So you'd like to give more, but you don't know how. Good news. If money's scarce, it doesn't mean your giving has to be.
I am Rob West. Hebrews 13 16 reads, Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. It doesn't say unless you're broke. Today, I'll give you some ways you can give without money, and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.
That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. One of God's financial and spiritual principles that isn't talked about enough is that God gives an extra measure of blessing for sacrificial giving.
Listen to Luke 21 1-5. Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them, for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on. This reveals an opportunity to be even more generous, even if you don't have another dime to spare. You can give sacrificially in any number of ways without money.
And here are several suggestions that barely scratch the surface. Obviously, the first is to give time to your local church. There are any number of ways to serve. Is there a missions committee you might serve on? Maybe you can teach a Sunday school class.
If you don't feel confident teaching adults, how about a children's class? Or you could weed flower beds outside the church or rake leaves. One sure way to find something to do at your church is to ask a deacon what they need help with.
You'll probably get a long list. Another way to serve your church is to visit members when they're in the hospital. An hour of your time could be the highlight of someone's day. Another idea is volunteering to babysit for parents in your church who need a break from the kids. You can also do volunteer work in your neighborhood and community. Are there elderly shut-ins in your area that would enjoy a visit?
While you're at it, ask if they need any work done. You could help out around the yard, shovel snow, or maybe pick up groceries for them. Use the opportunity to advance God's kingdom and offer to take them to church if that's possible. You can also have a positive impact on the lives of people even without leaving your home. Set up your own ministry of sending cards and handwritten letters to folks who need a few words of encouragement.
Include a scripture verse that shows the love of Christ. Take a look in your closets, garage, or basement. Do you have items that you haven't used in quite a while? If you don't need them, donate them, preferably to a Christian charity like the Salvation Army. And by the way, you may be throwing away things that some ministry can use. A food bank or thrift store can recycle your plastic shopping bags, saving them money. Do you have a van, truck, or trailer? Use those resources God gave you to help others by doing some volunteer hauling. Maybe someone you know or hear about is moving. Show up and offer to help.
To say they'll be surprised is an understatement. You can also donate unused Bibles and other Christian books. There are several international ministries that accept and distribute these materials in places where believers are starving to read and learn God's Word. Love Packages and Christian Resources International are two ministries that will take and distribute your unused Bibles and Christian materials globally.
We'll put links to them in today's show notes. But also check with local homeless shelters, many of which accept Bibles and other Christian material. Now, here's one way you can give to God's kingdom that you never thought of. Give blood. How does that help the kingdom? Well, they say that every pint of blood donated saves three lives. Those are three more people who will live another day for the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts with the truth of the gospel, saving them for eternity. Visit redcrossblood.org for details on where and when you can donate blood. God has given each of us special skills.
Are you good with computers? Maybe you're a graphic designer, an electrician, or a dentist. Donate your skills and talents, first within your church to folks who need help, then in your community. And again, use the opportunities this presents to share the gospel.
Do you keep a garden? If so, you may have extra fruits and vegetables to give away. Make care packages of your extra homegrown foods to share with folks in your church, friends and neighbors. Never let anything go to waste. Now, perhaps the most important way you can give to the kingdom is to pray.
If your church has a prayer group, show up and participate, but also pray individually for your church, your world, friends and neighbors. Okay, so those are ways you can be generous, even if you're broke. We hope you'll take advantage of them. And again, we'll put links to several of them in today's show notes. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West, your host. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Our team is standing by with whatever you'd like to talk about today. Financially speaking, we'll help you apply the principles and themes from God's word to the practical decisions and choices you're making today. Again, lines are open, 800-525-7000. Give us a call right now and we'll begin today in South Florida. Teresa, go right ahead. How can I help? Hi Rob, how are you? I'm well, thank you.
I have a couple of questions. My situation is my sister passed away in March and she lived with me and, you know, she helped me with things at my house. My homeowner's insurance went up and it took my mortgage from 1256 to 1769. I do work, but I don't, you know, I'm trying to find a way to put some money into my pocket. One of the questions I have, I turned 65 this year and my mother said I should take my Social Security now, but I think I need to probably, to get the full amount, I think I need to wait until I turn 66 and a half. So I don't know how that would affect me.
