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The Meaning Behind A Christmas Carol

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2023 5:50 pm

The Meaning Behind A Christmas Carol

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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December 14, 2023 5:50 pm

Most likely, you’ve seen one of the many film or stage productions of Charles Dickens’ famous book, A Christmas Carol. But did you realize there’s a profound, socio-economic message hidden in the dialogue of that story? On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Jerry Bowyer to share the meaning behind this classic Christmas story. Then, Rob will tackle your questions on various financial topics. 

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My taxes help to support the public institutions which I have mentioned, and they cost enough. Those who are badly off must go there. Many can't go there, and many would rather die.

If they would rather die, perhaps they had better do so, and decrease the surplus population. Surely you don't mean that, sir. With all my heart, now. Hi, I'm Rob West. That, of course, was Ebenezer Scrooge and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Did you know there's a profound socioeconomic message hidden in that exchange? Jerry Boyer lets us in on the secret today, and then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith & Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, Jerry Boyer is our resident economist here at Faithfi and the president of Boyer Research. He's also the author of The Maker and the Tinkers, What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics. Jerry, great to have you back.

Always a pleasure. Was that George C. Scott? Was that the George C. Scott version that you just played? It sure was. Absolutely. That's a good one.

It sure was. Well, I'm looking forward to this. A little different, Jerry. We're doing a movie review, and most of us have heard or read that exchange between Scrooge and the ALMS collectors many times, so I'm looking forward to hearing your insights.

Jerry, what have we been missing? Well, what we've been missing is the extreme importance of that phrase surplus population, because we don't happen to be in the mindset of the early mid-1800s. So when we have conversations in our time, if we hear someone say zero population growth, we know what that means. You know, if we hear people talking about reproductive rights, we know what that means. But if we hear someone talk about surplus population, we don't know what that means. But they did.

And it's not really very subtle at all. There was a very active debate that had started, I don't know, about 40 years before Dickens wrote the book, A Christmas Carol, by the Reverend economist Thomas Malthus. So I guess he's a Christian economist, but I don't think he was a very good one. Because Malthus believed that because of the biblical commentary about the ground being cursed, that that meant that there were too many people in the world, that as we reproduced and created and brought into being, God creates us, but as we conceive and bring into the world more people, that the population grows faster than the food supply and the supply of goods and services. So that's called Malthusianism, big word for this Malthus. He wrote a book called An Essay on Population, that was very influential. And basically, the idea was we need to stop the poor, especially from having so many babies. They're, you know, they're having too many children because they're producing what? Surplus population.

There is a population surplus, too many people, not enough food. So when Dickens put that language in the mouth of Ebenezer Scrooge, he's making a very important point. Scrooge is now a stand in for a certain philosophy, the philosophy of Thomas Malthus, the philosophy that now we would call zero population growth. Yeah, and not everyone agreed with Malthus, of course. So who opposed his theories?

John Baptiste Say, who was one of the founders of classical and supply side economics, and a lot of GK Chesterton was another, the Christian journalist, but I think his most important opponent was Charles Dickens. Because once you understand that Dickens is writing about this, we now understand that The Christmas Carol was in fact, a story written against Malthus. Because by the end, Scrooge changes his mind. Scrooge is wrong.

Okay. So if you put a philosophy in the mouth of your villain, you're basically saying you disagree with that philosophy. And the story really is the unfolding of why Scrooge got wrong in the first place. It has to do with his own childhood trauma of hunger, and cold.

When he goes back in time with the ghost of Christmas past, these aren't ghosts, these are angels, right? That's I think obvious to most Christian readers when he goes back in time, Dickens says that the school where he lived, felt or smelt of not enough to eat, and too much cold, and too much darkness. So he was poor when he was young. By the way, an interesting kind of economic history side note here. If you treat Scrooge like a real historical character, he grew up before the free, he was a child before the free market revolution, when things really were dire.

