In Mark 10, 7, Jesus tells us a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.
I am Rob West. Does becoming one extend to the checkbook? Put another way, should husband and wife have joint or separate checking accounts? I'll talk about that first 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 journey. Regular listeners know that this is a question we get fairly often on the program and it's especially important for couples when they first get married. Usually, they just set up joint checking and savings accounts and it's really not an issue, but not always. Sometimes older folks, maybe getting married for the second time, want to keep their accounts separate or one spouse might enter into the marriage with a lot of debt or a bad credit rating. They think that by keeping separate accounts, one spouse's bad history won't affect the other. That's because they've heard that when two people marry, their credit histories are automatically merged into one by the credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
But that's not the case. In fact, each spouse's credit history is tied only to that person's social security number. If one of them applies for credit and his or her name only, only that person's credit history is taken into account.
Here's an example. Newlyweds decide to buy a new car with a loan. Usually not a good idea, but that's another case. Now, say one of the spouses has good credit, the other doesn't. If they take out a loan only in the name of the spouse with the good score, only that person's credit history comes into play. So you see that having joint or separate bank accounts has no effect on getting that loan.
But let's look at another situation. Many couples take a huge financial step within a few years of marriage and that's buying a house. Now, the odds are, because the payments will be so much more, that they'll have to put both names on the loan application in order to meet income qualifications. And of course, that's when the other spouse's credit history will be taken into consideration.
If that spouse has a bad credit history, it will have a negative effect on getting the mortgage approved. Now that that's cleared up, let's go back to the question of separate or joint bank accounts. The Bible doesn't tell us whether spouses should share one account, because people didn't have bank accounts back then.
So we have to look at the bigger picture. As Jesus said in Mark 10, marriage is about two people becoming one. Obviously, they both remain individuals, but marriage is a partnership that requires trust, openness, and communication. That's especially true when it comes to finances. Joint checking and savings accounts promote transparency and communication between spouses. It prevents spouses from developing a mine-and-yours mentality. It also promotes trust by ensuring that neither is making hidden purchases.
There are some other practical considerations as well. A joint account simplifies bookkeeping and tracking your spending. A lot of couples have trouble balancing one checking account.
Why double the problem with two? Having separate accounts can also create a cash flow problem. Are there enough available funds in one account to meet obligations?
If not, money has to be transferred from the other account. With a single checking account, you don't have to worry about not having enough money to pay a bill or trying to track down the other checkbook. Now, an argument that's often made for keeping separate accounts is that one spouse is only interested in, say, the grocery category in the budget and leaves everything else to the other spouse to be handled with a separate account. But that, of course, would leave the one spouse fairly clueless about the family finances if something should happen to the other.
Not a good idea. Both spouses should have a good understanding of the overall financial picture. Frequent money conversations can ensure that happens. Keeping open the lines of communication about money and making spending decisions together means one spouse won't be left in the dark. You know, God's Word contains the solution to every problem married couples face, including finances. In Colossians 3, we read, Wives, submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
And 1 Corinthians says, In the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman. Safe to say that in most cases that would apply to their checking account as well. You know, in this area of finance, this is so critical that we strive for unity.
God's design for marriage is, of course, oneness, and that includes finances. So maybe this is the month you should start your monthly money day to offer course corrections, no finger pointing, but to make sure you're on the same page with regard to your finances. I think it'll really help. All right, your calls are next, 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Stick around. I wanted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions today.
The number to call is 800-525-7000. We want to help you be a good steward of God's resources. You know, this idea of stewardship is one that's so important for the believer. My friend Ken Boa, the author and teacher, talks about this idea, and he says, you know, we have key areas of stewardship that we all are responsible for. We all have to steward time, talent, treasure, truth, and relationships.
The question is, how are we found faithful in that, specifically in this area of financial stewardship, God's treasure? Well, we want to help you do that here on this program. We'd love for you to give us a call with your questions and comments today, 800-525-7000. Let's head to the phones. We're going to begin in York, PA. Hi, Carl. Thanks for calling.
Go ahead. Yes, I was calling about, I had a 403b fund that the school worked for, and I retired eight years ago, and I never did anything with the money. I just left it in that fund, but it hasn't grown any and done anything, and I was wondering, you know, could you suggest something to do with it, or an advisor of some kind?
