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The Best Investment I’ve Ever Made

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2024 5:15 pm

The Best Investment I’ve Ever Made

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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February 12, 2024 5:15 pm

In Luke 16, we find the Parable of the Shrewd Manager, and that’s where Jesus instructs His disciples on a critical part of evangelism—using worldly wealth with eternity in mind. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Rachel McDonough to share a compelling story about putting that principle into practice. Then Rob will answer some calls and various financial questions.

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Today's version of Faith in Finance Live is prerecorded, so our phone lines are not open. I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings. Luke 16, 9.

I am Rob West. In that verse in the parable of the shrewd manager, Jesus instructs his disciples on a critical part of evangelism, using worldly wealth with eternity in mind. Rachel McDonough joins us today with a compelling story about putting that to practice. Then we have some great calls lined up, but please don't call in today, because we're prerecorded. This is Faith in Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, my friend Rachel McDonough is our guest today.

She's a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor and a regular FaithFi contributor. Rachel, great to have you back with us. Thanks, Rob.

Glad to be here. Rachel, when you're with us, we often talk about investing, and we're going to do that today, but from a different vantage point. In fact, I know to kick us off, you have an incredible story that you call the best investment you ever made. I'm excited to hear it.

Yeah, this one is not an investment in stocks or bonds. So I've never met anyone more hostile than this so-called witch I met in St. Paul, Minnesota several years ago. I've also never seen a hardened heart melt faster than hers did, all because of a small $35 investment. Okay, I'm ready to hear this. Now, by the way, you're not calling this lady a witch. I guess that's how she referred to herself, right?

That's right. So here's the story. I was at an evangelism conference that included a time for ministering out in the streets.

Not my normal comfort zone, but I decided to try it. We went out in pairs to share the gospel, and my friends and I spotted her and really felt drawn to her. She saw us coming right away and started shouting some words that I will not even be able to repeat. Stay away from me.

I don't believe what you believe. I am a witch, she yelled. Wow, I can imagine that was a little unsettling. Yes, my heart was certainly racing, but we just couldn't turn away.

We felt certain that there was a child inside that Jesus had died to save, and somehow God gave us courage to keep going. So as we crossed the street over there to visit with her, she said, or we just told her, I don't want to argue with you or try to get you to believe what we believe, but is there anything at all that we can do to bless or help you today? She paused for a minute and then kind of grunted, you can pay my phone bill. But we should have said, to her surprise, we just said, well, we'd love to pay your phone bill. How much is it?

It's $35. So as we handed her the cash, we just saw this dramatic transformation where she really started to melt. And she's told us, I would never set foot into a church. We said, yes, that's why the Lord sent the church to come and find you today.

He loves you and wants you to be part of his family. Well, she wept openly and shared her painful story about how she was abused in the church long ago, and just was so happy for us to pray with her and hug her and share the love of God with her all for a mere $35. Wow, that's a powerful story. And I think just a great reminder, Rachel, of how we can be the hands and feet of Jesus. And it doesn't have to involve thousands of dollars when we're meeting a physical need. A simple act of generosity can really be an open door to a gospel conversation, right? That's exactly right.

I love it. Well, I know we're going to continue to unpack this today. You've got some other stories for us. But Rachel, as a certified financial planner and certified kingdom advisor, you meet with lots and lots of clients. And I know generosity is kind of built into your planning process. So to set the stage for what we're going to hear down the road, I think the big idea here is that we need to be open to the leading of the Lord. But we also need to be intentional.

We need to have a plan. And I know you see that play out in your planning process with your clients all the time, right? Yeah, I think there's really an opportunity for some plans spontaneity.

And we'll get into what that might look like in a couple of other examples. Okay, planned spontaneity. And for those who like to always have everything locked down and that plan all buttoned up, perhaps this is a chance for you to get a little more flexible, maybe a little more open to what God may have if you just look at the people on your path and see how God might use you as you're a steward of his resources. We're talking today with Rachel McDonough. She's a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor and talking investments today, but not stocks and bonds. We're talking about investing in eternity and how you can be involved in everyday generosity.

