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When Someone Owes You Money

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2023 11:45 am

When Someone Owes You Money

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 16, 2023 11:45 am

God’s Word contains dozens of verses about repaying debt, but they are usually from the perspective of owing money to others. But, what if someone owes us money? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about the process you can use to reconcile unpaid debt when someone owes you money. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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The wicked borrow and do your and not pay. We have to dig a little deeper to discern God's will for us when someone owes us money, but one thing is very clear, the Lord expects us to act differently than the world. For one thing, if the one who owes you is a fellow believer, you should never sue to recover that money. Paul says this in no uncertain terms. In First Corinthians 6, 6, and 7, he writes, But brother goes to law against brother.

And that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? Of course, this applies only if the person owing you money is a fellow believer. The Bible doesn't say that you can't sue someone outside the church. If you own a business, you may someday be forced to take someone to court for non-payment, simply to keep your business going. Now, that's not to say you have no recourse within the church.

If someone rightfully owes you money and doesn't pay, there's a four-step process for reconciling the issue. First is to put the matter into perspective. You shouldn't be surprised if another believer attempts to defraud you. Romans 3-23 reads, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. With that in mind, consider how Jesus treated sinners with kindness and patience.

Avoid confrontation. A good way to do that is by praying for the one who owes you money. You might say to God, Heavenly Father, I lift this person up to you and put this situation in your hands.

Please give me wisdom and please bless this person financially so they will never feel the need to borrow in the future. Your ways are not our ways. Please use this situation to give glory to you and guide my steps. Help me act as Christ would, showing mercy that others might see and be drawn to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

The next step is to meet with the person who owes you money. In Matthew 18-15, Jesus says, If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If they listen to you, you have won them over. That means keeping the matter private for now.

Don't grouse about it to your spouse or friends, and certainly not on social media. The idea is to show respect for the other person so their heart might be softened. The real goal is reconciliation. Getting what you're owed is secondary.

Be willing from the outset to forego payment if need be. If meeting privately with the person doesn't work, step three is to take other Christians with you for another meeting. Jesus goes on to say in verses 16 and 17, If they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church. And if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. That seems pretty drastic, but we're entering the realm of church discipline. It's important to understand that this isn't to punish the individual, but to help him or her see the error of their ways, repent and make good. If this person rightfully owes you money and refuses to pay, it's a sin and the church needs to deal with it. Just as with adultery or any other type of public sin, the church must exercise proper discipline or it ceases to honor God. If the offender refuses to repent, Jesus himself says they should be treated as an unbeliever. And finally, step four, you must continue to show humility, respect and love for the offender. You must remember that you represent Christ and that you trust Him for the outcome.

People are watching you. Think of the situation not as a win-lose proposition, but as an opportunity to express the love of Christ in a difficult situation. As believers, we should be better than the world at resolving conflict. Pray the Holy Spirit will show His power through this process, that God's will should be accomplished through you, whether you're paid or not. Either way, you must forgive that person as Christ has forgiven you.

Mark 11 25 reads, and whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone so that your father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses. All right, your calls are next. The number to call is 800-525-7000.

Stick around. I'm so glad you've joined us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West, and we're taking your calls and questions. We've already got a number of questions lined up, but room for you at 800-525-7000.

We'd love to hear from you. You know, often money management can seem overwhelming, complicated, perhaps unending in the number of decisions that we need to make, and that can lead to indecision and perhaps even frustration. You know, when we simplify money management down to just five things—the money we live on, the money we give, the money we owe for debt and for taxes, and then the money we grow—it does make things obviously simpler, but we also recognize that God's Word speaks to each of those. And when we apply the principles that we see in God's Word, like living within our means and giving generously because it breaks the grip of money over our lives, and the fact that borrowing always mortgages the future, and so we need to be careful when we're borrowing that we want to pay our taxes with thanksgiving because it's symptomatic of provision, and we want to grow God's money prudently, but we also want to do it wisely before the Lord, asking the question, how much is enough?

