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Financial Discipline Brings Joy

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
July 7, 2023 5:32 pm

Financial Discipline Brings Joy

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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July 7, 2023 5:32 pm

What does it take to succeed?  Talk to any successful person, and they’ll probably tell you that it takes hard work and discipline. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will explain why working hard at something can pay big dividends, both spiritually and financially.  Then he’ll answer the financial questions you want to ask. 

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You've probably heard it said that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Hi, I'm Rob West. Today we'll find out why working hard at something can pay big dividends spiritually and financially. Then we'll take your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. Today on Truth Network, I'm Rob West. Today we'll find out why working hard at something can pay big dividends spiritually and financially. If you want to succeed in your finances, at your job, at school, or in relationships, you can't just sit around thinking about it.

You have to take action. Success in any area requires discipline. Athletes know this. The more reps you put in at the gym, or the more miles you put in, the better you can do on competition day.

No pain, no gain, right? In the area of education, a good student understands discipline. Study a little bit each day. Take good notes. Do your homework.

And you can do it all day. You're in a better position to ace that test. It's the same with your finances. Practice discipline with your saving, spending, and giving, and you're more likely to reach your financial goals. Unfortunately, if athletes or students or you and I fail to practice discipline, the results won't be as positive. Because without the pain of discipline now, we're likely to face the pain of regret later on. Here's what Hebrews 12-11 says about discipline. So the Bible confirms that discipline is an important part of a Christian's life, for spiritual as well as practical reasons.

We can't grow as disciples of Christ if we're sitting around like sanctified couch potatoes. And while discipline is hard, it can be a source of joy. Let's look at a few examples of financial disciplines, and the best example is the Bible.

Maybe you're working hard at one or more of these. Perhaps you're determined to save a little money from your paycheck every week. That certainly requires discipline, but the benefit of consistent saving is that you feel a lot less stressed about future financial needs. Another example of a financial discipline is giving faithfully to the Lord. When you do, you have the satisfaction of participating in His kingdom work and the joy of helping others.

Or how about this one? It takes time. It takes discipline to pay down your debts, but the benefit is you're making progress towards financial freedom. Think of the joy you'll experience when you're finally debt-free. Finally, it takes discipline to stick to a financial plan, but when you do, you'll reap the rewards of financial peace and confidence. Knowing where each dollar is coming from and where it's going is a key to financial stability and success. By the way, if you're not exercising the discipline of a spending plan, we can help with that.

Download the Faithfi app or visit us online at, and we'll show you how to start your own personalized spending plan. The point is that it takes discipline to be a good manager of the resources God's given you. It might be painful to endure the disciplines of saving, giving, paying off debt, and sticking to a plan, but the pain has a higher purpose. The verse from Hebrews that we quoted earlier tells us something we already know. Discipline hurts, but discipline can also be a source of joy.

Here's why. First, the results of discipline are positive. In the realm of finances, we can rejoice when our nest egg grows, when we see progress in paying off our loans, and when we see the fruits of our planning and generosity. These happy outcomes make the hard work of saving, paying down debt, planning, and giving worthwhile. Also, when we follow God's blueprint for stewardship and integrity in Money Matters, we experience peace in our financial life. And finally, when you compare the lack of financial discipline to the discipline of careful stewardship, it's easy to see which one is more joyful.

It's much better to have all your ducks in a row than to be constantly chasing them around the pond. One more thought about financial discipline. As hard as we try, none of us will make the right financial choices every time. So whether you blew your budget or missed a loan payment, it's not the end of the world. Acknowledge your mistakes. Get help if you need it. Submit your plans to the Lord and get back on track.

God has set before you certain resources to manage, and when you exercise discipline with your money and your spiritual life, you'll experience a harvest of righteousness and peace, which is success in anyone's book. All right, your calls are next. 800-525-7000. We'll be right back. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. It's time to take your calls and questions today. We've got some lines open. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. Let's begin today in South Carolina.

