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Avoiding Student Debt

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2023 5:28 pm

Avoiding Student Debt

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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August 10, 2023 5:28 pm

Student loan forgiveness is much in the news these days. It’s on. It’s off. It’s on again…maybe. So, what’s the lesson we can learn here? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk with Art Rainer about how we’re learning that it’s much easier to avoid student loan debt than to get out of it—it just takes discipline. Then Rob will answer your calls on various financial topics. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Student loan forgiveness is much in the news these days.

It's on, it's off, it's on again, maybe. What's the lesson here? Hi, I'm Rob West. The lesson is this, it's much easier to avoid student loan debt than to get out of it.

It just takes discipline. I'll talk about that with Art Rayner today, and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, our guest today is financial author Art Rayner. He's a regular contributor here at Faith and Finance and the author of The Money Challenge for Teens.

Prepare for college, run from debt and live generously. Art, great to have you back with us. Rob, it's always a pleasure.

Thank you. So, Art, we promised to provide biblical wisdom for listeners' financial decisions. Going to college is, of course, a huge financial decision. So where would you take us in Scripture as we think about preparing for college?

Hmm. I think Proverbs 22, 7, the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is a slave to the lender. That should guide your decision process because it's so easy to borrow and run up tens of thousands of dollars in debt that will take you decades to pay back. Yeah, that is so true.

And we hear from listeners all the time dealing with just that. Now, in your book, Art, you list four ways to minimize debt. And if you're really good at them, they could even enable you to graduate debt-free. So why don't you share those with us?

Yeah. Number one is this, start saving now. The second, make sure that you are taking college-level AP courses or dual enrollment courses that are available. The third is to explore scholarships and grants. And then finally, be willing to work while you are in school.

Yeah, those are really helpful. We're not saying that doing those things will be easy, only that they're easier than paying back 30 or $40,000 in student loan debt. But you have another list, Art, that can make this whole process a lot easier, I think.

So tell us about that. Yeah, it's a list of misconceptions that could cost you a fortune in student debt, but knowing them will enable you to avoid them. And the first one is this, attending a costly school will get you a better job. So higher tuition does not always equate to higher salaries. Employers don't look at the amount you paid to get a college degree. They just look at your degree.

Yeah, that's really helpful. And avoiding that one could save you a ton of money. What's another misconception? The second misconception is that you need the whole college experience, right? Choosing to work to help offset tuition costs can help ensure that you won't still be paying on student loans 10 to 15 years after your graduation. And the third misconception is this, that it's okay to stretch out college. Now, certainly, there's some leniency here, but be careful when choosing to stretch your degree program. You may end up paying more, and you also run a greater risk of not completing your degree. And don't take throwaway classes. Make your investment worth it. Yeah, that's great advice, whether you borrow or not.

All right, the fourth misconception? It's that you don't need to know what you're signing. Educate yourself on student loans. Before you sign any papers, understand the commitment involved, what it will take to pay off the loan, and what alternatives are available. And the number five misconception is this, that everything will take care of itself. Student loans are stubborn things. They even survive bankruptcy. So I'm less concerned with students who feel burdened by their loans than the ones who feel no burden from their debt.

Unless you manage to get through the obstacle course of debt forgiveness programs, and that's not easy, your loans will have to be repaid no matter what. Yeah, that's exactly right. And then our time for one more, perhaps incorrect line of thinking in this whole area. Yeah, it's that there's no other option. Without question, the cost of higher education is a very difficult challenge for many current and future college students.

But this doesn't mean that there aren't other options. Diligently pursuing scholarships and grants can be incredibly helpful. College costs are sky high, much more than your parents experienced when they were in school. So be sure to look at those other options.

Yeah, boy, I've been down this road, Art, and I couldn't agree more with everything you're saying. My wife, they turned their living room into a scholarship factory. She got over $100,000 in scholarships. And I have an entering college freshman this year that took 15 AP classes in high school.

He's starting halfway through his sophomore year. So this stuff works. You just got to put your mind to it. Art, thanks for being with us today. Rob, thanks for having me. All right.

That's Art Rayner, author of The Money Challenge for Teens. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, we're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call is 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open here.

We'd love for you to get in on the conversation. Again, 800-525-7000. You can call right now. All right, let's begin today in Centerville, Tennessee.

