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The DNA of Wise Financial Decisions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2023 5:43 pm

The DNA of Wise Financial Decisions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 15, 2023 5:43 pm

God owns everything and we’re merely stewards of the resources he gives us. But the role of a successful steward is active and requires a lot of smart decisions. So, how do we achieve successful stewarship? On today's Faith & Finance Live, Rob West will talk with Sharon Epps about the DNA of wise financial decision making. Then they will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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God owns everything, and we're merely stewards of the resources He gives us.

But that doesn't mean our role is passive. Hi, I'm Rob West. The role of a successful steward is active and requires a lot of smart decisions.

But how do we do that? I'll talk with Sharon Epps today about the DNA of wise financial decision making. 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. Well, Sharon Epps joins us again today.

She's the president of Kingdom Advisors and no stranger to the need for making wise financial decisions that honor the Lord. And Sharon, it's great to have you back in the studio. I think this is going to be a really important conversation today. I'm looking forward to it. Well, I've been looking forward to it as well, because decision making is what we're all about here at Faith and Finance.

So, Sharon, let's start there. Why do you call this the DNA of financial decision making? Well, first of all, I have to admit that I'm not a scientist. So I literally had to look up the definition of DNA in the dictionary to make sure I was representing this correctly. But DNA are the instructions that God has given ourselves to use to build the body. And it's like a code for a video game or blueprints for a house. And the reason that I'm using DNA as an analogy for financial decision making is that it's easy for us to focus on financial outcomes or goals without understanding that there's three key building blocks that need to align to result in wise biblical financial actions.

I love that. So three key building blocks. I've heard you talk about this before, and I know you use a model of a triangle to explain the process of wise financial decision making. That means there are three sides. So what's first?

Okay, so you're not only a scientist, but math a little bit here too. Yes, three sides. So the reason that we're using the three sides is because a triangle has a very clear base, a foundation. And we're going to call this base for our wise financial decision making motivation. It's the motivation for making good decisions with our money. And by the way, with God's money and motivation, the reason that it is the foundation is it is the fuel that gives us the energy to carry through with wise financial decisions, even when they seem hard. And actually, there's three of those motivations in that base.

And they all start with the letter P because I needed a little help remembering them myself. But when we think about motivation, it's so important to know that it gives us energy, it gives us the why. And the first thing that gives us that why is our position. We need to understand that our position is a manager, and God is the owner. And we teach this a lot here at Faith and Finance. But I just wanted to reference a couple of scriptures. Our position as a manager comes from several scriptures, but I'll highlight these two. Psalm 24 one, the earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. And man, when we take that in, that is such a powerful truth, a big idea.

Yes. And then as you go on to First Corinthians four, verse two, throughout scripture, he portrays our role as a steward, but I think this is a really important one. He says, Moreover, it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful. So when we think about motivation, and we think about our position, if I keep in mind that God's the owner, and I'm a steward, that helps inform my why on those financial decisions.

That is really powerful. So we start with our position. I know you said there's two other P's.

What's next? The second one is our purpose. God helped reveal that to me through Second Corinthians 9-11 years ago, and I've never read scripture same since.

So I'm going to start with the scripture and then I'll tell you the purpose. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion. And through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. Have you ever thought about this? Our motivational purpose is to be generous.

Wow. Yeah, that's a big idea. Because perhaps in most cases, we start with this idea of our purpose being provision or providing. And when we realize that God is really our provider, and the whole reason He does it is so we can share it with others, it reframes everything.

Wow, this is a big idea today. We're talking about wise financial decision making, the DNA behind it, and really that represented by a triangle. There's three pieces of that. We've started with our motivation. We'll continue to unpack that, plus the other two sides today, our goal to help you be a wise steward as you make financial decisions. Sharon Epps with us today, President of Kingdom Advisors.

Much more to come just around the corner. Stick around. We'll be right back. It's great to have you back with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

Joining me today, Sharon Epps, President of Kingdom Advisors. And Sharon, this is a big idea that we're talking about today, because on this program, as you know, we don't want to give financial answers. We want to equip people to make wise financial decisions. And those two things are different, aren't they?

