You knew it was coming. The latest job numbers show the unemployment rate is increasing. Hi, I'm Rob West. As the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the economy is slowing down, and a weakening labor market has to follow. It's time to sharpen your job hunting skills, and I'll tell you how to do it. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Okay, by some measurements, the job market is still strong, but the trend is definitely heading in the wrong direction. If you haven't been job hunting lately, you'll want to pay attention because some things have changed.
Proverbs 27-12 warns the prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. You definitely don't want that. Now, there was a time when you just updated your resume, sent it out, and then waited for a phone call or an email from a hiring manager. That still could happen, but I wouldn't count on it. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of landing a job. Let's start with some of the rules that haven't changed. The first is networking. I know a lot of folks hate the idea of networking, but it's really important. By some estimates, up to 85% of jobs are filled without being advertised, and networking has a lot to do with it. You need to make a plan to contact at least one person you know every day, and let them know that you're looking for work and what kind of work you'd like. Keep a list of people you've talked to and notes about the conversation. To take the anxiety out of networking, always ask the other person if they're also looking. Offer to be on the lookout for opportunities for them, as well.
If you make it as much about the other person, you won't feel like you're being a burden. You also need to improve your job skills, whether you're seeking new employment or not. It's easier than ever these days to find online classes for additional training. Concentrate on skills that transfer to other types of businesses or industries. Things like customer service, HR, and bookkeeping.
Then update your resume and LinkedIn profile to show those skills or certifications, and specify how they increased revenue or cut expenses in your current or previous jobs. Now, something else hasn't changed. We've talked before about how important it is to never badmouth a previous employer in an interview or on social media, no matter how tempting or deserved. No good can come from it. We've also talked about not posting any kind of objectionable material on social media.
The rule is, if you don't want your grandmother to see it, don't post it. A Career Builder survey revealed that more than half of employers found content on social media that caused them to eliminate an otherwise promising candidate. So all of that still holds true, but here's what's changed. These days you have to use social media in a positive way. It's not just about avoiding bad content. You want to use those platforms to highlight your favorable attributes. That same Career Builder survey found that 70% of employers use social media to check up on candidates. And get this, almost half said that an applicant's social media content contributed to their decision to extend a job offer. That's how important social media has become.
You know what else has changed? Since COVID, many jobs are now being done remotely. That can be a real blessing, but it also presents new challenges. You may not even go into the company office for an interview. That means you have to be ready to make a good first impression in a video interview. Employers now know that they can save a lot of time and trouble by doing interviews on Zoom or some other video platform.
If you've never used them before, set up a practice session with a friend or family member so you can get comfortable with the process. Position your computer so there's a professional-looking background or at least nothing that appears untidy. Adjust your camera so you're eye-to-eye with the interviewer. You also want to dress much like you would for an in-person interview.
And don't think that's only from the waist up. If you suddenly have to stand up for some reason, you don't want folks to see your jammy bottoms. Also, alert others in the house not to disturb you during the interview.
Close the door to keep out noise from the rest of the house. Everything else is much like you'd prepare for an in-house interview. Have a copy of your resume and other related paperwork handy in case the interviewer refers to it. And finally, follow up the online interview with an email expressing thanks no later than the next day.
So those are ways you can sharpen your job hunting skills and be ready for whatever the economy brings. We hope you'll take advantage of them. All right, your calls are next. The number, 800-525-7000.
You can call that 24-7, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and you're listening to Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. Well, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. Just a moment, we'll be taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call is 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. And as we head toward the end of April, I'd like to invite you to be a supporter of the ministry financially here at FaithFi. Everything we do is as a result of your generous support. And if you'd consider a gift here at month in, we'd certainly be grateful.
Whatever you can do, 40, 400, or 4,000. It all helps to accomplish our work here at Faith and Finance and through our app and at our website. So if you'd just simply head to faithfi.com, that's faithfi.com, and click the give button for a gift of any amount we'd love to send along as our thank you, the beautiful FaithFi leather phone wallet. It'll attach to the back of your phone.
