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Qualified Charitable Distributions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 16, 2023 5:15 pm

Qualified Charitable Distributions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 16, 2023 5:15 pm

The problem with most retirement plans is that eventually, you have to pay taxes on your distributions, right? Or is there a way you can avoid paying those taxes? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will explain how you can skip the tax payments and greatly increase your giving to God’s kingdom at the same time. Then he’ll answer calls on various financial topics. 

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Or do you? Hi, I'm Rob West. Would you believe there's a way you can avoid paying those taxes and greatly increase your giving to God's kingdom at the same time? It's easy to do, and I'll tell you all about it today.

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 decisions. Well, the Bible is clear that Christians should pay their taxes. Romans 13, 1 and 2 reads, At the same time, we don't want to pay more in taxes than we have to, because that wouldn't be good stewardship.

Fortunately, there's a way you can legally, at least for now, avoid paying some taxes and practice amazing stewardship at the same time. Of course, I'm talking about the qualified charitable distribution in the US tax code. I've mentioned it several times before, but today I want to really dive into what it is and how it works.

So first, the definition. A qualified charitable distribution, or QCD, is a withdrawal of funds from your traditional IRA that goes directly to a qualified charity, such as your church or a ministry you'd like to support. To make a QCD, you have to be at least age 70 and a half.

This money is not subject to taxes and won't be counted as taxable income. And here's a really great provision with the QCD. If you meet all the requirements, it will count as your required minimum distribution, or RMD. That's important because now, beginning at age 73, you must take RMDs on most qualified retirement plans, including a traditional IRA. But you can get around that rule by making a qualified charitable distribution instead. I mentioned that you can make a QCD from your traditional IRA, but what about other retirement plans? Well, you can also make a QCD from your SEP IRA if you have one, or a so-called simple IRA. You can even do it from a Roth, but because no taxes are due on Roth distributions, there's really no advantage to it. You cannot, however, make a QCD from a 401k or 403b retirement account. You would first have to roll the funds over to an IRA and make the QCD from there. Also, not every charity is eligible for a qualified charitable distribution. It must be a 501c3 organization, and private foundations are ineligible for QCDs. It's a good idea to check with a tax professional to make sure your favorite charity can receive the gift. Now, here's how a QCD can reduce your federal taxes.

First, even though it's a withdrawal from your IRA, it won't be counted as taxable income, as it would if you simply withdrew those funds from your account. Second, you don't have to itemize the deductions on your return to make a QCD. That means if the standard deduction of $13,850 for a single filer or $27,700 for married joint filers is higher, you can still take it, further reducing your federal taxes. And third, because a qualified charitable distribution can be made instead of a required minimum distribution, it won't increase your federal taxable income. That's potentially huge, because often an RMD will push some of your income into a higher tax bracket. You won't have to worry about that if you make a QCD instead.

Of course, it's not all lollipops and rainbows. There are a few downsides to QCDs. First, as I said, the money must go to a qualified charity. You can't make the donation directly. It must go through your retirement plan trustee to the charity. Also, you can't claim a QCD as an itemized charitable donation, and there's an annual limit of $100,000.

Not a problem for most people. So to sum up, the QCD is a powerful tool that enables you to lower your taxes by reducing your taxable income, and it can satisfy your required minimum distribution, which can keep some of your income from being taxed at a higher rate. If you have a required minimum distribution coming up this year, I hope you'll take advantage of the QCD to increase your giving back to God's kingdom.

The QCD is more than just a great way to lower your tax burden. For Christians, it gives us a chance to be more faithful stewards of the resources God entrusts to us. It's an opportunity to be more generous that you shouldn't pass up if you're able to use it. All right, I hope that's helpful to you today. We have a lot more coming up on today's program. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. It's so great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. This is the program where we mind the Scriptures and apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices so you can live with peace of mind and freedom. See, God owns it all. We're stewards of his resources, so we want to look to transcendent wisdom that only comes from God's Word to apply to the decisions and choices we're making today, because money is a tool to accomplish God's purposes.

But it's also a test. It's clear in Scripture that we need to be on our guard with regard to the love of money, pursuing earthly, temporal riches over eternal treasure that will last forever, that ultimately allows our heart posture to be focused on the right things. And handling God's money is also really a testimony to the world. How do we respond in uncertain times? How do we respond when we have little? Do we trust in God, or do we allow money to usurp God's rightful place in first position, putting our faith in the temporal? What about when we've been blessed with much? Are we willing to hold it loosely and give generously?