They really are. You can know an answer and not necessarily know how to apply it. That's exactly right. Well, we want to equip you to do that today with the DNA of wise financial decision making. We're using a triangle and we're at the bottom of the triangle. The foundation, which Sharon reminded us before the break, is your motivation. And Sharon, you said there's really three P's that go to our motivation as God's stewards. Remind us of the first two. Well, as we start, remember, motivation gives you your why.

And if you don't have a why, it's really hard to follow through. So the first two are position. We are God's managers.

He is the owner. And our second one is our purpose. And our whole purpose or motivation for wise financial decision making is in order to be generous. Yeah. And you reminded us of this incredible passage. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.

All right. What is the third P? Well, the third one might be the most important, and that's our perspective. Our perspective is an eternal perspective. And I'll use a familiar verse, but I want you to think about this in terms of your financial decisions. Matthew 6, 19 through 21. Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth where moth and vermin destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but store it for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal for where your treasure is there your heart will be also. And so as we make financial decisions, how often do we stop and say, what impact will this have on eternity? That is a great motivation. Wow.

We've got to shift our view away from the temporal, put it clearly on the eternal, and it will change everything about how you manage money. All right. Have we successfully unpacked the bottom of the triangle? Well, I think so. I'd like to really sum it all up with a quote from Arthur and our friend Dr. Kim Boa. And here's what he says. To deny earthly pleasures now, we need to believe that the eternal treasures of God's right hand are more satisfying than anything else.

Oh, wow. That's something we could just stop and think about for a long time. Will you just say that one more time before we move on? To deny earthly pleasures now, we need to believe that the eternal treasures that God's right hand are more satisfying than anything else. I love that. That is powerful. All right. So we've successfully unpacked the bottom of the triangle, the foundation.

What's next? What's next is let's think about the left side of that triangle, and that's our wiring. God made each of us with a unique temperament that impacts how we behave with money. Temperament is part of our personality, but personality is a little bigger than temperament in that it's also shaped by our family of origin, our life experiences, and many other factors.

Now, most often, we'll marry someone with a different temperament from us. That's right. I can attest to that. We both can attest to that, I think. Yes. And I love what Larry Burkett used to say over and over again. If both of you and the couple are the same, then one of you is unnecessary.

That's right. So some of us make decisions quickly. Others of us take more time. Some of us tend to over save.

We want to make sure we have everything we need for a rainy day plus more. And others of us tend to either give away or spend everything we have. Some of us make analytical decisions and others of us rely on instinct or gut. I think you start getting the picture when we understand our wiring in light of the other two sides of the triangle, we're more equipped to make and implement wise financial decisions. And this is really important as we understand our wiring, but also something else you said, and that is our family of origin. How money was handled growing up has a big impact on this as well, doesn't it?

It does make such a big difference. And I thought maybe a story would be helpful here to illustrate this. I have friends, Kim and Andy, that recently adopted a baby. And so it's their first child. And Kim falls into that category of slow decision maker, researcher and all of those things. And you might not be surprised to know that Andy trusts his gut and he's just ready to do whatever. And so throughout this whole process of their new child, we've had the opportunity to just watch them on their financial decisions.

Because, as you know, children are expensive, especially that first year of life when you need all the equipment and all the things. And so it's been fun to watch them navigate Kim's want and desire and temperament even of research against Andy's of, hey, let's just get this and go. And so has that been working out for them? Well, I'll tell you, they've been married quite a while and they figured it out. So basically, Andy knows to let Kim do her research and then come to him when she's done and she'll give him two choices and he'll just say, we'll take A or B. And he'll make a quick decision. Exactly. I love it. All right. Well, we've got our purpose and our wiring for making wise financial decisions, but we still have one more side of the triangle.