Yeah. Well, I'm sorry to hear about your sister's passing and I realize what's going on with homeowners insurance in Florida in particular. It's happening nationwide, but certainly in Florida you're getting hit the hardest. And so these are real and we've got to go back to the budget and just say what opportunities do we have to both decrease expenses as well as increase income. On the decreasing expenses side, I'm sure you've taken a look at that, but you know, maybe you take another pass at the budget and just look for areas you can cut back given the reality of this significantly higher mortgage payment.
On the income side, clearly the taking the Social Security benefits is one way to do that. I agree, the longer you can wait, the better. You're going to reduce that by about 8% a year. So if you've got about 18 months to go, you could see a reduction of maybe around 12% of what you would have received as your full benefit at full retirement age if you were to take that now. And that's a meaningful reduction and yet at the same time, if that's really the key to solving this gap for your monthly expenses, it may be the time to do it because we ideally would wait as long as we can, but there's a real need now. So unless you want to sell the home and downsize or do something else to kind of right size the budget, it seems like that might be the way to do it if there's no other alternatives. Give me your thoughts on that though.
Well, I really would kind of like to wait. I have looked at what I can maybe cut out of my budget. One of the things is canceling my life insurance. Life insurance, I used to work for Primerica on the side and they said as you get older, which I'm not at the 72 year age in that the insurance begins to decrease. And right now I put out $99 a month for like $150,000 worth of insurance.
So I'm thinking that maybe I could cancel that. The other thing I was thinking is I do have a small 401k. I had to buy a car this last year because someone rear ended me and my payment is like $294 a month. So I thought, well maybe I should take out the money from the 401k and go ahead and pay my car off. That would clear up $294 a month. I need to come up with about $500.
So I'm trying to figure out a way to do that. Yeah, and what is the life insurance premium annually? Monthly it's $99.35, something like that. And what is the death benefit on that? $150,000. All right, and who is the beneficiary? The beneficiary would be my children. Okay, so this you're just looking at as kind of a part of their inheritance?
No, I guess basically the thing that I was looking at is that because they would just sell the house if I was in the house still. Basically burial expenses for myself so they wouldn't have to do that. Yeah, but they wouldn't need $150,000 for that. So I think this is absolutely a way for you to reduce your expenses. I mean that's $100 a month, which is a fifth of what you need to be able to close this gap. And there's really not a need for it. There would be potentially other assets there. You could either prepay those funeral expenses or at the very least take that $100 a month and begin setting it aside in a savings account, build that up over time so you have the money that's needed to be able to cover that. But you also could get access to it in the meantime.
So I think that should be something you absolutely look at. What do you have in the 401k today? How much? $37,000 in the one where I worked at before. And in the current company that I work for, I have about $11,000. And my car was $15,000 when I purchased it in August. Okay. All right. Yeah, I mean I would hate for you to pull that money out of the 401k right now.
It's probably down with the market. And I'd love for this to continue to build so that you could, you know, convert this to an income stream to supplement what you're going to be getting, you know, from Social Security down the road. You're still working currently, is that right? Yes. Okay.
And once you take Social Security, let's say you were to wait till full retirement age, another 18 months, is Social Security alone enough to cover your bills? Are you going to need to supplement that? I am probably going to have to continue to work for a while. Yeah.
Okay. And so you're going to want to continue to put money away. So I think, yeah, if we can avoid pulling money out of that 401k, especially while we're waiting for the market to rebound, I think that would be ideal. So I think your best option at this point would be to go ahead and, you know, look at stopping the life insurance, number one. I think number two, you know, is there an option to either downsize or look at maybe bringing in a roommate, something like that?
Well, that was the next option. I, you know, I've been in this house for like, what is it, 33 years, I think I've lived in this house. There's not probably much equity because I became single at 37 again and raised my children in the house. And so sometimes I had to take money out to help me with the raising of the kids. Yeah, yeah.
