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Tracking Your Generosity

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2023 5:25 pm

Tracking Your Generosity

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 9, 2023 5:25 pm

Do you know how much you’ve given back to God’s Kingdom over the years? If not, would you like to understand how to track your generosity in the future? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Art Rainer to talk about why it’s important to track your generosity and he’ll suggest ways you can get started. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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Do you know how much you've given back to God's Kingdom today? Well, my good friend Art Rayner is our guest today. He's a regular faith and finance contributor and one of the most important people in the world.

He's the one who introduced the concept to me. Now, I was on a podcast where the host asked me what my greatest financial regret was. And I said, you know, I don't have a lot of like investing regrets, debt regrets. But what I do have is a tracking regret that I did not track my generosity because I just started doing it a few years ago. I wish I would have started earlier.

Interesting. Well, let's dive right in, though. I know you have a few reasons why we should do this keep track of our generosity.

So what's the first one? Yeah, first of all, that generosity is our financial priority. Yeah, if it's our priority, absolutely. It should be something we're looking at.

All right. Well, what's the next reason? Well, the second one is the fact that you chase what you track. Whatever you're tracking, whatever financial goals you're going after, you are going to put more emphasis on those. You're going to chase after it more. The visual that comes to mind with tracking motivates you to keep going. Now, this works for getting out debt, saving for an automobile or any other financial goal. And so why would we not track our generosity so that we can ensure that we're chasing after it more aggressively?

I love that idea. Yeah, it's the idea that if you're measuring something, you can manage it. And so if we're measuring our giving, tracking our giving, we can obviously be more intentional. This next one has to do with what is not included in our other financial trackers. And that's generosity, right? Finance is at least according to Scripture, and that is our generosity. You know, a net worth statement, once again, is an incredibly useful tool. But one part that has always bothered me about the net worth statement is that generosity can actually be viewed as a negative, reducing a potential asset.

Now, Heavenly Treasure does not have a place on the net worth statement. But at the same time, it is a believer's greatest asset. So because of this, I like keeping track of generosity, giving it a place in my financial health numbers.

I think it's a great idea. Okay, number four, the final reason has to do with the why behind our giving, right? Yeah, you get to see what God has allowed you to be a part of. Dollars on your generosity tracker represent lives changed for all eternity. Most of the impact your generosity has made will, of course, not be revealed to you until heaven. But even though you can't see every way God is leveraging your gift, you can be assured He is using them for His purposes, His mission, and His glory. Tracking your generosity allows you to see what God has allowed you to be a part of.

All right, 30 seconds left. I suspect you're now doing this. So what does it look like to start tracking your generosity?

Yeah, I absolutely am. If you have not started to track your generosity, I would simply encourage you just to go back, like I did, and review prior year's tax returns and view that amount that you give. Add your current generosity to that number.

You can use an Excel sheet. It's a simple way to make sure that we chase what we track. I love it. Art, thanks for stopping by, my friend.

Absolutely. Thank you for having me. That's faith and finance contributor Art Raynor. You can learn a lot more and read his biblical financial content at That's

Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. Stay with us. Much more to come just around the corner. You know, as we think about a biblical worldview of money, we can either find our identity in money itself or we can find our identity in Christ. That's, of course, the biblical worldview. When our identity is in money, we're either prideful or ashamed based on how much money we have. We become discontented with who we are and what we have based on our financial status, and our personal value comes from what we do. But if, in fact, we have a biblical worldview and our identity is rooted in Christ where our true identity really is, then, well, there's no need for pride, shame, and comparison. Our identity is not about what we do or what we have. It is Christ in us, our hope of glory, as we read in Colossians 1-7.

The world will tell you something otherwise. We need to constantly renew our minds around that idea. Hi, I'm Rob West. Still glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. And we'd love to take your questions today as we turn the corner and talk about, really, whatever you're thinking about. The number to call with lines open today is 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We began today by talking about generosity, specifically, Art Rayner, our good friend, encouraging us, perhaps, to start tracking our generosity. Now, of course, there is a passage that admonishes us not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing with regard to our giving.

