This year, we want to be bold for the gospel through our on-air and digital content, but we need your help.
To see our impact or give, visit springshare.org. Today's version of Faith and Finance Live is pre-recorded so our phone lines are not open. Have you ever had a family member or friend ask you to lend them money?
Talk about being put on the spot. Hi, I'm Rob West. It's a tough situation to be in, and you should think and pray about it before deciding whether to lend or not. Today I'll give you some advice from God's Word to guide you.
Then we have some great calls lined up, but please don't call in today because we're pre-recorded. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, it's probably safe to say that being asked to lend money makes people uncomfortable. It's often a big decision that has consequences no matter how it turns out. When you lend money to another, it changes the relationship. Proverbs 22, 7 reads, the borrower becomes slave to the lender. Lending money can hurt a relationship, and that can happen whether you lend the money or not. You're between a rock and a hard place, and it seems like either way someone may end up resentful.
There are really only three things that can happen, and only one of them is good. If you decide not to lend the money, the other person could be upset. If you do lend the money and the other person doesn't repay it, you'll probably be upset.
It's only the third possibility that makes everyone happy. You lend the money and the borrower pays it back. But consider carefully why they asked to borrow in the first place.
They may not be able to repay the loan if they're already in bad shape financially for whatever reason. Fortunately, the Bible has much to say about this predicament. First, God's Word tells us to help those in need, lending money if necessary. Deuteronomy 15, 8 says, You shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Turning to the New Testament and the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5, 42, Jesus says, Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. And finally, a verse that might make you think the only proper response is to lend money to a family member in particular is 1 Timothy 5, 8, which reads, But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he is denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. So do those verses mean you always have to lend money when asked?
Not at all. They imply two things. First, that there must truly be a need, and second, that lending the money would actually help the borrower and not simply allow that person to make more unwise financial decisions. Here Scripture has more to say. Proverbs 13, 11 warns about one possible outcome with lending money. It reads, wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Getting a loan is often the easy way out.
Maybe the borrower tells you the loan would be a lifeline, which it may be. But it's also easy money, and the borrower may not appreciate the effort it takes to create that wealth. When you have to work hard for something, you tend to want to hold on to it. Hard work produces character and wisdom.
Proverbs 21, 20 reads, But a foolish man devours it. So before you go get out the checkbook, think carefully about whether there's a real need. You also have to be sure that lending the money will actually help the borrower.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself. Can the borrower repay the loan? If there's not sufficient income or ability, promises to repay will come to nothing. Then ask, what shape will you be in if the money isn't repaid? If you can't afford to lose it, then you can't afford to lend it.
Then ask, can you help in another way? If the person needs money to repair a car, for example, could you give rides to work until they've saved enough for repairs? And last, ask yourself, can you make the money a gift instead of a loan? That way you're not expecting it to be paid back, so you can't be disappointed and your relationship won't suffer. But again, only do that if you can afford it and the gift doesn't encourage more financial mismanagement. Finally, if you do decide to lend the money, draw up a written agreement, even if you're lending to a family member. When something's in writing, it clarifies things and makes it known who's responsible for what and when. The loan agreement should specify the amount, interest rate if any, payment structure and collateral. That will help eliminate misunderstandings later on.
You can find lots of promissory note templates online, just fill in the blanks. Oh, one final thought if you end up lending the money, make preserving the relationship your priority. Be prepared to forgive the loan if it keeps the relationship intact, but that's only possible if you have the ability to lose it in the first place. So those are some things to consider before lending money to a family member or friend based on the counsel from God's Word. This is Faith and Finance Live, and still a lot more to come. Even though we're away from the studio today and you shouldn't call in, we have some great questions that you're really going to enjoy as we continue to apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions.
We'll be right back. Moody Radio Spring Share event is happening now and we need your help. Will you partner with us this year as we look to be bold for the gospel in 2023? Last year, we were able to reach deep parts of Africa.
