefits. So I think that this is a matter of individual conscience. But kind of a redeeming approach might be, I don't like it. I'm not going to spend it on myself.

I'm going to spend it on the kingdom. Hmm. Yeah, very interesting. All right. Well, that's a good place to leave it, Jerry. Always appreciate your insights, my friend, and your ability to look at these issues of today through the lens of scripture. Thanks for stopping by. My pleasure. God bless. Guest and faith and finance contributor, Jerry Boyer, has been our guest today.

You can read his posts at World Opinions. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. We'll be right back. You know, as we think about handling God's money, we want to operate from a biblical worldview.

That's right. Everything we do, we want centered on God's word, looking at our lives through the lens of scripture. And that includes our finances. But in order to do that, we have to recognize that God's word is really the source, the authority and our beliefs inform our behaviors. Behavior really follows belief and money issues are hard issues.

You know, beneath the practical outworking and daily decisions of our money are those deeply held values and priorities that inform those decisions. The question is, are we taking our cues from the world or God's word? Well, here at Moody Radio and on this program, we want to apply God's word to every facet of our lives. And in the context of faith and finance, we want to look at our money through the lens of scripture. Let's do that together. We've got some lines open today on faith and finance live 800-525-7000 is a number to call. Always great to have our friend Jerry Boyer dealing with modern day issue and light of a biblical worldview. But let's turn the corner and talk about anything financial.

We'll begin in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Buddy, thank you for calling. Go ahead.

Yeah, thanks for having me. My question is, well, my statement is that I'm going to be 73 in two weeks. I have a 401k. I'm still working and I'm still paying into my 401k. I understand I have to start taking money out or should have already started taking money out.

What process do I do to do that? Yeah, so you're talking specifically about a required minimum distribution, is that right? Yes. Yeah. Well, the age was raised as of this year, 273.

So it makes sense that you're thinking about this. Basically, that amount is going to be determined based on your life expectancy, based on the table that the IRS publishes and the balance. And so you can calculate that based on the information you'd find at, or you could use a CPA or accountant to help you with that, which I would recommend at least the first year, just as you get into the habit of doing this, because you'd certainly want to make sure you take out the minimum in order to really comply with the IRS rules and regs, so you don't have any penalties or interest on that.

A couple of options. One is, I mean, just to simply take that withdrawal, the distribution to satisfy that required minimum, and then you can do what you want with it. You can stick it into your savings account or redeploy it in a taxable account and invest it again or give it away, whatever you'd like. If you're going to do any giving with it, though, I would use what's called a qualified charitable distribution or a QCD where basically you give the money directly from your IRA.

You'd have to roll the 401 count to an IRA, but then from the IRA to your church or a ministry, thereby allowing them to get access to the full amount, and you don't have to add it to your adjusted gross income for the year, but you're also satisfying that required minimum at the same time. So that would be a way to, if you didn't need it, you wanted to give it away to avoid recognizing it as income. But I think the bottom line is just to make sure that you do get the proper amount out of the account and you do so in the timeline that the IRS requires. Does that all make sense?

Yeah, that makes sense. I'm still working and I plan on working for the next 30, 40 years or so. And do I still pay in the 401k or do I stop that as well? No, you can still contribute.

There's no problem there. The key is, though, that you just have to get out the required minimum moving forward and then that required minimum will be recalculated each year. What do you do? I'm interested and I love that you're not planning on stopping anytime soon.

No, I'm still in great health. And, you know, we don't need the money, but might as well keep working. We have a mentally handicapped son and we're going to leave everything to and we'll make sure he's taken care of. So, you know, as long as I'm healthy and it can work, I'm going to, you know, build his wealth with hope. Yeah, that's great. Well, I'm delighted to hear that you're continuing to work, put money away. Do you have a special needs trust or something that would allow for the ongoing care for your son beyond your life?

Not yet. That's what the 401k is going to go into, probably. That's what I'll set it up and see an advisor about that. But yeah, I'll be sure about taking it out and still contributing was my main question, I guess. Absolutely. Yeah.

