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The Road to Financial Freedom

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2023 1:00 am

The Road to Financial Freedom

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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July 4, 2023 1:00 am

The 4th of July is the day we celebrate our nation’s independence. It’s also a great day to take stock of your financial independence. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will guide you toward the road to financial freedom and suggest how you can get back on track if necessary. Then he’ll answer some questions on different financial topics. 

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Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Rob West and Steve Moore
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore

The following program was prerecorded so our phone lines are not open. It's the 4th of July, the day we celebrate our nation's independence. It's also a great day to take stock of your financial independence.

Hi, I'm Rob West. Are you on the road to financial freedom or falling under the bondage of money? It's one or the other. Either you control your money or your money controls you. We'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 and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Independence gave our nation freedom and financial independence also gives freedom, the freedom to make choices. But to get there, you must gain control over your money.

When you do, you'll have a greater ability to decide many things where and how you live, where you work and how much you work. Now, when we talk about financial freedom or independence, we are definitely not talking about independence from God. He owns everything and provides everything we need to live and to serve his kingdom.

James 1 17 reads, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Even our ability to earn money comes from God. Deuteronomy 8 18 tells us, You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant, that he swore to your fathers as it is this day. Now, to be sure, God wants you to be financially free, because that allows you to be more generous and to serve him more fully.

Sadly, folks often say they'd love to give more to God's kingdom, but they just can't afford to. The more you control the money flowing through your household, the more generous you can be. And that's why we should all be on the road to financial freedom.

So how do you know if you've made a wrong turn somewhere? Look for a signpost that says debt. The greater your debt, the less freedom you have. Proverbs 22 7 puts it rather bluntly, The rich rule over the poor, the borrower is the slave of the lender. That's because when you're in debt, you're really working for someone else, not yourself, and certainly not for God. The more you have to pay out each month to service your debt, the less freedom you have to use that money in other ways, like serving God more fully. Now, there's more to being financially free than just avoiding debt. Unfortunately, debt is just one form of financial bondage.

There's another that's more difficult to recognize. With this form of financial bondage, you may have no debt at all. That's because you can be rolling in money and still be slave to it. This bondage is the mindset that material things will make you happy. When you think that way, you strive to acquire more and more. But the truth is, after a certain point, you no longer own things. They own you.

You have to care for them, clean them, store them, secure them. The more you acquire, the more restricted you become. Money, of course, is just a tool to be used wisely or not. Having a lot of it can enslave you just as effectively as having debt if you're not careful. And while wealth itself is not evil, the Bible has clear warnings about your attitude toward it.

It comes down to a heart issue. 1 Timothy 6.10 tells us, For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Here are the danger signs for this type of financial bondage. First, you think so much about money that you have no peace with God. Your focus is day to day rather than eternal. You can't give as generously as you would like or think you should. An opportunity comes along to be more generous. You have the money, but you just can't make yourself do it. You think, I might need that money for something else, so you don't act when you feel God is leading you.

If that happens repeatedly, you're in financial bondage. Then there's a lack of contentment. You always want bigger, better, faster. You're not content with God's provision.

You crave more. When you think that way, it doesn't matter how much money you have, it'll never be enough. Ecclesiastes 5.10 reads, He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.

This also is vanity. So how do you get back on the road to financial freedom? Well, obviously, if you're in debt, you have to stop borrowing, get on a budget and start paying down your debt. The FaithFi app can help you set up your budget quickly and easily. Learn more at If you have the other form of financial bondage with plenty of money and possessions, but no peace, try giving more. Giving actually breaks the power that money has to enslave us.

And if you follow God's principles for managing money, avoid debt, save diligently and give generously, you can experience true financial freedom. You're listening to Faith and Finance Live. Today's broadcast is prerecorded, so please keep that in mind.

We're going to pause now for a brief break. Then we'll be back after that with more on Faith and Finance Live. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

Our team is away from the studio today. We're not here, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance, and we'll get to those in just a moment. First, as I look at the Scriptures, one of the big ideas that literally jumps off the page when you look at this area of finance in light of a biblical worldview is the idea of contentment. We should foster an attitude of contentment.

And I think that's the first understanding is that it is, in fact, an attitude. Matthew 6 33 says, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. If our aim is the kingdom, then that changes our perspective.