We'll welcome Mack to the broadcast. Go right ahead, sir. Hey, Rob, how are you? I'm doing great. Thanks for your call.

I got a quick question. I'm just getting started with my finances. So I have a job now and I need some advice on starting a 401k or getting an IRA. I don't really know which direction to go. Okay.

And like what percentage of my paycheck should I be investing? And then the second part would be like insurance, term life or whole life. All right, Mack. Yeah, I'd be happy to weigh in on those. You know, I love that you're just getting started here and thinking about the priority use of God's money. I think the first idea we need to grab hold of is that God owns it all and we're stewards and the Bible really is our source for how we should think about money as a tool to accomplish God's purposes. I would challenge you to give first because that's going to break the grip of money over your life. And I love the idea of you being a systematic giver.

Beyond that, I'd love for you to have some margin. You know, Proverbs talks about the wisdom of having a bit beyond what we need today. It says there's precious treasure and oil in the house of the wise.

The foolish man swallows it up. So we want to have some margin, both in our spending plan with regard to not spending every dime that comes in, having something left over, but also some cushions set up in savings. I call that an emergency fund. And we typically recommend you have three to six months expenses. So as long as you've got that emergency fund well on your way to three to six months expenses, you're living within your means on a balanced budget.

You're giving systematically and you don't have any high interest debt, then I think it's a great idea to start saving for the future. Because investing in a 401k or an IRA, anytime you're investing systematically the same amount every month on a regular rhythm, like every paycheck, that's called dollar cost averaging. It's a powerful tool when it comes to our investments because it allows us to buy in at different points in the market, whether the market is up or down, we're investing a consistent amount. When the market's down, we're getting more shares of whatever investments we're putting our money into because they're kind of on sale.

And then as they recover, we benefit from that because we own more shares, but we're systematically investing over time, which takes the emotional buying and selling out of it. And it just has us, you know, investing on a disciplined basis. I love that you asked about the percentage to invest. I would set a goal to, at a minimum, start by taking full advantage of any matching you have in that 401k. So I like the Roth IRA, but I'd start with the 401k up to the matching portion. And then I'd go to the Roth IRA and I'd fully max out that for this year, which would be $6,500 if you're under age 50. And then if you're married, your spouse could have a Roth IRA as well, working or not, as a spousal IRA. So you could put away a full $13,000 under age 50 between two Roths. And then I'd go back to the 401k for any additional investing you want to do once you hit that ceiling. In terms of a total percentage allocation, we like to say 10 to 15% of your take-home pay is a good starting point.

It's a pretty good rule of thumb. That doesn't replace some real retirement planning where you'd actually sit with a professional who looks at your lifestyle spending, looks at your ultimate savings goal, and helps you determine, you know, a real target for your retirement savings every month that's ultimately going to lead to you accomplishing that goal. But apart from that more in-depth retirement planning, I like you investing 10 to 15%.

But if you're just getting started and you can't do that, let's at least fully max out that matching portion. I know you asked about life insurance. We'll get to that in a moment. But give me any questions or thoughts you have on that first part. Well, I think what I've balanced out so far is I was looking at about $500 per pay to put into the 401k. Okay.

To maybe make up for some lost time and, you know, try to get ahead. My overall monthly bills or expenditure is about $2,000 to $2,500. Okay. So I have some room and I own everything.

I write on my home and all my vehicles. So I really got the biggest thing that my wife have a credit card about $10,000. Okay. And I know you mentioned something before about Christian Credit Counselor. That's right.

Yeah. If you've got a balance higher than $4,000, certainly, you know, $10,000 is there. I like using a debt management program to pay that off. It's going to keep the debt right where it is. We're not talking about taking out a new loan to pay it off. It's going to get the interest rates down because, you know, through credit counseling, they offer lower interest rates and you'll send one level monthly payment.