So you have the ability to do that. I would sit down with, you know, a probably someone who specializes in this area, certainly an estate attorney, but somebody who specializes in special needs trusts and things like that, just to make sure that you have, you know, everything set up properly so that his care can continue. If the Lord calls you home prior to him, that, you know, that's all been then settled. But I would connect with your CPA for this year just to make sure that you get that out on a timely basis and, you know, take out the proper amount. We appreciate your call, buddy. If we can help any further at any point, let us know. God bless you.

800-525-7000. Let's see. Natalie's in Florida.

Natalie, go right ahead. Oh, yes. Hi. Good afternoon.

Hi. So I'll try to make this as short as possible. So I had a balance and fidelity with for 2200. And it was something that I received from a job that I had 10 years ago. And to make a long story short, I should have addressed this like way earlier in life.

But I had so much going on with school and life. And I recently addressed it. And I'm the whole thing with stocks and bonds.

And I'm it's very new to me. And I just the approach I did speak with a representative yesterday and they advised me to, you know, they actually saw on from a scale from one to ten if I wanted to do something like aggressive or I forgot the other term anyway. Yes, conservative. Yes. And I chose like in the middle they were like between a one to ten. And I guess just with all that's going on, like with inflation.

And I just want to know what you would suggest, like if that was the right choice or looking for something else. Yeah. Well, the answer is it depends. But I'd love to unpack that with you. Let's do this. Natalie, I'm gonna ask you to hold the line and we're gonna take a quick break. When we come back, we'll talk about kind of the rest of your financial life and how this particular account with Fidelity fits into that and also what type of account it is so we can make a good decision on what the right time horizon is and whether that investment strategy that you just described makes sense. So you stay right there.

We'll talk a bit more just around the corner. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. You know, as we look at a biblical world view of money management, one of the big ideas that jumps off the page in God's word related to our finances is this idea of contentment. But how do you increase your contentment?

You remember the apostle Paul said it's learned. Well, I think we can increase our contentment when we focus on what God has given us, not what he's on he's given others. You know, we can choose to be content in every circumstance, rich or poor, happy or sad, easy or difficult, because as Christ followers, our position in Christ never changes. And I think that's what we need to focus on as we think about our role as stewards and handling God's money, living within God's provision and accepting that provision, even if we want to try to increase that by changing a career, maybe work, you know, adding additional work, whatever it might be. But the provision that we have today is enough and we need to order our finances to live within it.

In fact, I'd live on less than that so we can accomplish our goals and even give generously. These are the kinds of things we think about and talk about in this program. But I want to know what you're thinking about today. I would love for you to get in on the conversation, share your story, ask a question. Perhaps you have a testimony of how God's been working in your life in these challenging times. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance.

Let's head back to the phones. And Natalie, just before the break you were sharing with us that you've got an account at Fidelity. You were checking on it.

It's perhaps been sitting there as you talked with that representative. They said, where would you fall on a risk spectrum of one being most conservative, ten being most aggressive? It sounds like you all kind of landed on a five and you're wondering my take on that.

I guess I'd like to know kind of the bigger picture. First of all, do you have an emergency fund? And secondly, do you have any debt? So yes, I do have student loans. It's not that bad, but you know, overall I'm, you know, I'm still, I have like one last semester of school.

And as far as, wait, go ahead. I'm sorry. No, that's great. No, that's helpful.

Any other debt to speak of? No, pretty much that's it. Good. Yeah. All right. And then what about other savings beyond the Fidelity account?

Right now I only have like $2,000 in savings. So it's kind of weird. It's kind of the same thing right now. And I'm starting a new job next month. And yeah, so I'm just trying to a lot. Yeah, go ahead.

No, that's great. And you said you're also still in school, so you'll be working while you're going to school. And will this new job give you more income and therefore more margin more surplus after the bills are paid? Well, it's not it's not it's like something that I'm starting out with it's to it's teaching, but it's kind of to get like experience and to make a long story short, it's in between I don't know if it would help to it's like, like 30,000 a year. And you know, so it's kind of it's going to be like, you know, how can I say it?

The Lord is going to have to help me with a lot of things. Sure. Yeah.

Yeah. Have you put a budget together, Natalie, just to get a accurate accounting of what your expenses are on a monthly basis? I need to do better. I you know, as you have me on hold, I felt like I kind of need to have like more information because I want to maximize this time and I'm so appreciative.

