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3 Steps to Bless Your Pastor

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2023 5:25 pm

3 Steps to Bless Your Pastor

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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September 20, 2023 5:25 pm

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so it will be a great time to show your gratitude for the shepherds the Lord has given you—those who lead your local congregation and help cultivate your spiritual growth. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Brian Kluth to share 3 steps you can use to bless your pastors and church staff next month. Then Rob will answer your calls and financial questions.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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And I will give you shepherds today. 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 journey. Well, Brian Cluth is a bestselling author of several books on generosity. He was a pastor himself for 10 years and is now the spokesman for the annual Bless Your Pastor Initiative, organized by the National Association of Evangelicals. Brian, it's great to have you back with us. Hey, Rob, great to be with you and your listeners. And we really want to encourage them today and give them some wonderful ways they can be part of blessing their pastors and their church staff. So this is a bless all of them. We'll give them some free resources and great ideas, but so glad they're listening right now. Well, thank you.

Let's dive into that. I know you have an easy three-step program for folks who want to get involved, so tell us about it. Yeah, people just go to blessyourpastor.org, and there's three steps. And what you do is you download the materials, free materials for your church, share with some of your church leaders. But there's a flyer I wrote, 50 ways to bless your pastor or bless your pastors and church staff. So that gets distributed to all the families. Then you take up an appreciation offering, and then you honor them publicly. And when your church does those three things, then we will give your pastor a marriage retreat scholarship to a weekend to remember.

And it's an application to do that, and they just go online and get that. We also give them access to other free and discounted weekend retreat and vacation opportunities. So it's a wonderful way to bless your pastor and staff. And over 3,000 churches have already done it, and so we're looking forward to how many more are going to join us this year. Brian, I love the resource you mentioned, 50 Creative Ways to Bless Your Pastor.

Give us some examples from that. Yeah, we really help people unpack the importance of how to pray for your pastor. There's different ways to pray for your pastor, how to affirm your pastor, how to encourage them, and then practical ways to help them. I like to say, if you're a doctor, give them some doctor care. If you're a dentist, give them some dental care. If you're a mechanic, fix your car.

If you like to cut grass or plant flowers, go over to their house and do it for them. But just very creative and practical ways that any Christian can look at doing, because the Bible calls us, in 1 Thessalonians 5-12, that we are to show, not just say, we are to show our deep appreciation for those who minister among us. So this 50 Ways gives people ideas on what they can do to show their deep appreciation for their pastor and staff.

Yeah, you can go download that right now at blessyourpastor.org. All right, step two was collect. How does that work? Yeah, we ask the leaders to just send out a note to the congregation saying, we're going to take up an appreciation offering and we're going to gift it to the pastor, the pastor and the staff. And I know when I became a pastor, I took a $70,000 pay cut to become a pastor.

So that was a major challenge in my life. But my church every year, they took up an appreciation offering and it happened towards the end of the year. And they would give that to me and the staff. And boy, you know what, that allowed us to have Christmas. That offering is what allowed us to travel at Christmas to see family or to pay for Christmas presents. So just to get that, and then we just felt the love of people. That appreciation offering really helped us because we weren't making a lot of money, but that really made a difference in our life. Yeah, we're about out of time. I know the third step is celebrate.

Give us one example of what that looks like. Yeah, well, it's simple as praying for them up on the platform. Or sometimes there's an appreciation meal or something, but it's any church can do it very creatively however they want. Sometimes they do appreciation notes, but you just want to honor them publicly.

I love it. Well, Brian, I know you and your team have put together a ton of materials to help folks bless their pastors and church staff this month. Where can they download those materials and get more information? Yeah, everything is at blessyourpastor.org. Blessyourpastor.org.

It's in English and in Spanish. Oh, that's incredible. Brian, so thankful for your work. And we appreciate you stopping by today to tell us about this exciting initiative. We appreciate it. Thanks so much.

