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Missed Open Enrollment, No Problem

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2024 6:28 pm

Missed Open Enrollment, No Problem

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 25, 2024 6:28 pm

Open enrollment is over. Did you miss the deadline? If so, you and your family may be without health insurance. But we know someone who can help! On the next Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Lauren Gajdek to explain there’s a terrific alternative to health insurance that will make you glad if you missed that deadline. Then Rob will answer your questions on different financial topics. 

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Open enrollment is over. Did you miss the deadline and now you're without health insurance?

Hi, I'm Rob West. The good news is there's a terrific alternative to health insurance that will make you glad you missed that deadline. Lauren Gydeck is here to tell you about it. Then it's on to your calls and questions at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith in Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, it's always great to have Lauren Gydeck on the program because she always brings good news. Lauren is Vice President of Communications and Media at Christian Healthcare Ministries, an underwriter of this program. Lauren, it's great to have you back. Yes, thank you, Rob, for having me back.

Appreciate it. It's always a joy. Lauren, why is Christian Healthcare Ministries a lifesaver for folks who might have missed that open enrollment deadline?

I love that question. We are a health cost sharing ministry, not an insurance company. So that means your listeners can join Christian Healthcare Ministries at any time of the year, and they don't have to wait for an open enrollment season.

That's great. There's a sign on the building. It says, Always Open.

So yeah, you can come right in. Now, you say you're not health insurance. So what is CHM and how does it work? Yeah, so CHM is a medical cost sharing organization.

Like I said, we're not an insurance company. And it's a biblical concept. We're based on Acts 2 and 4, where all of the early church, the believers all gathered together and shared what they had with each other so that there was no one in need. They pooled their resources together.

And then, you know, nobody was left out in the cold. So that's what CHM does with medical bills for our members. And we've shared over 10 billion, billion with a B, 10 billion dollars in our members' medical bills since we started 40 plus years ago. Wow. Yeah, CHM is the oldest in this space.

That 10 billion number is staggering. Now, Lauren, of course, this is not just for people who might have missed that open enrollment deadline, right? Yeah, absolutely. You know, we have a lot of folks who find themselves in life transition, so they might have lost their job and their employer provided health insurance, or they might be changing jobs for a different reason. And then we have a lot of entrepreneurs who they don't have insurance through their employer and they find that CHM is a great fit for them.

Yeah. Now, I mentioned at the top of the program that folks might be glad they missed the deadline, and that's because of the cost of membership in CHM. So would you compare CHM to health insurance from a cost standpoint?

Yeah, sure. So in a nutshell, CHM has different programs ranging from $92 to $267 per month for an individual. And none of that is based on your health history, your age, your weight, anything like that. It's the same charge depending on the program that you choose, and we have several you can choose from. And then we have what's called personal responsibility. So, you know, that's not exactly like a deductible, but it has to do with out-of-pocket costs. And for most families on our gold program, that is no more than $3,000 a year.

So if your listeners know anything about high insurance deductibles, it was really quite affordable compared to that. Yeah, that's helpful. Now, of course, the first word in your name is Christian, so there's also a spiritual component to CHM.

What is that? Yes, so our flagship versus Galatians 6-2, which is carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. And that's the whole reason we exist. You know, we are here to help financially, but we are also here to help support each other spiritually through prayer, through encouraging emails and cards and letters, and just being, you know, the extended body of Christ to the people that we serve. Yeah, that's great.

And obviously with inflation high, folks really feeling the squeeze in their budget, and this area of health costs just seemingly rising all the time. CHM can be a real blessing. I'm sure you hear that from your members all the time, right? Oh yes, yes we do.

They very much appreciate that. All right, Lauren, for those folks who want to learn more and maybe explore this for themselves or their family, where do they go? Yes, you can go to our website, that's, or you can give us a call at 800-791-6225. Awesome. Well, Lauren, we appreciate you stopping by as always. Thanks for being on the program. Oh, thank you again so much. Appreciate it. All right, folks, go check it out, that's

That was Lauren Gajdek of Christian Healthcare Ministries. Now your calls are next. What are you thinking about financially? Call right now at 800-525-7000. 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. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. All right, it's time to take your calls and questions today. We'll tackle anything financial that you're considering. The number to call is 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open, and we'd love to hear from you today.

