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The Cost and Blessing of Commitment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2023 5:44 pm

The Cost and Blessing of Commitment

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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October 16, 2023 5:44 pm

Staying in shape requires willpower. Finishing a college degree involves determination. And achieving your goals takes a lot of hard work. In other words, success generally takes commitment—and the same concept applies to our finances. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about what happens when you make a commitment to follow biblical financial principles. Then, he’ll answer your questions on various financial topics. 

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Staying in shape requires willpower. Finishing a college degree involves determination and achieving your professional goals takes a lot of hard work. In other words, success takes commitment.

I am Rob West. The same goes for your financial life. Today, we'll talk about what happens when you make a commitment to follow biblical financial principles. Then we'll take your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, you've heard the saying that things worth doing are worth doing well. Well, think about all the things worth doing in your finances, like saving for the future, making a spending plan, paying off debt, giving generously, dealing honestly, and living with integrity. If you want positive results in any of these areas, you have to expend some effort, sometimes a lot of effort. Commitment to biblical financial standards requires determination, planning, patience, and even sacrifice.

So why put in all that hard work? Well, while commitment has its costs, it comes with benefits as well. Living with faith and integrity in your finances and your life results in peace, contentment, and even joy. When you serve God with your finances, you'll participate in His work of mercy and blessing for people around you. Experiencing the Lord's provision in your own life will build your faith and give you a testimony to encourage others. The Bible is full of examples of commitment.

Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the Hall of Faith because it tells the story of godly men and women through the Old Testament who put their commitment to God ahead of everything else. These believers had faith in God's promise to redeem mankind even before the time of Jesus. Of course, the ultimate example of commitment is Jesus.

For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. That's Hebrews 12-2. A God who is so committed to us that He would die to save us is surely worth our commitment. So faith is an essential part of your commitment to follow God with your financial decisions and choices. Hebrews 1 defines faith as confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. God's Word gives clear directions about financial attitudes and actions. You can follow those principles and trust God to take care of you in good times and bad. Here's Hebrews 11-6.

And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. So commitment to biblical financial principles takes faith. Another key to successful biblical money management is to understand who's in charge. Is it you or the Lord? In Matthew 6-24, Jesus says no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Jesus doesn't mince words. It's impossible to be committed to both money and God. One or the other will have to play second fiddle, and you'll feel the tension. Here are a few questions to consider. Do financial worries occupy your thoughts all the time? Does the desire for more things or more money motivate you? Are you constantly checking your investments or your social media feed?

Is your career or hobby the most important thing in your life right now? If you answered yes to any of those questions, maybe you're trying to serve two masters. When you devote yourself to money or your job or anything else besides God, you're serving an idol, and that idol cannot provide peace or power for living. Commitment to biblical principles requires faith and devotion to God alone, and that takes work. But it's all worth it, according to Hebrews 10.

Listen to this. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. So do not throw away your confidence.

It will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. You know, one of the benefits of a commitment to follow God is the encouragement that comes from being a part of the body of Christ. When you're a Christian, you're not alone in your faith journey. So if you've ever felt like giving up on that budget or putting off your promise to give more, don't worry. We all have struggles.

In fact, if everything was easy, we'd never get stronger. As part of the body of Christ with you, the community here at Faithfi is ready to walk beside you in your financial journey with compassion, kindness, and humility. Most of all, we want you to discover how great it is to commit to following Jesus with everything, including your finances. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000.

Stick around. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, and we're looking forward to taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call, 800-525-7000.

Again, that's 800-525-7000. You know, we believe that your opportunity to be found faithful as a steward of God's resources is an enormous responsibility. You know, at the core of faithfulness is obedience to God's Word. So here on this program each day, we want to take you back to the Scriptures, help you unpack the big ideas and themes of God's Word to be able to manage His money well.

That means holding it loosely, giving it generously, saving it appropriately, and I would say deploying it strategically in line with your convictions and values as you invest in God-honoring companies. We tackle all of that and more in this program each day, and look forward to hearing what's on your mind so we can help you make a wise decision and move forward. Whether you're living, giving, owing or growing, whatever it is, we'd love to hear from you.

The number, 800-525-7000. We've got a few lines open. We'd love to tackle your question. Let's dive in today.

We'll begin in Chicago. Hi, Allen. Go ahead, sir.