And then when he's an adult, you have a free market revolution, things really are abundant. Fascinating. Jerry Boyer here today, much more on A Christmas Carol. This is Faith in Finance Live. Following this interview, your questions today at 800-525-7000. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Delighted to have you with us today here on Faith in Finance Live. With me today, Jerry Boyer, my good friend, our resident economist and president of Boyer Research. We're doing a movie review today.

That's right. It's the Christmas season. And we're talking about Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, perhaps from a vantage point you haven't considered previously. Jerry, just before the break, you were talking about Thomas Malthus and how he was really represented in the character of Scrooge, who was obviously the villain character in this tale that comes full circle at the end.

But what else can we take away from this character that gives us some insight into Malthus and what he was advocating at the time? Well, I think one of the things that's really interesting is the ghost of Christmas present. When Scrooge first sees him, the Christmas present says, have you never met my like behind or any of my brothers before or any of my brothers? And Scrooge says, how many brothers have you had? Well, more than 1800. In other words, there have been more than 1800 Christmases.

And what's Scrooge's reaction? What a large family to provide for. See, there's that scarcity mindset. A lot of people think having a lot of brothers and sisters is a good thing. I do.

My kids do. They like having brothers and sisters, but we believe God is abundant and generous, but Scrooge didn't, if he believed in him at all. And when Scrooge says that, what a large family to provide for, Christmas present rises in anger. He disapproves of Scrooge's Malthusian ideas. Later on, when they go to see Tiny Tim, Scrooge, you know, talks about Tiny Tim and how he cares for them.

And the ghost kind of throws it back in his face. You called him the surplus population, you know, forgo that can't man. And then he makes an analogy that Scrooge is like a bug on a leaf looking down at the bugs in the dirt saying that there are too many. To him, we're all kind of bugs, but, you know, Scrooge is a little richer than Tim, so he thinks there's too many people. And then the ghost kind of raises the question, maybe you're the surplus population.

Maybe you're the one that doesn't deserve to live. So he's pretty tough on Scrooge, but in the end, it works well. And then later, the ghost of Christmas present takes him to the marketplace and there's all this food.

And he emphasizes the food from different parts of the world, oranges and things like that, which you can't grow in Britain. So the international trade and the economic takeoff that you and I have talked about in the presentation that I do on 2000 years of economic history where you see the bubbles rising and falling. When you see the United Kingdom bubble rising, it's back down low in Malthusian equilibrium when Scrooge is a baby. And it's kind of popping out during Scrooge's lifetime. The great takeoff is actually occurring.

Obviously, he's a fictional character, but you can kind of treat him where he was. And that great takeoff is just taking place during his lifetime. Malthus was wrong at exactly the worst time. He makes his predictions before the greatest increase in human flourishing ever known to mankind. Hmm.

Wow. Well, now, of course, these Malthusian ideas haven't gone away, Jerry. So who's advocating them in modern times? Planned Parenthood is the Malthusian philosophy in industrial, profitized form, even though technically it's a nonprofit. The abortion revolution is largely a result of a belief that they're surplus population.

We go back to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, too many of the wrong people, the swarthy people, the people of color, the poor people. So it's interesting that these people who believe that there are too many people, it's never their kind of people. There are too many of Ivy League professors who think there are too many people don't think, well, there's too many of my folks. They think there's too many of other kind of folks, usually immigrants, usually people who are working class, usually people, I mean, this is why the Scopes trial takes place in the south.

Southerners are thought of as too many people because they're thought of as backwards. Black people, Italian people, Jewish people, you know, outsiders, they're the surplus population. And whether it's the contraceptive revolution or whether especially I'm going to focus on, to the degree that it's grounded in a zero population growth ideology, that it's bad to have babies. And that shows up in the abortion industry. That shows up in a lot of like the Davos world and the United Nations sustainability. It shows up in a lot of corporate engagement that in order to be sustainable, we have to have fewer people. History shows in order to be sustainable, we have to have more people. The most sustainable thing that we can do economically is to fulfill God's commandment to fill the earth and subdue it.