All right. That's Brian Cluth. He's national spokesman for the annual Bless Your Pastor initiative organized by the National Association of Evangelicals. Again, just head to blessyourpastor.org. Your calls are next, the number 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West, and this is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back.

I'm so thankful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today. 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We've got lines open. We're ready for you. Let's head to the phones to Lafayette, Indiana. Jordan, you'll be our first caller. Go ahead. Hi, Rob. My name's Jordan.

I'm 23. I just closed on my house. I have about $70,000 in proceeds, and I want to know what I can do with that money to make it grow for me.

Yeah. So are you planning to redeploy this into another home purchase, or do you have anything else in mind in terms of how you might use it? So I'm utilizing the VA home loan. I thought about maybe using some of the proceeds just to bring the mortgage down so I could have a more manageable mortgage. But for the most part, I'm going to be keeping it just in a savings account until I figure out what to do with it. Yeah. What's the interest rate going to be on that mortgage you're getting?

I think I'm looking at around seven and a quarter. Yeah. Okay. And do you have what I call an emergency fund, Jordan, separate from this $70,000 of roughly three to six months expenses?

Yes, I do. Okay. I guess I would just challenge that idea of why hang on to it. If this was equity you built in a previous home, especially in light of where interest rates are right now, if your goal is to ultimately own that home free and clear, I love the idea of you getting that mortgage as low as possible, ultimately paying it off, keeping that manageable, and then trying to save and invest through company-sponsored retirement plan or at the very minimum a Roth IRA.

I mean, I know you're young, you're 23, so you might think, well, I could let this compound for a long, long time. And I get that, but I'd love for that compounding to happen inside a tax deferred environment if possible. And I'd love for you to also really prioritize owning your home outright at some point just because of the flexibility and peace of mind that comes with that. So I guess that might be the only thing I would ask you just to consider further, but give me your thoughts on that. Well, so I don't plan on staying in this next home for an extended period of time, probably the max five years. So I'll be selling again. So I don't think I would be able to pay it off entirely for the time that I'd be living there.

Yeah. But you would save the equivalent of seven and a half percent a year as a guaranteed return on this money versus you getting a guaranteed five and a half in a CD or with no guarantees, putting it in the market and it could perform well over the next five years or it could lose money. So I guess that would be the only question, even if you're not going to be able to pay it off, it's a step toward continuing to build equity in whatever your primary home is. And that will change throughout your life. But what you know to be true just from a purely financial standpoint is that the interest rate you're paying on that money that you're borrowing in a mortgage, any money that you hold back from that, you're going to get a guaranteed return, you know, by going ahead and paying it toward the house versus you keeping it in and checking and paying seven and a half percent, you know, on the mortgage. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely.

OK. So I think from that standpoint, listen, if you say, hey, Rob, I've got my emergency fund and I'm putting, you know, plenty of money in my retirement account. So I'm growing that on a compounded basis, you know, but I'm going to take this and roll it into the next house. I know it's not going to ultimately result in me paying it off, but it it will continue to build equity that I'll roll into the next property and the property after that. And it's kind of a no brainer for me for you to do that, put it all into this next property just because where interest rates are right now, you know that you're not going to get that kind of return.

I mean, we're anticipating based on market valuations then, you know, and what's going on with our economy and some of the headwinds that we're probably entering into a five year, perhaps even a 10 year period where market returns are going to be positive over the 10 years likely, but not anything exciting. And so if you can get a guaranteed seven and a half percent by paying it toward the mortgage, that would be my preference. And then what I would do is while you're waiting to find that house, I'd put that in an FDIC insured high yield savings account at one of the online banks where you can get four or four and a half percent while you're waiting and then just roll that into the next property. That would be my best advice. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that. All right, Jordan. Hey, God bless you, my friend.

Thanks for being on the program today. Eight hundred five to five. Seven thousand is the number to call.

We're taking your financial questions today helping you apply a biblical worldview to what you're considering in your financial life today. Again, lines open. Eight hundred five to five.

Seven thousand to Chicago. Alina, thanks for calling. Go ahead. Thank you.