And this year, we want to continue to expand our reach around the world. Whether you listen on air or online, Moody Radio needs your help. To learn more, see our impact or support this work, visit springshare.org. You're listening to Faith and Finance Live. This program is prerecorded, so we're not available to answer your calls, but you can email us your questions at askrob at faithfi.com. We're going to begin in Virginia. Greg, thanks for calling, sir.
Go ahead. I was just calling, I guess my main question is regarding a couple of IRAs and one Roth that I have. I, unfortunately, am not a person that has a tremendous amount of understanding or interest in the stock market, so therefore, I kind of have to depend on my person that takes care of that for me.
And I really need to kind of up that and find somebody because they're kind of just lingering, if you will. I do have somebody, but I know that he's not really paying attention to my money. So, one, he's only got one of my IRAs. I need to consolidate all three of them.
And I'm just looking for a recommendation on that. I would say I've probably got somewhere around 200,000 in the three accounts. My house is not paid for, but I could pay for it if needed. There's probably about $150,000 left on that mortgage, but I've got a 2.7 interest rate, so I'm not sure if that's a smart way to spend the money that I have or if I should be investing that money in some way. Okay. And I'm 54 years old, if that helps.
Yeah, that is helpful. You mentioned you could pay off the house. Where would those funds come from? The retirement accounts or something else?
No, just from savings. Okay, so what do you have in savings beyond the 200,000? Over 100,000.
Over 100,000. Okay, excellent. And is that earmarked for any specific purpose or you've just been socking that away over time and it's built up to quite a bit? It's just savings, yes, sir.
Okay, great. And you mentioned the IRAs, the traditional and the Roth. Is the 200 in just those two accounts or do you have a 401k in addition to that? There is a 401k, an IRA and a Roth and they are the ones that total to about 200,000. Okay, very good. And what amount is in the 401k versus the two IRAs?
I think it's 80-some thousand and one, about the same in the IRA and then the Roth doesn't have near as much in it. Okay, very good. And last question, what percent are you putting away each month into the 401k, do you know?
My employer matches and I try to put, I'm not sure exactly what percentage it is, but I put the max plus I'm doing the catch up because of my age trying to get ahead because I didn't really pay all that much into it when I was younger. Good. Yeah, it sounds like you're doing a great job there. You've got plenty of margin. So a couple of thoughts. Number one, let's focus on the right amount to keep in that emergency fund.
That's going to be a number that you're comfortable with. We typically use during your working years, three to six months expenses, you've obviously got quite a bit more than that with over 100,000 in that savings account. So that could be deployed by either, you know, boosting your 401k to the max if you haven't already. It sounds like perhaps you're doing that, but if not, you could live off a portion of that if that pushed the amount going into the 401k beyond what you were able to live on for your expenses. I'd continue to fully fund those IRAs. I would find another advisor that you're comfortable consolidating everything with.
Perhaps you could find a couple of CKAs to interview at faithfi.com. And then I would probably just make a plan to have that mortgage paid off by the time you retire. Don't prioritize that now. Let's keep the money growing for you long term. I hope that helps. We appreciate your call to Texas. Hey, Jose, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Thank you for taking my call.
I have a question. We just started a retirement program at work and I want to see I'll be 40 if the Lord permits in May. I wanted to ask, is it better to do before tax or after tax? I've been reading and some there's pros and cons on both.
But the way things are going and the way the government loves to taxes, you know, maybe when we do retire, you know, it might be the same as taxes now or even worse. Yeah, I wanted to ask that. And here at work, everybody's been talking about American funds, Washington Mutual Investors Fund. And I was going to see what's best. Yeah. So we don't give specific stock or mutual fund recommendations.
But let me talk generally about what you're asking about here, Jose. Sounds like you have both the traditional 401k and the Roth 401k options. You know, given that you're 40 years old, I mean, you've still got a long runway here.
I mean, let's say you were to redirect to whatever God has for you next at 65. You're 25 years away from that. So the question is, would you benefit from the tax deduction today and then tax deferred growth, paying taxes in retirement or the Roth option where you put in after tax dollars and it grows completely tax free? You know, I like the Roth option a lot, Jose, primarily because number one, I love the tax free growth that you're going to get over these next 25 years. Number two, to your point, I think we're probably at the low end of the range on the marginal tax rates. You know, the next date we have coming up is when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that President Trump put in place expires.