800-525-7000. You can call right now. All right, let's dive in. We're going to begin today in Chicago, and we'll begin with Sharon. Go right ahead. Hi, good afternoon.

Thank you for taking my call. I wanted to ask about, I have a small 401k. I'm currently employed. It's around $12,000. I actually do not have any savings other than that, and I wanted to find out where can I actually invest that money safely without any penalties or losing any of the funds itself.

Yeah, it's a great question, Sharon. So, you know, I think to your other point about this is your only savings, I would love for you to the best of your ability to start, you know, building up some savings even if it's just a small amount every month going into your savings account so you have something liquid because this 401k, whether we leave it there or roll it to an IRA, you know, that's money we want to try not to touch if we don't have to. Now, you are past 59 and a half, so you could take it out.

Anything you withdraw would be taxable, but at least you wouldn't have a penalty on top of it. Did you say you are employed currently or you're looking for a job? No, I'm currently employed and I'm 62. Okay, great. And are you contributing to that company's 401k? I am.

Very good. So this is an old 401k with a previous employer? No, no, no. This is my current employer. Oh, the $12,000 is? Yeah.

Okay, very good. And so you're adding to it. Yeah, so there's really nothing you can do with it other than pick from, and maybe this was your question, I apologize if I missed that, but pick from the investments inside that 401k. You can't roll it out or move it out of the 401k until you separate from employment. So now it's a matter of picking those investments that match your risk tolerance and goals and objectives. Now apart from you saying, I don't have any savings and so I want to be very careful with this, what I would say to you is because you're still working, because you're 62, you know, you need this money to grow for the future. The whole idea behind you having what you have and what you're adding to it is so that it's there for you down the road, you know, let's say 10, 20 years from now. Now keep in mind, even once you retire and let's say the Lord redirects you away from paid work at some point in the future, you're still going to need this money to last for decades. Because if the Lord tarries and you're in good health, you know, we would like for this to last into your 90s or beyond.

We don't know how long the Lord has you here. You know, so I think the idea is all things being equal, I would probably put this, you know, at age 62, I'd probably either use a target date fund, which is a mutual fund that pegs the investment mix to your expected retirement date. And then it gets more conservative as you get closer. But even then at 62, I generally would recommend you have somewhere between 40 and 50% in stocks, and then the rest 50 or 60% in bonds. Now that can lose value. And if we were to hit a recession later this year, it probably would. Keep in mind, we're at all time highs right now in the market. But as long as we have a long time horizon, because we know this money is not for next month or next year, it's for 10, 20, 30 years down the road, you know, for you to be able to pull it out along the way, then we have the ability to kind of ride out the ebbs and flows of the market, even though it's losing, you know, it has the potential to go down, we're looking at the long term results as our focus. And so the idea between, you know, around you just continuing to systematically invest, you know, in this 401k and then choose investments that match your time horizon and risk tolerance, that would be the typical approach. Now, separate from that, I would say, ideally, you'd be able to live within your means and still have some margin in addition to what you're putting in the 401k. And that is what we would use to build up what I call an emergency fund. And that we would never invest that would stay in a savings account, you might earn a little bit of interest, but it's always available if you need it for the unexpected. But give me your thoughts on all that. Well, in terms of the stock market, you're saying that to invest at least 40 to 50% from the 401k into stock.

I would love to do that. And I know the market is pretty decent right now. But I'm not sure which stock to invest, invest that 40 to 50% in.

Yeah, yeah. And when I said 40 50% in stocks, I'm talking about probably a balance. It's called a balanced mutual fund, which you'll have some of these in your 401k that has a mix of stocks and bonds, bonds being debt instruments that are more safe and pay a fixed rate of return stocks being investments in real companies with sales and earnings, those prices can of course fluctuate. And so the the easiest way to go about this, Sharon is something called a lifestyle fund or a target date fund. And so you know, you may look at a 2030 target date fund, which basically says, Okay, my expected retirement date is somewhere around 2030.

That's seven years from now, or six years from now. And what it's going to do is automatically get more and more conservative as you get closer and closer to age 70. So you're not taking unnecessary risk. And the benefit of that is you don't have to think about the investments to select. If you're in that target date fund, the 2030 target target date fund, it's kind of doing that for you in the background. So that might be a simple way to go. And you could contact your HR department or your plant administrator and ask about a target date fund and they could direct you to what's available inside your plan. That was my next question to you. So reach out to my HR department. Okay. Yeah, and find out who from the plan administrator, whether it's Fidelity or whoever it is, can guide you in, you know, helping you select the investments inside that 401k.

