Today's Faith in Finance Live is actually not live, so our phone lines are not open. Then Jesus told His disciples, if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16 24. I am Rob West. There's a cost to following Jesus.
Our affluent Western lifestyle can make us complacent and unwilling to accept that cost. Today I'll talk with Michael Blue about surrendering to follow Christ more fully. And we have some great calls lined up, but we won't be taking your live calls today because we're pre-recorded. This is Faith in Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, our guest today, Michael Blue, is the Director of Discipleship at the Ron Blue Institute for Financial Planning.
He's also the author of the groundbreaking book, and I mean that, Free to Follow, Discover the Riches of a Surrendered Life. And Michael, it is great to have you back on the program. It's great to be here, Rob.
Thanks so much for having me. Absolutely. And Michael, complacency, as I mentioned in the opener, is a real problem for us as believers living in the most affluent nation in the history of the world. But it's also a part of your personal story, so I'd love for you to begin there. Tell us how you came to realize that things weren't quite complete.
Absolutely. You know, I think you probably, many of your listeners are familiar with my dad, Ron Blue. But I was blessed to grow up in a home where, you know, he taught me, if you will, how to think biblically about money and finances. And so I learned all of the basics, and you could probably look at my, you know, accounting from a very young age and all the way through when I was a young adult, but I quote unquote did it right. And so I was, if you will, I felt like I was living kind of a model lifestyle, but somewhere in my 30s, I realized that I was simply performing a task, and it really was not connected to anything I did. I was rather empty spiritually. I looked like I was doing the right things from the outside, but inside my heart, I realized that I really hadn't surrendered to Christ. I really didn't know him that well, intimately. I certainly knew a lot about him. And so I had chosen this life that was from the outside that looked really comfortable, looked really good, but on the inside, I really realized that I had no idea what it meant to follow Jesus, and it really shook me up.
Michael, that's powerful. What was it that allowed you to realize that? Was it just an unsettled part of your spirit? Was it a searching of the scriptures? Was it a combination of the two?
What allowed you to uncover this? I think it was a feeling that, you know, we hear a lot in Christian circles about this abundance of life and, you know, joy and peace and all of these things, even the fruit of the Spirit, you know, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness. And I looked at my life, and I really realized that what was there of those were performance, right?
It wasn't necessarily an overflow of my heart. It was like I was attaching fake fruit to branches that looked like fruit, and I'd become really, really good at it. But I kind of, I think I came to a point, Rob, where I questioned in my heart of, am I just doing this because my parents did it because I grew up around a lot of people who did it? Or do I actually believe that the things that Jesus said are true, that he actually is the Son of God, that he actually paid the penalty for my sins? And so that was a huge, huge eye-opening for me. And one more thing, and I know this isn't really the topic of today, but I had a moment when I was actually preparing to preach four or five years ago, where I was overwhelmed by the grace of God in this way, and that I, growing up in a Christian home, always was told that my testimony was just as amazing as the drug addict who comes to Christ out of the gutter, etc. And I would say those things when I would talk, but I never truly believed it until I was reading the Lord's prayer, the high priestly prayer before, in John 17, before he goes to the cross. And he says to the Father, not one of these that you've given me have I lost. And I realized that he says that before all of the disciples abandoned him, before they do all these things, and it just hit me with a ton of books that I was totally lost, and it was only his work that did anything for me that saved me. And that was a huge eye-opening moment for me, where I finally realized very late in my Christianity, really the grace of God that I had received.
Wow, that's powerful. Well, we're going to continue to unpack this today and look at what does it look like to actually surrender? What does that Christian life of surrender look like? What about all these passages in Scripture?
What do they mean? And does that mean ultimately we're called to live a life of austerity? That and much more with Michael Blue today as we unpack his book, Free to Follow, Discovering the Riches of a Surrendered Life. Today's broadcast is prerecorded, and that means we won't be taking any calls. But we do have some calls lined up and lots of great information coming your way that we think you'll find helpful. So stick around for more Faith and Finance Live after this brief break. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. Today we're talking with Michael Blue about surrendering to follow Christ more fully. We're looking at his book called Free to Follow, Discovering the Riches of a Surrendered Life. And Michael, just before the break, you were talking about really this unsettled spirit you had after growing up doing all the right things.