That's December 31st, 2025. I suspect rates are heading higher. And I think the trajectory in the future, apart from policy changes, and this is obviously going to have a lot to do with who's controlling Congress and the presidency, of course. But, you know, I think there's a case to be made that marginal tax rates are going to be higher in the future, even though I don't personally think that's the best approach. So I think that's where the Roth could make some sense. The other option is you kind of save in both buckets, so you could contribute to both. And that way, when you get to that season of life, you'd have your choice on which one to draw from based on kind of what was going on at the moment. But all things being equal, ultimately, it's a decision you've got to make now with some uncertainties ahead. And I just think the Roth has some really great features in it that you'll appreciate having down the road. Does that make sense?
Yeah. So probably the best feature is the before tax, you said? After tax. So you'd go ahead and pay the tax on the money, put it into the Roth, and then it grows tax-free for the next 25 years.
And when you get to retirement, you don't pay any tax on that money coming out. Oh, OK. And just real quick, what you said about that American Funds Washington Mutual Investors Fund, what was it that you said? Well, yeah, we don't make specific recommendations on mutual funds or stocks. So what I would do is check with your plant administrator, see if there's somebody who could give you some counsel on that or connect with a Certified Kingdom Advisor in your area. Just head to our website, faithfi.com, and just click Find a CKA. Jose, thanks for calling, sir. All the best to you.
Larry in Texas, go ahead, sir. Yes, sir. I'm 64 years old and I'm drawing disability and I work part time.
And what is the maximum I can make before I have to start paying Social Security and things of that nature? Yes, sir. So tell me what your income sources are right now. I work for Meals on Wheels like four days a week. All right.
Very good. And you are making how much total is your combined income? With the combined income, I'm making pretty close to twenty thousand a year.
OK, very good. Well, with regard to Social Security disability, you know, during the trial work period, there's no limit on your earnings. During the 36 month extended period, you usually can make no more than fourteen hundred and seventy dollars a month. In most cases, this this year in twenty, twenty three or your benefits will stop.
This is what's known as your substantial gainful activity. Is that the number you were looking for or are you talking about where the taxes kick in? I'm talking about, well, I mean, I bring home like four hundred and something dollars, four hundred and twenty dollars roughly every two weeks for Meals on Wheels.
Yeah. So you can make no more than fourteen hundred and seventy. So you should be fine there in order to continue to collect Social Security disability. If you're talking about where the taxes kick in as an individual, your combined income, when it exceeds twenty five thousand, then you're going to pay taxes on up to eighty five percent of your Social Security benefits.
But that fourteen hundred and seventy a month is the amount you can earn without impeding those disability benefits. We'll be right back. Moody Radio Springshare event is happening now and we need your help. Will you partner with us this year as we look to be bold for the gospel in twenty twenty three? Last year we were able to reach deep parts of Africa, and this year we want to continue to expand our reach around the world. Whether you listen on air or online, Moody Radio needs your help to learn more. See our impact or support this work.
Visit Springshare.org. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. Again, we're not here today. Our team is away from the studio, so don't call in. But we've got some great questions coming up. In fact, let's go to one of those right now. Let's head to Georgia. Hey, Jay, thanks for calling, sir.
Go ahead. I've just taken on the duties of doing all the financial records for my church. And we currently have a donation processing company that we're using that I'm looking for something that's biblically based and maybe would have lower rates. I just think we're paying too much for what we're paying to the company for handling our donations.
Yes, very good. Well, there's a number of options out there that you ought to look at. And basically you've got the processing side, but then you've also got the platform behind it.
Which one are you using today? We're using PushPay. All right.
Yeah. You know, there's a good number of them. Tively would be another one you ought to take a look at. You can just do a Google search for that. They're a wonderful resource that I think you will enjoy learning more about. There's a number of great ones, and what I'd love to do perhaps is have my team get your information so I can send you a list of them. I don't have them right here, but we do have some great ones that we've compiled in the past. I've got probably three or four that you ought to take a look at that are probably the leading platforms in this space serving churches specifically.