And perhaps you throwing out that idea of the of the target date fund will get you pointed in the right direction. I hope that's helpful to you. I know this can be confusing. So I'm glad you called today. If we can help further along the way, don't hesitate to reach out. Let's go to Cleveland. Hi, Jesse. Go ahead. Hello.

Thanks for taking my call. Back in 2017, my wife and I purchased a home as is for about $52,000. By God's grace, we're able to pay it off.

And it's worth about 180 right now. And we took out a $25,000 HELOC for the home. And my question was, is it wise to use that account, that checking account as like our almost like our own bank, so that we can take money out, but then also we can deposit any income that we have into that account? Yeah. And so you haven't used that line at all at this point, Jesse?

We did use some of it, yes. Okay. All right. You know, I prefer you not do that. It just gets complicated. And anything you have outstanding, you know, you'd be obviously paying interest on. And right now with that variable rate, it's going to be a high interest rate.

You know, it's probably prime plus one or 2%. So I'd rather you just use an operating account, a checking account, live within your means, have that home equity there, you know, in case of emergency, or you want to do a renovation of some sort that you can afford down the road, but not use it as your operating account. I understand how some folks use that.

I just think it adds more complexity and more costs. So I'd rather you stay away from that. Thanks for your call. We'll be right back.

It's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your call with some questions and we've got some lines open.

So we'd love to hear from you. 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. You can call right now. All right, let's go back to the phones.

To Indianapolis we go. Hi, Stephanie. Go right ahead. Hi, how are you? Doing great. Thanks for your call. Yeah, I have two questions.

I'm going to make this quick. I'm 25 right now and I have 403Bs. I have a couple of them because I switched jobs. Would it be better to consolidate them into one account or should I keep them separate?

I just want to figure out which one will maximize my funds when I retire. Yeah, so you have an old account with a previous employer and it's just kind of sitting there, is that right? Yes. Okay, yeah, very good. I like the idea of you combining them, Stephanie. I just think it creates some more simplicity. You've got all of kind of everything in one place. You're not getting multiple statements. You're not trying to manage two different accounts in terms of the investments that you're selecting and so I think, you know, moving that all into your current 401k, continuing to contribute, obviously, and then at some point down the road rolling that out to an IRA, you know, in retirement where you have a little bit more control over the investment options is probably what I would suggest or recommend for the reasons that I mentioned.

Okay, cool. And then my second question is what is the like recommended number to have in a retirement account in order to retire comfortably? Yeah, so it really comes down to what your expenses are going to be in retirement and what you're going to use to cover that and so you would start by creating an estimated retirement budget and if this is years down the road, you know, you could just either factor in inflation or not and realize that, you know, the compounding would have to accommodate for the inflation as well. But let's say you worked off of today's numbers, you would create a budget and then you would look at what your income sources will be. So, for instance, you could look at your social security statement and get an idea of what your social security would be. That's why they produce that annual statement so you'll have a sense of what that would be and then you'd want to look at any other, you know, assets that you're going to have or income that you'll have in that season of life and try to solve for that gap.

Now, normally what happens is social security was only intended to cover about 40% of your pre-retirement income and so what you do is you continue to save over time through a 401k or IRA or both and then the idea is those assets that you're building up, you convert that into an income stream. A lot of times folks will use a four percent number so you take four percent of whatever you build up and if you, you know, keep it invested conservatively you should be able to cover that four percent withdrawal per year and never impact the principal balance and that would be, you know, the goal. The question is can you get to that ultimate number, you know, so that you've got what you need to be able to supplement social security. There are some rules of thumb that, you know, folks will use. These can sound a little scary because they're big numbers but, you know, for instance they'll say by 50 you need six times your salary, by 60 you need eight times your salary.

So, you know, there are some rules of thumb you can look at that helps you understand, you know, where you ultimately need to go. By the time you retire, often you'll hear somebody say you need 10 times your salary. So if you're, you know, making 60,000 a year, you know, you would multiply that by 10, that's 600,000. You could go as high as 12, that's 720,000. And if you pull four percent a year out of that 720, that's, you know, about 30,000 a year. That plus social security should, you know, provide the income that you need because most people live on about 80 percent of their pre-retirement income in retirement. But those rules of thumb, that's all they are.