These are all the things we want to be thinking about as we make the daily decisions around allocating God's money. All right, let's begin in Texas. Tyler, thank you for calling, sir. Go ahead. Hey, Rob, I appreciate you taking my call.

Absolutely. I'm a new listener. I've been listening for a couple months.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most knowledgeable in this financial sector, but I'm 25 and I'm basically trying to find a good spot I could put my money just to kind of build and get a head start on my future. Very good. Well, we've all got to start somewhere, Tyler, so don't be worried about that.

And I'm actually going to send you a resource I'll tell you about in a minute that maybe will get you started in that direction. So give me a little bit more about your life. What's going on? Are you thinking about marriage? Are you in school?

What's what are you doing? So I got my associates a couple years ago. I have a fiance. We're planning on getting married this year. I have a three month old and we bring in together.

I'd say about $55,000 a year. Okay. I work for a good landscaping company. Okay, excellent.

Yeah. And have you been able to save up any money, Tyler? Yeah, we have about close to $10,000. I have one app. It's Acorns Investing.

My brother told me about it. I have a couple of them there. I have another little chunk over in my savings account and that's paying me 0.03% annually.

I didn't feel like that was good enough. Sure, sure. Well, when we think about handling money God's way, I mean, we've got to recognize, first of all, that God is the owner of everything. He's your provider, you and your fiance. And so you want to be wise and faithful in managing God's money. And that's obviously the purpose of your call today. Beyond that recognition, we want to understand that kind of living through those daily decisions of allocating God's money is one of the ways that he grows our faith. Because the way you handle money is a tangible demonstration of where you've placed your trust and what you value. And so when we begin to look at it in that light, it does cause us to want to step back and say, okay, what's most important to me? And as you get married, as one flesh, as a married couple, what is God doing in our life as a family?

Where is he taking us? And what do we want to be known for? How do we take and allocate God's money in a way that's responsible but reflects what's most important to us? We don't want the world to dictate how you should spend your money. You want to do that based on your values and your priorities. And then the budget, the spending plan, Tyler, becomes that instrument of peace in the marriage where it's a tangible demonstration of those values on a daily basis.

And so you give every dollar a name. And that's going to start with you getting an accurate understanding of exactly what does it take for you to live throughout a month's time. And again, when you get married now as a family and put that on paper or put it into a smartphone app like the Faithfi app and, you know, make sure it balances. And here's the key is you've got to live within your means, but you also want to have margin. That is something left over at the end of the month, because that's going to be key to you and your future wife funding your goals and your objectives. Because if you don't have anything left over, you can't pay down debt, you can't save for the future, you can't invest, you can't give more, those types of things. And so that's why living within your means, having a spending plan is so key. Now, beyond that, we need to define those priorities.

And again, they should be, you know, starting with your faith and your values and then flowing from there. I love the idea that you all have saved up $10,000. Acorns is a great way to do it because you're automating your savings.

It's kind of running in the background. That's a really helpful way to go. I think in terms of that, what I call emergency fund, let's call that bucket one of your savings. The goal there should be to get up to three to six months worth of expenses. So you remember I talked about that budget, whatever the total spending is over a month's time, we want to get up to three to six months of those expenses in that emergency fund. That's going to give you something to fall back on when the unexpected comes and it will. And then you don't have to put that on credit cards. Beyond that, we should be looking at other short term goals.

I'm thinking, you know, between one and five years, that's bucket two. That might be you and your future wife buying a home. It may be starting a college fund. You know, hopefully you're already funding retirement, but if not, we certainly need to be doing that.

And hopefully you have a company sponsored plan there at the landscaping company. But in that one to three year bucket, it's what are those things in the short term that we need to be saving for? Typically it'd be saving for a down payment on a house.

It might be replacing a car. But we've got to define those and then start saving toward those. And then the longer term bucket, which is really five years plus, in many cases 10 years plus, that's where we're saving for retirement. And that's where when you start now as a young man, just kind of starting out with your family, if you have a lot of years of compounding working for you, you're going to be able to save quite a bit of money that you and your wife can use to supplement Social Security way down the road when you need it.

I would use a company sponsored plan if you have one, especially if there's matching. And then as a fallback, you could use what's called a Roth IRA. But let me stop there and just see what questions you have. I agree pretty much with everything that you said.

