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The Scoop on Annuities

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2023 5:10 pm

The Scoop on Annuities

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 24, 2023 5:10 pm

Are annuities the best product since sliced bread?  Or are they something to be avoided? To best answer those questions, it may be time to take an objective look at this investment vehicle. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk with Mike Miller to get the scoop on annuities. Then Rob will answer your calls about the financial topics that are on your mind. 

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Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore

Moody Radio's Spring Share event has come and gone, but there's still more work to be done. This year, we want to be bold for the Gospel in encouraging, teaching, and empowering you, our listener.

To do this, we need your help. See our impact and learn more about Moody Radio's new initiative at Are annuities the best product since sliced bread or a house of mirrors? Or could they be both? I am Rob West.

Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one man's trash is another man's treasure. So which of those are annuities? I'll talk about it today with Mike Miller. Then we have some great questions lined up for you. But don't call in today because we're pre recorded.

This is faith and finance live biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, it's always great to have my friend Mike Miller on the program. Mike is a partner and senior private wealth advisor at the South Carolina office of Ronald Blue Trust.

He's also a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor. And Mike, it's great to have you back with us. Oh, it's always good to be with you, Rob. I just appreciate what you and your team and of course, the sponsors, we have to have them to put this great information. I mean, people just crave information that's not tainted with sales.

Yeah, well, that's exactly right. And I know, it's fun to have a fellow broadcaster on the program. You've been in this space of biblical finance on the airwaves for a long time.

So I'm delighted we get to chat today. Mike, as you might imagine, we constantly get calls about annuities, despite the fact I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan. In most cases, it's kind of like whack a mole, you knock one down, another one pops up. So I guess we should maybe take an objective look at annuities. And maybe to start, we can tackle this first question. And that is, what is the main problem with any investment that guarantees returns? And that would include annuities?

Well, number one rule guarantees cost something. Yeah, there's there's always trade offs. I had a radio listener that called some years ago that said, I just don't like annuities, because I don't like the idea of paying someone else just to give me my money back. And I've seen that way too many times where somebody really thought they were going to get x return.

And then it ended up being hardly anything that they got. And some are better than others, of course. But you really have to understand what what kind of costs those guarantees really are.

Yeah, that's exactly right. There's always a cost with a guarantee. That's takeaway number one. Let's look at this through a biblical lens.

I know you approach everything you do that way. We of course, won't find the word annuities in the Bible. But perhaps there's a biblical principle involved with investing in annuities.

What would that be? Well, we've all heard of the most people have heard of the peril of the talent. So you had in Matthew 25, where the master gives, he's leaving, and he gives one five, one, two and one one. It's interesting that he says, I gave it to them each according to his ability, which is important to know.

And then in verse 25, he says, you know, the when he's talking to the when he comes back, and speaking to the one who had the one talent that hit it in the ground and didn't do anything with it. Why did you do that? Well, I was afraid.

And went away and hid your talent in the ground. So I think that's a key thing that when it comes to annuities, oftentimes, many times they are sold from a fear side. We're fearful of this. So we ended up really maybe not being the best steward because of that fear.

Yeah. Well, you mentioned being sold an annuity. And that's, I think, one of the key points we need to look at, because when I get calls about annuities, it's not because somebody's saying, I think I need one of these. It's because somebody has told them they need one of these. So perhaps what should folks ask themselves when someone tries to sell them an annuity?

And you're absolutely right. They're always sold. I don't know anybody that ever just bought one.

They're sold. So I think through questions like, what does the salesman have other options or its annuities or nothing? So if that's all they have, well, then, you know, you're going to fit any square peg and round hole, whatever, you know, it's not always going to be the right thing. Are they trying to get you to put a large portion of your money in it?

So that's a huge red flag. I mean, because you ought to diversify, even if you end up getting annuity. I've seen too many people that put these large chunks in just one annuity.