I mean, you're the son of Ron Blue. You've read the books. You, I'm sure, talked about it at the dinner table. And you were checking all the boxes in terms of financial stewardship purely from a financial standpoint. But there was something in your spirit that said, perhaps my heart isn't aligned fully with God's best in this area. So take us into what you've uncovered.
What do you believe the Christian life of surrender actually looks like? Jerry, you know, and I do think that as I've grown in this, I've realized that truly, this is a journey. And money is a way and one of the primary ways we work out these ideas in our life, but it had become kind of the end instead of the means to the end for me.
And I think that's where I really struggled. So as I think about living a life of surrender, for me, it all begins with knowing God and knowing that God is actually better than everything else. I think of Psalm 37, 4, it says, Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. And so the point of me following God is to find the light in him. And as I do that, I believe that he grows my desire for more of him, and he then fulfills that desire.
And it is the reward for following him, above all things, for sure. And then the next, I think, attitude of kind of moving into this idea of surrender is once I know God, I move to a place where I can trust God. If I know who he is and I believe who he is, then I can move to trust that the promises he has for me in Scripture, the invitations he has for me all over the Bible and in my life, begin to come to life for me, and I begin to be able to step into those, as my good friend and mentor, Gary Hoke, says, we don't really figure it out until we live it out. And that all comes as we learn to trust God. And that trust then ultimately leads me into dependence upon God. So surrender ultimately begins with knowing God, moves to trust, but then ultimately it shows up in a way where I am looking to his work in my life, looking to his work and the people of the lives around me, and total dependence on him, and realize that through him is the only way things happen in my life and the lives of other people.
That's powerful. So is one of the primary disconnects here, Michael, that we can actually be dependent upon ourselves? We can build our lives and order our finances in such a way that we're really not depending upon God at all and really trusting in ourselves and our portfolios?
Absolutely. It's such a dangerous part of our spiritual lives, and I think that's why Jesus talks so much about it. That's why Scripture has really warned so much about this idea that my heart is going to be attuned to kind of follow after money and what it promises. But if I really look at the things I'm looking at money to accomplish, what I realize is, what I realize is, generally speaking, those are things that only God can ultimately accomplish, whether it is security, comfort, success, whatever these things I'm looking for, only God can ultimately fill those holes. And so, yeah, I think we oftentimes just look to money to serve the place that God has said, that is my role in your life.
Yeah. You made a powerful statement a moment ago that our financial journey is one of the key ways God shapes our spiritual journey. So what does that then look like, that life of surrender, practically on a day-to-day basis as we work out our spending and saving decisions? Well, I've come to kind of believe in this area that money is important only so far. Like, I must think about it publicly, but at times I take money to just this level that's either too important of a role in my life, or I just try to control so much about money in my life. But I think, practically speaking, for me, when I think about money, I ask, is the way I'm spending money drawing me into a relationship with God?
Is it demonstrating that He is worth everything in my life? And then how is it actually drawing me either towards Him or towards the world? Because what I know about money and the treasure principle, which I'm sure you talk lots and lots about, is where I put my treasure, that's where my heart moves. And so if I understand that it's not about looking Christian with my money or doing certain Christian things with my money, it's actually this fulcrum, as James K.A.
Smith says, that moves my heart and my passions one way or another. Then I begin to see, okay, if I spend my money on this thing, how is this moving my heart? Is it drawing me to desire more, covet more, want more of the world, want to look more like my peers, you know, value the things they... Or is it something that's actually drawing me to value the things of eternity, value God more, see Him as trustworthy, see Him as someone who I can totally depend on in my life? And so my daily decisions truly are, as I use money, spiritual decisions. Something my dad says a lot is just that right there, that every spending decision is a spiritual decision. And I think that that really is true, in that how I am using my money and spending it is drawing my heart spiritually, either towards God or towards the world. And so it's not that I would say, hey, do A, B, C, and D. It's more if I'm asking a question of how is this drawing my heart?
And so you and I are probably going to answer those questions differently in different seasons of our life. And I think that's what's beautiful about Scripture, is that it causes us to come before God. It causes us to be in community with other believers and accountability and encouragement. And as we work this out daily, as things change.