I feel like you're leading me in the right direction. I wrote down some of the stuff you said and I kind of get to your idea as far as, you know, having your different buckets and whatnot. So what I just have, you know, say a couple of different savings accounts as far as one is you'll be in my emergency fund. And then I say two would be my, you know, my house payment, all my cars and everything's paid off. And the house is basically that was next on our list. We don't have many bills. And the only debt we have is I have a ring and then a little credit card, but that's not too much. But besides that, my next thing would be I guess I need to figure out if my employer offers the retirement plan.

And if not, how do I go about the Roth IRA and getting that? I'm a little confused on all that aspect. And honestly, is that something I should really worry about now or should I kind of handle the other two and prioritize those first? Yeah. So here's the priority order for me.

I want you to get up. Well, now that you've got the $10,000 in savings, let's get the credit cards paid off completely. OK, let's get that eliminated. The next step would be let's determine how much your goal is for that down payment on the house. And let's, you know, take a portion of your margin that you have every month and start saving toward that.

If you have a retirement plan at work and they're matching, meaning they're going to usually they'll match up to three percent, some cases five. That's free money. I want you to go and take advantage of that. If not, then let's focus on the down payment of the house after the emergency fund, because that's really the more immediate need.

And you can start that retirement account in a Roth IRA once you've got your down payment on the house. Hey, the other thing I want you to do is I want you and your fiance to sit down and start talking about what your lifestyle is going to look like when you get married. You know, what you want to do in terms of giving. Talk about what money was like growing up. And, you know, that's going to have a lot to do with how you both view and handle money today.

God's goal in marriage is unity and oneness. And in this area, finance is starting now and beginning to communicate is really key. Stay on the line.

I want to send you Money and Marriage God's Way by Howard Dayton as our gift. And folks, we're going to pause for a quick break again. We're not here today taking some time off. So don't call in.

But more questions just around the corner. This is Faith and Finance Live biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I'm Rob West and we'll be right back.

Don't go anywhere. This is Faith and Finance Live with Rob West. Hey, if you hear a phone number mentioned today, please ignore that number and don't call us because today's broadcast was previously recorded. But we think the upcoming information will help you and make you a wise steward of what God's given you. So please stay tuned.

Let's head to North Carolina. Hi, Randy. Thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead. Thank you, sir. Second time caller.

Love the show. Just had a quick kind of like a two part question today. Is there a pros and cons versus like a one time bigger sum investment versus a smaller like a monthly kind of contribution to an investment? And then the second part of my question would be, what would you recommend for the highest yield as far as percentage rate?

Yeah, well, let's unpack that. So give me a little bit more on what you were thinking about with that first part of that question in terms of the smaller amount versus the larger. OK, so like if there was anything up to around twenty thousand dollars that I can just take that and invest it versus maybe a thousand to three thousand dollars a month into something.

Yeah, very good. Well, then the great thing is, Randy, if you're talking about investing in marketable securities, so stocks and bonds, you can invest either way. I mean, you can put in, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in buying into a mutual fund or a particular stock or a basket of stocks through what's called an exchange traded fund and drop it all in at one time. Or you can invest systematically when you have a smaller amount to invest. That's where the ETFs or the mutual funds really shine. And those mutual funds can be comprised of all stocks or stocks and bonds or all bonds. So you can have a whole variety of strategies, some of what's called passive, where they're just mirroring one of the market indexes like the S&P 500 or the Russell 3000 or a bond index.

In other cases, they're actively managed. So you might be investing and you're counting on the particular expertise of the mutual fund manager to make stocks to elections that are going to outperform, perhaps in a specific sector like, you know, biotech or technology or something like that. The key is to make sure that you're properly diversified.

We see this counsel in God's word. Make sure you divide your portion to seven or even to eight because you don't know what misfortune may occur on the earth. And the idea is that we don't all want all of our eggs in one basket. But, you know, depending on your investment strategy, you can go either way. I kind of like those systematic investments because we can build it right into our plan. And then by doing that, we're essentially what's called dollar cost averaging where we're buying in at points when the market's high and when it's low. When it's low, we're buying more shares with the same investment. And we have the opportunity for that, you know, as the market recovers and grows for it to grow our overall portfolio.

