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MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 29, 2023 8:00 pm


MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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The following program was prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. You've heard the expression penny wise and pound foolish. Well, it's especially true with how some folks treat their mortgage.

Hi, I'm Rob West. Here in the States, we could say penny wise and dollar foolish, and it seems like a lot of folks are that way. They're more concerned with the interest they're getting on their savings account than the interest they're paying on their mortgage. I'll talk about that first today, then we'll have some great calls that we've lined up.

But since this program is not live today, please hold your calls until we're back in the studio. This is Faith & Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Okay, please understand it's a good thing to shop around for the best interest rates on savings. But my point is, it's a whole lot more important to pay attention to how much you're paying in interest on your mortgage because efforts to reduce that will pay off so much more. Just take a hard look at the amount of interest you'll pay over the life of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and it should be all the incentive you need to pay it off as fast as possible. Let's say you take out a 300,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage at six and a half percent, about the average rate these days, unfortunately. At the end of that term, you'll have paid almost $383,000 in interest, making the true cost of the home closer to 700,000.

With today's higher interest rates, it's more important than ever to get your mortgage paid off as quickly as possible. Now, let's say you take out that 30-year mortgage, but you decide to pay an extra $250 a month on the principal. You might have to make some sacrifices to do that, but again, it'll pay off big.

How big? Well, if you pay that extra $250 each month, you'll pay off the 30-year loan eight years and two months faster, saving you, you ready for this? $120,000 in interest. So you see the potential payoff for getting rid of your mortgage early is huge, and it really needs to be a priority in your financial decision making. So here are four steps to getting there. First, you need a spending plan, not just because it's a good idea and everyone should have one, which is true. You need a budget because you can't start the process of accelerating your mortgage payments without one. And setting up your spending plan is now easier than ever with the FaithFi app. It uses the envelope system to make budgeting easy and it'll track your spending and reveal things you can cut to free up more cash.

You'll find it at For example, cut back on your streaming services, limit eating out, put a moratorium on new clothes purchases, even if it's just for a month or two. If you need more incentive to tighten the belt, consider that saving just $25 a month and putting it on your mortgage will net you $17,000 in reduced interest payments in the example we gave before. Okay, the next step is to determine just how much of that extra cash you can apply to your mortgage.

You can even make it a budget category all by itself. The point is, anything extra you put on your mortgage now will be worth a lot more down the road, so make that number as big as you can. You may start to feel deprived because you've cut a lot of your funds, especially spending. It helps to celebrate milestones along the way, maybe a special dinner out whenever you've paid off another $1,000 in mortgage principal.

Just keep celebrating within the budget. Now, the next step is something anyone can do, even if you've been thinking up to this point that you have no surplus cash to put on the mortgage. It's using money that comes your way outside of your budget. Some call it found money or mad money. Make a commitment to put that unexpected cash on your mortgage principal as well as the surplus money you've identified in your budget. Where does this extra money come from? Well, it could be just about anywhere, overtime pay or a work bonus, maybe money from work you do on the side, a tax refund, gift money or cash you get from selling stuff. The trick is to apply that money to your mortgage principal as soon as you get it. Don't think of it as mad money that you can spend any way you like.

Don't let it sit around tempting you. If you haven't set up an online account with your lender, do that now. Most lender websites now make it easy to apply extra payments to the principal just by clicking a button or two. And while you're logging in, you'll be able to see the running balance of your principal. Keep track of it. Watch it go down as you make extra payments. That'll help you stay motivated and remember, celebrate your progress along the way. And the sooner you start, the more money you'll save that can be put to better uses.

Proverbs 21 5 says, slow and steady plotting brings prosperity. So start plotting steadily toward your early mortgage payoff. All right, we're going to head to a break.