Yes, that's exactly right. Michael, I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't say you've arrived at full surrender, but obviously this is a journey you've been working hard at. So what's the promise for our listeners? If they pursue this life of full surrender, describe what that will mean for them in their relationship and walk with the Lord. You know, it's stripping off something that tends to stand in the way of our relationship with God for most people. I'm sure there are people out there that do not struggle in that way, but I think most of us struggle in pursuing the world and pursuing the things that the world promises above really God.
And so when I am unwilling to remove some of those areas in my life, then I'm kind of cut off from this intimacy with the Father. And so I would say that the journey into surrender and what I experience in surrender is a deeper intimacy with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It's a stronger and deeper desire to know Him. Or just like I quoted Psalm 37 before, when I delight myself in Him, He truly does give me the desires of my heart, which become more and more of Him. And I think all of this kind of leads us kind of back around to the things we talk a lot about of contentment and generosity, and those start to become fruits of our lives. They're not things that we struggle for and we strive for, but they actually become the natural outpourings where I'm more generous with what I have because I kind of have my money in the right place. I'm actually content with what I have because my contentment rests in my relationship with God, not in my circumstances.
And that's really the only place that we're ever going to find that contentment. And so I would say that, yes, I have not arrived, but I'm learning more contentment. I'm learning more intimacy with the Father. I'm desiring more and more to know Him deeply.
And I long for people to enter into that, where they just are hungry to know God and experience Him in and throughout every part of their life. Oh, that's powerful. Well, we've only scratched the surface, Michael, so we're going to have to have you back sometime real soon. Thanks for stopping by. Oh, thanks for having me, Rob.
That was Michael Blue. He's the author of Free to Follow, Discover the Riches of a Surrendered Life. By the way, you can get a copy of Free to Follow with a gift of any amount to Faithfi until the end of June. We're actually calling it the Free to Follow package. Request it with any gift at faithfi.com. Much more to come just around the corner. Stick around. We're Faith and Finance Live, and we talk about our telephone number often because we usually are live.
But today the program is prerecorded. So if you hear a mention of the phone number, please don't call us, but you can find us online at faithfi.com. So thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance as we provide a hopeful, encouraging, biblical message of financial decision-making. You know, it's all about looking through the lens of Scripture, holding what God has entrusted to us loosely so we can give generously. I would submit that's the primary purpose for which God has entrusted resources to us, clearly to provide for ourselves and our families. But I think so often we get stuck in an endless list of needs and wants, never getting beyond that to the opportunity to serve those on our path and be generous, supporting the work of the Lord. Think about that today as you consider your role as a steward in managing God's money.
Back to the phones to Mississippi. James, go ahead, sir. Yes, just a simple question. I'm 78 years old. I owe almost $70,000 on my home. I built it in 1960. I'm sorry.
Here I am. You tell by my age what I'm saying. I built it in 2005.
I'm daydreaming here. But the question is, I've got enough money in the bank to pay it off, money that I was saving for my grandkids when I passed away. But should I take the money and pay the house off? Yes, sir. If you did that, James, would you still have what I call an emergency fund? Would you have some liquid savings beyond the amount that it would take to pay off the mortgage?
No, sir. I'm a retired veteran also, so I've got Social Security and VA plus my retirement. I've got the money to continue to live the lifestyle.
I built it in, like I said, 2005 for my wife, and she passed away. I just don't need this big of a house and yard. Yes, sir.
Okay. But you're planning to keep it, at least based on what you're thinking today? Well, if somebody was to come up and offer me the money, I'd take it in a heartbeat.
Well, you don't have to wait for them to offer it. You could sell it, but I guess I'm trying to determine, are you thinking, or at least in your current plans, to go ahead and sell it and try to downsize, or would you just continue to live there? What are your thoughts on selling versus keeping it? To sell and downsize, I've got too much yard and stuff to keep up at my age.
I want a yard I can mow with a push mower. Okay, very good. Would you expect to do that in the next 12 months, James, or put that house up for sale? Well, I'm already talking to someone about selling.