So you can go either way. But did you have something else specifically in mind? That makes sense. And then, well, and then my other the other thing I was wondering was, I guess, what would you recommend or if you could, if you can recommend for the highest interest rate return on investment? Yeah. So when you say interest rate, I think, you know, still on the more conservative end of the risk spectrum, you know, typically we say interest rate, we're thinking things like savings accounts, CDs, bonds, or dividend paying stocks. But then you said the highest return. So that makes me think about the more aggressive or risk oriented end of the risk spectrum. What are you thinking about there?

Yeah, I guess if you had a recommendation of either or there's like pros and cons. Sure. Yeah.

You know, here's the thing. I mean, the Bible's clear about warning against a get rich quick mentality, and I'm not saying that's what you're after. But I think we have to be careful when we start to get into a speculative posture where we're trying to seek really high returns, because whenever we're seeking a higher return, there's a commensurate amount of higher risk associated with it.

And so, you know, I think a sure and steady approach. It's what the Bible calls steady plotting is a better approach to investing, which basically says, you know, I'm not going to just seek out those kind of high flying speculative investments where it's boom or bust. I want to take a more sure and steady approach in the speculative category.

I mean, it would be well as of late. A lot of people were investing, especially, you know, a year ago, a couple of years ago in the crypto space. And although cryptocurrency and the technology behind it is here to stay, I don't think it's good for an investment. There's still far too much volatility. It was kind of like the, you know, Internet companies in the late 90s, early 2000s, you know, during the dot com era where there was a real bubble.

And the reason was it was brand new and we hadn't figured out who were going to be the winners and losers. So people made a lot of money and they lost a lot of money. And the same is true when you're investing in cryptos. And so rather than take that approach, Randy, and you sound like a young guy, I think, you know, if time's on your side, meaning you still have decades for this to grow, I'd rather see you do a systematic investment into a really high quality mutual fund. And you could check with our friends at or one of the faith based investing mutual funds we talk about here on the program, Timothy Plan or, you know, Eventide or Praxis, any one of those, or just take what's called an indexing approach where you'd use like a robo advisor to basically buy the broad market, largely as a young guy's stocks. And as you get closer to retirement stocks and more significantly bonds and just participate in the broad moves of the market, but you're lowering your overall volatility because you're not putting all of your eggs in one speculative high flying investment that may do great, but also may take.

And, you know, then you've lost your money. Does that make sense? Yes, sir. Absolutely. Awesome.

Let me do this. I want to send you a book called The Sound Mind Investing Handbook. It really is going to give you a good overview of investing so you can really understand what investing is all about. It's going to all be rooted in biblical wisdom, which is the key. You want God's wisdom, not the world's wisdom, but it's also going to give you a good explanation of all the things I've talked about today so you can begin to grow in your understanding of how this whole space works.

It tends to be a little complicated, but as long as you get into it and start learning and you have the, you know, really the heart of a learner, you can pick this up and really do well over time by taking a sure and steady approach to this. Thanks for your call today. This is Faith at Finance Live. And even though we're not here today and can't take your live calls, there's much more ahead on the program. So please stay tuned. We're so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host, and our team is taking some time off today, so don't call in. But we lined up some great questions in advance.

We'll get to those in just a bit. You know, this idea of being faithful stewards of God's resources is central to our role in managing his money. That's right, he owns it all, and we're stewards, and we're charged with understanding the heart of the master and then being faithful. That is consistent, obedient in the same direction over a long period of time so we can hear, Well done, good and faithful servant, applying the wisdom from God's word to the practical decisions and choices we're making every day. That's the big idea, and I hope this program is an encouragement to you to do just that. All right, it's time to go back to our calls.

To Oregon we go. Lynn, you've been very patient. You can go right ahead. Yesterday a caller called in about trying to get spousal benefits of an ex-spouse at a certain age, at full retirement age I think it was, and I understood that that was only applicable if you were older than having been born in 1954. Well, if you were born before January 2, 1954 and you reach full retirement age, you have the option to elect to receive only the divorced spouse benefits and delay benefits on your own record, which could allow your benefit to continue to grow at 8% a year, and then at some point you could switch to your own benefit. So that may be what you're thinking about with that 1954 date. But the bottom line is everyone can receive or may be entitled to ex-spouse benefits as long as they're unmarried, which when they remarry that does change things a bit. Your marriage lasted at least 10 years, and your ex-spouses age 62 or older, then you could receive up to 50% of their benefits, the typical spousal benefit. But before 1954, you could elect to receive only the spouse benefits and delay your own.