And when we wrestle through these things and apply biblical wisdom, counteracting the messages of this world, well, it's at that point that we can make decisions that are God-honoring, keep ourselves free from the love of money, which is the root of all evil, the Bible tells us, and pursue God, ultimately seeking first his kingdom and then having all these things added. That really is our aim here on this program. We want to help you do that with the very practical decisions and choices you're making. So give us a call. Tell us what you're thinking about. Let's talk about it together.

Also, if you have a testimony, perhaps you've been applying these principles, not from me, but from God's Word for a long time, and you've seen the fruit of that, we'd love to hear about it. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. All right, to Cleveland, Ohio, WH. Thanks for calling. Go ahead. How you doing, Rob? I'm well, sir.

Okay. Yeah, I thought I seen an ad in the mail where it was talking about I could pay my debt off in about, oh, I could apply for a $20,000 loan at the price of 6.99%. So I called about it, and next thing I know that they were signing me up for the loan, but that's what I wanted. But they explained later on after I'd been through all of the red tape that I had signed up, and then they were going to negotiate the debt. And he probably wouldn't understand that you've been saying that we should pay our debts, and that's what the Bible teaches also. So this is what I wanted to do, but he's talking about negotiating, and he's saying that it's so high that I probably couldn't do the debt snowball good enough to get it paid off in the time that they could get it paid off for me. Yeah. Well, I appreciate that background, WH.

Let's talk about it for a moment. First of all, what you're probably referring to is debt settlement, where they go in, they ask you to stop making the payments, your account falls into arrears and into collections, and in doing so, they then approach the company that issued the debt, the lender, and try to negotiate a reduced payoff, a debt settlement. Well, the problem with that is it's going to trash your credit in the meantime. Secondly, there's a lot of fraud and manipulation involved in many of these strategies, and you described one of them. They presented it as one thing, and after you went through the process, and in some cases even pay some money, only to find out that you're not taking out a new loan, which I would have discouraged you from doing anyway, but that wasn't it at all. All of a sudden you find out they're putting you into a debt settlement program, which is not what was explained to you initially. Therein lies the problem. There's a lot of fraud and deception in this particular industry.

It doesn't mean there's not any reputable companies, but they're few and far between. So for that reason, I would stay away from anyone trying to get a settlement by encouraging you to stop paying your debts on time. Now, you probably do have high interest rates if this is credit card debt. Is that in fact what debt you have?

Yes, that's a fact. Yes. Okay. And what's the balance across however many cards you have, roughly?

It's probably about $24,000. Okay. All right. And have you stopped adding to those credit cards, WH?

Yeah. I was getting ready to add them up, but the ad was so attractive. So I called and next thing I know, he was saying that it was still more attractive because I thought that I was just going to have $20,000 to pay everything off.

I didn't know exactly what I needed because I hadn't added everything up yet. Well, I don't like the idea of paying this off with new debt anyway. That's often called debt consolidation where you'd get a new loan rolling the debts together, hopefully at a lower interest rate.

The problem with that is often we're treating the symptom and not the problem. The problem is overspending and the symptom is the debt. When you transfer that debt to a lower interest consolidation loan, oftentimes even though the interest rate is lower, you're going to have a longer payback period, which means you may pay as much or even more interest over the life of the loan as you are currently. But secondly, if we don't treat the problem, which is overspending, then you're going to call me six months from now and say, Rob, now I have a $24,000 consolidation loan at 699 and guess what? The credit card debt's back and I don't want that for you. So here's the way I would go WH. I like debt management.

It's basically where you're sliding into existing programs. There's not any negotiation. Each of your creditors has a reduced interest rate available if you go into what's called a credit counseling program through a nonprofit credit counseling agency. We work with Christian credit counselors here at Faith and Finance. We've worked with them for years.

They're godly people. They've worked with hundreds and hundreds of our listeners to help them get out of debt on average 80% faster. And the way they can do that is there's going to be a lower interest rate with each of these accounts once you enter the program and you're going to have a level monthly payment. So as that balance comes down, which it will much quicker at a reduced interest rate, the payment is not going to change. So now you begin snowballing that debt and the combination of those two things working together will allow you to pay this off in full, honor your debts, but do it much quicker with a lot less interest paid.