They don't even diversify by different types of annuities, which they should. And another one is, does it feel like the person's selling something because they're up for a contest and they're really trying to win a contest? I think you can sense that sometimes, like, OK, that's really they're selling it.

They want you to buy it for them, not for you. Yeah, there's no question about that. And so we need to unpack this bike and just around the corner, we'll actually take a step back and really ask you to describe the three basic types of annuities. We'll look at both fixed as well as the variable and the average annuities. Fixed as well as the variable and the indexed annuities.

And then the two phases associated with those, both the accumulation and the distribution. We'll talk about the pros and cons. We'll even look at some of these riders specifically around the area of generating income in a volatile market. We have a lot of interest in annuities.

So what do you need to know and are they the right solution for you? Mike Miller with us today. Mike, his partner and senior private wealth adviser at the South Carolina Office of Ronald Blue Trust.

And much more to come just around the corner. Stick around. We'll be right back. Delighted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

Joining me today is Mike Miller. Mike is partner and senior private wealth adviser at the South Carolina Office of Ronald Blue Trust. He's a certified financial planner and certified kingdom adviser. And today we're talking about annuities. What do you need to know and perhaps are they the right solution for you?

Or do you need to stay away? Mike, as we continue to unpack this, perhaps we ought to really bring some definition to annuities for those that maybe aren't familiar with these products or they're confused. So perhaps start with the three basic types.

Yeah. My sister was being sold or tried to be sold an annuity down in Florida, and she called and asked me about it. And I first question, I said, what kind is it?

Well, I don't know, she said. So people don't know what they have. So the fixed annuity, the variable, which is the most basic and then a variable and then an indexed annuity, which is probably, last I saw, the most popular one that's being sold the most.

And they all can have accumulation part where you accumulate at different rates, and then they all have different kinds of ways to distribute those funds once you retire whenever you want to take out the money. Yeah, exactly. And so, obviously, in a market like this, Mike, when we're seeing a lot of downward pressure and the prospect of a recession looming, and folks are seeing their 401ks decline, perhaps they maybe were allocated slightly aggressively for their age towards stocks and they're close to retirement. This can seem attractive for somebody in that position, right?

Oh, obviously, yeah. When things go down, they think, oh, I need to do something that prevents this. If they had invested properly where they were in really income phases, where they kept some conservative money for the first couple of years of needs and then had a little more aggressive money, some bonds or something like that for the second phase of income needs. And then the long term money was in that part that's the most volatile in stocks and so forth, where they knew that was long term money, then the ups and downs is still not fun, but it still shouldn't bother you as much because it's money you're really confident you're not going to need for eight to 10 years plus. Yeah, exactly right.

All right. Well, you mentioned the three types of annuities, fixed, variable and indexed. Let's talk about the fixed annuities first.

Give us the pros and the cons. Well, the fixed annuities actually have gotten some more pros now. And as we hear the Fed increasing interest rates, keep in mind that that positively affects things like money markets and fixed annuities because these companies can start paying higher interest rates. And when you look at any annuity, whether it's a fixed, variable or indexed, you want to look really at what are the guarantees? I mean, that's what you're buying it for, the guarantees. So it's nice to see these fixed rates going up to where it's unfortunately they don't do like they used to do in years, my early years of my career, where they would say, I'm going to give you a five percent guarantee for the life of the contract. Now it's now it's probably five percent, but it's for three years or five years or something like that.

So that's a big positive. There's usually a higher guarantee and fixed annuities than there is in the other types of annuities. OK, what are the downsides? Well, downside would been when interest rates fluctuate, it goes down. So up to the last until the last year or so, the downside was you get nothing if you invest in one and now you get something for it.

But it's going to be limited for five years. So the the restrictions, of course, you have with all annuities applies to fixed as well as well as the indexed and the variable. If you try to get it out earlier, then the surrender charge allows surrender period allows you to you're going to be penalized a lot. So there's a definitely a liquidity risk in all annuities. Matter of fact, there's a there's a people don't like to hear this, but there's a guaranteed loss with annuities.