You know, ultimately you need to solve for the actual lifestyle God has called you to, the income sources you'll have, and then you can kind of back into an ultimate savings goal. Does that make sense? Yeah, that's a lot, but yeah, that makes sense.

Thank you. So let me just, yes, simplify it. So the bottom line is you're saying how much do I need in retirement? Number one is I'd say get with an advisor and do some planning because these rules of thumb don't replace that. But the short answer is usually you will hear that by the time you retire you need 10 to 12 times your income in your retirement savings accounts. And that 10 to 12 times your income plus social security should provide the income that you need for the rest of your life out through age 90 plus to be able to cover your lifestyle, which for most people is about 80 percent of their pre-retirement income. Because remember, when you get to retirement, you know, you're probably debt-free by then, so you get rid of the mortgage payments. You're no longer saving for retirement, so that comes out. You know, maybe the kids are off the payroll if you're married and have kids.

So 10 to 12 times your income plus social security should get you, you know, to the amount that you need to be able to fund your retirement income for the rest of your life. Now if you can't get there, that's fine, but just make sure you have a plan to be able to, you know, cover your bills in that season of life. Is that helpful? Yes, it is. Thank you so much. Okay, very good, Stephanie. Hey, thanks for your call today. Call back anytime. Let's go to Rockford, Illinois. Hi, Sally. Go ahead.

Hello. My daughter lost her husband six months ago and received an insurance life insurance settlement. And what would you recommend that she do with that check?

Yeah, wow. I'm so sorry to hear about her, your son-in-law's passing. Yeah, so really what she needs is an advisor, Sally. Somebody who could come alongside in a really difficult season and be that sounding board, help with a plan, help to give her some confidence and peace of mind that she's going to be okay, answer the questions that she has, but also, and this is going to be critical, manage that money. You know, be someone to say, hey, let's develop a plan. I'm going to oversee it. We're going to invest it. We're going to make sure you have the income that you need, but we're also going to try to protect it.

We're not going to take unnecessary risk. I mean, that's the role of an advisor. And, you know, that's why we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation here on this program. So what you could do, maybe you do this for her, is go to our website,, click find a CKA and pick out maybe two or three Certified Kingdom Advisors in her area that she could go sit down with.

Maybe you go with her to interview them and find someone who she could work with. Let's talk more off the air. I've got to take a break. We'll be right back and back with your questions after this. Hey, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. We've got some lines open. What questions do you have about your financial life today?

We'd love to tackle it with you, help you think about it through a biblical worldview. Our number to call today, 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's go to Chicago. Marissa, thanks for calling.

How can I help? Hi, Rob. I listen to your show all the time. I love it so much. Thank you.

I appreciate that. I had a question because I recently visited a local bank and I had a question about the high-yield savings account that I had heard through your radio program. So the question was, making it just short, can a non-profit organization place their money in a high-yield savings account?

Yes, they can. I mean, they're going to be a little different than what you would have if you were opening a personal account, but absolutely you can. So for instance, Kingdom Advisors, I serve as CEO of Kingdom Advisors. We have in our reserve account, we're a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our reserve account is in something called a sweep account where we have one of the big brokerage firms that manages this.

It's all FDIC insured, but we're getting a very attractive rate of return on it, commensurate with where interest rates are right now. And I think that's absolutely appropriate because as any business, including a non-profit, should have reserves just like we should personally. And I think you have to establish, depending on what kind of business you're in, what's that appropriate level of reserve? Is it some number of months worth of expenses so you could weather kind of a downturn in your ministry or the economy?

You need to think through that thoughtfully, but once you establish that number, putting that to work, not in stocks and bonds, but in a high-yield savings account or some sort of sweep account where there's FDIC insurance, I think makes a lot of sense. And so it would be a matter of either working with a bank or a credit union. For instance, Christian Community Credit Union would be a great option. They work with a lot of churches and ministries and can offer a competitive rate of return. But there are a number of other options out there as well, and I would absolutely be looking at that.

Wonderful news because I was originally told we wouldn't qualify for that. So I was like, I'm going to call in and get that wise opinion. So thank you so much. You're very welcome. Thanks for your call, Marissa. I appreciate it. Thanks for being on the program.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. We've got a few lines open today and still nearly half the program to go. So if you've got something you've been wrestling with in your financial life, let us know.

