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Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2024 5:15 pm

Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 1, 2024 5:15 pm

The time has arrived for many of us to start living by our New Year’s resolutions. The trouble is—surveys show 95% of us won’t make it to Groundhog Day. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will have some ways to help you achieve your goals this time. Then he’ll answer various financial questions. 

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The following program was prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. It's New Year's Day, the day we start living by our New Year's resolutions. The trouble is, surveys show 95% of us won't make it to Groundhog Day.

Hi, I'm Rob West. That doesn't stop most of us from making New Year's resolutions, hoping this time will be different. Well, I have some ways to help you achieve your goals this time.

Then we'll have some great calls lined up, but since we're not live today, please hold your calls until next time. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well surveys show that the majority of us still make New Year's resolutions, but only about 8% of us stick to them for a whole year. Have you ever wondered why so many people make resolutions and so few keep them?

I think the reason for them is hope. We hope we can make our lives better with these improvements. And the failure rate is high because, even though many of these resolutions sound simple, like lose weight, they require fundamental changes in lifestyle. So what are the top New Year's resolutions?

There really aren't any surprises there. A survey of 2,000 people showed that going on a diet is still number one with 71%, followed by exercise more at 65%. If you're wondering where money comes into the picture, it's not far behind. Save more or spend less came in fourth at 32%. After that, we resolved to learn a new skill, quit smoking, find another job, and spend more time with family and friends.

So pretty much what you'd expect. And all of those are worthy resolutions, good things to strive for in life, and it's fine for believers to want those life improvements. But there are other resolutions that Christians should make that will help them achieve greater success and all the rest. These Christian New Year's resolutions should focus on God and fulfilling His will, not yours. If a resolution honors Him, for example, He's more likely to empower you to achieve it. So these Christian resolutions should come first or be in addition to things like quitting smoking and going to the gym.

Here are some examples. A great place to start is by asking for guidance on what resolutions God would like you to make. James 1 5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you. Then resolve to pray daily for the wisdom and strength to keep the resolutions you feel God is leading you to make. We know that God works through people, so resolve to be accountable to another person for sticking to your resolutions.

That can be a two-way street with you helping to keep the other person accountable, too. If you keep the resolutions we've talked about so far—seeking God's will, praying for wisdom and strength, and making yourself accountable—you'll probably start to see success fairly quickly, and you might start feeling pretty good about yourself. That's where our next Christian New Year's resolution comes in.

Resolve not to take the credit for that success. Philippians 4 13 says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Keep in mind that it's God empowering you to achieve success with your resolutions. And you'll still experience setbacks along the way, but knowing that God is with you will make it much easier to get back on track. And let's not forget some of the other New Year's resolutions that Christians should make—things like reading the entire Bible during the year, or praying more, or giving more to your church and other ministries. Those are all very good indeed, and we should all want to achieve them. But make sure you're doing them for the right reason. Many fall short on these spiritual resolutions because they're doing them for the wrong person—to make themselves look good.

In Matthew 6 5, Jesus tells us, When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. Instead, our motivation should be to honor God, or the desire to grow closer to Him or become more like Christ. You see, when you make a resolution, acknowledge that you'll only be able to keep it with God's help, and that He deserves all the credit.

Ephesians 2 10 reads, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. So it's January 1, New Year's Day. You still have time to make a few more resolutions that honor God and seek His help in keeping all the rest. We'd love for you to let us know how it's going along the way, and we trust that as you do this, you'll see 2024 as a year where you've grown closer to God and become more like Christ.

I hope that's an encouragement to you today. I'm Rob West, and this is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey, helping you apply God's wisdom to the practical decisions you're making today. We'll be right back. Delighted to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. We're not here today.

Our team is away from the studio. This is pre-recorded, so don't call in, but we've got some great questions we lined up in advance. Before we go to the phones, let me remind you, Faith Fi and Faith and Finance Live is listener supported. If you'd like to be a financial partner, you can do that at Just click Give.

Thanks in advance. All right, let's dive in today. We're going to begin in Oregon. Hi Susan, thanks for calling.

How can I help you? I have a question. I've called you before about Plaid. They're flat out a data mining company, but in order to deal with online companies like Etsy, they demand that we sign up with Plaid or they won't pay us. We can sell all we want and they'll just keep the money.