I've already had one realtor out here, but because of the location and stuff, what I expected to get is not what they're offering. I see. Okay. Well, here's my thought. If you were to tell me, Rob, I'm going to keep this house, and this is at least based on everything I know today, where I'm going to ride out God's calling on my life until he calls me home, I'd say, Yeah, let's go pay off that mortgage, you can leave the home either in trust or through your will, or if your state allows through a transfer on death deed to your heirs, and they would get the proceeds of that sale. But in the meantime, you'd own your home free and clear, you'd reduce your monthly expenses even further, which means you could save more, and you wouldn't be paying any interest. So long as James after you paid it off, you'd still have at least six months worth of expenses in the bank, because I'd love for you to have something there is what I call an emergency fund for you to fall back on.
When the unexpected comes, I don't want you to deplete all your cash. But if you have that emergency fund, and you can pay it off, and you're planning on staying in the house, and I'd say go for it. And let's leave the house to your heirs.
If you're looking to sell it, then I would hang on to the cash, and then just pay for the next home, which would likely be less expensive if you're downsizing potentially, pay for that house with cash, even if you have to eat into some of what you have in reserves, so that you don't have a mortgage. And again, leave that to your heirs. But I also want to make sure in either case that you preserve what I call that emergency fund of three to six months expenses and savings. So give me your thoughts on that.
I agree with you 100%. You know, I've always tried to, you know, live my life according to that. I've got my insurance and all the bank accounts and savings accounts all fixed so that, you know, that's already, you know, PODs and everything.
But good. I just, you know, the house is the only thing that I'm concerned about, you know, and I have two children and but I have grandchildren and everything. My thoughts were, you know, pay it off and you know, let them fight over it, I guess. Yeah, well, yeah, I'd go ahead and best that out and make sure you communicate how you've decided to leave it in advance.
So there's no no fighting and good communication. Let's just kind of settle this one, though. So just tell me real quick, what do you have in reserves right now in savings? Probably about $60,000. All right, what do you own the mortgage?
70. Okay, so you wouldn't quite have enough to pay it off in full, and you would deplete all of your liquid savings, is that right? I mean, with my checking account and other savings, you know, I've got enough money to, you know, I'm hiding some in 10 cans in the backyard.
So I've got some. Okay. But you'd barely be able to pay it off, though, even if you rob all those 10 cans, and you'd be out of cash, essentially, right?
Yes, sir. Okay, so I'm not a big fan of that, because I don't want you to be down, you know, to zero. So what I would do is probably hang on to your cash. Let's just, you know, let's go ahead and work through the process of getting this sold so you can downsize it and get that smaller yard and that smaller house.
And then let's just buy that next house with cash as opposed to you trying to pay it off and stretching and finding every dollar and then you being out of cash and having it all tied up in your house. Okay. I understand. Appreciate it very much.
That's the first decent answer I've got. All right. Hey, James, let me tell you, thank you for your service to our country, sir. Thank you, sir. Bye-bye. All right. Bye-bye.
Man, what a delightful gentleman to speak to today. Well, folks, we've got a lot more to come here on Faith and Finance. Just a quick reminder, we're not here today, so don't call in, but we're going to head to a break and much more coming just after this. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance live here in our final segment of the broadcast today.
Let me remind you, our team is not here, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance. We'll get to those in just a moment. Before we do, let me remind you, if you haven't downloaded the FaithFi app, we'd love for you to check it out. It's got three sections in it. The first is the money management system based on Larry Burkett's digital envelope system. It helps you manage God's money in a way where you know exactly what's left in each envelope at any point during the month.
There's also our learn tab where you can access the best content and biblical finance to grow in your understanding of God's way of handling money and our community where you can post questions, get comments and ideas from other stewards on the journey. So download it today on our website, faithfi.com, just click app. All right, back to the phones we go. Aaron in Ohio, you've been waiting very patiently. Go ahead.
Hey Mr. West, thank you for taking my call. I just wanted to ask you, I owe some back taxes, probably two or three years I haven't filed. I'm self-employed and my earnings has grown over that time period.
I don't believe I'll owe a lot, but my question is, could you connect me with somebody from what you guys do to clear that up? And then secondly, what is a safe percentage that I can save each week out of my pay to prevent owing the IRS money at the end of the year? Yeah, it's a great question Aaron, and you should absolutely file a return for those years that you haven't. If you don't have the money to pay the taxes, you could get on a payment plan at IRS.gov. You can also apply for an offer in compromise if you have a hardship that the IRS accepts, and that could reduce what you have to pay. I would in fact hire a tax professional to help you through this, and it's an expense that really could pay for itself by reducing the amount you'll ultimately have to pay, potentially. So if you give your information when we're done here, I'll make sure we connect you with somebody who could assist you with this, who has a lot of experience in representing taxpayers before the IRS, and it'll be a gentleman who shares your values and really can help you through this. In terms of the percentage, I would probably start by putting 30% away if you're self-employed.