First time caller here. Awesome. My husband has a small about twenty five K pension from previous employer and also 401k that we kept with the previous employer. Pension has a guaranteed low rate while 401k could have a great rate of, you know, in 2020 grade returns and then some losses other years as well. So my question is, would it be wise to transfer that pension to 401k or possibly to like a Roth IRA? What will be their tax implications or what will be your recommendation?

Yeah. So a pension is going to be pretax money. It's money that you put in before paying tax on it. So your options would be either to roll it to an individual IRA, a traditional IRA, not a Roth, but a traditional or if your 401k provider would allow potentially into the 401k, although they may not allow you to do that.

But in either case, whether you roll it into the 401k or you roll it to a traditional IRA, that's not a taxable event because you're going from a pretax environment to a pretax environment. The difference is that, you know, you get an unlimited number of investment options inside the IRA, Alina. So you could pick any mutual fund and with a smaller amount in there. That's what I would recommend.

So you get good diversification, but you could, you know, select a really quality mutual fund that has, you know, a good manager with a great track record, perhaps even it's even values aligned, maybe use one of the faith-based investing providers, but then it's growing for the future, just like your 401k. That would probably be my preferred option. Okay, sounds great. You're up. Thank you for taking my call.

Absolutely, Alina. Thanks for being on the program today. We appreciate it. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Calls are coming in quickly and we will get to them.

I don't have time before the next break to take another one. But let me mention, you know, earlier this week we were talking about wealth transfer, this last stewardship decision you'll make. Remember, Ron Blue says, three questions every Christian needs to answer.

Who owns it? How much is enough? And is the next steward chosen and prepared? You know, alongside that chosen and prepared question is really the decision on who is going to be the next steward. And when we're considering that, I think we've got to factor in, first of all, when it comes to heirs, if we give X amount to X person, what's the worst thing that can happen? How serious is that?

And how likely is that to occur? I mean, that's an important prayerful consideration we need to make. But alongside that, there's a couple of principles to apply. One is what Ron Blue in Splitting Heirs calls the treasure principle. You can't take it with you, but you can send it on ahead. So it's this powerful idea that what I do on earth can actually accumulate treasures in heaven that will last forever. So how much do I want to send along into God's economy? And the second is the unity principle. Your spouse completes you.

They don't compete with you. So we need to prayerfully consider these questions around the next steward and consider the potential spiritual implications of an inheritance. But as husband and wife, we need to be on the same page.

I hope that's helpful to you. Much more to come just around the corner. Stay with us. I'm so glad you joined us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Hey, by the way, if you have a question you'd like read on the air, that's right. You want to send it along by email. Just head to moody radio dot org forward slash finance.

That's moody radio dot o r g forward slash finance. And you can send along a question to be read on the air. And in fact, we're going to try a new segment today and our final segment of the broadcast today where actually my producer, Amy Rios, will join me on the air for the first time. She's a critical part of the team.

We've just never had her on the air before. Well, today, all of that changes as we introduce a new segment we call money mail. Now, if you want to send a question along and be a part of money mail in the future, again, just head to that website moody radio dot org forward slash finance. But we're going to tackle some of the questions you've been sending to us a little later in the broadcast. So listen up, perhaps one of them will be yours. Amy Rios will join us for money mail a little later in this program. All right, let's head back to the phones.

So we've got two lines open 805257 thousand to Lincoln, Nebraska. Hi, Tammy, go ahead. Hi, how are you? I'm doing great. Thanks. Thanks for taking my call. I'm still kind of shy. You're doing great so far.

You got this. Okay, um, my husband and I are both disabled. He's 72 and I'm 65. I've been out of work because of my disability and a permanent and total disability, unable to find another job. So we had a settlement with my, my work and we purchased a condo and it's, it's completely paid off. We have 200 and that $260 a month we use to pay for our HOA fees. Um, we don't have any Ross or any, any kind of savings whatsoever in things like that. But our cars paid off, everything's paid off. We have $3,000 coming in monthly. And that's all of our insurance and everything's paid for.