Hi, Debbie. You go right ahead. Hey, thank you. I have a question about, um, I have about, uh, an inheritance amount that is just money that I can have fun with. And, um, a bank has just offered a debit card grade account where if you do 15 transactions a month, you can earn up to 5% on your money. And I was thinking of starting with 10,000 there because my money is sitting at my home bank, which doesn't offer this, um, and making no money, basically. And so I was just wondering what are the risks of a debit card?

Yeah, sure. Well, I'm comfortable with online banks as long as it has FDIC insurance. So if it's a member of the FDIC, then your deposit is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

Even if the institution were to fail, they'll ensure that you have ready access to your money and it's protected. Um, you know, I would probably, before you make that change, go to bankrate.com. That's bankrate.com.

Click on the button that says high yield CDs. What you'll find is that there are plenty of banks out there, online banks, that are offering anywhere between four and a half and five percent on high yield savings. Um, and many of them offer, you know, no monthly fees or any kind of requirements for, you know, automatic deposit or even a certain number of withdrawals. They may have a minimum deposit balance, but you're going to be able to meet that pretty easily.

Um, and so I don't know that you need to go through the hassle of 15 transactions a month in order to get that four and a half to five percent if you're willing to use an online bank. And again, I'm comfortable with that. So that would be my recommendation there. Um, with regard to the money, um, am I seeing my, in my notes here that it was an inheritance? Is that right? Yes. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. It's my mad money. I've purchased washer, dryer and put some money down on a car and so I want to have, and yeah, and you know, and, and I'm also thinking of my church as well. Oh, great.

Yeah. So if you've got, you know, things already picked out, you're going to do with it, then obviously keeping it in a high yield savings makes a lot of sense. I love the idea of you giving a love of the idea of you taking care of some major purchases that you have. If you want to prioritize some of it for longer term savings, I would look at getting that into potentially in a retirement account like a Roth IRA, or you could accelerate your, you know, a salary deferral into your 401k and use a portion of it to, you know, backfill what you wouldn't be getting in the monthly check from your work from your employer. But if you've got all the money kind of earmarked for certain things, then yeah, keep that right there in the high yield savings.

Bankrate.com will help you find the best one, but you don't have to settle for one that requires that kind of transaction activity. Okay. Appreciate the information. Thank you. God bless. All right.

Yeah. And you too, Debbie. Thank you for calling today. We appreciate it.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. Earlier this week, by the way, we tackled this subject. It was actually on Monday. The title of the episode was our online banks safe. So if you're wondering about that, you want to know just how should I think about online banks versus brick and mortar? Check out the August 7th episode of faith and finance live.

We'd love for you to listen to that. And maybe that'll give you some of the information you're looking for. Also, we have an article on that same topic. If it's easier, just go to faithfi.com.

That's faithfi.com and just go to the content tab and you can do a search for our online banks safe. I hope that helps you. Again, 800-525-7000. Still a few lines open today. We'd love to hear from you.

To Boynton Beach, Florida, Orlando. How can I help you, sir? Hey, Rob. God bless you. Thank you. I got a prospect buyer for my house. The price is going to be like $920,000 and he's proposing $500,000 up front and the rest to be financed at 10 years. And he wants to pay interest only for the 10 years.

I don't know if that's good or if I can ask him for five years. So he wants you to finance it for him? Yes.

Yeah. Why is that? Why isn't he using traditional financing? I don't know. Probably because the interest I'm giving him is like 6%.

Yeah, yeah. You know, I don't like this option. I mean, typically when somebody's looking for owner financing, they're doing it because they can't qualify for traditional financing. And so they're looking, you know, for you to do it and hold the note. I would much rather you just sell him the property and he buys you out in full and then you don't have to worry about a buyer default where he could stop making payments at any time. And if this happens, they don't just, you know, walk away, then you could end up going through the foreclosure process.

So, you know, I think, you know, this could be challenging. Also repair cost. If you take back the property for whatever reason, you might end up having to pay for repairs and maintenance, depending on how well the buyer took care of the property. So I would really caution you against owner financing here and just try to find a buyer, especially because this real estate market is still very strong, despite the higher interest rates. Find a buyer who's going to buy you out in full.

And if they need financing to do it, let them get their own conventional financing through a third party lender. Because the only thing I like, you know, is that he's giving me $500 upfront and, you know, I can pay my loan, which I owe about $200,000 and the rest, you know, to buy something, you know, for us. But what's the house worth? About that price, it was $950,000, but we couldn't sell it at $950,000. Yeah, so I would rather you get $950,000, pay off your $200,000 mortgage, and you've got $750,000. In this case, you're getting $500,000, you're left with $300,000. But what's the likelihood you're going to get back the rest of it?