Well, I'm happy to do it. Yeah, let me just tell you this and then maybe you can do some of that work. I think the next step for you is to especially with this job change is to start with that spending plan and go back and look at okay, what does it actually take me? You know, what does it require for me to cover all my bills over a month's time and think about those things you don't get a bill for to you know, the discretionary spending going out to eat or maybe going some shopping or stopping at a coffee shop and those non recurring things like a quarterly car insurance payment or something like that get all of it in there and then compare that to the income you're going to have in this new job to figure out how do I keep all the bills paid keep the student loan paid if it's not deferred and what do I have left over and then my first priority beyond that Natalie would be building up that emergency fund from 2000 where I think you said it is roughly to probably, you know, three to six months expenses as a goal with regard to the Fidelity account. Is it a taxable account or is it what's called an IRA or some sort of retirement account? Some IRA retirement account. Okay, great. Yeah, so it's an individual retirement account. So that's great.

That's money that's there earmarked for the long term. I'd probably be what is your age? 37. Okay, so you're young, you got a lot of time on your side. So I'd probably be even a little more aggressive than five, you know, I'd probably be up in the seven, eight, kind of end of the spectrum, maybe even nine, just because you have the ability right now to let that money grow and just kind of forget that it's there. And because you've got three decades or more before you're going to need this money, you have the ability to really to allow it to compound over a long period of time.

So I think if anything, I'd probably be a little bit more aggressive. Now, once you build up that emergency fund, then it's time to look at okay, maybe I should be contributing to that IRA, which you can put in 6500 a year, you could even put in some toward 2022 prior to filing that tax return. Or if you have through your new job, a 401k, especially if there's matching, you might want to start there. Ultimately, you want to get to a goal of putting away 10 to 15% of your income.

And if you can do that over a long period of time and keep that emergency fund and then also save for other goals, like maybe buying a house or replacing a car, those are really key, but it all starts with that spending plan and living within your means. So hopefully that's helpful. And if we can help further along the way, don't hesitate to call us back and God bless you. 800-525-7000. Let's head to Grand Rapids. Hi, Penny. Thanks for your patience.

Go ahead. Hi, thanks for taking my call. So I am a teacher and I'm turning 60 this year in Michigan, I can retire with a pension and insurance. I could work a couple more years and continue to pay down debt, add to my pension and get to a point where I could also draw Social Security so that would set me up a little bit more financially if I worked another two or three years. I do have a mortgage still it's about 70,000 on a home that's about a $330,000 home. I do have a 403b but it took a hit as everybody else's dead. So that's what I'm at.

And I'm not sure I'm ready to retire. But I also have worked in Haiti for the last nine years. And I know Haiti's in a tricky place right now. I was there when the president of Haiti was assassinated and haven't been able to get back. But our ministry is a secure ministry there.

It's well established. I have six schools there that I work with with about 800 students. And I am really struggling with feeling called to to go there. And so in order to do that, and I am praying about this web. So in order to do that, I would have to maybe not sell all my possessions, but I would have to, you know, downsize on my home.

And right now, you know, the home market is not great. So I'm just, I'm just trying to get some advice on, you know, I know you can't tell me what to do or to go to Haiti. Yeah, well, I love your story. And I'm glad you took some time to unpack that a bit because I love to hear what God's up to in your life. And I realize this is a big decision. There's the leading of the Lord and the Holy Spirit prompting you to go and a call that's been placed on your life. And then there's the financial reality of what is it going to take to get there? And then there's ultimately, you know, just trusting God for where He you feel like He's leading you because as believers, we want to always be ready to live or die, give or go.

And perhaps He's calling you to go. So let's do this. I'm going to take a quick break. When we come back, if you can stay right there. I'd love to talk more about perhaps how you should think about this decision and maybe make a step forward in that. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Stay with us. We're so glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