And then out of that we have a 10 to tie things. And we have about $80,000 liquid and don't know what to do. I don't. I don't know what to do. Okay. All right. Well, I'm sorry to hear about the disability that's keeping you all out of work. And, uh, I know that, um, you know, that can be stressful and yet I'm delighted to hear that your bills are covered. And so it sounds like given the fact that you were able to buy the condo free and clear with all of your expenses, uh, you are able to cover everything.

And do you have a little bit leftover in a typical month? Uh, Tammy? Oh yeah. Um, usually, I mean, we're probably able to put about 700 into savings. That's great. Yeah.

I love that. So that's how you've built up the 80,000. Um, yes, that's, that's part of it. Yeah. Okay, great. Well, I mean, you all live in modestly, you're doing it right.

Uh, and I understand, you know, you're perhaps concerned about not having retirement assets and yet because you've been living below your means and if you can do that for a long time, uh, you know, that's the key. And I suspect you have pretty good health coverage is a part of all of this. You wouldn't believe what God has built. Wow. I want to hear more about that. I'm losing you. I lost you there for a second. Try that again.

You said you wouldn't believe what God has done. Go ahead. And blessed us with, um, we hardly have any, you know, once, um, the insurance we have for secondary is from my husband when he worked for the post office. Um, and we just had hardly anything we ever had to, we have to pay God has taken care of us so well there. Um, so that's really no problem, but we've got this $80,000, which you always say, make sure that you have a, um, a nesting. Yeah. So I think let's talk about that for a second.

I mean, you know, here's the thing. I mean, I think the first question is how much do we want to have liquid and completely secure, you know, and normally we would say three to six months. I mean, I think in this season of life, especially given some of the medical issues you have in the disability, uh, you know, maybe you want to take that up to a year. So if you're spending 2,300 a month, uh, because you said on 3000, you know, sometimes much of 700 leftover. So 2,300 a month times 12. I mean, you could say we want to have 27,000 or so, maybe as much as 30, maybe as little as 25, but we want to hang that, you know, put that in, in high yield savings. We're going to get four and a half percent. It's as long as it's FDIC insured.

Uh, you know, we've got the backing of the U S government, it's safe and protected. And then that would leave us the balance that we could say, okay, maybe we want to actually take a little bit of risk on this and, and invest it prudently, you know, not irresponsibly, uh, but where you'd, you know, maybe you take a portion of it 20, 30, 40% and put it, put it in a stock mutual fund, but the balanced and fixed income type investments like a bond mutual fund, which will do well as the interest rates fall. And you might take 50,000 and try to grow it so that you've got something there to fall back on if you need it either as an, an additional income stream or if you need to pull from it for something unexpected. But how do you feel about that? Are you interested in investing a portion of this or do you really want to keep it more guaranteed?

Um, maybe as a percentage, I could do that. That sounds, sounds interesting. Yes. One thing that is in my mind is, you know, this digital currency that I keep hearing and, and that makes me one, I just don't know how to put that, you know, if the government wants to go to digital currency, how does that work with your savings?

I just don't. Yeah. Let me, let me tell me first, let me say if you're interested in investing our friends, given that you're talking about maybe 50,000, our friends at soundmindinvesting.org could be a great resource to help you pick those funds. Um, and, and that would be a great place to start with regard to the digital currency. I don't think there's anything to worry about there in the sense that if, even if we had a central bank digital currency, it's likely years away and keep in mind it requires Congress for this to happen. And I just have a hard time believing they're believing they're going to get on board with this. And the courts have been really good about knocking down executive orders going outside their authority, but it's clear this is a congressional function. This is not something the central bank can do on their own. Now there's obviously if we had it at the possibility for a loss of privacy, uh, in a significant way, and that's why there's a lot of folks that are opposed to it, including me, uh, just because it could violate personal liberties and just a whole host of other things.