I know very little about, you know, investing or planning outside of the school. Yes, very good. So give me just a little bit of an overview of your situation. You said you are fully retired currently?
Yes, yes. Okay, and what is your age? 74. Okay, and what are you living on right now, Carl? Social security alone, or do you have other income sources? Social security and other sources.
Okay. Pension. A pension, okay.
And would the combination of your pension and your social security cover your bills and even allow you to have a little left over each month? Yes. Okay, great. So, really, this asset would be, you know, surplus that you don't need right now, but perhaps you would need it down the road. Do you have any reason to believe for anything earmarked that you would need to use this money for, or is it just for the unexpected, perhaps an increase in long-term care or something like that down the road?
Possibly. Mostly, I was hoping I could just leave it to my kids. Yeah, okay, very good. Yeah, that was going to be my next question. How much is in this account roughly?
It's $119,000. Okay. And do you have any other retirement assets like this, or would this be the only one? Yeah, I have other ones besides that, yeah. Okay.
And are those invested, or what are they currently in? Yeah, they're, one's an annuity where I get money from it every month for whatever, as long as I live. Okay. Sure.
And the other is savings. Okay, very good. And how many months' worth of savings do you think you have liquid right now?
Months, I've got six years or so. Okay, great. Yeah, so you're in good shape. Well, you know, I think that's the key, and that's helpful.
Thank you for giving me that background. You're in a great spot here, Carl, because your expenses are covered. You've got a guaranteed income stream that's going to last the rest of your life between the pension, the Social Security, and the annuitized payments coming to you each month. And then you've got plenty of reserves. It sounds like you have six years, if I heard you correctly, worth of expenses in a liquid savings or reserve account. And then on top of that, you've got this roughly $120,000 in a 403b.
And you're thinking, probably don't need that based on everything I know today, but if I did, it's there. I want to grow it modestly for the future, don't want to take unnecessary risk. But at the same time, even at 74, you can still have a long time horizon for this money.
Because if the Lord tarries and you're in good health, you might not pass this on to your heirs for 20 years, which means that we can really take a long-term perspective. Now, that doesn't mean we throw caution to the wind and get unnecessarily aggressive, but at the same time, to outpace inflation and grow this over time, especially given that you plan to pass it on, I'd like the idea of you having an allocation to stocks. And so what I'd probably do is roll it out to an IRA that would not be a taxable event, gets it out of the 401k, where there's a limited investment universe.
There's only a smaller number of investments to choose from inside the 403b. And then once it hits the IRA, you've got unlimited options. You could put it in cash type investments, or as I described, perhaps you deploy a fairly conservative investment allocation. And at age 74, we would typically look at maybe 35%, somewhere between 30 and 40% in stocks, high quality, maybe dividend paying stocks with a little bit of exposure to some growth-oriented stocks. And then the balance, 60 to 70% in bonds, high quality, either government or corporate bonds that have a stable income and yield on them, especially as the Federal Reserve stops raising interest rates. We won't see the prices of those bonds fall, and they'll throw off a pretty good amount of income. And the combination of that total portfolio of stocks and bonds, largely bonds, will give you a more stable return than, let's say, an all-stock portfolio. So if the market's down 30%, you wouldn't be expected to be down.
You might be down 10 or 15. But you're also going to participate in the upside, and we're not looking at a quarter or a year or even a couple of years. We'd be looking over 5, 10, 15, 20 years to say, well, there's never been a 20-year period where the market hasn't moved higher. And we would expect that to be the same over the next 5 to 20 years. And so in order to do that, rather than you having to pick those yourself, I'd probably hire an investment advisor.
You'd pay them a fee based on the assets under management, the $120,000, maybe 1.5% a year, and then they would make the investment decisions buying and selling the stocks for you. I think the key would be not to watch it too closely, like daily or even monthly, but know that you're taking a long time horizon. The market could be down more if we hit a recession, especially a deeper recession later this year, but it'll also recover well ahead of the economy. And I'm fully expecting, the economists I trust are fully expecting it to hit a new high and move higher from there. Now, we've got some longer-term issues in this country. We've got to address with regard to our debt and our spending and so forth, inflation and interest rates.