Yes. Hey, thanks for taking my call, Rob. A couple quick questions. The first one was, when's my best time to start taking Social Security? I'm 63. I believe my full retirement age is 67. And then the second one would be, when would be a good time or what would you suggest as far as selling the house I'm in? It's paid for. I'm here in Jacksonville, Florida. It's a pretty good location.

Yeah, very good. Let's start with the first part of that question around Social Security. No, you know, far too many retirees, I think, start taking that check as soon as they're able to, which is 62, rather than waiting until full retirement age, which you said for you is 67 or even beyond that. I'd recommend if you don't need the money that you let that continue to grow. That's going to increase at about 8% a year. And as soon as you take it, it's going to lock you in, you know, with that reduction 8% per year, going the other way lower than your expected monthly benefit for every year, you know, prior to full retirement age that you take that. So if possible, I'd let that check grow. If you're continuing to work or your income is covered another way, but give me a sense of where this monthly check from Social Security fits into your overall plan and how long you plan to continue working.

Right. That's the big question there. I'd like to go to at least my full retirement age or, you know, 67. I've been blessed where I don't really need the money, which I've heard from a friend is the time to get it. You know, I'm still not sure why, how he came up with that idea. But yeah, it'd just be, you know, something to, you know, supplement my income or if I'm still working or, you know, retirement income if I do retire.

Yeah, fairly early. Well, often folks will point to, you know, one, if you start taking it, you know, you have no idea when the Lord's going to call you home. And so it all comes down to life expectancy, because if you forego this check for the next four years and wait till full retirement age, yes, the check is building, but you also didn't receive those payments for four years. So then, you know, it's probably going to take you another dozen years beyond that for you to be made whole in the form of a higher check for that portion that you gave up during those years you didn't take it.

Now, once you reach age 65, life expectancy for a male in the United States is 83. So if you're in good health, I mean, you would expect that you should be able to fully, you know, recoup what you gave up and then have that higher check for the rest of your life. But you did forego the opportunity to use that either, you know, to turn around and give it away or, you know, supplement your income or whatever else that might be.

I just kind of like the idea of you getting this check up as high as you can, so that if you had something coming out of left field in this season of life, you needed expensive long term care or something else, that you'd have the benefit to, you know, take advantage of that, that higher check. You know, I think at the end of the day, it really just comes down to, if you don't need the money, in my view, you might as well let it continue to build. Other folks will say, wait a minute, I thought the Social Security Trust Fund was going to run out in 2035. And that's right, that number has been moving around a little bit, but somewhere around there, it will if we don't make any changes. Now, at that point, we'd still have enough current revenues to, for Social Security to be able to pay out 75% of the checks of those that were collecting at that point. And you know, the key is what's going to happen between now and then that's a political hot potato, nobody wants to be on the watch where checks get cut by 25%. So what's probably going to happen is FRA full retirement age is going to be pushed out, or, or and we'll see higher FICA taxes, there will be changes made, in my view, that will shore that up. And the demographics are just working against on this. You know, we've got so many more people retiring than you have people entering the workforce.

And that's where these numbers are just becoming problematic. But I think, you know, at the end of the day, it's something you need to make a decision for yourself, I would probably if you don't need the money, let that check continue to grow. But I can certainly understand why he's encouraging you to take it. You know, why you can, I think to the second question, you know, it really comes down to, you know, where, what are you going to do with the money? I mean, if you're turning around and buying another home, then housing prices are high, but you're also going to get, you know, top dollar coming out of that home sale. So I think, you know, often with your home sale, you know, if you're not looking to borrow anything, and I can't imagine that you are, because you own this home free and clear, then interest rates are not a factor. You've got a red hot housing market that although it's cooled, some is still, you know, as high as it's ever been, we've seen a slowing of the appreciation, we really haven't seen any kind of downturn in the housing market. And don't expect to just because we still have a housing shortage in this country of two to 3 million homes at least. So because of that, and given that you're in Florida, where a lot of folks are moving, because they like the for a lot of reasons, namely, you know, no state income tax, you know, your property value should hold up really well. And so I think it really comes down to a lifestyle decision. Are you looking to downsize? Do you want to relocate? But I don't see any reason why you wouldn't go ahead and do that if the time is right for you. I certainly wouldn't hang on to it just, you know, because of the housing market or something like that.

But give me your thoughts on both of those. Yeah, I think that that makes sense. I spoke with your assistant earlier.