So don't go anywhere. Still a lot more to come, even though we're away from the studio today and you shouldn't call in. We have some great questions that you're really going to enjoy as we continue to apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions. We'll be right back. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

Hey, our team is away from the studio today, so don't call in. But we lined up some great questions in advance that I know you will enjoy. You know, here at Moody Radio, it's all about equipping you with a biblical worldview in every area of your life. First and foremost, to encourage you to surrender your lives to Jesus, to place your full trust in him for your salvation. And then beyond that, which is the biggest decision you will ever make, it's all about stewardship. How can we be stewards of what God has entrusted to us? Our time, our relationships, our stewards of God's word and our talents and skills and, yes, his resources, the financial resources that have been entrusted to us.

How do we live with a biblical worldview in every area of our lives, including this area of money, understanding the heart of God from scripture and applying that to the everyday decisions we make with his money? That's what we want to do on this program to help you do just that. Let's head to West Virginia. Ron, you'll be next on the program, sir. Go ahead. Hi. I was going to add a question. Ron, I think I lost you there for a second.

Maybe just try to move one direction or the other in the room you're in, see if we can get a better signal and start over for me. Okay. Yeah.

Is this a little better? Yes, sir. Okay. Yeah, I was calling about, I have a 46-year-old adult son that is autistic. And my wife and I wanted to set up some kind of a special need trust that we could do immediately because there's some other factors there we didn't want to wait until after we had passed.

Something several years ago when my wife's parents passed, they left him and his brothers and cousins, there's six of them all together, to be inheriting the value of the house that they owned. Which if that were to happen after my wife and I have passed, that would affect his benefits as far as his Medicare, different things. I was just wondering if there was a way to some sort of a trust up while we're still at that.

Yes, absolutely. I'm delighted to hear that you're thinking about this because obviously you want him to be set up so that his needs are provided beyond your life. And yeah, it's important to think about how you can do that in such a way that you don't limit his ability to receive benefits. So depending on the assets that he has available, it may reduce his eligibility for Social Security, SSI or even Medicaid. There's two types of accounts you probably want to look at.

One is a little less expensive to set up, a little simpler, but it does have some limitations in terms of what you can put in. It's called an ABLE account, A-B-L-E. And it's essentially a tax advantage savings account for individuals that were diagnosed with significant disabilities before the age of 26. So that would be the key. It actually falls under the same IRS code as the college savings. It's under section 529, but instead of a 529 college savings, which is for qualified educational expenses, this is the 529 A-B-L-E, which is for those with disabilities. You can make contributions to the account.

Anyone can. There is a limit, though, currently this year at $17,000 that could go in. And this would allow him to save money, again, without affecting his eligibility for public benefits. The other vehicle for this is what's called a special needs trust.

It's a lot more flexible because there aren't any limits on what you can put in. It's going to be a little bit more costly to set up and to manage, but it will give you basically all of the ability you need to fund a trust for his benefit, including could be the recipient of the proceeds of that home sale and even other assets. And you may need to look at putting that home in a trust to facilitate that transfer. But in either case, by funding the special needs trust, again, it would not reduce his eligibility for public assistance. And then, you know, the trust and eventually the trustee that's named in the trust by the grantor would oversee the disbursement of those assets for the beneficiary, which would, of course, be your son. So it's a really popular strategy to help someone in need without risking their eligibility for programs that require their income or assets below a certain limit.

So what I would do as a next step, Ron, is make a contact with a godly estate planning attorney who could really talk you through the various options, look at the inheritances that are coming his way at some point, talk about how that would work, but also help you set up this special needs trust, which is likely going to be the best option for you, just given the significance of some of the assets that will be coming his way and the fact that those would exceed the contribution limits on the ABLE. Does that make sense? Yeah, yes. That special needs trust, now that can be set out while my wife and I are still there and as far as being able to fund it, and have it secured. That's right. So you all would be the grantor, you create the trust, you name a trustee that oversees the disbursement of the assets, which would have to be placed inside the trust now or in the future. And then your son would be named as the beneficiary. I see.