No, I understand. Well, let's do this. I want to get your information and have one of our certified Christian financial counselors give you a call. We'll cover the cost on this. There's no expense to you, but I want to have them help you analyze all of these factors and let's see which is going to be the most cost effective. We can look at the permanent reduction in Social Security versus the potential to keep that money in the 401k.
We'll put that against paying off the car and just see which makes the most sense as we evaluate all of these scenarios because we want to get this right and we want to maximize your income in the future. So you stay on the line, we'll get your information and we'll get someone in touch with you. We'll be right back.
Well, we're so thankful that you've joined us today. Have you thought about the fact that the way we handle money is one of the clearest evidences into what's going on in our lives spiritually? That was the late Larry Burkett's observation. I've certainly seen that play out in my own life and as I've counseled hundreds and hundreds of folks in really understanding that the way we allocate God's money, looking at our check register, if you will, is a clear indication of what we value, what is most important to us. And perhaps if that story that our money management, our spending tells doesn't line up with our true values and priorities as believers, well, there's an opportunity to make a change because really the role of money is to accomplish a set of goals, but those goals should be informed by our values.
Think of those goals as the 10% of the iceberg above the waterline, but the 90%, the mass below it is really our worldview, our values, what God is doing in our life, who he's created us to be. That should inform the financial decisions and choices we're making. Well, we want to help you do that on this program each day. We've got some lines open today, perhaps one for you with whatever financial question you're thinking about, debt repayment, your credit score, maybe it's investing for the future or giving wisely, whatever it might be. Let us hear from you, 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Let's head back to the phones and we will welcome to the broadcast, I believe, we are talking to Joe. Go ahead, sir. My apologies.
Hi, Rob. I'm 52 years old and I'm putting money in a Roth IRA. I don't necessarily need the money. I'm just asking for information purposes, but I heard I can get it out at 55 and I was wondering about that 55 with no penalty, if that's like a rolling number, like I can only take out as much as I put in that first year or could I take the full amount at 55 even though I haven't had it in there for five full years?
Yeah, so you've got a couple of things going on. There is a five-year rule for a Roth IRA, which just simply means that Roth IRA needs to be open, the account needs to be open for five years before you can take a withdrawal of the earnings, not the original contributions. You can take those out at any time, but the earnings you can take out after five years. Now if you're doing that before 59 and a half years old, you're going to pay a 10% penalty.
The rule of 55 recognizes that you might leave or lose your job before 59 and a half and if that happens, you might need to begin taking distributions from your 401k. They will not put the 10% penalty on you at 55 if you lose or leave your job, but that's for a 401k, not a Roth IRA. Okay, so this is a Roth. I put money in now at 55 I could take out the gains and then at 59 I could take the gains and the principal with no penalty. Yeah, at any point you can take your original contributions. So if you were to total up all of the contributions you made, which are after tax contributions because it's a Roth IRA, if you total up all the contributions you made from inception to current, you can take up to that amount at any time for any reason, no tax, no penalty because you're just taking back your own money that you've already paid tax on. The government would love for you to get that out of the Roth because then you can't grow it tax free.
But if you want to get the gains out and you want to be able to get those out tax free, which is the beauty of the Roth, you would have to have that money, that account open for at least five years. And if you don't want to get hit with a 10% penalty, you'd need to wait till you get past age 59 and a half. Okay, great. That's exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much. Okay, you're very welcome. We appreciate your call very much.
800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got a few lines open. We'd love to hear from you today. Let's head to Florida. Hi, Terry.
How can I help? Hey, they're all trying to keep this in a nutshell. I'm kind of like a lower income bracket. I was with a company for 28 and a half years that had a 401k. And I had to move those funds to another place. But when I moved them, I didn't realize until after the fact that I had to have a certain number, thousands of dollars in order to be able to have a personal representative communicate with me with proper investing plans. So here this money sits, instead of being a 401k, it's sitting in this IRA.
And I'm trying to get it moved back down to Florida, because it's an out of state online type of thing. So with those monies in mind, and also here's a little side note. With the economy, the way that it is with the American dollar, so to speak, I guess is going, losing its value. People are talking about investing in gold and silver, copper, whatever. How does, you know, I'm a Christian, so as a child of God, I want to be able to invest my money properly. So how does one, you know, in this lower income bracket?