It's like, you know, if I do get the money out of this, where am I going to go and get a comparable location and house, you know, with with that money, it probably just be a wash, so to speak. Yeah. So yeah, yeah, I think that's good advice on both both fronts there. Excellent, Alan. We appreciate you being on the program today, my friend. Thanks for checking in with us. Call us back anytime if we can help further. 800-525-7000 is a number to call. We've got a few lines open today. We're heading up against our first break.

So, Becky, Ellen will come to you just on the other side of the break. Let me take this opportunity to mention, though, if you haven't downloaded the FaithFi app, we'd love for you to check it out. Best way is probably to head to our website, That's Click app.

You can certainly search for it in your app store. What you'll find is our community where stewards every day are posting questions and getting answers. You'll find our learn tab where you can get the best content in Christian finance, but you'll also have our money management system.

It's built on Larry Burkett's tried and true envelope system, but with a modern simple interface, you can connect securely to your financial institutions. But the key is you can stay on the same page with your spouse. Always know what you have left in every one of your envelopes during the month. And now more than ever, as we're getting squeezed from every direction in our budgets, really key that you have a plan to be able to navigate your finances so that you have that margin to accomplish your longer term goals. Check it out today,

Just click app. A quick break and back with much more. Stay with us. I'm so glad you've joined us today for faith and finance live where we apply God's wisdom in your financial decisions and choices. We've got a few lines open today. Good five to five.

Seven thousand is the number to call. Let's head to Canton, Ohio. Hi, Becky.

Thanks for your patience. Go ahead. Hi there. Hi.

Thanks for taking my call. So my husband and I have two rental properties that sit side by side and these properties sit right in front of where a new school has been built. So about a year ago, the school district came to us and said, we don't have to have your properties, but we wouldn't mind having your properties. We'll give you the appraisal value. So we chose the appraiser and they paid for the appraisal. They came up with an appraisal of one hundred fifty thousand per house.

So three hundred thousand total. At that time, we said, OK, thanks, but no thanks. We're going to hang on to these for a little while longer. So the school has come to us again and said, again, we'll give you appraisal value. We owe about eighteen thousand on the one, about twenty thousand on the other. So we're trying to decide, would it be wiser to sell these properties to the school? Of course, pay them off. We would have enough money to pay off our own home. We owe about one hundred thousand on our own home, leaving us with about one hundred fifty thousand dollars left, which we could either buy another rental property or invest it elsewhere. Or do we keep the rental properties and let our renters pay for them?

They'll be paid off in about 18 months to two years and then just use the rental income as income in our retirement years, which would be a wiser thing to do. Yeah. You know, they both have their upsides for sure.

And you've described some of them. I think this ultimately comes down to recognizing that, you know, the purpose of money is not to have more of it. It's to accomplish a set of goals driven by our values.

So as you and your husband take a step back and really talk about your goals, how do those enter into this equation? Because, you know, if your goal was, well, we just really have a conviction to be debt free. Well, liquidating these properties could allow you to get out of debt once and for all. And then, as you said, maybe even buy another property for cash or invest that money. Another goal may be, hey, we want to spend more time traveling or with our family. And, well, if if we got out from under these properties, we'd no longer be landlords. And so therefore we'd have more time freed up where we're not dealing with marketing these properties and fixing the problems that come up along the way and collecting the rent and all of those things that go along with it.

And we could redirect that time and energy somewhere else. So are there any goals that you have that would inform this decision, given that both of them are viable choices and bring great upside in either case? Yeah, I think for myself, emotionally, the thought of being debt free sounds amazing to me. And my husband agrees. However, I guess just all these years in our marriage, we've always thought that these rental properties would be, you know, another income source for us after we're both done working. So I guess it's a win win situation.

You can't go wrong either way. But we just want to be, you know, make the wisest choice. We're seeing our 401k just completely stagnant, you know, for the past several years. And so, you know, we're thinking, do we pour this extra money into the 401k? Or do we find a better place to invest it? If we did sell? You know?

Yeah, absolutely. So let me ask a couple of questions. What do you have in your 401ks? All retirement accounts together roughly? 401k has about 375 380,000. We have a couple other mutual funds and things totaling around 60,000.

Okay, very good. And you said the proceeds from these home sales after the mortgages are paid off would be roughly what? About 150,000. Okay, and that's after you pay off just the rental property mortgages? Or did you say that also would include you paying off your primary home? That includes our primary home as well. And so you'd have 150 after you did all of that?

