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Financial Milestone Birthdays

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2023 5:29 pm

Financial Milestone Birthdays

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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October 20, 2023 5:29 pm

You probably remember looking forward to your birthday when you were a kid—always proud when you could say you were one year older. Yet, as we age, birthdays don’t hold the same charm. But financially speaking, some are more important than others. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about the financial milestone birthdays we all need to keep in mind. Then, he’ll answer your calls on various financial topics. 

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Age has its benefits, but cramming dozens of candles on a birthday cake isn't one of them.

Hi, I'm Rob West. You probably remember looking forward to your birthday when you were a kid. As we get older, birthdays don't seem to hold the same charm. Today, we'll look at some birthdays that are more important than others, financially speaking. 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. Whether you prefer to ignore your birthday or you still celebrate with gusto every year, there are a few birthdays we all need to recognize. I'm referring to the birthdays with financial implications. Here's our list, and no need to take notes.

You can check it out later at First is day one. Newborns can be signed up for Social Security right out of the gate, so to speak. Next, childhood.

Just enjoy it. When you turn 15, you can get a learner's permit and mom and dad's insurance rates go through the roof. Parents, don't just take this sitting down unless you are sitting down in front of your computer doing research.

Always shop around for the best auto coverage. Age 18, legally adult. You can register to vote, sign up in the military, and make medical choices for yourself. If you're a parent with one of these adult but not really grown-up individuals in your house, this would be a good time to sit down and talk about grown-up things like credit cards, insurance, and even investing. At age 19, parents or guardians can no longer claim you as a dependent for tax purposes. College students can put this off until age 24.

There's one good reason for staying in school. Age 21, if you're self-employed at age 21, good for you. You can start investing in a SEP IRA. Age 24, the apron strings and the purse strings get cut all at once when you turn 24. If you've been in college and filing as a dependent on your parent's tax return, prepare to file on your own when you turn 24 unless you're already earning enough income to file separately.

Starting at age 26, you can no longer be on your parents or guardian's health insurance. There's a gap in the milestone birthdays here to give you time to get your career and family underway, build for the future, and follow God's leading into adulthood. The next key financial birthday is age 50. This is when you can start putting extra money in your retirement plans. This is Uncle Sam's way of letting you catch up in saving for retirement. Age 50 is also the time when people start making annoying jokes about getting old.

Maybe it's time to pay for a gym membership as well. Now age 55, take advantage of the senior discount at the local all-you-can-eat buffet. Really though, senior discounts can save you a lot of money even if you don't feel that old. Then when you turn 59 and a half, you can take money out of your tax advantage retirement plans without any penalty.

Try not to do it if you can. At age 60, widows and widowers can receive the full amount of their deceased spouse's benefits from Social Security. When you turn 62, you're eligible to receive Social Security income. If you wait to take Social Security benefits, you'll increase your monthly check.

If you need help with all of this, visit us at and click on Find a CKA. Next milestone birthday is age 65. Time to enroll in Medicare. Open enrollment starts three months before your 65th birthday and lasts seven months.

Don't miss the deadline. Age 66 or 67, depending on when you were born, your full retirement age is either 66 or 67. You are eligible to receive 100 percent of your Social Security benefits.

Delay signing up and you could earn up to 8 percent more a year. According to AARP, wage earners who reach full retirement age at 67 but delay claiming benefits until 70 will get an extra 24 percent tacked on to their monthly payment. The delayed retirement credits stop at age 70. Now age 72 or 73, RMDs begin.

Required minimum distributions are minimum amounts you have to withdraw from your retirement plan accounts each year. Age 73 and above, studies show the older we are, the more complicated retirement gets both financially and personally. You'll need to address things like housing, driving challenges, caregiving needs and staying healthy and fulfilled. No matter what birthday you're celebrating this year, we hope you will make your relationship with God a priority.