So if you would do this, let me get your information and we'll connect with you by email and send you that list that you ought to take a look at. How has that been going as you've been moving to more online giving? Has the congregation been responding to that?
Yes, it was a real slow start. I'll take to say that that was the one good thing of the pandemic was that people seemed to pick up during the COVID pandemic a lot. They said that it should increase our giving.
We just didn't see that at first. We have a slightly older congregation, so I'm sure that all of those folks don't have smartphones. I mean, that's the way I do it. I just get on my smartphone and within like 10 seconds I've done my tithes. So it's real convenient, but again, we just have some older folks that probably don't like to do anything online. They'd rather try to check and give it to the church.
Yeah, no, I get that, and you're always going to have that. I think over time you're going to see obviously more and more people that are going to look for this, especially as this next generation becomes a bigger part of the giving of the local church. That's just the way they pay for things.
They're not accustomed to writing checks for anything. Everything is electronic. I think the one question a lot of folks ask is, is it still an act of worship if I'm giving it online? I would say, well, that's really between you and the Lord. I mean, I do my giving, Julie and I do electronically, certainly a lot more efficient.
So I think it's really up to each person to say, what works for me and how can I make this a part of my act of worship and do it in a way that's efficient and effective? And I think over time, Jay, you're going to see more and more people choose the electronic method just because that's the way things are going today. But I appreciate you asking the question.
I want to get you that comprehensive list, and unfortunately I don't have that right at my fingertips. So stay on the line. We'll get your information and we'll get that out to you.
Thanks for calling today. Hey, let me tackle another topic that I think a lot of folks ask about when they write to us, and that is, is it OK to ask God for material blessings? You know, it's not unusual for people to daydream about owning a better house or driving a nicer car, just having more money. But is it healthy to dwell on what you don't possess?
Let me take that a step further. Is it OK to ask God for material blessings? Now, of course, God is our Heavenly Father, and like a loving Father, He wants His children to come to Him with our needs and questions and requests.
Hebrews is clear. It says, Let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. It's because of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection that we can approach God like this. So, of course, you can ask God for material blessings.
You can ask Him for anything. But like a loving Father, sometimes His answer is no. That's not good for you. The problem with material prosperity is most people don't handle it well. That's just the reality. Here's what the Bible says. It says the love of money is the root of all evil. That's because while money itself is neutral, it can absolutely become an idol.
A consuming desire for wealth and prosperity could mean you're discontented or envious of people who have more than you. Well, that's sin. You could be thinking that God doesn't know what He's doing or that you deserve more or even that God owes you something. Well, those aren't true.
Those are lies. You see, a desire for prosperity is really a heart issue, and it can say that you really are discontent with God's provision. Remember, Genesis 8 21 says the imagination of a man's heart is evil from his youth. We are sinners. So, if you're discontented with your financial situation or maybe you're dealing with envy, maybe you're not happy with God for not giving you more material blessings, I would first talk to God about it.
Ask Him to change your heart if necessary. Psalm 37 4 says, When you delight yourself in the Lord, then He shall give you the desires of your heart. That means when you're trusting Jesus, He will give you new desires to replace old sinful ones. Second, stop looking at what other people have and concentrate on being a good steward or a manager of what you have. You can trust God to provide for your needs, and you'll discover that whatever material blessings He gives you will be enough. You know, comparison is the contentment killer, and we need to be focusing on how can we be content with what God has provided right now, and that starts with our gratitude to God for everything He has entrusted to us.
And then finally, remember what's true. If you're a Christian, your prosperity lies in the riches of knowing Christ. You're storing up permanent treasures in heaven when you give. The bottom line, folks, spiritually, is that prosperity doesn't define you.
Jesus does. So if you lost everything tomorrow, would you be able to say, like Job, Blessed be the name of the Lord. I would submit that's the right attitude. Much harder to do than to say, but that's the attitude.