It makes it focused on the eternal, not the temporal, and that's a game changer. Well, then, from an attitude, we learn that contentment is, in fact, learned. The apostle Paul said it this way, Not that I'm speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. That's Philippians 4 11. So it's a learned behavior. It's also a choice. You know, I can choose to be content in every circumstance, rich or poor, happy or sad, easy or difficult, because as Christ followers, well, our position in Christ never changes. And I think that's an important reminder for us today.

And perhaps it could change your whole approach to your money. All right, let's get to our calls today. We're going to begin in Texas with John. Go ahead, sir. Yes, sir, Rob.

Great to be in touch with you. My wife, my wife, about 30 years or 20 years ago, took out $100,000 life insurance policy. We just sort of coached along with it and never paid any premium on it until I discovered recently that she had dumped $32,000 into it upfront. So we would get statements in recent days as to what it costs.

This would be a yearly statement as to what it costs for insurance and then all the other little expenses. So we got notice the other day, each of us got a letter that it's in grace. So theoretically, it's expired, but we can get it out of grace within the next 10 days. But I'm asking them, we are 90 years old, each one of us. Well, I'll be 90 in about a week.

She was just 90 two days ago. So, you know, if I called an insurance company and said, hey, I am 90 years old, I'd like to get insurance from you, they'd just click hang up on me. They might offer you a policy.

It'd be pretty expensive, though. Well, I did. I get burial policy candidates. You know, they said, hey, you know, how about burial policy? Yeah, that's just what I want.

Get me into it right now. Yes, sir. And then when I tell them 90 years old, they just hang up. But anyway. Oh, the fun you can have when you're 90.

I love it. Hey, Rob, you know, I'm a Christian. In fact, I'm a retired army chaplain and I thought that the road would get easier, you know, at the end of life.

No, no, it's getting tougher every day, but there's more joy every day. Oh, I just put in that plug. I know where I'm going. Yes, sir.

I know where I'm going and it's worth a million dollars to make more than insurance policy. But, you know, my wife and I have talked it over. It's of no value to her because it's on her and it could come to me or the family.

Yes. And I have said, no way that we're going to be able to carry it on and they won't negotiate with me. I said, just give me a ballpark figure, at least on how much it would take to continue this policy. Right.

Oh, again, we can't do that until we get it out of grace. Five hundred and forty dollars. So I say, well, can you bring it down to twenty five? No, it probably wouldn't be twenty five. It probably has to be fifty due to the amount of premium that's already put in it. So, you know, if you figure a good investment doubles every seven years and that's doubled three times and it's worth about two hundred and forty thousand dollars right now to them somewhere in their inventory.

And I just hate to drop the thing totally without getting something out of it. Yeah. And there's no cash value that's built up at this point, John. Is that right?

Zero right now. I don't know if that's because it has become, well, for all practical purposes, defunct. I think, you know. Well, what happened is she put in that lump sum at the beginning and there was a mortality expense, the actual cost to carry the insurance based on the actuarial tables. And they were just slowly pulling out the amount that she invested into it to cover the cost of the mortality expense, essentially the premiums. I didn't realize what was going on. But, you know, you're explaining now. And so now you had I mean, you had that death benefit during that period of time. The challenge is, to your point, to spend five hundred dollars only to find out that the premiums to continue it at age 90 is cost prohibitive just doesn't, you know, make much sense.

No, it doesn't calculate. We aren't going to do that. Yeah. But if I could reduce it to twenty five thousand face value. Yeah. And say a hundred contributed one hundred and fifty dollars.

I don't know. So that would even be close. I'd probably want more than that. I suspect they would.

I suspect they would, unfortunately. So as much as I agree with you and you don't like to pay on this for as many years as you have and not have anything to show for it, you can feel good about the fact that you were offsetting a risk that existed during this period of time. Whereas if the Lord were to have called one of you home, the other would have had that to maybe pay off some debt or help to fund expenses, that type of thing. But I think at this point, my recommendation would be if they're not willing to tell you what those premiums would be, I'd probably drop it. I think that's going to be five hundred dollars that I'd rather you keep in your emergency fund and and just let this policy go. And I assume you all have the assets to cover burial expenses and your ongoing living expenses.

Yes, we have. Yeah. So I think you could just look at this as, you know, with any insurance, we're offsetting a risk that exists, whether that's the risk of our home, you know, having a problem, a car accident or one of us predeceasing the other and then creating a hardship. And so you were paying for that benefit that you didn't have to use by God's grace. And at this point, we let that go and know that you have other assets that will step in and and offset this risk that really no longer exists. And so I would probably just let that policy collapse.