But through that level payment plus the reduction in the interest rate, you should pay that off on average 80% faster. I would, if you have the, do you have any matching in that 401k? Yes. And I'm going to find out some more information from my employer. But yes, I think we have matching.

Okay. So I'd take advantage of that, but I'd only do up to the match because that's free money. At that point, you're better off focusing on paying off that credit card debt as soon as you can before you'd put more into your 401k. I love you being a systematic, you know, contributor to that 401k, but with that credit card interest, you know, even in a credit counseling program, it's going to be somewhere between probably 8 and 12%. So I'd love to see you get out of that as soon as possible. And then once that's paid off, then let's start bumping up that retirement contribution you know, to whatever you can do.

This year, a 401k would allow you to put away $22,500. So that will allow you to put in, you know, quite a bit of money this year toward that. But I'd love for you to get rid of that credit card debt first. Okay.

All right. Credit card debt will be the target. Yeah.

And can help you. Do you have an emergency fund already, Mac? I do.

I've been tapping in it to purchase some things I necessarily don't need. Okay. All right. But I do have a small reserve fund, about 5k.

Okay. Well, let's work on getting that up. You know, with your bills at $2,500, you've got a couple of months. Love to get that to $7,500. I'd also love for that to be in a separate savings account, maybe an online bank that's earning some interest, but where it's not in your primary checking account, because I really don't want you spending that on non-budgeted items. That really should be reserved for the unexpected.

So you guys can break the cycle of, you know, using those credit cards and, you know, really never go back there again. And that fully funded emergency fund is key for that. With regard to the insurance, the life insurance, I like term insurance. So that's pure insurance where you're just paying, you know, the mortality expense, the actual expense of what it takes for them to ensure your life.

I'd get it for 20 or 30 years and make sure you get enough of it. So at a minimum, you need 10 to 12 times the income you're trying to replace, if in fact this is for income replacement. So if your wife's relying on your income, you know, and you're making, you know, $100,000 a year, you need a million to a million too, just kind of in round numbers. And then you could add to that the ability to pay on the house, pay off the house, that would be on top of that. You could go beyond that and add a child's college or complete eradication of your debt. But at a minimum, you need 10 to 12 times your income. The most cost-effective way to do that is through term insurance. At some point, you'll renew it for another 20 or 30 years. And then when you get to retirement, you got all the savings and investments you need, so you drop it.

And then you save outside of the life insurance. Hope that gets you going in the right direction, Mac. Mac, stay on the line. I want to send you a copy of Ron Blue's book, Master Your Money. It'll be our gift to you. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

We've got some lines open today. So what are you thinking about financially? Let's talk about it together, whether it's living, giving, owing, or growing. We'd love to help you tackle it and apply God's wisdom to the decisions and choices you're making today. That's right.

Timeless principles and passages that apply to today's financial decisions. That's what we do on this program. The number to call is 800-525-7000. And you can call it right now with lines open.

800-525-7000. Let's head to Columbia, Missouri. Hi, Jerry.

Go right ahead. Hi there. Good afternoon. You know, I start off by saying I don't make a lot of money.

And I actually got a settlement check, so I made some money the hard way by getting hurt in a car accident. Okay. But now that I have this, the question is, what do I do with a chunk of it? I've got 15,000 that I need to take care of debt-wise. And the rest, which would be around 30 thereabouts, what do I do with that?

What's the best place to put that? Yeah. Well, Jerry, first of all, I'm so sorry to hear that you were in an accident. How are you doing health-wise? Actually, I'm doing well. I've come a long ways, and so, considering how badly I was hurt, I'm doing pretty well.

Glory to God. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I'm delighted to hear that. Jerry, I think the first thing we always want to think about, and I like the fact that you're going to pay off some consumer debt, let me ask, are you living on a balanced budget? I know you said you don't have a lot of money, but are you able to cover your bills and maybe have a little bit left over in a typical month? Oh, check to check with me, because I've tried to help out my family, and that has kind of taken me into the negative and destroyed my credit rating, and that's something else I hope I can take care of here. Yeah. Were you a co-signer on some loans?