And we certainly need to be mindful of that idea, but I think that ultimately comes down to our heart posture. What is our motivation for giving and tracking our giving? So, is it that we want to celebrate what we've done, or is it that we want to celebrate what God has allowed us to do? Is it that we want to celebrate, you know, the success we've had in helping somebody out in their place of need? Or is it really about an overflow of our gratitude to God being able to participate in His activity? So much comes down to our heart posture, and we always need to be checking that. Well, we'd love for you to weigh in on the conversation today, perhaps with a financial question about your debt or your giving strategy.

Maybe you're thinking about tracking your own giving, or you want to talk about long-term savings or investing, whatever it might be today, including a testimony of how God's wisdom and principles have shown themselves in your financial life. Give us a call. We've got some lines open. 800-525-7000. Again, 800-525-7000. You know, we receive emails from listeners like you all the time at We try to get them on the air as often as we can. This one comes from Christie.

She writes, Hi, Rob. I love listening to your show. I'm in my 20s, and I'm saving up for a house. I'm not sure about the best way to invest my current savings.

Should I buy a CD or invest in the stock market? I appreciate any advice. Thank you so much. And, Christie, first of all, I'm delighted that you're in your 20s.

You're thinking about this. You're obviously a disciplined saver, and you've got a goal. In order to do that, you're probably living on a spending plan within your means, or you wouldn't have any margin to save with at all.

So congratulations on being on that track. With regard to the possibility of investing, whether it's a CD or the stock market, we always want to start, Christie, by defining our time horizon. And if that home purchase is in less than five years, I would just simply say to you, you probably want to think about not investing in the stock market. The key is it's not the return on your money at that point.

It's the return of your money. And so you want to really lean into this idea of saying, okay, how do I earn some interest while I'm saving up, but I don't take risks? Because the last thing we would want is for you to be ready to make that purchase, and now you've got to sell some investments at a loss.

So I would say if we're talking a short-term type of savings account, probably an online savings account would be the best option for you at this point. That would give you the chance to set a specific goal, keep that money earmarked for this specific purpose so it doesn't get used for something else, earn a little bit of interest along the way, maybe three and a half percent or so, and I think that's going to be headed higher this year, and keep you focused on what you're trying to do, and that is save for that down payment. Quickly, I would remind you, our goal is 20% down to avoid that private mortgage insurance and go in with a little bit of equity. And then on the 80% that you'd finance, perhaps, make sure that mortgage payment, including taxes and insurances, is no more than 25% of your take-home pay.

That will ensure you have plenty left over for everything else. Christy, thanks for writing to us. Again, if you have a question, just send it along.

AskRob at All right, to the phones we go. We have a few lines open. 800-525-7000. We're going to begin today in Montana. Robin, thank you for calling.

Go ahead. Hi, I'm calling about a house that my sister and I inherited from my mother when she passed away. And now we're wondering, do we have to pay, and then we sold the house after she'd passed away. Do we pay proper capital gains tax on that, what we received from the sale? Yeah, the rule on that, Robin, is that at the date of death, the new cost basis would have been established. So as an inherited piece of property, whatever that fair market value was as of the date of death is the new cost basis. So the only way you would pay capital gains on the sale is if you sold it for more than the market value as of the date of death. But if it was in a relatively short period of time, the likelihood is you don't have anything. You could even have sold it for slightly less than that.

So you probably don't have any capital gains on that, but that would be how you would know. Does that make sense? Yeah, that makes good sense. Thank you very much. I appreciate the information.

Absolutely. No problem, Robin. Thank you for listening to the program and for calling today. Let's head to Georgia. Hey, Janie, thanks for calling.