Yeah, I figured averaging out it probably cost us about one hundred dollars a month over those 20 years for term insurance. Yeah, exactly. That's a great way to look at it, John. And I think that's very appropriate.

It was a it was a responsible thing to do as a steward, but it's no longer needed. And I think that's the bottom line at this point. Sure. OK, well, you're in agreement with me.

I had come to a tentative conclusion, at least. And thank you for your confirmation. Well, John, thank you for your testimony of your faith in Jesus and your assurance of the hope of heaven and for your service to our country. Sir, we're grateful. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. God bless you. You're doing a great work up there. Well, thank you, John.

Call back any time. You are a delight to speak to. And hey, happy birthday to you and your wife. God bless you, John. Those conversations, phone calls like that make this a delight to do. Boy, what a pleasure to talk to John today. Well, folks, just a quick reminder, our team is away from the studio today, so don't call in. But we've got some great questions lined up in advance. Hey, before we head into this next break, let me remind you that if you haven't checked out faith five dot com, that's faith f i dot com.

I'd love for you to do that. You'll find the best content in biblical finance there for you to grow in your understanding of managing money God's way. You'll find our community and the money management system.

It's all there at faith five dot com. This is faith and finance live and we'll be right back. Hey, you're listening to faith and finance live with Rob West.

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.

Here's our approach on this program each day. We want to be hopeful and encouraging, help you as a steward on your journey to be faithful and managing God's money because that's what we all manage. One hundred percent is God's. The Bible says in Psalms, the earth is the Lord and everything in it. So it all belongs to him. And therefore, we're stewards or managers of those resources.

And the only way a steward can be effective in his or her role is to understand the heart of his or her master. So we go back to scripture and pull out the big ideas and themes and help you apply those to your daily financial decisions and choices. Back to the phones we go.

Texas is where Esther is located. Esther, thank you for your patience. Go right ahead.

Thank you for taking my call. Of course. I fall within your recommended limits for needing long term care coverage. Yes. And I was wondering if you could speak to some of the pros and cons of the kind of new or hybrid long term care life insurance policies versus just a straight long term care policy.

Yes, I'd be delighted to. And so for the benefit of our audience, you can buy a standalone long term care insurance policy that's specifically for that purpose, or you can add it as a rider. So it's an add on benefit with an additional cost to a whole life policy. To your question here, Esther, as to the pros and cons, you know, there's a convenience factor just by, you know, merging these policies into one, it can be more cost effective only if you were already planning to have a whole life policy. If you weren't, and you're specifically buying the whole life policy just to get the long term care insurance, well, then it's going to be more expensive than just buying the pure long term care insurance. But if you were planning to have one or you already do have one and you were going to add it, that's where you could have some cost effective savings.

The downside is, you know, going back to the cost for a second, it can increase the premium significantly. Again, it tends to be more expensive than if you were to buy just a pure standalone LTC policy. There's also limited coverage. So you just need to be aware that the coverage offered by a long term care insurance rider on a whole life insurance policy is often going to have some limitations. There may be caps on the daily or monthly benefit amount. There may be a waiting period that's a little bit longer before it kicks in than a standalone policy. There might be restrictions on the types of even care that's covered. So you really need to review that carefully and just understand that a pure long term care insurance policy is going to have a bit more in the way of customizations for you to get exactly the cost that you're looking for, you know, for that policy or not the cost, but the features that you're looking for for that policy. And then with regard to the whole life policy itself, you know, by allocating a portion of the premium to that long term care rider, you're of course going to have less cash value accumulation in your whole life insurance policy. So that's going to impact the growth potential of your policies cash value over time. So I think at the end of the day, you do need to probably get some advice from a financial advisor just to look at your overall financial picture and determine, you know, what the best direction is for you. You know, often what I will recommend is that you handle your life insurance through a term policy while you're accumulating outside of insurance products for your retirement assets, and then just add this straight long term care insurance policy where you're just paying for the, you know, the expense based on the tables of what it will take to offset that particular coverage and not continue to fund as a part of that this expensive whole life policy, you know, for the rest of your life, especially if you don't need it because you've already accumulated other assets that will really cover your other living expenses beyond long term care for the rest of your life. Does that all make sense though?