So what's that? Well, the third side of the triangle is the skills that we bring to the decision making process. Now, we might understand our motivation and the why we might be generous and living for eternal purposes, all those things we talked about. And we might know our wiring and how it impacts our decisions. But if we haven't been trained in how to do financial transactions, we won't be able to implement what we've learned about wise financial decisions. So we need some practical tools and we need some training in order to be able to do that.

Absolutely. And I'll just be completely honest and say that's why I'm one of the biggest fans of the FaithFi app. It is a tool that helps me with the skills of financial decision making. I have the opportunity to determine if I want to manage by envelopes, if I just want to track what's coming in. And it's tools like that that can help us build financial skills. And I think let's just be honest, sometimes people feel like financial skill building is a drudgery. But when you're motivated by your why, when you know that the opportunity to be generous and live for eternity is impacted by me learning to do this well, it becomes an adventure. And it's really very satisfying to learn something new, apply it and see the positive results. Yeah. And there is a lot at stake because this is really one of the callings that has been entrusted to us.

And that is to be wise stewards of everything God's given us. And that's so true. I have another story here. I'll just call them Sally and John. But Sally and John, I met literally 20 years ago in a time when, to be totally honest, they were near divorce over this financial skill issue. They both knew what they wanted to do, but they didn't know how to do it.

And in fact, John came in and even said, I manage a multimillion dollar budget for a huge corporation and I cannot figure out this family financial piece. And what was so wonderful, I had the privilege of walking alongside of them for several months was to begin to see them be excited about applying those tools and using them to implement what they feel like God had called them to do. And in fact, they became so excited about it. They've literally spent the last 20 years teaching other people how to do it, too.

Unbelievable. What would you say is one of the key breakthroughs they had? I think one of the key breakthroughs is they tied it to their wiring or their personality. They realized, I think, that John was trying to get them to do accounting with debits and credits.

And Sally wasn't interested in that at all. And so once they figured out a system that wasn't so accounting focused, but was more goal oriented and practically focused, they were able to come together and both use it. Well, perhaps this could be a game changer for you when you understand your motivation, your wiring and the skills of wise decision making. Well, Sharon mentioned the FaithFi app, and if you'd like to download it today, you can check it out at our website, faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.

Just click app. Hey, folks, I've asked Sharon to stick around and help me answer your questions. So give us a call at 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, and we'll be back after this brief break. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. With me today, Sharon Epps, president of Kingdom Advisors.

And we've been talking about the DNA of wise financial decision making. And Sharon, I guess the only thing left is to put that into practice. Let's see if we can do that with some of our listeners.

That sounds great. We've got some phone lines open today. 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. The calls are coming in. But room for your question today with whatever you're thinking about financially. We'd love to hear from you and help you make a wise decision.

Looking at the principles and passages from God's word and helping you apply that to the decisions and choices you're making today. Let's begin in Allentown, PA. Hi, Marie. Go right ahead.

Hi. I have a good dilemma. When my children were born, my parents set up ESA accounts and 529 accounts for my children. Now that we're at college time, I have one child who is preferring to go into service.

And now I don't know what to do with the money that's in the ESA and the 529. Yeah. And is he planning to go to a military academy or just go straight into the service?

Straight into the service. OK. Yeah. So I mean, these could be wonderful savings vehicles and allow you to grow the money on a tax deferred basis similar to a Roth IRA. But they do have to be used for qualified educational expenses. There are some exemptions for that penalty that you will have for a non-qualified withdrawal. That penalty is 10 percent. And then on top of that, you would have to pay the tax on any gains that you had, not the original contributions because you put in or someone put in after tax dollars.

But the gains are taxable. And then you've got that 10 percent penalty for non-qualified withdrawals. The one way to avoid that would be for a scholarship award. You could take the money out on a pro rata basis equal to the scholarship or the equivalent of the cost of a military academy attendance.