Yes, I was. Okay, yeah. So let me, and you probably have, sounds like you've learned this the hard way, but let me just encourage you not to do that. You know, the Bible offers principles around managing money.

This one, though, is pretty much a directive. I mean, it's very clear, do not co-sign. And the reason is, it can put you in a position where it damages relationships. You know, any time we're a borrower and a lender, it's a master-slave relationship, is the way the Bible describes it, and we know the fallout of that is financial, but it certainly can also be relational. The Federal Trade Commission tells us about 50% of the time when we sign on the dotted line for somebody else who can't qualify on a note without us co-signing.

We're going to have to step in and pay it off, and if we don't have the ability to do so because we're obligated equally with them, it'll damage our credit, and there will be fallout to that. And despite your desire to help your family, which I love, and I think that's God-honoring, you've got to do it in the context of a well-thought-out financial plan, where you're not putting yourself in harm's way financially just because you have a desire to help. And, you know, family members, and I'm not saying that happened here, but they can take advantage of your generous heart if you're not careful. So I think we've got to, everything has to be built on a plan that makes sense, and if God's given you the desire and the gift of giving, that's great, but let's build it into that plan.

Now, I'm not saying we remove the Holy Spirit from everything. We need to have some flexibility and freedom to follow His leading, but I don't believe He would lead you into debt in order to help your family. So let's kind of order your finances in such a way where you've got a category for giving, but it's in light of everything else. And I think that's where you've got to start is really going back to that budget, that spending plan, Jerry, to make sure that everything balances, that you have a good handle on your income, and then you have a good handle on your expenses, not only fixed expenses, the things you get a bill in the mail for, but your discretionary spending, those things that come up like the desire to give to somebody in need or clothing or eating out, those things that truly are discretionary and can quickly be the budget busters. Having a plan for all of that makes sense, and we can't live right up to the edge.

We've got to have a little bit of margin. So what I'm going to suggest to you in addition to working on that budget is that you take the balance of this and use it to shore up your emergency fund. Now, that doesn't mean it becomes the miscellaneous category that just takes all of the lifestyle spending beyond what you have available every month. I want you to build a budget that balances without touching this money so that it can truly be for the unexpected, because if you've got $15,000 in consumer debt and you're going to end up with about $35,000 in emergency fund, that really should be for something that comes out of left field. Now, if you can demonstrate to yourself that you can live on that balanced budget and not touch this, ultimately you want to have three to six months expenses, and that $35,000 may exceed three to six months expenses.

That's okay. If you determine that, you know what, I can live without this and not touch it, and I think I've got a little bit more than I need, well, now we're starting to think about maybe carving off a portion of it into a car replacement fund so you can buy the next car with cash. Maybe you're going to take it and accelerate some of your long-term retirement savings through a 401K or funding an IRA. But I'd like for you to hang on to it for now until you really can live on that balanced budget for a period of time without having to touch it and without incurring any new debt. Give me your thoughts on all of that, though. I threw a lot at you there. Well, my bank mentioned CDs, and I've heard about an I-bond, and I know there are various routes to go as far as putting this somewhere and letting it sit.

That's a big thought. Yeah, I don't like I-bonds right here just because, you know, the rate is down such that, you know, you're not going to get a whole lot on it. So they were very attractive a year or so ago. They're now down to 4.3%, and that would only last six months. And I think when the new rate comes out, it changes every six months.

In November, it's going to be even lower. So you can get 4% right now in a high-yield savings account and have complete access to that money. Now, if you wanted to take maybe 10,000 or 15,000 of it, what you would consider to be beyond your emergency fund and try to get a little bit more, you could get 5.5% for a year or so, and you could find the best CDs at But for the rest of it, I'd put it in a high-yield savings account, and you should be able to get at least 4% on that with FDIC insurance and no fees. And I'd rather it be in a separate savings account anyway so it doesn't get mixed up in your checking account and get spent on just monthly lifestyle spending.

