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Right Financial Lifestyle for a Christian

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
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March 6, 2024 5:38 pm

Right Financial Lifestyle for a Christian

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 6, 2024 5:38 pm

Are you living a Christian lifestyle with your finances? It’s not about how much or how little you have. Living a Christian lifestyle means you have the right attitude about money. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Ron Blue to explore what the Bible says about the right financial lifestyle for a Christian. Then Rob will tackle your calls and questions. 

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Are you living a Christian lifestyle without faith? Ask a card or call 1-800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Well, it's always a privilege to welcome Ron Blue to the program. Ron is the co-founder of Kingdom Advisors and author of an arm full of books on biblical finance. Ron, always great to have you with us. Well, we look forward to it, Ron, each time, and I'd love for you to weigh in on this. Ron, you'd think that something as fundamental as how a Christian should live with regard to money wouldn't be controversial, but perhaps it is for many.

Oh, there's no question, Rob. You can have poverty on one end, and you can have super luxury on the other end, and neither are right or wrong, necessarily. It's one, however, that causes terrific controversy, and I think it also causes a lot of frustration in the lives of those who want to be obedient, so what does obedience mean when it comes to lifestyle? That's a big deal.

Yeah. Well, and we can look at Scripture and see a whole range. I mean, we saw plenty of people in God's Word that had incredible wealth, people that really were pursuing the Lord, and others, and you might think of the widow's mite, that lived very meagerly. In fact, she gave out of her poverty, so what can we take away from that?

Well, it's true. She did give out of her poverty, but it's kind of missing the point in that passage, and Jesus isn't saying that she was righteous because she was poor, but because she gave everything she had, it wouldn't matter if it were a little or a lot, she gave it all, and that's the real point of that particular passage. It's not an amount, and it's not a lifestyle. It was, in her particular case, Jesus determined that it was her attitude and conviction. So that's what really did the issue, is what is my conviction when it comes to lifestyle?

Yeah. And obviously, at the other end of that spectrum is the prosperity gospel. That's not a biblical model as well, is it? No, absolutely not, and a lot of times people use Luke 6.38, giving away, given to you, good measure, pressed down, and so forth. But that verse is not about money. It's about forgiveness, and so when you use that verse and equate it to money, you're missing the point because the verse right before it, Jesus says, judge not and you will not be judged, condemn not and you will not be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven, and then you'd say, okay, give what? Give forgiveness and it will be given to you. So they misinterpret that, if you will, I think.

Yeah, very helpful. All right, so then where do we look in Scripture and find the appropriate financial lifestyle for a believer? Well, I always go to 1 and 2 Timothy because Paul is about the only one that talks about lifestyle and he says in the book of Philippians, I know what it is to have need and I know what it is to have plenty, but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. So it wasn't a lifestyle issue, it was, once again, an attitude and obedience issue. He said, whatever God chooses to give me, I'll be content with that. And he learned how, whether it's a little bit, like when he was in jail, or whether it was a lot, like probably when he was working. So they misinterpret that verse also many, many times.

That's really helpful. All right, so then what are some of those characteristics of the Christian lifestyle? Well, if you take a look at 1 and 2 Timothy, I think you'll find three things. Number one is that you're commanded to provide for your family.

That's one. So what does provision mean? Secondly, it says God has given us all things to enjoy, but it ties it back to giving in that particular case also. And third is to ask yourself the question, am I content? He says in Hebrews 13, 5, be content with what you have.

So to me, lifestyle revolves around providing for my family, enjoying what God gives me, and living in contentment. Wow. And that's, to me, the end of the summary of it all. Yeah, I think that's exactly right.

It would be helpful if he said, live on 68.2% of your income. He doesn't do that, so we have to go to him in prayer, right, Ron? That's exactly right, Ron. Thanks for having me. All right. Thanks for joining us today.

That's Ron Blue. We're talking the Christian lifestyle today, and we're going to continue on right after this break with your calls and questions on anything financial, the number 800-525-7000. Call right now, 800-525-7000. Stick around. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal, or other professional who understands your specific situation. Well, thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. It's time to take your calls and questions today.