Yes. And how much of that is going to your primary home? What's the mortgage balance there?

It's about 100,000. Okay. All right.

So you could have 250 if you didn't pay that off? Right. Okay. And did you say you're also on track to have these rental properties free and clear if you just continue on in what period of time?

Around 18 months to two years. Okay. So you'd be debt free except for your primary residence in two years.

And then at that point, you could redirect that money if you're not relying it to live on, relying on it to live on, toward accelerating your primary mortgage payoff, correct? Right, right. Yeah.

All right. And how long do you all plan to continue to work? How far off is retirement? Oh, probably another 15 years. Okay, got it.

Yeah. And is there a part of this? I mean, I heard you say we like the idea that these could be income generating assets in the future. We also love the idea, especially you, of being debt free. I didn't hear anything about we really just don't want to be landlords anymore. That's not a part of this equation.

It's really not. I mean, we've been very fortunate that we've had really good tenants. My husband is able to fix a lot of stuff on his own. So I know he doesn't love fixing everything, but it really we've been very fortunate as far as minimal problems. Yeah.

And even with the debt service today, are these cash flow positive? Yes. Okay, great.

Yeah. You know, I mean, again, I think you can go either direction here. I think ultimately this comes down to you and your husband maybe taking a week and separately just praying and asking the Lord to give you some wisdom here. And then maybe at the end of the week, you guys come back together and compare notes on what he's telling you. I mean, if at the end of the day, one or both of you just has a conviction, let's get out of debt.

And we're really excited about that. Then I'd say, sell these things, pay off all the debt and don't look back. If that's not where you're coming out, then I kind of like the idea of you being debt free with the rental properties in 18 months to two years, taking all that money and now putting it on the house. And now in a reasonable period of time, well before retirement, you own your home, you own these two rental properties, and now you've got, let's say, you know, 10 years from now, a half a million dollars in investments. You got two properties that are cash flowing at any point you could sell them, but you've got diversification among those asset classes. So you're not all in stocks or bonds. You've got stocks and bonds and real estate. You've got no debt, and then you're really well positioned for retirement. I think that's my preference, but what trumps all of that is if you pray about this and feel like the Lord's leading you to be debt free. That's my best advice, Becky.

I want to hear your thoughts. So stay on the line. We'll talk off the air and we'll be right back on Faith and Finance Live. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We're delighted that you're listening into the broadcast today, but we'd also love for you to participate in the broadcast today. We've got a few lines open at 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. Let's head back to the phones.

Cleveland, Ohio. Hi, Ellen. Thanks for calling. Go ahead.

Hi. Thank you. I have an older car, a 2011 Ford Escape. It has 243,000 miles on it. It has a few issues with it, like I have to add fuel injector cleaner when I fill up or the engine light will come on. It has a slow leak somewhere that they recommended I not get fixed because it would be over $1,000 and a pretty negligible leak.

It's got some rust starting on it. I want to drive this car until it dies and I'm hoping that I can drive it another four years while I'm saving up for my next car. I'm just wondering at what point would it make sense or would it ever make sense to drop the comprehensive part of my insurance? Yeah, it can make some sense. There are some rules of thumb here as long as you understand what you're giving up and the collision pays for damage to your car after an accident with an object.

It could be a tree or a guard rail. Comprehensive is not exactly comprehensive but it pays for car theft or damage from weather, floods, fire, things like that. The rules of thumb say that you can either look at it simply by saying once you get past five or six years old or reach 100,000 miles, then you should consider dropping the collision. You're clearly well beyond that.

The other rule of thumb is to total up the total premiums that you pay for that portion of your coverage over a 12 month period and if that's more than half the car's value, then that's the time when you should be comfortable dropping the comprehensive and collision. Certainly number one applies. Do you know if number two does?

I'm guessing it would but I wouldn't be able to set it up. Yeah, so you can take a look at that but I think the bottom line is, yeah, I mean you've obviously kind of ridden this thing beyond its useful life. There's not a whole lot of value left into it other than it's valuable to you because it still runs. So I love the idea of you continuing to drive this until it dies as you said.

Why not, right? The last car we turned in, we had a minivan. We've got four kids, a busy household.

We had a minivan with 230,000 miles on it and it was valuable to us right up until it wasn't anymore because it wasn't worth fixing and I think that's the right idea but if you can save some money by dropping the collision and comprehensive, that does make some sense and hopefully those two rules of thumb will lead you to think, you know what, this is exactly what I'm describing here in my car and therefore I can save some money. Okay, great. Super. All right, Ellen, thanks for your call today. Yeah, God bless you. Appreciate you hanging on.