But apart from that, really, your only two options are, number one, to roll that. Well, first, he could save it and perhaps need it down the road, maybe for an advanced degree of some kind. He could roll it over to another family member under the age of 30. So if there's another child that needs more funds for college, it could be used for that child. And then beyond that, there is a new provision that's about to go into effect related to the 529 plan that allows for up to thirty five thousand dollars of that money to be rolled over into a Roth IRA. So long as the money's been in the account for 15 years and you'll have to do it in increments because you won't be able to go beyond the annual contribution limit, which is sitting today at or at least for this tax year at sixty five hundred dollars.

So over time, once this goes into a place and again, as long as it's been open for 15 years, he could begin systematically moving this out of the 529 at least into a Roth IRA, which would be a great blessing to have a nest egg that's starting to grow now and compounding for retirement. But I can't roll the ESA into the 529. No, I don't believe you can. We can certainly check on that. And I can mention that a little later in the broadcast.

I'm not aware of anything that allows you to do that, though. OK. Could you repeat what you said about the scholarship award? If he receives the scholarship, you can take like kind out of the. Yeah, I mean, we'd have to he would have to use the scholarship funds, though.

So it's not just receiving the award letter. It's actually use of those scholarship funds of his. You know, he goes into college and pays tuition of, let's say, six thousand dollars and he gets an award for three thousand. He could pull that three thousand out without any penalty based on that scholarship award. And just do whatever he wants with the three thousand or does it have to be used for for school? No, it's essentially they're giving you a way to get that money back tax free or not tax free, but penalty free because he earned a scholarship award that's covering the cost of education. So remember, the purpose of this money is to grow for for college. So when he gets to college and he's ready to go into college and he gets a scholarship, they're saying, OK, because you earned this scholarship, we're going to allow you to get that money back. You're going to pay tax on the gains, but we're not going to charge you that penalty equal to the portion that's coming out that was offset by the scholarship award. OK, I was thinking that because my my other child is in college and getting scholarships so that I kind of mix two children there. But I wasn't aware of the scholarship benefits there.

Yeah. And that's true for the Coverdale at the ESA or the 529. So both of those allow for the portion that the child is receiving through a scholarship award to come out again, penalty free, but not tax free.

So you would still have to pay the gains on those taxes because it's a nonqualified distribution, but they're going to allow you to skip the penalty because of that scholarship award. OK, perfect. Do you have any idea when the new provisional 529 will go into place, the rule about rolling into a Roth?

Yeah, it's in the next couple of years. Let's do this. I'll have my team take a look at that. I want to give you the definitive date on that.

And we'll also look at the possibility of a rollover for the 529 into the ESA. I don't think you can do that. We'll double check. And if you just keep listening to the program, we'll be sure to mention that. OK. Thank you. All right. Thank you very much.

Debbie and Randy, we're coming your way in just a moment. You know, Sharon, as we think about wise financial decision making, it really is important to start with our values, isn't it? Because goals are not as effective, clearly, unless they start with the why. If we understand the why of our values, then it informs our goals.

Goals almost if we lead with those, they're almost backwards because they might lead us somewhere we don't really want to go. Yeah, and that's really key. And, you know, that's what it's all about here. We want to equip you to make wise decisions, not just give you answers, because then you're set up for the future to understand the heart of God and the Council of Scripture, then know your why. And as Sharon said, coupled with your wiring and the skills really allow you to be a faithful steward of what God has entrusted to you. And it's not a matter, Sharon, of really just cherry picking a few verses here and there in scripture. It's really about understanding the heart of God through the big themes in scripture, isn't it? The big themes and the twenty three hundred verses. We're here to talk about them all.

That's exactly right. All right. Well, Sharon and I are ready to tackle your questions today. Whatever you're thinking about financially, we've got a few lines remaining that are available, perhaps for your question today. The number to call is eight hundred five two five seven thousand.

That's eight hundred five two five seven thousand. Also coming up in our final segment of the broadcast a little later, Bob Doll is going to stop by with his market analysis. He'll tell us what he's looking at as we begin another investing week. All of the averages green today, but Bob will tell us what he's thinking about as he's managing the money in his portfolios.