There are no surplus people. And I think it's interesting. I think this story is called A Christmas Carol because Jesus, Yeshua of Nazareth would very easily have been classified as surplus population in a Malthusian worldview. Now the poor in workhouses in England weren't fictional, of course.

So how did the economic system there and elsewhere get so confused? Well, I, by the way, note that they're government entities. So Scrooge is in some ways a welfare state person. In other words, men are going door to door saying, we want to do private charity and he doesn't want to do private charity.

He wants to do it through taxes where it's impersonal. The workhouses and the prisons, they were, they, in essence, they would keep people alive, but it would be a terrible existence. So the idea is to punish them for being poor.

And that obviously is not the solution. So if you want to be the opposite of Scrooge, you're going to be pro-baby and you're going to be pro-private charity. You're going to be pro-generosity. And by the end, that's exactly what Scrooge is. He's pro-generosity.

By the way, another little side story. When he visits his nephew, Fred, you know, when Fred visits him, Fred implies that Scrooge was upset because Fred married. Why did you marry? Scrooge didn't want his nephew to marry because of surplus population.

You marry and you have children. See, it comes up again and again and again. Scrooge's whole existence was there's too many people. God, if he exists at all, is stingy. By the end, though, what is he? He's generous and he's especially generous to children. By the way, I don't know if people know this, but Dickens wrote a novel version of the Gospels. He read the Gospels and then wrote a novel.

I think it's called The Life of Our Lord, and it has similar themes. So Dickens was thinking a lot about Jesus, wrote a novel about him, and also about he was one of those people who might have been considered the forgotten class, but he treated everyone with love and dignity, which made Jesus unusual. That's something Dickens really focuses on on the novel. Wow. Yeah, well said.

Jerry, we're getting short on time. So when folks watch A Christmas Carol this season and perhaps look at it through this new lens, this filter that you've just shared, what would you hope, above all else, they take away from the story? That God is generous, not stingy. That Scrooge is damaged because he grew up in poverty.

It's real. There's trauma, and so we should be patient with him and help move him away, but that we should help move our entire Scrooge ruling class philosophy away from Scrooge at the beginning towards Scrooge at the end, where everybody's welcome. We aren't bugs in the dust. It's interesting that the founder of the zero population growth movement, Paul Ehrlich, was a bug biologist. We're not bugs. Bugs just eat.

Now, God gave him that job. They don't produce, but human beings aren't bugs. We produce, and we produce more than we consume, and over time, that has given us miraculous prosperity and flourishing, which Dickens was just seeing the beginning of. So I think we should watch it with gratitude and also understanding that there's real philosophy going on here and theology going on here.

It's not just a fun story. And then we should bring Dickens' philosophy into our own lives. The child in the womb who's unwanted is the tiny Tim of our generation. Wow. Well said.

What an opportunity to share this with our kids too, as we watch this and help them interpret what they're seeing. Jerry, always thankful for you, my friend. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas to you. God bless us, everyone. That's exactly right, and a great place to end today. That's Jerry Boyer, our resident economist.

We've been talking about Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. All right, your calls are next. The number, 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. I'm Rob Lastin. We'll be right back. 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, thanks for joining us today on Faith in Finance Live. Always great to have Jerry Boyer stop by. What a fascinating look at the classic Christmas carol, Dickens' great work.

And as you watch it this year, perhaps with a fresh set of eyes, maybe a new lens and look to communicate that to your kids, I hope it'll be a blessing to you as we're reminded of God's design and handiwork and a biblical worldview of economics and creation and the value of human life. All right, let's take your calls and questions today on anything financial. We'll go wherever you want financially speaking. 800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got a few lines open again. 800-525-7000.

We're going to begin today in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Iby, thank you for calling. Go ahead. So, hi, good afternoon.