800-525-7000 is the number to call to Ohio. Anna, you'll be our next caller. Go ahead.

Hello. We have $100,000 right now in an annuity that's come. We can take the money out if we want without a penalty at this point or we can reinvest it at like 4.2% for five years to re-up it and in that time we could take out like $10,000 a year if we needed it or we could take that out of the annuity and buy some CDs online and we also have, we just have $16,000 right now in savings because we just bought a vehicle and we have one for sale and we haven't sold it yet so right now that's all we have, the size is $100,000. We're just not sure which online CDs to look at or if we should stay with the annuity.

Yeah, I kind of like the idea of you putting it into a CD. I mean you're going to get about a comparable rate there. I mean five-year CDs right now are right at the very best rates you're going to find are around that 4.6% for five years. Interestingly, you can actually do a lot better than that with a shorter duration and it's just because the banks know these rates aren't going to last forever.

Eventually, it's going to deteriorate too much the economy. They're going to have to lower the rates but right now you can get 5.6% on a one-year CD. In some cases, there'll be a minimum of $10,000 or $25,000 but you've obviously got more than that. So you could do better in a CD but not for five years and so if that rate is lower a year from now, you may not end up with that 4.6% and you can get in a five-year CD or in the annuity.

So I think it really comes down to you. Obviously, when you lock it up in a five-year CD, you're losing access to the money without penalties for the full five years. I think in the case of the annuity, you have this provision where you can get I think you said 10% or $10,000 out per year. Is this qualified money, Anna, meaning did it go in pre-tax? It must have because he told me there would be no, well, there's no penalty. I don't know.

Is that a tax? He said there'd be no penalty to get to get it out now. Okay. Yeah, you'd want to understand.

That's okay. You just want to understand that because you know that penalty is different from it being taxable. So you're going to want to understand the tax implications of you taking the money out. If this money went in a pre-tax, then you'd want to roll it to an IRA, an individual retirement account, and then you could invest it in CDs inside the IRA. If it's after-tax money, then you just need to understand any taxes you're due on the gains you've had and just factor that in. But at that point, you'd be free to move this to your savings account and then put it into a taxable CD because it's not in a tax-deferred environment.

So you're just going to want to understand that. I'd probably check with a CPA before you do anything just to make sure you understand if you move it out, what type of account it needs to go into so you don't incur a tax liability without understanding what you're doing. But in terms of the annuity or the CD, it's kind of a wash, Anna. I think you're going to end up with about the same rate.

If the annuity is paying 4.6, that's exactly what you're going to get on a five-year CD. So I think it's whichever you're most comfortable with. And I don't have any problem with you staying right where you're at in the annuity if that's what they're going to pay you for that period of time. Okay.

Okay. And right now, we're both on Social Security and we actually don't make enough to do a lot with taxes at this point. I don't know if that's a consideration here. Well, it just would be if this is all pre-tax money, the distribution of it would create $100,000 in taxable income if you pulled it out and it was in a pre-tax environment. So just make sure you have somebody take a look at that because if you did withdraw it, I don't want you to create a lot of taxable income that you didn't intend to. Now, it may not be. And again, that's where you just want to get a CPA to take a look at it before you do anything unless you're going to leave it right where it is and roll it over into a new five-year annuity, then there's not any issue there.

But if you are going to pull it out, just make sure you understand the tax implications before you do it. Okay. Okay. All right. Thank you for your call.

God bless you, Anna. Thanks for being on the program today. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Again, that's 800-525-7000. We've got room for maybe one or two more questions before the program today.

A quick email. This comes from Mary. She writes, if online banking is considered safe, then why do people recommend not using online banking at a public library? I find this conflicting and confusing.

I love the show. Thanks for your sound advice. Mary, I'm not sure what advice you're referring to. Perhaps what they're talking about is that you shouldn't do any kind of online financial transactions using a public library's computer or anyone else's Wi-Fi network other than you own because that internet connection wouldn't be safe, and therefore your transactions with your bank wouldn't be safe, and that would apply to anybody else.