But I think the very best way to build wealth and overcome the effects of inflation is in a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio, but where you're seeking wise counsel for somebody to help you do that. And kind of to that end, and I'll finish here and then see what questions you have, I'd probably select a certified kingdom advisor in your area. You can find one by doing a zip code search at faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.
Just click find a CKA, and then that advisor could make these buyer and sell decisions for you in the IRA once it's rolled out of the 403b. But give me your thoughts on that. Okay, that sounds perfect. It's really like a world of knowledge you just filled out to me. Good.
Well, I know it was a lot, so I hope I didn't overwhelm you. But I think the next step for you, even before you'd open that IRA, would be to select that advisor. And then based on where the advisor custodies their assets, whether that's Fidelity or Schwab or one of the other major brokerages, then they would open that new IRA for you. You'd fill out the surrender paperwork or the rollover paperwork from your current 403b administrator, and then the money would just transfer right over to that new custodian. And once it hits the account, that advisor could take over and begin making those decisions.
But they'll do an extensive amount of discovery with you ahead of time to determine what are your goals and objectives, and how should this be managed to meet those, including your values as a receiver. So just head to faithfi.com and click Find a CKA. Thanks for your call. Ken in Idaho, Gina in Cleveland, we're coming your way. Plus perhaps your question, 800-525-7000.
We'll be right back. You know, we need to find our true identity in Christ, not in money. When our identity is in Christ, we understand that it's Jesus, our hope of glory, not what we do or what we have that really is our true identity. Colossians 1-27 tells us that, to them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. If you're taking a look at the Bible, you know, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. If you're taking your cues from this world and you're finding your identity in the temporal, the here and the now, I would encourage you to really think and pray deeply about what it looks like to find your true identity in Christ, because it's not about what you do or what you have.
And there's no need for pride or shame or comparison. Galatians 3-28 says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there's neither slave nor free, there's neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. So perhaps we need to renew our minds with a biblical world view of how we think about and manage His money. Hey, we'd love to hear from you today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We've got some phone lines open too, in fact.
800-525-7000 is the number to call. Before we head back to the phones here on the first day of the month, it's a brand new month here at Faith and Finance, and you might be thinking about your spending plan. That's right, you're starting off the month, maybe last month the budget didn't work out quite as well as you had hoped, especially with costs up across the board, and you're thinking, you know what, now's the time for me to put a plan in place to control the flow of money in and out so I can make sure that it's going to the places that I intended to as a reflection of my values and my priorities, not just because I'm kind of winging it along the way. Well, having a spending plan and a control system is really critical, and the Faithfi app can help you do just that based on the tried and true envelope system. Our modern digital smartphone app, Faithfi, will let you set up your budget and control all of your expenses, making sure you know exactly what's in each of those digital envelopes at any point during the month so you can make course corrections as necessary. So check it out. You can learn more at faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.
Just click app and you can read all about it. All right, let's head back to the phones to Idaho. Hey, Ken, thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead. Hi, Rob.
Thank you for taking my call. My wife and I need your help to get a plan of a tax to pay down our mortgage before retirement. My wife is 64 years old.
I'm 60 years old. We have 120,000 balance between mortgage and auto, and under normal circumstances, we'd have another 17 years to pay this off. Again, my wife's 64, so I want to get her in a position to retire as quickly as possible, and I'll hang on there and pay off all the debt that I can myself, obviously. We do have roughly 700,000 in investments. My first question is how do we optimize our attack on this debt, and when is the optimal time for us to take our Social Security payments? Yes, that's a great question. As we look at this, I love, first of all, this goal that you have to be completely debt-free just as quick as you can, and that's going to go a long way to keeping your expenses low so that whatever income sources you have, you're just taking some pressure off of those by eliminating this largest expense, your mortgage.
I think this is certainly a great goal to have. You mentioned roughly 160,000 between the car and the home. What's the breakdown on those? It's actually 120,000, 110,000 on the mortgage and another 10,000 on the vehicle. On the car.