It does. So the ones where you say take the the large chunk of assets, the 80 to 100,000 for a single person pay that up front, and then the hybrid says, Okay, you have so much available for long term care. And if you don't use that, then when you pass, life insurance would come back. Yes, you know, this amount to your beneficiary. Yeah, yeah, your beneficiary.

I'm sorry. Yeah. So that still, it's still better to go just simply with a long term care policy. If, if you don't feel like you need that whole life. I think that's right, because there is a mortality expense built in there for the full death benefit. And you're right, as you'll use that long term care insurance, or if you need it, it will chip away at that death benefit and erode what will ultimately be available for your beneficiaries. But I would just question whether or not you need that full death benefit, you know, in the event you don't need the long term care insurance.

And if you don't, then I'd rather you pay just for the straight cost of the long term care insurance, which is going to be less than, you know, paying the mortality expense plus the ability for the long term care on the full death benefit that's available through the policy. All right, that answers my question. Thank you so very much. Okay, Esther, thank you for calling today. We appreciate it.

God bless you. Let's head to Texas. Paul, you'll be next on the program, sir. Go ahead.

Yeah, hey, I'll listen to you guys whenever I get a chance to and I love your program. Thank you got a question about debt, particularly credit card debt. But yeah, I started I am an accountant. Okay. All right. But I started my life with these spiritual aspect of the borrower is the slave of the lender. Yes, sir. And I'm thinking no, I'm not going to go there. And then I end up getting into business. Okay.

And what I find is or what my attitude now is, if we got an asset, and I can partner with the bank, they provide the cash, I provide the work, we generate revenue is that let me do that. Let me interrupt you, Paul. I hate to do this. I've got to take a break. But I want to hear what you have to say. So you stay right there.

We'll finish up on the other side. This is Faith and Finance Live. And even though we're not here today and can't take your live calls, there's much more ahead on the program.

So please stay tuned. You're listening to Faith and Finance Live. This program is pre recorded, so we're not available to answer your calls.

But you can email us your questions at Ask Rob at Just before the break, we were talking to Paul in Texas. Paul was saying he's an accountant. He started out his financial life as an adult with a firm understanding of what Proverbs 22 says, and that is the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is slave of the lender. And that was rolling around in his mind. And then he went into business. And Paul, you were sharing that perhaps you had some other ideas once you were a business owner.

Pick up where you left off. Well, I mean, what I learned in business school, land, labor, capital, and the entrepreneur is how the economy works or how modern economy works. Yes, sir. Okay. And so you have to have an entrepreneur, which is me trying to make business affairs work that generate money. But you have to have capital. Yeah.

And I don't have enough money to buy a ton of stuff out of my pocket. And so the thing is, the way I saw it or the way I came to see it is that, so if I take a mortgage on a piece of property and I'm making it pay a monthly rent, by the way, I'm also able to provide a home for somebody and witness to them and be part of their life, which is part of what I like to do. I love that. Yeah. But nevertheless, if the whole thing goes south, I mean, I've thought if my county turned into a smoke and hole in the ground, my assets are in trouble, aren't they? But anyway, in that case, the way I saw it is I don't have to be a slave.

If this thing goes south and it won't pay, I just let them take them, take the property back and walk away. That's right. And so I'm just curious as to what kind of comments you might have about that approach.

Yeah. Well, I think you're exactly right. And so we need to heed the warnings in scripture that are plain. And that is starting with this idea that we just said in Proverbs 22 seven, a lender borrower relationship changes the relationship and it's a slave master relationship.

And so although borrowing is not a sin in scripture, there are clear warnings throughout scripture around the use of debt. So how do we approach it then? Well, I think there's some rules for borrowing that really get at the heart of what you were just saying, starting with the idea that because borrowing always mortgages the future, there needs to be an economic return that's greater than the economic cost whenever we're borrowing. And that would exactly be the case with the situation you're describing. We're buying an appreciating asset, not a car or dinner last night, you know, that's depreciating.

But that's right. We're buying an appreciating asset. So the economic return, at least based on everything we know at the purchase, is going to be greater than the economic cost. Number two, never presume upon the future. So there needs to be a guaranteed way to repay what's borrowed.