What are some healthy choices that that I could make if this makes sense? Yeah, well, let's talk about the first part that you mentioned there. So you said you have what was a 401k. It's now an IRA. And I guess you're wondering how to invest that. And then the second part is in light of what's going on in our economy and in our country with regard to the US dollar and so forth. So let's do this. I've got to take a quick break. When we come back, we'll unpack some of that. Terry, I'll give you my thoughts on that in terms of how you should think about investing that IRA and bringing in some of these other issues that you raised about where we're at as a nation, economically speaking.
So you stay on the line. We'll be right back with you. Paul in Orlando, as well as Paul in Chicago. We're coming your way just around the corner as well. A quick break and then back with much more on faith and finance live. We've got some lines open. You'd like to give us a call today with your questions. 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you.
We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on faith and finance live. I'm Rob West, your host for taking your calls and questions.
800-525-7000. Just before the break, we were talking to Terry in Apopka, Florida. Terry's got an old 401k that was transferred to an IRA with an institution out of state. She's got about $40,000 in there, which is less than what most advisers would require in order to take active oversight over these funds. So Terry's wondering in light of that, how should I think about investing this? And she's just concerned about where this country might be headed with regard to our economic situation, the decline of the American dollar and how she should factor that in.
Terry, my thoughts are first as to how to invest this, I think, and I'll maybe answer these together, just in light of the challenges you're raising. Yes, clearly there's some things we need to do differently here in this country. I think we've mismanaged this incredible opportunity we've been given on the world stage to lead in an economic fashion. I think the reason the US took off like a rocket ship past countries that were hundreds and hundreds of years older is because we understood God's design for economics and wealth creation, that we were created as a blessing, not a curse, and that man and woman were created to be workers, to take God's creation and improve it and order it. And when we do that, it results in economic expansion, which is a virtuous cycle that ultimately allows us to give back to the God that created us and calibrate our hearts to his. And when we do that and don't put government in the place of what God was ultimately designed to do and manipulate the system through printing money and expanding the money supply and suppressing interest rates and all the things that we've done, we will see a flourishing like we've seen in this country because that's the way God designed it.
The challenge is we violated a lot of those principles and a lot of that is coming to roost in the form of higher inflation, massive runaway national debt that we're going to have to deal with down the road. The dollar is declining, but it's not anywhere close to being replaced as the world's reserve currency. I mean, think about the fact that 60 percent of the global currency reserves are in dollars. The euro is in second place with 20 percent. There's nobody even close to us.
And still 90 percent of foreign transaction trades involve the U.S. dollar. So we're not going anywhere. There's no one on the world stage that has even a chance to replace us at this point in terms of our economy and the role of the U.S. dollar, just given its stability, given the fact we don't manipulate our currency, even though, you know, the Federal Reserve is doing some things that a lot of folks would wish they weren't. You know, I think we're in a good spot here for the time being now. Could we have a sovereign debt crisis down the road?
Sure. I think that's plausible, but I think it is way down the road. So I think at this point, the best way to overcome inflation is to have our money invested with a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio with maybe a reasonable allocation of the precious metals, five to 10 percent, and then manage your economy, what passes through your hands, according to biblical principles, spending less than you earn, avoiding debt, having some margin, giving generously, setting long term goals.
And when you do that, you put yourself in a position to experience God's best. I don't think we should pull out of the stock market. I don't think we should put our money, you know, out of the banks and under the mattress. I think we ought to, you know, continue to keep it right there, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
And I think this economy will rebound and the market will rebound ahead of even the economy. So in light of all that, what do you do with this 40,000? Well, because of the amount that you have, which is not insignificant, but you're right, it's probably below what a typical adviser would need in the way of assets to take it on.
You have a couple of options. Option one is you could use a service like sound mind investing dot org. They would recommend mutual funds to you and you could transfer that account to any brokerage firm you want, Fidelity or Schwab or any of them. And then they would tell you based on your age and your goals, which high quality mutual funds to put the money into inside the IRA. So sound mind, investing.org would be a great option. Another option is what's called a robo advisor, where essentially you'd answer a series of questions and the computer algorithm would build a low cost indexed portfolio that would just capture the broad moves of the market.