Okay, got it. And on your current payoff, how many years are left on the mortgage if you just continue going like you are now? 17.
17 years, all right. And when would you like to have this paid off? What is your target in terms of the number of years? The biggest thing is as soon as possible for my wife's sake because I know once she's out of the picture, I'll have to try to make up the difference on what we would normally be getting for a salary. So I'm not going to hold her back whatsoever, but I just want to optimize our opportunities.
No doubt. And how many years, just based on your current plans, and I realize that could change, is she planning to continue to work where you'd have this dual income? Like I said, she's 64. I don't want to pin her down.
I just want her when she feels she needs to tap out, she could tap out and start enjoying retirement. So it could be six months, it could be two years. I don't know for sure. Okay. But just based on your intuition as her husband, just as you see kind of how draining it is versus life-giving and so forth, do you kind of get the sense that she's ready or do you feel like there's still a little more runway here? I think there's a little more runway.
I would think if everything works out, probably a couple more years, I believe. Okay. Yeah.
Very good. And I appreciate the fact you don't want to try to force her into staying longer than she wants to, and God has called her to, and perhaps especially if he's redirecting her to something else. But part of the planning process is just saying, based on everything we know today, after praying about it and thinking about what's most important to us as a couple and where God's taking us, here's at least where we think we're headed and then we can plan around that.
And of course, we write that in the sand because we wash it away and start over as things change. What kind of surplus do you have right now, Ken, after all the bills are paid that you can apply toward debt reduction? I believe I figured it out, probably about $1600 margin every month. Okay.
Very good. That's a healthy surplus that you have there, and perhaps if you buckle down a little bit more, seeing these two years as really an optimal time to tighten the belt a little bit and focus on dumping as much debt as you can. Clearly, I'd go after that car, and the nice thing is that six months down the road, or seven at the most, that car is gone, and now you've got that car payment on top of this, and maybe now we've got $2000 a month, and then we can add that to the house. And I think the key is to recognize this isn't going to happen overnight. It's going to take some time, but if you're throwing two grand at the house every month, you're going to have it paid off, maybe not by retirement, but shortly after, and that's a good thing.
The other option would be to tap into some of these investments, and I think that's something to consider as well if this is a really high priority. So let's do this. I'm going to take a quick break. When we come back, let's finish this on the other side. This is Faith and Finance Live.
Stay with us. left on a mortgage, another $10,000 on a car loan. His wife's perhaps two years away from retirement. They'd like to have all of that debt paid off by that time, another $700,000 in 401Ks, and he's also going to start taking a military retirement healthcare, what's called Tricare, as well. You know, Ken, I think the key is if we could get that car paid off, believe you have $1,600 a month in surplus, let's say that's gone in four months, and now we can add a little bit to that.
I mean, I just ran some quick calculations. Even if you didn't add anything to the mortgage, you could probably, with an extra $2,000 a month at a 4% interest rate, and I assume your rate's somewhere around there, with owing $110,000 with a 17-year mortgage, adding $2,000 a month to your current payment allows you to pay this off in about four years. Now, that's two years too long, so what do we do about that? Well, we've got a couple of options. One is you could bump up your income by taking Social Security.
We'll talk about that in a moment. The other is we could kind of marry taking some from your assets alongside trying to do as much of the payoff through cash flow, the surplus, as you can, and sync it up such that we pay this off right about the time she's retiring, so you're entering retirement with you still working but dropping her income with no debt, and now we just reduce the total monthly expense that you have. I think that's probably the key.
You could use any number of extra mortgage payment calculators or even work with your current mortgage servicer to determine exactly what that schedule looks like using 24 months as our goal to get it to zero, looking at the surplus you'll have, $1,600 today, $1,600 plus the car payment once the car's paid off, and then that'll tell you exactly how much you'd need to pull from your 401k to kind of cover the balance that you couldn't take care of out of cash flow that extra couple of years that you don't have because you want your wife to be able to retire, and I think between the combination of those two, you'll enter retirement with still a very healthy nest egg in your 401k and completely debt-free by taking this approach. Does that make sense? Yes. It makes perfect sense. That's awesome.