Psalm 71 18 says, even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts tell all who are to come. All right, your calls are next. The number 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live. Stick around. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal or other professional who understands your specific situation. Well, we're so glad to have you along with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions now on anything financial and we've got lines open here on a Friday. We'd love to hear from you with whatever you're thinking about financially. Give us a call. 800-525-7000. That's right, lines are open.

You can get right through right now. Again, 800-525-7000. We'd love to tackle whatever you're wrestling with as you round out the week here. Let us help you apply a biblical worldview to your financial decisions, but also help you make those practical choices that you need to make today. Give us a call. Hey, coming up a little later in the broadcast today, Jerry Boyer will stop by. Jerry is our resident economist.

Jerry joins us each Friday as he checks in with his market analysis. Certainly the market's under some pressure as of late. The Dow Jones off almost a full one percent today, about 300 points. NASDAQ off about a percent and a quarter and, excuse me, a percent and a half in the S&P 500, a percent and a quarter. So why the pressure as of late? Well, one thing that happened is that the 10-year Treasury yield topped five percent for the first time since 2007.

Why is that important? Well, we'll get Jerry to weigh in on that. Plus, he had a meeting with the biggest corporation in the world today. Well, this week, Apple, and he's proposing a shareholder resolution. They wanted to talk about it. Jerry will give us his take on that shareholder engagement he's working on as he expresses the values of Christians before the biggest corporations in America.

This one happens to be the biggest one in the world. He'll give us an update a little later in the broadcast. Of course, taking your questions today, their calls are coming in quickly and we'll get to those here in just a moment. We've got just a few lines open today as they're stacking up.

800-525-7000. You know, I was talking earlier this week in preparation for an interview we'll do in a couple of weeks to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author, of course, of the five love languages, and we were talking about money as an asset in marriage. You know, so many people think about, well, money is that biggest stumbling block in marriage. It's cited most often as one of the reasons that led to divorce. Well, how can we flip the script? Dr. Chapman and I were talking about how it can actually be an asset.

You know, some of the keys to that. Number one, plan ahead so you're rested and your time together is uninterrupted when you talk to your spouse about money. Pray and invite Jesus to be present when you discuss money. Listen to each other without judgment. Create a spending plan that considers both of you. You know, and the FaithFi app is a great way to do that. Also, if you've been keeping your finances separate, we strongly recommend that you bring them together. Also, express your concerns calmly and compassionately. You know, First Peter 4-8 speaks to this. It offers a helpful reminder, above all, keep loving one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins.

You know, at the core to everything, you won't be surprised that Dr. Chapman said communication is key, but how you communicate is really essential and hopefully those few tips that I just shared there might inform your next conversation with your spouse about money because we know that communication makes all the difference. All right, we're going to dive into your questions now. We're going to begin in Tennessee. Kay, you'll be our first caller. Go right ahead.

Hi, thank you for taking my call. My question is about the tax lien auction. If someone purchased that property and then the person that's originally responsible for that property and they have a year to get it back and they don't pay it, what happens to that mortgage for the person who acquired the tax lien through the auction? Would they be responsible for the mortgage or like they just own it flat out? Yeah, you know, with you, you're responsible for any liens on the house when you purchase a home. So you would have to get, of course, you know, tax advice and legal advice depending on your specific situation.

But, you know, that tax lien imposed on real estate or personal property after the owner fails to pay is something that the new owner will be responsible for. So something you need to be aware of when you're, whenever you're purchasing a house. Is this something you've done or considering doing? No, considering, but when I say consider, it's like in the newborn stages.

I recently heard about it and I was just curious about it. Okay, yeah, very good. So definitely something you would want to check into. You know, you can buy houses that owe taxes, but it's not advisable. So you need to be really careful there if there is a lien on that property as you're considering that.

And, of course, that's where title insurance comes in in case there's a lien that's undisclosed or you don't know about. But if you do know about it, you certainly want to plan for that in advance. Thanks for your call, Kay. Let's see.

We'll go to San Marcos, Texas. Hi, Nate. Go ahead. Hey, thanks for checking my call. Appreciate you. Sure. Thank you. Quick question.