Back with much more with Rachel McDonough just around the corner. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance Live. We'll be right back. It's great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. We're talking today about investing in eternity, how a simple act of generosity can open the door to gospel conversations. Joining me today, my good friend Rachel McDonough. She's a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor. She's a regular contributor on this program. And Rachel, just before the break, you were sharing with us a story of how you went out outside of your comfort zone as a part of an evangelism conference to have some gospel conversations and a simple act of generosity to pay somebody's phone bill who was very hostile to the gospel caused her heart to melt and led to a wonderful conversation and only heaven will tell us what the ultimate result of that conversation was. But that's an opportunity that perhaps some of us miss. And I think stories that illustrate that are a powerful reminder to all of us. Do you have a few other examples of this type of investing in evangelism?

Yeah, I do, Rob. And I also just want to say, wow, this is challenging for me. I mean, I gave an example from my own life, but I pray that this becomes a more common occurrence for me. So if you heard that story and you felt a little intimidated, you're not alone.

But we need to take steps outside of our comfort zone and just be on adventure with God and tune into his heart for the people around us. So these next two examples come from clients. The first one is one of the clients I work with shared a story of visiting a small park by her home. And she noticed when she pulled into the parking lot, there was a rundown minivan with lots of Jesus bumper stickers and different things on it. And when she walked into the park, she saw a group of eight kids of different races and ages playing a game of baseball with two adults. And when she saw it, she just was pretty sure either this was a foster family or an adopting family. And she was really feeling the nudge of the Holy Spirit to give them $500. And after meeting the mother and just kind of awkwardly handing her a check, you know, she wasn't quite sure what to say, but she just went ahead and did it anyway. Well, she got to hear their story of how they were fostering kids so that they might share the love of God with them.

And they were actually in a significant financial crisis. So that $500 was a huge answer to their kind of desperate and frantic prayers. And how powerful to just see those tangible examples when we're partnering with God and co-laboring with him.

Yeah, that's right. Another example that I have to share, this one is less spontaneous in nature. So if any of you are kind of gritting your teeth with the idea of having to go talk to strangers, this one might feel better for you. This couple is a couple that we work with out of New York, and they're currently considering putting a $100,000 investment into their backyard to give an update to their landscaping and install a pool. And their motivation for this is that they want to be the ideal hangout spot for all of their kids' friends. And they're actively looking for ways to reach out and build relationships with the next generation, demonstrating the love of God to them and sharing the hope of the gospel. Wow. Yeah, that's powerful. You know, and I think it really illustrates the opportunity we have to think about what God has entrusted to us and how we can use it for his glory. And that could be paying the $35 cell phone bill. It could be putting in a $100,000 pool to create an environment to minister to kids or everything in between.

But it really requires us to be intentional and thoughtful about how we're going to allow the Lord to use us, right? It does. But even just a couple of simple ideas just to get us brainstorming a bit. Sure. What if we just paid for someone's groceries or left a generous tip and combined that with a brief but meaningful conversation?

This is the part that gets uncomfortable for people. But it could be as simple as just saying, Jesus loves you as you give your gift. God loves you. God is good. And he knows that you're here. He sees you and he cares about you.

It doesn't have to be long and complicated. Yeah, that's exactly right. You know, Rachel, I know one of the other things that you've been compelled to do is to think about intentionality with regard to our spending plans. And a lot of folks as we start a new year are thinking about perhaps getting back on that budget or maybe for the first time creating that spending plan. And how can we be intentional to build this in to our regular financial rhythm? Yeah, this is really it is investing in eternity. We are storing up treasures in heaven when we behave in this way, as our worldly wealth can be invested to win souls, which are the true riches referred to in Luke 16 11. But it starts with a budgeting line item, right? Just having a little bit of money set aside intentionally for the expansion of God's family.

And the Great Commission is really the one calling that we've all received from God already. So it doesn't have to be spontaneous. But I would encourage some semi-planned spontaneity so that you've got the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and know that there's some money set aside to allow you to do this type of ministry. Having the budget set aside ahead of time does three things for us. First, it will remove the hesitation that you might feel as you consider what you maybe can or cannot afford to give.

That way, when a spontaneous opportunity is spotted, you'll be ready to go. Secondly, it'll prevent miscommunication with your spouse if you've both agreed together beforehand, that this is a priority for your family and you've agreed upon an amount. And then third, it will make investing in souls an intentional part of your ongoing lifestyle if it's a part of your ongoing budget. Now, friends, I know of no better way to stay in close life union with God than to take steps to actively grow his family. God cares about people, and He shows up when we step out in faith to fulfill the Great Commission. His definition of true riches is souls, and as his stewards, managing resources on his behalf. When we use that money to pursue souls, we find ourselves perfectly positioned for an adventure with God that can fulfill our deepest longings and fill up our neighborhood in heaven with friends for eternity.