The rest of the program is yours for the questions you have on anything financial at 800-525-7000. The calls are coming in, but we've got, at least at this moment, room for several more, so we'd love to know what you're thinking about today. Let's dive in.

We're going to begin today in Chicago, WMBI. Hi, Helen. Go right ahead. Hi.

Hi, Rob. I just want to thank you for all of your advice. I've been listening to Larry Burkett for 30 years, so yeah, so the question I have is, my husband and I are 1663, he's 63, and we actually have a sizable 401K. We actually went through Kingdom Advisor with Ron Blue a couple years back, planned it out, but we're kind of 401K, and I don't want to put quotes on it, rich, but cash poor, because we need repairs on our house, electric, roof, we kind of put those off a little and we want to be good stewards, but just raising the cash, we paid our house off, and we have about an extra couple thousand a month, just saving will take several years, so we don't want to, we give like still 15% to 401K, but where do we, I mean, I don't want to raid the 401K, it's close to 2 million, and we don't want to, and I have a pension that'll increase 3%, so retirement looks okay, it's just working on our house, and to be honest, we don't want to go back in debt, so I feel like we're in a conundrum here.

Yeah, yeah, no, I completely understand. What is the total spend, do you think, on the repairs and renovations? I would think with the basement, which we have to do a crack sewer at the insurance will pay for that, and electric, maybe close to about a hundred thousand.

Oh wow, okay. Yeah, I'm thinking, because we put kids through college, you know, all of that, and just kept putting to the 401K and retirement, but I didn't take care of the house, well we did, but just these are things we should take care of. Yeah, yeah, and what's the timing on this, I mean, is this pretty imminent, or could you do it over the next, let's say 12 months? Yeah, we could do it over the next 12 months, yeah, I mean the only thing is the electric is always, we have a quota of about 15 to 20,000 on that, to redo all of that, so we'd like to get that going. Sure, and if you were to stop putting anything additional into the 401K, could you get that 2,000 a month surplus up?

Yes, yes, it's just that. What could you get it up to? Probably another 1,000, it's just the tax bite at my husband's salary, he's still working, it's just this interplay between, we give a lot to charity too, but we just can't get the tax right down, so I feel like I'm, you know, we could stop doing the 401K, because we have traditional, but the taxes are good. Well there's a solution to that, Helen, and that's just make less money, and you'll pay less taxes. I know, so this is a good problem.

It's a good problem, I'm joking with you. So a couple of options here, but let me ask one further question related to the debt. I understand you don't want to take on any debt, you've worked hard to become debt-free, and that's a great thing, but would you call that really a conviction from the Lord, or is it just, you know, we just can't stomach pay in the interest, but we're willing to do it if that makes the most sense on paper. Help me understand kind of where you're at with the debt piece.

Sure, sure. I just feel, I mean, it feels good to not have a mortgage, and just, I have a conviction from the Lord, but I guess where do we, do we get an interest loan, and I just, because a HELOC, I mean a home equity, we have plenty of equity, about $500,000 in the house, but just, just, I don't want to get at these rates, and so. Well what I would typically say in a situation like this is, let's, you know, suspend putting money into the 401k, because you feel like you're on track with regard to your pension and the assets you've already accumulated. Let's bump that $3,000 a month extra to your savings, and let's try to cash flow this as much as possible, you know, in terms of paying for this over time. I mean, you'd have $36,000 over the next 12 months that you could put toward this, and what I would do is get a home equity line of credit. Normally we'd say a home equity loan, but with these high interest rates, a line of credit would allow you to pull that money out only as you need it, and it would allow you to ride the interest rates back down as they come back down, and we think they will over the next 12 to 24 months, and so that gives you the ability to kind of come down with the interest rates, which you wouldn't have with the loan, because the line of credit is going to have a variable rate that's pegged to prime, and because you have so much equity and you probably have a great credit score, you're going to qualify for the very best rate, hopefully, you know, prime plus zero or prime plus a half a point or something like that, and then just try to really focus on paying this off as quick as you can. I mean, option B is, if you just really say, hey, we just have a conviction, we want to do this without debt, well, you know, you'd either have to put it off instead of 12 months, maybe you do it over the next three years, or you go ahead and, you know, either borrow from the 401k or pull the money out of the 401k, you wouldn't have a penalty, but of course, your tax problem gets bigger because now you're adding more to your taxable income, so I'd probably, although I don't normally recommend this in your case, I might borrow it from the 401k simply because, you know, you guys are in a situation where you're going to pay this back and, you know, for all intents and purposes, there's no scenario where you don't have this fully paid for in three years.