So I think that's your next step as far as I'm concerned. I would visit with our friends at and let them get you at least explore what it would look like for you to get on a debt management program, okay? Now, if I do that, how would that look when I'm paid off? In terms of your credit report? Yes, if I need to do credit at that particular time.

It wouldn't look bad at all. The fact that you're in a debt management program is not a part of the credit scoring formula. The only thing that could cause your score to decline slightly is that each of these cards will be closed when they enter the program. So that's just going to pull them out of your credit history. But the fact that you're in credit counseling, that in and of itself is not a part of the credit scoring algorithm. So I wouldn't worry about getting new credit at this point, even though it's not going to have a major impact on you. The key for you is to get out of debt and stay there.

But when you get out of debt and you're ready for a loan that makes sense down the road, you won't have any trouble getting it. So head to, WH, and let me know how it goes. We'll look forward to hearing back from you.

800-525-7000. Fenny and Joyce, we're coming your way, plus your questions just around the corner. We'll be right back.

Stay with us. One of the challenges with the cultural worldview of money is that it often leads to fear. We start asking the question, what if? The problem is, what if makes us think about what might go wrong in the future? Well, we can't see the future, but we worry about it anyway. The late Larry Burkett would often say, our anxieties usually are not related to the lack of things, but to the loss of things. Larry would go on to explain that one of Satan's favorite tools to discourage Christians is the question, what if?

What if questions lead right down the road to fear and worry? Well, Jesus addressed this in the Gospels. Let me read it to you. He says, Therefore, do not worry, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or what shall we wear? For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

So what's the answer? Well, he goes on to say, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So what if we replace fear with faith, and we seek first the kingdom, and then let everything else come into focus, counteracting the messages of this world and pursuing a biblical worldview of money management?

Perhaps that will make all the difference. This is Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today, 800-525-7000. Let's head back to the phones to Miami, Florida. Hey, Joyce, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. Yes, yes.

Thanks for receiving my call. I want to know what's important about investing. What should I know about investing about $5,000 in I bonds? Instead of buying life insurance, I want to invest that to kind of help, you know, whenever that time comes.

Yeah, let's talk about that for a moment. So, you know, whenever we talk about investing, we have to talk about the money that we're using, and whether that's the right priority use of that money. Are there other things that should come first? And then we need to make sure that the investment vehicle, in this case you're referring to I bonds, matches the investment objectives, which has to do with the time horizon. How long do you have to invest this money, and how do we seek the best return with the least amount of risk? But we also have to make sure we have the right liquidity, which just means you can get access to the money when you need it. So let's start with the priority use of this money. You said it's $5,000.

Where is this money coming from? It's coming from part of my savings account. Okay, all right. And do you have additional savings, what I would call an emergency fund separate from this? Yes, I have that in place.

Okay, great. And what is the time horizon on this money? Is this earmarked for any specific purpose where you would need it back in a certain period of time? No, I want to invest it there when my daughter will be the beneficiary, for when the time comes for me to leave this place, that she don't have to be running around. Sure. And you mentioned life insurance.

So tell me what you're thinking about there. Do you have any life insurance? I have a little, but the cost of living is so high. But instead of buying more life insurance, the payment is so high.

I'm 74 years old. I figure if I invest the $5,000 in iBonds, that additional would help her when that time comes. Yes. Is she an adult and is she depending upon your income to cover her lifestyle expenses? No, no. She's very independent.

She's about 41 years old and she's very independent, have her own house and everything. Great. So this is just something you wanted to do to bless her when the Lord calls you home, correct?

Exactly, yes. Okay. So I would agree with you, Joyce, that life insurance is not the way to go at your age and given the fact that you no longer have any dependents that would be placed in a hardship situation if you were to pass away and therefore your income went away, then it's not a good use of money because it would be very costly. So then the question is, okay, with the resources I have beyond my emergency fund, what's the best way to invest that money? iBonds are fine. I would put those in a bucket where we're thinking about money that we might want to have access to in one to three years. You've got to leave money in iBonds for 12 months.

You simply can't take it out. But if you're thinking about investing this money for more than three years, I'm not sure that's going to be the best option because even though the rate is fairly attractive today at 6.89%, that's going to change. As inflation comes down, the rate on the iBond is going to come down with it and it adjusts every six months. So we'll get the new rate in May based on wherever the consumer price index is, basically the government's measure of inflation, and then the rate will adjust accordingly. It's going to be lower, I can tell you, than 6.89%. How much lower?

