Today's version of MoneyWise Live is prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. Question, how can you receive income and increase your generosity at the same time?
I am Rob West. The answer, with a charitable gift annuity. It gives you both security and a novel way to be more generous with ministries and organizations doing the Lord's work. I'll talk about this special kind of annuity today with George Duffin.
And we have some great calls lined up, but we won't be taking your live calls today because we're prerecorded. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, our guest today is George Duffin with the National Christian Foundation. George has led NCF's charitable gift annuity program for the last 17 years, serving more than a thousand believers as they set up these special accounts that provide much needed funding for around 240 ministries and charities. George, great to have you on the program.
Hey, Rob, I'm elated to be here. George, charitable gift annuities sound a bit complex. Help us understand what they are and how they can actually help believers be more generous with God's resources. Yeah, definitely. Now, from the perspective of a charity wanting to issue a gift annuity. Yes, it is. From that perspective, Rob, it is complex.
There's liability and there's state regulations, compliance and annual filing. So, but from the perspective of the person who's wanting to fund a gift annuity to advance the charity of ministry work near and dear to their heart, the appeal is its simplicity. And the fact that most people refer to this as the gift that gives back. And it's largely because they realize they make a gift, one to charity. And they also make a gift to up to two people in the form of payments for the rest of their life.
Now, you can make yourself one of those payment recipients and most people do, but you don't have to be the payment recipient yourself. And so, if we look at these two gifts, a gift to charity and a gift to yourself in the form of payments for life, for the gift to charity, there is a charitable deduction for that portion. Now, for the payments that are coming back to you for life or going to two other people, that payout rate is suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities. Rob, the great thing about this organization and suggesting the payout rates is that 96% of charities follow those rates so that a giver doesn't have to rate shop. Wondering if ABC ministry offers a higher payout rate than XYZ ministry.
And so, they could give to where their heart is. Now, their age is one of the factors that determines the payout rate in that the principle here is the more senior the person is, the higher the payout rate. The other factor that determines the payout rate is the timing of the payments.
Someone could set this up now, but then wait later to start the payments. And the principle here is the longer you wait, the higher the payout rate. And as those payments continue for life, once we get to the end of the gift annuity, when the person hears, well done thy good and faithful servant, the charity is able to use those funds to advance their mission. Now, Rob, the joke amongst charities is for those that do charitable gift annuities, they seem to have longevity.
They seem to live forever. And in fact, our most senior donor that has done one of these gifts is currently 105. Oh, wow.
That's great. Well, it sounds like a powerful tool, George, because here in this season of life where perhaps you're sitting on a large asset of investments, you're needing income, but you want to bless a charity or ministry and get a tax favored status in making this gift to be able to make the gift to the charity, to know that God's resources are going to be used by this ministry that's obviously near and dear to your heart at your death is something that you're excited about. But while you're still here and God's not done with you, you have the benefit of getting this income, you and someone else, perhaps your spouse. So we'll continue to talk about charitable gift annuities. Our guest today is George Duffin.
He oversees the National Christian Foundation's charitable gift annuity program. Don't go anywhere. Much more to come. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live.
I'm Rob West. Joining me today, George Duffin with the National Christian Foundation. George leads NCF's charitable gift annuity program, and he has for the last 17 years.
NCF is an underwriter of this program. And George, just before the break, we were talking about this powerful tool to bless a ministry, give you some tax advantages and income for life. Now, it might seem like charitable gift annuities are only for older folks who've accumulated a lot of wealth.
Is that the case? So for people that issue or fund an immediate payout gift annuity, yes, you're right that the average age of those individuals are between 78 and 79. However, there are tools giving charitable gift annuity tools that are deferred. And when you look at those deferred gift annuities and who are doing those, those tend to be more attractive to younger people. And so that's where you set up the gift annuity. Now you defer the payments and the payments are growing because there is a compounding interest calculation that is factored in and you're getting a higher payment. And then you have something, Rob, called a flexible deferred gift annuity.
And that's a unique tool where someone could set it up now. They don't know when they want to start the payments. Maybe they want to tie it to something like retirement. So if they're in their 50s and they want to start the payments, maybe when they become 65 or 70, they can have the flexibility of choosing later when to start those payments. Those tend to be more attractive to younger people. We have one person that funded a gift annuity at age 40. And so that's young. Now, as far as wealthy, we have wealthy people that have done gift annuities for in the millions.