And what if he doesn't perform on it because he has bad credit or doesn't have the, you know, the documented income or something happens in his financial life and he just stops paying and now all of a sudden you're having to initiate foreclosure proceedings against this person and what condition is the property going to be in? So why not just sell it to somebody who can pay you the full $950,000? Okay, okay. Yes, I just needed your advice, you know, I mean. Yeah, yeah.

No, and I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but I think the key is that we just have to go back to why is this the case? If you were excited about getting the 6% a year, well, what is the risk on that? And I think the risk is a lot higher just given that you really don't know what's going to happen in his financial life. Banks can offset that risk by, you know, the underwriting process, making sure this person is credit worthy and doing a lot of due diligence on it. And then they have a process for foreclosing if they need to. But, you know, they're not going to lend the money without a lot of underwriting going into it. And oftentimes when you owner finance, you just don't have that level of scrutiny, you know, to be able to evaluate this bar and you're highly concentrated. You've got one borrower, they've got hundreds of borrowers. So if one of these deals goes south, you know, they're making up for it with many, many, many others.

So I would stay clear of this if it were me Orlando, look for a buyer who will pay you the true market value and give you 100% of that money and let you go pay off your loan and then go find that next property. Hey, God bless you, my friend. We appreciate you calling today. I hope that was helpful. We're going to take a quick break back with more on faith and finance live 800-525-7000.

Give us a call. So thankful to have you with us today on faith and finance live. This is where we apply the wisdom from God's word to your financial decisions and choices. You know, the purpose of money is not to have more of it. The purpose of money is to accomplish a set of goals that are ultimately informed or should be informed by our values, our values and priorities as believers, as Christ followers, understanding that we should operate with a biblical worldview in every area of our lives. And that certainly includes in our management of God's money, using as a tool, holding it loosely, saving appropriately, giving generously.

Well, we want to apply the themes and principles from Scripture to the daily financial decisions you're making every day on this program. And we do that together. We've got a few lines open. The number to call today, 800-525-7000. All right, let's head to Kansas. Marie, you'll be next on the program. Go right ahead. Hi, I'm so glad that you're taking my call today.

I called too late yesterday, so I wasn't getting in the queue. My husband and I are both in our 60s. We both are living on a fixed income.

Social Security is our income now. And so I want to kind of go over, we have what I think is a very nice nest egg. We don't have any children, and we don't owe any money on anything except for $29,000 left on our property.

So I kind of wanted to go over our assets and where we have them at. And I'm thinking about gold-backed IRAs and with the digital dollar getting ready to roll out, I'm very concerned about that economically. So we have, we owe $29,000 on our home. Our assets are roughly $300,000 in a secular managed investment portfolio, about $400,000 in annuities. And then our home, which sits on 10 acres, is valued at $800,000 to $1 million.

So with that said, yeah. And you're living purely on your Social Security. You're not drawing an income from any of these investable assets. We had to draw in some income from it for the past two years because my husband just turned 65, but he ended up with a cancer. So because he was on a marketplace insurance plan, it maxed it out, you know, like $13,000 for that period of time where he was still having to pay those high prices for healthcare. So that's a big chunk. Is there going to be ongoing expenses related to his medical care?

Well, Medicare will cover it now. Okay. Oh, right. Now that he's 65. Okay.

Yeah, very good. Well, I would agree. I mean, you all are in pretty good shape here in that you're living modestly, so your Social Security is covering your income needs. You've got no debt except for this home, and that'll be paid off probably in a relatively short amount of time.

If you wanted to, you could go ahead and pay it off right now. And then you've got this $300,000 in investments and then the $400,000 annuity. Is that a fixed annuity growing at a fixed rate?

I have it spread into three different annuities, and I believe a part of one of the annuities is fixed. Okay. And the others are variable? Correct. Okay. Yeah.

So that's great. And then you can annuitize that at some point if you wanted to. And then what were you thinking? You mentioned a gold IRA, which for the benefit of our listeners, basically that's just an IRA that allows you to hold gold in it and still keep it inside that IRA bucket, if you will. But what were you thinking of putting into gold out of this roughly $700,000 in investments?