As long as there's a surrender charge, that's a guaranteed loss. You can't get all of your money out without a big charge. And a lot of people think a lot of agents will come back and say, oh, yeah, but you don't really need that money. You're not planning on touching it.

Well, my come back to that is, well, then why don't you invest it the same place insurance companies investing it? Yeah, it's going to go down some. It might look like it's lost its its value, but it's going to come back because you don't need it because you're not going to touch it.

If you touch it down, of course you lose. But if you don't pay, it comes back up. Yeah. Yeah. Helpful.

All right. You talked about fixed annuities. Let's move to indexed annuities.

You mentioned that these perhaps at least now are sold more than the other two. What should folks know about indexed annuities? Well, you really need to understand the guarantee. The proposal that you get typically with an indexed annuity agent is one that shows the zero downside if the market's down. Then they'll show you past history of what the annuity would have done had it earned a certain rate of return percentage of the markets over that time. But then you get back to, oh, wait a minute, I'm trying to get away from that market risk. And now you're really telling me I'm not going to make money unless the market goes up. So it's it's really have to understand really what that what that guarantee is, because there's there's a definite a lot of risk that you can't you can't pay somebody six, seven, eight percent to sell you an annuity and not have it affect you someplace. You just don't see it.

And the average person thinks when they read the brochures, oh, that looks great. But, you know, it's not as is not as good as it looks. It's kind of like cotton candy. It looks pretty good. But once you bite it, it's kind of gone. All right. Let's move along to variable annuities.

How do they work, Mike? So variable annuities have better upside because you're actually investing in some mutual fund type accounts so you can you can put them in growth stocks and things like that. They don't have the downside protection unless you buy one of those income writers that you can put on those. But that I call I call that more monopoly money than I call it anything else. But, yeah, there's there's higher potential upside. But more potential downside as well.

Yeah. Anything else we need to know about those income writers you mentioned? Well, the income writers are you get be really careful when you read their material because they'll give you like sometimes an upfront bonus or they'll say you're going to increase your account by six percent. But this is all typically in this income bucket and the income bucket is different than your account bucket. The income bucket is not going to be available to you as a lump sum.

It's going to have to come out to you over some period of time. And the ones I've looked at say, OK, I'm accumulate four to 10 years in my income bucket. Then I'm going to take a four or five percent distribution for the next the rest of my life. Well, if you think about it, it's going to take you 20 years to get your money back. So if you were 65 when you started, you're 75 when you start the distribution, you're going to be 95 when by the time you just get your money back.

Well, how long are you going to live? So, yeah, watch out, think through some of those things and see what the guarantees really are. Well, there's no question that annuities are complicated. So perhaps as we wrap up today, maybe you can simplify things a bit. Who should consider buying an annuity and who shouldn't? I wish I could simplify that.

It's not that easy to do. But, you know, in most cases, I recommend folks just invest in the same types of investment that the insurance companies. Maybe it's a bond, a total bond index fund or something that's very inexpensive to get into.

There's no commissions. That's what the insurance companies investing in. Probably 65 percent of their investments or 70 percent are in just high quality long term bonds. And the other type of person that may need one had a client years ago. This is probably 20 years ago, longer when when interest rates were actually higher than. And I had this one client that he needed to protect himself against himself.

If he didn't have his money in something that was locked up, he was going to spend it all. So it's the only one in my whole career that I said, you need to buy an annuity and annuitize it. So you get a monthly income so you don't spend it all high rate taxpayers. High tax rate taxpayers will be another one, because if they've maxed out the retirement, the IRA options, other retirement plans, they still need some tax deferral. This is a way to get some tax deferral and get more benefit from it, because it's obviously accumulating tax deferred.