Find the best CDs and savings accounts at Jerry, God bless you. Thanks for your call. We'll be right back. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

What's that financial question that's been kind of rolling around in your mind? Let us know. We'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000.

Let's head to Florida. Hi, Danielle. Thank you for calling.

Go ahead. Hi, Rob. How are you doing today? I'm doing great.

I hope you are as well. Danielle, we're having a little trouble hearing you. So let's see if maybe you can move one direction or the other and get a better signal and try one more time.

You know what? I'm going to put you on hold and let's see if Amy can work with you to get that line cleared up and then we'll get you right back on the air and I'd be delighted to talk to you. Let's head to Lowell, Indiana. Hi, Ann. Go ahead. Oh, yes.

Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my call. Sure. Yeah, I heard earlier that you said I bond rate is going down.

I purchased an I bond March of 2022 and I just want to know how soon would you advise for me to close that account? Yeah, that's a good question. Let's talk about what this money is for. Do you have it earmarked for any specific purpose? To make money. Yeah.

Okay. Yeah, I mean, you know, they were at 9.3%. That was great and then it dropped to 6.89 and now it's at 4.3. You know, the rate on the I bonds is a rate that has to do with, you know, there's a fixed portion, which is at zero and then there's a portion that changes with inflation and as the Fed aggressively fights inflation, you know, the composite rate is going to come down on these I bonds and I would expect that 4.3 is going to be some number lower. So when you get to the end of this six month period where you've got the current rate in place because you get six months from the point in which you buy it at the prevailing rate and then you'll get six months at the next rate. So when this current six month period runs out based on the 4.3% rate, then I would probably look to go ahead and cash it out, which you can do because you're beyond a year. You're going to pay a small penalty of three months worth of interest because you took it out in less than five years, but that's okay. And then at that point, based on your goals and objectives, I would redeploy it, whether that's into, you know, a one year CD at five and a half percent, or if you have a longer time horizon and you want to take a little bit of risk, maybe put it into a bond portfolio because bonds will do well. They're not guaranteed, you could lose value, but bonds will do well as interest rates come down and they will come down probably starting next year. So I think there are a lot of other options there, whether it's guaranteed bank products or some more conservative type investment products. But I think when we get to the end of this current period and you'd have to go to to see when this current six month period would be up, that's probably the time for you to go ahead and cash it out.

The interest would be credited, that's taxable, and then you could transfer it back to the funding account that you used to buy the odd bonds in the first place and then redeploy it at that point. Does that make sense? Yes, it does. I'm just a little bit confused about the period because I purchased it in March. I don't know how long I was at that higher interest rate. Does it go from, if I purchased it in March, did it go all the way till September? Yes, so from the period you bought it, whatever the prevailing rate was during that period, you would have gotten that for a full six months. And then at that point it would have shifted to the new lower rate that came out in April of this year. Let's see, you bought it in March of 22, is that right? Yeah, so then you would have shifted to the rate that came out in November, which was the 6.8%, and that's probably still what you have now. Oh no, let's see, you just went down to the lower rate, but basically it works in six month increments. So six months from the date you bought it, you got the initial rate, and then another six months, and now you're into your third six month period.

So when you get to 18 months beyond when you purchased that bond, so 18 months beyond March of 2022, that's probably the month to sell it. Okay, very good. Thank you so much. Okay, thanks for calling. We appreciate it, Ann.

God bless you. Let's see, let's head back to Danielle in Florida. Do we get that line cleared up?

Yeah, we do. Okay, great. How can I help you? Danielle, are you with us? It looks like maybe we're still having some problems, unfortunately. I know how cell phones are.