The question is just how are we going to float it between now and then, you know, given the fact that, you know, you don't have the hundred thousand set aside right now, and, you know, you're looking to borrow as little as possible, if even anything, but give me your thoughts on all that. Yeah, that's, I didn't, you know, the equity line credit, I do have a question, is that then tax deductible? I mean, do I, can I deduct on the interest? If we do, we are paying, I thought so, right? Yeah. So do you all, do you all itemize your taxes? Yeah.

Cause we give up to about 20% of, yeah, you absolutely can deduct the interest on a HELOC for sure. Okay. Okay. Well, yeah, that sounds, I'm going to talk it over with my, pray with my husband. It just felt like we were a little stuck because we just got out of the debt and it just feels good. Yeah.

Oh, I know Helen. And don't get me wrong. I love the fact that you're debt free. I'm not trying to encourage you to run back into it, but I also understand we've got some of these things that some are more imminent than others. So I would say maybe develop a timeline that says, Hey, let's delay as many of these things as we can. Let's start saving in earnest every month. Let's maybe even open a separate savings account. And in our minds, that's our, you know, home renovation fund. And we're just going to automatically transfer whatever we can 2000 or 3000 if we suspend temporarily future contributions to the 401k. And we're going to try to cashflow this thing as much as we can, but we're going to have that line of credit to back us up.

If there are a few things we need to do along the way, we haven't yet raised the cash for it. Great. Yeah.

Sounds like a good idea. Thank you so much. You're welcome, Helen. And thanks for mentioning Larry Burkett. I'll tell you, there's not a week that goes by that somebody doesn't mention Larry and the impact he's had on their lives. You know, he passed away in 2003.

We're over 20 years now beyond Larry's passing. And yet, it's just amazing how God has used his ministry in countless lives. And it's an honor to be able to continue just a small piece of that here on this program every day. May the Lord bless you, Helen. Call anytime. Folks, we're just getting started here.

We've got a lot more to come. Call right now with three lines open, 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West, and we'll be right back. Grateful to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today, and we're just about full with questions. We've got room for one more, so let's dive right back in. We'll go out to St. Louis, Missouri.

Hi, Joyce. Go right ahead. Hey, I wanted to find out more about the digital currency and if all the banks will be involved with it. And if we didn't want to participate in it, do we have any options?

Yeah. You know, there's just no way to tell at this point because it's not something that's currently available. Basically, a central bank digital currency, what's also called a CBDC, which stands for central bank digital currency, refers to the money that's a liability of the central bank. And the idea would be that it would supplement cash as legal tender. And so the Federal Reserve has said, at least, that they, in offering a central bank digital currency, that it would not replace cash or paper currency, but it would be a means of expanding safe payment options, not to reduce or replace them. So is it a good idea?

No, even despite that, I don't think so. And the reason is it would require that or any transactions that you did in the form of a central bank digital currency through the digital means would run through the Treasury. So they'd have full view of every transaction, which I just think results in them having too much information and control.

There's too much of a loss of privacy. And from that point, it's not far from that to imagine that despite what they're saying today, that there couldn't be a day in the future where they could impose social control. So let's say, despite what they're saying today, at some point in the future, they said, this is replacing cash and legal as legal tender. So you have to use the CBDC and we're going to control how you use it, meaning you have a certain allotment per month for fossil fuels.