All right. Yeah, and then I think the question is, okay, so when do we take Social Security? And obviously, we'd like for you both to get to full retirement age at a minimum before you take it. So she's still maybe two, two and a half years away from that, so that might work out well. Maybe you start taking that right as she's entering retirement on her own work record so that now as you drop her income, you're adding her Social Security, and then I'd let yours continue to grow. You obviously could take it at 62. You're still a couple of years away from that, but you're going to take about a 30% haircut on what you would get if you waited until full retirement age.
So I'd try to kick that can down the road as long as you can and let that continue to build by about 8% a year. Outstanding. That's perfect. Okay. Very good. One last real super quick follow-up. Is there any benefit to trying to leverage for biweekly payments or would I be just better off throwing more money at the principal at this stage?
Yeah, I don't think there's anything to that. I like biweekly if it allows you to get it done where you wouldn't be able to otherwise. So just for the sake of our audience's benefit, the biweekly plan says I send a half a payment to my mortgage every two weeks while there's 26 two-week periods in a year, which means I end up sending 13 full payments or one extra per year. If you're living paycheck to paycheck and you don't have a whole lot extra going with that every two weeks approach, if that allows you to send one extra payment a year where you typically wouldn't have an extra full payment just in the normal course of a month, then I'd say go for it. In your case, because you've got so much surplus and because you're laser focused on getting this paid off, I would just probably send one extra check or bump up your payment once a month with your normal payment. Make sure it's getting applied to principal.
Nine times out of ten cases it will, but I'd check on that by maybe pulling it up online and just make sure that that's where it went. But I don't see any reason to do the biweekly in your situation. Okay, thank you. God bless you and thank you so much for your help. All right.
Absolutely, Kenneth. Hey, thanks for your service, my friend. We're grateful. Thank you. All right.
Gina's in Cleveland. You're next on the program. Go ahead. Hi, Rob.
Thank you for taking my call. I just love the program and the advice and suggestions that you guys give. I hope you have some good suggestions for me.
Well, I may be out for today, Gina, but I'll give it my best try. Well, I'm 66 and a couple of weeks and I haven't, I saved, I spent, I saved, I spent over the years and so I really haven't been really good with money management and savings and all of that. So I have about maybe 25,000 in OPERS and I have about 43,000 in savings and I have about maybe 10,000, 10,500 in debt. And because I'm so close to retirement age, I am leery or uncomfortable with paying off the debt in its entirety. I work, I do work full time, make about 60,000 a year. I'm not sure where to go.
The 43,000 is just sitting in the traditional savings account. I just, I don't know what, what to do. What do you think? Okay. Yeah.
So you've got 43,000 in a savings account and then you have a retirement account on top of that with a balance of roughly how much? It's not much. I haven't been there long. It's about 25,000. Okay.
All right. And are you planning on retiring soon? Well, I was looking at like 68 in retirement age. I don't want to go to 70.
I would like to enjoy like some retirement, you know, I'm in pretty good health. So what are you, what are you suggesting? Well, yeah, here's, I guess the first question is always, have we solved the underlying problem that led to the credit card debt in the first place? Because the last thing I'd want you to do is come in and wipe it out, out of savings, only to find that you call me back in six months and you say, guess what, Rob, that the debt's back. And so we've got to make sure that you're living within your means and you're no longer building credit card debt. Do you feel like that you've resolved that? I think I'm thinking about it so hard because I did like a loan to pay off the credit card debt and then I paid the debt off and ended up bringing the debt back and now I'm paying for the loan plus the debt. You know, so I don't want to stay in that boat.
I'm going to be meeting with a pastor at my church for some financial counseling. Good. I'm glad to hear that. Here's what I would do. Rather than paying it off out of savings, I don't want you to get into this cycle again.
We need to make sure that we've kind of corrected the issue that led to this and we're not just treating the symptom. So I'd contact my friends at Christian Credit Counselors. Let's leave the debt right where it is. Those accounts will be closed.
The interest rates will be lowered. And I think that'll help you get on the right track. ChristianCreditCounselors.org. Stay on the line, Gina. We'll be right back. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith & Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. Before the break we were talking to Gina in Cleveland. She's got about $40,000, $43,000 in savings. She's got $10,000 in credit card debt. She's still five years or so away from retirement. She'd like to get that credit card debt paid off.