You can keep up to three credit cards, IDs, hotel keys, other small items. I think you'll really like it and perhaps it'll be a convenient reminder to integrate your faith and finances every day. Again, faithfi.com, just click give.
Thanks in advance. All right, back to the phones we go. Actually our first caller for today, and we do have lines open at 800-525-7000.
Let's begin in Cleveland, Ohio. Hi Harvey, go right ahead, sir. Hey brother Rob, how are you?
Doing well, thanks. Good. Hey Rob, I've just become a POA for my mother and she has a house. She has a second mortgage on this house.
Okay. And I was wondering what happens to the amortization illustration on a house when you get a second mortgage? Yeah, nothing happens to the primary mortgage, Harvey, when you get a second mortgage in terms of the amortization schedule. They're two separate loans, each with their own schedule, so one does not affect the other. The first and second mortgage just simply determines who's in first position. Either lender can foreclose if your mother is unable to make the agreed upon payments, but the original or principal lender would be first in line, and that's why the interest rate on the second mortgage is higher than for a first. But in terms of the amortization schedule, they do not affect one another.
Really? So is the amortization still in effect? Yeah, on that first mortgage. So you would pay the scheduled payment on that first mortgage, you would pay it off in the time you normally would have unless you accelerate the payment. It's entirely separate, two completely different loans, one does not affect the other. Okay, well, you know, I kind of understand what you're saying, and then again, I'm kind of left out of the loop. Okay.
So can you suggest to me someone I can talk to or call that can help me navigate around the situation? Yeah, what is it you're trying to accomplish with the mortgages themselves? Okay, because she has this mortgage, or this loan. Excuse me, this loan she's had for 20 years looks like. And I don't see any resemblance of a amortization where the principal flips after 15 years.
Okay, yeah. So what I would do is contact each of the lenders, because again, they're two completely separate loans, they have no bearing on one another, they were financed at different times, they have different amortization schedules, rates and terms, they're probably being serviced by two different banks. And so the only thing that they have to do with one another is one's in first position in terms of, you know, being paid off and one's in second position, everything else is separate. So I would contact each of the lenders or the servicers, whoever currently is servicing the loan, and ask for an updated mortgage amortization, which will show you by every payment over whatever the term is, let's say it's 30 years, it will show you from the very first payment until the last, exactly what amount is going to principal and what's going to interest and as long as she's made the scheduled payments, then she's continuing on that amortization schedule that was set at the beginning of the loan. If she's accelerated the payoff by sending extra to principal reduction, well, that would affect it.
But by making that phone call, you should be able to get that amortization schedule and determine exactly when, you know, you'll be paying more toward principal and less toward interest, which as you correctly pointed out, in the early part of the mortgage, the vast majority is going to interest, very little the principal, at the tail end, it's the opposite, and there is a point, you know, near the middle where it flips, but either of those servicers or both would be able to give you a current amortization schedule for each of the respective loans. You just need to make a phone call and ask for it. Okay. Still, is there someone that you could suggest that I can still confer with? I don't really have anybody specifically on that.
I think perhaps, you know, it's not as complicated as you think. I would just reach out to the lender, tell them exactly what you're looking for, and, you know, they'll walk you through it. In fact, they could even run an amortization schedule based on you sending an extra amount. So I would start with the mortgage servicer who she sends her payment to for each of the mortgages, and they should be able to give you exactly what you need. If you fall short on that and you're not getting what you're looking for, give me a call back, and I'd be happy to help. We appreciate your call today, Harvey. 800-525-7000. Let's head to Kansas. Hi, Nikki. Go ahead.
Hi, Ron. First of all, I wanted to say, God bless you guys. I love your ministry. You're awesome. I've listened to you for so many years. Oh, well, thank you.
Back when Larry the cat, or cat, I know, but it was a joke when a young kid called him that. But I have concerns with the the change of world currency from the U.S. dollar dropping. If it drops tremendously, tanks, how do we invest and how do we safeguard what little bit we have in that process?
Yeah, so let me make sure I understand your concern. Are you talking about the U.S. dollar status as world reserve currency and how that might affect the stock market and the U.S. economy or something else? Yeah, yeah, pretty much.