And when you reach it, you're cut off. I mean, that's conceivable, even though, again, that's not being talked about today with respect to a central bank digital currency. So where we stand today, Joyce, is that it's still in a research phase. They've produced essentially a series of white papers at the at the request of the government, at the request of the president around the benefits of keeping the U.S. dollar, you know, competitive on the world stage, how it would help to promote greater commerce globally, how it would be beneficial for Americans just in terms of transacting business securely and immediately. But, you know, it's still years off. And again, what's being talked about today and you'd even see this on the Federal Reserve's Web site at Federal Reserve dot gov in their Q&A is that this is not meant to replace or nor would it be required that it replaces paper currency or cash. It would be supplemental. But even then, there's a lot of congressional leaders and even governors of states that have said we don't like it.

And I think they have good reason to say that. And the final thing that I'll say that is also encouraging here is that the president can't act on this alone, regardless of who the president is. It would require an act of Congress that's clear, clearly a congressional function when it comes to coinage. So you'd have to get a divided government in the form of Congress on board with this before it would ever see the light of day. And I just think that's going to be very difficult for that to take place. So given all of that, that I just said, I don't think it's anything we're going to experience any time soon, if ever. Is that helpful, though?

Yes. There has been information that an executive order was sent back in May of this past year given some degree of consent for digital currency. Yeah, but the executive branch can't act on this alone. So there's nothing the president can do or the executive branch to put a central bank digital currency in place. It requires Congress or it would not be lawful. So nothing can happen. The only thing the president has done so far is ask that the research be done to look at whether or not this is something that the United States should be involved in.

That's resulted in a series of published papers, but it's not gone any further than that. And it can't without Congress getting involved. OK. And then the gold market uses this as a drive for people to choose gold to invest in.

What do you think about that? Well, there's a lot of things that are used to market gold, including fear, because gold is really a fear trade. It's a hedge against fear and uncertainty and a falling or a declining economy.

And so I understand that. And so how somebody uses any number of narratives or talking points to market gold, I think you've always got to take that with a grain of salt, especially if they have something to sell you. Where does gold fit? I think it fits into a properly diversified portfolio as what I would call a hedge or an uncorrelated asset. See, the whole idea that we've seen in the book of Ecclesiastes from King Solomon around diversification is that we don't put all of our eggs in one basket. And so we want to spread our God's money out across various what we call asset classes. And so we have some stocks and bonds and we have cash and we have precious metals and we have real estate. And by spreading it out, we're not highly concentrated in any one asset class. So the risk level goes down.

Well, gold should be one of those. But in my view, it shouldn't be more than five to 10 percent of your portfolio for most folks. Five, because it doesn't produce any income, even though it's up high right now. You know, if you look at it at the end of the day, I mean, it's still well below where it was, you know, decades ago. Inflation adjusted. We're still five hundred dollars lower than what it sold for in nineteen seventy nine if you adjust for inflation. So it just doesn't have as much long term performance and it has more volatility than a stock and bond portfolio.

But I think there's a place for it. So what I would do is probably buy a five percent forever allocation in physical gold coins or bars and then go up to 10 percent if you want to. But I'd use one of the tracking ETFs that you can buy or sell pretty easily without the markup or the premium. And then the rest of your assets are in a properly diversified stock and bond portfolio. I think that's the more prudent approach.

And don't fall into the marketing tactics of those playing on your fear tree. Thanks for your call. Be right back. Hey, great to have you with us today on faith and finance live. I'm Rob West. Hey, share thoughts right around the corner.

That's right. If you haven't been to Moody radio dot org recently, this would be a great time for you to jump in and maybe make a gift in advance of share. That's always an encouragement to us.

But we're looking forward to celebrating what God is doing here through Moody radio next week and looking forward to inviting you to be a partner with us in that work as we invite you to be a part of our spring share a thon that's coming up next week. Hey, Julie and I use the faith five app for our budget and I'd love for you to do the same. You know, here's the reality is that when it comes to money and marriage, one of the best ways we can communicate effectively and be one of those nearly only about 23 percent of the study I was looking at over the weekend of married couples say they feel like they have a good handle on how to communicate well about money.

So that means 77 percent are saying, no, we don't have this figured out at all. Well, one of the keys to doing that is, of course, communication, but also cushion this idea that we're living on less than we earn. Well, we can never live on less than we earn unless we have a plan to control the flow of money in and out. Well, Julie and I use the faith by app for that. And we have our budget set up. We go in there and and look at any point during the month that our envelopes to see what's left in those envelopes.