Nice. Anyway, I think Plaid probably is paying Etsy for being able to mine all their constituents and it frightens me really to just lay myself open to that sort of thing. I mean, am I being foolish? Am I silly to think that having them dig around in my private affairs, somebody like that, sending it off to China or wherever they send it and get paid for?

Am I being foolish? No, I mean, I'm personally comfortable with Plaid. I mean, we've looked into it pretty extensively. They are the biggest in this space, so they're widely used. I mean, just about every major company that offers bank connectivity uses Plaid as the backbone.

Plaid was going to be sold to one of the big credit card companies, ended up staying private. They have, obviously, probably the most intensive encryption and security of any of them, just in terms of the security piece with the advanced encryption standards and the protocols that they use to protect your financial data. They do detail all of the information on their trust and safety page as to how they not only secure your information with multi-factor authentication and the fact that they promise never to share your data without your permission, never sell or rent your information to other companies. It allows you control over which companies have access to your data and what data is shared.

All of that's detailed there. I think the reason that most companies use them is they are the biggest and they have the most intensive safety protocols. I would say if Etsy is the platform that you want to use and they use Plaid, I would personally proceed with that without any hesitation. Now, we always need to use good standards when it comes to protecting our own information, which means we're monitoring our accounts. We probably have a PIN number on our credit file.

We're using best practices with regard to passwords that are changed regularly with long strings of characters, probably using a password manager, never conducting business on public Wi-Fi, those types of things, of course, staying away from phishing emails and never providing personal information to somebody who calls you on the phone despite who they claim to represent. But in terms of Plaid security and reputation in the industry, I would personally be comfortable with it. Now, Susan, at the end of the day, you need to follow your own convictions on this.

But, you know, if you were trying to do business on Etsy and they required you to use Plaid, I would be OK with that personally. I have another question. Yeah. Are you aware that they have been sued for data mining malfeasance? Yeah, I've seen some of these in the past. And, you know, there's active lawsuits going on with all of these companies. Some of them have material things behind them. Others don't.

In many cases, they're frivolous. So, again, I think at the end of the day, you know, you need to decide, do I want to do business on Etsy and, you know, do I have a conviction to stay away from Plaid? If you do, then you'd need to find another platform, perhaps.

Otherwise, I think, you know, at least from my standpoint and the research that we've done, we're comfortable with it. Really? OK. I appreciate you checking in, though. What is it that that you sell on Etsy, Susan?

Junk that I pick up at yard sales. OK. Yeah. Has it been successful? It's like mining gold. It's the most fun thing you can ever do when you get to get an idea. You know that this is a great dress.

I know somebody will love it. Yes. Right.

Right now I'm working on vintage movies and I've got quite a collection of. Well, I know. I love it. Like that. That's very fun. Well, and it sounds like you enjoyed.

Yeah, I think that's the key. So very good. Well, hey, thanks for checking in with us. We appreciate you asking the question today. God bless you. Let's go to New Jersey. Hi, Lisa.

How can I help? My daughter asked me a question because she's very concerned about her credit score. She's been doing an excellent job with her credit score. And she was so obsessed with paying off her student loans. Well, she didn't have much of a student loan because our family model had been to before we go to school.

You know, we prepared them academically, but we also make sure that they were good in sports so that they would earn some scholarships to go to college. She decided not to do that. And she said, OK, I can look for a job or I can look for scholarships all day as a full time. And that's what she did.

And it ended up being quite tough. So she had small student loans, not a lot. We were prepared to pay.

Sure. She wanted to do it herself. So she was obsessed with paying it off. And she took what money she had out the bank recently and paid off her student loan.

OK. But then she said, I checked that credit score and it went down 17 points. Why is that? And I said, maybe it's because you are a risk if they're counting on that interest when they value the loan.

I don't know if that's true. You know, it comes down to one of the factors that makes up your credit score. That is your credit mix. So there's two types of credit. There's an revolving credit, which would be like a credit card. And then there's installment credit, which would be like a car loan or a student loan where you have a scheduled repayment at a stated interest rate and then you you pay it back based on that schedule unless you accelerate the payoff. And part of the formula incentivizes you to have a good credit mix, meaning you have different types of credit. You've got some installment accounts.