It's not tax free, but it is tax deferred. And that could be a benefit. But I think for most people, there are better ways to get a guarantee. I love it. Well, that's been really helpful, Mike. A wealth of information on annuities. Really grateful to have you stop by today. Thanks for having me with you today, Rob. Go to and you can learn more about annuities right there.

That's exactly right. If you want to learn even more and we just scratched the surface, Mike's two part podcast on the topic at is just what you're looking for. 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.

Hey, it's great to have you with us on Faith in Finance Live. But today we are prerecorded and we won't be taking your calls. However, we've lined up some calls in advance that we think you'll find helpful. So stay tuned and enjoy the rest of the program. Let's head to Florida. We'll begin with Alberta. Go right ahead.

How can I help you? Yes, I'm calling you to ask a question. How could your credit be sold to a company by the name of Lexus? And what they do is feed in to them. I don't know how to get the information, but anyhow, they they got a whole bunch of different lives on your credit. And it's not true. It's not accurate. I'm having a little trouble understanding you, Alberta. So you there's a collection agency.

And what's the name of it? I don't know how they get information. They more like selling information to different programs and current choice people.

There's different ways to make your score low, come down. And then when you do your research to find out about who's Lexus and where to get the information from, you realize that it's a whole bunch of lives. I even have a lawyer looking to him and he said, Alberta, go to the courthouse and find out what's going on. Because they have a lot of things to issue. OK, let me try to weigh in on this.

I'm having difficulty totally making out what you're saying. And I think it's just a bad sell connection. It sounds like what you've got going on here, Alberta, is a debt collector and there are legitimate debt collectors. And there's a lot of scammers in this space that you need to be very careful in terms of how you approach them. Here's some of the warning signs for debt collection scams.

Now, before I share those, though, let me back up. When you have a debt that's past due, oftentimes the original creditor will pass it off to a debt collector to collect that debt or to attempt to collect that debt. In some cases, they're acting on behalf of that original creditor. In some cases, they actually purchase the debt at a discount. It's no longer with the original creditor. And now they own the debt and they're going to attempt to collect it.

And that's their business. The challenge is that in this space is a lot of scamming. And you will read about this if you go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website.

This is a division of the United States government. There's a lot of information about the challenges in this space. But here's some of the warning signs that you may be seeing. Number one, if they withhold information from you, if they pressure you to pay by money transfer or prepaid card that's untraceable.

That's obviously a telltale sign that something is awry. If they falsely threaten you with jail time or pose as a government official, if they say they're going to tell your family, friends or an employer, or if you don't recognize the debt. These are things that you need to be on your guard for. They also will in some cases ask for your personal financial information. There's no need for you to ever give out personal financial information over the Internet or over the phone with somebody who says that they're trying to collect a debt from you. If they're doing it legitimately, they should already have everything they need.

They shouldn't need you to tell them a bank account number or routing number or Social Security number. Also, they can't call you at inconvenient times. So if they call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., the law actually prohibits that. So how can you protect yourself?

Well, there's a couple of things you can do. Number one, you can ask for a callback number. You can make sure you've been given information about the debt before you pay. You could contact your original creditor and find out whether or not this is a legitimate company that is acting on their behalf or whether it's a scammer. You can also check your credit report just to see if this is a legitimate debt that you in fact owe. And you can understand your rights by reading the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that really spells out the rules for debt collection. You can also submit a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at So hopefully that helps you to determine, first of all, is this a scammer?

And second of all, what do you need to do to protect yourself? And listen, we wish you the best. I know this can be challenging and frustrating, so thanks for calling the program today. We appreciate it very much. Let's head to Texas. Hi, Valerie.

How can we help you? My question is about when you file with your federal filing status. I lost my husband a year ago in January, so this year I'm still having to file with him on for last year. But in my time and I have been filing married but withholding at a higher single rate. Should I be changing that? Yes, I would.