That is well said, Rachel. Now, I know you and your husband have some little ones at home. This is also a great opportunity to model generosity and stewardship to our kids when we build this into the plan and they see us acting out of generosity and love toward others with financial means. Isn't that right? Yeah, and it's also a great way to help them begin to step outside of their comfort zone and expand their willingness to have meaningful conversations with strangers.

Yeah, that's right. Have you gotten your kids involved in this along the way? We've just started doing that a little bit, partly by just walking into a coffee shop or something together and asking them, is there anyone here that you see that you think the Lord might be having us encounter today? Anyone that you think maybe God's giving you something special to do or to share with them?

Yeah, that's exactly right. And Rachel, I know one of the things that can get in the way of this is really just our own spiritual journey. So we need to be renewing our minds. We need to be focusing on the gospel, searching the scriptures. But one of the great things that I love about God's word is that this generosity story just leaps off the page. And so if we're regularly in scripture, we're going to see generosity modeled at every turn, right?

Yes, we are. And what could be more powerful than what Jesus invited his disciples into? He said, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

So that generosity can fuel the expansion of his family through our acts of surrender and obedience. Wow, I love it. That's a great place for us to finish today. Rachel, I always appreciate your insights. And thanks for stopping by today. Thanks for having me, Rob.

God bless. That's Rachel McDonough. We've been talking about investing in eternity. Rachel is a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor.

If you want to read more from Rachel, you can read her articles at Well, folks, we're going to head to a break, but let me remind you, we're out of the studio today. Our team is not here, so don't call them, but much more to come just around the corner on Faith and Finance Live. Stick around.

This is Faith and Finance Live with Rob West. Hey, if you hear a phone number mentioned today, please ignore that number and don't call us, because today's broadcast was previously recorded. But we think the upcoming information will help you and make you a wise steward of what God's given you.

So please stay tuned. Let's head right back to the phones. To George, here we go. Stephen, you're next up. Go ahead, sir. Yes, sir.

Thank you for taking my call. I'm on the fence. I bought a lot of investment properties last year, and I've got about $150,000 to play with now. I'm debating. I don't know what to do, whether I should... The market, the housing market's a little rough right now. Everything's a little high. I'm debating on whether I'll wait to buy more property or should I lean toward paying off my personal debt.

All my properties are paid for, but I have not concentrated on lowering my debt at all. And I don't know. I'm on the fence on what the best move might be for me in the future. Yes. All right. Let's talk through that for a second here, Stephen.

It's a great question. So you've got this $150,000 nest egg, and then the personal debt that you're describing, what type of debt is it? It's just houses and vehicles. That's all. That's the only debt I have.

Okay. And is that your primary residence plus additional properties or just your primary? All my properties are paid for. That's what I've been concentrating on is just buying investment properties and generating monthly income off that. That's kind of my... That's what I do on the side. I like it.

I don't know. I'm at a crossroads right now. The housing market where I'm at in South Georgia is still pretty... Everything's pretty high. I don't know if it's best for me to wait, if there's some kind of trend that might be coming where the housing market prices may eventually drop. I just need to hold on and wait for that. Or maybe do I need to start just wiping out my own personal debt?

Yeah. Well, it's never a bad idea. I like the idea of you being debt-free. Now, I think it's great that you started with those rental properties because obviously those are cash flowing pretty well. You don't have the debt service. So I suspect that's throwing off quite a bit of surplus for you that you could use to get out of the rest of your debt. The 150,000, is that right now in savings or where is it? I've got... I kind of floated back and forth between my money market and savings right now most of it's in the money market because my interest rate's a little better.

Yeah, got it. All right. And then do you have any other retirement assets? I know you've been building your real estate assets, but do you have any stock and bond portfolios or a tax deferred retirement account? No, sir, I haven't.

I've always been a little apprehensive about stocks. I like being able to touch and see and... Have some dirt under your feet. I get it. Right.

I like the properties because that's just something that we'll appreciate in time. Yeah, very good. And then how does that 145 breakdown between your home and the vehicle? About 104,000 on the house and the rest of it is two vehicles. Okay. Yeah, great. And then what is the interest rates roughly on those three loans?