You've got some revolving accounts. It's probably that she has very little credit. And the fact that this installment credit was paid off, it's no longer a part of her credit mix, which caused her credit score to dip temporarily. Does that mean she shouldn't have paid off the debt?

Absolutely not. You know, we don't want to let the tax tale or the credit score tail wag the dog here. We want her to operate by good, sound biblical financial principles when it comes to handling her financial life. And that includes getting out of debt as quickly as possible. A 17 point dip on her credit score. Number one is probably temporary. And number two, unless she's out trying to qualify for a loan, it doesn't really matter.

So it'll come back. I think the key is just recognizing that credit score is going to be a moving target. And there's five different key factors that make it up. And one of those is the credit mix. And having that student loan come out of that mix is probably what resulted in the dip. Does that make sense?

Oh, I think we lost you. But thanks for your call today, Lisa. Hopefully that helps her, by the way, encourage her because this is incredible that number one, she took that on herself. And number two, she prioritized getting it paid off as quickly as possible.

And I love the work that she put into getting those scholarships. Just a quick reminder, we're not here today, so don't call in, but we're going to head to a break and much more coming just after this. Stay with us. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. By the way, we're not live today. We're away from the studio, so don't call in.

But we have some great questions that we lined up in advance. By the way, this ministry is entirely listener supported. That means we rely on your financial gifts and support to do what we do on the air every day. If you consider a gift, we'd certainly be grateful. Just head to our website, That's and click the give button. Thanks in advance. Let's go back to the phones and talk to Anne, a first time caller in Virginia.

Go right ahead. I would like to know about cashing savings bonds, i.e. how that affects your taxes and how to do it. Yeah, very good. So the way to cash those in, you can try to cash in the paper U.S. bonds at a bank or credit union where you have an account, but not all of them will do it. Let me ask though, Anne, are these paper bonds or electronic?

Paper. Okay, great. So you can try the bank where you currently bank and see if they'll do it. But if not, more and more of them are requiring you to go directly to, which is the U.S. Treasury's website specifically for these bonds. You'd be able to type in the QSIP numbers and find out exactly what they're worth and they'll give you also the instructions on how you can redeem those when you send those in. So is the place to go.

You'll probably have to do it through the mail. And then once they receive those paper bonds, they'll be credited to your account at treasury direct. Then you would be able to electronically redeem them. And once they're redeemed, then you could transfer it out to a linked account like a checking or a savings account.

The interest that your savings bond earns is subject to federal income tax, but not state or local income tax. And so your bonds earn interest from the month you own them and then you get the interest all at once when you redeem them. And so this happens when you cash the bond in. And then at that point, you would report that when you filed your income tax return for the year. But you don't have to report the amount of the bonds as income. That's correct. Just the interest that you earned.

Just the interest. Okay. Yes. And if you have time for another question.

Yes, ma'am. I wanted to know about investments and having beneficiaries designated on the investments. Okay. What about that? How that affects a will? Oh, yes. Or is it still necessary to have it in a will?

That's a great question. So a beneficiary supersedes the will. And so if you have a beneficiary listed on any of your accounts, brokerage account or, you know, your savings bonds, that would pass outside of probate directly to that beneficiary upon your death. Your will would cover anything that's not, you know, an account that's named with a named beneficiary. So any personal items, any accounts that don't have beneficiaries designated your home, let's say, unless you had a what's called a transfer on death deed, then your home would be subject to your will. But a named beneficiary supersedes the will and causes that particular account to pass outside of probate and as a part of the will. What about transfer on death? Is there any problem with that?

There is not. No, as long as you keep those up to date, that is going to ensure that whoever is receiving that immediately gets access to it. You don't have to wait for the probate process, you know, because that can take some time and there is some expense to that. The court gets involved with a transfer on death. It goes immediately upon your death.

All right. So suppose the person that you're doing that transfer on death lives with you. Can you some way, like, I guess, write a note that everything in that host goes to them and therefore avoid probate? No, that would really fall in your will. You would have to have an official transfer on death in place tied to a particular account that allows you to do that.

Otherwise, the last will and testament covers everything else. Okay. That's very helpful. Thank you so much. I really enjoy your program. Well, thank you. And that's very kind of you. Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for calling today. We appreciate it.