Well, I was thinking a third, but I'm not sure where to go with that. And then about paying off the home, doing some math, I think it would push us up into a higher tax bracket if we paid it off right now, because we'd have to take out probably double what we still owe because of the hit of taxes from the government. Yeah.

Okay. We paid it off just monthly. I don't think it pushes us up into a higher tax bracket. But the gold-backed IRA, I was thinking about a third of what our assets are.

Yeah. Well, that would be a little higher than I would recommend. I heard you mentioned digital currencies. And I can understand your concern there.

I'm not a fan of that either. I think that would give the government too much insight and potential control over our transactions. But for that reason, that's going to be very hotly debated in Congress, because this is not something the executive branch can do. It's not something, it's not something the Treasury or the Fed could do acting on their own.

It would require an act of Congress, which is responsible for coinage. So there's a lot of congressional leaders that have significant concerns about this, which is why I think if it were ever to come to pass, it's going to be a while, because we haven't even started. China started back in, I think it was 2019, and they're still in the beta phase right now, may have even been 2016. So we're still the strongest economy in the world.

Yes, we have our challenges, but there's really nobody close to us. I mean, China's having real problems economically in terms of a replacement for the U.S. dollar. There's not a really viable alternative there either. I mean, 60% of the world's reserves are held in U.S. dollars.

90% of the trades are happening in U.S. dollars. So I don't think there's a real threat there anytime soon. I think any potential threat, you know, economically, a debt crisis or a replacement for the world's reserve currency, something like that, a major economic calamity, it's much further down the road.

And so I wouldn't be making, if it were me, and you're the steward, you've got to make those decisions. And I certainly respect that and would say that you need to make those prayerfully. But for me, I think the best approach is still a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio. You know, at your age with you all in your 60s, you know, I'd probably be thinking about maybe 10% in gold and precious metals, maybe 35% in stocks, and then about 55% in bonds. And bonds will do well as the interest rates fall, which they will probably starting next year.

So that's just me. I think a third in gold is just too overweighted. Gold doesn't have the performance as well as the stock, properly diversified stock and bond portfolio.

It doesn't pay any income. And if you're taking physical possession, you've got the kind of dealer markups on the buy and the sell. So I like gold, but I'd probably limit your allocation to 10%. I'd probably do it through an exchange-traded fund, which just tracks the price of gold, and then you don't even need the gold IRA.

You could do that in a traditional brokerage account or your advisor could do that who's managing the 300,000. So that's just my best advice for you to Marie. At the end of the day, you guys need to think and pray about where you go from here. We'll talk off the air. We'll be right back. It's so good to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

Looks like we have two lines open, 800-525-7000. Before we head to Austin, just a quick recap. Marie and I had a chance to finish up off the air after we went to break. And she was just expressing additional concern over putting money in the bank, trusting that FDIC insurance is truly protected. And she cited just what we experienced in the last year with these bank failures.

And what I was sharing with Marie was, I think we actually are in a pretty good situation. You know, these bank failures were isolated. They were brought on by mismanagement, not systemic issues in our banking system, which is why you didn't see a cascading effect across the banking system. It was isolated, and the FDIC did its job, stepped in, provided liquidity for bank depositors, and guaranteed that money, which is the way it's supposed to work. You know, at the end of the day, I think we're in a much stronger position today than we were even in 2008 and 2009, where there were some systemic problems. Lending practices needed to be adjusted. The reserves on the part of the banks are now much higher.

The banks are passing the stress tests that are done on a regular basis the way they need to. So, you know, yes, we have some longer-term issues. We need to deal with this in this country. But in my view, there's nothing imminent in the near-term. We're still, you know, in a great place in terms of economically and the U.S. dollar, even though I think we absolutely need to deal with growing budget deficits and skyrocketing debt levels in this country. But we can sustain what we have right now. We need to show up and vote, and we need to have people that understand God's design for economics, and we need to live within our means as a nation and as families. But I don't think now is the time to exit the banking system or the stock market or put all of our money in gold. That's just my view. I think our best approach is to manage our own economies as we live within our means and avoid debt and give generously.

And then we also need to be properly diversified not having our eggs in one basket. I hope that helps. That's just at least my take on what we were talking about today. All right, let's continue the conversation with Austin, Texas, actually Christopher in Austin, Texas. How can I help you, sir?

Yes, sir. I called because I just want to I'm just feeling like I'm being misled. I just wanted to confirm I'm a first time buyer. I haven't purchased the property yet, but I wanted to look into real estate. I hear that you can get a first time buyer's loan or you could go ahead and get an FHA loan.