But I think just given what it's going to take to bring it about, it's years down the road. So I don't think you need to do anything different today. Tammy, thanks for your call. We'll be right back. Well, we're thrilled to have you with us today on faith and finance live. Hey, if you want to support the work of faith and finance here on this broadcast and on our website and then our app, well, we'd invite you to be a financial supporter of the ministry. We are a five Oh one C three not for profit ministry partnered with moody radio and your gifts to faith fi go a long way to helping us bring you this broadcast every day and all the other resources and ministry offerings to help God's people be wise and faithful stewards. So a gift of any amount can be made at our website, faith fi.com. That's faith fi.com. When you get there, just click give at the top of the page. And I'm serious. When I say a gift of any amount, whether it's $40, 400 or 4,000, whatever you can do, uh, would be a real blessing to our team here. Again, faith fi.com, just click give. All right, back to the phones.

We go to Ocala. Hi, Mary, go ahead. Hello. Can you, can you hear me?

I sure can. Yes, ma'am. Okay. Yes.

I have a question. I graduated from college about four and a half years ago and I had a student loan. I had several, but all combined, the total was about $45,000. Okay. I started out paying them off kind of rather aggressively. Yeah. Uh, just to hope that I could really just get them paid off. But as time has proceeded, I've just seen, I'm really not getting very far because I think in the four years I've only paid like $4,000 towards you, you know, just reducing the loan. So I want to know what is the best approach?

Is it to try to pay the loans off aggressively or to just, uh, put a decent amount towards the payment and just pay it out through the years, whether that be 20 or 25? Yes. Yeah.

It's a great question. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? Uh, I'm 55.

Okay. Well, look at you going back to school. I love that you graduated four and a half years ago.

That's tremendous. And I can understand why you'd want to get these paid off. And I think all things being equal, I'd love for you to pay them off as soon as possible.

And yet we have to balance other competing priorities. Uh, namely, we don't want you to miss out on opportunities to do, for instance, giving currently, uh, we don't want you to be, uh, you know, to without any liquidity or cushion. So I want you to have, you know, your emergency fund of three to six months expenses. I'd also love for you to be investing and taking these years while you're working, uh, to be growing something.

So you have a nest egg in the future that's compounding and growing, preferably in a tax deferred environment. So we have to balance all of these priorities. I want to give first, I want to save appropriately. Uh, you know, I want to be able to live and enjoy what God has provided for me. And yes, over time I want to be completely debt free. And if we could do all of them simultaneously, that's great.

But usually there's just because of limited resources, we can't do everything. So you know, I think, um, you know, as you look at this, let me just ask you a couple of questions. Number one, do you have that emergency fund that I talk about of three to six months expenses?

Yes. Okay. And how much surplus do you have on a monthly basis, Mary, after all the bills are paid and just counting on you putting the minimum on the student loans that's required? Oh, probably about $2,000.

2000 extra. Okay, great. And then are you putting anything away and for retirement? Yes. And is that through a plan at work or some other means?

That's the plan at work. Okay. And do you know what percent of your income is going into that retirement plan? Probably, I would say, maybe 10%.

Okay. And does that include a match of any kind? Do they give you a match? Yes, that does not include the match.

But yes, I'm given a match on top of it. And how much have you built up in that retirement plan? Do you think roughly?

I would say roughly right now, probably about, I think 78,000. Okay, very good. And do you know what your ultimate goal is to be able to save while you're working so that you have enough that you could convert that to an income stream alongside Social Security? Yes. Okay, what do you what do you ultimately think you need in there? Oh, okay.

I would say probably, probably, I would think $3,000. Okay. 3000 a month. All right.

Yeah. So that in that doesn't include Social Security, or it does include Social Security? No, no, I'm thinking beyond Social Security, I'd like to have that match. Okay, so that would mean you'd like to try to throw off about 36,000 a year. And you know that, I mean, that's going to require about 800,000 is saved up in order to about 850,000 would throw off about 36,000 a year or 3000 a month, because we typically like to pull about a 4% a year.