Does that make sense? No. Okay. So, because the woman who called in, I think she was probably born in 1955, I'm guessing somewhere in there, and she had met the criteria of being married 10 years, and it had been many years ago, and is it your ex-spouse is full retirement age or you are?

Well, your spouse would have to be at least 62, so they don't have to be full retirement age for you to take a spousal benefit. Okay. Because I went to the Social Security office and I was told, because I was born in 54, that I cannot claim part of theirs because of my birthdate being after that January 1954. Yeah. No, that's not my understanding.

I would check into that a bit more. You're entitled to that benefit, and you don't have to wait until full retirement age. You just have to be full retirement age to get the maximum benefit. If you claim it earlier, it would be reduced, just like it would be on your own record, so you could have as little as 32% if you filed at 62. As long as your ex-spouse is at least 62 and you were married for 10 years and you haven't remarried, you would have the option to collect a portion of that benefit.

That still exists today. Does it matter? And it doesn't matter if his is more than yours or less than yours? Well, they're going to give you the higher benefit amount, so you would either claim his or yours. The 1954 date allows you to claim his and not yours and allow yours to be delayed and therefore continue to grow, which is a great strategy for some folks, especially if they want to rely on their benefit, which could be higher than the spousal benefit down the road as it continues to grow, and then you could go ahead and claim his now. But I would revisit that because there's a few things that you mentioned there that don't make total sense to me just based on my knowledge of how it works.

Everyone, regardless of your age, is entitled, as long as you are at least 62, he's at least 62, you were married for 10 years, you meet all those stipulations, you can receive up to 50% of his benefit, and they will only give you the higher of the two, whichever is more effective for you. Is the difference then that if you're born in 54 or later that you cannot switch back to your own when you're 70? Perhaps that's the case, yeah. I would ask them about that.

But yes, certainly prior you have the ability to take his, let yours grow, and then switch to it, which would make sense that after that date you have to choose one and lock it in. I'm not absolutely certain on that, but that would be worth checking into. Okay, all right, great. Thank you so much. You're welcome, Lynn. Thanks for calling in. And hey, if you find something else out, make sure you call us back and report your findings. We'd love to continue to grow in our own knowledge of this. It tends to be very complex, so I'm always open to more input. Thanks for your call today.

Hey, to Texas we go. Mike, thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead. Oh, well, I just wanted to comment concerning the last caller or the previous caller about trying to get a good rate of return, but also being also secure with their investment.

All right, go ahead. I've been investing in something called an I-bond through the U.S. Treasury, through the U.S. government. The I-bond is based upon inflationary rate, and right now I believe it's paying 6.62% on your money. Yeah, you're exactly right.

I'm glad you mentioned that. We've talked about I-bonds a good bit, and it happens to be 6.89% right now, so nearly 7%. It was really attractive before November of 2022 when it was 9.6%.

Phenomenal. Here's the only thing I would throw out, Mike, to consider is that rate being very attractive like it is now, and you're right, it's very secure, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. It's pegged to the consumer price index, which is falling, and the Fed is working overtime by continuing to raise rates to ensure that it falls as close to the 2% target that they normally have as quickly as they can. And I think even last week's labor report was another strong indication that this economy is continuing to move along at a good clip, and they're trying to slow it, which means we could see continued Fed hikes throughout the year. So I think that I-bond rate, which is very attractive today, when it adjusts again in May, it's coming down and it will continue to fall each six months. So you just have to factor that into the equation because if it's money that has, in my view, more than a three-year time horizon, I'd rather you be buying into the stock market right now, which is at very attractive levels, because I think that's going to have better long-term compounded performance than the I-bonds, which are attractive now, but I think they're going to revert back to something that you're not very excited about here in the next year or two, and then you will have missed out on the market recovery.

Does that make sense? Absolutely. And I like your analogy of not putting all your eggs in one basket. So I also do have the mutual funds. I have ETFs and stocks.

Well, there you go. Yeah, so if we've got different buckets of money with your one- to three-year bucket, that's where the I-bonds can be great. Keep in mind, if you pull it out in less than five years, you're going to pay a three-month interest penalty. It's not a whole lot, but just factor that in. But yeah, I think you're exactly right, and I appreciate you mentioning it, because a lot of folks don't realize that that great rate at 6.89 is still available at

You can put in up to $10,000 per person per calendar year. You've got to leave it in at least a year. Hey, more to come on faith and finance right around the corner. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on faith and finance live. I'm Rob West.