And I don't know the difference between the two. And I was just wondering what's your advice on going about those loans and which is the best option for a first time buyer? Yeah, well, I think that the best option for you is, you know, just to save up. So you have the proper down payment of at least 20% before you purchase the house.

I would look to, you know, get the very best loan you can from a conventional standpoint in terms of the fees that you'll be spending, plus the interest rate, of course. You know, I think you need to be looking at what you can afford in terms of a mortgage payment. And what we're seeing is in a lot of markets, it actually, you know, makes more sense to buy than to rent. And so just given how high rental prices are, as long as you're not getting overextended, you ought to take a look at purchasing and building equity. But a kind of a good rule of thumb for that mortgage payment after you put the 20% down would be no more than 25%, 30% max of your take home pay for principal interest taxes and insurance. And that's going to allow you to have money left over for everything else.

So you know, I think the key for you right now is to find a great mortgage lender, I'd probably visit with the folks at movement.com slash faith and movement mortgage, but you just need to find a trusted partner that can find a great loan program for you. But it's all got to start with your budget, Christopher, to make sure that you have enough saved. And that, you know, that monthly payment can be absorbed into your budget in such a way that doesn't create, you know, you have enough cushion, basically for everything else. Does that make sense?

That makes total sense. I appreciate your help. I think that was all that I needed.

Okay, very good. Well, listen, if we can help further, give us a call back and don't fall for these low down payment conventional loans just because, you know, they're available the first time homebuyers and they're, you know, often pushed by the loan officers doesn't mean that's the best option for you just because you can get into a home with 3% down doesn't mean you should, I'd rather you go into a home with a sufficient down payment and don't get overextended with the mortgage payment that results. We appreciate your call today, sir. God bless you. Let's stay in Texas. Philip, you'll be next up. Go ahead.

Okay, thank you for taking my call. I have some gold coins I inherited. My wife and I are both retired. We're financially set and we don't really need them, but they're just sitting there. I've got them in a safe deposit box and they keep costing me money just to keep them. And I don't, I don't know how to get the value of them. I think they're estimated around 50 or $60,000 worth of gold coins.

And I don't know what to do with them. Yeah. So you're, you would be interested, obviously, as long as you can get a fair price selling them, correct? Yeah.

Yeah. So I think the key is to find a trusted source to, you know, give you an honest and accurate appraisal of these. There's a couple of organizations that could help you get to somebody that is reputable in your area. One would be the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation. Numisticist is somebody who works in this area of coins. So it's the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation. There's also the PCGS, the Professional Coin Grading Service. You could do a web search for that or the American Numismatic Association. Any of those would give you, you know, a way to find an appraiser that would, you know, allow you to understand what you have. And there's also several smartphone apps out there now that will help you appraise coins yourself. So I think, you know, once you get an idea of what you're ultimately looking for, then you want to get to, you know, a buyer who's going to, you know, give you what the true appraised value is for what you're sitting on. What we can do is this. If you want to hold the line, Philip, we'll get your information and I will get you a listing of some folks you can contact or at least some of these web links that will ultimately allow you to select a dealer or an appraiser to get you the value.

And then once you know what you have, you and your wife can sit down and think about it, pray about it, decide whether you want to hang on to these or whether you'd like to go ahead and sell them. So stay on the line, Philip. We'll get your information and we'll see if we can get you more information. Thanks for your call today. To Arkansas, Raymond, how can we help you? Yeah, thank you for taking my call. God bless you and all that you do. Thank you.

I'm one of them people. I got all my eggs in one basket, sir. I got one home that I'm carrying the mortgage on. I've got another home that I use as a rental.

It's a three bedroom, two bath for $8.50 a month. And then I've got my five bedroom, two and a half bath. And all these homes are paid for, but I'm 70 years old living in this big home. And I think I need to downsize. I don't know if I should go ahead and just sell both houses and buy me a piece of property and put a timing house on it or put that money in the stocks and bonds or just hold on to them. What's your advice on that?

Yeah, that's a great question. You know, here's my thing. I mean, ultimately being a landlord comes with it a lot of additional responsibility. Now, you've obviously done well in real estate. These have probably been great investments for you. I think the question is just the timing.