And I'm sorry to hear about your husband's passing. Absolutely. Because what you want to do is make sure that the proper amount is being withheld. You don't want to get a huge tax refund back at the end of the year just because I'd rather you get that in your budget every month so you can determine where you want it to go as opposed to getting a big windfall.

I also don't want you to owe anything at the end of the year. And if you're still filing based on filing jointly then obviously nothing has changed. But we want to make sure the proper amount is withheld moving forward so that when you move forward and file as a single taxpayer that the proper amount is withheld. The W-4 form has instructions on it for you to choose your filing status on a go-forward basis to determine your income. There's an estimator online at that will allow you to quickly determine what your combined income is from all sources. And then if you have any dependents like children or other dependents you'll acknowledge that there. And then once all this information is in there it will determine for your employer exactly how much needs to be withheld so that you can get as close to zero as possible. But I think anytime we have a major change in our financial life it's a good idea to update that W-4. Does that make sense? Yeah, so it should be single and I don't have dependents so just leave it at single rate.

Exactly, so you'll just answer all those questions. There's a formula and it'll walk you through the various steps to input the necessary information and that will result in telling you exactly what to put on that form that should be given to your employer. So just download the W-4 at and all the instructions will be there.

Thanks for your call Valerie. Well folks before we head to this break let me remind you if you haven't checked out, that's, I'd love for you to do that. You'll find the best content in biblical finance there for you to grow in your understanding of managing money God's way. You'll find our community and the money management system.

It's all there at Now again a reminder we're not here today but more of your questions that we lined up after the break. Thanks so much for joining us today on Faith and 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 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 Let's head to Texas. Hi Danny, thanks for calling sir. Go ahead. Yes sir. I just wanted to give a quick testimony.

It might encourage someone about how God's blessed me and my finances. I want to go back to the 70s. I was in high school in the 70s and borrowing money. We had a civics class.

I don't know if they still have them or not. But they taught us in school to borrow money, establish your credit and do all this and I was doing that. And I was borrowing money from four different institutions when I was in high school. I would borrow from one to pay the other one off and I became a Christian in 1990. Our church did not preach against borrowing money but I heard two other preachers preach against it and give lots of scriptures.

Old and New Testament. I made a commitment to do that right after 1990, not long after I became a Christian. It took me about two years to get out of debt. I have been debt free ever since and God has blessed me. I believe debt causes people to be sick.

It puts them in bondage. I told my family what I was going to do and they laughed at me. They said, oh that's not possible.

And it is possible. I'm a testimony. I know what God's done for me. I just hope this could be an encouragement to someone out there listening to make a commitment to get out of debt.

That's incredible Danny. What were the practical steps you took to do that? Obviously you've limited your lifestyle spending but what else did you do to really be able to get to a place where you're completely debt free? Number one, I quit borrowing money.

That was number one. I found good deals but I wouldn't borrow the money. If I did not have the money, I did not borrow it. It didn't matter how good a deal it looked like. If it was a good deal, I did not borrow it. That's hard to do because when you see a good deal, you think, man, that's a good deal. I need to get it. Yeah, that's right. Well, it's simple, you know.

Go ahead. I've since found when you have cash, you can buy stuff so cheap. I bought some property for a third of the price.

I just offered them what money I had and real estate said, well, they might take it if you got cash. And it amazed me. I mean, you can find good deals when you have cash. And like I said, your mind is easy. And I was blessed by God when I was in debt.

I was always able to make my payments. Yes. But it was still stressful.

Yeah. Well, Danny, I appreciate your testimony today. There's no doubt that God's word is clear. Borrowing is not a sin but there are absolutely warnings in the Old and New Testament about borrowing. It puts us in a position of servitude. You know, it says the borrower is the lender's slave.

That changes the relationship. We know there's economic implications, not only the compounding of the debt that grows over time. So we're spending a lot of money on interest but just the opportunity cost. I mean, the reality is when we allocate our money for a debt payment, that's money that's not available for something else.