You'd have allocation to the broad stock market through an index, you'd have an allocation to the bond market through the index. And then every time you add to that IRA, if you're planning to do that, it would automatically reinvest it for you. And the two that I would recommend you looking at there would be either the Schwab intelligent portfolios. That would be one and the other is called Betterment. I think either of those could be great options. So I would check out one of those three and see if that doesn't give you what you're looking for.
How does that sound though? Okay, sounds good. Thank you.
Okay, I know there was a lot there. So if we can help you further along the way, don't hesitate to reach out. But you can do this and I'm confident that you'll be over time.
As long as you take a long term perspective, you will be headed in the right direction with this money you've been entrusted. We appreciate your call today. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.
Again, that's 800-525-7000. Let's take a quick email. We receive these every day at askrob.faithfi.com. We like to get as many of them on the air as we can. And we'll take another one right now. This one comes from JJ.
He says, Hi, listen to your show often. I've heard you say it, but I don't remember the best place to shop around for term life insurance. Can you recommend a website for me to research various options? And I absolutely can.
JJ, I appreciate that question. We don't endorse any of these sites, but there are several online quote generators that you could look at to at least compare some companies based on the quotes they might generate. One is called selectquote.com. Another one is called policygenius.com. I think the other approach to this would be to get an independent agent, life insurance agent, who could help you determine what policy might be the best fit for you in terms of the strength of the company, but also looking at the premiums.
And if you don't have a life insurance agent that you know, you could contact a certified kingdom advisor in your area and ask for a referral. So hopefully that helps you. All right, back to the phones. We go to George in Chicago. Go ahead, sir.
Good afternoon. I got a question. So I got a couple of credit cards that are almost max. And I guess I got approved for one that's willing to take so I could put them all in. And that one, I was just wondering if that would be a good idea and it would affect my credit.
It may. But what I'm most concerned about, Joe, is excuse me, George, is you getting out of debt. What do you have total that you owe on these cards in the aggregate? So pretty much like maybe like ten thousand. All right.
And how does that break down? How many cards? Well, I want to say four.
Yeah, four. OK. And are you still using any of them? So what I do, like I end up like, you know, paying one off and then having to use it.
So, you know, on and off, not really, not really too much. All right. Well, the next step for you is really to work on your budget, because the only way we're ever going to be able to pay these off, which regardless of which approach you use and I'll recommend one here in a second, is for you to go back to the budget, rein in your spending, live on less than you earn, including the minimum payments to these credit cards, but also having enough margin so you can begin even if it's slowly building up what I call an emergency fund of three to six months expenses separate from your checking account for the unexpected. So you can stop the cycle of borrowing on these cards for money that you don't have in terms of paying off the debt.
I wouldn't consolidate them on one card. I'd use a debt management program. Contact our friends at Christian credit counselors dot org.
They'll get the interest rates reduced and help you pay them off 80% faster. We'll be right back. Grateful to have you with us today on faith and finance live. Hey, if you'd like to support our work here at faith and finance, we are listener supported as a not for profit ministry, and we're headed toward our own fiscal year end.
That's right. We're on a June 30th year in, not a calendar year end. And so this is an important time for us as we try to shore up and round out our ministry budget for the year. And because we're listener supported, your financial support is a big part of how we do that. So if you'd like to consider a gift, we'd certainly be grateful. You can head to faith by dot com. That's faith f i dot com and just click the give button. By the way, we have a special offer out there until June the 30th with a gift of any amount you can request our free to follow package. It includes Michael Blues groundbreaking book that takes us in depth into what the Bible says about money and possessions. But here's the key. He offers a really compelling challenge to rid ourselves of any baggage in how we view and use money.
It's a powerful book. We've also included in the free to follow package the new faith five phone wallet that affixes to the back of your phone and it just makes for a great daily reminder of your role as a steward of God's money. Again, you can request that with your gift of any amount at faith fi dot com.
Just click give and thanks in advance. All right. Back to the phones.
We go to Orlando. Hi, Paul. Thanks for your patience, sir. Go ahead. Good afternoon.
