And he said to them take care and be in your guard against all covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12 15.
I am Rob West. Jesus told his followers to be wary of materialism, but we're all guilty of it from time to time, wasting money on things we don't really need. I'll talk about sin. Okay, before we get into the specific money wasters, there's a general principle you should be aware of. If you're buying things that provide only a temporary sense of satisfaction, you're probably wasting money.
Doesn't matter what it is. If it's not a necessity and you grow bored with it. It was a waste of money. Check your closets for examples. Now, I'm not saying you should take a vow of poverty. The Lord wants us to enjoy the resources he's given us, but that must be tempered by the principle that we're merely stewards and we need to use his resources wisely. But of course, we live in a culture that promotes spending. It's a big problem. One survey showed that the average adult spends around $5,000 a month. No wonder so many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
Imagine what that kind of money would do if it were put into savings or invested for retirement. All right, let's look at our six money wasters for today and what you can do about them. The first is one of the biggest, but also one of the easiest to fix. Not preparing your own meals. It's okay to eat out occasionally, but too often. It's just for convenience.
And not really necessary. By some estimates, a restaurant prepared meal will cost you three times what you would pay for the same meal cooked at home. Money waster number two, upgrading your smartphone as soon as a new one comes out. For example, the iPhone 14 could cost you as much as $1,600 or lock you into a long contract if your carrier provides it. Eventually, a smartphone will have to be replaced. But the longer you delay upgrading, the more money you keep in your home. This year's red hot phone is next year's discount model. And you have to ask just how smart does your phone need to be?
Most of us don't use the features we have now. Okay, number three, clothing is another biggie. Wearing the latest fashion is expensive. By some estimates, the average American spends nearly $2,000 a year on clothing. And in a few months, whatever you buy will probably be out of fashion.
Clothes do wear out and need to be replaced. So you have to include that in your budget. But those spending decisions should be practical, not a way to boost your ego. Money waster number four, buying lottery tickets. The ads say you can't win if you don't play.
But that's nonsense. You definitely will win if you don't play. You'll get to keep your money. You have better odds of being hit by lightning twice than winning the lottery.
Plus, you don't want to participate in something that disproportionately hurts the poor. Okay, number five, extended warranties, especially for automobiles. It's now a $40 billion a year industry. And it's really just an expensive form of insurance that you probably won't need. So instead of buying an extended warranty, do your homework to make sure you're buying a quality item to begin with. Most will have an adequate manufacturer's warranty anyway.
And then make sure you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover any repairs you might need to make. And our number six big money waster is your cable or streaming package. If you're still paying for cable, it could be as much as $200 a month for internet and TV. Do you really need 568 channels? More and more folks are dropping cable and satellite TV and using only streaming apps.
But even there, you can waste a lot of money. A new survey by Finance Buzz showed that a quarter of households have at least three more streaming apps than they had last year. And one in 10 reported they have no idea how much they're spending on streaming. So keep track of what you're watching. And if you're not getting your money's worth from an app, drop it.
That's one great thing about streaming apps. No service contract, drop it anytime you like. Time money wasters, I hope you find this helpful. And by the way, the best way to identify how you're doing in each one of these categories is to live on a spending plan and the FaithFi app can help with that.
You can download it on our website at faithfi.com. All right, your calls are next 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and we'll be right back. Stick around. Delighted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call is 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open today. We'll dive into your questions here in just a moment.
Again, 800-525-7000. By the way, market for the sixth straight day. Well, the Dow Jones at least is positive. All of the broad market is positive. All of the broad market indexes in the green, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ largely because the market is signaling that they like the latest inflation data. There are some recent signs that inflation is cooling and perhaps the Fed's work is taking effect. Is that short lived?
Well, only time will tell. But what the market's keying off of is the critical CPI consumer price index. It's a widely followed gauge that tracks dozens of goods and services across multiple sectors. And in June, the reading was that it increased only 0.2%. That takes the annual inflation rate on CPI at least to 3.1%. That's down significantly from its peak, a 40 year high at 9.1% a year ago.
So obviously, that's good news for the market. We're much closer to the Fed's target of 2%. We're not quite there yet, especially when you look at the inflation gauge that factors in the volatile food and energy areas.