It's going to accomplish our longer term goals and objectives. There's also spiritual implications in terms of debt. Debt is often symptomatic of a heart issue. There's also psychological implications.

It causes stress and tension and can have a negative impact on our closest relationships, particularly a marriage relationship. So we have to be very careful. Your point is very well taken.

I think pursuing a life where we're completely debt-free is a hallmark of the freedom that comes when we heed the Council of Scripture in our financial lives. Thank you for that testimony today, Danny. God bless you, my friend. To Texas. Hey, John.

Go right ahead, sir. I have a son who is a pastor with the North American Mission Board. And he had some major expenses. I have some property that I like to sell, but I hate to pay the capital gains tax. Is there any way I've looked at revocable trust?

I've looked at establishing a foundation, but that's pretty involved. I don't know what to do. Yeah. Well, there's a couple of thoughts I have. I mean, number one is, is this just a rental property or a piece of land you have? What is it?

It's a piece of land. Okay. All right. And what is the hardship that's going on in your son's life?

Well, he has a son that begins medical school this year and his daughter is getting married this year. Okay. Yeah. So those two things on top of each other, I could understand, especially as a pastor, that can be financially difficult.

I certainly get that. You know, the only way to kind of kick that can down the road would be what's called a 1031 exchange, where you're pushing it into another piece of property. That's not going to give you the liquidity event you're looking for. The second option would be if you wanted to be charitable with it, but it'd have to go to a nonprofit, not as a gift to your son. You could give it to a donor advised fund prior to the sale, but that's not going to work because you need the money.

And as soon as you give it to a donor advised fund, now you have to give it to a charity, a nonprofit. So you'll likely have to go ahead and pay that capital gains. If you have taxable income of $90,000 to half a million dollars, that's going to be at 15%. If your income is less than that, are you married filing jointly? Yeah.

Okay. So for 2023, the capital gains rate, if your income is less than $89,000, that capital gain would be at zero. But if it's between $89,000 and $553,000, you're going to have a 15% long-term capital gain rate on the gain. So you'd take the selling price minus the cost basis on that, and that would be your gain, and then you'd have a 15% tax rate on it. So you'd set that aside, and then the rest would be able to be given as a gift up to $17,000. If you go above $17,000, there's not any tax on it on that gift. You would just take it off of your lifetime exemption, which is today over $12 million.

At $12 million, that's a good bet. You're probably not going to hit that anytime soon, I wouldn't think, huh? No, I'm 77 years old. Okay. Well, John, I think this is a wonderful thought that you have here to bless your son. I'm sorry I didn't have a way for you to avoid that capital gains.

Good news is you got a profit, and the capital gains rate, again, if your income is over $89,000, you'll only be paying 15%, then the rest could be given away without any trouble. We appreciate your call today, sir. God bless you very much. Before we head to the break, let me tackle an email. We receive emails all the time at questions, excuse me, askrob at

That's askrob at This one is coming to us from a concerned mother. She says, my son needs help with paying back credit cards and loans. Is there a free service to help? And there is a great service that I recommend for credit cards. If you have more than $4,000 in credit card debt, I'd contact my friends at They're going to be able to get the interest rates reduced, and you'll have one level monthly payment that fits into your budget.

And as that balance comes down with those lower rates, that level payment is going to provide a snowball effect that will help you get out of debt 80% faster. We'll be right back with your questions after this. Hey, you're listening to Faith in Finance Live with Rob West. Today's broadcast is prerecorded, and that means we won't be taking any calls. But we do have some calls lined up and lots of great information coming your way that we think you'll find helpful. So stick around for more Faith in Finance Live after this brief break. This is our final segment of a Faith in Finance Live program that we previously recorded. Thanks so much for being with us today, and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of the program. Let's head to Iowa. Hi, John. Thanks for calling, sir.

Go ahead. Hey, Rob. Hey, my question is, I'm contemplating changing financial advisor.