Go ahead. Hi, I'm calling because I my aunt recommended the show because I've been struggling. My husband and I have been married for about 10 years and we've tried a lot of different like budgeting strategies, I guess. And we've never been able to really save anything. And it feels like we're just living and it feels like we're just living paycheck to paycheck. And at first when he made less money, it was like, oh, we just need more money. And now, you know, he makes a lot of money and we're still stuck in like this paycheck to paycheck cycle that I can't seem to get out of. Yeah.

Well, I'm glad you called, Janie. And I'm not surprised to hear what you're saying, because this is something that affects so many of us. And that is a couple of dynamics. Number one is that our level of spending always rises to our level of income unless we protest to the contrary. And we see the data say that savings rates aren't affected by how much you make.

In fact, some of the higher savings rates are in the lower income thresholds, which just brings it back to ultimately disciplines. And I would say even before that values really starting with what are the values that are important to us? What do we want to be known for as a family, as Christ followers? And how can our spending plan truly reflect what's most important to us? How do we rein in our spending, knowing that we did it when we had less money? And just because we're making more now, our lifestyle doesn't necessarily have to expand. So how do we order our finances in such a way that tells a story about what's really most important to us? But really, what's key there is that we have margin or surplus to ultimately be able to fund those longer term objectives. We sacrifice in the short term because we're really committed to the things we want to do in the long term. We want to increase our giving. We want to save for retirement. We want to put our kids through college. You know, we want to be able to take a vacation and enjoy time together as a family.

And those are really important. So we're willing to sacrifice in the short term. So I think that might be one of the steps is just to back up and have that values conversation.

Janie, you and your husband pray through it, talk about it, maybe even write down. What are the things that are really important to us in the future? And once you're clear on that, then you know your why. So as you're sacrificing by, you know what, we can only spend this much eating out. And when the money's gone, we're done. And we're, you know, we're cooking at home tonight, you know, or whatever it is.

But we do it because we know the why. I think that's really key. Now, let's do this. If you don't mind, I heard some little kids in the background.

But if you have a few more minutes, I'm going to ask you to hold because I want to hear from you what you think is tripping you up. And then let's see if we can come up with a game plan to go forward. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live.

Stay with us. You know, it comes to money and marriage. We know that 70 percent of married couples have conflict over money. And that one of the keys to overcoming that is not only communication, but it's margin.

It's not a matter of your income. It's having something left over at the end of the month. Janie's calling to ask, how do we stay on budget? We've struggled with this, living paycheck to paycheck, even as our income has grown. And Janie, as I was saying, this is something that a lot of folks struggle with.

I said perhaps one of the keys to this is backing up and defining your why, identifying your values that inform some of these decisions that you'll make to sacrifice and limit your spending so that you have margin to fund those goals. But give me your sense on not only that, but perhaps your thoughts on what's tripped you up to this point. I think that I grew up in a home where there wasn't a lot. And then I was, you know, I did, you know, I was deprived. And then, you know, growing up, I don't know, I feel like once I did start making my own money, then it was like, oh, well, this is my money.

I'm still what I want. And I would just, you know, like, I don't know if it's lack of like impulse control, but it's just, I just feel like I need it. And my mom will say like, you have to ask yourself if you really need it. And I'm like, I mean, I can find a way to justify needing all of it all the time.

Yeah. And what about your husband's background on money and how that affects how he views finances? Well, it's really it's been a really sad and very hard journey because he was very, very frugal. Like prior to us meeting, he budgeted down to the penny. You know, that was like he took a lot of pride in how well he managed his finances.

And he had saved, you know, twenty five thousand dollars by the time he was twenty three years old. And then I come along and now, you know, in some of the arguments I hear a lot of all you do is spend all of my money. So it's been really hard, you know, on the marriage because and then I'll do OK for a little while and then I just fall right back into it. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I hear you.

And you know what? I think what we have to recognize and I'm glad you brought up how money was handled growing up, because so often that's one of the primary drivers to how we view money today is how much money was available, how it was handled. What was modeled for us as children has a lot to do with how tight that fist is clenched on what we have today or how loose the grip is that allows us to give generously. And whether we're spenders or hoarders and, you know, part of that is just our wiring and how God has created us.