All right. Have a little bit of extra money each month and wondering if we should put those funds toward paying off trying to pay off our mortgage sooner or if maybe that would be better suited for 401k or something else? Yeah, it's a great question. You know, both things are good. Paying down your mortgage is great. Saving for the future is great.

The question is, how do we balance the two? And on top of other priorities like giving or anything else you're trying to do, let's talk about this. In terms of your 401k, do you know roughly what percentage you're putting of your income toward retirement savings right now?

Right now at the moment we've ceased. My wife and I both have new jobs and we haven't started contributing yet. But we do have a portfolio. Probably have about $300,000 in that right now.

All right. How far off is retirement, Nate, do you think? That's probably about a good 10 to 15 years away.

Okay, 10 to 15 years. If you were to put, let's say, 10 to 15 percent of your income toward retirement as you start into your new plan, would that eat up all of your excess or would you still have some surplus at the end of the month? I think it would eat up a lot of it. The surplus right now is about $1,500 a month. Okay, very good.

Yeah, so that would chew up a good bit of it. What do you owe on the house today? $250,000 and we're at a pretty high rate, over seven percent. Okay, got it. And so are you sending anything extra right now?

Not yet and that's just that's kind of the debate right now, is what to do with the excess. Got it. And then do your new employers offer any matching in the 401k?

Only one does, up to three percent and my wife's employer does not. Got it. Okay, well you certainly want to take advantage of that, no question. I would say, you know, we want to balance this idea that you've got enough growing on a tax-deferred basis for the future with the fact that you want to get this mortgage paid off. Given that the interest rate is higher, I can see why you'd want to get it paid off sooner rather than later. I think I'd probably, you know, establish maybe try to get a goal of 10 percent going to retirement and then as long as you've got an emergency fund of three to six months expenses, then let's put the balance toward the house. I think the key is, you know, if you spend the next 15 years, you know, trying to balance this if you spend the next 15 years, you know, trying to accelerate that mortgage payoff, you know, that's great, but you're missing some key years for you to get money in for compounded growth, especially while this market's down.

So I'd say let's hit that 10 target toward the 401k and then at least try to get one extra payment a year, if not more, to the house. Thanks for your call, Nate. We'll be right back.

Great to have you with us today on Faith in Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today. Just a couple of lines open, 800-525-7000.

Let's head to Florida. Hi, Rick. Thanks for calling, sir. Go ahead.

Hey, how you doing, Rob? Thank you for having me. I just had a question.

I purchased the property about three or four months ago and I sold it and I got proceeds from the property and I'm wondering if it's best for me to pay off another investment property that I own so I can just pay it off completely or invest it as like mutual funds or something like that. Sure. Well, you know, this is a good question and it's one that really relates to your goals and objectives that should be informed really by your values.

What are you trying to accomplish? So this was a short-term capital gain, is that right? Did you have a profit on it? Yes, correct. Okay, so it'll be taxed, that profit will be taxed at likely at the same rate as your ordinary income, so just make sure you plan for that.

You don't want that to catch you by surprise. So now, give me a rundown of what you have. You've got the proceeds of this property, which is approximately how much?

About $290,000. Okay. And I owe, on my other property, I owe about $280,000.

Okay. And is that a rental property? Yes, I have a residual income of about $2,900 a month.

Okay, yeah, great. And what other assets do you have, what other investable assets do you have? I have 401k, I have just 401k, I have a 401k. Okay, and how much is in there roughly?

About $200,000. Alright, and are you actively contributing to that? Yes, 15 percent. Okay, great.

Yeah, that's excellent. And then is your primary residence, do you have a mortgage on that? Yes, I have another primary mortgage, correct, yes. Okay, and so what are the interest rates on your primary mortgage and then the one on this second rental property? The interest rate on my primary is 2.8 and the investment on the second rental property is 5.5.