Let's head to Texas. Hi, Victor. How can I help you, sir? I'm doing great. Thanks for your call. Awesome. God bless you for the program. I really enjoy it.

I listen to it every day in my car. It's really awesome with the insight that you give. I got a quick question. A couple of things. You know, I've been really, really late on my credit cards and, you know, borrow some money from the payday loan. And because I'm going through some, you know, taking care of my mom. And it's just really hard on me. So I intended to consolidate my my credit cards and all the loans so I can have one payment for every month.

I want to know, you know, what are the implications and if it was advisable for me to do that, because I have a dream of, you know, you know, trying to get a buy house in the future. I just wanted to get your advice on, you know, stuff like that. Sure. Do you have a credit card that you use for budgeted items on a monthly basis, Victor? I like.

Yes, I do. But right now I'm behind a payment. So like I said, I want it, which I've already done called the National Debt Relief. They consolidate my, you know, my debt and it gave me like three hundred and twenty five dollars every month because I was paying almost like seven hundred dollars for the payday loan like every two weeks.

Yeah, I would stay away from those, Victor, for sure. Let's do this. I want to have one of our certified Christian financial counselors work with you on setting up your budget. We don't want to use those payday loans ever again. I'd also encourage you to stay away from National Debt Relief. What we need to do is get you on a spending plan that's below your means.

And if those credit cards are causing you problems and we need to cut those up and just use debit cards so we can and cash so we can stay on budget. You stay on the line. We're going to get your information.

I'm going to cover the cost to have one of our Christian financial counselors call you and work with you over the next several weeks to get your budget set up and get you on track. OK, thanks for your call today. We'll be right back.

Much more to come just around the corner. Stick around. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, your host.

Our team is away from the studio today, so don't call in. But coming up a little later, we'll have more of your questions right here on the program. Hey, let me take a moment to mention the Faith Fi app.

That's right. Not only does this program have a new name, but our app has a new name as well. It has a whole new look and feel. Also, we'd love for you to download it. Just head to your app store wherever you download apps and search for Faith Fi. That's Faith Fi.

You can manage your money. You can access the best content in biblical finance, podcasts, articles and videos. You can also participate in our Faith Fi community where you can post questions and get answers from others on their stewardship journey. You'll find it in your app store. Just search for Faith Fi. Or if it's easier, head to our website at Faith Fi dot com. That's Faith Fi dot com.

And you'll see the app right there on the home page. All right. Now let's head back to the phones. Before we head to North Carolina and talk to Laurie first, we're headed to Tennessee. Glenn, thanks for calling.

How can I help? Hello. How are you doing?

Doing well. All right. I closed out some certificates, some of which were in our or IRA certificates. I'm talking CDs and I placed them in higher rate certificates.

Um, the IRA ones and the regular ones. Um, and I took losses of course on, on, uh, the IRA certificates and the regular ones. Are those losses? Is there a place on my tax return? I know I'm pretty sure there is for the regular certificates, uh, to claim that loss.

Is there a place on there? Or do I claim the IRA certificate loss on the return as well? Yeah.

So you had an early withdrawal penalty. Is that right, Glenn? That's what I'm talking about. Yes, sir. Yes. Yeah. So if you'd pay an early withdrawal penalty, you can deduct the full amount from your taxes, uh, even if the amount, you know, if the, if it's an amount that's greater than the interest earned. So you would just want to let your CPA know that.

Okay. Even on the IRA certificates? Oh, I see.

No, in an, I missed that part. So in an IRA, there is no taxes paid, um, you know, until you pull that money out. Uh, so that, that would not be able to be deducted, but the, the opposite is true as well. You're not going to pay taxes on the interest you're earning inside the IRA either.

You're just going to pay tax on it as income when it comes out in retirement. That's right. Now I got it. I, I knew that it just wasn't coming to me. Okay. I appreciate that so much. Absolutely, Glenn. Thank you for your calls.

Absolutely. I'm glad to do it and thanks for being on the program. Uh, let's go to North Carolina.

Hi, Lori. How can I assist you? I just had a question about, um, you know, in the Bible, Christ talks about us being very generous and, um, I guess I'm trying to figure out how that works as far as my finance. So, um, we are, um, my husband and I are both retired and, um, his income from retirement is not a lot. Um, it's through a pension.