Thank you for taking my call. And I'm seeking some wise advice on where's the point of time to buy a car. And we do have some employee stock option plan, which we've been accumulating since seven years. So we were thinking if it's a good idea to sell the employee stock option plan, the shares to use towards buying the car. Yeah, yeah, that's a good question. Going for the auto loan. Sure.

Are you saving apart from this employee stock option in a retirement plan? Yes, sir. I had four ones and... Yes. All right. And do you feel like you're on track here, Iby? Kind of. Okay. All right. Yeah. And if you're uncertain about that, perhaps connecting with an advisor to do some retirement planning would be good, just so you have a good feel for are we on track ahead or behind?

If we're behind, what do we need to do to catch up? I mean, I guess the only downside to selling is you'd lose out on the compounded growth from this point forward, although you've got to factor in the equivalent of a guaranteed return of that mortgage, excuse me, the car loan interest rate. So by buying that for cash, you're essentially ahead, a guaranteed amount equal to what you would have paid in the form of interest, which you're not going to get a guaranteed return on your employee stock option, although you get that compounded growth. Now, one of the benefits of selling those stock options and going and using that to buy the car is, number one, you are saving for retirement elsewhere. Number two, we're still in a pretty favorable capital gain environment right now in terms of the tax rates. So most people pay either zero or 15 percent up to about $500,000 in income for their capital gains, which you'd have a long term capital gain given that you've held this for more than a year, typically is how that's handled with employee stock options. So you get to take advantage of what is probably the lowest capital gain tax environment we will have, because if it's going anywhere, it's going higher in the future. And you get to miss out on these higher than typical interest rates right now, which you would be paying with this car purchase unless you're buying a new car with an incentive that offers, you know, two point nine percent.

We're starting to see some of those come back. So I would say unless you can get one of those incentives because you can afford to and you're planning to buy new, I would say probably going ahead and taking this out of the employee stock option makes some sense. I would check with your CPA just to make sure you understand what the tax implications are of this. The other thing I would say is just always make sure that you're not too highly concentrated in one company. A lot of times, you know, folks will, you know, own an inordinate amount in terms of their total percentage of an investable assets in their company's stock because of employee stock options and otherwise. And obviously that just creates more risk because now we've got to you know, we're not diversified. And so if this one company, you know, that you work for has a bad quarter or a bad couple of years or this your sector, you know, of the economy is out of favor, you know, it could obviously result in you having more volatility in your holdings. So I would just take a look at that periodically.

I mean, typically we want no more than 10 in the case of a of a, you know, your company, no more than 20 percent, I would say, in one particular company, if you can, if you have that option. So is that all helpful? Right. Yes, sir. It was. Okay. Because the rate at the moment is six point nine nine. So, yeah, like you said, yes.

Yeah. You're not going to get a guaranteed 7 percent on this money. I mean, you could do better. You could do worse.

But there's certainly no guarantees of at least seven, which is what you would get. And you go ahead and take advantage of these lower capital gains tax rates, which we have right now. So, Ivy, thank you for calling. And we appreciate you being on the program today. Let's go to Butler, Missouri. Hi, John. Go ahead.

Yes. My wife filed for disability in January of twenty one, and we tried to deal with that attorney and that wasn't successful. So we had to go that route. She just got awarded disability in October and we got notified December 12th that money had deposited in the bank. I didn't know if the back pay got filed on our yearly income taxes or how the lump sum back pay was entered into our tax ability.

Yeah, that's a good question, John. And, you know, it's never a bad idea to check with your CPA just for the final kind of definitive on this. But I could tell you, just generally speaking, you always declare income in the year you receive it. So Social Security Administration on their website, it'll tell you you can't amend returns for prior years to reflect Social Security benefits received in a single lump sum in a current year. So you would include the taxable part of the lump sum payment of benefits received in the current year, you know, on your current year's income and income tax return, even if the payment includes benefits from an earlier year. Does that make sense? Yeah, I was afraid of because, I mean, like last year, our taxes were so low, we were under the, you know, the married filing jointly thing, we didn't even make enough to get to that level. Sure. Well, never a bad idea to check with your CPA or tax prepare since this is a little bit of an unusual situation you have going on just to make sure we're not missing anything on how you can handle this.