Now, better yet would be to do some tax planning with a professional, so maybe the person who helps you represent you before the IRS could help you just do some calculations and determine what the actual percentage is that you need, but 30% is just a good rule of thumb for you to put aside and then go ahead and pay that in quarterly, and you'll get a better handle on that in the years following, but I think that would be a good starting point, okay? A wonderful advice. Thank you, sir. All right, Aaron, you stay on the line. We'll get your information. We'll get you connected with somebody who can help you get squared away with the IRS. We appreciate your call today.
To Virginia. Hi, Betty. Go ahead. I have a question about a life insurance policy. Okay. I'm 66, and I get Social Security each month, and I have a and I have a part-time job. My part-time job is at a funeral home, and I got a really good deal on making pre-arrangements for my own funeral. Okay. This is not something I would normally have done, but I've had two deaths within two years of close family members.
Yes, ma'am. So, at this point, I have paid for a space at the cemetery. My funeral is prepaid, and I'm still paying on a life insurance policy. I go back and forth between whether I need to keep this. I could cash it in, and I could make a payment on the first mortgage I have against my home. I also have a second mortgage that I just got into recently. So, I'm undecided whether to maintain this policy, which would provide income for my three children when I do pass away, or cash it in now, put it right on my first mortgage, which would help me financially. Yeah, yeah.
I appreciate that background, Betty. You know, it doesn't sound to me like you really need that life insurance policy any longer, especially given that you've covered your final expenses through preparation for your funeral and burial and so forth. So, if it were me, I would cash in that policy because nobody's depending upon you for your income, which would be lost if you die. So, really, that life insurance policy is unnecessary. You could take the proceeds of that and, as you said, pay down the mortgage, which would reduce your expenses, assuming you can eliminate one of those mortgages.
And I think, obviously, that would free up capital that, at your death, would be available through the sale of the home to pass on to your heirs. But continuing to fund a policy that's going to get more and more expensive likely as you age and, you know, add expenses to your monthly living expenses, I just don't think makes a lot of sense for you just kind of given where you're at. The one thing you do need to keep in mind is you may have to pay some income taxes on any portion of the policy that is considered earnings. So, not your premiums, but the earnings portion of it, so you'll just need to determine that so that doesn't catch you by surprise. But I like the idea of you cashing this in, reducing your expenses and trying to live as lean as possible as opposed to continuing to fund this policy.
Okay, okay. It won't pay off either of the two mortgages, but it will pay almost half on the first one. Okay, yeah, so it wouldn't reduce your expenses at all then.
Well, I mean, I won't have this premium to pay each month. That's true, yeah, on the mortgage, I mean, but you're exactly right. So, you would alleviate the monthly premium or semi-annual premium on the life insurance which would obviously go right back into your budget and be available to give you a little bit more cushion. So, yeah, I think that's the primary reason to do it and you're accelerating the payoff of these mortgages. Why would you opt for the first mortgage as opposed to the second in terms of how to use this money?
Well, the first one has a lower balance and it has a higher interest rate. Oh, okay. And it was a 30-year loan which I have been paying on for about 15 years. Okay. But last year I started paying a little extra on the principal. Yeah. The second mortgage I just started in February of this year, it has a better interest rate, but I've only made several payments, so I don't know that I'll even live long enough to pay both of these off. Yeah, yeah, and that's okay.
This is where you're going to stay, then obviously whatever is available at your death would be able then to be passed on. Is it a fixed rate, this new second mortgage? Yes. Okay, great.
Both of them are. Okay, excellent. And if the first mortgage is lower, and as you said, it's a lower balance but also a lower interest rate, or did you say it's high?
No, you said the first mortgage is higher than the new second on the interest rate, correct? Yes. Okay, yeah. So I completely concur. I think that's the right approach.