I think the beauty of marriage is, though, we come together as one flesh and we bring those backgrounds that are differing, those different personalities. We're a more accurate reflection of who God is as we come together and bring all of that together. But we have to put it under the Lordship of Christ. We have to start with our identity in him and realize that, you know, we can't have our identity in money. We can't operate out of a place like the world does, you know, that encourages us to spend more than we earn, that it teaches us to be discontent, that it attaches our self-worth to our net worth.

We've got to get beyond that and adopt a biblical worldview which starts with the idea that God owns it all. This is not your money. It's not his money.

It's not mine. It belongs to the Lord. And we've been hired by him as his money manager when he entrusts it to us. And so we're a money manager for the King of Kings.

And then we have to be content with what we have and realize that Hebrews 13 tells us that frees us up. And now we're no longer relying on money in place of God, but we're valuing true eternal riches over earthly riches. And we handle money in such a way that demonstrates that because money is the clearest indicator into what we value and what's important to us. And our identity, again, is rooted in Christ himself.

Money now is a tool to accomplish his purposes. And so I think we have to start with that game-changing idea at the core of everything. And then we move out from there and say, OK, what are the principles in God's Word we can apply?

And then ultimately, how do we apply that to our day-to-day spending? And that's an exercise in faith. My experience, Janie, is that one of the key ways God shapes our spiritual journey is through our financial journey. It's one of the most tangible expressions of what God is doing in our life every day.

So I think you've got to renew your mind, and we all do. I'm not just talking to you around this idea, counteracting the messages of this world, dialing into what God says in his Word about who we are in Christ and the role of money, and then from there identify our values and then make our plan. Now, the plan is key because as a married couple, the budget becomes the instrument of peace because we've defined in advance how we're going to spend God's money. And we can build into that plan a portion that's just for you to do whatever you want with.

And let that be an expression of who you are and the things you enjoy. And the same for your husband, but ultimately it's a matter of controlling our finances and sacrificing in the short term because we want the bigger win down the road, which is ultimately being able to accomplish our goals and objectives that we've prayed over and that really are important to us as a married couple. And then once we get that plan, now we've got to have a monthly money date where we're talking about it, making course corrections, evaluating how we're doing. We've got to have a control system in place, whether that's a physical envelope system where when the cash is gone you stop spending in that category or something like the FaithFi app that has a digital envelope system. But we've got to have some method of saying, okay, we've created this plan for a reason, and now this is going to make sure that we stay on top of it. And you've got to work together on that, and it's not a matter of finger pointing, but it's a matter of you all reminding yourselves of here's why we're doing this, and this is ultimately what we're going to be able to accomplish when we do. And a lot of that is just retraining our minds from our upbringing, but also from the cultural messages around money and what we deserve and why we deserve it versus seeing our identity in Christ and money as a tool.

Does that help at all? Yeah, no, that is really helpful. I really like what you talked about, kind of having it be with the values, because I feel like a lot of times when we have these money discussions, it's a very like me against you, my style versus your style, and then I tend to feel restricted. But I think I really like what you said about kind of making it value system based, and we do share a lot of the same values as why we chose to get married in the first place.

Yeah, that's exactly right. So I think that I'm taking it in that way. Yeah, I think that could perhaps change the conversation a bit, which is going to be key for you all to find a path forward. Here's what I'd like to do.

I want to send you a copy of Howard Dayton's book, Money and Marriage God's Way. I think that might be an encouragement to you. Maybe your next step is just to start by agreeing together. You guys are going to sit down and read a chapter a week together or individually, and then come together and talk about it.

And then just be open to what God has for you. But out of this, you've got to come up with a budget that you think reflects what God is doing in your marriage and your family, and then agree to stick to it. Hey, thanks for your call today. We'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Stay with us.

800-525-7000 is the number. This is Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. Before the break, we were talking to Janie. Janie was just being honest.