The house is about 3.7 and the vehicles are a little about four and a half. All right. And then what do you have in the way of surplus every month when you take, you know, factor in all the income that you have, including the what you're throwing off of the rental properties after you've put aside for maintenance and upkeep and marketing and of course taxes and insurance, you know, what is your true surplus personally? I'm netting, not including what I well on the rental properties, I'm netting about 5,000 a month extra income after all my overhead. And then I've got another few thousand left over from my job.

Okay. So are you thinking you have somewhere between seven and eight thousand in surplus every month? About 7,500 a month.

About 7,500 a month. Okay, good. Yeah. I mean, it seems to me like, you know, because you've got, you know, such a great portfolio that you built here, you've got so much surplus, going ahead and getting out of debt, you know, makes some sense. I'd of course start with the cars, those interest rates a little bit higher and no reason that you couldn't wipe those out. And then the great thing is, you know, given that you've got such a healthy savings account, you know, you could knock that out in, you know, five months and that's gone. And then now all of a sudden we've got the 7,500 plus those car payments that you were making. So now maybe we're up at 8,500 and now you could start to, you know, send, you know, that to the house.

And, you know, a year and a half later, that's gone. And now all of a sudden, you know, we've got 9,000, 10,000 a month that you could be putting into diversify away from real estate. So maybe you start building that stock and bond portfolio, maybe you start with an allocation of precious metals as well, alongside the stocks and bonds by funding a Roth IRA every year, you know, at a minimum.

Or if you're self-employed, you could open a, you know, a SIMPL or a SEP IRA, something like that. But I think just given your desire to, you know, own real estate, given where the market is right now with it being high and you're probably not wanting to add to it right here at the moment, you know, it probably makes sense for you to start dumping debt unless you are comfortable with the debt because it's low interest rates, because you clearly have enough to service it and you just wanted to continue to sock it away so you could pick up another property here, you know, in the next year or so. I don't see housing prices coming down anytime soon. I think that the pace of growth is going to slow, but just purely from supply and demand, housing prices are going to stay high in this country. I don't think we're in a bubble situation.

We don't have any systemic problems like we had in 2008, 2009. We're about two to three million homes short in this country just based on the need that exists today. And the housing starts, they're trying to, you know, get caught up, but those have slowed because of the high interest rates. So I think given all of that, you know, you could go either direction. You're obviously in really strong financial position. So I would say if your desire is to be ready to buy something else in the next 12 to 24 months, you know, as the time is right, you know, when the housing market continues to slow a little bit, great.

If not, let's focus on paying off that debt starting with the cars. Does that make sense? It does. Thank you. Yeah, very good. But listen, you're in great shape here, Steven. Kudos to you for just putting yourself in a really strong financial position, building your portfolio, getting that cash flow up and looking to dump debt. Don't forget the opportunity to give generously as the Lord leads as well. Folks, we're going to take another break.

Back with more right after this. I'm so thankful you've joined us today on Faith and Finance Live, where we apply the wisdom from God's word to your financial decisions and choices. Now, our team is not here today, so don't call in. But we did line up some great questions in advance that I know you'll enjoy. Let's head to Indiana. Hi, Jane. How can I help?

Hi, Rob. Thanks for taking my phone call and appreciate you very much. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

You're welcome. My question is, my mother passed away last May. My brothers, my two brothers and I inherited her estate. It is not closed yet. My brother's executor and some monies have been dispersed. We are wondering about, we've been told different stories, but will there be taxes on her estate?

It's still open. There's a little bit more money left in. Some of the land and things has been dispersed, but there is money left. We're not sure what to do with that money. We don't want to be taxed individually on personal taxes, nor do we want my mother's estate to be taxed.

Can you help me figure this out? Yes, absolutely. I mean, the good news is that there is no estate tax until you get over 13 million dollars. Well, when did the estate go and when was the date of death?

May 10th of 2023. Yes. Got it. Yeah. That's my mother's death. Okay.

Yeah. So for 2023, the federal estate tax, it doesn't kick in until an estate is worth more than 12.9 million dollars. So you've got quite a bit of room there, unless it was just a massive estate over nearly 13 million. There is no estate tax that would be paid and there is no inheritance tax. So the amount that you received would not be taxable as well.