And we do have that everyday steward. I can go on and on about stories of annuitants. We have one lady that we interviewed when she turned 100 and we wanted to get her God story. And she shared with us that for 13 years, she was a missionary in Sudan. And then she came back to the States, finished up her college, was a teacher for 13 years.
But that mission field was drawing on our heart. And so she went back to the mission field until she turned 70, came back to the US, had a heart for ministries that reached out to Africa and decided, hey, I could do gift annuities to benefit these charities and actually give more than I thought I could because I'm getting to spin it back. So here we have this missionary and this teacher funding multiple gift annuities to help ministries that do a great work in Africa.
I love that. George, quickly, why would somebody who's younger go ahead and initiate a gift now, even though they're not going to begin drawing income until some event later in life? What's the benefit of doing it today?
Yeah. The benefit is the payout rate. So if someone who is currently, let's say 75 years old and they're getting a certain payout rate, which is great and attractive, let's take a different scenario.
When someone is 60 years old and they wait until they're 75, the payout rate is considerably larger for that person who defers the payments. Very good. All right. What about the market volatility? Is it a safe time to contribute with a charitable gift annuity right now?
And perhaps when is the best time? This is an important question for this time that we are in. And for anyone that's considering funding a gift annuity, it really is vital for them to kind of do their due diligence on the charity that's issuing the gift annuity because the payments are backed by the charity and the full faith of the charity. So this person who's wanting to fund a gift annuity, you would want to know what are the assets backing the charity? How long have the charity been in existence? And Rob, here's an odd question that you would want to ask. The American Council on gift annuity suggests rates.
Do you go above it? Now on the surface, that may seem like a good deal if someone is offering a rate above it, but then those rates that are offered by or suggested by the American Council on gift annuities are actuarially sound. And so if a charity is going above it, then you need to take a deeper dive into making sure that they are able to make those payments for the rest of their life. The way that National Christian Foundation helped to mitigate the volatility in the market is we do something called reinsurance, and that's buying a commercial annuity that exactly matches the payments. In doing so, the payments are now backed not only by National Christian Foundation, but also a large insurance company. In this way, they're not going to outlive those payments. And Rob, a byproduct of reinsurance is that now the charity doesn't have to wait until the person here is well done, thy good and faithful servant. There is a benefit at the onset that can go to their mission. Yeah, that's really helpful. George, are there any challenges or drawbacks that folks need to be aware of with charitable gift annuities?
Yeah, indeed. Gift annuities, like many of these gifts, they're irrevocable or irrevocable depending on what part of the country you live in. And so once you do the gift, you're unable to get the principal back. The other challenge or something to be mindful of is that, yes, these are fixed payments, which are great. And so if we're going through a hard market time, these payments are not going to fluctuate. But the converse is if we go through a great market time, these payments will not go up. And there isn't any inflation adjustment in the payments.
And so, Rob, that's something to be mindful of. We had one person that did multiple flexible deferred gift annuities. And in this way, he was able to turn them on at separate times, which kind of helped to mimic that inflation protection. So his payments were going up as time was going by.
Yeah, very good. What about from a giving standpoint, the donors obviously getting a financial return. How does that square with biblical generosity? George, is there a conflict? Oh, wow.
This is a great question. I had a mentor. He passed away two years ago. And he would always say that before you get into the technical, before you get into the mechanical, it's important to share the spiritual.
What's the spiritual aspect for for what you do? And for him, it was Philippians 4 17, where Paul said, Not that I seek the gift and the gift meaning a financial gift. Yes. But I seek that which credits to your account. And so the George Duffin translation of that is it's not what I want from you. But it's what I want for you.
Yeah. And Rob, in a very real way, I could borrow that as that's my biblical framework for what I do. But looking at it from the donors perspective, that is the principle, the biblical principle of sowing and reaping. I love the way that Charles Stanley says it when he says, You reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, and you reap more than you sow. Yes, that is exactly how a charitable gift annuity works.
And Luke 638 kind of ties it into a bow where it says give and it shall be given unto you. Great information today, George. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.
It is wonderful to be here, Rob. Folks, you can learn more on NCF's website, ncfgiving.com. There's a whole resource section on charitable gift annuities with videos and calculators.
You can also find a local NCF office. Again, that's ncfgiving.com. All right, coming up, we have some great questions lined up, but hold your calls because we're prerecorded. I'm Rob West and this is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back.