And then we'll sit down, you know, a couple of times a month and say, hey, where do we need to make course corrections and how can we make adjustments so that when a month when an envelope is depleted, you know, we don't overspend. Well, you can't do that without a plan. And the faith by app can help you with that.

So just said to faith by dot com and click on app or you can go to your app store and download the faith by app today. All right. Let's go back to the phones.

We're going to go to Michigan. Hi, Laura. Go ahead. Hi, Rob. Hi, absolutely.

How can I help you? I am actually calling for my kids. They are listing their house on the 24th of March. And they've been told they've been told that they do not have to pay capital gains. They they built a house. They've only been there two years. And I love your show.

I listen to it. I thought they had to be in there five years. No, it's actually two out of the last five years. So you're half right.

Yeah. So over the last five years, if this was their primary residence for two of those last five years, then they get that exclusion of up to a half a million dollars in gains on the sale if they are married filing jointly. Okay, that's not sorry, that's where I'm confused. So they are married filing jointly. What does that mean two out of the last five years? Well, so if you take the last five years, you have to have owned and lived in your home for a minimum of two out of the last five years before the sale. So in some cases, folks haven't lived there recently, but they can still meet this ownership and use test because if they go back over a five year period, they can say, yeah, here's the two years out of the last five where this was our primary residence.

And as long as they can establish that they live there as their primary residence for two, any two of the last five years at a minimum, then they qualify for this exemption. I understand. Oh, so that's good news, Ben.

They've been there two years. Okay. So that's great. I really appreciate you for your question and thank you for all you do. Thank you for saying that, Lauren.

I appreciate you being a faithful listener and if we can help you or your kids on anything else along the way, don't hesitate to call. Let's go to Illinois. Hi, Gregory. Go ahead.

Yes. God bless. How are you doing today? I'm doing great. Gregory, how are you? I am great. Great.

Yeah. I got an old financial question for you. Go back in the front, all the way in the Old Testament. My question is concerning tithing offering. I'm hearing some different teaching now, according to the Old Testament law, a teaching that is still the same traditional that you are supposed to give 10%. And I'm hearing the other side of the coin that according to the New Testament that we're not caught up under the law of giving according to the epistles you give according to your heart. So I just want to hear what you have to say.

Yeah. So here's my thought on that. So, you know, in truth, tithing is an Old Testament concept. And in fact, while the word literally means a tenth.

So that's where we get the 10% idea from. There were actually three tithes in the Old Testament. There was one for the Levites, one for the temple and one for the poor. And that one was every three years.

So if you add it up, the quote unquote tithe in the Old Testament was basically twenty three and a third percent every single year. And that was just the beginning. Then there was additional offerings that were on top of that.

And we could, you know, go into all of those. Now old, you know, when we look at Old Testament giving, you know, that clearly was under the law of Moses. We're under now the law of Christ. So what happened when Jesus entered the scene? Well, I think he took giving to an even higher level. I would say he showed a different way of giving, what I'll call whole life generosity. He gave his life as the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf to pay the penalty for our sin. So when he talked about money, he taught when we look at the scriptures that we should give as we've been blessed in Luke six thirty eight. He said to whom much is given, much is required in Luke twelve forty eight. He of course commended the most famous giver. We don't know her name, but we know she was a poor widow who gave her last two copper coins.

And he challenged the rich young ruler to give away all of his wealth. So I think there is some confusion on this. And what I would say is that also in truth, Jesus referenced the tithe, even though, again, I would agree with you that we're no longer under the law of Moses.

So what do we do with all of that? Well, I think given for those of us who have seen what he's done on our behalf on the cross, we embrace a New Testament model of giving, which I would say is, you know, the hallmarks of New Testament giving are giving freely, giving sacrificially, giving proportionately to whom much is given, much is required. I would say it's also given giving cheerfully.

We don't want to be legalistic about it. We don't want to do it, as God's word says, under compulsion. Second Corinthians nine seven, each of you should give what he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.