This is real life. She was saying, listen, we didn't have a whole lot when I was growing up, and now that we've got a bit more, I struggle with this idea of holding back, limiting myself. I see something I want, and I think I should buy that. I'll figure out how to pay for it.

And that's creating a little bit of conflict in the marriage and causing them to live paycheck to paycheck, even though they've got quite a bit more in the way of income that they've had previously. How have you overcome that? Do you have a question or a story, maybe a comment on what you might offer to Janie? Call us at 800-525-7000. Renee, I understand you have a thought for Janie. Go right ahead. Yeah. Hi, Jamie.

Ann, thank you again for taking my call. Sure. One of the things that we had an issue with was that exact thing, or we would each look at the account and say, oh, there's $10 there, and he would spend it and I'd spend it, and then we would end up bouncing a check, and then it was your fault, my fault, that kind of thing. Oh, boy, yeah.

Sure. So what we ended up doing was doing a budget, kind of like what you said, but then we actually budgeted in for, I don't want to say splurges or whatever you want to call it, you know, something that I saw that I thought we needed, or I would say, but we're going to need it. You know, so-and-so's birthday is coming up and I only had to pay $10 for it. This is, you know, worth $20. I got it half price. This is a good thing.

He's like, but that's, you know, causing problems. So what we did is we budgeted that in. Now, it started out at, you know, just like $10 a week, and as our income grew, we could change that. And if I found something that was $20, let's say I bought that, then I couldn't spend anything for two weeks. And having just a smaller, you know, little piece of time to have to wait before I could spend more money was easier than thinking, oh, my gosh, I've got to wait, you know, six months before I can get this, you know, or that kind of thing. Or I just can't buy it in the first place. You know, that plan allowed you to go ahead and make the purchase because you knew you had a little bit of flexibility in the budget to be able to make that up, right?

And, yeah, and so that would be my suggestion. And do think hard, do I really need this? And the other thing that I would do, this might sound silly, and I still do this today, is I see something, I start putting stuff in the cart and I look at the cart and start adding it up, and then I think, hmm, do I really need this? And I walk around the store and I pray about what it is that I'm going to spend. Is this really the right thing to spend this on?

If not, God, give me a sign of something else I should do. You know, and so then maybe I'll go past the checkout lane and see that, oh, it's too long, okay, then I can't go through the long line. I can only go through the fast line, which means I have to limit myself to only 12 things in this cart.

Yeah, there's a lot of things going on in your brain as you're walking through that store, it sounds like. Lots of debate, the internal, but it's good, right, because you're kind of working it out in real time and thinking through it and prioritizing, and that's what it's ultimately all about. It's a great idea, though, Renee. Build some margin into your plan. Have some flexibility, planned impulses, right? It's kind of an oxymoron, but it works. We've got to have some flexibility.

If we budget right up to the edge, well, we're going to go over every time. Hey, thanks for checking in with us. We appreciate it. 800-525-7000, we've got a few lines open. Sabo, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hello, thanks for taking my call, Rob.

Sure. So my situation is this, I have about 9,000, well, me and my wife have about $9,000 saved up, emergency funds, whatever fund, but we also have about the same in credit card debt, and that's on these no interest cards due over the next six to 15 months. I'm trying to figure out if I should liquidate and pay them down or what level to stay on and pay more down than I am right now. I'm making more than the minimum payment, but still struggling with the fact that I have this money, I could just pay it off and be done with it.

Yeah, it makes sense, and I think the answer is probably somewhere in the middle. How many cards is this roughly 10,000 in debt spread across? Two.

Okay. And are there any changes in your financial life that are expected on the horizon where you think you'd need to use some of this 9,000, or is it truly for the unexpected for emergencies? There's a potential of about 2,000 that might need to come up in the next month or two.