It's great to have you with us on MoneyWise Live today, but unfortunately, today we're not live. We're prerecorded and therefore won't be taking your calls. However, we've lined up some calls in advance that we think you'll find helpful. So stay tuned and enjoy the rest of the program.
We're going to begin today in Ohio. Bill, you're first on the program, sir. Go right ahead. Thanks for taking my call.
Can you hear me? Yes, sir. Okay. I'm recently self-employed and I'm going to set up a SEP and I don't know which to set up a raw SEP or a traditional.
I don't know what would be the advantages of one over the other. Yeah. So you're self-employed.
Is that right, Bill? Right. Okay. And I'm 60 and I'm only going to contribute three or four years. Okay.
Very good. You said you're 60 years old. Do you have other types of retirement accounts currently? Yeah, I've worked for employers, so I have a retirement and I have a 401k. Okay.
All right. Yeah, there is not a Roth, a SEP Roth IRA. So there's a Roth IRA, which over the age of 50 this year, you'd be able to put in $7,000. And then there's a SEP IRA, which acts like a traditional IRA in the sense that you put in the money, you get the tax deduction when it goes in, and then you have the ability to take that out in retirement and you'll pay tax on the money as it's coming out as income.
But there is not, like with a 401k, there's both a traditional and a Roth version of the 401k. That's not the case with the SEP IRA. So in this case, what you would have to do, and I like the SEP for somebody who is in a self-employed situation because it's going to allow you to put away far more than you would in either a traditional or a Roth. The contribution limit for a SEP is 25% of your earnings from self-employment, not including contributions for yourself. And that's up to $61,000 for this year. And then you could put in an additional $7,000 into a Roth, but you're not going to have the ability to do a Roth SEP. You would have to convert it to a Roth down the road.
But I think that's a great option for you just to sock away as much as you can, Bill, between now and retirement so you can have something that you can use to supplement Social Security. Does that make sense? Yeah. So a SEP doesn't have an either or. It's only a traditional.
Yes. There's only one flavor, if you will, of SEP IRA and that's traditional, which is not like the individual retirement account or the 401k, which has a Roth version that doesn't apply to a SEP. And then if I put over 25% there and then one will go into an IRA at my age, which would you recommend a Roth or a traditional to get that extra seven? Yeah, I kind of like having both options, so I would probably go with the Roth. And that way, if you don't need the money, you could let it continue to grow past your required minimum distribution or you wouldn't have to take a required minimum.
So I think because you're going to do the majority of your savings in the SEP, I'd choose the Roth. Thanks for your call, Bill. Let's head to Alabama. Larry, thanks for calling. Go right ahead.
Larry from Alabama. Have you heard anything about tokens being for sale? Are you talking about cryptos? Yeah.
Yeah, I'm very familiar with these. And, you know, I think the key here, Larry, is that, you know, the cryptocurrency, which is essentially virtual money that's for the most part unregulated in traditional terms, the technology behind the cryptos is not going away. It has a wide reaching application and we're going to see it here in a whole host of areas as a means of exchange, though, there's still a lot of question about where this is all headed. Obviously, digital banks across the world are looking at this. They don't like the fact that it's challenging their systems. And so they're concerned that could mean more regulation, which is why we've seen a huge sell off across the board and Bitcoin and others just as they find their way.
So I think it's something to watch. Again, I don't think it's going anywhere because that block chain technology is going to be used in a variety of contexts, but it's not for, in my view, Larry, investing. It's highly speculative. And, well, we've seen that play out as of late, just in the incredible volatility and recent sell off in the price of Bitcoin. Bitcoin prices are down nearly 60 percent year to date, trading well off their highs, which were at 69000 per Bitcoin back in 2021. And, you know, experts are really coming around to this idea that Bitcoin is no longer viewed as an inflation hedge. You know, it's trading in lockstep with equities and it's dealing with outside forces and factors like the unknown regulatory environment related to them that's been weighing on them as of late. So I would stay far from that.
You know, my general rule is, if you don't understand it, don't invest in it. But I appreciate you checking with us, sir. God bless you. Let's head to Arkansas next. Shara, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Well, we're waiting.
My husband and I believe we're home. But in the meantime, we want to get rid of all our debt. Well, we have this particular credit card that we should have paid off by the end of this month. So my question is, should we cut that card up or should we put it back in the closet somewhere for emergency purposes only?