And she's wondering the best way to do that. She mentioned to me during the break that she was going to meet with somebody to work on some financial counseling, just to try to rectify some of the things that have led to this debt in the past. The question is, how do we handle the payoff of this debt? And what I was saying before the break, Gina, was that I like the idea of you not coming in and wiping it out, especially since in the past when you've done that, you've had the new debt when you consolidated it, and then the credit card debt came back. And that is something I see very often if we don't treat the underlying problem, the overspending that led to the debt in the first place. So I like the idea of using a debt management program to get the interest rates down and pay it off that way, and Christian credit counselors can help. Plus it would keep your $43,000 intact and allow you to go work on your budget, your spending plan, making sure you have in fact solved the overspending problems. But give me your thoughts on that.
Yeah, I like it. I'm thinking about it. So what, in addition to that, should I take about maybe $5,000 of it, put it in a money market account? Or should I put it in a Roth so that it can at least start generating some type of interest or growth? Because in a traditional savings account, it's just earning like a penny on a dollar or so. Sure.
Yeah, a couple of thoughts on that. What is your total monthly expenses if you had to guess on average? Probably about $1,500 a month.
Let's say it's a little more than that. Let's say it's $2,000. I'd love for you to keep somewhere between $6,000 and $12,000 in liquid savings, which means that you've got quite a bit more than that available that you could put to work. Now, your time horizon on this in terms of when you're retiring is only five years, but Lord willing, you're going to need this money to last a long, long time. What kind of retirement plan do you have available to you at work?
The openers. Okay. And is that something you would fund through salary deferral, or is that just going to be there for you regardless? It's something that's funded through salary. Are you putting anything into that right now? Just a few extra dollars out of pay.
Okay. What you could do is you could systematically move money into that. Now, it has to go in through salary deferral, but if you bumped your salary deferral up significantly, I realize that would leave you with not enough in your paycheck, but you could offset that with the money you have in savings until it gets down to the level you're comfortable with, keeping that in liquid savings, and then you'd reduce the amount going into the openers. So that's a way, in a sense, to get the money going into a tax-deferred environment where it can grow without the drain of the taxes, but where you've already got it in a savings account, you would systematically replace the money in savings with the money in OPERS by bumping that salary deferral up and then pulling from the savings to offset what you've put in so you can cover your bills. Does that make sense?
Yeah. It sounds like you're saying that I increase the payments in OPERS and then use what I don't have to cover my monthly expenses from my savings. That's exactly right. Now, we wouldn't want to go below, I would say $12,000 in your savings, but until that point, yes, this would get a lot more going into the OPERS plan, allow you to drain down the savings to make up for what you are now putting into retirement that you weren't previously, and now it's all in a tax-deferred environment. So as long as you continue to work, it's growing without the drag of the taxes, and in fact, you get a deduction as it goes in, and then it grows tax-deferred. So I think that could be a great option for you.
And then for the amount that stays in savings while you're drawing it down and then what's ultimately going to stay there indefinitely, I'd move that to an online savings account so at least you can get 3.5%, 4% interest while you're waiting on that liquid portion. So hopefully that helps you. We appreciate your call today. I know you've got a lot going on here, but you can do this, Gina, and I'm glad we could be of some help to you. God bless you. All right. Let's head to Chicago, WMBI. Hi, Tammy. Go right ahead.
Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my question. Yes, I've been saving up to pay off my auto loan and I wanted to know, instead of saving up a lump sum, is it better just to pay an extra payment each month or which would be the better solution?
Yeah. So you're trying to pay off your car loan. How much do you owe on this, Tammy? $7,000 and I have like $3,500 saved up. Okay. So you owe $7,000.
You've got $3,500 saved up. Is this in addition to what I would call your emergency fund? Yes. Okay.
All right. And so this money is really set aside specifically for the car, the $3,500? That's what I'm saving it for, yes. Okay, great.