Besides that, the rest is not going to be touched. Yeah, that's great, and it's really helpful. So typically what I would say is if you have, especially if you have a high-interest credit card, and I realize this is on a 0% for a period of time, although that's going to run out at some point, and then you're going to have to play the balance transfer game, which I don't like doing that. Plus there's usually a 2% or 3% charge on every balance you transfer. So I generally say, hey, let's have at least $1,500 in emergency savings while we're paying off credit cards, and then once we get out of credit card debt, don't let that get eaten up and more lifestyle spending. Let's immediately take all that money we were sending the credit cards and go back to the emergency fund until it gets up to three to six months expenses. So if we were to apply that to your situation, we'd say, okay, let's have $1,500 in savings, and let's add to that the $2,000 that you know you're likely going to have to spend.

So let's go ahead and plan on that. So let's keep $3,500 in savings and then take the rest of it, which it sounds like at that point you'd have about $5,500 left, and then let's just start knocking those off smallest to largest balance. And that will give you some momentum. You'll see some of them completely paid off.

That will give you some encouragement. And then whatever you have on a monthly basis over and above that, as you limit your lifestyle and dial back your spending, let's send that to the remaining cards over and above that minimum payment. But let's attack one card at a time, smallest to largest balance, both in terms of paying them off. On the $5,500 you'll put on them immediately. And then from that point forward, let's continue to attack the smallest balance with surplus every month until ultimately they're all paid off.

Does that make sense? Absolutely. I have a follow-up question. What do you recommend to have in your account as a balance protector to avoid going into the red or just as a buffer between you and life? Because I've heard different things like keep $500, keep $100. I don't know. What's a good number?

Sure. Yeah, no, it's a good question. I think it just depends on your cash flow situation. I mean, ideally you'd get to a place where you've got the whole month already in there before the month starts. So you're not living paycheck to paycheck, but you're kind of a month ahead. So I like the idea of having a whole month's expenses in there. And then as those paychecks come in, you're just kind of replenishing that.

But you've got it already there earmarked. Now, if things are tighter, obviously you can actually budget out of each check. And at that point you're probably looking at, yeah, maybe somewhere between $200 and $500 just as a cushion, depending on how much is actually flowing through there every month.

But I think ultimately the goal in checking is to have that month funded before it starts, and then you'd have another two to six months expenses in a separate savings account that really is for emergencies. Does that make sense? Awesome. Thank you so much, Rob. All right, absolutely. Appreciate you thinking about us and calling today.

God bless you, my friend. Well, folks, we've already covered a lot of ground, but still another segment to come. We're going to head to Chicago and talk to Ike. We'll talk to Jamita in Idaho, and perhaps your question.

We've got a few more coming in as we speak. You know, folks, as we think about managing God's money, we want to apply biblical wisdom. That means we go to God's word, the source, and start there. It's not a matter of just applying, you know, conventional wisdom and then stacking a Bible verse on top.

We want to start with a biblical worldview and allow everything to flow from our faith and our values and let that really dictate where we're headed in our financial lives. Hopefully we can help you do that on this program each day. We're so thankful you've gathered with us. We're going to take a quick break, but much more just around the corner.

Stay with us. We've been talking a lot today about budgeting and spending plans. One of the best ways to stay on budget is to use the envelope system. In fact, in the Faithfi app, you'll find our digital envelope system. You can download it at our website, That's

Or just head to your app store and search for Faithfi and download it today. All right, back to the phones. We go to Chicago. Hey, Ike. How can I help you? Yeah, how's it going? Doing great, thanks. Thanks for taking my call.

I'm sorry. I'm calling because I'm almost 50. My wife's almost 60. We don't have any debt, but we have about 100 grand we've saved up, and we just have no idea what to do with that money. All right, is that just in a savings account right now, Ike? Yeah, just in a savings, and we know we're losing money because of inflation and so forth, so we're just trying to figure out what do we do with that given where we are.

Yeah. What other assets do you have, liquid assets? Do you have retirement accounts, for instance? Yeah, I have probably 40, 45 grand in my 401K.