Our team is away from the studio today. We're not here, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance, and we'll get to those in just a moment. First, as I look at the Scriptures, one of the big ideas that literally jumps off the page when you look at this area of finance in light of a biblical worldview is the idea of contentment. We should foster an attitude of contentment, and I think that's the first understanding, is that it is in fact an attitude. Matthew 6.33 says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. If our aim is the kingdom, then that changes our perspective.

It makes it focused on the eternal, not the temporal, and that's a game changer. Well, then from an attitude, we learn that contentment is in fact learned. The apostle Paul said it this way, Not that I'm speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. That's Philippians 4.11. So it's a learned behavior. 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, well, our position in Christ never changes. And I think that's an important reminder for us today, and perhaps it could change your whole approach to your money. Hey, before we head back to the phones, I want to answer one of your emails. By the way, we receive these emails all the time at AskRob at Feel free to send your question along to be read on the air. Again, AskRob at That's

Let's tackle one of those now. Mary Ann writes, Thank you for your ministry. I am retired and live on a pension. I owe about $25,000 on a home equity line of credit. It has a variable rate that has been rising.

Should I just focus on paying it off quickly or should I turn the debt into a loan and lock in a fixed interest rate? And Mary Ann, I would say, first of all, this is a good reminder why I'm not a big fan of home equity lines of credit for this reason. Number one, it keeps the line open and available, which is a bit enticing in terms of tapping into that home equity, perhaps when we shouldn't. I'd rather us focus on getting that home paid off, making it free and clear rather than continuing to tap the equity to use for other purposes. But number two, it has this variable interest rate, which we're feeling the effects of right now.

So I think you've got a couple of options. If you refinance this with a home equity loan, the closing costs and interest you'd pay would probably be close to what you'll pay in the interest on the HELOC. So I think you're probably better off, Mary Ann, just accelerating your payments on that HELOC and getting rid of it as soon as possible. This higher interest rate that you're paying is likely temporary. It will be coming down toward the end of the year.

It already has some and certainly into next year. So I'd avoid the cost of kind of rolling that over into a new loan. But let's really limit your lifestyle. Try to free up margin or surplus on a monthly basis. That's going to be key for you to be able to get more going to reducing that principal balance.

You know, with HELOCs, a lot of times we're paying interest only, especially while that line is still open and the balance hasn't been amortized to a particular payoff. So you're going to want to get up above the interest only and let's start really attacking that principal balance. I hope that's helpful to you, Mary Ann.

Again, if you have a question you'd like read on the air, feel free to send it along to us at AskRob at Hey, before we head back to the phones, let me mention quickly if you haven't checked out the FaithFi app, we'd love for you to do that. It is the very best, in my opinion, money management system out there. It's got three approaches to how you can manage your money. One of them is the digital envelope system where you can connect to all your accounts securely, automatically download your transactions. You can set up automatic funding every month from your paycheck to your envelopes. It doesn't actually move money but you'll see the money get moved inside the app so you can keep tabs on it and then as transactions come in, the balance comes down in each envelope so you or you and your spouse at any moment during the month can see exactly what's left in each envelope so you can stay on budget. Also in the app, the very best content in biblical finance and our FaithFi community where folks are asking everyday questions and sharing ideas and encouraging each other. It's all there and you can download it today. Just head to our website, That's and click on the app button to learn more. All right, back to the phones we go.

Back to Texas. Hey, Mark, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Yeah, I just had a question about I've got a 401k where I work. There's about $300,000 in there all and they do all the investing.

I don't do any of that. But we've been talking about going into precious metal, either gold or silver. I was wondering what your thoughts were on that. Yeah, would you be looking to take physical possession, Mark? Are you looking at like a tracking ETF that just tracks the price of gold or what are you thinking? Well, I'd like to take physical possession, but I don't think I can without paying a bunch of taxes on that. Yeah, well, I mean, you've got the premium on the buy and the sell and you wouldn't really pay the taxes until you sell it.

But, you know, here's the thing. I like gold and silver. I think the precious metals make sense, especially right now. I would be kind of at the upper end of your range that you set or that you and your advisor set, which for me is typically no more than 5 to 10 percent of your investable assets. The reason being that, you know, although it's a great fear trade and it's uncorrelated and it does tend to do well in times of uncertainty, especially when there's inflation, you know, over the long haul, it's just more volatile and it doesn't have the long term performance.