But that's typically the way it's done. Thanks for your call, my friend. We'll be right back. Well, I'm so thankful you've joined us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West.

Let me try that again. We will be headed back to the phones in just a moment. But first, you know, this is a really important time for us here at FaithFi, which is the ministry that brings you Faith and Finance Live every day because we're a listener-supported ministry, which means here at your end, and we're right there just a couple of weeks away, this is a critical time for listener support as you step up and say, listen, I want to be a part of funding this work as a not-for-profit ministry.

I rely on Faith and Finance Live. I can't wait to hear the program each day. I've been helped by some advice that maybe I shared to another listener or directly to you. Maybe you're in the app or you've been on our website and you'd like to support us. Well, this week there's a unique opportunity and I've asked Chad Clark to step into the studio.

He's the executive director here at FaithFi just to tell you a little bit about what's going on. Yeah, Rob, like you said, this is a really just exciting time of year for us as we look forward to 2024. And we rely on support from donors to do the work that we do. And this week we've got a really exciting opportunity, a $50,000 match opportunity that ends on Friday, December 15th. That's tomorrow.

We're about halfway to accomplishing that match. And so I just want to encourage any of you that have benefited from Rob and the advice that he gives or any of the other FaithFi resources that you'd prayerfully consider supporting us. And especially this week when you can double that gift up to $50,000.

Yeah, that's right. So just head to, click give or slash impact. Either way, you'll see right there how you can give to support our work. You can check the status of the match and a gift of any amount would go a long way, whether that's a $50 or $100 gift, maybe a one time gift of $1,000 or $2,000 if you have the ability to do that. Every gift will be matched and it'll go a long way to helping us reach our ultimate goal by the end of business tomorrow on Friday. We want to get this full $50,000 matching gift subscribed and you can help us do that. So would you consider your gift today and then head to and make that gift? Chad, would you share just a few of the things you're most excited about in terms of where we go from here?

Yeah, yeah. As we look to 2024, there's just a lot of exciting things that we're working towards. One is a Bible study that our team has been working on that really just gets to this idea of, is God our ultimate treasure? And so we're just so excited about that because that's really our vision here at FaithFi is that all Christians would see God as their treasure, that we replace the lies of the world where money and possessions are this idol that provide fulfillment and happiness and joy.

And we replace that with the gospel and we really find all of those things only in Jesus. And so we're just excited about just changing the way we view and interact with money. That's really our heart here at FaithFi. Yes, we want you to get out of debt. Yes, we want you to save. Yes, we want you to give generously.

But at the end of the day, it's all about our heart posture. And that's what we're really excited about, continuing to lean into and provide you resources to understand just how to be faithful with what God has entrusted to you. And Chad, it's a pretty lean operation here. I mean, we're doing a lot of things, a radio show every day on 1900 outlets, an app with ongoing development, producing these studies, the website. And yet it's a pretty small team, right?

It's a really small team. Yeah, we really try to stretch every single dollar as far as we can because we believe in stewardship. We tell you about stewardship. We believe in that here as well. And so, yeah, just the return on investment is huge. One of the things we're really excited about, we did a survey recently of our FaithFi audience and other surveys have shown that the church on average gives about two and a half percent. And from our survey, we found that the FaithFi audience gives on average about twelve and a half percent of their income to kingdom work.

And that's just substantial. So when you support the ministry, you're not just supporting the message, our website, our app, the show. You're actually allowing us to help other people make an investment in the kingdom to make an even bigger impact.

So yeah, the investment you make into FaithFi extends well into the kingdom as other people learn how to be generous with the resources God has given them. We're going to get back to your calls here in just a moment. Last question, Chad, how are we doing toward that fifty thousand dollar match?