She's just restarting hers, excuse me, and we probably have another 30 in a money market. Okay, is that in a retirement account or just a taxable investment account? Just a regular money market account, yeah.

Okay, yeah. Like with Capital One, yeah. Yeah, so what we want to do is we want to try to boost the amount you're putting into your 401K because we want to get as much of this that isn't earmarked for some other purpose into a tax-deferred environment, and your best opportunity to really get a good bit of money going in there would be first a 401K and then second a Roth or a traditional IRA because right now we can invest it and perhaps we should, but there's going to be taxes on all of the gains as you realize those gains along the way, which is going to put a drag on the investments, but the quicker we can get this into tax-deferred environments like a 401K and IRA, it's going to grow without the impact of the taxes on the money. So by boosting up your retirement contributions, especially if you're behind, you feel like on retirement savings, even if you pushed it up beyond what you needed to live on every month, you could supplement your paycheck by pulling from the $100,000, which is basically a way of shifting the money that's in the taxable account and getting more going into the 401K through salary deferral, which is how you would fund that 401K for you and your wife. Do you have any of this $100,000? Is it earmarked for any specific purpose? No, just money.

My wife's a very good saver, and we're like, we got to put this money somewhere because we're losing the value of the dollar. Yeah, okay, very good. And so you'd be able to put in quite a bit of money in those 401Ks because if you each have one, is that right? You each have one available to you? Correct, yes.

Okay, yeah. So you can put a lot there. What about an emergency fund? We'd need to pull that out of this, right? You don't have emergency savings separate from this? Well, we have a little more now than $100,000 because I've been postponing us doing some with the money, so we would still have some cash reserves even after we put the $100,000 somewhere, even if we go with the idea you just gave about maybe contributing more to both retirement accounts and kind of supplement on the back end from that savings account.

Exactly, yeah, I think that would be the way to go. So I'd make sure you have three to six months expenses in a savings account. I'd move that to an online savings account that allows you to get a little bit of interest, probably right now about 3.5%. And then in that 401K, if you're 50 or older, you can put in a full $30,000 into that 401K if you're over the age of 50, which I know you both are. So that's a good bit into those 401Ks.

And again, that process that I described would be a way to shift that over. So I think that's perhaps your next step, which is then going to allow that money to grow over the next 15 years or more between now and retirement, maybe a little bit less for your wife, but certainly for you. And then you'll have quite a bit of a nest egg there. Like you guys are diligent savers, which is great. So you can really kind of make up for some lost time.

And then on top of that 401K, you could each open off Roth IRAs and put in $7,500 apiece in those. So hopefully that gives you some ideas to think about, Ike. We appreciate you calling today. Keep up the good work.

To Idaho, Jamita, how can I help you? Yes, I have a question on the required rental distribution. Okay. When I have that sent directly to our church, and I've done that for the last couple of years, my question is, they still send me a statement about that from the retirement company, and does that statement have to be turned in with the tax report or not? Because it has it marked on there that this does not say how much has to be taxed. But I've sent the full amount to our church.

Okay, yeah. And so you use the qualified charitable distribution. So basically, on the line for the taxable amount, you would enter zero if the full amount was a qualified charitable distribution.

And then next to that line, you'd typically write QCD so that they could see that it was a qualified charitable distribution. Do you normally prepare your own taxes, or do you have a CPA doing that for you? I help with it, yeah. You normally have some money?

Yeah, I have a free service available for seniors. Okay. Okay, got it. Yeah, so the QCD would be reported as a normal distribution. And then, you know, but you would, on your tax return, just make sure that you note that the taxable amount is zero, and then you'd have that statement showing the QCD to be able to document that, if there was ever any question about it, just to make sure that it shows that you took out the required minimum. But your CPA or tax preparer could help you make sure that that's done correctly. But I love that you took advantage of that, Jamita. That's a great tool.