So I think you're right. God wants our hearts, but he does also want us to be givers. I mean, that's clear throughout the whole of scripture. And I think, Gregory, it's the ultimate demonstration of our trust in the Lord, because giving requires that we open our hands. It calibrates our hearts to God's. It gets our focus off our own many kingdoms and gets our focus on God's kingdom through our generosity.

It allows us to participate with him. So what do we do with the tithe? Well, I would say the tithe is a great guideline for our giving because it's proportionate.

It's on the increase. It starts with the local church, which is God's plan A. But I don't think it ends there. I think to the point of what we see in Jesus teaching, it really he raises the bar. And so I like what Randy Alcorn, the author, says that the tithe is the training wheels of giving. It's our starting point. And then we look to give beyond that sacrificially. So what are your thoughts on that?

I just have a few seconds left. Man, that sounds great. I mean, that was wonderful and gave me some clear insight. So that was beautiful. I appreciate you.

Thank you so much. Absolutely, Gregory. Well, I appreciate you. And thanks for calling and raising this question. You know, at the end of the day, it's not what God wants from us. It's what he wants for us.

And I think giving is one of the amazing opportunities we have to be connected into God's activity. Hey, we're going to take a quick break and then be back with much more. Stick around. Hey, so glad you're along with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Hey, before we head into the mailbag, which right, it's Wednesday, which means we take some emails from you. Let me remind you, Faith and Finance Live is listener supported, which just simply means we can't do what we do without your financial support. Whether you make a one time gift or you become a monthly financial partner, we'd certainly be grateful if you would head to and click Give. That's and click Give. Perhaps you've benefited from the program. Maybe you listen regularly or it's been an encouragement to you and your support of the ministry would go a long way to helping us continue to bring you this broadcast every day.

Again,, just click Give. Now, we have an amazing team that works on this program every day. There's Gabby T answering our phones and there's Dan Anderson pushing all the buttons and acting as our engineer. There's of course, Jim Henry, who's doing research for me to make me sound smarter than I am. But then there's Amy Rios, our producer, and she's amazing and I couldn't do this without her. And she helps us on Wednesdays with emails. Hello, Amy. Hello.

Is it time for the money mail? It is. We're going to do it. I understand we have four today, which means I'm not going to be long winded. Okay. Sounds good. We have Rita here.

Okay. She says, my husband and I are both retired. I'm 67 and he's 69. Our concern is this, how safe is our retirement money? We hear people say that the infrastructure of the United States is being collapsed by other countries.

Is there any way to prepare for this? I would appreciate your thoughts. Yeah, that's a great question, Rita.

So it's true. The national debt is becoming an issue that lawmakers will have to deal with. We have a demographics problem that is we're not having enough babies to replace the retiring workers. We've got some other headwinds as well, but I would say Rita, there's very little danger of the US having an economic collapse. So what do you do given some of these macro trends? Well, I would say the best way to prepare for any economic downturn, even if we're not going to have a, a collapse anytime soon is just to save as much as you can, keep it in a well diversified portfolio, recognize that God owns it all.

We've got to trust him implicitly. And then we manage his resources according to biblical wisdom. And that means having a properly diversified portfolio where I'm not taking unnecessary risks. So a mix of stocks and bonds and maybe some precious metals and real estate. And if we do that, managing our own economies, what passes through our hands faithfully with our eyes focused on the eternal, then I think we can weather whatever comes our way. I appreciate that wisdom so much, Rob.

Okay. Next is Diane, which would be a smart investment at 69 gold or a CD at 5.03% for eight months. I am married and we are both retired. We have no debts and some of our savings at 16,000 is just not collecting anything at this time.

Yeah. If this is your, what I call your emergency savings, I'd leave it in a CD or not a CD, but a savings account. If you've got a little longer time horizon on it, you think you might need it in less than three years.

That's where a CD can be great. But if this is truly just savings and it's short term in nature, I wouldn't be looking at gold. The only way I'd buy gold is if this has a, you know, five plus your time horizon and your gold allocation is no more than five max 10% of your total investable assets. Okay. Next Paul says, does the income earnings cap on early social security mean total earnings or adjusted gross earnings? For example, after deducting a 401k contributions. Thanks for all you do.