And that's sitting up north of 4%. Core inflation is at 4.8%, much higher than what the Fed would like. We've got a whole host of issues, including the housing market, which is still log jammed in many respects, a lot of folks still concerned about that, and a whole host of other issues, but still some good signs. And I think that's why we're seeing the Dow Jones closing at the highest level in 2023. Despite the challenges and headwinds we have, here's the reality though.
If you look at inflation over three years, we're still paying 18% more on average for the goods and services that we're using, and obviously Americans feeling that in the wallet. And so we still have a ways to go. Bob Dahl will stop by tomorrow. We'll get his take on all of this.
And then Jerry Boyer with us later in the week as well. So we'll get plenty of commentary and analysis, but wanted to give you an update on what we're seeing, and at least for now, how the market is performing quite well. We want to get into your questions, though, whatever you're thinking about financially today.
We'd love to tackle that, whether it's your spending plan where we started today with the six big time money wasters or any financial topic, whether it's debt repayment you're giving, your long term savings or investments, whatever it might be. The number to call with lines open, 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. Our team is standing by and we'd love to get to your call. All right, let's dive in. We'll go to Lafayette, Indiana. Hi, Eric. Go ahead, sir.
Hi, Rob. Hey, just wanted to say thank you to the supporters and your team for this great program. Really appreciate it. Well, I appreciate you calling out the team because I certainly don't do this alone. I've got an amazing team behind me serving us and making all of this happen. So I appreciate you mentioning that.
Go ahead with your question. Yeah, so just kind of looking for future next steps, possibly. I'm 31 years old, got about 12 years left on the mortgage at 2.25%. Got a refinance when rates were down, thankfully. Already have the emergency fund. I started saving for college for my little one, doing the tithing and just kind of looking to see maybe what other steps to do. A lot of my retirement is in Roth savings through my employer.
So I was also wanting to get some additional information on maybe like the age of 55 rule and maybe the 4% rule as well, how that may apply to the Roth, if that changes anything. Sure. Yeah, happy to weigh in on that. A couple of things.
Number one is way to go. I mean, you guys are doing great here. You're 31. You've got an incredibly low. I mean, that was that's probably the low point that you refinance that mortgage.
I mean, two and a quarter is phenomenal. And you're going to have that paid off in 12 years. And I don't hear you're saying because we have that lower rate, we're going to back off on paying that off. I love the idea of you going ahead and getting that out of the way when you're able.
I mean, at this point, if you don't accelerate it any further, you'll have that completely paid off by age 43. That's phenomenal. You said you got your emergency fund, you're giving a tithe systematically, you're saving for college. That's great. I love that you're using the 403 or excuse me, the the Roth 401k.
It sounds like at work, which is great. Would you do you know offhand kind of what percent of your total income you all are putting into retirement accounts at this point? Yes, it was 45 between my wife and I and employer matching. 45% of your income? Yes.
How is that possible? Just living within our means. And we do a lot of the sack lunches every day. Okay, so you are you going right up to the max of $22,500 on your contributions? That's correct. Yes.
Okay. And so that ends up being 45% of your income. Wow. Yeah, basically, my, my incomes for retirement, and then my wife is for daily expenses and so forth. So it worked out very well.
Way to go, man. That's exciting. Well, here's the thing. I mean, so I love kind of simplifying our finances down from a seemingly unlimited list of choices down into these big four categories that we say live, give, owe and grow. So there's our lifestyle or living expenses on a monthly basis. There's the amount we give, there's the amount we owe for debt and taxes, and then the amount we grow.
Now, if you guys kind of cap your lifestyle and say, listen, you know, we don't have any reason to believe we want to increase this, regardless of how much provision the Lord gives us, we feel like we're at the lifestyle that he's called us to. Well, that one's eliminated in terms of once you've established it, we're not going to take any increases and apply it there. In terms of the O category, I mean, you're completely out of debt, you're on your way to being out of debt for the house.
That's great. That one's not going up and taxes are going to go down because eventually you'll do more giving. And that's just going to make taxes come even lower. And that just leaves the give and the grow category.
And I think if you guys at age 31 are putting that amount away, you're pretty soon, if not right now, going to have to get with an advisor or between the two of you, prayerfully consider how much is enough. Because you don't want to over accumulate. It's not just about the mindless accumulation of wealth. We want to still be dependent upon the Lord.