No matter how much or how little you have. Finally, let me share a quote from Bibles for America. Christ came so that we could have eternal divine life. This is vastly different from thinking Christ came so that we could have a better human life. He came so we could have Him, the divine life. So to get back to the original question, yes, it's okay to ask God for material blessings, but what we really need is more of Jesus. Life in Christ is richer than anything we can ever imagine. So today, think about that. Let's think about and start with what God has already given us, an abundance, starting with the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. If you haven't placed your trust in Him, I'd encourage you to do that today.
Ask for the forgiveness of sin and for Him to become Lord of your life so that you can now be in it. Moody Radio Springshare event is happening now, and we need your help. Will you partner with us this year as we look to be bold for the gospel in 2023? Last year, we were able to reach deep parts of Africa. And this year, we want to continue to expand our reach around the world, whether you listen on air or online. Moody Radio needs your help. To learn more, see our impact, or support this work, visit springshare.org.
A right relationship with Him. We'll be right back. Thanks so much for joining us today on Faith & Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host. Hey, our team is away from the studio today. We're not here, but we've got some great questions that we lined up in advance.
I know you'll enjoy those a little later in our broadcast. Folks, have you checked out recently our website at faithfi.com? If not, I'd encourage you to do that. You'll find our community there where you can post questions and comments, hear from others that are on the stewardship journey as well. You can also access our content and check out the Faithfi app.
It's at faithfi.com. Before we head back to the phones, let's talk about being rich. What does it mean to be rich, and does that make life easier? Well, it depends on whether you're looking at this question from a worldly perspective or through a biblical worldview, which we talk a lot about here on American Family Radio. You know, when we examine this idea of being rich, we first have to say, well, what does the Bible say about it? In Luke 12, 15, Jesus warns against greed. Here's what he says, Then Jesus goes on to tell a parable about a rich man who builds bigger and bigger barns to store his crops and his possessions. The man is pretty satisfied and says to himself, and this is in verse 19, He says, Jesus finishes the story by warning us. This comes from God's word. He says, You know, the rich man in the parable has a godless worldview. His desire is just to be rich, to accumulate things so he can take life easy. Obviously, that doesn't work out for him. According to Jesus, the godly perspective is better.
Why? Well, because it has eternal value. It takes the focus off human desires and looks to God instead. Jesus says we're to be rich toward God instead of rich toward ourselves. But what does rich toward God look like?
Well, I love what author and pastor John Piper says when he explains it this way. Being rich toward God doesn't mean to enrich God. I think it means to count God as your riches. If you're looking about for where to be rich, focus on God.
He is your great reward. He is your riches. Handle your money, listen to this, handle your money in such a way as to show that God and not money is your treasure. Wanting to be rich is a natural desire, without doubt.
But if we're going to become mature believers in Christ, operating from a biblical worldview, then we need to leave natural desires behind. And as Piper says, we must learn to handle our money in such a way to show that God, not money, is our true treasure. So what does it look like to be rich toward God? Well, let me offer these suggestions.
By the way, if you have a financial question or comment today you'd like to get in on the conversation, 800-525-7000 is the number to call. All right, the steps to be rich toward God. Well, these aren't definitive, but just a few ideas. Number one, of course, be generous. We need to give to God's kingdom as he leads us. Find ways to serve others with your time, talents, and your treasure. Being generous is key. Number two, handle your money with integrity. Be honest in all your dealings. Pay your obligations on time. If you have children and grandchildren, teach them biblical financial principles.
Day in and day out you should be talking about them regularly. Three, keep your priorities straight. Money is not the goal, Godly character is. Remember, God has always been about our hearts and the way we work out our financial decisions on a daily basis. Well, it's one of the key ways God shapes us spiritually as we trust in him and lean on him for those decisions. Approach it from that perspective and see what God does in your hearts.
And then finally, be grateful for your blessings. Our God is a good Father and he's given us so much, including the eternal benefits of salvation in Jesus Christ. You see, when we give up being rich toward ourselves and become rich toward God, well, we receive God's encouragement, his love, wisdom, and understanding. In Colossians 2, Paul prays that God's people may be encouraged in heart and united in love. So that they may have the full riches of complete understanding. In order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. You know, that should be our prayer today. That we would reap the spiritual benefits of being rich toward God.