Yeah. You know, I think, you know, as you get out of debt, there's a couple of thoughts here. I mean, number one is I'm not one who says credit cards should never be used.
There are some that will say that. And I would concur they can be dangerous if they're not used properly. But if you're able to manage them responsibly and that means using it for convenience, recognizing there is a tendency to spend more on plastic than with cash, studies say up to 30 percent more because we're not parting with our money. But if we are able to do it in a way that's responsible and that means only for budgeted items and then paid off in full.
And if that's been a problem in the past, I want you to really get to a place where you can do that moving forward. Then I would say hang on to it because it can be very convenient and there are rewards and, you know, there's ways to use them that are effective, but not as your emergency fund. Shara, I really would love to see you have three to six months expenses in a liquid savings account. We don't want to fund emergencies with debt. We need to do that with savings.
So dial in your spending plan, cut back so you can have margin and build up three to six months in savings for your emergencies. We'll be right back on MoneyWise. Forty five thousand. That's how many times MoneyWise referred a listener to a certified kingdom adviser or C.K.A. last year.
And for good reason. These are trusted financial, legal and accounting professionals who have completed a rigorous certification program to ensure they provide biblically wise financial advice. You can find a local C.K.A. professional in your area by going to MoneyWise.org and clicking the Find a C.K.A.
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Parents Rising. Check it out at moodypublishers.com. Creativity is God-given and a part of our humanity. So shouldn't Christians value and champion creativity as a part of our lives? On the other hand, there can be a fine line to idolatry. It's time to restore the connection between creativity and theology. The book Images and Idols is an exploration of creativity in the Christian life. It'll help creatives build a strong theological foundation while challenging the church as well. Available at moodypublishers.com. Do you ever feel stressed or anxious about money?
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Right now you can request your copy of the Money Seeking God's Wisdom 31-day devotional with the gift of any amount at moneywise.org. I'm Miriam Neff. And I'm Valerie Neff-Hogan with Wise Women Managing Money. Teaching our children about finances is more important than ever today. Work and earn. No debt. Be productive.
Our culture promotes none of these biblical principles. Consider the Proverbs 31 woman. We see her as a productive, successful businesswoman. She was all that and more. She was an example to her children.
A hands-on example. Proverbs 31 26 27 28. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed. Speaking wisdom is good, but not enough.
Her actions matched her words. Who better knows than our children? They see all day, every day. Teaching time. This feature and more at wise women managing money.com. Delighted to have you along with us today on Money Wise Live. I'm Rob West, your host. This is where we apply God's truth to your financial decisions.
Here's what we recognize on this program. God owns it all and money is a tool to accomplish God's purposes because you're a steward and so am I. We're money managers for the King of Kings.
Here's the other reality is that money issues are hard issues. You know, my experience is that our financial journey is one of the key ways God shapes our spiritual journey and really money issues. The way we handle money, it's a training ground of the heart. It's one of the most tangible, visible expressions of what we value and where we've placed our trust. The question is, is there a misalignment between what's really important to us and what money says is important to us?
And if it is, perhaps we need to change the way we're allocating God's resources. Well, we can all get better at that and so let's do that together. Our phone lines are not open at the moment because we're away from the studio, but we have some great questions that we lined up in advance. So we're going to go right back to the phones to Louisiana.
Marie, thank you for calling and for your patience. Go right ahead. I am soon to receive an inheritance from my beautiful grandmother of the amount of $10,000. And I'm curious to know, would it be worthwhile to invest into an I-Bond, being that I don't need to touch these funds?
Yeah, it certainly could be, Marie. I like I-Bonds a lot right now. Let me just ask a couple of quick questions, though. Would you give me just kind of an overview of your financial situation in particular? Do you have what I call an emergency savings account that you probably hear me talking about regularly? And then what about debt?
Sure. So we do have an emergency fund, probably about four to six months. We do not have, by the grace of God, do not have any debt other than my mortgage. And currently we had to purchase due to storm damage last year. We're living in an RV, but we owe maybe about $8,000 on that. So other than that, we don't have any debt.
Okay, very good. And then the time horizon on this money, Marie, do you have a specific purpose in mind for it or is it something you just want to sock away for the future? Just want to be wise with it and put away for the future.
I do have a Roth IRA that I have not contributed to in about three years, but it is vested. And my husband and I have talked about, you know, allocating some monthly, you know, money towards that. But other than that, no. Okay. And what is your age, you and your husband? I'm 38. He is 41.