Okay, got it. And then with the rental income, obviously you're servicing the debt. Do you have something left over typically in a typical month from the rental property? Yes, about $400. Okay, but obviously if you paid off the mortgage, you'd have more than that because now you'd have that property. Yeah, and you plan on keeping this for a good while?

Yes, yes, part of my retirement there. Okay, cool. Yeah, and then do you have some extra liquid savings beyond the proceeds of this property sale that you would consider your emergency fund? Yes, I have about $40,000 in savings.

Okay, great. Yeah, I mean I like this a lot, Rick, because it really, you know, the return on that money when you pay off that rental property mortgage is a guaranteed five and a half percent and although you could get that in a CD today, you're not going to get that probably for too much longer. I mean the Federal Reserve chairman was out today saying they're probably going to keep rates up pretty high, close to where they are now, if not a little higher, probably until well into 2024. So, you know, for the next year or so you could get a one-year CD at five and a half but even today if you tried to get a five-year CD you'd have to, you know, you'd be down at 4.6. Now you could invest this money, it's taxable money, so as you had profits on it you'd pay capital gains just like you did with the the other property on the sale but you'd have to make after taxes a guaranteed, you know, five and a half percent in order to at least be even and that's not going to be easy to do especially with us probably heading into a recession.

You know, we think that a lot of economists think the market, you know, is not going to generate the year over your returns at least in the next decade that we've seen in the last 20 years before this bear market. So, I would say, you know, you being debt-free, you, you know, having a property that's still appreciating, you freeing up more capital every month that you could, you know, do other things with, increase your giving, increase your savings, whatever it is because now you're not servicing that debt. That makes a lot of sense to me especially since you're fully funding that 401k at 15 percent of your paycheck every month which means now you've got these two asset classes working for you. You've got stocks in your 401k and you've got real estate, you know, and I like the fact that you're diversified there. So, I think you getting, you know, out of debt except for your primary residence is a great idea and, you know, if you wanted to then you could take some of that surplus and start accelerating the payoff of your, your primary residence or you could do other things with it. But I think at the end of the day, again, there's not a right or wrong answer here but I, I kind of like the sound of the direction you're headed. Sounds good.

That's the way I was going to go so I was looking for some advice, making sure I was making the right decision. Awesome. Yeah, great Rick. Well, thanks for calling today. We appreciate you being on the program. May the Lord bless you.

To Chattanooga, hey Jerry, go ahead. Yes, Rob, thank you for taking my call. I have a social security question.

All right. Next, next year I will turn 65 and, and I'm looking at how much, I guess, how much I can make in that. I know, I know that the sort of threshold is like $21,000 on how much you can make before they limit how much you get.

Being that I will start drawing in, in May or June, how does that fit in, I guess, the calendar a year? Yeah, yeah, so they would take it, you know, over in any year that you earn above 200,000, 21,240, they would start to reduce your benefit. A dollar for every two dollars you go above it. But you're going to get it back once you get to full retirement age, so that's just temporary. And then in the year that you turn full retirement age, that limit jumps up in the months leading up to full retirement age to 56,250. So those figures change every year, but they won't be too different in a couple of years. But again, you know, those limits, even though it's going to, you know, temporarily reduce that benefit, once you get to full retirement age, they're going to calculate how much they withheld from you because you earned over the limit, the 21,240, and then the 56,000 in the year that you turn full retirement age. And then they're going to bump up your check accordingly until you've been fully repaid. So eventually you're going to get all that back.

So it's not really a whole lot of a consideration here. I hope that helps, Jerry. We'll be right back. Well, it's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. Let's head to Indiana. Winnie, thanks for calling today.

How can I help? Thanks for taking my call. My husband and I are retired. We both work part-time, but we have about $200,000 in retirement. And I'm wondering, I would like to use some of that money while I'm still alive and enjoy it with my family. So I would like to take like maybe $10,000 out a year and spend that on a vacation for my family, grandkids, and then my husband to use part of that money for vacation for just us.

And I'm wondering, am I making a smart decision or not? Yeah, well, I certainly appreciate that. You know, money is a tool, and part of that tool is for us to enjoy it and build memories with our families.