Do you want to have more active investments like real estate or do you want to have more passive investments where you can take all of the equity that you've built up in these assets and convert that to something that can be managed by somebody else and get you an income for it, protect what you have and grow it modestly, but without you having to put in all the work. Let's talk about that on the other side of this break. Stay right there. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance live here on Moody Radio.

I'm Rob West. Just before the break, we were talking to Raymond in Arkansas, 70 years old. He's got two rental properties plus his own house sitting on a pretty significant real estate portfolio and just wondering if it's time to downsize and sell. And I think, you know, Raymond, the first question is just where you're going to live, which isn't really an investment.

I mean, it is. We would want it to appreciate over time. But the definition of an investment is when it's accomplished its purpose, we sell it.

And that's typically not how we look at our homes because that's where you live. So I think, you know, if you've got more home than you need for your domicile, then absolutely let's sell that and we can take that money and redeploy it and get you into either a single family home that's right sized for just the amount of upkeep and space that you need or get you into some place that, you know, better fits your needs at, you know, a townhouse or something else. With those other properties, it really just comes down to the investment strategy. Real estate can be a very effective way to build wealth.

You've seen that play out in your own life, but it comes with its, you know, upkeep and the work that you have to put in. Now you can hire folks to do that for you, property managers and so forth. But it typically involves a little bit more work than more of a passive investment strategy where you might liquidate those properties and now is a good time to do it. But and then take that money and redeploy it either yourself or by hiring an investment advisor, you know, to build a diversified portfolio for you. So I guess with your primary residence, I'm hearing you want to downsize. I think that's great.

This would be a great time to do it. With those investments, are you sensing that it's time to kind of lessen the burden of real estate ownership and does that sound attractive to you to move towards stocks and bonds? Well, I've got good renters and the mortgages I'm holding, they pay on a regular basis. I don't have trouble there and they take pretty good care of the properties. My big concern is with my health, I don't want my kids to have to go through the disposal of this property and end up giving it away because they don't want to live in Arkansas. And thank God they're all three, they're all very successful children.

They all make good money and they all got good jobs and they own their homes. So they won't need the money and I just hate to see them to give what I've worked hard for away to an auction or something. I'm thinking I get it to where it'd be a little easier for them to do this, put their hands on it and divide it.

Yeah, very good. Well, that would certainly be the case if you went ahead and went through the process now of liquidating these properties. So I think it's really just a function of you finding that right real estate professional if you don't already have one that can help you market and sell these properties and maximize the market value on them. If you want to do any giving, any charitable giving, now I would look at potentially gifting a portion of these properties to maybe a donor advised fund prior to the sale so that you don't have the capital gains portion on that. And then that could be given away either by you or the kids or both of you.

And so that's a great opportunity for you. And then once you've liquidated the properties, any portion that's not going to be given away could then be invested. And if you don't have an advisor, I'd connect with a certified Kingdom advisor on our website at faithfi.com.

Just click find a CKA. They could build a diversified portfolio. You could put the kids on as the beneficiaries on the accounts and you know, it would create a very efficient transfer to them at your death. And then it's just a matter of the kind of the wealth transfer decisions you need to make as to how much do you want to go to charity or ministry?

How much do you want to go to the kids? Do you want it to happen all at once? You know, making those decisions and then making sure your estate plan is designed, whether it's through the beneficiary designations on your investment accounts or a will or a trust, all of that's, you know, in in proper order so that you can efficiently pass your assets and personal items to either ministry or your kids at death efficiently.

Does that make sense? Yes, sir. And that's that's right in line with what I do. I support my church and two different food banks is where I like to get my money at. And that would be a great idea to give them part of the money right up front. Yeah, yeah, very good. If you do that, using a donor advised fund to do that, especially with real estate, if you were to give and you don't have to give the whole thing to your donor advised fund, but whatever portion you want to give, do that, you know, sign over a percentage of that property to the DAF before the sale and that will save you some taxes.

But in either case, it sounds like, you know, perhaps your next steps are to begin the process of liquidating this real estate portfolio so you're a little more liquid and you can pass what you have a little bit more efficiently. Thanks for your call, sir. God bless you.

To Ohio. Hi, Becky. Go ahead. Hi. Thank you for taking my call.

I've been a long time listener. I'm searching for a lost pension from my late husband. He passed away at age 52 in 2008. And he was to get a pension from a former employee, former employer. And the company has been bought and sold, bought and sold, bought and sold and has gone away.