Yeah, great question. We're just a little over halfway there. So again, we've got two days left today and tomorrow to close about, what is that, twenty four thousand dollars to receive that full fifty thousand dollar match. So again, please just prayerfully consider giving to the work of FaithFi. Awesome.

Chad, thanks for joining us. Thank you. All right. If you'd like to give to support our work and we mean it when we say a gift of any amount, fifty, a hundred, or if you have more capacity, a gift of a thousand or five thousand dollars would go a long way to helping us close our gap and finish the year strong. You can do that at

Just click give. All right. Let's head back to the phones to Chicago. Michael, thanks for your patience. Go ahead.

Yes. Good afternoon, Rob. Thank you for taking my call. Appreciate your ministry. Thank you, sir.

So here's my question situation. My wife and I own five properties, four of which are investment properties and then our primary residence. Our primary residence, we still owe just under forty thousand on the mortgage at a three percent and everything else is owned outright. So that's the only debt we have, which is great.

I'd hope to pay it off in the next year and a half or so. However, one of our properties, which is a vacation rental property that we're restoring, it's a house built in the late 1800s. We've ended up tapping into our home equity about fifty thousand to do restoration on this.

It's in a popular resort town in Wisconsin. And so the value of it has gone up considerably. But I'm wanting to get that debt off the table. And the home equity line is actually going to come due in 2024. So, you know, I'm looking at either I have to redo the home equity line. I don't want to roll the whole mortgage because we've got such a low rate. The other option would be to sell stocks and pay it off. Or we have one of our rental properties.

We have a tenant who is moving out at the end of this month. And it's a property that I'm not wild about. And I talked to my wife about maybe we should sell it and take the proceeds of it and then we'd pay everything off the house mortgage and home equity. The only thing is we're going to take a hit on taxes because it being an investment property they there's whatever I think something where they reclaim the depreciation. Yeah.

Yeah. I mean, obviously, it's a good problem to have in the sense that you're so close to being debt free, but you got a lot of assets. You're properly diversified with good real estate holdings. And it sounds like stocks and bonds as well.

You know, I definitely agree with you. I'm not touching that first mortgage. I would make the the home equity line of credit your priority and then consider just rolling that forward to a new HELOC. You know, I imagine you have a great credit score and you could probably get a pretty attractive HELOC. And with the Fed basically saying expect three cuts next year, we know the prime rate is going to come down, which is going to drive that home equity line of credit down. Let me ask you this and then we're going to take a break and maybe finish on the other side. On your current trajectory, if you were to redirect maybe a good bit of the cash flow that you have coming from these rentals and any other surplus you have, how quickly could you pay off the $50,000 if you just stayed really focused on it?

It would probably be, I don't know, two to three years. Yeah. Okay. All right, let's do this.

I'm going to take a quick break. Michael, we come back. We'll talk about where we go from here.

This was really helpful background. I want to make sure we kind of see it all the way through and then Kevin, David, Gil will come your way as well and tackle your questions. We'll be right back after this.

Stick around. Great to have you with us today in our last segment here on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. Before the break, we were talking to Michael in Chicago. He's got several rental properties. He's got a primary residence with a small mortgage of less than $40,000.

The rental properties are all free and clear. He's got some stocks and bonds. He's got, because of some renovations that he had to do on one of the rental properties, a $50,000 home equity line of credit on top of that mortgage. The mortgage is at 3%.

Obviously, the HELOC is much higher. He's just wondering, should I sell a property and pay off both of them? Should I roll that home equity line forward because it's going to come to an end next year in 2024, or should I sell some stocks and bonds?

Any of these would be good options. I would probably, Michael, first get with your CPA and just understand the tax consequences of each option, number one. Number two is look at just the potential growth opportunity for both of the assets that you would liquidate. What is the prospect of the stocks and bonds?

How have those portfolios been performing? Then is this a property, if you were to sell one that you'd like to get rid of, or do you like the idea of hanging onto it? I would imagine you have good cash flow flowing out of these debt-free properties.