So there's nothing wrong with taking a vacation. You know, at the same time, we want to use it to save for the future and provide and even to give. And so we've got these competing priorities that we have to navigate. And I think that's one of the challenges of being a steward, which is great.

As we go before the Lord and we say, Lord, what would you have me to do? But let's talk through this for a second. So you said you have $200,000. What is the source of these funds, Winnie? It's their retirement funds from our retirement. They're from our retirement. We got them like some with, we put money aside and then also our employers matched it. Okay, so is this current? 401k. Okay, so it's currently in a 401k, $200,000.

Yes. Okay, and then what is your age, if you don't mind me asking? We're both 66. Okay, and so you're both fully retired at this point? We are. We retired a little bit early because we wanted, our jobs were stressful, and we thought, you know, we're going to short a little bit of money in the long run, but we wanted to enjoy our life. Got it.

So all right. We both, we both, we both are part time, and we make about $35,000 between the two of us. Okay, so you, you are still working part time, so you've got about $35,000 in income, plus are you taking social security yet?

Yes, we are. Okay, when did you start that? January, both of us. Okay, and does the $35,000, is that just from your part-time work, or does that include social security? Part-time work, okay, got it, and the $35,000 plus social security, does that just cover your bills, or do you have something left over at the end of the month? I just got a raise, which is that $35,000, so we probably have three or four hundred dollars extra at the end of the month. Okay, got it, and what about when you, you're, let's say at some point down the road, you guys are unable to work for pay. What, you know, what other assets do you have besides the $200,000 and 401ks, anything? We have a house, it has a small mortgage on it, and we recently got it, a realtor friend came by and told us how much it would be worth, so if we sold it, we're expecting clear about $100,000. Okay, but that's where you live, and you, you don't plan to move anytime soon?

We were wanting to downsize, but our mortgage is so small, we'd be paying more money to get a new house, even if we're smaller, right, so no, we're not, we're not planning on moving unless one of us goes, passes away, or we're not able to physically take care of ourselves, and we are pretty healthy. Yeah, okay, very good, but that's it, then the home plus the $200,000 is roughly all of the assets that you have, correct? Yes. Okay, and then do you have what I would call an emergency fund? Do you have some liquid savings?

No. Okay, all right, yeah, and so I, I would just be careful here in the sense that this $200,000 is, you know, it's a, it's a great nest egg, it's, it's a significant sum of money, but it's really all you've got, other than your home, and it's, you know, it's really, but it's really all you've got, other than your home. Now I realize at some point you could, you know, move out of that and sell it and downsize, and you'd maybe, let's say you could add another $100,000 to it maybe, and you had $300,000, but that's all you've got, and that needs to last for the rest of your life. Now, right now, you're in a great spot because you've got, you know, $300 or $400 extra per month, and because you're working part-time, but let's say that part-time were to go away, one of you is no, or both of you are no longer able to work, or, you know, whatever it might be for health reasons or otherwise, you'd be, you know, really tight because, you know, I would typically advise somebody in their retirement years to only withdraw about four percent a year, so four percent a year on $200,000 is $8,000, so that could, I mean, that's almost that $10,000, you know, that you said you'd love to set aside to be able to, you know, enjoy, and so perhaps you say for the next few years, we are going to take that $8,000 and just, you know, enjoy it. This is a season of life where we're healthy, we've got things we want to do, we want to travel, and, you know, that's great, but I think the question is, just given the fact that you don't have any emergency reserves, and in this season of life, I'd love for you to have at least, you know, six months worth of emergency reserves, so if you're living on $4,000 a month, you know, that's $25,000 that I'd love for you to have in savings, you don't have that, so if something comes out of the left field unexpectedly, you know, you don't have anything to fall back on apart from withdrawing from your 401k, so I would just be a little careful there because it seems like, as you know, you guys wanted to retire a little bit earlier and move to part-time pay, that's fine, I mean, that's, you know, your call, but we don't have, you know, a lot in the way of assets and we don't have anything in the way of liquid assets that don't generate a taxable event when we withdraw them, so I guess for that reason, I would just say go really slow and let's try, especially while you all are still working, let's try to limit your lifestyle in such a way that you really can sock some money away in savings to get up to that, you know, goal of $15,000 to $25,000 in emergency reserves as quick as you can because by the time you all fully retire, whenever that comes, and that's, you know, something you'll have to pray through and think through, you definitely need that emergency reserve there that you can fall back on for the unexpected and then every bit of that $200,000 is going to be important to be able to make up for any income that goes away when you stop working and right now, if you all stop working tomorrow, it's not enough. You draw that $200,000 down, you know, if the Lord tarries and you're in good health and you live another 20 years, that $200,000 wouldn't last if you had to pull $40,000 a year out of it. Does that make sense? It totally makes sense, yes. Yeah, so I think what would be good here, Winnie, is for you all to connect with an advisor and just do some retirement planning.