Um, but we have no debt and, um, we have some money and investments and, you know, I don't understand, I guess what we're supposed to do is like, is there a percentage that we're supposed to be getting out? We do tithes at our church. Um, and we do give a little bit of money to a missionary every month. Um, yeah.

Well, you know, here's the reality. You know, when we look at the Council of Scripture, we realize that, you know, generosity is really just a part of what we should be doing as believers. Uh, you know, it's clear throughout the Council of Scripture. Listen to this, uh, from the message.

I love this. Uh, this is second Corinthians nine eight. It says this most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. You see, the idea is that everything we receive is a gracious gift from God.

It all belongs to him. And one of the invitations he gives us is to be generous with what he's entrusted to us so we can be a part of his activity, touching and changing lives there in your community and around the globe. Now in the Old Testament, we had the law, right? The mosaic law and actually the giving laws went far beyond the 10% tithe. When Jesus, uh, entered the scene though, he took giving to an even higher level and he showed us a different way of giving what I might call whole life generosity. He demonstrated that by giving his life as a sacrifice.

So what does that look like for us? Well, he taught us that we should give as we've been blessed in Luke six 38. He said to whom much has been given much is required in Luke 12 48. He of course commended the most famous giver in the New Testament, the poor widow who gave out of her poverty, her last two coins.

And then he challenged the rich young ruler to give all of his wealth away. Now I think for each of us, we need to take that model of New Testament giving, which is proportionate, sacrificial, cheerful, giving freely, not under compulsion and not a legalistic approach, but a, a cheerful, worshipful giving posture and bring that before the Lord and say, Lord, what would you have me to do? And ultimately that's between you and your husband and the Lord, you know, how you might approach that. I think the tithe is a great beginning point. A lot of people use that as the discipline of putting God first and giving him our best right off the top.

It's a meaningful guideline. I think the tithe teaches us how to give because it's systematic and proportionate, but I think it's the beginning point, not the ending point. My friend, Randy Alcorn calls it the training wheels of giving. And so I think as we grow in our spiritual lives, one of the ways God uses finances is to grow us up spiritually, because as we give, it's a demonstration very tangibly of our ultimate trust in God and our worship of him and our ability to say, God, I believe you're my provider. And that's why I can hold this loosely and give it generously because I believe you'll continue to provide in the future.

Now, what that looks like, it could take on any number of forms. I mean, some people get really radical and do a reverse tithe and give 90% away and live on ten. Others maybe use an incremental approach where they'd say, listen, we want to give a tithe a tenth systematically, but we're going to increase that every year, maybe by a percentage point. And again, that's between you and the Lord. Others will say, you know, we want to not only give out of our income, but we want to give out of our assets.

And so, you know, we're going to give a gift of an appreciated stock or a piece of real estate. Again, I think it's all a part of your journey in faith with the Lord. But the more, you know, my experience is, the more we give, the more we want to give because we experience the joy that comes along with it. But I don't think there's a hard and fast rule here. Does that all make sense, though?

Yeah, it actually does. Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

Absolutely, Laurie. Well, I'm delighted for you as you continue to kind of journey in this area and explore God's heart as it relates to generosity. And thanks for weighing in today and asking the question. I appreciate it very much. We're going to take a break here in just a moment.

When we come back, we'll take the rest of our calls in the final segment, though. Before we head to our next break, though, you know, as I read scripture, I see this big idea jumping off the page around contentment. You know, I think as we consider our role as stewards of God's money, we need to foster this attitude that the apostle Paul talked about, and that is contentment. Remember, he said that it's learned. I've learned to be content. He was in a time of plenty and a time of need, and he learned to be content in either of those contentments of choice.

And when we increase our contentment, well, then we can focus on what God has given us and not on what he's given others. I hope that's an encouragement to you today. Again, we're not here today. We're away from the studio, so don't call in, but just around the corner, we have some more questions to tackle. I know you're going to enjoy the calls we have coming up. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Hey, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live, where we apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. Hey, just a quick reminder, we're away from the studio today, enjoying time with friends and family, so don't call in. We're not here, but we lined up some great questions in advance that I know you will enjoy. And before we get to those questions, a quick email.