They work great for a moment, and then all of a sudden they're gone again. Let's try one more time. Danielle, are you there? Yes, I am. Okay, great. Go ahead with your question.

Yes, ma'am. Unfortunately, that's not working. All right, we're going to put you back on hold. Maybe we can switch to another phone or do something to get to where we can hear you, and we won't give up, I promise. We're going to get you on the air at some point here. Let's head to Grand Rapids. Hi, Theresa. Go ahead. Yes, hi. My name is Theresa, and I just bring you blessings from Grand Rapids, and I'm such an honor to be speaking here today, and I thank you for taking my call. Yes, ma'am. Thank you. That was very kind.

Go ahead. And, Rob, I was just wondering, how do you finally or figure out how to break the back of poverty off of your life? You know, I'm a single working mom. I have two sons, but it's just always living paycheck to paycheck. You know, I tied, I sold, but it's just like not enough. Yes.

And, of course, I want to be in a position where I can actually have something put in savings, some type of cushion, and there's just not enough hours in a day, and I didn't know how you could give me information or should I maybe follow one of the apps that you guys have and use my budget on an app and what I could do to make things better for me and my situation. Yes. Well, I appreciate that. Theresa, did you say you have children still at home? Yes, I do. I do.

I have a son that's 20 that's in college, and I have a junior in high school, so I got two juniors, one in high school and one in college. Okay. And are you a single parent? Yes, I am.

Okay. Well, I know how challenging that is, Theresa. I've counseled hundreds and hundreds of single moms and dads over the years, and, well, it's just challenging when you've got kids at home. It's a blessing to be a parent. I'm not saying that it's not, but it's challenging financially when you're on a limited income and you've got growing boys that are, you know, they need a lot of food and there's a lot of expenses to go around, and it just seems like there's always more month than money. And, you know, it all comes down to, first of all, I think trusting the Lord, and clearly you're giving honor to God as your provider, and I think that's the beginning point, recognizing you want to be a wise and faithful steward, recognizing that we've got to live within God's provision, be content with what he's provided and live within that, and I realize that's much easier said than done when you've got a lot of bills and you've got limited resources. It's all going to come down to that spending plan.

I love that you're a giver. I think that's key. That's going to break the grip of money over your life, but ultimately we've got to get this budget such that we are living within God's provision. We've got a little bit of cushion or margin so we can build up some emergency savings and break the cycle of any borrowing that's going on there, and that's challenging. And what I'd like to do, I mean, yes, the Faithfy app would be a great resource for you to help you, but I'd like for somebody to journey with you, somebody to pray with you, somebody to help you set up that budget, maybe give you a fresh perspective on your income and your spending. So I'm going to have one of our certified Christian financial counselors call you. We're going to cover the cost of that just as our gift to you, and that person will walk with you for the next few months and see if we can get you turned around, and then let's get you back on the air at that point to talk about it. Teresa, you stay on the line. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today.

Faith and Finance Live is the program. I'm Rob Last for taking your calls and questions, and we may have room for one or two more questions. If you've got a financial question or conundrum you're considering today, give us a call, 800-525-7000.

Back to the phones to Ohio we go. Hi, Katie. Go right ahead. Hello. Thank you, Rob, for taking my call.

Sure. So I'm a student, well, former student, and I have about $50,000 in student debt. And then, of course, just this week the Supreme Court struck down the provision for having some student loan forgiveness, and I just wanted to see, like, I do have IRAs. I've got an emergency fund of six months or more. I've got, you know, we have savings and that, but I just wanted to see if you, because I get contacted a lot by different organizations kind of trying to offer me, like, lower interest rates and stuff. But some of them I think are a scam, and I'm just not quite sure that I can really discern that.