We won't know until we see it. But as the Federal Reserve really focuses all of their energy by raising interest rates and contracting the money supply, as they focus their energy on taming inflation and getting it down to as close to their 2% target as possible from where it was at 9% plus last year, we're going to see that iBond rate fall. And although it's attractive today, I don't think it's going to be very attractive in the future. So if you were saying, Rob, how do I invest this for the next five years, ten years, fifteen years, however long the Lord keeps you here until he calls you home, I would say, well, this is probably a great time to drop it into a very high quality mutual fund, stock mutual fund, because stocks are selling at a discount right now.

They're down from their highs last year. And that would probably be a great option to grow that money over the next five to ten years, so that when the Lord calls you home, there's something more significant than $5,000 there. I like that better than the iBonds.

Now, if you said, Rob, I don't want to take any risk, well, then you could certainly look at the iBonds for the next couple of years, but I don't think they're going to be very attractive beyond that. Does that make sense? Yeah, it makes lots of sense. Suppose I put it in just for one year, for the twelve months, and three of that go, and then I make up the system. You certainly could do that.

Yes, ma'am. So you could put it up to $10,000 this year, and so $5,000 would be fine. You could make your daughter the beneficiary on it, and you'd set that up when you open the account. So you'll just want to head to,, and you'd open your account, set up your beneficiary, and then you're going to have to transfer the funds in electronically, probably from a checking or a savings account. You'll link that up to your treasury direct account, transfer the $5,000 in. That'll buy the electronic bonds, the iBonds, and then you'd be all set.

You'd just sit there and wait and collect the interest. Thanks for calling, Joyce. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. We're going to take a quick break. By the way, if you'd like to give to support this ministry online, you can do that on our website,

Just click Give. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be right back. Stay with us. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. Back to the phones we go to Indiana.

Hey, Elsie, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hey, I was talking about accelerated banking. Did you know about accelerated banking as a way to pay off a mortgage quicker? I have a 15-year mortgage. They take a pay off in three and a half years or less than that, but I have to give them a lump sum, and then I want to compare it to reverse mortgage.

Do you recommend either one? That's my question. Yeah. A lot of folks mean different things when they say accelerated mortgage. Are you talking about this strategy?

We haven't heard a lot about it lately, and there's a good reason for that. I'll tell you in a second, but it involves taking out a home equity line of credit and using that to float your monthly bills and trying to apply your income to your mortgage and kind of going back and forth between the two. Is that the strategy that you're describing?

That's exactly what he was talking about, exactly to a T. Yeah, I'd stay away from that, Elsie. It's complicated. It involves a lot of moving back and forth, often involving computer software to kind of help you calculate everything. Usually there's, in some cases, thousands of dollars in upfront fees. It's going to use a home equity line of credit, which is going to have a variable interest rate, which is not a good idea right now with interest rates as high as they are right now. It requires a lot of cash flow in order to make the strategy work.

Usually folks have higher incomes that are doing this. It takes a lot of discipline as well, just because of the risk that you run by taking out this additional debt and trying to jump back and forth between the two. This is something that I would stay far away from. They're going to pass it off as a way to pay off your mortgage faster, but it's going to end up potentially being a real problem area for you.

It's going to cost you a lot in the way of upfront fees, which means that perhaps the only one that wins is the one who's selling you the software and the quote unquote program. I wouldn't touch that. A reverse mortgage is the opposite. If you're trying to get out of debt, a reverse mortgage is going to tap into your equity to create an income stream.

I'm not a big fan of those because they're complicated and expensive. There's an interest rate inside that reverse mortgage that's probably not the most attractive either. The only case that it makes some sense would be if you've got somebody who has depleted most of their assets. They're sitting on a large asset with the family home. Maybe there's a gap in what they need between the income they have and the expenses they have.

They don't want to move. They're over the age of 65 and they would like to just systematically pull the equity out of the house and use that to cover the gap in their expenses to fund their lifestyle. But just keep in mind, if you wanted to pass the house off as an inheritance, they're going to have to satisfy that debt if they want to keep it. You've got to still pay the mortgage and the taxes.