We've got a couple of lines open here in our final segment, 800-525-7000. Just before the break, Penny was sharing in Grand Rapids that she'll be 60 soon. She can retire from teaching with a full pension and insurance. She'll, of course, a couple of years away from getting Social Security, has a 403b that's down a bit. She's feeling a call to do a lot more work with some teachers in Haiti at some schools over there. And she's just wondering, how does she think through that decision in light of where she's at financially? You know, Penny, I'm struck by the idea that, you know, if this is really a call on your life, you know, you've ordered your finances at least just in the cursory view, you've given me of where you're at in such a way that you have the ability to respond. And that's the way we should live, you know, living below our means, saving for the future, trying to reduce and eliminate debt over time so that we have the ability to do exactly what God has prepared you to do as a teacher, to go and to serve Him in another part of the world. And boy, I would be really quick to just chase that a bit further and see if that's in fact where the Lord may be leading, even if it's a little scary. And that gives you an opportunity to really trust Him to do something special here. I mean, just in terms of the financial side, clearly, I don't think God would cause us to do something or we may be prohibited from doing something because we're not in a financial position to do that.

But I'm not necessarily hearing that in your story. I mean, with regard to the house, although the housing market is softened, we really haven't seen any kind of downturn in the housing market. It's just really gone from a raging seller's market to more of a buyer's market. But houses are still selling at 97 percent plus of the asking value nationwide, and they're still moving pretty quickly. So I don't think you'd be giving up much and you'd still enjoy the great run-up that we've had over the last 10 years in the housing market. So what would be your main concerns, just financially speaking, about acting on this calling you're sensing from the Lord? So I have a daughter that is still in college, and she's pretty set with grants and scholarships and going to a Christian college outside of Michigan, so she doesn't come home much.

But it is her childhood home, so selling the house is a little difficult. One thing I'm considering doing is going down there because school got started late in Haiti, and so they will be going through the summer this summer. So that'll be a unique opportunity for me that I could go in the summer and actually be there during school time.

Because a lot of the teacher development we've done is in the summer. And so I am thinking about just going down there for like eight weeks this summer and seeing if that's something that I can actually do, but I don't want to be like testing God either and saying, no, I'm going to try it first, I'm going to take a trial run. Well I think there's something to this idea, you know, and we call it a low-cost probe. It's the idea that we may sense the Lord leading us in a certain direction. Obviously He's gifted you in this area, this is an area you're very familiar with, He's given you a passion and a heart's desire for these people, but there's also some unknowns and there's a very real reality of family members here. And so I don't think there's anything wrong with you saying, you know what, there's an opportunity for me to go and just to be open to what the Lord has as I'm there, but I'm not going to make any commitments, and I'm just going to be very prayerful about it, I'm going to see what God does, and I think perhaps look at that season not as a testing of God, but really as a testing of this call that you're exploring. And I don't see anything wrong with that, and then, you know, whether that means you're able to keep the house and fully retire and then, you know, just live off the income you have or you decide, you know what, I'm going all in and this is where the Lord is leading and I'm going to sell the house, I mean, you can make that decision. Keep in mind later this year we'll probably have interest rates coming back down and we may have a sign that we're done, you know, with the raising of the rates, which means that the market will probably improve and I think the housing market will improve with it. So, you know, I think you'll be in pretty good shape, you know, at the end next fall after going through this summer to make some good decisions.

I would also encourage you to get some wise counsel, maybe you sit with a Certified Kingdom Advisor who can help you do some planning around your retirement income and your budget, looking at this scenario of you leaving with keeping the house, leaving without keeping the house, and just see how all the numbers work out. And I think once you have that data, once you experience, you know, being down there this summer and, you know, you can begin to see this plan come together, I think God will confirm the direction He's leading as you continue to lean into that. But just be open to His leading throughout the whole process and I'm confident you'll get a piece about it, all right? Yeah, thank you so much. All right, thanks for calling today. To Chicago, Nancy, thanks for your patience. Go ahead.

Yes, hi, Rob. It's been a few weeks, but I think I heard you explain to someone that you could take your RMD as a QCD and put the QCD in like a fund where you could then distribute it. No, so those would be two different things.

So let me just try to clarify. So if you have an IRA, you can do a qualified charitable distribution after age 70 and a half, going directly to a ministry or a charity, they get the full amount. And it's not added to your taxable income, which it normally would be when you take a distribution from an IRA.