I'm not trying to scare you in any way. I just want you to be thoughtful and, you know, when we're managing God's money, it's a combination of, you know, we want to be wise and faithful stewards and we want to trust the Lord as our provider and we want to set goals in light of our values as believers and so where is God taking us and what is he doing in our life and how can we use money as a tool and enjoy it and provide and give it away and also save it to be appropriate, you know, save it for that day where we need to rely on it and I just want to make sure you guys are really considering all aspects of this as you're making decisions and determining your lifestyle right now so that you don't, you know, 10 years from now say, wait a minute, we're not working anymore because we can't or one of us can't and we're just not bringing in enough and we're going to eventually run out of money and that's, you know, what I don't want. So I think by sitting with an advisor, doing some retirement planning and really thinking through that and actually looking at some projections and kind of running some scenarios would be really helpful and probably give you some peace of mind and then the freedom when you do spend to know that you're doing it in light of the plan, not just wondering, well, I hope all this works out.

So I hope all that makes sense to you. The place I would go to connect with an advisor, Winnie, is our website. We recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. So I'd interview a couple of CKAs there in Indiana and just say, can you do some retirement planning for me?

And they would actually help you, you know, probably on an hourly basis or just for a fee, you know, help you do that planning to look at all sides of this. Just go to We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Here on a Friday, we like to take your calls and questions about anything financial, but we have a special feature that we enjoy, and that is that Jerry Boyer stops by, our resident economist, to share his insights on the market and the economy. And Jerry's with us now. Jerry, let's start with the economy. The headline today is that the 10-year Treasury yield has topped 5% for the first time since 2007.

Is that weighing on the markets and why is that significant? I think so. By the way, it's nice to be part of a special feature. You're special, Jerry. It's just the reality. I'm sorry.

Very cool. The special Friday is the special feature. Yes, the interest rates do matter. Why do interest rates matter?

Interest rates matter because they're basically the way that investors kind of measure risk, that something like a Treasury bond is considered a riskless return. Now, it's not absolutely riskless, right? We could get hit by an asteroid or the United States could default or there could be a war, but it's closer to riskless than almost anything else in the financial world. And so that's the riskless return. So then when investors are going out and they're looking at whatever else to invest in, they have to look at those Treasury bonds and they can say, wow, I can get more than 5% with Treasury and they're not likely to default or I can go out in the stock market and I can take a chance.

Maybe it'll go up more, but maybe it'll go down. And so it becomes sort of like the benchmark against which all other investments are measured. And what that means is when the central bank is out there driving down interest rates, which is just a way of saying they're pouring money into markets. When they're pouring money into markets, that makes everybody feel like, oh, I can take more risk.

It's okay. You know, the interest rate isn't that high. I don't really, you know, treasuries are only paying 1%. That's not so good. I'm going to go out there into the stock market and maybe I'll even go further out into tech stocks, you know, and growth stocks, which are even more risky because I'm looking for yield somewhere.