We want to be saying, God, what do you have for me right now? And once you establish enough on the grow, and I'm not saying you should necessarily slow down, you may want to just continue doing what you're doing for now. But once you know what enough is, both for your lifestyle and your accumulation long term, well, then the only category left is give. And so you have the opportunity then to do some pretty hilarious giving as you continue to accelerate that, which by the way, is going to drive down your taxes, which creates even more forgiving. And so you create this really cool kind of engine for generosity. So I think you're doing everything right.
I think maybe the only thing that I would suggest is to get with an advisor and begin to put a plan together, if you haven't already, that would help you establish how much is enough for retirement, how much is enough for college, given how many kids you have, and you know what, how much you want to try to cover yourself 100% or some portion of it. And establish those numbers. So then you know whether you're on track ahead or behind with what you're currently putting away, so that you can make adjustments up or down as the Lord provides more down the road. So I think that's your next step. Let's do this. I know you had a follow up question and I want to get to that. And then we have some other callers as well. So stay on the line, Eric. We'll pick right up on the other side of this break.
We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on faith and finance live Rob West taking your calls and questions 805257,000. That's 805257,000.
Just before the break, we were talking to Eric in Lafayette, Indiana, Eric's 31. He's on track he and his wife to be completely debt free, including their mortgage within the next 12 years. In the meantime, they have a great interest rate at two and a quarter on the house. They've got an emergency fund. They're saving for college, they're fully maxing out their raw 401ks every year, and they're tithing giving systematically. So I was saying, you know, you guys are doing a great job, I'd probably, you know, if you haven't done some planning, I would think you paying for a retirement plan that really looks at what's your ultimate savings goal, not just rules of thumb, but what's your ultimate savings goal for both retirement, to be able to maintain whatever lifestyle you feel like God has called you to in retirement. Either factoring in Social Security or not.
And what do you what do you ultimately need for college given what percent you'd like to be able to cover for your kids, whether that's the whole thing at 100% public or private or some portion of it requiring them to get some scholarships and grants or maybe doing some work leading up to college or during college, those kinds of things. But give me your thoughts. And I know you had some follow up questions, Eric. Yeah, that sounds pretty good. Just didn't know if maybe we needed to excel. We were already adding a little bit of principle to our mortgage payments each month. And I think you had mentioned earlier this year that if you pay it early, like in January, that it will kind of snowball on down the line, they have to pay as many taxes. So maybe look into doing something like that.
In the near future as well. Yeah. But also the age of 55 rule, how that applies to Roth and as, as well as the 4% rule of what to live on in retirement. Yeah, yeah, makes sense. Yeah, so the rule of 55, there's still I'm not seeing definitively whether it would apply to the the Roth 401k, it only applies to some 401ks. And, and, you know, clearly, you've got to get based on the the rules, you got to get above 59 and a half on the Roth to be able to take the, the penalty free withdrawal and the tax free withdrawal on the earnings, obviously, you could get back your initial contributions at any time. And so perhaps if you retired early, you could start there.
So as long as you didn't take more than you had originally put in, you know, then you're good. So essentially, you know, you'd have plenty of running room there if you wanted to retire early. In terms of the 4% withdrawal rate, you know, we look at that and just say, you know, as you pull that out, you know, if it's a traditional IRA or 401k, then you've obviously got the taxes on top of that with the Roth you don't. And so, you know, you may be able to do a little bit more than that, let's say you go up to 5%. In fact, Mr. Bengan, who came up with that actually recently revised that up, and he's up in the four and a half, and some folks even say 5%. So I would say, you know, given that all your money is in Roth 401ks, you're in a great spot, because you don't this is all tax free money.
And so perhaps you could even do a bit more on that. But I think that's where some some good planning would come into play here because you guys are in a position given how much how quickly you're going to be debt free, given how much you're putting away at such an early age in your 401ks. You're going to over accumulate, just given how modestly you're living unless you wanted to ratchet way up your lifestyle in retirement. So once you establish enough for your lifestyle, then it will be very easy to calculate what you ultimately need to save. And then you can just run those scenarios with a conservative growth rate based on historical numbers on stock investing, properly diversified and just say, Are we going to way oversubscribe what we need? And if so, we can back that down or we can continue to accumulate now.