That's coming up in just a bit. More to come on Faith and Finance Live. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. Delighted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Rob West and Sharon Epps, along with me today.

Sharon is president of Kingdom Advisors. She makes it all work here at KAA, and we're delighted that she's sitting in on the broadcast today. Sharon, actually, when Larry Burkett passed away, and I know many of our listeners still to this day, they reference Larry and the incredible impact that he had in their lives. You had the opportunity not only to work alongside Larry back at Christian Financial Concepts, now Crown Financial Ministries, but also you really sat in on the radio broadcast in Larry's absence.

I did. It was a lot of fun and great to be back on. Well, we're delighted to have you here. All the lines are full, so we'll dive right back into your questions.

Sharon's gracious enough to stay around for the entire hour, and so she'll be able to weigh in on some of your questions as well. Let's head to South Carolina. Hi, Neil.

Go right ahead. Hey, how are you doing? My name is Neil.

I'm from South Carolina. How are you doing today? We're doing well. Thanks for calling, Neil. Yes, sir.

I got a question. We ended up buying our house with a VA loan, and then we were actually trying to go through and figure out if we should actually rent out the house we're in now and transfer it into a conventional loan and then redo a VA loan afterwards. We were just trying to figure out if that would be smart on our aspect because we don't have the NASDAQ and all that built, but we were trying to figure out if that was a good thing to go through and do. Yeah, so is the goal here, Neil, to be able to take advantage of the 100% financing from the VA? That is the main reason why we did the VA loan, but whenever going through, I mean, it's pretty much whichever one that would be beneficial in either part if it would be smarter in either route. Yeah.

I'm just not a big fan of that, you know. So tell me a little bit about kind of what you're doing here. So your primary residence that you have right now, what is it worth, roughly? Roughly $180, and we bought it for $160. Okay, and what's the mortgage on it? How much?

How much? $950. $950, and then it rounds up with insurance to... Well, more specifically, the amount you owe on it, roughly.

The total balance. $162. Okay, and what is the interest rate on it?

$6. Okay, and is that the only home you own right now? Yes, sir. Okay, but you're looking potentially to buy a second home? Yes, sir. We were trying to figure out if it would be smart for us to go through and do that.

Okay, and what would be the purpose of that? To try to turn it into a rental? Yes, sir. Okay, and give Sharon and I a little sense of the other assets that you have. Let's start with your emergency fund. Do you have some liquid savings?

No, sir. We ended up investing into where we can actually try to get everything situated on the house. When we moved into the house, we ended up painting it whenever we first got there. Got it pretty much all the amenities that we wanted to go through, and now we're trying to build up the nest egg now. Okay.

So we don't have any liquid. That's right. Yeah, and are you guys living on a budget? Would you consider yourself to be using a budget month to month that guides your spending? Yes, sir. The wife ends up doing paperwork and all that stuff, and then I just try to turn the rest. I hear you. There's one usually between husband and wife that's more administrative, and so it sounds like that's her role, and that's great. Do you guys usually have a surplus left over at the end of the month?

Yes, sir. How much is our bills total? About 20? About three.

It's roughly about three, and then with everything coming in, we're at really about around seven. About 7,000 a month coming in, but you're only spending three? Yes, sir, on all of our bills and everything like that. So when the end of the month comes, you guys really have about 4,000 a month left over? Yes, sir. And where is that going right now?

Pretty much not in the right spots. It's usually going out to eat or what's called going and putting them out. We've been reading a whole bunch of books and all that stuff on investing, and I mean, nothing's been turning up yet. We're trying to possibly open up a business and trying to figure out which one's the best job to do.

Okay, that's really helpful. So I want Sharon to weigh in. Obviously, Sharon, they're doing a lot of things right in the sense of trying to live within their means, and yet all this extra money's being chewed up, and now we're thinking about buying a second house.