This comes from a curious dad. He says, my son is selling his house after living in it for more than six years. He expects a profit of $100,000. The title company is asking for a 1099. We're wondering why, and he's referring to the fact that if it's his primary residence and he's lived there two out of the last five years, that $100,000 profit is well in line with what would be excluded from capital gains. And so they're wondering why the 1099?

Well, here's the reality. A title company will routinely cut a 1099 S on the sale of a property and send it along to the IRS. They're not in the business of determining whether the property is your principal residence or not. So that's something you'll specify on your tax return to qualify for that capital gains exclusion. So, uh, that, uh, that shouldn't be a concern at all.

Uh, you can tell your son just go ahead and fill out the 1099 and provide that with all the other documentation so they can have their affairs in order, get that over to the IRS, and then you'll be able to claim that capital gains exclusion with no problem when you file your tax return for that year. I hope that's helpful to you. Thanks for writing us. All right, back to the phones we go.

Uh, let's go to Texas. Hi Fay. How can I help you? My situation is that I'm 71. I had a medical emergency back in 2008 and I had to draw everything out of my savings in my, uh, social security savings and all that. Um, I have in the last year put all of my savings that I have into two CDs. So what I'm wondering is, is there something that at my age, some type of social security account or, or account like that, is there somewhere I need to be putting that money other than a CD? I see.

Yeah. So the way we would normally think about that is the first bucket, if you will, is what we call your emergency fund. So that would be the money that's liquid, it's safe, it's not at the risk of the stock market and it's there for emergencies. Typically in this season of life, you might want to have, let's say six months worth of expenses in that emergency fund.

Um, so you would total up all of your expenses over a month's time, multiply that by six and that might give you a goal for what you would want to have at a minimum in your emergency fund. And the idea there is that it's probably in a separate savings account, earning some interest. The good news is you can get a decent amount of interest these days, four and a half percent plus, uh, if you use an online savings account with one of the online banks, uh, maybe you link it to your checking account electronically if you're comfortable with that. And then it's not there in your checking account where, you know, it's not quite as easy to spend it, but it's maybe one or two days away from an electronic transfer if you needed it. I would probably put that in the savings account, not a CD, just because the, by definition you want to be able to get access to that when you need it. Then if you had money that went beyond that, then we can look at, you know, what is the time horizon for that money and whether or not you want to take any risk. If you don't want to take any risk, then you'd probably want to stick with CDs. Um, because you can get a decent rate of return right now instead of four and a half on that savings account, maybe you're getting five and a half percent on a, on a one year CD. Uh, and that's a great return. Uh, now if you wanted to take a portion of what you had beyond your emergency fund and invest it, now we could start looking at things like bonds, corporate or government bonds.

We could look at even a smaller allocation to stocks to try to grow the money and outpace inflation even beyond the return you might expect on the savings or the CDs. Does that make sense? Yes, yes it does. Okay. I appreciate your time and your help there.

Well, I'm happy to do it now. I did see you had a question here in my notes about an IRA. I will say you can do an IRA at any age, but you do have to have earned income. So what is earned income? Well, earned income is income that comes to you by way of wages like salaries and tips and other employee compensation. Um, unearned income is bond interest, CD interest, stock dividends, interest from savings accounts. So if you're not working and you don't have any earned income, then you would not be able to do an IRA. Um, but if you are, then you could put in up to the amount of earned income you have or the limit for this year, which is $7,500, uh, if you're over the age of 50. Okay.

I am still working. It's only a part time situation that I have a little company set up that I found my taxes under and all that. Great. Yeah. So then that would allow you to contribute to an IRA up to the amount of earned income you have or $7,500, whichever comes first. So how would I go about starting an IRA?

Yeah. So you would just open an IRA at one of the custodians. You could do that at your bank. You could do that a brokerage firm like Fidelity or Schwab, and then you'd make the contribution. And once you did, then you'd have to decide how you want to invest the money. Do you want to put it in CDs inside the IRA?

Do you want to put it in stocks in bonds? You could choose whatever you'd like. Okay. Well, thank you very much. All right, Faye. Thank you for calling today. We appreciate you being on the program. Let's go to Alabama. Hi Dee.

How can I help? Hi. Thank you. Go ahead.