And then, you know, back it down a little bit later. And the next option really there is just generosity and giving because you're going to be completely debt free. And unless you want to increase your lifestyle, once you establish enough, and you're out of debt, you know, the only thing left is is giving. So I think to answer your questions, I don't think the rule 55 applies to the Roth 401k, although I could stand to be corrected there. But I don't think it matters because again, you can get back all the way up to everything you put in as a contribution at any time penalty free and tax free, because you've already paid tax on it.
And then beyond that, given that it's all in tax free Roth IRAs, I think you could probably go up as much as 5% on the withdrawal rate. Is that helpful? Yes, yeah, very much so. Thank you so much. All right, Eric. Hey, God bless you guys. We appreciate you calling. 800-525-7000 to Punta Gorda, Florida.
Hey, Anthony, go right ahead. Yes, I'm asking to have about 500,000 that I'm looking to invest in something long term to bring some maybe immediate return or monthly return or annual return as well as to accumulate as well. Just calling to find out.
Yeah, very good. Is this inside a taxable account or is in a retirement account? I have it in the savings account.
Okay, yeah. So this is going to be taxable. So as you deploy it, you know, any gains are going to be treated as a long term or short term capital gain. And based on how long you hold these investments before you sell them, if you have a gain, then that will be taxable. Do you have retirement accounts as well or is everything in the savings account?
Well, yeah, I do. So the money is in the savings account. So it's already been taxed. And then I have some other retirement with Fidelity. I actually was planning to put that in something that they offer, but I wanted to get another perspective first.
Sure. How much do you have in retirement accounts? A total of one, about 150.
150,000. Is that an IRA or something else? Some in 401k. That was from a previous company, some in IRA, traditional IRA. All right.
And do you still have access to a company sponsored plan at work? No, no, I'm self employed now. Got it. Okay, let's do this. We've got to take a quick break.
That was really helpful background. When we come back, we'll talk about the best place to go from here in terms of the half a million dollars that you want to deploy and the retirement accounts. Much more to come just around the corner on faith and finance live.
Don't go anywhere. Great to have you with us today on faith and finance live. We've got a few lines open today. 800-525-7000. Give us a call.
Just before the break, we were talking to Anthony in Punta Gorda, Florida. He's got a half a million dollars in a savings account. Obviously, it's already been taxed looking to deploy that and get a little better rate of return on it. He's got about 150,000 in 401k and IRAs inside, of course, retirement plans. He's self employed currently, which means that he has no access to a company sponsored plan and just looking for deploying this.
Anthony, I would say there's really two sides to this. One is what type of account are you going to deploy it in once it leaves that savings account? And then secondly, what investments would you use inside of that account?
Obviously, you're not going to pay tax on this money, but you are going to pay tax on the growth, which is why I'd love to get as much of this into a tax deferred environment over time as possible. You have access as a self employed individual to either a SEP IRA, that's an SEP IRA SEP IRA, or a solo 401k. Now with a solo 401k, you'd only be able to put in up to the annual limit right now 22,500 a year for the solo 401k, but you could put in all of your earnings into that. Whereas with a SEP IRA, you can put in this year either 25% of your compensation, or $66,000, whichever is less. So you'd have the opportunity to put away potentially more in the SEP if you have more income there. And that would just allow you to systematically take a portion of this and move it over into a tax deferred environment, just so the taxes, the capital gains taxes, don't create a drag on the returns while it's growing between now and when you need to begin to use it in retirement. Let's say if we could try to move as much of it over into a qualified account as possible. With regard to the investments, I think the big question there is whether you want to pick the investments yourself or whether you want to hire an advisor to do that.
So I know I've thrown a lot at you. Give me your thoughts. Well, I actually, these two instruments you mentioned, I'm not sure about those, but I was planning to, since I have an account with Fidelity, just have a gentleman told me about an insurance investment that's available. He put that money away for 10 to 15 years and it will either grow or double in that time.
I forget the name of the investment though. That's what I was planning to do. Okay, put it into an insurance product like an annuity?