It's a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio like you might have in that 401k. And so for that reason, again, I think it has a place and I'd probably be at the upper end of my range, but I wouldn't overweight there. So, you know, if a prudent approach says, let's have no more than 10 percent, I wouldn't put, you know, 25 or 30 percent into precious metals.

I just don't think that the case is there for you to do well over the long haul. And that's how you'd want to hold it. You'd want to buy it and hold it for a long time.

So I'd just be careful about overweighting there. But beyond that, I like the precious metals and I think, you know, buying gold coins or something like that can make some sense. I got one more question for you then. So I know I'm in BlackRock and some of those other things that I don't hear good things about. So I guess I'm asking what would be a Christian based fund or a people that can handle my 401k and make sure it's biblically invested? Yeah, it's a great question, Mark. The good news is there's more options than ever today to be invested in a way that aligns with your values and priorities as a Christian, either by excluding certain companies misaligned with your values by including or screening in other companies that are having a social or a human flourishing outcome, really promoting the common good and even having a kingdom impact.

So that's available today in a way that it hasn't been in years past. And so the question is going to be inside your 401k because it's a limited investment universe. Do you have any of these fund families that we talk about here on this program?

So what I do is go to our website,,, click on the button that says The Show and then scroll down. You'll see some of the sponsors of this program, like, you know, Timothy Plan. You'll see Eventide and you'll see One Ascent and Guidestone and, you know, a whole number of faith based investing fund families. And then you're going to want to look at the options inside your 401k and see if any of those fund families are there. Many of them are being included in 401ks now that haven't had them previously. If not, you may not have that option.

The only other option you would look for would be something called a brokerage window where they allow you to take the money in the 401k and invest it outside of the 401k in other investments. And then that may give you the option to choose one of these faith based fund families. I hope that helps you. Thanks for your call today.

Let's finish in looks like Michigan. Hey, Ron, go right ahead, sir. Thanks for taking my call. I'll be real brief.

Sure. Just a comment that I very much agree with your sure and steady approach. I had to learn it the hard way. If you're down 20 percent by being too aggressive, you've got to get 25 percent just to get back to even again. A lot of people think that if I'm down 20 percent, that if I if the market goes up 20 percent, I'm back to even again. And that's just not true. I would much rather just do sure and steady without the volatility.

That's just a comment. Well, I appreciate that, Ron. And you make a great point there. You know, oftentimes, especially when our portfolios are down, our natural reaction is to say, well, I need to do something different to kind of make up for lost time. And that's when we can really get ourselves into a difficult spot because we take more risk than we should.

We begin to speculate. And that's where we have the ability to lose even more as opposed to saying, you know what, I'm going to take a long view with my investments. I'm going to follow biblical wisdom, which is this idea of steady plotting where I'm diversified. And I'm going to look out over 10 or 20 or 30 years, because even once I reach retirement, if the Lord tarries and I'm in good health, you know, I still have a decades long need for this money. Well, that allows me to weather the ups and downs of the market.

There's never been a 20 year period where the market's down. And so, you know, as long as we're invested in the right things in line with our goals and objectives and risk tolerance, then we have the ability to say, OK, I'm not going to look at a quarter or a year or even a couple of years. I'm going to look over the long haul and I'm going to be sure and steady. And I appreciate you reinforcing that idea. Thanks for sharing that comment today, Ron, and for listening to the program.

God bless you, my friend. You know, we've covered a lot of ground today. And before we wrap up, money management can often be confusing, a seemingly endless number of decisions that we have to make. And yet, if we think about it, we can actually reduce our money management just to five uses of money. There's the money we live on, the money we give, the money we owe for debt and for taxes and the money we grow, live, give, owe for debt and taxes and grow. And God's word speaks to all of them. You know, when we pull the principles from God's word out and apply them to our financial decisions, we can have confidence because they're timeless.

They don't ever change. They transcend the tax code and actually allow us to move forward with peace of mind. That's what we're after here on this program every day. I'm so thankful for my team on behalf of Amy Rios and Tahira Haynes, our call screeners and Jim Henry.

We couldn't do this without them, but we also couldn't do it without you. So thanks for stopping by today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day and come back and join us next time on Faith and Finance Live.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-24 13:56:43 / 2023-03-24 14:14:09 / 17

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