If you need to go into long-term care, you're going to have to sell it and satisfy the loan. That's not my favorite approach either except in a few limited circumstances. So what would I do?

Well, I'd keep it really simple. Take the mortgage you got, which is probably a pretty attractive interest rate. I love that you've got a 15-year mortgage and not a 30. And I just try to send an extra payment a year if you can.

If you can do more, great. But let's try to get that paid off so that as quickly as possible, you take that largest expense in your financial life off the table, which makes it easier to cover your obligations every month. And once you're debt-free, now you've got complete flexibility and peace of mind. You're no longer in a position of being slave to the lender, and you can enjoy whatever God has for you next. That's my approach.

It's not fancy, doesn't involve slick calculations and a lot of software, but I think it's the biblical model in my view. That makes a lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense. I appreciate that. All right, Elsie.

God bless you. Yes, ma'am. Thank you for calling today. 800-525-7000. Looks like all of our lines are full.

Let's continue to move through these questions as quickly as we can to Chicago. Hi, Finney. Thanks for calling. Go ahead.

Hi, I'm Finney. Thanks for taking my call. Oh, sure.

Sorry about that. I have a townhouse who already paid off, and that's our old house, and another townhouse that's combined has 500,000 in there, and I was thinking to live debt-free. That's only 15 years, but we have a handicapped child who needs 8,000 a month to be put in the facility in seven years, and some friend advised that we should sell the boat townhouse and get a building, a $2 million building, so that we can generate more rental income, so that way we can make the payment for his facility.

Yeah. Well, I realize that the challenge here that I guess the only concern is that that sounds great, and could it work? Possibly, but it's not without risk. I mean, especially when you're talking about commercial real estate right now, the commercial real estate market is changing quite a bit, and so as we're looking at the changes post-pandemic, a lot more people are working from home. That means a lot of empty office buildings. I mean, there's quite a bit of transition going on, and so for you all, even if you're going into this with 25% equity, you'd be taking on a massive note to buy a building, hoping that you could keep it occupied and throw off enough income to service the debt and all the expenses, and this is a completely different situation than being the landlord of a townhouse, a multi-tenant commercial building. That's a whole different ballgame, and it could actually create a lot of financial risk for you all if for some reason you couldn't keep it rented, and you got behind on these debt payments or something like that. So as much as I love the idea of you all trying to solve for how are we going to cover this $8,000 a month, which I realize is a massive bill, and you want to care for your son and provide everything he needs, I want you to do it in a way where you're not taking unnecessary risk in this situation, and I think getting into commercial real estate without a lot of expertise, especially if you're doing this on your own and this is a new venture for you, would be something I'd be very concerned about. Does that make sense?

Yes. So I think the question is kind of where is that money going to come from? How much of that $8,000 a month would you be able to cover just based on your current situation with whatever rental income you're collecting from the townhouses plus any discretionary income after your bills are paid? I guess $2,000. How much? $2,000. So we need $2,000 more. Yeah. So you need another $6,000.

Yeah. So obviously that's going to be challenging, and so let's just make this a matter of prayer, look at other options out there where you could perhaps care for him, and I don't know anything about what his medical condition is, what his needs are, so I wouldn't even begin to venture to try to help you explore what options you have. I'm sure you've done a lot of research and a lot of studying. I think the thing that I want you to do is, number one, we want to trust the Lord. He knows this situation, so let's make this a matter of prayer. Let's ask the Lord to provide it miraculously, but let's also not take unnecessary risk.

Let's not jump to something that is potentially speculative and beyond what you have the ability to do financially and based on your own expertise to try to solve for this in a way that could create a lot more financial strain and strain on your marriage and your family beyond the strain that's already there as you're caring for this child of yours. So let's pray about this. I would seek out a certified kingdom advisor as well in your area at Just click Find to CKA and see if you can get some wise counsel from an advisor who can help you navigate this because there's a lot of moving parts there. Again,, click Find to CKA. Vinnie, God bless you.