Okay. Yeah, our main concern is, you know, he, he has a lot of medications he has to take monthly and being part of the art program. There's just, if he had a certain amount of assets, just, you know, right, come to him, have a jeopardize pretty much everything that he has set up for his, you know, his protection and not being taken care of. And yeah, there's something I don't want that.

No, absolutely not. Do you all have an estate attorney that perhaps drafted your will or that you've worked with for other estate planning needs? Actually, we had about, this is going back over 15 years ago, we had in West Virginia, we had a attorney draw up a special needs trust, which we would have to locate somewhere. But she said that we couldn't fund it until after we passed. No, no, you, you would be able to fund that now, as long as you have the assets available to put in it.

Now you could also fund it at your death, but you don't have to, you'd have the choice. So if you need an attorney, you can go to our website, and contact a certified kingdom advisor and ask for a referral. Hey, God bless you, Rod. Thanks for calling today. Hey folks, we're going to pause now for a brief break, but we'll be back with much more on today's faith and finance live. I'm Rob West, your host. This is where we recognize that God owns it all. You're a steward a manager of God's resources, and money is a tool to accomplish God's purposes. Hey, we're away from the studio today, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance that I know you will enjoy.

In fact, we'll be headed to Joe in Ohio here in just a moment. Let me mention quickly, though, I mentioned a Certified Kingdom Advisor to our last caller. Perhaps some of you may be hearing that term for the first time. We trust the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation as those professionals that we would encourage you to seek out, who can provide professional financial advice and investments, but do it from a biblical worldview. You see, in order to achieve the CKA designation, they've met high standards in character and competence, a significant experience requirement of at least 10 years, or a professional designation, a pastor and client reference, a regulatory review, a code of ethics, they've signed a statement of faith, they've also been trained to bring a biblical perspective of financial management.

There's 1,300 CKAs across the country, and I would encourage you always to interview two or three before you select the one that's the best fit for you. You can find a Certified Kingdom Advisor in your area when you head to our website, That's And right there at the top of the page, it'll say Find a CKA, and you can do a zip code search. We've also provided a helpful list of questions that you can use as you're interviewing a perspective advisor. Again, it's all there at

Just click Find a CKA. All right, let's head back to the phones to Ohio. Joe, how can I help you? Yes, I'd just like to know the biblical view on tithing in retirement. Oh yeah, this is a great question, Joe. I love that you're thinking about this. You know, as we think about the tithe, I mean, first of all, a lot of folks would say, well, isn't that an Old Testament idea?

It is. I mean, we find it under the law of Moses. There was actually three tithes. One of them was every third year, so the Israelites were giving 23 and a third percent, essentially. And I love the principle of the tithe, even though we're under the law of Christ now.

Jesus, when we look in the New Testament, he raises the bar in every case. I think that includes money to whom much is given, much is required. He celebrated the most famous giver in the Bible, the poor widow who gave out of her poverty.

It wasn't where she was giving, it was the hard posture that she had. And so for those of us who have seen the cross and what Jesus did on our behalf, we should be generous givers. Plus, when we look at Scripture, we see this idea of generosity just kind of jumping off the page. I mean, for God so loved the world, he gave, right? So we were created in the image of the ultimate giver. So we should be givers, and to Joe's question, I think the principle of the tithe, giving a tenth on our increase, is a great starting point.

It's what my friend Randy Alcorn calls the training wheels of giving. Now, how do we approach the tithe in retirement? Because during our working years, well, it's a lot simpler, because whatever comes our way, whatever increase we receive, a gift, an inheritance, our wages, well, we give a tenth off the top, the first and the best back to the Lord. But in retirement, a portion of what you're receiving as income, depending on what your income sources are, are technically a return of principle. So if you were to look at Social Security, for instance, and obtain your benefit statement from the Social Security Administration, you'd see how much you've paid into Social Security during your working years. But then you're going to get a portion beyond that, which is the growth. The same would be true for your pension. You probably paid in something to your pension, but there's a larger amount there. An IRA, a retirement account, there would be a total of your contributions, but hopefully there's a lot more than that, which is the growth. So if you've been tithing on a gross basis on the money that was going in as you paid into these various income sources that are now coming back to you, essentially you've already tithed on that money. So how do you approach that?