And if you had any advice for how to, like, start, you know, because it'll start back up in October. Yeah. Yeah, very good. Well, first of all, there are a lot of scams out there right now. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission is just out in the last couple of days with some warnings to student loan borrowers to be on the lookout for scam artists following especially this new Supreme Court decision. You know, you don't want to trust anyone who promises debt relief or loan forgiveness. You don't ever want to give away your federal student aid ID, log in information, and never pay for help with your student loans. Are these federal loans, Katie, or private? Yeah. No, they're federal.

They're the federal. And, like, so when COVID first began, at that time it was President Trump just held everything in forbearance. And I called and talked to customer service at student loan at that time, and they had said that during this time that it would be as if we were making the 120 payments we have to make with, like, zero percent interest. And then when that forbearance period was over, then we'd pick it up from there. But I don't even think that that's on the table now, and that's actually going to happen.

Yeah. So are you trying to get the loan forgiveness from the public sector? I was trying to get it, but, you know, as I said, the Supreme Court struck that down, and I did get an email because I had applied for it, and they struck that down. And I got an email that said that they are trying to do some things to make it easier for people to start coming back and paying their student loans. So I don't have any direction from them, at least at this point, whether or not any of mine will be forgiven or anything.

Okay. Well, the public service loan forgiveness is still available. So if you work in public service, federal, state, local, for a government or nonprofit organization for 10 years or more, even if not consecutive, you may be eligible to have all of that canceled. So that public service loan forgiveness program wasn't affected here by the decision to not allow the Biden forgiveness to go into effect.

It's a completely separate program that continues. And so I would still look into that, again, if you qualify, and you need to make sure that you do. Beyond that, I think that I wouldn't be looking to refinance this outside of the federal loan program. I mean, you probably are going to have a higher interest rate. You'd also most certainly lose all of the benefits that come through the federal loan program with regard to income-based repayment. I'm not saying you need those now, but if you did, that's a nice option to have where you could step down that payment based on your income if you all had a disruption in income or went through a difficult season.

So I'd leave it right where it is. And apart from just confirming whether or not you qualify for the PSLF, I would just focus on getting back on that scheduled monthly payment, trying to pay extra. I realize it's a big number, but let's just try to get that paid off, and that comes by living on less than you make, freeing up margin, and trying to prepay that loan. Right, right. Well, and I am in public student loan forgiveness, but my understanding is if you make those 120 consistent payments and you're not late, they will forgive the rest. So it wouldn't necessarily behoove me to put extra on the loan. That's right. Well, that's exactly right. If you're in the public service loan forgiveness and you're certain you qualify, you would want to just make those 10 years of on-time scheduled payments, 120 of them, and the rest will be forgiven. And so you're right.

If you do qualify and you're in that type of work, then absolutely, I would say don't prepay it. Yeah, I was just hoping for some other option for me, but I kind of figured that's what it would be. But thank you for taking the call. That's very helpful. You're welcome, Katie.

Absolutely. Thanks for your call today. God bless you.

800-525-7000. I've got room for maybe one more question before we wrap up the program today. Let's head to Michigan. Hi, Gail.

Go right ahead. Yes, thank you, Rob. I listen to you quite a bit, and I hear you say that annuities are not a good idea, and that is what we have for our IRAs. And I think we've had them about seven years.

And so I am wondering what you recommend for people like us. We are a retirement age. We are not yet retired.

But do we make a change at this point? Yeah, I wouldn't say automatically, Gail. I mean, you know, I'm not one who says there's never a place for annuities. They're just not my favorite tool to save over time because you give up access to your money. You know, you have certain limitations on what you can get to, at least, you know, during the early day, the early years of that.

They tend to be complicated. They limit your upside potential. And so I'd rather you have insurance where you need insurance and then you save outside of that, get the full upside even though you're taking some risk. Now, the benefit of the annuity is you've got that ability to convert that to a guaranteed income stream where you give up, you know, you transfer the risk to the insurance company. So are you looking to annuitize this at some point and turn it in to an income stream that would be a part of your retirement plan?