Okay. And so do you all have retirement accounts available through either of your jobs? He does. He has a 401k that he and his employer contribute to each month.
I do not, other than the Roth IRA that I have. Okay, very good. And then do you know what percent of the total percent that's going into his 401k each month?
I do not, but if I had to give you an estimate, it's probably anywhere from like 4 to 6%, including himself and the employer. Okay, got it. All right. Well, yeah, I like the I-Bond a lot. I mean, I love the fact that you all are almost entirely out of debt once you pay off the RV. You've got four to six months in the emergency fund.
That's all really strong. If you're limiting your expenses and living within your means, have some margin every month. I think that's really key, being faithful in your giving as the Lord leads you.
In terms of how to allocate this 10,000, which by the way, what a blessing from your grandmother that you're receiving this. Even though I love the I-Bonds, which are paying 9.6% based on today's inflation reading, which we expected to tick down, showing that we had reached the peak. It actually was ticking up, which has the market selling off today and down nearly, well, more than 800 points on the Dow.
We'll talk about that in a moment. And that means inflation is not going anywhere despite the Fed's clear directive that they're going to do everything possible to get inflation under control, which means we're going to see considerably higher interest rates from here. So the I-Bond is very attractive right now. And you could put in 10,000 per person for the calendar year, which would match what you're receiving. And it's going to get 9.62%. It's going to reset again in November. But just based on even today's reading with inflation continuing to stay around here for a while, you're going to get a very attractive rate for at least the next year.
I would say probably the next year or two. And you've got to leave that in there for for at least a year. The only reason, though, that I'm not saying absolutely that's the way to go is it for me, even though you guys are young and you've got plenty of time on your side, I kind of like the idea of you all thinking longer term because I'd love for your husband to have that 401k contribution up near the 10 percent mark with his contribution plus his employer. And I'd love to see you doing the same, whether that's through a plan at work at some point or just at least fully funding that Roth IRA every year with 6,000. So I think perhaps what I might suggest is for you to put 6,000 into your Roth for this year and then put the balance in the IBOT. Now, if you could do that through margin, through extra that you have left over at the end of the month because you're limiting your lifestyle and you've got a bit left over between now and when you file your 2022 tax return, which could be as late as next April, if you can get that full 6,000 into the Roth IRA just out of surplus, then I would say great, then perhaps go ahead and take advantage of the IBOT. But if not, if money is a little tight, kind of living more paycheck to paycheck, then I would say this inheritance is a gift that I think would be great to use to fund that Roth because the power of this Roth invested now at these lower levels with the market having sold off this year. If you kind of play that out 30 years from now, man, what your grandmother left you would be a huge blessing down the road that you could pull out tax free with all of that compounded growth. Whereas the IBONs are pretty attractive today, but a couple of years down the road, I suspect they're going to revert back to the mean, which is more like a 2% annual return.
And at that point, you'd be thinking about something else to do with it, but the market would have likely recovered by then. Does that all make sense to you? Yes, it does. Thank you.
So I think I would opt for the Roth first unless you can do it out of current cash flow. But even then, I think getting it in sooner rather than later so you can get it invested at these levels, I think is pretty important. So hopefully that's helpful to you. We appreciate so much you. Awesome.
You are very welcome. We appreciate you listening and calling. Let's see. We've got some great questions lined up here. We're gonna have to hit a break in just a moment.
So Charles and Cliff and Monty, I'm gonna ask you to stay right there and we'll come to you right after this next break quickly. And this one came by email from Tom, which by the way, if you have a question for us that you'd like read on the air, you have the option to send us an email questions at moneywise.org. Tom writes, what is a qualified charitable distribution?
I've heard you talk about them regularly. I'm interested as a retiree and basically a qualified charitable distribution, Tom, is where you would take an otherwise taxable distribution from an IRA and then you give it directly to a ministry or charity. What that does is it's going to allow you to satisfy your required minimum distribution if you're over the age of 72.
You don't add anything to your taxable income for the year and the ministry gets the full amount. Plus you can even replace giving you would have otherwise done with cash with the qualified charitable distribution. It's a great tool. Hey folks, let me remind you before we take our break that the MoneyWise app is available in your app store. Just search for MoneyWise biblical finance.
You'll find broadcast archives. You'll find our learn tab with the best content in biblical finance, all in one place, podcasts, articles, and videos. You also find our money management system where you can use our digital envelope system or just our tracking system. Whatever you want to do, it's right there for the taking.