Well, I think that's up to you. Remember, God is not an accountant. I mean, it's not about checking a box.

He's not, you know, watching that ledger. I think, again, it's about, is this an act of worship, am I giving cheerfully? I think the simplest approach, Joe, is just to say, everything that comes my way, even though I recognize a portion of it is going to be a return of principle that I paid in, I'm going to see that as a gracious gift from the Lord, and I'm just going to give a tithe, and I realize I'm giving on a portion that I essentially have already tithed on. A second approach would be to look at those income sources and try to determine a percentage of the amount that's in the portfolio today, whether that's your total amount you have coming to you from Social Security or how much you have in your IRA, and try to get a percentage on how much of this portfolio is actually my contributions versus that portion that is, you know, the gains. So with an IRA, let's say you have a million dollars, 250,000 of that is principle, 750,000 of that is growth, you might say, okay, out of every check I received from my IRA, I'm going to consider 25% of that a return of my original investment, and I'm going to tithe on 75%.

That's the kind of exercise you would do to back into this if that's the approach you wanted to take, and I don't think there's a right or wrong way to go about it, I just think you need to decide which one you want to do. Does that make sense? Right.

Yeah, sure it does. That was kind of my thought on it, but I just wasn't real sure, so I think the biggest thing is that I keep my giving heart, and not be too caught up in the technicalities of everything, but just continue to be a giver and keep my heart. I think that's exactly right, Joe, I think that's really the spirit of this, is I want to give as an act of worship, I want to give to recognize God's ownership and control over everything, and the fact that everything I receive from him comes from his hand, and this is a way for me to give back a portion of what he's entrusted to me to acknowledge that.

We've got a great article on our website at, it's actually addressing this very topic. The title of the article that was published on April 17th, so just a month ago, is actually titled How to Tithe in Retirement. So if you go to, click on the search box there and just type in How to Tithe in Retirement, you'll see a great article by one of our contributors, Anthony Safer, and he actually breaks down not only the basis for retirement, but he looks at all of these different retirement income sources and actually gives you a process to work through it and calculate your tithe based on which approach you want to take, alright? That sounds great. Thank you very much.

Alright, again, it's called How to Tithe in Retirement, you'll find it when you do a search at faithfi, Alright, back to the phones to Florida, hi Anna, go right ahead. Hi, how are you doing? I'm good, thanks.

Good. I want to know, I came into some money recently, and I want to know how can I invest this money safely? Yeah, what would you say is the time horizon on this money, when would you want it available to be used for some purpose?

Maybe sometime this week. Okay, so you may need to use it any day now, correct? Yes. Okay, so I would put it in a high yield savings account. Do you bank with a brick and mortar bank locally?

Yes. Okay, so that's fine. What I would consider doing is opening a savings account, a high yield savings account with an online bank like Marcus or Capital One 360, and then linking it to your brick and mortar checking account electronically. The benefit is you'll get FDIC insurance, no fees, and right now they're paying about 4% on their high yield savings, and it would be safe and completely liquid.

I'd look at Marcus or Capital One 360. I hope that helps, we appreciate your call today. Well folks, we're going to head to a break, but let me remind you, we're out of the studio today, our team is not here, so don't call in, but much more to come just around the corner on Faith and Finance Live.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. By the way, we're not live today, we're away from the studio, so don't call in, but we have some great questions that we lined up in advance. By the way, this ministry is entirely listener supported. That means we rely on your financial gifts and support to do what we do on the air every day. If you consider a gift, we'd certainly be grateful. Just head to our website,, that's, and click the give button. Thanks in advance. Let's take a couple of emailed questions.