Something to that effect. Yeah, and you certainly could do that. I think the only downside there is you're going to lose access to the money and so you're basically locking it up and you're going to have surrender charges and penalties if you wanted to get it back. You're also going to cap your upside. So you'll get a, let's say you used a variable annuity, you'd get a portion of the upside of whatever index or investments the annuity was pegged to.
You don't get all of it though. So you're going to be limited on your upside potential. The downside, you would have some protection.
So that's one of the benefits is that they put a floor on the downside. But that's one option and then you could convert that to an income stream down the road. The other option is you hire an advisor and just manage it in a brokerage account, a taxable account, and then try to shift as much of it into a retirement account each year as possible.
Through either a solo 401k or a SEP IRA. And that way you still have full access to your money, you get the full upside of the returns on the investment strategy, but you do have the downside risk. If the market's down, your portfolios are going to be down with it. And a lot of that's just going to be determined by how you build and diversify the portfolio to limit your risk. That would be my preferred approach because, again, you get all 100% of the upside and you have full access to your money, and you're not getting into a complicated insurance product with limited upside and eventually paying income taxes on the money as you pull it out. And then you'd lose access to the money as well. But if that gives you peace of mind to know that, listen, I don't have to worry about what the market's going to do, I've got guaranteed returns, and I'm willing to be satisfied with that, then that would certainly be one way to go. Does that make sense? Of course it is.
And if I have the time, I'm 51, if I have the time in terms of years to wait, then that may be beneficial where the money can be locked away for 10, 15 years. It certainly could be, yeah. I mean, you need to understand the product and read the fine print. Again, they get very complicated.
I'd get at least a couple of offers. Fidelity is a great institution and they have some really high quality products, so that makes me feel a little bit better, but I'd probably get a second or a third opinion. You could do that with one of the Certified Kingdom Advisors in the CKA listing on our website. That's just our men and women who have met high standards and character and competence and can bring a biblical worldview of professional decision making.
You just head to our website, faithfi.com, click find a CKA. But yeah, I think that's certainly one option. I like the direction you're headed.
I would just make sure you get a couple of counter offers before you settle on the insurance product you ultimately go with, if that is what gives you most peace of mind. Anthony, we appreciate your call today, my friend. God bless you. Thanks for being a part of the program. Let's head to Kansas. Hi, Roger.
Go ahead. Hey, I've got a question about what you suggest or think about $150,000. I'm 70.
I'm still working. I have no debt. I've got a lump sum total of just a little over $400,000. 250 of it is in an annuity that has had, I think it's got three or four years left on a surrender charge. What would you do with $150,000?
Yeah, so you've got separate from this, you've got, give me just a rundown of those other assets that you have. Well, a lump sum total of $400,000. 250 of that is in an annuity.
Okay. And you've got about three years you said left on the surrender there. And then what's the balance of that in? Well, it's in a savings account. It's just sitting there in a savings account.
All right. And then you've got an additional $150,000 beyond that savings account and the annuity, correct? No, the balance is all in a savings account. Okay, so $400,000 total. $150,000 is in a savings and then $250,000 in an annuity. That's correct, yes. Okay, all right. And what do you spend annually?
Do you have a good sense of that? What does it cost to cover your lifestyle? About $1500 a month.
Okay, yeah, so you guys are living modestly. I mean, I would say you'd probably want to put, you know, 25,000 in keep 20 to 25,000 in savings, just so you've got that liquid. The good news is you're only three years away from having access to that money. So I'd probably deploy this $150,000 unless you wanted to do some giving, or you had any debt. I would probably just deploy this in an investment account, a bond portfolio, maybe with a small allocation to stocks, gives you plenty of liquidity. You'll take advantage of the bond, the increase in the bond prices as interest rates fall starting later this year or next year. We've got great yields, and I'd hire an advisor to manage this 150.
And then if it's doing well, three years from now, maybe add to it as this annuity comes due, or you could roll it over into another annuity. I'd like to get your thoughts on this, though, and answer any follow-up questions you have. And then Denise, Jennifer, Mary, we'll tackle your questions as well.
Roger, I've got to take a quick break. When we come back, though, I'll get your thoughts, and we'll make some decisions on where you go from here. This is Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, and we'll be right back. Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.