Now think about that today. Think about this admonition that we see in scripture and think about the fact that, you know, oftentimes in the name of the American dream, we can attempt to redeem greed and that's certainly not an area we want to be caught up in. We want to be rich toward God, valuing God over everything and seeing money, not as an end, but a means to an end. The tool to accomplish God's purposes in our lives. And when we do that, well, it changes everything. It changes our perspective and my experience is that when we get this area of our lives right and put it under the Lordship of Christ, our finances, it has a ripple effect into every other area of our life. Today, submit to God's ownership and authority in your life.
The fact that He is your provider and see what that does is that changes your heart posture as you think about managing God's money. All right, let's head to Washington. Craig, you're next on the program, sir.
Go ahead. Good morning, Rob. I sure appreciate your show. You know, we judge things by their fruits and I really appreciate the spirit of your program and I have confidence calling you this morning, so thank you for your program. Absolutely, Craig.
So, Rob, just a real quick background here. My wife, we're in our early 50s and looking at some mortgage, I think it's insurance or protection, I'm not real sure. And quite honestly, we're farther in debt than we wish we were. We owe about $250,000 on our house.
It's worth about maybe twice that much. And don't have a lot of saved back and I've actually had some health challenges in the last couple of years. It might cut my life shorter. We believe that I had a miracle and for sure of healing and we praise God for that. We also want to be real about the rest of our life. And again, we're a single income family and our children are out of the house and I just want to be mindful of my wife as much as I possibly can about if something would happen to me. So, I got a letter from our mortgage company. It's our local bank that is offering mortgage protection insurance of the amount of the loan. And I just want to know how you feel about that. It's for $225,000 basically and it's about $25 a month.
I think it can be cheaper if you do it annually. But I left that paper at home and wasn't expecting to get through. So, I'd like your comments on that, Rob. Excellent, Craig. I appreciate that background.
Delighted to hear of your testimony of God's faithfulness and healing in your family. I'm not a fan of mortgage protection insurance. The cons of mortgage protection insurance significantly outweigh the pros.
It's expensive. So, it's inferior to a term life policy because it's more expensive for the coverage you get and the death benefit continually decreases in value. So, with a term life policy, you're going to set the amount of coverage often far more than just needed to pay off your mortgage because at a minimum, you need 10 to 12 times the income you're trying to replace at your death to provide for your loved one. And then we might add on top of that things like paying off the mortgage or other debts, funding a college education, things like that. But you choose how long you want that in effect. The other thing is that the payoff on the policy isn't guaranteed. So, if you pay off the mortgage before you die, you have nothing to show for paying your premiums all those years.
So, I think for those reasons, I would pass and just get a straight term life policy, Craig, that's going to give you a lot more coverage and a lot less money. Stay on the line. We'll talk a bit more off the air. Sandra, coming your way next.
We'll be right back on Faith and Finance. We have lots of great information coming your way. So, please stay tuned. Moody Radio Springshare event is happening now and we need your help. Will you partner with us this year as we look to be bold for the gospel in 2023? Last year, we were able to reach deep parts of Africa.
And this year, we want to continue to expand our reach around the world. Whether you listen on air or online, Moody Radio needs your help. To learn more, see our impact or support this work, visit springshare.org. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host.
Our team is away from the studio today, so don't call in. But coming up a little later, we'll have more of your questions right here on the program. Hey, let me take a moment to mention the Faith Fi app. We'd love for you to download it. Just head to your app store, wherever you download apps, and search for Faith Fi. That's Faith Fi.
You can manage your money. You can access the best content in biblical finance, podcasts, articles, and videos. You can also participate in our Faith Fi community, where you can post questions and get answers from others on their stewardship journey. You'll find it in your app store. Just search for Faith Fi, or if it's easier, head to our website at faithfi.com.
That's faithfi.com, and you'll see the app right there on the home page. Back to the phones we go to Tennessee. Hi, Sandra. Thanks for calling.