These come in to us every day at askrob at, and we try to get a few of them on the air each day. This one comes to us from Phillip. He says, digital currency is coming, Rob. Should we invest in precious metals or land? If the dollar is discontinued and becomes worthless, what happens to money in the banking system? You know what I would say, Phillip, is first of all, digital currency is still years away. What's coming this summer that some have mistaken for a central bank digital currency is called FedNow. It's just a payment system that allows you to do instantaneous electronic movement of money and transactions 24-7. Right now, electronic payment systems take the weekend off.

This is going to allow for a seven-day-a-week option 24 hours a day. That's what FedNow is. That's not a digital currency. If we were to get a digital currency, it won't mean that your money is worthless. It won't replace existing currency. It would just supplement it. It's fine to have a small part of your portfolio in precious metals. I would advocate for no more than 10% there. Now, does that mean I'm a fan of the central bank digital currency?

Absolutely not. I think there's big problems starting with the privacy issue related to digital currencies. If the Fed knows every transaction you have, they're collecting that data.

I think that's a significant overreach. It could be done with privacy, but I suspect it would not. They would know who has what. They could impose rules. They could even conceivably limit transactions based on social issues and policy concerns. I think this is a big problem, but that's why there's a lot of folks in Congress. By the way, coinage is a congressional function.

Even Fed Chairman Powell has acknowledged the fact that they could not create this on their own. It would require congressional action. There is going to be much debate, and there's already a number of states that are getting in on the conversation. In fact, the state of Florida just recently passed legislation, or I believe it's proposed, that a digital currency would not comply with the Florida Uniform Commercial Code, the UCC, there as an attempt to say, we don't want it and it doesn't belong here. So we'll see a lot of others follow suit. We'll see much debate in Washington, but it's still a good ways off. Keep in mind, China started their digital currency in 2016. They're still in the beta phase.

Now, it's a massive beta with a couple of hundred million people, but here we are seven years later and theirs isn't even ready for prime time. So we're still a good ways off, and it's one we need to watch very, very closely. Phillip, thanks for you writing to us today. This one comes to us from Ray. He says, I'm trying to find a good program to help a friend who is in debt. He works at a fast food restaurant. He owes $9,000 and his creditors are adding late fees to his growing debt.

Where can we start? I would use, Ray, a debt management program. It's not debt consolidation where you take out a new loan to pay it off. It's not debt settlement where you stop paying and get into arrears and deal with all the creditors and collections and charge offs, hoping you can negotiate a lower payoff.

That's not what I'm talking about. Debt management is essentially where you'd go through a nonprofit debt management agency or credit counseling agency. The debt would remain with his existing creditors. However, through debt management, all creditors, credit card issuers, have a debt management rate that's lower than the prevailing rate. So he would be able to get a lower interest rate.

The account would be closed. This is not factored into his credit score, and then he'd make one monthly payment through the credit counseling agency to all of his creditors. By virtue of that fixed payment with the lower interest rate, he'd be able to pay that off on average 80% faster, and he can build it right into his budget, which hopefully is a part of that.

He can solve the problem that led him to the debt in the first place. So where do you go for that? I would contact my friends at That's We're a nonprofit credit counseling agency staffed by all believers. They've worked with hundreds and hundreds of our listeners, and they can really help him. Ray, I hope that helps you, and thanks for being a great friend to this gentleman who's in debt. By the way, if you have a question you'd like read on the air, you can send it along at any time to All right, let's head back to the phones as we round out the program. Let's head to Alabama. Hi, Craig. Go ahead, sir. Hi.

Hi. I just had a question about my Roth IRA with an index fund as part of the investment. I'm just a little concerned about sin stocks and how should I think about that with an index fund. Am I in danger of investing in those, and what should I think about that? Yeah.