I have a question. I have a nearing retirement age, 58. My house is paid off.
I have no debt. I have ten thousand in savings for emergency fund. But my only retirement besides my home is about three hundred thirty thousand dollars. I don't have a retirement for one pay or anything like that. I built my own retirement and I was just wondering what will be the best thing to do with those funds. Right now, I have the three hundred thirty invested in stocks and I get a dividend from them also, which I reinvest.
And I was just wondering if that's a good idea or if I should be doing something else with those funds. Sure. What type of account is this in?
The three thirty. Yeah. Is it in a taxable account or a retirement account? No, it's in a regular. It's a regular just like TD Ameritrade account. Yeah. Yeah.
OK, very good. And you're you're making the investment decisions. Yes. OK. And is it an individual stock portfolio or do you have mutual funds or both? No, individual stock portfolio.
That's it. OK. And how has that been going? Like, for instance, how have you done over the last year? Actually, very well. I mean, all of my stocks have maintained.
I mean, they haven't grown like they have before, but they've maintained. And I think probably about I make probably about twelve thousand in dividends a year. Way to go there, Paul. Maybe there's a new career for you in retirement, managing money. That's excellent. And obviously, you feel comfortable continuing to manage it moving forward, correct?
Well, my question has been, you know, I always hear about the fees you have to pay from other people and things like that. And I just again, I've just been reading. I listen to your show a lot.
And, you know, I was a Larry Burkett person for many years and just. Sure. I just I don't know. I just tried to do those basic things and follow what he told me. And so I just don't know.
I didn't have one of those jobs where I had one of the 401Ks available or that they matched or anything like that. So. Sure. I just. Sure. Yeah. Yeah.
No, that makes sense. And how far out are you from retirement, do you think? Probably about four years. OK, about four years. And have you done your retirement budget? Do you know what it'll take for you to maintain your lifestyle after you stop working?
Yes. And again, it's always that thing where you always think you're going to be OK, but then you're always like, well, you start hearing things. Well, you need to have this much money for retirement and this much money.
Well, maybe I don't. What do you think your monthly expenses will be in retirement? Do you have an idea? Realistically, I'm trying to budget where monthly expenses would be anywhere between about four thousand dollars a month.
OK. And what are you planning to get that cushion that's comfortable? OK. And what will what portion of that will come from Social Security? Honestly, maybe about 30, 40 percent. Yeah. OK. All right.
Yeah. I mean, the challenge is, you know, let's say this 330 grows to 375 over the next four years. You know, you would probably pull out about fifteen thousand a year. So that would leave you, you know, if you were to take fifteen thousand a year, that's twelve fifty a month, which means that if you're looking for four thousand a month, you know, you still need another twenty seven fifty. It doesn't sound like you'll have quite that much from Social Security.
Is that right? Right. Realistically, I'll probably have about two thousand from Social Security.
OK. Yeah. So there's going to be about a 750 dollar gap. I mean, so the idea would be let's continue to grow this money. I mean, the good news is you're not going to pay any tax on it.
You'll have some capital gains, but shouldn't be paying any tax as it comes out. But you do have a gap there, which means either you work longer or you work part time in retirement, you know, or you delay Social Security and work longer and the combination of those two. I mean, you could get your Social Security check if you waited till 70 up to, you know, 25 percent higher than it would be at full retirement age if you would be willing to continue to work. And that may close that gap for you.
You know, so that's one option. Then you'd have guaranteed income for life there and give your portfolio a chance to continue to grow in terms of, you know, so I think you've got to dial in that budget. And keep in mind, most people live on about 70 to 80 percent of their pre-retirement income. I mean, yours may not be that drastic because you're already debt free. So it's not like you're paying off the mortgage right as you're getting into retirement and now that's coming out of the equation. You've already recognized that reduction by living debt free. So maybe you're living on 90 percent of your pre-retirement income.