But as long as you're using your own Wi-Fi at home and you're using just generally accepted safeguarding principles, then I don't see any different with you doing business with an online bank. Thanks for writing to us. We'll be right back. I'm so glad you're with us today on Faith and Finance Live. We're taking your calls and questions today, but first, here in our final segment on a Monday, Bob Dahl joins us. Bob is Chief Investment Officer at Crossmark Global Investments. He weighs in on the markets and the economy and the week ahead each Monday.

He's with us now, and Bob, here we are. I'll tell you, so many crosscurrents, a lot going on geopolitically as we watch what's unfolding in Israel, and yet green across the board today. Is that surprising? It is a bit surprising, although I was just looking at a chart. All we did today was recover what we lost on Friday. Two days together and it's pretty close to zero.

But your point about a lot of crosscurrents, you're absolutely right. The bulls would say, now the Fed's getting more dovish. They're done raising rates. Earnings, they're coming in okay. We've got a labor market that's pretty strong.

I think we're going to have a soft landing, to which the bear says, not so fast. Remember, we had the Fed raise rates from zero to five and a quarter in 18 months. The lagged effects of that are still to be felt. Bond yields have spiked over the last couple of months. Maybe inflation is not conquered. And then, to your point, all this geopolitics.

Yeah, no question about it. And that's obviously the challenge we find ourselves in, is where are we going to go next? Bob, let's focus in on the geopolitical side of this. Obviously, heinous devastation and loss of life going on in that part of the world. But what is the economic story of what's happening there? You're right. Sad, sad, sad.

It really is. The economic story is, if this does not impact the price of oil, which would probably necessitate Iran getting involved, without that change in the oil price, it's probably going to be a pretty much non-event for the markets. That's what they're saying so far and contained in Israel and the Gaza Strip as painful as it is to watch. Yeah, no question about that. Bob, you mentioned corporate earnings just starting to come out, building up pretty nicely.

Just give us your read on where you think we're headed from here. You know, it's sort of like the first two quarters. I remind people, yeah, earnings came in actually a little better than expected, but they were still down year over year. So you can only get down so many quarters in a row before you can't say it's good news anymore. Hopefully, this quarter will break out some. The bulls are arguing this could be record earnings here in the third quarter.

Yeah, no question about that. Bob, what about just the leaders and lagers of this market? Are we seeing some breadth when we do have these up days or is it still fairly narrow? Very, very narrow. Today, a good exception.

The breadth was stronger. Small stocks beat big stocks today, but that's not been typical. If you look at the average stock year to date, let alone during this last couple of months, the average stock is way underperformed.

The broad averages, we come back to the magnificent seven carrying the day. Without those, the market would be flattish year to date. Yeah, OK. And then, Bob, the bond market for those sitting on big fixed income portfolios, maybe they're in the retirement season of life, wondering where things are headed here. What's your latest take?

You know, that's been a tough road to hoe. We're probably going to finish this year with the third year in a row where bond investors have lost money, which I think is another way to say don't run for the hills, don't sell out at the bottom. Let's hope this is a bottom in price. Yields have drifted higher. I should say they have galloped higher in recent weeks, Rob, on the back of a whole lot of things, including the debt and the deficits of the U.S. that's going to create increasing supply that has to be funded. Yeah.

All right. Bob, finally, I know you had some comments in your deliberations for this week around this being the one year anniversary of the bear market low last Thursday. Is it surprising that we're just treading water for so long? It seems like especially with, you know, the computer trading and so forth, we tend to kind of rush through these ups and downs, but we've kind of been flat and sideways, right? We have, which is among the things the bears are throwing at the bulls and say, this can't be a bull market when less than half the stocks are above their 200-day moving average, when small stocks are lagging so much. In fact, Rob, in the 12 months since the bear market low last October, bank stocks are down. That has never happened before in the first year of a bull market.

So this is a weird and kind of weakish bull market, if that's what we're in. All right. Well, I'm glad you're the one. You're the man for the job, Bob, to figure this thing out. Hey, we appreciate your time today. I'll call you when we get it figured out. OK, sounds good.

That's a deal. Hey, God bless you, Bob. Thanks for joining us. That's Bob Dahl, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments.

You can learn more and sign up for his weekly investment commentary at All right, let's round out the program today with your questions. Back to the phones to South Dakota. John, go ahead, sir. Rob, thanks for taking my call.

I appreciate it. Sure. Quick question here, probably not a quick answer.

My son proposed a question to me. He wanted to cash in his Roth IRA and pay the subsequent penalty on that to pay off a business mortgage. And I recognize that that's a retirement tool that he'll need down the road.