And apparently the pension plan has to I've been trying to track it down for three years. And I'm going to tell you what I've tried. I wanted to know if you had any other options. I tried. What about PGC, the pension benefit guarantee Corporation?

Yeah, I tried them. Okay, I tried missing money.com. I tried Rio Tinto, which was, I guess at one time they bought this pension plan, but that was a dead end. But that was a dead end. And I tried the employees benefit and security administration. And then one day I was listening to your program last year.

And I tried to E-RISA for the state of Ohio. And I just haven't found the money. It's not a lot of money.

It's just the idea that he worked hard for the money. And I was to get half of what he would have gotten if he lived to be 65 when he would have turned 65. So I've been looking for this money for three years.

Okay. And did you, when you contacted, did you contact the pension benefit guarantee Corporation at the phone number for an unclaimed pension benefit? I did. And I did that back in April of this year. And they weren't able to find anything. And then I talked to a guy at E-RISA after listening to your program.

And he wasn't able to find anything. And I even called the Attorney General's office and they suggested I get an attorney. And I just didn't know if half of this monthly benefit is only like $57, but it would be for the rest of my life. And I didn't know if that would be worth it or what type of attorney to use.

Yeah. Unfortunately, I'm kind of at a loss here, Becky. And I think you've, sounds like you've exhausted the resources, at least that I'm aware of.

I'm not familiar with any others. It seems like an attorney might be counterproductive just because of the cost associated with you trying to chase this down. I mean, that would be the next step is, you know, to contact an attorney that could help you chase this down. So I would probably, yeah, I think that's perhaps your next step for you to reach out to an attorney and then just at least find out what it would cost for them to do some work for you, some legwork on trying to find this. Obviously, there's something there you're entitled to.

I can understand why you'd want it. Normally, the methods that you mentioned are successful in trying to locate a pension that, you know, has gone missing. You know, more than 80,000 people at the last data I saw have not claimed their earned defined benefit pension. And that's really where the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation steps in to help people locate them. But obviously, in your situation, that wasn't successful. So I would at least find out what the cost is going to be for an attorney and let us know how this one turns out. I'm really sorry that I didn't have better news for you today, Becky, but we appreciate your call today.

To Chicago, Illinois. Hi, Sharon. Go right ahead.

Hi, Rob. We're investigating a faith-based medical sharing plan. I'm 66. My husband will turn 65 in two months and I'm on Medicare and he is obviously not. He has his own personal medical plan.

He's got his own company of two people. So he has a plan for, you know, based through that. And I'm just wondering, I looked into Metashare at length and then I heard advertised on this program that the CFM network, I believe. And I just wondered if you had thoughts in terms of evaluating the two together, you know, to know which one would be more appropriate or I know the size is pretty comparable, but also I understand it. I think that it's going to be a savings to us in terms of the Medicare Part 2, that portion of it, I think. I just wanted to say I appreciate your thoughts on it.

Yeah, very good. Well, Sharon, I would affirm your thought here. I like the Christian medical sharing plans a lot. The two that you mentioned are some of the most, the oldest and the biggest, Metashare and Christian Healthcare Ministries. The reason, you know, we've partnered with CHM for a long time. So, you know, I can certainly with confidence tell you that would be one you should look at just because some of our own team members have been on it and they're the oldest and the biggest in this space and we just know them really well and so can really speak to the quality of the organization, their ministry focus, but just the size and strength of what they do. But certainly, you know, there are other players in the space.

You mentioned another one that would be one of the other major ones. So I think at the end of the day it's going to come down to which one you feel most comfortable with, evaluating the two plans, looking at the pricing and deciding which one would be the best fit for you. I can just tell you Christian Healthcare Ministries at chministries.org is one we're personally involved in so I can give that perspective. Okay, may I ask one more question?

Yes, I've got just a little bit of time. In addition, how do you find a certified kingdom advisor that you can trust? I know they're all certified, but I often worry that after all these years of saving money I hate to have someone and then have them take a great percentage of what we've worked so hard for and that's been there for you. Yes, well that's why there's so many standards that are related to earning the CKA, not only the university-based training but a pastor reference, client reference, regulatory review, statement of faith, ongoing continuing education.

So we made it very difficult to get. I would interview two or three and just find the one that you feel is the best fit, but to find a CKA just head to our website faithfi.com and click find a CKA. Thanks for your call today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-10 18:31:37 / 2023-08-10 18:48:43 / 17

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