I went to in-service with one one time, and I really liked them, and they seem Christian based. And my advisor right now charges me 1.35% for assets under management. And the new one charges only 1%. My question is, is it worth 0.35% long term? And then if I do change, do I get charged fees for that? Is there capital gains from the first one to the second one?

Can you explain that process to me a little bit? I'd be delighted to, John. You know, I think the most important thing is that you're with an advisor that matches your values. It sounds like that certainly would be the case with the new advisor. Perhaps it is or it isn't with the current one.

I don't know if you mentioned that, but I think that's key. I think that they have the experience and the competency, of course, that you're looking for, that they are going to communicate with you the way you want, you know, with the regularity you're looking for, with the method, you know, whether it's a Zoom call or an in-person meeting. And, you know, you want to know who in the firm is going to be handling your account. You know, so you might meet with somebody, but are they going to hand it off to somebody else? Because, you know, most of the clients in the firm have much, you know, more in the way of assets than yours. And so, you know, you're going to be working with somebody different.

I mean, all of these things, I think, go into you deciding who that right advisor is for you, both with regard to the planning side as well as the investment management. Now, 1.35 versus 1. 1.35 isn't unusual.

It's still normal and customary. Obviously, if you could save 35 basis points a year, you know, over the next, you know, couple of decades, I mean, that's not insignificant, but that wouldn't be the primary driver for me to make a change. I'd rather you decide who is the right advisor for you that you feel comfortable with, that is going to give you peace of mind, that, again, is going to kind of check all those boxes that I mentioned. That's more important to me than you saving 35 basis points. In terms of the capital gains, is this taxable money or are we talking about money inside retirement accounts? Yeah, I've got some 403b money there, but I also have some in a taxable account as well. Okay, so obviously any kind of change that's made when the taxable account with regard to the investment holdings will generate taxable events. The good news is you could do some tax loss harvesting during a season like we're in right now with the market down if you're a new advisor after working with you to work through your financial plan and develop your investment strategy and risk tolerance, and then they're ready to start deploying that and making some changes. Obviously, there's a way to do that that's tax efficient where they'd sell, you know, certain holdings at a loss to offset the gains. And, you know, they can be tax efficient while they're repositioning.

And I wouldn't let the tax tail wag the dog in the sense that I want you to get to the right investment holdings that are the right things moving forward more so than just, you know, you holding something because you don't want to create a taxable event. But your advisor would be very skilled at navigating that for you. As to any cost to make the change, there shouldn't be any. There may be a very small fee, maybe even around $50 or so for you just to transfer those funds out through the ACAT system. It'll go back office to back office to the new advisor's custodian.

But there really shouldn't be anything in the way of fees that you have to worry about. So I think the key for you now is who is that right advisor for you moving forward that's really going to be able to serve you well and that you feel really good about, understands you, does a lot of discovery, isn't taking a cookie cutter approach, hopefully who's a fiduciary, you know, by putting your interests above anything else. And I think that's really the primary driver. And that's why we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation just because these are men and women who've met high standards and character and competence and pastor reference and client references and they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of money management, but also they have significant experience and credentials, not to mention a regulatory review.

So you may want to look at one or two Certified Kingdom Advisors as a part of your search and you could find some in your area at But does that answer your questions, John? Yeah, that helps me a lot.

It's more than just money, it's the Christian part about it. And that's how you are and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Absolutely. Yes, sir, John, thanks for calling. To Ohio, hey Zachary, thanks for your patience. Go ahead. Hey, Rob, how you doing today? Doing great. I just wanted to let you know I love you and your listeners also. Well, thanks. And that God's love for us is deeper than it will ever know.

Yes. The main reason I was calling was I didn't really have a question, but I just wanted to comfort the woman who called in earlier about her husband passing away. My comforting words I like to share with the listeners because my mom just passed away recently and this is for anyone who lost a loved one.