What counsel would you give? Well, I just want to congratulate you for taking these steps in the right direction, especially tracking your budget and thinking about how you can grow your income. I think the thing that stuck out to me was the fact that we would really love for you to have an emergency savings because you never know what comes up that you might need to repair a car or something in your home breaks, or eventually down the road, if you have a rental home, what happens if your renter moves out and it takes you a couple of months to get somebody new in? And so I think if we start with emergency savings as your first step in the right direction, then that's going to free you up to think about what other investments might be useful. Yeah, I think that's exactly right. How does that sound to you, Neil?

It sounds great. That's what we need to start doing is start getting the liquid assets up. I think that's right, and I think just because you have the option of the VA loan and the ability to borrow it 100 percent doesn't mean you should. And so we would love for you all to demonstrate that you can live within your means and truly realize that surplus. Maybe it's not $4,000 a month. And when I say what is your spending plan, we're talking about all of the expenses, both those things you get a bill for and those things you don't. We've got to factor all of that in and see how much you're actually spending. And if you really look at it at that level, what you may find is we're bringing in $7,000 and we're spending $7,000. So there's really not any margin there in order to really build up this savings to not only accelerate your pay down on your mortgage but be able to give the way you want and save for the future.

And let's say a company-sponsored retirement plan, it's going to require surplus. So I think we're a little premature in thinking about that second home purchase right now. As Sharon said, let's dial into that spending plan and work on that emergency fund, OK? Yes, sir. Sounds like a plan. Thank you very much. Very good. Thank you for calling today. We appreciate it.

Veronica in Birmingham, how can we help you? Yes. I am 84 years old. I work.

When my husband passed away, I didn't have an income so I got a job and went to work. I have saved about $150,000. And my question is, should I take that $150,000 in a lump sum and it's through the teacher's retirement, TIAA-CREF? Yes, ma'am. Or should I go ahead and retire and get monthly income? OK. Very good.

So, Veronica, you can get lump sum withdrawals from your TIAA within 120 days after you leave, but they're subject to a surrender charge. So if your monthly income would work for you, that might be your best route. Does that make sense to you, Veronica?

It makes sense, but I don't understand it. So I guess my question is, I'm already 84 years old. Yes, ma'am. What would happen if they told me that my monthly income would be like $1,500 a month? Yep. And if I get a lump sum, I don't know what the tax deal will be. Yeah.

Well, you could actually roll that into an IRA, but what would be the amount they would give you as a lump sum payout? Do you know? No, I haven't asked that.

I feel like we've been tired now. Yeah, but you don't know what that entire amount is. Does that show up on your statement? Yeah, it is. It's $159,000. $159,000. OK. Or $1,500 a month. Is that right?

Correct. OK. That $1,500 a month sounds pretty attractive based on the other option being the $150,000, but I would confirm that this is a great thing to see an advisor on. Just because we'd love for you to look at this in the context of your whole financial life, but I think what Sharon's getting at is exactly right. It's got to start with your monthly spending plan in retirement.

And if that monthly check for the rest of your life would meet that, that would be really helpful. Stay on the line. We'll talk a little bit more off the air. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West sharing apps along today as well. Just before the break, we were talking to Veronica. You know, so often when we retire or separate from our companies, we're offered an option of either a monthly payout or a lump sum. And, you know, that is a big decision. We want to look at the present value of that income stream versus that lump sum amount. And often it really requires some deeper analysis to look at your whole financial life, which is where a certified Kingdom advisor can come in. If you've listened to this program for any length of time, you know that we recommend the CKA designation as those trusted professionals who have met high standards and character and competence, but they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of financial decision making as well. So if you're contemplating a decision like that or you need some retirement planning, we'd encourage you to visit our website, faithfi.com.

That's faithfi.com and just click find a CKA. All right, before we head back to the phones today in our final segment here, it's Monday, which means our good friend Bob Doll stops by. Bob is chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments.

He joins us each Monday with his insightful analysis on the markets. And Bob, I'm seeing green across the board. I guess that's good news today, huh?

You got it. Green always trumps red. We know that.