Hey, let me mention one thing as well before I head to the next caller. We have a workshop coming up tomorrow. It's not put on by FaithFi, but one of our certified Christian financial counselors is putting on a workshop called Planning to be Debt-Free. And it's 30 minutes. It's tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern.

There's 15 spots left. And it's really for those of you who heading into this new year have said, this is the year that I'm going to get out of debt once and for all. But maybe you're stuck or you don't know how to have a plan or you don't know the best way to approach it. Well, Gordon, one of our certified Christian financial counselors is doing this free of charge just to help God's people. He's been counseling folks for 35 years.

He was trained by Larry Burkett. And he just loves serving stewards that want to make the best decisions they can with the management of God's money. So if this is something that interests you again tomorrow, 2 p.m. Eastern, a free 30-minute workshop, check out slash debt-free. That's slash debt-free and you can sign up today. All right, we're going to head back to the phones. 800-525-7000 to Alabama we go.

Mike, how can I help? You talk about precious metals. I have a little bit of platinum, a little bit of silver, not a whole lot, a couple thousand dollars. But a guy that calls me and tells me when he has some things available mentioned fractals of the day. And I've not heard you mention those. He said you can grab these and go spend these just like you do anything else. So I was wondering if you are familiar with what he's talking about and what they are. Yeah, when it comes to, you know, that's a term that I've heard before in investing but not related to precious metals.

So I think I would need to do a little bit more digging on that one, Mike. So tell me how he's describing this. He's describing it as, he was talking about gold at the time we was talking because he was talking to me about some silver coins that they had bought at an estate sale and they said gold.

He had fractals and gold and he said you can just grab a handful and go out and spend these just like you do anything else, just like you do, you know, dollar bills. And I thought I've never heard anybody on face talk about those. So I thought I would ask the resident expert on this.

And I thought I've never heard, but I'm gonna get some wise counsel before I look into that. I appreciate it. Well, perhaps today is the day that we stumped the host because I'm, I certainly am not up to speed on that. But I'll have my team take a look at that and we'll see if there's something we need to know there.

But unfortunately, I don't have a good answer for you right off. So let's hold that one for another day. But Mike, I appreciate you listening and calling today. And hey, stay tuned. Maybe we'll circle back on this at some point. God bless you, sir. To Akron, Ohio. Hey, Jeff, go ahead.

Hi, I had a quick question. I have a rental property. And my rent is right now $1,000. But I can get 1500.

But my tenant has been there for 10 years. But I'm not sure biblically, you know, whether we invest, you know, should we be good stewards and invest in most that we have that God's given us to get a higher return? Or should we be be gracious and let the person who's, you know, pay less than what they should what the market value is going for? I see. Yeah.

So you've got this rental property and you believe the market value is 1500. You're charging below market rates at 1000, correct? Correct.

Okay. And you know, is is this somebody that you feel like is not in a position to pay the market rate? And are you all, you know, doing this just to, you know, as an act of generosity toward this person?

Or give me the backstory on it? Yeah, basically, yeah, they struggle every month to make rent. And they're good. They're good people and everything.

But, you know, just trying to figure out what is, what's the physical way to do because I think of the, you know, do you want to invest in five talents compared to the one of those two talents? Is it wrong to be a good, you know, try to get the most investment from what God's provided the opportunity to have a rental income? Yeah. Yeah, I don't think this is a right or wrong thing, Jeff, in my view. I mean, you know, clearly we're to be good stewards. And part of that, the parable of talents, we could look at a number of places in Scripture, is to earn an appropriate return on God's money. And so that's clearly supported in Scripture.

But the other big theme that just leaps out of the Scriptures is to be generous and to help those in need. And if that's really your motivation, I think that's a perfectly appropriate and God honoring way for you to do this. Essentially, you're making a decision to charge a below market rate to bless someone.

Now, you may decide that you want to increase that over time. You would be in perfectly and it would be perfectly appropriate for you to do that, especially if you gave them notice and maybe you step them up over time. But if it's something you just want to continue to bless this person with this lower than market rate, I think that's perfectly appropriate and very God honoring if you made that decision. So ultimately, you're the steward. And I would just pray through that and make that call.

But I don't think you can go wrong coming down on either side of this situation just given what God is entrusted to you with these resources. It's a great question, though, Jeff. Thanks for asking. We'll be right back.