I'm Rob West. Just before the break, we were talking to Roger. He's 70, still working, has no debt. He and his wife have $250,000 that's in an annuity three years away from not having any surrender penalties. They've got $150,000 in a savings account wondering what to do with it. And I was saying, why don't we put 12 months at a minimum in liquid reserves, which at their modest lifestyle would be only around $18,000. The balance, what if we deployed that in a conservative investment strategy at age 70? I might be looking at 60 to 70% in bonds, especially given how favorable bonds are looking moving forward. And maybe a smaller allocation 30% and some high yield like dividend paying stocks that give you a complete access to the money but could allow you to grow it. And apart from wanting to do any additional giving, you know, that's really the only two options you have. It sounds like your lifestyle, you're not looking for massive increases there, if any, and you don't have any more debt. So it's really about giving and growing this money.
But give me your thoughts on that, Roger. Well, I was going to put $100,000 into a six year indexed annuity. And I don't know, I'm just leery of this economy in the stock market.
Sure, sure. Then you're left with, I'll put it into a CD, put $50,000 into a CD at four and a quarter is what the local bank is paying right now. And then that would leave $100,000 that I didn't know what to do with. That's my dilemma. If it's a 70, I don't have time to start over if the stock market fails.
Sure. Well, that's why I was saying I'd probably put the majority of this in high quality corporate and government bonds. But certainly you could do CDs. I mean, the rates we're experiencing right now, you mentioned four and a half, you could actually get up at five and a half plus, right now, if you wanted to go beyond just your local bank and look at some other options.
And bankrate.com would show you which banks are offering the kinds of rates I'm talking about with full FDIC insurance, but that is going to have a shorter runway. Those are probably going to be a little bit more expensive. Those are probably not going to be available a couple of years down the road as rates start coming down. So that would be a short term solution.
If you're looking for something that's guaranteed, where you don't have any market risk, then you'd probably have to look at an insurance product again, like you have previously, and you could buy one that has a floor on it. And then at some point, you could convert that to an income stream for you or wife, you and your wife's life. That would, you know, create a payout. But you're getting back into a situation where you lose access to your capital without surrender charges and penalties.
So it ultimately comes down to you just, are you willing to take some risk? And that's where I think a largely bond portfolio makes sense at this point. Or would you rather transfer that risk to the insurance company, or a combination of the two, like you said, maybe it's CDs plus a smaller annuity. And then three years from now, if you needed access to your capital, you could get it back from the the $250,000. annuity that will be beyond the surrender charge.
So perhaps that's the best way to go to give you the peace of mind you need, and yet make sure that you're properly growing this money. Okay, very good. All right.
Well, thank you for your help. Yes, sir. Roger, God bless you. We appreciate your call today.
We're going to stay in Kansas head southwest to Denise go right ahead. Yes, we have a water insurance agent called a balloon policy at the time we got it. We were both working full time had our home and two rentals. And now that I'm retired, and he's going to be retiring.
Now we only have two home two houses. And I'm wondering, do we really need a balloon policy? Yeah, are you talking about an umbrella policy? Perhaps? That's it. That may be that's it.
Yeah. You know, it's it's I like umbrella policies a lot. It's an inexpensive way to get good coverage for home and auto insurance beyond what would typically be available to you. You know, you could make the case in your later years, I would say you even have more reason to have an umbrella policy because your net worth is greater than when you were younger.
And so let's say and again, we don't even want to think about these things, but they happen. Let's say you were in a, you know, a car accident, and there was, you know, major harm to either somebody's body or property. Let's say you had a slip and fall on your property. I mean, there's a any number of scenarios we could think about where the actual damages or claims could go well beyond the limits of your traditional homeowners or auto insurance policy. And with assets that somebody could come after, that's where an umbrella policy would kick in for a relatively inexpensive amount of money annually. That's where an umbrella policy would kick in for a relatively inexpensive amount of money annually to step in and cover, you know, that lawsuit.
So I think that's the case for it, even in this season of life, Denise, does that make sense? It really does. And it is, like you said, a small amount of money, but I just I've talked to numerous of my friends, nobody even knows what they are. And I thought, well, maybe we don't need this thing. Yeah, well, you've answered my question. They are under your welcome. They are underutilized, I would say, but it's a very effective tool. Again, just to offset a risk. Let's pray that you never have to claim on it. And it's just money you're spending every year.