Now, you may listen to that and say, Well, route. Well, Rob, I don't know how many get to 850,000. And you may not. And I realize that's a lot of money. But I think it just gives you some sense of, you need to be aggressively saving toward retirement so that you can build up a nest egg. And if we want that to last, because remember, when you get to age 65, if you know, that's the Lord's will, and he tarries and doesn't return, you know, your life expectancy is going to be 86 just based on life expectancy today. So you need this money to last perhaps decades. And we typically look at a 4% withdrawal rate so that you can invest it conservatively in retirement, and allow you to maintain that principal balance over time, and then pull the income that you need. Well, 4% of 850,000 is roughly that 36,000, you know, a year that you're looking for.

So if we can't get there, then the alternative to that is, well, we're going to need to pull less. And so the idea would be that, you know, with your social security, and maybe with you being debt free, maybe you don't need a full 36,000 a year on top of social security. And then, you know, maybe your goal comes from 850,000 down to something less than that.

So I think what I'm hearing is you've lived modestly, you've got plenty of surplus every month, you've got your emergency fund, that's great. I wonder if what we do is you try to target the payoff of this student loan with your expected retirement. So if you're planning on working another 15 years, maybe you call your student loan provider and say, hey, how much would I need to send every month so that when I get to age 65, this is gone? And they'd say, well, send this amount over the monthly payment.

Great, I'll do that. And then try to bump up your retirement contribution so you're maxing that out every year so that you're getting closer to that ultimate retirement savings goal. And then we're working on both things. We're entering retirement with your expenses as low as possible, because now you don't have that student loan payment.

But we're also prioritizing you continuing to fund your retirement savings so that you've got something working for you over the next 15 years or so. Does that all make sense? Yes, it makes sense to me. Yes.

Okay, very good. So just to recap, I think the goal is let's max out your retirement plan every year. And then let's call your student loan servicer and say, how much would I need to have this paid off around my retirement date, which I'm just using 65. So that'd be, you know, roughly 13 years from now, if you're 52.

And then they can tell you how much you need to send. And I think that's going to keep you moving in the right direction so that we're accomplishing all of your goals. You got plenty of liquidity, you're saving as much as you can for retirement, and you're trying to get out of debt by the time you retire. So that expense is not, you know, a part of your budget anymore. And hopefully that'll take some of the pressure off.

Listen, Mary, you sound like a wonderful person trying to honor the Lord with your finances. And we so appreciate that. I hope what I've shared with you has been helpful. Thanks for your call today. Folks, we're going to take a break. When we come back, a money mail, a new segment for us where we tackle your money questions that you sent through the moody radio.org website.

Back with much more just around the corner. Stay with us. Thanks for joining us on faith and finance live. Well, we know how this works. You have money questions and we have money answers. But if you can't get through on the air, you may want to send them through the mail. And we have a way to do that at moody radio.org forward slash finance. You can submit a question there and we tackle them on the air. Well, normally I do them periodically, but we thought we would add a new segment that would allow us to tackle several of these questions at once.

We call it money mail, but the best part about it is it's not just me. We have a great team here at faith and finance live that makes this happen every day. That includes a whole host of folks. But one of the folks you don't ever get to hear from is a critical part of this broadcast every day is my producer, Amy Rios. And Amy is going to join us for this segment. Amy, it's great to have you on the.

Hey, Rob, thanks for asking me to do this. Absolutely. So I understand you have a mail bag there.

Maybe it's not a literal bag, but it's maybe an electronic variety, huh? Yes. And it's right here in front of me. We've got a few to ask you today and I'm sure you'll be able to tackle all these. Let's do it. Okay. So Lonnie first writes, my husband and I recently received a tax free gift.

I want to invest $7,000 in short term investments because I don't like money sitting idle in the bank. He is the pessimist and I'm the opposite of him. What should we do? Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I think this really highlights the opportunity to find common ground as we bring together different money personalities, right? So one's a spender, one's a saver.

I'm sure Amy with you and Marty, one's a spender, one's a saver. I won't ask which one, right? Well, that might be obvious actually. Okay.