Not a whole lot of reasons why. I think just some calmness in the banking side. Some of the regional banks did well today and that caused encouragement for the whole market.

Yeah, we always like encouragement. Bob, you had a quote out in your Doll's Deliberations this week. It was from Barron's. It was back on May 1st and it said, at its 10th rate hike, which by the way already has happened, the central bank will need skill and luck to tame inflation without killing the economy. Are we in uncharted territory just given how many rate hikes and how quickly they've occurred or have we been here before? Pretty much so.

This fast to go from zero to five has never happened before. And as you've heard me say before, there are consequences to raising interest rates from zero to five in 12 months. And we've seen some of those consequences, Rob, and that's been a few bank failures. And there are probably more issues to come, most particularly a slowdown in the economy and probably a recession that starts sometime before the end of the year. And the balancing act that the Fed has, those two things are in conflict one another. Doing good things for the economy can create inflation. Taming inflation can kill the economy. That's why they're between that proverbial rock and a hard place. So, Bob, when I hear you say the words bank failures, it brings a little bit of fear as an individual.

Talk to us a little bit. If I'm an individual and I'm under the FDIC limit of $250,000, what do I need to be thinking about with these bank failures? Sharon, for your $250,000 or less, you don't need to worry. There's insurance that covers that, and that insurance will be made good by the federal government. So the direct consequence is not a problem should the bank you have your money in go belly up. Conversely, if we get enough of those bank failures, we'll have economic weakness could lead to recession. So the secondary effects of a tougher economy, slower growth, somebody in your household losing their job, those things could happen. But don't worry about your deposits.

Yeah, that's great, Bob, and very reassuring for us. Leave us with something to anchor ourselves to as we think about our role as stewards and managing God's money as it relates specifically to our investing. Yeah, we need to, as believers, make sure all of our life lines up with our values we have from God's Word. And when it comes to investments, Rob, that means making sure you own things that are going to be a happy scene when you stand before the Lord and say, This is what I owned in my portfolio. So therefore, that means I'm excluding some things that can have negative effects on humanity. Maims people, kills people, some products and services do that.

We want to avoid those. Conversely, on the positive side, we want to accentuate companies that are doing well, that are promoting family values and justice and treating their employees and their clients and their community well and all that good stuff. And that's the way to line up your investments, both for this life and for the next. And the bottom line is, as stewards of God's money, we have to recognize that our trust remains in him fully for everything that we do.

And I know that's the way you approach everything. Bob, we're so thankful for you, my friend. Thanks for stopping by. All the best. Bye.

All right. Bob Dolls, Chief Investment Officer at Crossmark Global Investments. If you'd like to sign up for his weekly market commentary called Dolls Deliberations, you can do that at crossmarkglobal.com. By the way, as we talk about faith-based investing, which is really an exciting and growing area of our investment landscape and the opportunities we have as believers, we really believe this is a conviction matter that you need to be before the Lord, saying, Lord, what would you have me to do as I deploy your capital? And that can include avoiding companies. It can include embracing other companies. It can even include using your position as an owner to express your values as a believer.

But ultimately, that's between you and the Lord. And that's what we would encourage you to do and to check out what's happening in this space as we have more and more options available every day. All right. Back to the phones as we round out the broadcast today. Sharon and I are ready to dive into a few more. Let's head to Indianapolis.

Hi, Debbie. Go right ahead. Yes, my question is, I think basically, is there a minimum threshold that you should have saved before it's invested in the stock market? I feel like our money is invested there right now, but I feel like as we lose, I just don't feel like there's enough there that we gain back what we lose. So I'm just wondering, do we just not have enough yet? Well, Debbie, this is really a challenging time in the market for sure.

It's been up and down a lot after a long run of up ups. So part of it depends on your goals and when you need the money. So tell me a little bit about when you are planning to need to withdraw the money. Well, my husband is going to turn 70. Now, he still works full time. I'm 56, working full time. So we're still putting our maximum away.

What is it? 7500. We have Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs. My retirement's probably 69,000.