MoneyWise app, search for MoneyWise biblical finance. We're going to pause MoneyWise Live. We'll talk to you right after this. Stay with us. This is our final segment of a broadcast we previously recorded. Thanks so much for being with us today and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of today's program. Rhonda, thank you for calling. Go right ahead.
Hi. My parents are getting older. There's four of us girls and we've been struggling trying to figure out what's going to happen to them. If, per se, they get maybe put into a nursing home or something like that, the only asset they really have is their home. I keep hearing there's this five-year look back and just different things that could happen where we couldn't hang on to their home. We weren't sure exactly.
We've looked at maybe irrevocable trust or maybe putting our names on the deed, which I know I don't think that matters within that five-year look back or whatever. I'm not sure. Is there a way that we can protect their home from, you know, getting taken by a nursing home? That's unfortunately.
Sure. It is something to look at and it is something, Rhonda, you want to get some real expert counsel on. So, I would visit with an estate attorney, perhaps even an elder law attorney, someone who specializes in this area. Of course, we want to be above board and do everything according to the law and it does get complicated in terms of that look back that you described. There's tax issues that need to be thought about and there are ways through trust and even what's called a life estate that you can protect the interest in a home. So, if you create a life estate and transfer real estate, you incur no penalty if you're entering a nursing home, but provided that the transfer occurred at least five years before your illness or whatever led to the nursing home stay. So, again, that's where it does get a bit complicated and I think, you know, getting that counsel to make sure you understand what is it you're trying to accomplish, what is the situation that you have and what legal instruments are there that could be put in place.
Do you all have an estate attorney that you could reach out to? No, not really. And that's what we've just been between us for.
We kept doing research and it's just all so foreign to us. I mean, we're just not sure. And it would be fine if we had to use that to pay, you know, for their care, obviously. I mean, that's what has to happen happens because that is their only asset.
You know, it's like, I hate to see something like that happen. Of course, you know, then I think, well, one of them might go before the other or, you know, something like that. And I know that the house is safe as long as one of them are in the house, I assume. You know, we just wasn't sure exactly what the best thing for us for girls to do for them or, you know, basically be just for, you know, that's our family home. And we just weren't sure exactly, you know, we're getting to the end here. So we've got something.
Yeah, absolutely. And that's where, yeah, it will be protected while they're there. The question is, what about estate recovery, where the state essentially tries to be reimbursed for Medicaid nursing home expenses if there were expenses covered. And if to the extent you all want to keep the home in the future as an inheritance, that's where you would want to try to protect it. So what I would do, Rhonda, is reach out to a Certified Kingdom Advisor there in Maryland.
If you go to our website moneywise.org and click find a CKA, you'll find a list of Certified Kingdom Advisors in your area. And any one of them would have an estate attorney that they could refer you to, preferably somebody who's a godly estate attorney and even better, somebody who's an elder law attorney. I think that really is your next step as you talk through all of this with them. But grateful that you all are walking alongside your parents in this season of life.
I know that honors the Lord. And I think getting some wise counsel will go a long way, especially in a situation like this, where it gets fairly complicated. Can I ask real quick, just like, okay, so I read somewhere like if, you know, one of the kids or something, because, you know, if one of us has to move in together, something happens where the other one passes away or has to go nursing home and we move in, isn't there something where if you're living there for a certain amount of time or something like that, is that maybe the best?
You know, obviously, maybe that might be the best thing. Can they take the home if, you know, if the child's living there and taking care of the other parent? Yeah, there are certain conditions related to, you know, who that would apply to and the age and so forth of that individual. So I again, I think that's where it does get fairly complicated. So you're going to really want to get some good counsel on that. But the answers are there and I'm confident you guys can figure out a path forward. But the key is to try to get ahead of it and do whatever planning you can do well in advance. So I think time is of the essence here, Rhonda, in terms of putting whatever in place that you can. But we appreciate your call today.
God bless you. You know, just the other day we were talking about identity theft and how ID theft is really on the rise. You know, protecting your personal data against identity thieves is really critical. And the key is to put as many effective barriers as you can in place to discourage these identity thieves from trying to victimize you. Let me share with you just a few ideas on this because we get questions on this all the time. And I think, you know, as you try to protect yourself in an increasingly digital world, these become more and more important all the time.