Thanks for joining us today in our final segment here on Faith and Finance Live to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hi, Sue. How can I help you?

Hi, thanks for taking my call. My call is about a family member that I have that is kind of a loner. He doesn't really have anybody. And I am his sister. I would be probably the one that would be responsible should anything happen to him. So what I was thinking, is there a book that you would advise or is there some type of forms just to try to get a conversation going with him to talk about what do you have? What would I need to know?

You know, those kinds of things and any advice you have along that line. Yeah, it's a great question, Sue. Do you know whether he has a will? Do you know anything about his financial situation? I know he does not currently have a will.

I have been made power of attorney in the past when there was a health issue going on. I do know that he does have a student loan and possibly a car loan, but that would be all and not a whole lot of resources, but that's what he's got. Very good. That I'm aware of. Yeah.

And have you all had any of these conversations in the past about his financial situation? Not really. It's a little difficult to bring it up.

Yeah. And is that just because you're concerned as to how he might receive that or has there been something that's happened that leads you to believe that, you know, this isn't going to go well when you try to approach it? I think it would, it possibly could be received well.

Either that or it'll just shut down right away. But I think it's worth a try. Yeah, absolutely. And I think perhaps the fact that you have been the power of attorney in the past and maybe still are is a great starting point. It's just to say, hey, listen, you know, out of love, if you know the extent to which I'm going to be making any decisions, I want to be able to honor your wishes, you know, because none of us know the day or the time that the Lord is going to call us home, certainly myself included. And so I'd love to not get, you know, pry into your situation. And yet I know that I may be responsible for carrying out some of your wishes. And I just want to do that in a way that honors you and respects your wishes.

So would you be willing to kind of begin to walk through this together? And I think the key for you is to understand what decisions he's made with regard to first, the legal responsibilities. So are you, in fact, the power of attorney that would make legal and financial decisions for him? And then second, who is his health care surrogate? And has he named that person?

And if so, then you would need to know that because you would be able to make health care decisions. Does he have a living will? That's going to be really helpful to make sure his end of life decisions, you know, are honored. And then who's the executor to his estate? That would be the person that has to settle his estate after his passing. Any assets that he has, a home, any personal effects, that person would be working through the probate court responsible to actually pay any bills that are owed, cover the debts that he has, and then distribute the assets. So it's not a matter of you just wanting to pry.

It's really just being prepared to serve in the role that he may desire for you to serve in. And the only way you can do that, and this would be true for any of us, is for you to understand what's there. You need to know the assets and liabilities. You need to know where the information is about all the various accounts that he has. You need to know what his wishes are and where those legal instruments are so you could carry out your responsibilities effectively, which, you know, it would be happening at a very difficult time.

Compass Finances God's Way, the ministry that Howard Dayton started, has a resource called Getting Your House in Order, and that might be a really helpful tool that would have some worksheets, Sue, that you could use, you know, as a starting place just to know what information to collect and have it all in one place. And I'd be delighted to send you that resource, you know, as a helpful tool. That'll be our gift to you. And then I would just pray and ask the Lord to, you know, allow him to receive it in the spirit in which you're approaching it, which is just to be helpful and to be ready and prepared to serve in any role he's called you to, and then have the conversation. Does that make sense?

Oh, it sure does. And this was what I was hoping, just how to get that conversation started, but also to gather the necessary information. So thank you very much. You're very welcome.

Absolutely. So you stay right on the line there. We'll get your information and get that resource, Setting Your House in Order, right out to you. Thanks for your call today.

Let's go to Florida. Hi, Beth. Go ahead. Oh, hi, Rob. Thank you so much for taking my call.

I really appreciate it. So I am 59 and a half years old. I'll be 60 in July of this year. My husband passed away about a year and a half ago suddenly, and I had a small life insurance policy that I was able to get, and it's gotten me through these two years until I turned 60 and I could actually start collecting on his social security. My question is, I was listening to your show today and you were saying 10 to 12 times my salary to have for a 401k.

I'm not even like, it's just crazy. It's mind-boggling to me to think about how far I am away from being ready for any of this stuff, but here I am, you know, and I've got to get, I've got to start making some choices here. My question is, do you think I should start collecting his social security when I turn 60 to supplement my income? Because there's no way I can make it on my own income right now at the job that I've had for 15 years.