I'm looking for a chance at return. And that's where we were for a long time. You know, we've been, we were there for most of the past dozen years, but that causes inflation, all that money creation. So then the central bank comes along and says, okay, we need to pull money out of the system. We need to slow the economy down.

We need to hit the brakes. And when that pulls money out of the system, then people say, oh, well, I can get more than 5%. Well, who needs to take the chance on stocks with all the risk in the world?

I'll buy this. I'll sell my stocks and I'll buy bonds. So what that means is when the central bank is seen and basically the head of the Fed this week, he made some comments that made it seem like we're not going to cut rates. We're going to cut rates.

We're going to keep them high for a while. And today the head of the Fed in Georgia said pretty much the same thing. The investors say, oh, okay, well, they're going to keep interest rates high, which means they're not going to be pumping money into the system.

They're going to probably keep pumping money out of the system. Therefore let's get away from risky assets. So they move away from stocks in general. They move away from growth stocks, which are more risky and they move away from real estate because real estate is a very interest rate sensitive sector. So what happened this week is perfectly consistent with the idea that markets are driven by our Fed's whims rather than by economic fundamentals.

Yeah, that's really helpful, Jerry. Now, obviously the Fed Chairman Powell out this week and some comments by the Georgia Fed president really indicating that these high interest rates are likely going to be with us until I think the word was late 2024. So if we're looking at potentially another year of these high interest rates, I mean, what effect does that have on the economy? Makes a recession more likely because they're trying to slow the economy down. I know that seems strange, but that is the weird alchemy of Keynesian economics. They think the way to fix the economy, I think earlier I talked to you, it's almost like chemotherapy. When someone gets chemotherapy for cancer, the doctor knows the chemotherapy hurts you, but the doctor says, yeah, but it's going to hurt the cancer more. Well, the chemotherapy, the Keynesian chemotherapy that we're in now is, yeah, we know that pulling money out of the system, raising interest rates is going to slow things down. People, you know, they're going to save more and so they won't spend and they won't buy new houses and all those things, but it's going to hurt the inflation more. So we're going to hurt the patient, but we're going to hurt the inflation more.

I think that whole approach is wrong. I don't mean with chemotherapy. I'm not an oncologist.

I can't tell you. I can't give you advice there, but I am an economist and I can give you advice there. Slowing the economy is not the solution to our economic problems. We're not going to fed our way out of this. We're not going to central plan our way. We're not going to monetary manipulate.

We're not going to have government setting interest rates. That's not the solution to the problem. The solution is to unleash our our God-given human productivity and let us grow because inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. So we need more goods. We need more people working. We need them working more productively and that means we need pro-growth policy and it also means people need to get off the sidelines and maybe, you know, young people maybe need to get off of the, you know, the government, um, you know, aid and playing video games in the basement and old people who took early retirement need maybe need to get back into the, into the workplace and, you know, this is the time to be working and I think if we get to work and the government doesn't punish us, um, for working and being productive, well, then we can grow our way out of this problem. But that's not the approach that our ruling class is taking right now. Yeah.

All right, Jerry. Well, we'll continue to obviously talk about that in the weeks and months ahead. All right, let's turn the corner here and talk about shareholder engagement. I teased this earlier saying that you met with, uh, the biggest corporation or leaders from the biggest corporation in the world. That's of course Apple. Uh, tell us what you're up to and what the specific proposal was you're discussing.

Well, what we're up to is trying to find out what they're up to. Um, and they've had a history of having what appears to be biased treatment of content in their app store. Um, so for example, they took down the olive tree, which is a Bible app, and they took down a Quran app. Now I'm not a Quran person, but I'm a religious liberty person, right?

So, um, I think that people ought to be able to read the Quran and the Bible and, you know, we'll see which one wins out, but you have to be able to get the app and read it in order to have that conversation. They did that at the request of the Chinese communist government. And we're challenging that a little bit because, you know, you don't have to do everything that tyrants say you can define, you can defy tyrants. And they also took down something called the Manhattan declaration, which was basically a very mainstream Christian document that said that, that marriage is between a man and a woman and we ought to protect the sanctity of life.