First, and this sounds simple and obvious, and yet a lot of folks don't do it. I would say password protect your devices. The majority of Americans don't password protect their mobile phones, according to a recent cybersecurity survey. So make sure you have that password there on your device. Use a password manager. This is where you use software to manage your password so you can have them as long strings.
You can easily update them or change them. You could use 1Password. That's the number 1 password. That's the app I use to manage my passwords or one that's similar called LastPass. But in either case, make sure you're not using the same one repetitively. Make sure it's long, probably 12 to 16 characters and change them regularly. This is huge. Watch out for phishing attempts.
That's with a PH. This is where you're clicking on any suspicious-looking link in a text or an email, even the links that don't look suspicious. They may even have the logo of the financial institution you normally do business with right there in the email. But if there's a link in an email that's ultimately asking for you to put in personal information, just don't do it.
If you need to access your account, go there directly through typing in the URL and going directly through your browser before you attempt to log in or put in any personal information. Never give out personal information over the phone, even if somebody says they're from the IRS. By the way, they won't contact you by phone out of the blue. They will send something in the mail first. But don't ever give a PIN number or a bank information or a social security number over the phone.
Regularly check your credit reports. This one is so key. We've got to do that often and protect your documents.
Use a shredder as well. Back to the phones we go. Charles in Arkansas. What's your specific question related to digital currency? I have been hearing for some months now about this cryptocurrency from Christian radio stations. And there's a lot of unknowns. The station that I've been listening to is very leery of this. And my understanding is that it doesn't matter if you've got a bank account, your money in a bank, or if you've got it in a paper form at home in a lockbox that once they implement this, that your paper currency is going to be worthless.
And so I'm just curious about this and wondering what's a person supposed to do? If you prefer not to engage in the crypto stuff? Sure. Well, we're still quite a bit away from anything like that, Charles, I think there's some truth to what you're describing. But I think in in some cases, folks have taken it a bit beyond what's on the roadmap, at least today.
I mean, basically, the Biden administration has asked the US Treasury to look in the central bank to look at the possibility of a digital currency, they're asking to them to research and then report back on what it looks like to potentially create a central bank digital currency, what's known as a CBDC, basically to stay competitive and keep the US dollar as the primary reserve currency of the world. At this point, it's just in a research phase, no decisions have been made to even issue one, it's obviously an area that is still largely unknown. And there's a lot of work to be done to understand the implications of it. But it will obviously the fate of digital currency and assets is unknown. And it's something we need to keep a close eye on. But at this point, it's only in a research phase, no decisions made. But obviously, it'll be something we continue to take a look at into the future. And I appreciate you asking the question.
God bless you, my friend, to Texas Cliff, you're next on the program, sir, go ahead. I did have a question about a purchase, but I just want to make a comment first on the cryptocurrency. Yeah, you know, things have happened so quickly in this country, in areas that we didn't expect, you know, much more quickly. So I do have concerns about, you know, suddenly, you know, a announcement much sooner than we expected, you know, to be made in the area of cryptocurrency. And I feel that have a little trepidation about that. I feel that, you know, once you know, we have cryptocurrency, the government can track every purchase, and they can limit what you can use it for. And it implies a great deal of government control. Yeah.
So anyway, that's my comment about I would agree with you there, Cliff. And I think it's something to keep a close eye on for sure. You know, my question would be along those lines that, you know, when you say keep an eye on it, what does that imply?
You know, what does it do? Well, I think, I mean, these are all policy related decisions, then, you know, we can only control what we can control, which is what passes through our hands. And we need to be wise, as God's people looking at everything through the lens of Scripture. And we need to show up and vote. And we need to make sure that we're letting our voice be known, whether that's as owners of assets by, you know, voting proxies and showing up at shareholder meetings and voting at the polls when we elect our officials that deal with everything from energy policy to currency policy. And at some point, you know, we could even have a debt crisis on our hands, and we need to be well aware of that. So I think, you know, we can do what we can do.
At the end of the day, though, we trust the Lord who's sovereign over all of it. Unfortunately, I'm out of time, Cliff, but let's do this. I'm going to have you stay on the line and we'll see if we can tackle your question off the air because you've been waiting patiently.
Monty and Tara, sorry we didn't get to your question. We'd love to get you first in line tomorrow for another edition of MoneyWise. We're grateful, folks, that you tuned in today so we can mind the Scriptures and apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Come back and join us next time, will you? God bless you.
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