He's 36 right now, but he owns a medical office in a small mall and he owns both the strip mall as well as the practice. And my thinking is that if he did pay that off, he says he's got another 30 years plus to work, he would be able to recap, capture that money for IRA down the road and from the rent and everything else that he would get from that practice and the strip mall. Yeah.

Yeah. I guess the only thing I would counter that with is just the value of having that money in that Roth IRA with him having 30 years between now and retirement for that money to continue to grow tax free and the fact that he couldn't just drop that back into it because you've got these annual contribution limits today. Twenty, twenty three, that's sixty five hundred dollars. So he'd be pulling that out, paying a penalty, paying the taxes on the gains and miss out on that tax free growth for a long, long time, which just makes that a really powerful vehicle for him. Not to mention the fact that, you know, if there is good debt, this is it. You know, when we're borrowing for where the economic cost is lower than the economic gain, meaning, you know, this is an appreciating asset. It's not like, you know, he's paying off a consolidation loan from credit card debt or something. So this business and the strip mall should continue to appreciate over time. Is he having any trouble with debt service just based on the cash flow? No, I think it's just there's some challenges with some medical expenses and then I think a desire to be debt free. Yeah, yeah, I can certainly appreciate that.

I would just say let's just try to pile back the, you know, any any profits that he has back into paying off and accelerating the debt payoff before I would look at pulling out of that Roth IRA with the penalties and the loss of the potential for the compounding growth over the next 30 years. I would I would use that as a source of last resort if it were me. Good. That's very helpful. I appreciate it. All right, John. God bless you. Thanks for being on the program. We're going to round out the broadcast today in Indy. Alan, go ahead, sir.

Hi, Rob. I appreciate your ministry. Thank you. OK, my wife will be. My wife will be 62 next month.

I'm 57. We've been planning on waiting to take her Social Security until at least 65 and maybe longer. But I was reading last week that if Congress doesn't do anything about Social Security by 2033, everyone who is drawing will have to take a 33 percent reduction. Yeah. So my my question is, is there truth to that? Number one and number two, should we go ahead and take her Social Security and put it in some kind of account and let it earn money?

Because we thank God we don't need the money. Yeah. Yeah.

Well, I can certainly understand that. And I can't predict the future, how long you're going to live or what Congress is going to do. Only the Lord knows those. But what I will tell you is, yeah, if in fact no no changes are made, the fund will run out somewhere between 2033 and 2035.

It tends to be a moving target. The latest numbers I've seen is that they'd be able to pay 75 percent of benefits. So not a 33 percent reduction, but 25 percent. In either case, that's not good. And for that reason, I don't see it happening. Nobody's going to want to be on the watch of Congress that allows those checks to be cut that significantly. So what's going to happen? Well, they're going to do what they have to do between now and then to shore it up, which means continuing to push full retirement age out or perhaps FICA tax increases or both, you know, would be on the table.

And I think those are probably fairly likely. You know, here's the reality, though. It takes about 12 years for you to for the higher monthly benefits to recoup the money you gave up by waiting. So if you expect to live to age 79 and again, only the Lord knows our next breath. But but that's essentially the point at which, you know, it would have made sense for you to wait because you would have been fully paid back for everything you gave up and you'd now have this higher check for the rest of your life. So I think if it were up to me and you didn't need the money, I'd probably come down on the side of let's wait and let that check continue to build. Because if you're in good health and the Lord tarries, I'd rather you have that higher check for the rest of your life.

And to Congress, we certainly don't know where they're headed, but I can tell you that this is too much of an issue for them not to address it between now and 2033. OK, makes sense to me. Thank you. All right.

Absolutely, sir. Thank you for calling today. We appreciate it.

Well, folks, we so appreciate you listening into this program each day. By the way, let me just mention, as a listener supported ministry, if you consider yourself a part of the faith and finance live family, maybe you listen regularly, maybe you've found something here or there that's been helpful to you and you'd like to support our work so that we can train more stewards to treasure God and not their money and use money as a tool to accomplish his purposes. Well, we'd invite you to be a financial supporter of the ministry. You can do it quickly and securely on our website at Just click Give. A gift of any amount would go a long way to helping us equip God's people to make wise financial decisions. Just click Give. Thanks in advance. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Dan, Amy, Lynn and Jim. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-18 01:02:27 / 2023-10-18 01:20:03 / 18

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