Yeah, with with jobs and everything. Okay, yeah, I mean, the U.S. dollar has fallen about seven percent in the last six months. This, you know, it's not great, but it would be more troubling if there was any other currency on the world stage that could step into the role of the world's reserve currency. And bottom line is there just isn't right now. I mean, there's too much manipulation with the yuan and, you know, they thought the euro could take its place.
Clearly isn't even close. Sixty percent of the global currency reserves are in dollars. The U.S. is or euro's in second place with only 20 percent. And 90 percent of foreign transaction trades even today involve the dollar.
You know, the global pandemic stimulus response was underpinned by vast currency swaps between the Federal Reserve and friendly central banks. And clearly, you know, if we continue, I think, to handle our economy and our money supply the way we have, we've lost some credibility clearly on the world stage, just given some of the actions of the Fed and the suppression of interest rates for a long, long time and the incredible amounts of debt that we've run up. So there is a reason, I think, to be concerned long term. I don't think there's any near term concern. I would still be investing to grow your wealth in a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio.
That's the very best way to overcome any effects of inflation. And, you know, we're going to have to continue to watch in the days ahead how things play out. Stay with us.
Much more to come. We'll be right back. Hey, thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions.
Eight hundred five to five, seven thousand. Just before the break, we were talking to Nikki and I think she appropriately raised this question about, hey, what is the future of the U.S. dollar? And on top of that, we could say, you know, what about the central bank digital currency and all the questions surrounding that, which, by the way, that's not imminent.
You know, these are white papers that are being written at the president's direction by people that don't have any power to do anything. Nevertheless, we should watch very closely how that progresses. I'm certainly not a big fan of having a central bank digital currency, primarily because, you know, it could be an incredible destruction to privacy and personal liberty. You know, it could very easily give the government the ability to know who has it, impose rules, even limit transactions.
So I think we've got to clearly watch that. What about the debt levels in this country? I mean, we've seen dramatic increases in the U.S. national debt as a result of just unrestrained spending and all the stimulus packages. And then we've had easy money and we've had near zero interest rates for a long time.
And now we're seeing the effects of that in the form of higher inflation. How do you process all that as a believer and as a manager of God's money? Well, I think we have to, first of all, have some perspective. First, you know, starting with the idea that God owns it all.
He's on the throne. Secondly, we live in a fallen world. We need to be aware of what's going on around us. I think the best thing we can do, number one, is to manage our own personal economy. Are we living within our means and avoiding debt and saving for the future in an appropriate way and giving generously? I mean, that's always going to be the starting point, putting our true trust in God, not pursuing worldly wealth, but living as those who have been entrusted with wealth and using that to live rich toward God, where we handle money in a way that God is our true treasure and not our things. But we also need to keep our eyes open and we need to show up and vote for those who understand God's design for economics and wealth creation and that human beings are a blessing, not a curse. We were created to be workers and to be productive.
And there's a virtuous cycle there that includes giving back to the God who created us. And to the extent there are real problems on the horizon, I don't think they're imminent. I think we had a debt crisis or the U.S. lost reserve status or we had a central bank digital currency. I think those are years, if not decades away. But we need to be aware of that and continue to monitor that. But I think at this point, we probably stay the course. And the very best way to offset the effects of inflation is to be investors in high quality companies, perhaps even aligned with our values through faith based investing, but growing our wealth that way, as opposed to burying it or overweighting in gold or anything like that. I just don't think that's the viable option. And I would not forget the fact that the U.S. is still the dominant player in the world economically and in terms of our currency.
There really is not a close second, at least at this point. So we continue to watch and pray and vote and manage God's money wisely. I think that's really the name of the game for each of us. All right, let's take more of your phone calls today.
Eight hundred, five, two, five, seven thousand. We've got a few lines open and we'd love to hear from you today. To South Florida. Hi, Jan. Go right ahead. Yes. Good afternoon.