Well, in your case, there is. You'd sell the property or they'd take it from you and satisfy the loan. Number three, recognize God gave you a spouse to complete you, not to frustrate you, and therefore spouses must be in complete agreement before you borrow. And then number four, never deny God an opportunity to provide, and therefore there should be no other alternatives. But if we apply those four principles or ideas, economic return greater than the economic cost, guaranteed way to repay, spouses in agreement, and no other alternatives, then I think we've at least put ourselves in a position to use debt in a way that's appropriate. And I would add to that, let's seek to get out of debt over our lives so that ultimately, when it's appropriate, we're completely unencumbered.

And at that point, we'll be most free to follow the leading and the Lord and whatever he calls us to. Yeah, well, what I'm looking at here is I'm 67. Yes, sir.

And I anticipate having everything paid completely off within about the next year. Wow. And then if we have to, I'm reserving the right to hire a management agency for total manage, uh, what do they call it? Mailbox money. Yeah. Okay.

If it's fully paid for, I can pay 10% off the top, uh, for, for, to get the mailbox money. We don't have to do anything, but I love it. You know, it's a ministry for me to provide homes for people, uh, even if they have pets.

Yes, sir. Well, I love your approach here, Paul. I think you're doing it exactly right. I think you are heating the warnings that are in scripture and yet still using debt responsibly to be able to, uh, build your assets. Also using those as a platform for ministry, which is phenomenal.

Uh, and you're going to be debt free here in the next year or so, which is incredible. So I would affirm everything you're doing. And I think, um, you know, what you're describing is the, is the right way to go about this.

Well, I just wanted a second opinion that I'll listen to any time I get a chance to. Okay. Hey, God bless you, Paul. We appreciate you being on the program.

My friend, uh, quickly to Colorado. Hi, Carla. Thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi.

Thank you so much for your ministry. I really appreciate it. And I had a question because I have two credit cards. One I use for online shopping. It has a very low credit limit. And the other one I just normally use for, for everyday use. Both have never accumulated any debt, but I wondered what you thought of the idea.

Yeah, I think that's fine. I mean, I think the key to limit your cards is number one is to keep you out of financial trouble. It's, you know, one less card that has an available limit that, uh, you know, you could just decide on a whim to use and perhaps use beyond, uh, what you budgeted.

And so that's always a risk. Number two, it's one other account to keep up with because you really need to monitor them all regularly just to make sure nobody's compromised the account charged it fraudulently. Number three, just make sure you understand, uh, with these low limit, uh, credit cards that if you're using it on a regular basis and you're paying it off by the due date, what's being reported to the credit bureau is the balance at the end of the cycle prior to you paying it to zero. And if it's got a low limit, there's a good likelihood that that's pushing your credit utilization for that card up above 30% and that's going to pull your credit score down. So just understand the implications of that. Now, is that a big deal month to month?

No, not really. Unless you're, you know, that happens to be the month where you're going out to buy a house or a car and you need to borrow some money and you want to make sure that that scores up in the top tier so you get the most favorable terms. But just be aware that that could be happening and it's more likely with one of these low limit credit cards that are often made available through the retail stores.

Yes, I understand that and I mostly use it just as a matter of security because of the exposure online and that's why I keep the credit limit low. But yeah, thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it. Well, you're welcome and I don't have any problem with the way you're doing it.

It sounds like you're handling things pretty responsibly. So thanks for calling and checking with us, Carla. We appreciate it. George, we're going to be coming your way after the break. Also, we did hear from a caller, Jackie, who was asking how those cash back credit cards work.

She wasn't able to hold. Essentially, Jackie, one of the ways these credit card companies make money is through a merchant rebate. They get a portion of every transaction. They're just passing that along to you in hopes that you'll use their card, eventually run up a balance and they can charge you interest and late fees. So they're not coming out of pocket.

They're just giving you a portion of that merchant rebate. Well, folks, we're going to take one more quick break and then back with our final segment today. But if you need assistance from a financial or legal professional, we'd love for you to visit and click Find a CKA.

That stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor, our preferred designation for financial advice from a biblical worldview. We're back with much more just around the corner. Stick around. 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. Hey, before we head back to the phones, if you're a part of the faith and finance community, perhaps you listen to this program with regularity and you've found some benefit or you just want to help us support our work in reaching more and more people with the message of God's financial wisdom. Well, you can do that by making a gift to our ministry.

We are listener supported. This is a not for profit ministry, and we rely on listener support to do what we do. And if you'd like to support our work, it would go a long way to helping us to give any amount.

And we mean that if it's forty dollars or four hundred or four thousand, whatever you can do, we'd be grateful. Just head to our website, Faith Fi dot com. That's Faith Fi dot com. And then just click the give button again.