Well, I think it is something to think about. A lot of folks have started to really consider their investments in light of their values and priorities as believers, and I think that's a good thing. And the exciting thing is you can do that now more effectively than ever before just because there are options now that are going to allow you to eliminate those companies that would be misaligned with your values. Really the reality is when you buy a stock, either directly or through a fund, you're buying a piece of ownership in a real business. Investing is company ownership, even if you're a.0001% owner of that company. So I think a lot of believers are then stopping to ask the question, who are the companies that I own?

Does it matter to me what these companies do or what they stand for? And how can I more fully express my Christian values by the way I invest in them? And I think developing your convictions around how you invest is a matter of discernment. But it can be trained by what Hebrews 5.14 says by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. So I love this idea, and I think if you're just in a straight index fund, what you will find is if you have a conviction not to be misaligned with companies that either their primary business activity or what they stand for is misaligned with your values, you're going to be in some of those companies.

So what do you do about it? I think the key would be for you to move out of that S&P 500 index into a faith-based investing fund option. And there's a number of great options, and the good news now is you don't even have to sacrifice return.

Many of these are award-winning. So what I would do, Craig, maybe as a next step as you really think and pray through your own convictions on this, is download a resource from our friends at the Eventide Center for Faith and Investing that will give you all of the mutual fund and ETF options in this space so you could begin to learn about these fund families that are specifically designed to serve the needs of believers. You'll want to head to the website, that's, and that will give you a list of these mutual funds and perhaps that would be a great resource for you. Okay, thank you very much. That's very helpful. All right, Craig, we appreciate your call today, sir.

God bless you. You know, this is really an exciting development in the investing landscape now where as believers we have the ability to step back and say, okay, how do I want to approach my deployment of capital as a steward of God's resources? And even if I'm buying on the secondary market and I realize I'm just buying shares of a stock that was owned by somebody else and I'm agreeing on a price to buy their shares, I still may have a conviction that I don't want to own companies that are misaligned with my values, either because they're in primary business activities that are misaligned with me or maybe what they support or stand for, the things that they fund. Even if it has nothing to do with their primary business activity, it causes me some concern. If that's the case, you have the option now to either avoid certain companies, embrace other companies because they're promoting human flourishing or maybe they're promoting a kingdom impact. I mean, one of the fund families I mentioned or that you will see on this listing is Eventide.

I mentioned them a moment ago. They're actually trying to really disrupt the supply chain of solar because so much of what is being manufactured for solar in that industry comes out of a part of the world that relies on slave labor. And so they're literally only investing in companies that are providing a portion of that supply chain that avoids these certain regions of the world that employ slave labor.

Well, they're causing that whole industry to be reshaped as they deploy capital away from those companies that are harming others in the process of delivering their goods and services. That's an incredible opportunity. One of the other spaces that we talk about with Jerry Boyer regularly is this whole idea of corporate engagement. As an owner of a company, you have a voice.

You can vote proxies. You can show up at the shareholder meeting even through Zoom. You can ask questions. And by doing that or contacting investor relations, you can express your values as a believer and say, you know what? I think we're getting off track here at this company. We were to make widgets and now we're promoting legislation that has to do with social values.

If that's the case, let the company know. And as a shareholder, you have the right to do that. This is a whole exciting space that's developing. And again, if you want to download that listing that I mentioned of faith-based investing companies, you can do that at forward slash faith five. Well, we're about out of time today. Before we go, let me remind us why we do what we do here on this program every day. We gather for Faith and Finance Live because we recognize we all have a high calling. We're money managers for the King of Kings, which means we're to be found faithful as we manage God's resources, faithfulness, obedience over a long period of time, applying the wisdom of God's word to every area of our lives.

And that includes our finances. So thanks for being here today. Thanks for calling and for writing and for your emails. We love to do what we do and serving you to be wise stewards of God's money. I want to say thanks to my team today, Clara, Deb, Amy and Jim couldn't do it without them. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between FaithFi and Moody Radio. We'll see you next time. God bless you. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 20:12:13 / 2023-05-29 20:26:29 / 14

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