Thank you for taking my call. I decided to use Fidelity as a brokerage and I started to complete the application and they informed me that I will have to send them a photocopy of my driver's license, my Social Security card and a W-9 form. I just wanted to know, is that normal procedure that a brokerage firm have to have that information? Yeah, it's not unusual for a brokerage firm to require documentation that confirms your identity because they have certain reporting requirements that they've got to do, including to the IRS.
I'm a little surprised about the W-9. That's not a normal practice that I'm aware of. I could be missing something there, but that's a little surprising that they would have asked for that, although, you know, it may very well be just a normal business practice. But clearly, you know, they've got to ask for a good bit of information, primarily just to prove your identity and to file the appropriate documentation and reports to the IRS. So you could check with a few other brokerage firms just to see if that's something that they're requiring as well. Again, I'm just not familiar with that and I don't think there's anything wrong with you questioning that and, you know, checking with others. Maybe you call Schwab or, you know, one or two others just to say, is this something you would normally require as well?
And you could even also ask Fidelity why they're asking for it also and if there's any way around it. Okay, thank you. All right, Jan, thanks for calling today. We appreciate it. 800-525-7000, we've got a few lines open today. We'd love to hear from you taking your calls and questions. Let's see, to Indiana.
Hi, Lee, go right ahead. Yeah, Rob, thanks for taking the call. I had briefly, as I listened to you occasionally, had heard you talking about people when they write their wills, living trust or whatever, and put their house in as I guess they avoid probate, which may save the family some money in the long run. But I wasn't for sure when you talked about the price of the home, as is when you set that up, sign it, does that lock in the price of the home to say from today? But in 20 years, I'd pass away the home with the worth much more that it would actually go revert back to 2023 when this living will trust was set up. No, sir, regardless of how you choose to pass the home as a part of your estate through inheritance, whether you use a trust to transfer on death deed, or you just pass it using probate through your will, in either of those cases, the person inheriting the property is going to receive that stepped up cost basis.
So the cost basis will adjust up from your purchase date and the value that you bought it at to the date of death. The question is just how you want to go about the probate process. Do you want to avoid probate? That's where a trust or a TOD deed, transfer on death deed, would come in. Are you willing to go through probate? A little less expense to just use a standard will, but it is going to be a part of the probate through the courts, a part of the public record, and there are some costs there. But in any of those cases, you're going to enjoy that stepped up basis. The key is don't transfer the asset through a quick claim deed prior to death.
Let it pass as a part of an inheritance. I hope that helps you, Lee. We're going to take a quick break back with much more after this. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. This is where we apply the wisdom from God's word to your financial decisions and choices as we gather together each afternoon.
So what are you thinking about? We'd love to tackle it with you. Whatever financial question you have, we've got lines open.
Perhaps one just for you. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Again, 800-525-7000. Back to the phones.
We go to Florida. Hi, Julia. Go right ahead. Oh, hi. Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my call.
I'm a faithful listener. Great. Yeah, I'd like to get some advice.
Sure. My mother passed away last year. I had been caregiving for and her house was then left to both my sister and I. And so we were thinking of selling the house. The only thing is that I don't have a place actually to go to and I would have to either have to find something. I have a financial advisor and she suggested that I take what I receive from the sale and to put that into a couple of high-income yields. And there's the PIMCO fund and an Eaton tax-managed fund to generate some income to perhaps rent a place.
I'm in Florida and housing here is pretty high so I just don't have a lot to work with in buying a house. And I just wanted to get your help. Yeah, well, I appreciate that.
I'm sorry to hear about your mom's passing. So the home has already been sold. Is that right, Julia? No, it has not. Yeah. Okay. No. All right.
Needed to get some things stuck in a row first to see what options I have. Okay. Now, are you living in the home currently? Yes, I am. Okay. Yeah. And is your sibling living in it as well or just you? No.
No, just myself. Okay. And what is her desire? Would she like to have it sold?
Yes. I mean, we had talked about myself, you know, buying her part out, but I don't have a lot of... I have to take from my portfolio that... And I have like $350,000 in that and I have like $50,000 in savings. And I don't have like an IRA or a pension. I just have my Social Security. So I was concerned of taking out from my portfolio, my investments, because I kind of would drain that. And that's kind of my income producing my income more with my self-disability. Yes.