Now, obviously there's a process that your brother had to follow by filing with the probate court and as the executor, settling any debts and then distributing in a timely manner, the assets of the estate. But in terms of the estate paying estate tax, there is none federally until it gets above 12.9 million and there is no inheritance tax. So you certainly wouldn't have any. All right. I think that's exact. I think that that's what we had heard earlier and I just wanted to make sure. And now this first state need to be closed by May 10th, 2024. Is that right? We have a year.

My brother has a year to finish everything up. And then is that correct? Yeah.

So you've got to me typically. No, it's there's not a hard 12 month deadline there. Probate can take some time, anywhere from 12 to even 18 months, depending upon the estate size and complexity. So, I mean, you certainly would want to check with the probate court and just see there in the state of Indiana, whether there's any kind of rules there.

But typically it can take a while and there is no set time that it has to be done by. Okay. Thank you.

One question more and then I'll be finished. I've been hearing you talk about, I listen to you all the time, probate. This was just handled by a local lawyer.

Everything's gone smoothly and everything. This is just handled by a local lawyer. He deeded out the properties and this and that. Is that what you mean when you say probate?

Yes. Well, so typically what would happen is you would file with the probate court once after the death occurs. And then the court has to be involved. You file a petition to probate the will with the probate court in your state. You pay the filing fees and then the court oversees that process. So has all that been done by your brother?

I assume it has. Well, like I said, everything was just handled by a lawyer. Okay. We didn't, as far as I know, the lawyer handled, you know, I was deeded a certain amount of property. My brother was deeded a certain amount of property. Money's went, you know, my brother dispersed that, but it was all done through a local lawyer.

That was my mother and father's. Great. Perfect.

Yeah. So he would have taken care of that. So he would have followed the steps to, you know, start the probate process by filing the petition with the probate court. That then triggers the notification to all the heirs and the beneficiaries.

And then he would probably have worked with your brother to identify the assets and the debts, pay the debts and then distribute the assets. I mean, those are basically the steps there. Yes, ma'am. Yes, correct.

That's exactly what was done. Okay. You have helped me so much. I thank you. God bless you and continue on sir. Well, thank you, Jane. I appreciate your call today and thanks for your words of encouragement. That means a lot.

Now let's go to Texas. Linda, how can I help you today? Thank you. I have a large loan that my husband died and left a huge debt and I paid off. It was $25,000. I paid off $12,000 in a little less than a year and a half. I've just been pounding it. Well, I have it down to $13,000 now and I'm paying $250 more per month than what the payment is.

And I'm wondering, should I ask them to take that $250 off of the principal or shall I just make that large payment? Yeah. Okay. So let me just make sure I'm clear here. So first of all, Linda, and thanks for that background information. That was really helpful.

This is a personal loan. Is that right? Yes. Okay.

Okay. So you owe this to an individual? I owe it to a credit union. Oh, a credit union.

Okay. But it's not a credit card. It's just a signature loan that you got? No, no, it's just a signature loan. Okay. And what is the interest rate on it?

It's 6.50, I believe. Okay. Yeah. So not, not a terrible rate, especially by today's standards, but okay. Yeah.

But something clearly you want to get rid of. So I'm delighted to hear you paid down so much so quickly. So you've got 13,000 remaining on the 25,000 and you're sending the scheduled monthly payment plus 250 every month, correct? Yes.

Okay. So that should already be being applied to the principal every time you make the payment. Now you may want to double check that and make sure they're not putting it on the end or something like that, but essentially that scheduled payment is covering your interest plus any principal that's built into the payment. And then the 250 on top of that is going right to principal reduction and that's great. So now you're accelerating the payoff.

Now is your question, should I accelerate it even further or where's, uh, where are you getting tripped up here? Well, the reason why I ask is because I had a little bit of extra money, so I sent them a thousand dollars extra and she said, do you want me to apply this to the payment or to the interest? And so I didn't know if they did not apply that everything over and above my payment to principal. Yeah.

Let me just ask a clarifying question. Did she ask, do you want me to apply it to your payment or to principal or did she say, do you want me to apply it to your payment or to interest? She said, do you want me to apply it to your payment or to principal? Okay.