His is about 167,000. Now, we do have an appointment with a certified kingdom advisor at the end of the month. But I just wonder what fees and the fluctuations and if we need to do something, if not with mine, with my husband.

Well, that's really good news to hear that you've already connected with a certified kingdom advisor because he or she will take a look at your overall situation and help you determine. I would say you're ending your accumulation phase and you'll be moving into a distribution phase over the next few years. And generally, that means you're going to move from higher risk investments to lower risk investments to make sure that the money that you need is there when you need it. And that advisor can help you determine your timing and your investments.

Yeah, I would agree with that, Debbie. And I guess I would say, you know, as you look at the priority use of these funds, we need to start with this idea that God owns it all and understand what biblical wisdom says. And we live within our means and we avoid debt.

And you guys are probably well on your way there. We want to give generously because that breaks the grip of money over our lives and sets long term goals, which that advisor can help you do informed by your values. But we also want to have margins so we can save for the future. And I love that you all have been prioritizing saving for the future using tax advantaged accounts. Your 401k, his. You've got some Roth IRAs.

That's great. I think as long as you've got that emergency fund of three to six months expenses, these are prime years right now. You know, as you're talking to the Lord and balancing your current giving, these are prime years for you to save for the future so that you all can build up that nest egg that can offset Social Security in that retirement season. And provide the income you need. But doing that with the advice of an advisor, I think you guys have the right amount for an advisor because this is a significant sum of money you've saved.

You've still got time on your side with regard to your own work. So having somebody help you manage that to preserve it, but to grow it modestly for the future, not taking unnecessary risk. I think that's really the key for this advisor that you'll be working with not only on the planning side, but also helping you make the investment decision. So I would say, despite what's going on the market right now, let's stay focused long term. Because remember, if you're in good health and the Lord tarries, this money still needs to last decades.

And so that's where, you know, having somebody overseeing it and taking advantage of the stock market, even while stocks are on sale right now during this volatile period headed toward a likely recession. We just need to keep the long term in mind. Does that make sense? Yes, it does make sense. And yes, and I do appreciate we do have a separate account for tithing.

So that is, that is one thing that we've got set aside. So that sounds great. Well, listen, all the best to you. If we can help further along the way, let us know and delighted to hear your visiting with that advisor later this month. God bless you, Debbie. Thanks for calling today. Quickly to Lakewood.

John, you'll be our final caller. I understand you have some money in cash, and you're wondering how to invest it, right? That's right. It's in a bank and it's only worth four, getting 4% right now. And I just feel like there's got to be better things to do with it. Well, let's talk about what the purpose of this money is. What would you say is the time horizon for? Is this money you need ready access to or is it money you're looking to touch 10 years or more down the road?

Oh, it would be 10 years or more. I got all the other bases covered. This is just kind of stuff that's accumulated and trying to be a good steward with it.

It's like fighting tooth and nail to get the banks to give you anything anymore and wondered if there was another place to go. Well, are you wanting to take a little bit of risk that's reasonable to try to get a higher return or are you wanting a guaranteed product? I don't mind a little risk.

Yeah, that would be fine. Okay. Well, John, I'm just thankful that you've been able to save this money. There's multiple opportunities you have. Are you involved in any businesses? Have you started? Is there any investment like that? Are you thinking about the stock market? No, probably I am in the market. I run my own business. I have a couple of rental properties, so those are all kind of covered. I'm on the downward slope here, but somehow I do am glad I've been able to accumulate it.

Just trying to find the best place to put it in this environment. Well, I think the good news is we love to get a discount when we go shopping and stocks are on sale right now, so perhaps this is a time, unless you want to move into real estate or start another business of some kind or add to the existing one for you to just continue to invest and look for opportunities to give money away as well, John. We appreciate your call today. God bless you, my friend. Sharon, thanks for being here. Great day.

Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thankful to Charles, Dan, Tahira and Jim. We'll see you next time. Take care. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-15 18:23:10 / 2023-05-15 18:40:37 / 17

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