So you've got $350,000 in investments. Is that right? Yes.
Yes. Okay. Okay. And then if you were to sell this house, what would your portion of it equal?
Well, it would be just about $140,000. Okay. All right.
There was a home equity loan that has to get paid off too. Okay. So after you pay off the loan and then you split it, you should have about $140,000 left.
Yes. Okay. So you've got about a half a million dollars in potential investments, obviously 140 of that still tied up in the house. And then did you say, what are your income sources right now? Really just the dividends from my investments and then some Social Security.
Okay. So you're basically living on Social Security. And then how much are you pulling out from the investments each month roughly? Around $1,500. $1,600 a month? $1,500. $1,500 a month. Okay. All right.
Yeah. So, you know, if you were to put these together and you had a half a million dollar portfolio and you were coming to me, I'd say, you know, you could, you'd probably at that point in order to allow it to, you know, last for a long time, you know, perhaps, you know, as long as you need it to, because you could sustain the withdrawal rate, I would probably target a 4% rate, which would put you at about up to $1,600 a month. But that's with a half a million. Obviously today, you know, you're at, I think you said $350,000. I'd probably be looking to pull only about $14,000 a year, which is about $1,100 a month. So you're pulling a little bit more than that, but you're about to add potentially another $140,000 to it.
So that's good. If you could stay around $1,500 plus Social Security and cover your expenses, then you should be able to maintain that half a million dollar balance, arguably for the rest of your life. I mean, there'd be some fluctuation, but if you look at it over the long haul, and then what I would probably do is, you know, you've got to figure out the allocation of the investments that fits your risk tolerance. But typically in this season of life, you might have as much as, you know, 30% in stocks and the balance in bonds.
And this happens to be, although last year was really bad, we're coming into a season where bonds are going to be very attractive because interest rates are nearly done, you know, going up and eventually they'll start coming down and we've got higher yields and those falling bond prices will cause the prices of the, or falling interest rates will cause the prices of the bonds to increase. So I think, you know, if you had a portfolio of a half a million dollars that was managed by an advisor with maybe 30% stock, 70% bonds, I would say you should be in pretty good shape to be able to maintain that withdrawal rate for the rest of your life, you know, as long as you didn't have to pull more than that. Now, the one challenge you've got is, I assume that $1,500 a month plus social security doesn't include a mortgage or a rent payment, correct? That's right.
Yeah. So how much would you need, you know, on top of that? Another $1,000, $1,500 maybe?
Probably about $1,500. And that's why my advisor was looking at this PIMCO and the Eaton Vance. Okay.
One was a 10% and one was an 8.9%. Yeah. And I'm not, I would have to look at those funds a little more specifically. I'm familiar with those fund families, but I'd need to see the specific investments inside of them. But the bottom line is, you know, you, without taking a lot of risk, you're not going to be able to get that kind of guaranteed rate by any means. So I think the goal is going to be for you to try to minimize, you know, what you have to pull out of it. And if you have to increase that to $3,000 a month, even on a half a million dollars, if we pulled 5% a year, you know, that's only $25,000, you know, which is about $2100 a month. But you're talking about going up to $3,000, which, you know, on a half a million dollars is about, you know, about 7%, which is a bit high. Now, obviously you could slowly eat into some of the principal and, you know, that might be what you need to do. If you could offset that by working part-time or something like that, or find a way to get your expenses down, obviously that would be another solution to this. But I think getting some wise counsel, having an advisor take responsibility for this to manage it, it makes a lot of sense. I wouldn't be buying an annuity. I'd be keeping access to my capital, but then just managing it in a way that's appropriate, not taking unnecessary risk, but having some allocation to stocks where you can have a growth component to this, and then relying primarily on fixed income or bond type investments. So it sounds like you're in pretty good shape, Julie.
I think it's just a matter of tweaking the investment mix, and I'd rely on your advisor for that. We appreciate you being on the program today. We'll be right back.
Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions here in our final segment today. We'd love to hear from you. Let's head to Ohio. Hi, Britt.
Go right ahead. Hi, Rob. Thanks for taking my call.