But it's just always the way it works, right? And so we have to find common ground and I think it's always helpful to step back and say, what are our values that drive our money decisions? So in this case, he's the pessimist.

She's a little bit more of the optimist, maybe willing to take a little bit of risk with this. So I would say, first of all, let's pray together and ask the Lord to help us come to an agreement. Let's unpack those values. What do we want to be known for as a family and how can money be used as a tool to accomplish what's most important to us? And maybe we do that just ourselves, or maybe we bring in a third party like an advisor.

This can be a great way to do that. It could be that maybe splitting it and, you know, accomplishing goals that are important to both of you is a good thing. So maybe for one, maybe for him, knowing that you've shored up your emergency fund in, you know, guaranteed savings, what, you know, fill his bucket, so to speak, because, you know, he's a pessimist. For you, maybe saying, hey, I want to fund a Roth IRA, and I'm going to take 3500 of this and put it away for the long term. I think, you know, let's talk about, you know, how we can accomplish our goals moving toward our values, but reflecting both of us, especially with money kind of coming out of nowhere like this. So I'd say pray about it, talk about your values, and then ultimately make that decision. But I think whether it's funding a Roth IRA or putting it in savings, either can be great as long as it fits your objectives. I think that's very wise advice. As always, Rob, thank you.

So Rodney writes next, what is a good app or website to teach my 12 year old child about investing in stocks and bonds? Yeah, there's some great ones out there. I'll mention a few names.

And then just some thoughts on this. Number one, Greenlight is one. Another is called Stockpile. There's one called Fidelity. Their youth account.

And then Acorns would be some that come to mind. So Greenlight, Stockpile, Fidelity, youth account, and Acorns. Now, I think whenever we're teaching our kids about investing, normally we say, let's buy a mutual fund.

So we're really diversified when it comes to a small amount of money. But with kids, I kind of like the idea of letting them research the companies. Maybe it's a company that they actually like or, you know, like to do business with or something that's a passion of theirs, which will give them interest in following the company to see how it does. And maybe you can sit down with them once a month and just say, hey, what's been going on in this company? You know, what is the latest news? How's the stock doing? And it might just give them some incentive to continue to be an investor down the road. Perfect. I think, you know, this is a great thing to be doing for your young kids because, you know, financial illiteracy is just something that's so prevalent nowadays.

So I know you talk about that a lot. Okay. So this next one's from Harry and I would like to know if you have already put the maximum amount into your Roth account for the year, are you allowed to roll over money from your 401k into the Roth that same year? Yeah, this is a good question and it's a pretty simple answer. And the answer is yes, because the contribution limits for IRAs, whether it's a traditional or a Roth, don't apply to 401k rollovers.

So there's really no limit to the amount you can roll over from your 401k and still contribute the annual maximum to your IRA in the same year. Okay. Well, and this last one here from Anita, I actually thought this was very interesting because of just all the amount of scammers that might be happening out there. Oh, yeah. So she says a credit bureau informed me that my financial information may have been breached by hackers, but they didn't tell me which of my accounts were compromised.

So she's asking do I need to do anything else? Do something about this? Well, you're right, Amy, this is happening more and more and we really need to be on our guard here. Anita, first of all, just make sure this is a legitimate credit bureau. There are scams out there related to fake credit bureaus. So this needs to be either Experian, TransUnion or Equifax.

If you get something from one of those three, go and initiate a call to them using the phone number you get off their website and just confirm that it is in fact legitimate. Now, if it was a legitimate credit bureau claiming that your information has been hacked, then they would know which of your accounts were affected or all of them potentially. So the steps I would take Anita would be number one, freeze your credit.

This is free for you to do. This is essentially where you put a PIN number on the credit file so that if somebody's trying to fraudulently open an account in your name, they won't be able to do so because they won't have the PIN number. Second, get a copy of all of your credit reports. You can do that free at annualcreditreport.com. And what you're going to want to do is check to see if there's any fraudulent accounts that have been set up in your name.