Whenever someone loses their husband or wife, we kind of forget about it sometimes that the sacrifices that Jesus made, Jesus never had a wife. So whenever we lose someone, we need to really think deeply about that, that at least we need to thank God that we did have that time with that person that we did have with them. Wow, I appreciate that, Zachary.

That's a good word. You obviously have the gift of encouragement. God has used that today and I know that's a word likely that somebody needed to hear today. So we appreciate you taking the time and using your gift today to encourage and edify the body.

And that's part of our role is to recognize the gifts God has given us and use those for his glory and to build up the body of Christ. So thank you, my friend, for calling in and for that word of encouragement today. Call back anytime. God bless you. To Louisiana. Hey, Rip, thanks for calling.

Go ahead. Do all banks have an amortization program where you can pay off your loan earlier? Yes, so you can always, unless there's a prepayment penalty, which we don't typically find anymore, you absolutely have the ability to prepay that mortgage. And that's always a good idea, Rip, because whenever we pay down principal, and that's what's going to happen whenever you send anything above your scheduled amortized monthly payment, then that's money we're not paying amortized interest on for the balance for the life of the loan, which is going to be helpful to get us to reduce that more quickly. So what I would target is, at a minimum, try to pay one extra payment a year. Some people do that through what they call the biweekly payment, where they send a half a payment every two weeks. Well, when you do that, there's 26 two-week periods in a year, so you end up with 13 full payments, one extra than if you just pay your scheduled monthly payment. That's one way to do it that just kind of softens the blow, if you will, in terms of your budget. But other folks just live below their means, and they've got their emergency fund funded, and they don't have any other short-term needs, and they don't have any credit card debt, so they take a portion of their surplus and just redirect that to accelerating their mortgage payoff.

So it's a great idea to do, and unless you have a prepayment penalty, every amortized loan will allow you to do that. All right. I thank you, and look, there's two words I'd like to hear you say. That is Larry Burkett.

That's the one that got me to listening to Christian Radio. I'd turn him. If he was buying a lawn mower or a tractor, it didn't matter. He could tell you how to do it. Well, I appreciate that. You know, Larry's kind heart, his wisdom, just his grace on how he dealt with callers.

It's amazing to me, Rip, that there's not a week that goes by. Larry died in 2003. There's not a week that goes by on this program that somebody doesn't mention the late Larry Burkett. And that just shows you the impact that God allowed him to have and continues to allow him to have through what he did on the radio every day, through Money Matters, through all of his books and the incredible Ministry of Christian Financial Concepts. So I appreciate you calling that out.

It's just a testimony to the amazing impact that Larry had and continues to have in people's lives. So, Rip, thank you for calling that out today, sir. All right. Thank you. All right. Take care. Juan, quickly, in Florida, how can I help you?

Just a minute left. I wanted to ask you, what are the advantages when you're married to file jointly and not separate? I'm retired. I have $20,000 in Social Security, $35,000 in a pension. And my wife is working. She's a nurse. She makes about $90,000. Would it be better to do separate or jointly?

Yeah, probably joint. You could check with the CPA to determine this. In the vast majority of cases, Juan, it's best for a married couple to file jointly. The cases where it can make sense to file separately is if there's a big disparity in their incomes and the lower paid spouse is eligible for substantial itemized deductions. But if you're taking the standard deduction, you're generally going to be benefited by married filing jointly for a number of reasons. There are some disadvantages to filing a separate return. You're disqualified from several tax credits and benefits available to those married filing jointly. You're going to be limited to a smaller IRA contribution deduction.

I mean, there's a number of reasons not to. So I would check with your CPA to see if it applies to you to married filing separately. But in most cases, filing jointly is going to be the best way to go. Thanks for your call, Juan.

God bless you, my friend. You know, 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, telling us your stories, asking your questions, even sharing your testimonies. We always love to hear what God is doing in your financial life. 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. Go to
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-24 18:33:02 / 2023-03-24 18:50:51 / 18

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