Faith Fi dot com. Just click give thanks in advance. All right. Let's round out the program today with as many calls as we can get to. We'll head to Texas again.

A lot of calls from Texas today. Hi, George. Go ahead, sir. Hey, how's it going, sir? Great. Thanks.

Go ahead. So I need your help. Me and my wife and I, we have three kids. We've heard a lot of debt, having a lot of our stuff, trying to build up flyer miles, etc. And we've overspent a lot, bought a house and stuff like that. So my issue is we're trying to get rid of our debt. I'm about to occur about 10 grand more due to covid. We lived in California at the time and I was a hairstyling teacher at an academy and we were laid off and hired laid off multiple times.

And so they have said I am now going to be over. I was overpaid and I got to owe them $10,000, unfortunately. So we were looking into doing maybe like debt consolidation. Possibly we didn't really want to but bankruptcy or like a HELOC loan, but I don't think we have enough home equity.

I was just kind of wondering what you think would be the best. I don't really understand debt consolidation. If I'm giving my debt to another company and they're negotiating and then it still looks bad on my credit or what? Yeah. All right. Let's dive into this.

What I think you're describing there on the tail end is what's called debt settlement. But we can get into that in a moment. First of all, George, let me just say I'm really sorry to hear about the situation you're in. I realize you're taking ownership for part of it. Part of this is just a result of you being in and out of work. And I know going back, you'll probably wish you could make some different decisions.

And yet here's where we are. So let's try to be wise and faithful as you move forward and just handling what God is entrusting to you, meeting your obligations to the best of your ability and making some changes so that as you get out of debt and ultimately are debt free, you're in a position where you're living on a balanced budget, managing with discipline, what God has entrusted to you. And I know that'll take a lot of pressure off you and your wife. And hopefully just with a plan, you all will feel like you're making some progress here.

But I realize this can all be very overwhelming. Give me kind of just a rundown of the debt that you have right now. So right now we're looking at about $65,000 worth of debt.

Okay. How does that break down the type of debt? It's mostly just credit cards. It's all credit cards.

Okay. So $65,000 in credit card debt. Are you making the minimums right now? Yes.

So that's a good thing. We've created a budget. We pulled all of our credit cards from any of like Amazon. We're just sticking to our debit cards right now. My job that I have, I'm able to earn bonuses. So we're putting that towards debt. My wife said she handles all the finances, you know. But right now we've already paid about $5,000 off, but we got the hiccup from the ED saying we're going to owe like 10 grand. So I don't know.

I'm at a loss. So are you spending about $2,000 a month in minimum payments? Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

But you've got the cash flow to support that, right? Yes. Okay. All right. We thought if we could consolidate that into a lower interest rate, it would go away even faster. Yeah, we'll talk about that.

Is there an ability to negotiate the payment terms on this $10,000 that you owe? I don't know yet. It's something because this just happened. We just got the letter.

I thought we were going to win it because it wasn't really our fault. But at this point, I still have a lot of digging to do and how that figures out. But I believe so. I believe you can come up with an agreement. And who do you owe this to?

The state of California, the EDD. Got it. Yeah, so, you know, they should be willing to work with you, I would definitely reach out to them and negotiate a payment plan, hopefully that fits into this overall budget. I mean, they can't expect you to come out of pocket 10,000 all up front. I mean, they may end up charging you some interest and fees. But the bottom line is you need to get on a payment plan that everybody's agreed to that fits into your budget moving forward.

With regard to how to approach the 65,000. I don't like the idea even if you had the equity of securing this to your home, this is unsecured debt. If something happened and you were unable to pay, you know, and you were forced into bankruptcy, you could still try to meet this obligation. You know, you won't find the word bankruptcy in the Bible, we do see that there's needs to be an absolute commitment to repayment. So if you're forced into that legally, I think that's okay, as long as you have that absolute commitment to repay, but attaching that to your home.

Now all of a sudden, you put your home at risk and I just don't want you to go there, especially in light of the situation. I'm glad to hear you've made the changes, you've got the budget going, you guys are living on cash only, you know, your wife's managing this, it sounds like that's working well. We just need to get these interest rates down that are now probably on average, you know, more than 16 or even 20%.