As you said, you could probably pay this home equity line of credit off in a couple of years if you were to really focus all of your surplus on paying it down. Even though the rate's higher than we would like, it gives you the ability to let the stock portfolios continue to grow. It lets you hang onto this property that is otherwise free and clear so that you still have that a part of your portfolio a decade from now. If you feel like you're still pretty excited about each of these properties, I think hanging onto them, as long as you don't have just an absolute conviction from the Lord to be debt-free as soon as possible, I think you might be happy that you still had it a decade from now, even though you spent a little bit of interest over the next 24 to 36 months on paying off that home equity line of credit. I think for me, it's the tax considerations on all of it, crunch the numbers. Second, how excited are you about both of these assets continuing to be in your portfolios a decade from now? If there's any of them, either the stocks and bonds that have been underperforming or maybe one of the four properties where you're like, it's just not done very well or it's harder to rent or I don't think it's going to appreciate as much. Maybe there's some low hanging fruit where you'd say, you know, it wouldn't be a bad thing for me to go ahead and liquidate that, get out of debt. Now I've got the ability to put much more aside every month. And, you know, maybe a couple of years from now I'm buying another rental property, but I'm upgrading to an area that I'd rather be.

Give me your thoughts on all that though. Well, yeah, that's, I mean, you're hitting the nail on the head. The property that we're thinking of liquidating is actually in Illinois and property taxes are ridiculous here. And as I said, my tenant is moving out at the end of this month.

She's been great. We've had some bad experiences. And so, you know, I'm just asking myself, do I want to, you know, start this process over again or is this time to cut loose of that one? The other properties that we have are all up in, as I said, in a resort area of Wisconsin and they continue to appreciate in value and they're very popular. So, yeah, that's, but you know, you've given me some good food for thought there, I'll tell you.

Yeah. And I think, I think that may be your answer there is like, listen, we'd like to lower our tax liability out of the state of Illinois. You know, if we had the ability to add another piece of property down the road, we may do it in a different state. And so this is a good time with her leaving for you to sell it, get completely out of debt, which will give you a lot of peace of mind and free up even more cashflow because now you're not servicing the mortgage, you're not servicing the HELOC and you could take that and sock it away. And once you have enough to buy the next one with a mortgage you're comfortable with, if you wanted to do that, by that time rates are going to be significantly lower. And so, you know, that may make some sense at that point.

Plus, you know, your home is completely paid off your primary residence, which will be great. So, you know, I kind of like that idea given that there's one obvious one that you wouldn't mind parting with, but hopefully, yeah, that's given you some things to think and pray about and we can help further Michael give us a call. Let's go to Ocala. Kevin, thanks for your call, sir.

Go ahead. Yeah, thank you Rob for taking my call. What the question is, is my wife's previous job, she had a 403B there and she took like a six month break in between work and it's the they're actually transferring that 403B from one company to another right now and it's going to happen automatically for her. But she just started a new job and it has a 401K. She can transfer the 403B there, but I think it's like about three to six months before she could do it. She only plans on working on about another three years. And I was just wondering, is it more advisable for her to transfer that 403B into the 401K or just put it with her IRA funds? Yeah, you know, I kind of like her keeping everything in one place. I mean, if she's been happy with the the investment options in the new company sponsored plan and they will accept a previous employee sponsored plan and allow it to be rolled in, the IRS will allow it. You just got to make sure the plan administrator will allow it.

Typically they do. I just like the idea that everything's in one place. You've got one investment strategy to keep track of. You're not having to track multiple statements.

And then when she ultimately separates from employment and retirement, now she's looking to, you know, roll that out to an IRA at that point. OK. All right. Well, that answers my question. I appreciate that much. Absolutely. We appreciate you calling today, Kevin. Thanks for being on the program. Let's see.

We've got time for maybe one, possibly two more questions to Crossville, Tennessee. Hi, David. Go right ahead.

Thank you, Rob. For taking my call. Sure. I don't know how much I can give each one, each child in this coming year. Twenty, twenty four without having to report it to the IRS.