We'll be right back. You know, when it comes to money management, perspective is everything. We want to have an eternal perspective of God's money, not a temporal one. And when we do that, it really changes everything because belief is really the core in driving our behavior. Behavior follows belief. So what I think in terms of how I approach money management is ultimately going to be reflected in the how, the decisions that I make every day.

So we have to renew our minds with a biblical, eternal perspective, seeking first the kingdom of God, and then everything else comes into, I think, a more proper view, especially in this area of finance. Well, we hope you do that on this program each day. Let's head back to the phones.

Allendale, Michigan. Hey, Nancy, thank you for calling. I understand you have a testimony.

Yes, I do. I just wanted to encourage your people, everyone that's listening, to follow God's word in everything. And he does bless you. And not always materially, but truly blesses you. My husband and I are in our middle 70s.

And we never had very high paying jobs at all. And God has blessed us with everything that we need, so that we have our home paid off. And we can now give to charity about $40,000 a year by his grace. So God is so faithful.

Yes. Oh, Nancy, I so appreciate you sharing that. Because I know there's somebody out there today who's perhaps discouraged. They're thinking we just don't make enough. We'd love to be able to give. We can't.

We, you know, don't feel like we have enough money at the end of the month to pay all of our bills. And we just want to know how to be found faithful. And you're a testimony of someone saying, listen, we've done it. And God's word is true. And when you follow these principles and live modestly and hold it loosely and try to get out of debt and live within your means, God will bless you. And I love that you even said it's not always going to be materially as well. What was the key other than just following God's word and the principles we find in it? What was some of the keys practically to the way you all ordered your financial lives that you think led to where you are today? Well, for one thing, you know, God teaches us to be content.

Yeah. And so there were times when everybody else was having vacation. And we would just, you know, put a blanket over the clothesline. You know, we just we just didn't. We didn't do it. We didn't do the things we never went out to eat.

Now, I'm not saying that I advise that because we really were very, very careful. But there was a time that my husband didn't have a job. And I was at home taking care of two children. And so we did bartering. I would serve them. I would work for them, do some things like taking care of their children in exchange for produce from the garden.

I would make my own cats up and relish in anything, anything that anybody had left. I just took in and did that. So that was just one of the things. I think we always gave at least a tenth of everything that came in, even when we didn't have a job. So, but God just blessed that so much.

Yeah. One year I worked for free at a Christian school because I couldn't get a job. I didn't have a vehicle. So I walked to the school and I worked for free for a year.

And at the end of that year, someone gave us a new car. Wow. God is so faithful, isn't he? Well, Nancy, what a blessing to hear your testimony today. The joy of the Lord that's clearly present in your life. I love that you said it came down to contentment. You know, contentment is an attitude, but it's also a choice. You know, I 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 we can choose to be content with what God has provided.

And clearly you all have done that and you're experiencing the fruit of living that way. Well, I'm so thankful for your story today, Nancy. God bless you and your husband. And thanks for checking in with us. Okay. God bless you too.

All right. What a blessing it is. Thank you for that story, Nancy. By the way, if you have a testimony of God's faithfulness, I'd love for you to call in someday. Maybe today's not the day, but on one of our programs, take the time to call in and encourage everyone else about applying biblical wisdom and the fruit that comes from living that way.

800-525-7000, Detroit, Michigan. Hey, Steven, thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead. Hi.

Good afternoon. I was almost 69 and I was just recently was told that I need to go ahead and start my social security. I know that 8% is added each year. Is that a good thing to go ahead and start it at this point? Yeah, Steven, what you have to recognize is that once you get to age 70, that's going to stop accruing. The question is, should you wait until 70 to fully maximize that increased benefit or does it make sense to go and start taking it right now? So you're 68, you're beyond full retirement age, but you'd be giving up those increases for the next couple of years.

What it's going to come down to is really, number one, do you need the money right now or do you have the ability to wait and what would that mean? Does that mean you have to continue to work or tap into a 401k or retirement account? And then secondly, are you in good health? None of us know our next breath.