Yeah. So I think for that reason, assuming you've got your emergency fund separate, I'd go ahead and send it along to the car loan, pay that down by $3,500. Now you only owe another $3,500 and then as you have surplus every month, I'd just go ahead and send that on top of the payment and let's just get this paid off as quick as you can and then as soon as you do, obviously, now you have the full car payment available for whatever your priorities are, whether that's continuing to fund it, the next car purchase with a savings account so you're paying cash next time or maybe you're directing it to something else.
But I think if you've got the money earmarked for debt reduction, you might as well go ahead and send it along now and get this paid off as quick as you can. Okay. That sounds great. Thank you so much. All right. Thanks, Tammy. We appreciate your call today.
Let's head to Weedon, Illinois. Dave, I understand you have a testimony. Tell us what's going on in your life. Thanks, Rob. I just want a long time listener I didn't know when this day would come, but today it came and I made my last house payment. I am debt free. It is such a relief.
And if you don't have a plan, if you failed to plan, you plan to fail. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, Dave, I'm so glad we could celebrate this with you. That is absolutely incredible. Congratulations. I can imagine that that feels really good that you were able to make that payment. You now own your home free and clear. And perhaps if you have a fireplace tonight, you're enjoying a fire there in Weedon. Maybe you toss that last statement in and celebrate the fact that you don't owe anybody anything with regard to your home.
That deed is now fully in your name, unencumbered. And that's a great place to be because here's the thing. It's not just about being able to say, well, I'm debt free. It's really about being free to serve the Lord because when we pursue him and we're unencumbered, we have the ability to say, Lord, I'm ready to live or die, give or go. And wherever you're going to lead me, I'm going to follow. And this gives you a much more flexibility to do that as you pay off that house. Dave, if you were to summarize perhaps some of the principles you learned listening, I assume all the way back to Larry Burkett and even in recent days, what's allowed you to get to this point where you sent your last mortgage payment today?
I tied first and I followed budget. Wow. Yeah. It sounds simple, but it's not. There's a lot of folks listening saying, I would love to be doing that.
And unfortunately, I'm not. But you had a plan. You've stuck to your plan and you prioritize giving.
And I think that's absolutely the right approach. And I suspect this was pretty important to you. And you made some sacrifices along the way to make it happen. Is that right? Well, certainly you've got to set your priorities. And the Lord is first.
And when you have a good partner, they can be an encouragement to you too. Yeah. Yeah, no doubt about it. Well, I'm so delighted to hear that. Dave, listen, congratulations. All the best to you. And I'm so thrilled that you called to celebrate this with us today. I know what you shared will be an encouragement to others that are on the same track and praying and hoping to be right where you are in the days ahead.
God bless you, my friend. And thanks for joining us. Let's head to Cleveland. Steve, you'll help us round out the program here today. Go right ahead, sir.
Steve, are you with us in Cleveland? Go ahead. Sure. Yeah, so I have like $700,000 in my savings or my financial planner account.
How do I go about getting that money like sent to me on a monthly basis? Yeah. So what type of account is this, Steve?
Do you know? Is it an IRA or a taxable account? It's an IRA and a 401k. Okay. All right. And so is your advisor managing both or just the IRA?
He's managing both. But then I also have some with my work, my work account. Okay. All right. And have you separated from your employer or are you still working? I'm still working. Okay, great.
Yeah. I mean, it would be as simple as just calling your advisor and saying, listen, number one, you know, I need you to know I need to start drawing from this account to supplement my income. And basically, they'll just set up a monthly either electronic transfer or a check to be cut every month and sent directly to you. And the total of those distributions every year is going to be added to your taxable income.
And your advisor will manage the money accordingly, both with regard to the investment mix, making sure that it's not overly aggressive, given your stage of life and the fact that you're moving from capital appreciation to capital income and distribution where the money is now coming out to you, but also to make sure that there's enough in the cash portion of the account to be able to fund that monthly distribution. And that's a very common thing. They'll be ready for that. So I think this just entails a conversation with your advisor about what you're needing to do. They'll get that set up.
They do it every day. And every month on a certain day, you'll have that show up in your account and you'll be all set. We appreciate your call today, my friend. God bless you.
That's going to do it for us. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Buy. Thank you to my team today, Tahira, Amy and Jim. Thank you for being here as well. We'll see you tomorrow. God bless you. Bye-bye.
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