And if so, dispute them with the credit bureau and they will have to delete them. So I think those are really two key next steps for you to take. Perfect. Well, thank you for answering those, Rob. We appreciate it. And I am just glad to be able to talk to you on the air today.

Oh, I am too. This is so much fun and I love this new segment. And by the way, if you have a question you'd like to send along to Amy so she can toss it into the money mailbag, you can do that at moodyradio.org forward slash finance, moodyradio.org forward slash finance. And Amy, to wrap this up, let me just say, you know, we have an amazing team, but I am so thankful for you and what you do every day on the air.

Well, it's a privilege to serve alongside you, Rob. You are the best. Well, thank you, Amy. And that's Amy Rios, our producer here at Faith and Finance Live.

That was a new segment we call Money Mail. And I hope it's helpful. Be sure to send those questions along.

All right. We're getting short on time. We know we've got some folks that have been waiting patiently. So let's try to sneak a few more questions in here to Akron, Ohio. Hi, Erica. Go right ahead. Hi. Hi there. How can I help you? Thanks for taking my call.

Sure. Yeah. So my husband and I purchased a house a couple of years ago and we had paid we've been paying extra on our mortgage. We have a 3 percent fixed rate for that for a 30 year loan. And we've been paying about 75 percent extra of the payment consistently one week after our payment is due.

And what I'm wondering is if we should take that extra payment and put it like towards mutual funds or invest it in some other way, if it would be more beneficial, even if we eventually took the earnings and then applied it to the mortgage later. Yeah. I just needed some help.

It's a great question. And it's especially important just because, as you mentioned, it becomes a little more difficult to make this decision when we have these low interest rates. So three years ago, interest rates were at three percent. We've been I've even some people in the twos.

I even saw one person at one point nine nine, which is just amazing. Now, obviously, today, it's a lot easier decision because it's seven and a half percent. That's a guaranteed return of seven and a half percent whenever we pay down the mortgage.

But at three, we can kind of go either way. So when we've got these competing priorities, we have to take a step back and say, well, it's a good thing to give. It's a good thing to pay down debt. It's a good thing to save. Which do we do first?

And perhaps the answer is somewhere there in the middle. But let me ask Erica, do you guys have an emergency fund of three to six months expenses? Yes, we do. And we don't have any other debt other than the mortgage.

Awesome. And how much surplus do you have on a monthly basis without the 75 percent extra to the mortgage? It is kind of variable. We have four kids and they all do sports. And so sometimes we have, I would say, anywhere from two to three thousand monthly. Wow, that's awesome. So you guys are living modestly, but I understand that can vary of having a dancer, a soccer player and two basketball players.

I know all about that, Erica. Now, are you guys how much are you putting away in company sponsored retirement plans? What percent of your income?

I myself I think I'm required because I'm a like a state employee. So I think that they're putting like 10 percent away but not paying towards Social Security. So that's something that we're keeping in mind. And then my husband is putting away six percent and his company is matching six percent. OK, got it.

Yeah. So I wonder if maybe the balance here, assuming you're you're giving at the level you feel like the Lord is leading and you've already got your fully fund emergency fund, you know, then apart from maybe you funding a college plan out of some of this two to three thousand a month, like a 529 or any other kind of funds that you're saving for in the short term, like a car replacement. I kind of like the idea of him bumping that up. So you're putting 15 percent in. And as long as you're doing 15 percent there, plus your state retirement, plus your emergency fund, plus any other funds like for car replacement or college, then if you have surplus beyond that, I'd say keep paying down that mortgage because there's a financial benefit. But there's also a non-financial benefit to you being debt free. And that's peace of mind and flexibility.

And if you guys can do that sooner rather than later, I'd say go for it. You won't look back. So I hope that helps you, Erica. Thanks for calling today. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between movie radio and faith by thank you to Anthony, Dan, Amy and Jim. Thank you for being here as well. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 13:58:34 / 2023-10-07 14:15:49 / 17

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