Is that what you all were thinking? Well, we are at the age where my husband is already taking out money and no, I just wanted to know. It just makes me nervous to hear you say that annuities are not a good investment and that is what we have. And before we went to invest, then we were also in not a very good program. So I'm, you know, I'm just... Yeah, I mean, there's no reason to be anxious about it.

It's not a terrible thing at all. It's just that, you know, for those who are trying to build wealth over time, I prefer you build wealth outside of an insurance product and just straight investments. But now that you're here, you've built up, you know, a nest egg inside an annuity, I think it would behoove you to, you know, sit with an advisor who can look at, from an objective perspective, look at the insurance product you have. And then in light of your overall financial plan and your, you know, plan for retirement income, whether that's Social Security and, you know, drawing down this annuity or convert or what's called annuitizing it, where you convert it to an income stream that gets paid out in the form of a monthly check for the rest of your life or the rest of you and your spouse's, you know, life. You know, it may make sense for you all now that you've got it and you're approaching retirement to stay right where you are and, you know, convert that to an annuitized payment. And the key is, how are you going to solve for the income that you need for the rest of your life? And this annuity could be a great piece of that equation.

Now, you may sit with an advisor that says, listen, we can roll this out. If it's, you know, qualified money when in pre-tax, we can roll this out to an IRA and invest it and maybe do better. You know, at least just based on what we would know about how this annuity is going to, you know, perform for you versus what you might be able to do outside of it.

But I wouldn't say that's automatically the best case. I would just want an advisor to look at that and help you make that decision in light of your overall retirement plan. Do you have an advisor that you've worked with besides just the person who sold you the annuity? Well, we do have an account in Schwab as well. And we did try putting annuity money or IRA money into that for a while and then went back to our investor of the annuity. But otherwise, no, we don't.

Okay. Well, I would say if you have a great relationship, you feel good about that, I'd go visit with that advisor that you got the annuity from just to say, hey, let's talk about, unless you already know this, let's talk about the retirement plan. How much are we going to need per month in retirement? And where is that going to come from? And how much will this annuity contribute to that? And then what other income sources do we have?

Social Security, maybe the IRA, other retirement assets. If you wanted somebody who could give you an objective opinion, I'd recommend you connect with a Certified Kingdom Advisor, which you could do on our website at That's and just click find a CKA. And you could connect with a CKA there in Michigan just to say, hey, can we get a couple of hours of your time, pay you for that time and just have you look at our plan, look at this annuity, evaluate what we have, and help us make a decision on the best plan moving forward.

I'd do that with either your existing advisor or a CKA that you would connect with, but I'm not saying, Gail, you automatically need to get out of this annuity. Now that you're there, it may be the best option for you moving forward, but it would be worth a look. Okay, very good. Thank you so much.

You are so welcome. We appreciate your call today. Mike in Ohio, I'm so sorry that we are out of time today.

And I wouldn't want to put you on and rush you with your question. So I'm going to do this. I'm going to ask Amy to pick up the line there and see if we can get you back on on our next program. I really appreciate your patience and I'm sorry we didn't get to your call today.

You know, folks, we covered a lot of ground today. Before we wrap up, let me just remind you, you know, we've talked a lot about spending plans today and just several callers talking about how challenging it is to manage their budgets and their spending plan. They're just wanting to stay on track to be able to accomplish their goals, provide for their families, give generously, basically align their spending, their allocation of God's resources with their deeply held values and priorities. Let me just tell you, you cannot do that without a spending plan. If you don't have one, we'd love to help you set that up. Our answer to that is the FaithFi app. It's got three money management systems built in.

No matter which approach you'd like to take, hands on or hands off, there's one that'll fit you, help you set up your budget and stay on track. You can download it today at Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Dan and Amy. Thank you to Jim as well. Couldn't do this without them. You have a great weekend. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-07 18:11:02 / 2023-07-07 18:28:55 / 18

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