Or to principal. Yeah. So here's what she's saying there. Um, you know, you have to make your scheduled monthly payment every month, right? And that has built into it a portion to interest probably and a portion to principal. Um, now what she's saying, whenever you send a number that's higher than, uh, than that, she's saying, is this an extra payment? And therefore you want the whole thousand to go to principal and you're still going to send your monthly payment separately, or are you sending a thousand and were to take your scheduled payment out of it and then whatever's left over, apply that to principal. So she was probably just clarifying your payment schedule and whether this thousand was truly all the principal and you're still going to send your payment or whether you've just kind of baked your payment into it. The bottom line is, as long as you make at least your scheduled monthly payment every month, you're on track. And then anything you send above that is going to go to principal and you can check your statement or log in online every month to verify that. Does that make sense?

Yes, it does. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. You're welcome, Linda. Listen, keep up the good work. You're doing great. You're going to get there, uh, before you know it.

And I know that'll feel really good. Thanks for your call today. This is our final segment of a faith and finance live program that we previously recorded. Thanks so much for being with us today, and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of the program.

A quick email before we head back to the phones. This one comes to us from Emily, by the way, if you have a question you'd like read on the air, we'd love to hear from you. Send it along to askrob at

That's askrob at Emily writes, I'm employed and currently receiving social security income. I tithe on my salary.

Should I also tithe on my social security income? I love your program and listen at work. Thanks.

And Emily, thanks for this question. Clearly, you're wanting to be a generous sower, be faithful in your giving to the Lord. And I appreciate that.

Here's my perspective. First of all, the tithe is a great beginning point for our giving. We're no longer under the law of Moses, and yet I think we should give proportionately. We see that in the New Testament for sure.

We should give sacrificially. And so, starting with this idea that we would recognize God's ownership and give in proportion to our income, the tithe is a great principle to apply to that. So you would give, in the case of a tithe, a tenth of your increase. The question is, is your social security increase? If you tithed on your gross income throughout your working life, clearly a portion of what you're getting from social security is a return of what you put into the system.

The challenge is, it would take an army of CPAs to figure out what portion is yours, what portion was your employer's contribution, because remember, they paid half of the FICA tax, and then what portion was the growth that occurred while it was in there? And so I think for that reason, I would probably take the perspective that let's look at anything we receive from the Lord as a gracious gift from the Lord, no matter what its source was, whether it's SSI or social security or disability or an inheritance or a paycheck, and just say, Lord, I'm going to demonstrate my trust in you as my provider, knowing that your provision is complete, and I want to be partnered with you in giving in proportion to how you prospered me. That would be the approach that I would take as opposed to trying to figure out what portion falls into which bucket. But at the end of the day, Emily, I realize that the heart behind this is that you want to honor the Lord. And so I would just be on your knees. If you're married, you and your husband, just asking the Lord, what would you have me to do? And I think as long as you follow the leading of the Lord, you give cheerfully out as an act of worship.

I don't think the percentage or checking a box is really the most important thing. So hopefully that's helpful to you as you think and pray through this. All right, let's head back to the phones. To South Carolina we go.

Hi, Gina. How can I help? My uncle passed away January 1st of this year. He and my aunt owned a vehicle, but it was financed in his name only. There is money still owed on the vehicle. How does she need to handle that to, you know, make sure she can finish paying for the vehicle and get it in her name? Yeah, well, so this would normally be handled as a part of the probate process. So normally the title submitted would be issued in the name of the deceased owner, and then, you know, the title then can be applied for in the inheritor's name, you know, once that process is taken care of. So obviously, you know, she would likely be the one inheriting, either because it's named in the will or just by virtue of their marriage, anything that was his, including this car.

So what would happen is, you know, as a part of that process with the estate documents in place and the death certificate, she should be able to then retitle that in her name as a part of that process. Who is the executor? Is she the executor on the estate? I'm not sure. She just got the death certificates back, and she really wants to handle this in her will.

That was going to be my next question. Does the estate need to be executed? They own the home and this vehicle, and that is all the property that they had, and I believe in the will. It states that he inherits everything as far as that goes.

Yes, ma'am. Well, you know, everything, normally the state will require that the will be filed with the probate court, and then, you know, it's possible to avoid the probate process, especially because, you know, this is such a simple situation. What she could do would just be to take the death certificate, you know, to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the county office and, you know, just talk to them about what would happen and how she should go about it. I mean, typically the estate goes through the probate process.