But whatever that is, that's the number we have to solve for. Not some rule of thumb about how much you need in the bank. We just need to know, are you really going to have the money you need for the rest of your life if the Lord tarries and you're in good health that may need the last decades? In terms of the investment strategy, I mean, you're doing well. I hate to kind of be an armchair quarterback here, but at the same time, I think there is something to be said about having a professional money manager. I mean, what's really interesting is even though the market has done well this year, despite all of our headwinds, it's been very narrow in terms of the actual stocks that are performing. It's a very small swath of the overall stocks out there. I think we're heading into more of a stock picker's market, whereas the last decade, you could just be in the indexes and you would have done well because everything was going up, led by the big cap companies. But I think we're heading into a market, especially over the next probably three to five years, where it's going to be more of a stock picker's market. So having somebody waking up, thinking about making those selections, especially by buying individual companies, you know, how are you doing your research and which companies out of favor and which sectors should you be in and what changes do you need to make over time? I mean, this is important stuff because it really has to do your success in growing this portfolio and maintaining what you have is going to be key to you being able to fund your lifestyle and your expenses in retirement. So could you make up one and a quarter percent a year that you would pay to an advisor by having somebody really managing this portfolio for you? I would make a strong case that you could, and then you wouldn't have the weight of that responsibility. But if you enjoy doing it or you just feel more comfortable doing it yourself, you know, you certainly can do that and you have and that's great.
Perhaps a middle option would be you continue to do it, but with the advice of somebody else just, you know, to be able to factor in and you could use a service like soundmindinvesting.org, the sound mind investing newsletter, which Larry Burkett talked a lot about, they would recommend mutual funds to you that you could, you know, put into your portfolio alongside those stocks. And that would be another option. Does that all make sense, though?
No, it absolutely does. And I appreciate I think that's I think I was sort of thinking that already, but I just wanted a second opinion whether I should maybe consult a financial advisor as I move forward. So yeah.
All right. You're thanks for calling today, Paul, you can find we recommend a Certified Kingdom Advisor and I'd interview two or three at least to find the one that's the best fit for you there in Orlando. To find one just head to faithfi.com and click find to CKA.
You can do a zip code search. Thanks for calling today. Quickly to Chicago. Another Paul. Go ahead, sir. Hi, Rob. Thanks much for taking my call.
I have a question. Um, I have a I have about $6,500 in credit card debt over three credit cards. I am maxing out my 401k at about 14% and my company's matching 4%. I have zero security or safety savings account. And I'm wondering if I should reduce my 401k to about 6% so I can keep the 4% match and still be about 10 and use that money to pay off my credit card debt and start having a safety account.
Yeah, very good. So you have no emergency fund, correct? Correct. Okay. And the way you're doing it now by paying the minimums on the credit card, plus what you're putting in the 401k, you're living right up to the edge.
I mean, there's no margin left at the end of the month. Is that right? Correct.
Okay. Yeah, I mean, the first thing I would look at Paul, and maybe we're doing it, we do several of these things. But the first thing I would do is I would, you know, look at how you can cut back on in other areas rather than taking money away from debt reduction or long term savings and see what we can do with lifestyle spending to eliminate expenses other subscriptions you can cut and get you change some insurance policies around. I mean, what can you do to lower expenses to free up margin?
Secondly, with the the credit cards, I would probably look at a debt management program. I mean, it's not a part of the credit scoring algorithm. And you would get those interest rates reduced and you could get on one level monthly payment.
It's probably very close to what you're already sending today. But through that payment, that's level and the reduction of the interest rates, they accounts would be closed. So you'd only put in the cards that you're willing to close the accounts on, but you'll pay those back on average 80% faster. And that may allow you to just keep, you know, get the credit cards paid off over time with less going to interest because of the lower rates. And then we reduce the the 401k only to build up the emergency fund. But as soon as we do, then we kick that 401k right back up. And we just pay out the credit cards over time. But we do it through the lower interest rate.
So the total amount going to interest is less. How does that sound? Yeah, that sounds good. Thank you. All right.
Excellent. So what I do is head to Christian credit counselors.org. That's Christian credit counselors.org.
Start with them and have them evaluate that 6500 for a debt management program, and then make those steps to build up your emergency fund. Thanks for your call, Paul. Well, that's gonna do it for us today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Mooney Radio and Faith Fi. Thank you to Charles, Laura, Jim and Amy. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
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