It also satisfies your RMD. If your age if you're already, you know, having to do that, or as of this year, if you turn 73, which because the age was moved back a year, that would happen through the QCD. The other account you're probably describing is what's called a donor advised fund, you can't put a QCD into a donor advised fund, it has to go direct to the ministry or the charity, the donor advised fund would be basically if you want to make a gift of either cash or an asset like real estate or a business interest or, you know, a piece of art, you know, whatever it is, you can put that into your donor advised fund. And then when it's liquidated, or if it's in the form of cash, then you get the current year deduction for the contribution to the donor advised fund, and then you're able to distribute it at your discretion over whatever period of time you want, doesn't have to be in the current year.

And you would do that just by logging in and with a couple of clicks of a button, kind of like a charitable checking account, then you'd grant it out to the ministry or charity or church of your choice, either anonymously or in your name. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. I misunderstood you earlier. I'm glad that you were able to clear this up for me.

Okay. Where do you set up the donor advised fund? Yeah, I would do that with my friends at the National Christian Foundation. So you'll go online to NCF, National Christian Foundation, NCF was founded by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue, and an attorney named Terry Parker. They're one of the biggest ministries in the world, but they are only a conduit for Christian giving. So billions of dollars flow through NCF every year to 40,000 or more ministries, charities and churches. So you'd go to, open what's called a giving fund, which is their name of their donor advised fund.

You can do it online in three minutes or less, and then you would just determine how you're going to fund it. And then once you do, then you just start granting out from that point forward. Okay. Okay, I see.

Yes. Thank you very much. Okay, Nancy, thanks for your call today. God bless you. To Eric in Anderson, Indiana, WGNR. Go ahead, sir.

Hello. I was wondering, first of all, thank you for taking my call. And I've been putting about $1,600 every month towards a new car. And then I just have the money sitting in my savings account. And then I think I've been thinking of just investing it and I don't know where exactly I should start. Should I buy a CD? I don't know. That's actually what I'm calling.

Yeah, very good. So I love that you're saving towards a new car. That's a good thing, because even if you can't buy it with cash, you'll at least have a good bit to put down. And I'd love for you to minimize the use of debt. Do you have emergency savings beyond the car savings, Eric? Yes, sir. Okay. And you have three to six months expenses or somewhere around there?

Yes, sir. Okay, great. And you don't have any credit card debt or anything like that? No, I hate credit cards. Okay, good.

There's the quote of the day. I hate credit cards. All right. So do you have a retirement plan at work or are you self-employed?

What do you have? I do have a retirement plan at work. Okay. And do they offer any matching?

Yes, but I have not really checked it lately. Okay. I would start there. And so if you have surplus after you're done saving for the car, or maybe you want to divert a portion of your car savings to retirement or whatever, the key is to go back to your budget, reduce your expenses as much as you can, because I would love for you to start contributing to that retirement plan over time, trying to get up to 10 to 15% of your income, even though it might take a little while to do that. And I do that through the 401k.

And then there's going to be lots of investment options in there for you to choose from once you get it set up. And if you have questions along the way, let us know. We appreciate your call very much. Quickly to Tampa. Hey, Sharon, how can I help you? Good evening.

Hi, thanks for taking my call. So my quick question was, we work like 14 and 15 dollars an hour. We want to, we don't have a lot of savings. As a matter of fact, it doesn't amount to 10,000 dollars. We're trying to buy a house. Last year, we tried to buy a house, but they said that without our salary, we couldn't get a loan. I want to know, is there any place that we can put the less than 10,000 dollars that we have? And just to try to save some money on there. We're good savers.

Yeah. Well, I think that's going to be key, Sharon. And the fact that they said you don't qualify for the loan, I would really pay attention to that. And it's going to be, housing affordability has gotten worse now that interest rates are much higher.

So you're probably going to have to put this off. The fact that you're good savers is a good sign though. That means you're limiting your lifestyle, even though you're on a limited income.

I would open a savings account, probably at one of the online banks like Marcus or Capital One 360 or Ally Bank, and then just set up an automatic transfer every month to that savings account. And you'll be surprised at how quickly you build it up. Your goal is going to be to get up to 20 percent of that house purchase price as a down payment. I hope that helps. You guys can do it.

Just stay with it. We appreciate your call today. So thankful to have you with us today. Thankful for our call screeners, for Tahira Haynes, Amy Rios, and Jim Henry.

Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. I hope you come back and join us tomorrow. I'll look for you then. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-08 20:49:52 / 2023-02-08 21:07:18 / 17

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