I love the show. Well, thank you. Recently, I have two kids.
One's two and one's five. Some family members recently gave my wife and I $8,000 for each kid, so 16,000 total. I was just reading about a 529 plan today, and I read that you can even roll that into an IRA without tax penalty, I think, starting in 2024, maybe. Given that I don't know if my kids will go to college or if they'll go right into the trades when they're older, I don't know.
Do you think I should just invest the 16 together in a CD right now, or would it be wise to maybe do a 529 and maybe just roll it to an IRA if they decide that they don't want to use that educational fund? Yeah. How far off is college for them? Well, the one is five years old, so I'm guessing, what would that be, like, 13 years maybe? And then the other one's two, so 13, 15 years.
Yeah. You know, I like, Britt, the 529 plan, especially now that as long as it's been in there five years and as long as you don't go over the annual contribution limit, that you could then move this out into a Roth IRA if it's unused. Of course, if they get scholarships and grants, you can take it out on a pro-rata basis, but given the number of years that you have and where the market is right now and the fact that you should stand to do well, I think, over this period of time, I like the idea that you'd get that growing, in a sense, tax-free and be able to have the full benefit of that, just given what college tuition inflation has looked like in the past. Now, I think, you know, college is going to look somewhat different when we get there 13 years from now, just given, you know, a lot of folks are going into micro-degrees and, you know, education is changing with online and so forth. But, you know, as long as, you know, folks can continue to access the federal student loan program, these colleges have very little incentive to curb the prices, and I think it's going to continue to rise. They obviously have all these massive infrastructures and plants and buildings to maintain.
That's very expensive. And so, you know, nothing's going to change quickly, although we're seeing other alternatives come into play. And, you know, I think it's just going to force some innovation.
And if there's a bit of a bubble there, we're going to see that exposed. At the same time, I like the idea that you could have it there, have it growing tax-free, be able to use it for educational expenses, get it out if you need to for scholarships and grants, and then roll it to that Roth, you know, if it doesn't get used. Obviously, that doesn't make it available for other purposes, like, you know, being able to redirect it in the near term to, you know, buying a car or, you know, first last insecurity on an apartment. But it does allow it to be used to set them up and get them started for some long-term savings. So I think all things being equal, if you think the primary purpose is college, then I'd probably go ahead and take advantage of that 529 with this gift you've received.
Okay, great. And what's the maximum amount you can contribute in a year? There really isn't one. So you can put in really as much as you want. It's unlike the Coverdell or the old Education IRA where there was some pretty strict contribution limits.
You could drop that whole $16,000 in. And you don't get a deduction, but it grows tax-free as long as it's used for qualified educational expenses. I would also, Britt, head to SavingForCollege.com and run through kind of their Q&A process. They will help you determine which state's plan is best for you. Are you better off using Ohio because potentially there's a state income tax deduction? Or would you be better served to go to another state because the performance on the investments has been far better?
It will analyze all of that and help you determine where to go to set up the 529. Great. Thank you so much for your help. All right, Britt. Thanks for calling today. We appreciate it.
To Tuscaloosa. Hi, Michelle. Go right ahead. Hi there. How are you doing today? I'm doing great.
Thanks for calling. Okay. My question is regarding recently, my financial advisor told me I could take distributions from my IRA and use them as qualified charitable distributions if it's sent directly from the IRA to the charity. Yeah. And he also mentioned that my church is included in that, since I give a sizable contribution to my church yearly. Tell me how is that done if you include the tithe, since the tithe is usually given at the time it is received? Yeah.
How is that done to a church? So let me just make sure I understand what you've got here. So you've got an IRA, and you're of the age where you have required minimum distributions, is that right? I am not of that age yet, but my financial advisor said I could use funds from that to reduce the amount, go on and start giving charitable distributions from it. Okay. What is your age currently? 71. Okay.