But if you ever did, then you'll be certainly glad you have it. Thanks for your call today. We appreciate it. To Boynton Beach, Florida. Hi, Jennifer, go ahead.
Good afternoon. I have been seeing advertisements and even actually received an email about the U.S. government giving a debt relief to people who you'd say worked during 2020 or stuff like that. Are these legitimate or is this kind of just you'd say scammers giving us quick money the way it looks like? Yeah, these are scams.
Most of these. So you got to be really careful. I'd just be really on your guard there, especially somebody saying there's government money available.
That's a very common strategy and tactic. What kind of debt do you have that you're looking to pay off? Well, I'm actually in the middle of a very contentious divorce right now. And so my debt has actually ballooned up to almost 70,000. Okay. All right.
And how does that break down? What type of debt is that? I have a $32,000 vehicle loan. Okay.
And then 13, about 20,000 is student loan and then the rest is credit card. Okay. All right. And is any of this going to go away once? I mean, or is it all still an open matter in terms of the divorce settlement? Most of it is very much an open matter, unfortunately.
But I would say probably a minimum of 50% of the debt should disappear with what I feel I should be getting through the divorce. Sure. Sure. Yeah.
Yeah. Well, first of all, I'm sorry to hear that you're going through that. I think I wouldn't be making any big changes right now until this is all, until this all plays out and you understand kind of where you find yourself. You know, we want to obviously keep that car payment current. You know, hopefully it's in good working order and it's, you know, what you're using to get around, get to work and so forth. Student loans, let's just keep, you know, are you in deferment currently or are you paying on those?
8,000 of it. I have been paying on them. 13,000 of it was kind of on hold with zero interest because of the life debt issue. So my assumption is that obviously come September ish, I would have to start paying on them. But based on the circumstances, I would probably put that one into deferment or income based payment plan right now just to not overstrenuate myself financially.
Yeah, that makes sense. And there is, you know, still obviously the student loan interest will resume on September 1, 2023. And so you just need to be planning for that. So you're ready for that.
There's talk that they may extend that again, but at this point, that's the date. What the other option is for this credit card specifically, I like debt management in terms of credit counseling. And perhaps what you do is take whatever portion of those you expect would ultimately be your responsibility and maybe you could put those cards or card into a debt management program just to get the interest rates down to give you more progress toward getting those paid off every month. I wouldn't put them all in just given the uncertainty of the divorce settlement, but you may want to put a portion of those in just to, you know, get those rates down from whatever they are now to hopefully something more realistic. And our friends at christiancreditcounselors.org can help you with that. But I think apart from that, let's just, you know, keep doing what you're doing on the student loans, keep paying down that car, let's get that paid off as quick as we can.
And then, you know, we'll just get through this season. Let's see how everything shakes out with the divorce. And then we can make some other decisions once you know exactly where you find yourself. Okay, so then, so I understand correctly, and it kind of fed into this, so my kind of second question was, would it be to my demise to do Christian Credit Counseling during the divorce process? And it kind of sounds like it'd be more to my advantage because I'm paying off debt and I'd be showing each state a court system that I'm being responsible for my bills at this point, even if parts of them are ultimately his financial needs. I would tend to agree with that. Yeah, I would tend to agree with that. However, I would run that by your attorney, just to make sure that he or she is in agreement with that. Obviously, I don't know the inner workings of whether or not something like this would be frowned upon, given you know that this is an active and ongoing situation.
So perhaps run that by your attorney, but I think as long as they give you the green light on it, anything that's going to help you pay this off quicker at the end of the day is a good thing. So Jennifer, listen, all the best to you, and we'll pray the Lord will just walk closely to you during this difficult season, and you're going to get through it, and the Lord has a plan. So just trust him implicitly, and thanks for calling today. We appreciate it. Well, folks, we covered a lot of ground today. So thankful that you were along with us, Mary and Cora. I apologize we didn't get to your questions. If you want to hang on the line, we'll try to get you scheduled for a future broadcast. My team today, couldn't do it without them, Amy and Dan and Jim. Also want to say thank you for being here as well.
Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Buy. Come back and join us tomorrow. We'll see you then. Bye-bye.
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