Does that answer your question? So I should leave that paper with the papers that I turn in then. Yeah, that's never a bad idea, so they can reference that. And then, you know, again, as I said, you generally report the full amount of the charitable distribution on the line for IRA distributions, and then on the line for the taxable amount, that's where you enter zero if that full amount was a qualified charitable distribution. And then out to the side, you would just write QCD, and that would take care of it.

But yeah, having a copy of that in your files and then attaching a copy with it is never a bad idea unless you file electronically. Thanks for calling in today. We appreciate your question. To Ohio, Giorgio, thanks for calling.

Go ahead. Hey, you're welcome. Thank you. First of all, I want to thank you very much for your ministry and all you're doing. God bless you, and I appreciate you very much. Well, thanks.

I have a simple question. I have a son who's 30 years old who's getting serious about his finances, and maybe you could suggest a simple budget template that he could adhere to. I know he's not making a ton of money, still lives at home, but he doesn't have any expenses, and he needs some help and direction. What do you suggest?

Yeah. Well, I think the FaithFi app would be a great option for him. It's a smartphone app that he would be very comfortable with. He'd be able to use either the manual approach, where he would just enter in his income as he receives it, and then he could allocate that to his various envelopes digitally in the app, and then transfer, and then every time he has a transaction, he would enter that into the appropriate envelope, and it would show him what he has left. Or he could use the electronic approach, where he connects securely to his bank account or savings account, or if he has a debit card or credit card, and then all those transactions would come down automatically. But the key is it would allow him to set up his plan, and then he would see what is available in his funding accounts, basically his checking account, and then in the app, he would allocate that funding amount into each of the envelopes, and then as the transactions automatically flow in, it would reduce those balances to show him what he has left, and would teach him the budgeting process, but it would be a real simple kind of modern smartphone interface that he would be very comfortable with. And we can give you a six-month pro subscription just as our gift to you, Giorgio, that you can pass along to him, and see if that works for him.

We have a team of success managers that can come alongside him to make sure that it's set up correctly and answer all of his questions. So you stay on the line, we'll get your information, and make sure we get that out to you, okay? Thank you.

God bless you. All right, Giorgio, thanks for calling today. You stay on the line.

Let's finish today in Pennsylvania. Hey, Bob, thanks for calling. Go ahead, sir.

Yes. How do you know if you need an estate instead of a will? And is there a difference between an estate and a transfer on death, a TOD?

Would you explain that so I can know, maybe have some wisdom on what to do? And God bless you for your ministry, too. Well, thank you, Bob, I appreciate that. When you say estate, do you perhaps mean a trust? Yes, a trust, yes.

Yes, we have properties and cash and equipment and stuff, and it's all debt-free, it's all debt-free. Okay, yeah, so we all have an estate, which is just simply the total of all of our assets and personal effects and property. And the question is, how do we plan for the orderly distribution of that, because there's only three places it can go, the government, heirs, or charity, or ministry, and we want to make sure it passes according to your wishes.

This is your last stewardship decision. The question on a trust versus will, a will simply says at your death how your estate, everything inside your estate, is to be distributed. And the transfer on death, whether that's on an investment account or as a part of a piece of real estate, is just going to allow everything to pass outside of the estate, which is how everything in the will is passed through an executor, through the probate court.

It's going to allow it to pass outside directly to whoever you name that it's to be transferred to. The benefit of the trust is everything is going to happen outside of the probate court. It can be private and it could go into effect prior to your death if you're incapacitated and after your death for lifelong dependent or if you wanted your estate distributed over time.

So I think that's really the key for you to determine, do we want this private? Do we want it outside of the probate court? Do we want it, not an executor, but a trustee to handle things prior to death or after death? That's really the primary determinant as to whether a trust is needed. So I'd connect with a godly estate attorney and just go over your assets and estate plan and just see what is needed.

You might find that a TOD and a will will cover it. Thanks for your call today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Luke, Tahira, Amy, and Jim. God bless you. Have a great rest of your day and come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-09 19:11:09 / 2023-02-09 19:29:01 / 18

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