I cannot do it alone. So I thought what I'd do is I'd collect on the social security and maybe work part-time, and I should be okay that way. I also have a home that I own that we own together that we don't have a mortgage on.

It's paid off, so it's worth about 260,000. I don't know if I should, you know, sell that. I don't know what to do, frankly. I'm at a crossroads now, yeah. Yeah, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's passing, Beth, and I know this can be challenging as not only you deal with that, but then on, you know, the financial responsibilities on top of it.

I'd love for you to have somebody that could walk alongside you in this that could be an encouragement to you, help you make some of these decisions from a financial standpoint. And do you all have an advisor that you've worked with, or have you had a relationship in the past? No. Okay. No, I don't have my 401k through work, and that's it, you know.

Okay, yeah. Did you get, were there any life insurance proceeds that came? Just the one, it was a small, a small amount that is definitely going to run out here in July of this year. It was my supplement for these two years of me getting to 60, yeah. I see.

Okay, yeah, very good. And tell me about the home. Do you feel like it's where you would like to stay? Is it more than you need? Are you going to downsize anyway?

What are your thoughts there? No, it's so, I love the home. I mean, I would love to stay there. It's mortgage-free. I just feel it's 30 years old, so maybe things will start going wrong, and I have to start thinking, you know, that way too. Maybe I bring somebody in to rent a room.

It's a three-bedroom. I only have my grown son with me now. He'll be leaving shortly, I'm sure. Yeah.

Okay, so a couple of thoughts here. I mean, certainly you could take the survivor's benefits. You would be eligible for that at age 60. They're going to be reduced, though, by about a little less than half a percent for each month you take it before full retirement age, which is 67. So that could bring it down as much as 40%. So you'd get 60% of the full retirement age benefit, and that's going to be locked in. So obviously, we'd love to delay that as much as possible because that base of income, the higher that it is for the rest of your life, is going to be really helpful. So I think, you know, being able to work enough, if you can, to meet your monthly needs and delay that would be really critical.

The other option to consider, and again, this is part of what could be discussed as a part of a planning engagement with an advisor, and my conversation with you is not intended to replace that because we only have a couple of minutes together, but I'm just throwing out some ideas. Another, if you wanted to stay in the home, is a reverse mortgage. Now, we often talk about here on this program getting out of debt and staying out of debt, and I think that's great.

I'm a big fan of that, especially if that's your conviction. There is a way, though, I think, and there's an appropriate place as a planning tool to use a reverse mortgage, and basically here's what it is. With a reverse mortgage, it's called non-recourse debt, which just simply means with a traditional mortgage or any other kind of loan, you put collateral up, but then beyond the collateral, you're personally responsible for it. That's not the case with a reverse mortgage. Basically, the government is ensuring that if they pay out more to you over your life than the home is worth, they're going to cover the difference, so you can never owe more than the value of the home. Now, that could be given to you as a monthly income stream, and it would continue. It goes all the way up to 150 years old, so the idea is that you'd never live past it. Now, you would be responsible for the homeowner's insurance and the taxes, but as long as those were paid, you could get an income stream out of that.

You could get just a line of credit where you could take it as you need it, but you really need consistent income, and that's where you'd have to wait until you're at least 62, but that would give you at least at 62 the ability to start to get an income stream that if you could work until then to cover your bills, could allow you to delay that social security as long as you can to get that up, and then if you wanted to, you could just stop taking the reverse mortgage income, and whatever you owed at that point would continue to grow at a prevailing interest rate that would be very consistent with conventional rates, but you wouldn't have to continue to take that income if you didn't want to. Does that make sense? It does. It does make sense.

It really does. So, I think we just need to look through all of these options and figure out how do we put these pieces together. It's going to be a combination of you, the Lord providing the income that you need and your ability to work and cover your bills, a combination of the right time to take social security, and then I threw out a third option, which again, you'd need to pray through it and think through it, but perhaps a reverse mortgage at 62 is an option as well, and our friends at Movement Mortgage, slash faith can help with that. So, let me direct you to a certified kingdom advisor, Beth. I'd also be willing to connect and pay for a certified Christian financial counselor to meet with you just to try to get your financial house in order and get you on a budget. So, stay on the line. Let's talk a little bit more off the air. We appreciate your call. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Lynn, Amy, Tahir, and Jim. Couldn't do it without them. See you tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 01:57:52 / 2024-02-20 02:14:58 / 17

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