There are some circumstances that allow you to bypass that if it's smaller. So is there an estate attorney, perhaps the person who did the will that she could reach out to and just find out, given how simple this is, you know, what her next step should be? Most likely, and I'm the one helping her with that. She was wanting to contact the finance company because there is still money owed, and I didn't want her to have to refinance it. She is on a fixed income, and he mainly made annual payments on the vehicle. He received a lump sum inheritance every January, so the last two years, he would, you know, make an annual payment on the car. So at this point, she's got to make payments, but she don't want to make payments on a car if she's not going to be able to keep it due to the finance company not allowing her to, you know, to continue paying as it can afford much more as far as the payment goes. Yeah, very good. Well, I think what I would encourage her to do is, as a next step, just reach out to that attorney that drafted the will in the first place and have that attorney just counsel you and your aunt on the next steps just related just related to the laws there in South Carolina.

If it's a very simple situation and a smaller estate, which clearly it is, there could just be a simple affidavit from the court that she would then present to the, in this case, the financial institution related to the car and then work with the servicer plus the county to get that title moved over, and then she can resume the payments as well. And obviously, we need to keep the payments current anyway, you know, coming from the estate even before she gets it moved over into her name. Okay, all right. Thank you very much. All right, Gina. We appreciate your call today. Thank you very much. Let's head to, let's see here.

Diane is in Alabama. Go right ahead. Hello. Thank you for taking my call.

Sure. My husband and I have built a house two years ago and, of course, went a little over budget, so I borrowed $30,000 from our retirement fund. We're paying it back, $1,000 a month. We've got it down to $20,000. Now, I am saving, trying to build back up my emergency fund, and I have $17,000 in it. My husband suggested the other day, maybe we should take some of that emergency fund and put it back, maybe $10,000 put back into our loan, and we would be making more interest. Right now, we're making hardly no interest on the savings account.

What do you say? Yeah, well, I'd like for you to have the liquidity that comes with that emergency fund as opposed to trying to, you know, accelerate that payback because the reality is the interest you're paying on that, did you borrow it from a 401k or what did you borrow it from? A 403b.

403b. Okay, so the interest you're paying on that you're paying to yourself. Now, what you may want to do, though, is consider moving that emergency fund, which is $17,000 today, and you're continuing to add to it, to a high yield savings account that gives you a little better rate of return. And what I would typically advise folks to do is leave your checking account right where it is where you probably have a long standing relationship, but open an online savings account with an online bank that's FDIC insured, link it to your checking account electronically, and then you can move money back and forth at no cost through the ACH system. So what I would typically advise folks to do is go to, find the online bank. With FDIC insurance, it's paying the best rate.

And you know, you'll find some some pretty attractive rates right now. I mean, with high yield savings, I mean, you can get 4.6, you can even get as much as 5%. Right now, with full liquidity, I mean, it's it's really just a savings account with that FDIC insurance. And so and then you link it up to your checking account. That way, you've got the money liquid and available. If something unexpected came, you don't have to go back to the 401k and borrow again.

But you're also getting a better rate of return while you're while the money's sitting there. Does that make sense? Oh, it does.

Thank you so much. I didn't know that. And so at, if I were to put my savings in an account there, you can all use a different bank to do the transferring. That's right.

Yeah. So is just going to list. It's not the bank itself. It's just going to list all the banks that have the very best rates right now. So when you get there, right there at the top of the page, you'll click high yield savings, and then you'll see a list of all of all the banks that have the very best rate. So CIT Bank right now is offering 5.05. And you'll see American Express and you'll see SoFi.

And you know, a lot of these that have synchrony is offering four and three quarters right now. Any of those with FDIC insurance, I would be comfortable with you opening a savings account. And then once you do it, you'll connect it to your checking account electronically. And then that way, you just move the money back and forth as you need it. Even if it's two different banks. Absolutely. Yes, through through the ACH system.

It'll take two to three days each time you move money. But but there won't be any fees and it'll be very safe to do. Oh, wonderful.

I didn't know about that. Thank you so much. All right. You're welcome, Diane. Thanks for your call today. We appreciate you being on the program today. And folks, we appreciate you listening to the program today. You know, we covered a lot of ground today. And our goal in all of it was to be an encouragement to you to help you process biblical truth in light of your financial decisions and choices. Let me say thanks to my team today. Amy, Dan, Jim and Gabby T couldn't do it without them. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith Buy. We'll see you next time. Until then,
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-12 19:13:17 / 2024-02-12 19:30:04 / 17

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