Go right ahead. Thank you. I listened to your program, so I thought about calling and just put it off. Well, I'm glad you did. How are things in Tennessee today, Sandra? A little windy today, but it was pretty gusty during the night, but not anything severe that was damaging or anything. I'm glad to hear it.
How can I help you? I was into my local bank where I've been for a number of years. After my husband passed away, everything is account and some mutual funds that we have with a couple different companies.
One of them was with Fidelity that he set up when he was still working that was offered a 401 that he had then. Later on when I retired, I put some funds. I've worked in a dental office for a number of years in dentistry, so I didn't have a huge amount because I didn't sometimes work part-time for a while, so I transferred that to invest some. I did fare for a while, but this last thing really took a bad hit, the funds that I have. I was thinking about something different, but it's hard to move all that and lose some more money when you move it. So I just wanted some advice. I had quite a bit in my savings that had built up, and I kept putting up. I needed to do something to get a little more interest with that. I didn't want to put it in investments per se, so I put it in a fixed annuity. I'm not sure if that's good or not.
I've heard you talk some about those, but I don't need the money, so I just wanted it where I'd get some more interest. Yeah. Do you know how much that fixed annuity is paying, Sandra?
I think it's 5.3, and that's for seven years. Okay, great. Yeah, I'd be completely fine with that, and you've got the safety on it.
Yes, the safety. If I were to pass away, I'm 82. I'm in pretty good health at that age. We never know when the Lord calls us to.
That's for sure. It will go in full to my family, or if I get sick and have to go into a nursing home or a facility for care, we can get the full amount if needed. A couple of questions, Sandra. How much do you have in liquid savings outside of the annuity? I have about $22,000 at this point. What are your monthly expenses, roughly?
I've been meaning to add it up. I have to draw Social Security, and then I have where my grandson bought my farm. I'll let him set it up however it was best for him, and he pays me $1,500 a month for that, and I don't charge any interest or anything.
All right. Well, it sounds like given that you've got the guaranteed Social Security plus what your grandson's paying you, it sounds like your bills are covered, and that's pretty stable income, and you've got $22,000 on top of that. And then what do you have in the investments that have taken a hit recently? I have about $600,000 in one, and then the others, about $100,000 or a little over.
Yes, ma'am. All right, and how much are those portfolios down at this point over the last year? Well, as I was talking to this advisor at the bank before I set this up, he was trying to talk me into moving them with them, but that was something I wanted to look into before I did that. And I thought about, as a Christian, I give a considerable amount. I give at least my tithe, and over this year I even put my required distribution one completely and put it in my church, and then a portion to a place in Murfreesboro that has a children's home that they don't put children out for adoption. It's for troubled families that some of them have lived there for a long time, and we've supported that. Our church has supported that for a number of years. Yes, ma'am.
Okay, very good. Well, I think the key for you is to find the advisor that's going to be somebody who understands the Council of Scripture but can build a portfolio that's not taking unnecessary risk, because you're in a pretty good spot here. I mean, you've got this fixed annuity, earning a great rate, you've got 20,000 in savings and about 700,000 in investments, and it doesn't sound like you're having to pull anything out of those. So you've got the opportunity for this to recover, but then the key is, at 82, what's the right mix of investments? Should you be down at maybe 30% in stocks and 70% in bonds? So you can continue to get some good growth on this, but on a very conservative basis. So you don't have quite the volatility you have, and I think you need an advisor that you're comfortable with, that understands what you're trying to accomplish and can build that kind of portfolio that has a more conservative position.
So that's a great option for you. I would probably look around and maybe interview two or three advisors before you make the final decision. Here at Faith and Finance, we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. These are about 1,300 men and women across the country, financial and investment professionals, that have met high standards in character and competence and experience, and they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of money to their clients through their professional advice and counsel. So again, you could go to our website, faithfi.com, and just click Find a CKA. And I'd perhaps interview two or three, but it sounds like you're in a great position here, Sandra. I love all the things you've done.
I wouldn't have changed a thing. And I think the key right now is just for you to get those investments positioned so that you can participate in the recovery whenever that comes, maybe later this year, could even be into next year. But then you're ready to move to a more conservative posture moving forward so you can protect what you've got, but also grow it to try to outpace inflation. Does that make sense? Yes.