My husband died. Is there any reason for me to, uh, instead of having the will to go through probate, just put my daughter's name instead of he is on the wheel and recording it? Uh, yes, there is a reason not to do that. Um, because for tax purposes, it's better if your daughter inherits the property as opposed to, uh, receives it through the deed. So if you put her on the deed, then she gets what's called your cost basis. So the way you determine the taxes on the sale of real property is when it's sold, if you have a profit, um, then you pay capital gains tax on it. Well, if you put her on the deed, she's going to keep your original cost basis. So what you paid for it is what will determine ultimately how much profit there is when it's sold. If however, Dee, she inherits the property, um, then she would actually enjoy what's called a stepped up cost basis. So the new cost basis when she inherits it would be the value of the property as of the date of your death.

And that would mean that she would pay probably a lot less in capital gains because you know, if she turned around and sold it right away, there would be no gain because she would have, you know, the ability to sell it at the same market value of the stepped up basis. Does that make sense? Sure. Very quickly. Yes. You're wondering how much does probate cost? Yeah.

Uh, you know, it could, uh, if it's an uncontested probate, it could range anywhere from, you know, 1500 to $3,000 would be typical. Okay. Thank you.

Okay. We appreciate your call today. Thanks for being on the program. Uh, let's go to Kentucky. Hi Catherine.

How can we help? Yes, I'm calling. I've called you before and do what you said now.

What is it still? Okay. Is it a good time to invest in the index fund grandchildren? Yeah, I think that can be a good way to go with regards, especially if you're opening an account for a grandchild. Typically you'd have a smaller amount of money you're working with. And as a result of that, um, you know, it gives you good broad diversification. You just capture the broad moves of the market, uh, at that point, uh, with an index fund. And, you know, it can be a very effective way to invest because it's low cost. You have good diversification and you're essentially just capturing the moves of the market over time, not necessarily trying to pick the winners and losers. Uh, the only reason may, why you might not want to use an index fund, um, is if you want, for instance, to, to use a faith-based investing fund family where it was aligned with your values as a Christian, uh, you know, that would be where you might want to avoid, uh, an index fund because an index fund would have, you know, every company in the index, which may mean that you, for instance, might own a company that is in tobacco or alcohol, something like that. Um, because those would be a part of the index. Whereas with a faith-based investing fund, uh, often they will, you know, avoid those to be more aligned with your values as a believer. Okay. So in faith-based, do I just go online or do I go into your office?

Yeah, you could find those fun families, uh, on our website at that's and just click on the show and you'll see a listing of all those faith-based and fun families. How much is that? I belong to fidelity or I had to my name is Delia. So I still have an account there. So I decided to do that. That's who I'd go to.

Yes ma'am. Uh, yeah, either fidelity or Schwab. You could buy those fun families. What is the charge per month? Well if you were to go directly into one of those mutual funds, you'd have to look at the particular fund you selected to see what the expense ratio might be. You know, it could be maybe 1.1%.

It could be, you know, maybe one and a half percent. You'd, you'd want to check the expenses on each fund family to see what the fees are for the management and all of that is disclosed in the, um, in the mutual funds perspectives. So once again, I would go sound my investment and go in and look for, uh, no sound mind investing is a great website and they do have some, some great mutual fund selections. But if you're looking specifically for faith based investments, you'd probably want to head to our website at and click on the show.

And then if you scroll down, you'll see the faith based investing underwriters of this program all listed there. Okay. All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

All right. Happy to do it. Thanks for your call today, Catherine. We appreciate you being on the program. Well folks, that's going to do it for us.

So thankful to have you along with us today. You know, as we think about managing God's money, here's the ultimate objective. Our heart's desire for you is that you would ultimately see God as your ultimate treasure. That as you manage money, your heart would be aligned with the fathers and you would see money as a tool to accomplish God's purposes, but that He alone would be your ultimate treasure. And I think as we pursue that and then really see money as a support, a means to an end to accomplish that, it changes everything about how we view our money and our role as stewards in managing God's resources. I hope we've been an encouragement to you today, giving you some practical help, but also above all else, pointed you back to Jesus.

Hey, Faith and Finance Live is a ministry of FaithFi and Moody Radio. Thanks to my team today. And we'll see you tomorrow. Come back and join us there. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-01 18:13:14 / 2024-01-01 18:29:54 / 17

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