And some people objected to that and they took it down. So we said, well, how are you making these decisions? It seems subjective.

And then I read back to them their own written standards, which are incredibly subjective. You know, we support, you know, sharing whatever viewpoints people have just so long as it's not offensive or harm people or hurt our reputation. And how will we know? We'll know it when we see it.

That's literally a quote. We'll know it when we see it, when you've crossed the line. Well, I'm sorry, that's not good enough because when I see something that says that marriage is between a man and a woman and that the unborn should be protected, I look at that and I don't see offensive content. I'm not offended by it, but apparently other people are offended by it. So when you go by the standard of we're going to take down something that offends people, then you have to ask which people are you asking? So either you have to have objective standards, which basically allow a lot of viewpoint diversity, or you can leave it vague, but then have a balanced group of people who are interpreting that.

It looks from history like they've had vague standards and then the people making the decision are really only concerned about offending certain groups and not about offending other groups. So this was part of a conversation about a proposal that is a resolution that's proposed to go on the ballot at their annual meeting and so it was a meeting to discuss that and they intend to fight that. They don't want to put it on their ballot. They'll take that to the SEC and we'll write back. I like our chances, although you never know for sure, and if so, that goes on the ballot and then in this particular case, the proponent, the shareholder gets to make their case unfiltered directly to the board of directors and to the shareholders of Apple to make the argument why we believe that you ought to leave your politics and your cultural preferences aside and have a wide variety of freedom when it comes to who gets to be on your app store. Yeah, and that's the big idea behind shareholder engagement, Jerry.

It's that, well, anyone can do this, but you're representing faith-based shareholders that want their values expressed to these companies as they make decisions, right? Yeah, absolutely, and you know, here's the thing. I understand that people are offended.

Listen, you can download Grand Theft Auto app on Apple and you can pretend to steal cars and you can pretend to kill prostitutes. I'm offended by that, but I'm not saying that they should be taking down everything from the app store that offends me. I think we need to have a broader conversation, which means that I think there's a lot of offensive stuff that people can get on their app store.

I think that I've seen coverage that's very in favor of Antifa, which was out there committing violence, but I think we should have the conversation. I don't think we should take down everything that offends us, but what we can, so we can either have a broad conversation, you know, like, you know, the idea everyone gets to speak and then we debate it, or you can have a narrow conversation and say, oh, we're going to carefully curate, but what I don't think is tolerable is to say we're going to be intolerant of conservative and Christian views, but very tolerant of other views. That's just not fair and it hurts the reputation of the company and invites political backlash and it's bad. It's bad for our culture, but it's bad for shareholders and shareholders are who management is supposed to be working for.

Yeah, that's exactly right, Jerry. Well, I'm grateful that you're standing up for the faith investors and asking the hard questions and it seems like this is beginning to get through. You're starting to see some signs that corporations are taking note of these conversations, right?

Absolutely, yeah. Lots of signs, corporations and proxy advisory services. There's real progress being made, which is really amazing, but you know, what you do is you look at them and you say, yeah, they look like giants and we're small, but that's not really the issue. The issue is what are we called to do? Let God fight the battles, but we have to make the case.

We have to stand up and say it and what we found is that that's actually been more effective than even we had hoped that it would be. Yeah, very good. All right, Jerry, always appreciate your time, my friend. Have a great weekend. We'll talk to you next week. God bless.

All right, you too. Just before the last break, we were talking to another caller, also named Jerry, not Jerry Boyer, who was asking about social security. He called back and said, can you clarify what about the year I retire or I start taking benefits and I've earned more prior to starting to take benefits? Do I get to earn more than the $21,000 cap? And it seems that there is a prorated amount and they would actually look at the equivalent of the monthly amount of the full benefit. So just check with your CPA on that. Thanks for calling. Faith and Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi, and we'll see you next week. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-20 18:57:24 / 2023-10-20 19:18:12 / 21

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