You know, fill out a form and file it with my income tax. Yes. How much can you get each child?

Yeah, it's a good question. That number is eighteen thousand dollars in twenty twenty four up from seventeen thousand this year. So eighteen thousand.

Now that's per person. Are you married, David? No. OK. All right.

Yeah. So you'd be able to do eighteen thousand to each child for next year. And you wouldn't have to let the IRS know a thing if you go above that. You have to fill out the form seven oh nine.

You don't pay taxes on it, but it does start to chip away at your lifetime exclusion and you would have to let them know. OK. Well, thank you a lot, Rob. Absolutely, David.

Thanks for calling today. Let's go to Pembroke Pines, Florida. Hi, Gil. Go right ahead. Hi, Rob. How are you? Good. Thank you.

A quick question here. I have a friend that has 401K and they want to know if they can open up a SEP IRA. Yeah. So if you if both a 401K plan and a SEP IRA plan are offered, you can contribute to both simultaneously.

But it would be the maximum of twenty five percent of compensation or up to sixty eight thousand dollars in twenty twenty four sixty six thousand in twenty twenty three. But as long as they are offered by different companies, then you'd be able to do that. Or if you know you open the SEP on your own. Typically, what you need to do when you get into a situation like this is your friend is self self-employed.

She wants to open up a SEP on her own separately from the company. OK. Yeah. No.

So she what she would do is you she would typically open just a traditional or a Roth IRA if she's, you know, W-2 employee, which she is. Is that right? Yeah.

Yeah. That would be the way that you would go there. Really, the SEP IRA is for self-employed individuals typically who don't have access to a company sponsored plan.

And that's where you would typically have the SEP. So in this case, she's a W-2 employee, has a 401k. Separate from that, she could open either a traditional or a Roth and, you know, put in either sixty five hundred if she's under age fifty or seventy five hundred over the age of fifty in either a Roth or a traditional. Now, the IRA contribution would be on top of her 401k. She can have both. But as a W-2 employee, she wouldn't have a SEP IRA. Well, she got support for a spouse, too. Yeah. Your spouse can your spouse can have an IRA and they don't have to be working.

It's considered a spousal IRA and they would be able to make the same contribution up to either sixty five or seventy five hundred dollars. OK. Well, thank you very much. OK. We appreciate your call today, sir. Thank you very much for being on the program. Well, we're so thankful that we were able to answer so many questions today and cover a lot of ground. Also thankful that Chad Clark was able to stop by just to talk about the incredible opportunity we have today and tomorrow with this generous gift that's been made for every gift of faith to be doubled.

A number of you have already made gifts this hour. We're so thankful for the opportunity to hear from so many of you. As you've said, listen, I believe in this ministry. I want to see God's people equipped to be wise and faithful stewards of his resources.

And I'm on board. Here's what I can do. And whatever that is, we're certainly grateful. So if you haven't yet contributed to the ministry and you want to help us fully subscribe, this fifty thousand dollar dollar for dollar match here at Faith. I just said to our Web site faith f i dot com.

That's faith f i dot com and click give right there at the top of the page. You know, folks, one of the things that Chad mentioned today was this idea that we want to see God as our ultimate treasure. And I think that's really the big idea that we have for you here at Faith. You know, the world unfortunately gets this confused. And if you listen to the message of our culture, you would come away believing that money can satisfy, that money can fulfill our deepest needs and longings, that God's size, shape and our heart can be filled with money and possessions.

And it's just not true. What we realize is that money is not an end. It's a means to an end. You know, King Solomon, who was the richest man at the time, he made it very clear that money is futile and it just doesn't satisfy. Only God can bring that satisfaction. He is our abundance. But listen, money is a tool that we can use to accomplish God's purposes. And that's our heart for you on this program. Hey, Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Fi. Thank you to Jim and Dan and Lynn and Amy. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-14 19:56:58 / 2023-12-14 20:13:56 / 17

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