You eliminate this expense of the policy premium and you save some money in interest, and you set yourself up to hopefully pay that off a little quicker. We appreciate your call today, Betty. God bless you. Thanks for being on the program. Folks, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, Jose in Florida, we're coming your way, and then Sarah in Louisiana. Folks, we have a high calling as stewards of God's resources, so let's apply God's wisdom from the Bible to your financial decisions and choices. We'll do that together when we come back from this quick break on Faith and Finance. Stay with us. This is our final segment of a Faith and Finance Live program that we previously recorded.
Thanks so much for being with us today, and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of the program. By the way, if you've not checked out our website recently, we'd love for you to do that. The wealth of content, articles, podcasts, and videos there to help you be a wise and faithful steward of God's money is incredible. You'll find it all at faithfi.com. You can visit that on your smartphone or on your desktop. Again, faithfi.com. Just click the content button. Also, while you're there, check out the Faithfi app that can help you manage God's money and access all of this great content on the go.
Just click the app tabs. Again, it's all at faithfi.com. All right, back to the phones.
We go to Florida. Hi, Jose. Go ahead, sir. God bless you. Thanks for taking my call.
Yes, sir. A few years ago, I was lucky to be able to retire a little early, and I moved my family to Florida. I'm living here, working part-time.
My wife works full-time. Now, come January, I'm able to get the retirement income from that last job. Now, I'm a little skeptical on taking an annuity, given the times that we're living. I know I have an option to take a lump sum instead. I was wondering if I did that, I know I have to do it a certain way to avoid penalties, and what would I invest it in? Yeah, it's a good question. Do you have the amounts on either the monthly income stream, the annuitization, versus the lump sum?
Yes. Okay, what would they give you as a lump sum to start with? The lump sum would be about $950,000 versus, I believe they divide that to 20 years, so it would be something like $35,000 to $3600 a month, maybe a little more. Yeah, and is that just for your life, or is that for your life plus your wife? That would be for me, and if, God forbid, something happened to me, she would get half. Okay, she'd get half of the annuitized monthly payment for the rest of her life? Correct.
Yeah. Yeah, just kind of doing some back-of-the-envelope math here, I really much prefer the lump sum option, because if that was invested conservatively, number one, you'd have access to the full amount if you all needed it. Let's say one of you needed to go into long-term care and that would run you $100,000 plus a year, or you had something come out of left field and you needed to access the money, you'd be able to do that. We would typically use a 4% withdrawal rate on that, so you could maintain principal balance and pull that 4% a year as income. That, you know, at 4% on $960,000 or $950,000, that's north of $3,000 a month, $3,100 a month, and that's, you know, maintaining the $950,000. So even, you know, over the long term, if it's invested properly, you should preserve that balance, if not grow it a little bit, and be able to draw that essentially nearly the same income that they're proposing that at your death gets cut in half. And, you know, you and I as men are gonna, on the average, pre-decease our wives, and so now she'd be looking at, you know, $1,600, $1,700 a month versus being able to continue this income stream of $3,000 a month or more, and again, still having access to the full principal. Does that make sense?
I agree with you 100%, and that's why I needed to discuss it with you. And then again, what would I invest it in? Yeah, well this is a significant sum of money, so what I would be doing is hiring an investment advisor who you interview and you feel like is a good fit and you have a good rapport and, you know, they understand what God's doing with you and your wife in this next season of life and your risk tolerance and your values, and then they can build a portfolio that would probably be, you know, somewhere around 30%, maybe 40 in stocks, maybe 60 to 70% in bonds, maybe with some income generation. It could even be values aligned using faith-based investments if that was a conviction of yours, but they build and manage that portfolio, and so what I would do is head to our website and find some certified Kingdom advisors in your area. I'd interview two or three and find the one that's the best fit. When this comes to you, I would roll it or they will instruct you to roll it to an IRA so it's not a taxable event, keeps it in a tax-deferred environment, and then you all could set up as an income stream to have this paid out to you, you know, in whatever monthly amount you need, and then you could even do some giving out of it through a qualified charitable distribution as you wanted to.
So the way you'd find some advisors to interview in your area is just head to our website faithfi.com, that's faithfi.com, and then just click find a CKA and you can do a zip code search. That's perfect. Thank you so much, Rob. I appreciate the advice. Absolutely, Jose. You've worked hard, man, so enjoy it. This is going to be hopefully an exciting season for you guys as the Lord continues to use you in some new ways. We appreciate you being on the program.