And that's just killing you. My preferred approach on this is not to take out new debt and pay it off and consolidate it because even if the interest rate comes down, a lot of times the repayment is extended. Also, it takes the pressure off and I realize you all may have learned your lesson and say, no, that's not us, but so often what I see is we pay it off with a new loan, it takes the pressure off and then the credit card debt comes back and we have the consolidation loan on top of it. I also don't like debt settlement where you stop paying and get it into collections and then try to negotiate something that's going to trash your credit, it's just fraught with problems and could end up in lawsuits.

So where do you go from here? Well, my preferred approach is debt management. It's a different thing entirely where you leave the credit cards right where they're at with the current creditor. But by using a debt management program through a nonprofit credit counseling agency, each of these creditors has a credit counseling interest rate that's going to be lower than your current rate. And they'll work with you to get one level monthly payment that you'll pay to them, they distribute it to all of your creditors and the combination of that level payment plus the reduction in those interest rates is going to have you paying this off 80% faster.

So that would be the way that I would go, they'll work with you, they'll get it fixed into your budget and help you understand exactly what this will look like. My friends at is the place we like to send folks. They've worked with hundreds and hundreds of our listeners. They're all godly folks who have trusted the Lord and this is part of their ministry, but they do a great work.

So that would be my next step for you, George, is to contact and get set up on a plan. And then if you have other questions along the way, you can certainly reach out to us. Awesome. You're the man. I appreciate it.

I need you to have answers. So I really appreciate the help and a long time listener, first time caller. So thank you so much. Well, thank you. And listen, all the best to you, George. You guys can do this. Don't lose heart. And I think once you have a plan, you'll feel a whole lot better. We appreciate you calling today.

Let's see quickly to Mississippi. Hi, Diane. Go ahead. Hi, I'm 58. My husband's 62. And we have a while he has a hundred thousand dollar term life insurance. That ends when he's 70. Okay. And that's all we got. And I don't know what to do if I should continue a different kind of life insurance to cover when we're really, really old. Yeah.

Well, here's the thing. I mean, most often I like the fact that you've got this term policy and it goes all the way through age 70. And if you built that into your budget, that's great. But typically what would happen is when you reach age 70, you would just let that policy lapse. You don't get anything for it, but you were offsetting the risk that existed during those working years to cover that loss of income if the Lord were to call him home.

And so at that point you just drop that. You recoup that money into your budget every month. And at that point you're relying on the assets that you've accumulated to both supplement your income in retirement. And if you know something were to happen to one of you, it's not going to create a hardship because he's probably not working any longer. And therefore you're living off of social security and what you've accumulated. And hopefully between your assets and in savings, you would have enough to cover burial expenses and things like that.

Continuing that policy beyond age 70, Diane, is just going to be really cost prohibitive. Yeah. So I shouldn't have to worry about getting another one that's smaller.

I don't think so. I mean, you need to be well planned. But the idea would be that you don't need that insurance anymore. Hopefully you've got the assets to cover your lifestyle and your expenses no matter whether you die first or he does. And you've got enough to cover burial expenses. And so then life insurance is not necessary at that point.

It really is just during those working years where you're saving and building up for retirement, a loss of income during those years would be really create a hardship for the other spouse that survives you or him. But in this case, once you reach age 70, that's no longer the case. So you'll you pay through age 70. But at that point, when that's premium jumps up, you just let it lapse. You don't replace it.

And and then you just recoup that money into your budget each month. I hope that helps you, Diane. Hey, thanks for calling today.

God bless you. We appreciate it. You know, we've covered a lot of ground today. You know, before we wrap up, money management can often be confusing, a seemingly endless number of decisions that we have to make. And yet, if we think about it, we can actually reduce our money management just to five uses of money. There's the money we live on, the money we give, the money we owe for debt and for taxes and the money we grow, live, give, owe for debt and taxes and grow. And God's word speaks to all of them. You know, when we pull the principles from God's word out and apply them to our financial decisions, we can have confidence because they're timeless.

They don't ever change. They transcend the tax code and actually allow us to move forward with peace of mind. That's what we're after here on this program every day. I'm so thankful for my team on behalf of Amy Rios and Tahira Haynes, our call screeners and Jim Henry.

We couldn't do this without them, but we also couldn't do it without you. So thanks for stopping by today, telling us your stories, asking your questions, even sharing your testimonies. We always love to hear what God is doing in your financial life. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day and come back and join us next time on Faith in Finance Live.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-04 02:21:57 / 2023-07-04 02:39:10 / 17

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