Yeah. So as long as you're 70 and a half, you can use the qualified charitable distribution. Okay, so that is correct. And so you would do a transfer of up to $100,000 directly from that IRA to the charity or your church that you'd like to, and that will not be added to your adjusted gross income, they'll get the full amount of that distribution. And when you have an RMD requirement down the road, if you were to do it in that year, it would also either satisfy or be counted toward your required minimum. Now, your question was, how do you go about that given the fact that you don't know your tithe, essentially until you receive the income?
Is that right? Well, you have an idea of what it is, if you own pretty much a fixed income, you just about know what the tithe will be. So how do you give it in advance?
Yeah, I mean, I think you certainly could. I mean, the idea is you're giving a 10th of your increase, just as an act of worship, a way to acknowledge the Lord's provision in your life as a starting point for your giving. And yeah, I mean, unless you're somebody who's got a variable income, you can pretty much determine what is my income for the year. And then at some point during the year, you could go ahead and through the qualified charitable distribution, make the gift for the full amount for that calendar year by way of the distribution. And essentially, that is in effect your tithe.
I mean, there's not any reason why it has to go monthly or it has to go weekly or anything like that. You know, that's entirely up to you. And if you send that as one check, based on the increase you're expecting to get for that year, I think that's perfectly appropriate.
Okay, that pretty much answers my question. I didn't know how you gave it in advance, if it was okay to give it in advance in anticipation. Oh, yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And the other thing folks will do is, if they're not doing it out of a qualified charitable distribution, they might use what's called a donor-advised fund, and they do what's called bunching, where they may take a couple of years worth of giving, put it into a donor-advised fund, which the large dollar amount puts it above their standard deduction, so now they get a bigger tax benefit because they're itemizing, and then they just slowly dull it out of the donor-advised fund to their church or their charity.
So that's another approach that's similar, but I think to your point, yeah, if you're wanting to do it out of the IRA to just continue to bring that balance down without having to add it to your adjusted gross income, essentially doing the same giving you would have done out of cash, you know, no reason why you can't do that a bit in advance in anticipation of what you expect to receive as income for that full year. I hope that helps you. Michelle, thank you for being on the program today. We appreciate it.
To Cleveland, Ohio. Hi Kathy, go right ahead. Hi Rob, thank you for taking my call.
I love your show, listen all the time. I'm going to be retiring in the next three months, and in talking to my financial advisor, he was thinking I should take half of my 401k and buy a fixed annuity with it. And why is he suggesting that?
What was the reason for that? Well, because basically, right now I have it in my 401k. It's kind of like a life insurance stable fund, which is getting three and a quarter percent, and you know, he basically thinks it would be better because if I were to take four percent of my portfolio, it would be probably around $25,000, but this would probably give me, just taking half of it, like $21,000 a year. Yeah, but just because you're in that stable fund now doesn't mean you couldn't move it to some of the other options that would give you either a higher yield with maybe some bond funds or even some growth if you were to have a portion of it in some stock funds. So yeah, I think that's a wise idea. Yeah, I'm just not a big fan of annuities because you're locking up your money, they're complicated, they're expensive.
You know, if you've got a variable product where it's got a floor on the downside, in exchange for that, you have to give up something on the upside. I think I'd rather just see you position this the best you can among the investments that are available to you in the 401k. So you've got the, based on your age and goals and risk tolerance, you've got the right amount in some high quality stock mutual funds, you've got the right amount in some bond funds, and you just let it grow. And then when you reach retirement age, or you're separated from your company, you roll it out to an IRA, you keep it, you know, then you continue to invest it, although now you've got a lot more investment options inside the IRA. And, you know, you still have access to your money. So if you needed it, you can get to it.
But you're keeping it invested, you know, to continue to grow it, offset inflation and support the withdrawal rate you need from the 401k to supplement your income alongside social security or whatever else you have. Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. Okay. Okay. So I think you're welcome. I think the next step for me would be to look at the investment options inside the 401k. You know, the annuity is going to generate a huge commission for the advisor selling it.
I'm more interested in getting you positioned with the money you have among the investments in the 401k. That'd be my preference. Thanks for your call today. We appreciate it. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Have an amazing team working with us today.
Charles, Anthony, Chris P, Tahira, Amy, and Jim. Couldn't do it without them. Hope you have a great rest of your day and come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
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