That is a gracious gift from God so he could call us home at any time, but are you in good health? Do you have longevity in your family? Because if the Lord tarries and you're in good health, that's going to be the key to maximizing this. Typically what we see is that for somebody that waits until age 70 versus taking this at full retirement age, and I realize you're a little beyond that, typically it's about 11 and a half years before you would have recouped everything you gave up during those three years in the form of a higher check. And so once you get past those 11 and a half years, now you're enjoying that higher check for the rest of your life, but you got to get there.

So that's part of the unknown. So given that, give me your thoughts. I'm still working and I don't plan on to retire till after 70, like I'll turn 70 in April of 2024, but I'll probably finish out that year anyway. So, but I like you were saying that I could go ahead and start it at 70 because I'm not, it's not accruing any more money.

Oh, absolutely. You definitely would want to start taking it age 70. I think the question is just whether you wait until that point and enjoy that guaranteed 8% increase. That's going to take some time for you to make up what you've given up by not collecting it at, let's say 68 where you are now. But the fact that you'll have that higher check for the rest of your life locked in, I think is a good thing, especially if that's going to help you solve for the income that you need in retirement.

So if you're healthy and you've got the ability to wait, if it were me, I'd probably do that. Thanks for your call today, sir. God bless you to Chicago. Hi, Sherry. Go ahead.

Hi, Mr. West. Praise the Lord. I received an inheritance of $159,000 and I wanted, I was trying to find out if whether or not I had to pay taxes on it. My mom says that typically when you inherit money, you don't have to pay taxes. Yeah, your mom's exactly right.

That's the good news there, Sherry. Inheritances are not taxable. So there's no federal inheritance tax and Illinois has no inheritance tax either. If there's any tax due, it would be paid by the estate, not the beneficiary. So prior to it being passed to you as an inheritance, if there was taxes due, the estate would pay them.

But most of the states don't pay inheritance tax either because they have to be in excess at least this year of $12 million, the total estate before there would be any estate tax. So nobody's paying any tax on this, which gives you the opportunity, Sherry, to take a step back and say, Lord, what would you have me to do with this money? Well, I did pay off the rest of my house.

So I was able to do that and some credit card bills and I have $30,000 left and I was putting that to the side for the taxes, what I thought that would be about, but I wasn't sure. Now, I definitely need a prayer for tithing because I didn't do that. It's real weird because when I had less money, I tithed and now that I have more money, I haven't tithed. I don't know what that's about, but maybe you could pray for me on that, everybody who's listening. Well, yeah, I would lean into that and ask the Lord to show you what it is that might be holding you back. Sometimes, you know, we talked about it a moment ago, sometimes it's the fear of loss that can really stymie us and cause indecision because when we don't have a lot, well, it's a little easier to hold it loosely with an open palm. But when we have more, we have this fear of losing it and we tend to kind of clench that fist closed a little bit tighter. And that's an issue of the heart, which all financial issues are.

And I'm not pointing my finger at you, Sherry. It affects all of us. We have to say, you know, if money issues are heart issues and God has always been about our hearts, money is the most tangible way that every day we work out our faith. And so I think, you know, for each of us, we have to be on our knees saying, Lord, what would you have me to do with your money?

I don't want to hold it tightly because you're my provider. And so that allows me, when I recognize God owns it all and I'm his money manager, now I can return a portion or, you know, however much you decide to him and know that, you know, I can participate in God's activity through my giving. I know that God's provision is complete and I trust him to continue to provide for me because I'm his child and he said in his word that he will.

And so that allows me to give freely. But we always have to be checking our hearts. What's our motivation behind how much we're keeping and how much we're giving? How are we thinking about it?

And are we doing it to please man or to please God? And so it's a great reminder for us, Sherry, that we all need to be on our guard in that. Let me pray for you here real quick as we wrap up today. Father, we're so thankful for you. We know this is a high calling you give us as money managers of your resources. Lord, help us to be generous, to hold what we have loosely, to give it to you freely.

Thank you for the privilege of being involved in your work. And Lord, help us to seek you first in all we do. In Jesus name.

Amen. Sherry, thanks for your call today. We're grateful for you. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us.

Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Grateful for my team today, Charles, Amy, Dan Tahira. We're grateful for you being here as well. Thank you to Jim Henry also. We'll see you tomorrow. Have a great afternoon. God bless you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 11:45:18 / 2023-02-20 12:01:57 / 17

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