To Louisiana. Hi, Sarah. Go ahead. Thank you for taking my call.
Sure, thank you. Well, I think, like I told the lady, my question is, my husband and I have a home and it's paid off. We don't have any debts. We have a few dollars in the bank savings, but he's concerned that if we go with the Lord tomorrow, my daughter is going to have a hard time collecting the house if we don't have the will or if we don't give her power of attorney, or I'm not sure exactly what's the name of it. So I was wondering, what is your best advice for a situation like that? We only have about, I think about $20,000. He's retired, Social Security and from the Navy.
I'm still part time working, not too much. But that's my question. Okay, very good. Do you all have a will currently, Sarah? No, sir, we haven't. We keep saying we're going to the base to do a will and we keep postponing, I guess we're scared to do a will.
Well, that's really an important next step for you all. Louisiana does not recognize what's called a transfer on death deed. So you wouldn't be able to add that to the house, but your will would basically determine or allow you to acknowledge how you and your husband want your assets to be transferred through the probate court at your death.
You don't want them making that decision for you. You want to be able to instruct the probate court through your will, and according to your wishes, how your assets, including your home, are distributed at your death. So some people are fearful about creating a will because they think, well, as soon as I create the will, I'm going to die. No, God's in control of that, right?
And we need to be wise stewards of our resources. And this is the last stewardship decision you will make, and so you need to see this as a part of being a faithful steward of what God has entrusted to you. So I would, without delay, I would make an appointment with an attorney who can help you put that will in place, and that will ensure and give you and your husband peace of mind that you've done the planning necessary to have your assets, including your home, transferred appropriately at your death.
Okay, one more question then. If she's married, is there any stipulation we can put in the will that the money is only for her, or by law, she has to share with her with her husband? Yeah, you might want to put it into a trust in order to accomplish your wishes on that, as opposed to a will, and you could talk to the attorney about that. It'd be a little bit more expensive, Sarah, but you would retitle the house in the name of the revocable trust, and your daughter could be a beneficiary of the trust, and there could be certain conditions and stipulations as to how the proceeds of the trust, including this home that would be sold at your death, are distributed. So it would give you a little bit more control, but you'd want to talk to the attorney about that.
Okay, and last question, I'll let you go. Is it true that if you are old and you've got to go to a nursing home, can they take your home away from you to pay for the nursing home? Yeah, so you're talking about, you know, if you spend down all of your assets in a nursing home?
Yes. Yeah, you know, there are certain protections. Nursing homes cannot take a person's home or require them to sell it to pay for care.
However, if you're using Medicaid to cover nursing costs, you are at the risk of your home being seized by the government upon your death to reimburse expenses, but they can't force you to sell your home to pay for care. Okay, well, thank you so much. You've been very, very helpful. I hope my husband was listening.
Well, have him call us if he has some questions. Thanks for being on the program, Sarah. We appreciate it.
To West Virginia. Hi, Joyce. Go ahead. Hi.
I have a question. I got a letter from the Department of Labor telling me that the Social Security made a mistake of $77,100 and something dollars in 2010, and that it was their mistake, and that they were going to make a decision and they made a decision that I should pay it back. But it was not my mistake.
It was their mistake. So they have decided that I should pay it back. Also, that I should pay $4,400 interest on top of it.
On top of it. So they took 700 and something dollars first, which was the mistake out of my check. And then on top of that, now they're taking $550. The Department of Labor is taking it. $550 out of my check a month.
Yeah. Well, here's what I would do. I mean, obviously this is a significant sum of money, and so it's worth you spending some time and even money to try to get this overturned.
There's two steps here. Number one is to file what's called a reconsideration appeal that has to be done within 65 days of the date on the notice of payment. And so you want to go ahead and file that reconsideration appeal. And then I would find a social security disability attorney, someone who specializes in these types of things to help you. We'll certainly be praying for you, Joyce.
I know this can be frustrating and you really need some godly help and counsel to help you navigate it. Thanks for being on the program today. Well, that's going to do it for us today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith. Thank you to my amazing broadcast team. Clara, Deb, Amy and Jim couldn't do it without them. I hope you have a great rest of your day and we'll see you next time on Faith and Finance Live.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 18:37:11 / 2023-05-31 18:53:55 / 17