And what was that dot com? I faith, but I'm not catching that second word. No problem.
It's faithfi, so it's faithfi, short for finance, faithfi.com, and then click Find a CKA, and that stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor. Okay. All right. And you could put in your zip code. You'll find a list in your area.
I'd interview two or three, and I think you could go with the one that is the best fit. God bless you, Sandra. Thanks for calling. Hey, by the way, it sounds like you and your husband were farmers. What did you farm? Well, we just had a small farm.
He worked public works for a number of years until he retired. We just had cattle and honeybees. Okay. And my grandson has bought this. It's a lot of hills here in Tennessee, and we had a lot of hills, a lot of streams, and he has just had their fifth child, so they're having a ball out there, but they have goats. That's great. Oh, man. That sounds like a blast.
I've got a couple of twin girls that are eighth graders that would have a ball on that farm. That's awesome. All right, Sandra. Hey, God bless you there in Tennessee, and call us back any time. We appreciate you being with us today.
To Texas, hey, Sherry, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi. I appreciate your Christianity, your friendship, and your professionalism. Thank you. And I enjoy listening to the program.
You all know a whole lot, and I really appreciate it. I've got – if you ever go to Walmart or somewhere that they show that scanner that's scanning merchandise, my son John Maddox developed that when he was at the prize. Wow.
And also in the mirrors on the car, you know, the new cars. Yes. That technology.
And the gas company, electric company, used that. And he's a management down in Sampson in Austin. Okay. And he's raised three children, and two of them were valedictorians from their high school. Well, incredible.
And they both won scholarships to Texas A&M, and both of them went and got their real estate license. Okay. My grandson is still junior there.
Well, he sounds like you're a proud grandmother, Sherry, and I love to hear that. Hey, how can I help you today? I only have just a couple of minutes left. I have this 2020 Dodge van.
Yes, ma'am. And I owe $3,400 on it. I have some friends that want to buy it, but they were denied. Can I do a quick claim deed on that auto?
Because they're living here and helping. My husband has Alzheimer's, and I can't drive two cars. Yeah, so the owner would have to get, in your case, the permission from the lender to transfer the title to the buyer. And if they can't qualify for that, that's going to be a challenge.
What would you do with the loan that's on it currently? Do they have the ability – they don't have the ability to pay it off, I guess, huh? They don't, and I don't either right now. Yeah. I do on a Jeep Cherokee that's paid for. Okay.
It's 2017. I only have 20,000 miles on it. Okay. And this car only has 12,000.
It's three years old. I see. Okay, could you give them the other car that's paid for and just transfer the title over and let them have that one? That's an idea.
Yeah, that might be the way to go. Go ahead. This is a black Dodge, and I told my husband when he bought it.
I said, it looks like a Hurst. I'm going to take care of you now when you die. That's great.
I love it. Well, perhaps think about giving them the other one if you want to be generous in that way, and I think that's fabulous. But yeah, if there's still a lien on it, you're going to have to get permission from the lender to transfer the title, and that's going to require all kinds of documentation. If they couldn't qualify, I suspect they're not going to go for that just because they're going to want to make sure that they get paid back.
So that other car may be the better option. Hey, all the best to you, Sherry. God bless you there in Texas. We appreciate your call today. Well, we're about out of time today. Before we go, let me remind us why we do what we do here on this program every day. We gather for Faith and Finance Live because we recognize we all have a high calling.
We're money managers for the King of Kings, which means we're to be found faithful as we manage God's resources, faithfulness, obedience over a long period of time, applying the wisdom of God's Word to every area of our lives, and that includes our finances. So thanks for being here today. Thanks for calling and for writing and for your emails. We love to do what we do and serving you to be wise stewards of God's money. I want to say thanks to my team today, Clara, Deb, Amy and Jim.
Couldn't do it without them. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between FaithFi and Moody Radio. We'll see you next time. God bless you. Bye bye. This year, we want to be bold for the gospel through our on air and digital content. But we need your help. To see our impact or give, visit springshare.org.
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