Yeah. Thanks Paul. Um, unfortunately that is gross earned income, so other forms of income may not be included, but if your benefits are reduced, uh, for exceeding that limit, uh, they'll be increased after you reach full retirement age. So the bottom line is it's a temporary reduction up until full retirement age. If you go above the limit, meaning you're collecting social security early, you'll go above the limit, which is $22,320 in 2024. You're reduced for that a dollar for every $2 you go over. But once you reach full retirement age, they'll start giving it back to you in the form of a higher check until you're fully repaid.

Okay. And finally Tara says, we have two 401ks and one inherited IRA. Should I be concerned if they aren't FDIC insured?

No they won't be. So FDIC insurance only comes from banks where you have savings in a savings or a checking account or through the NCUA with a credit union. As soon as that money goes into a brokerage account and it's then invested in a, you know, stocks and bonds and you've got cash in that brokerage account, uh, you're at the risk of the market. Now the SIPC protects the securities and the cash up to a half a million dollars, but that's not protection against principal loss as a result of the investments declining in value. That's only if your brokerage firm fails. So that does provide a level of protection because if your brokerage firm goes under SIPC, which is a government backed agency, is going to step in and protect the cash and the securities.

But again, that's only in the event of a failure, not because your, your, your investments lost value. That's on you. Okay. Perfect.

And hey, you weren't long winded. I appreciate all those precise and succinct answers. Thank you so much. If somebody wants to get in on this money mail, how do they do that?

Well, they go to and forward slash finance and you'll land on a page that has a form there and you can ask your question there, Rob. Okay. Sounds good. Well, I know I'm going to be in Chicago next week. I can't wait to see you in person.

You always organize the, uh, the team outing to Lou Malnati's pizza, so we're going to do that next week. That's, I'm looking forward to it. Okay.

I can't wait. Thanks Amy. See ya. Any other questions?

I'll see if we can get to two before we round out the program today, uh, to Akron, Ohio. Hi Susie. Go ahead.

Hi. Um, my question has to do with long, uh, long range planning regarding, uh, putting assets into a trust, uh, compared to longterm care insurance. I have been investigating the LTC and some advice almost sounds like they're saying a trust is better than LTC because of the, um, monetary and time limitations of LTC, that a trust is the only way to actually protect your assets. And I'm thinking, is that, I'm getting a bit muddled. I'm thinking it's gotta be a combination of the two, but I guess my question is, um, if you have something that can help clarify my thinking, um, insight now or a resource to direct me to, to help me kind of sort this out.

Yeah. You know, I mean, I think a godly estate planning attorney could probably be the best thing here just cause it gets legal pretty quick. I'm not an attorney, but I would just say, you know, generally speaking, a trust versus paying for longterm care insurance.

I mean, what is your goal? Trying to protect your assets from the Medicaid spend down provision or something else? Well, it's, uh, both protecting assets and just being prudent. I don't want to get caught with, um, healthcare in the future for both of us to just like totally, you know, see all of our assets just disappear in a, in a relatively short amount of time, given the current costs that are only going up. Yeah. I get that. What is your total net worth? Let me ask you roughly, um, well, the more liquid assets, I guess, um, you know, not counting life insurance policies, um, I guess I would say, uh, seven or 800,000. Okay.

Yeah. So, I mean, you know, where a new revocable trust can come in is that it will protect assets from Medicaid, but that's not necessarily a better solution than getting longterm care insurance, um, other than it, it can just protect those assets from getting, you know, spent down before Medicaid kicks in the longterm care policy, although they can be expensive and they can go up over time, the premiums, uh, and they do because the rising cost of, of healthcare, uh, it gives you more flexibility about the quality of the facility you choose for your care. Uh, you know, while putting your assets in a Medicaid asset protection trust will indeed protect them, but it could end up putting you in a facility you're not happy with. So I think that's where having that longterm care insurance that kicks in, even though there's a waiting period, and even though there's a max, you know, out of, you know, that they'll pay out as long as you get a robust enough policy that gives you enough daily benefit, uh, to pay for the facility of your choosing, then, you know, that really I think is the key to you making sure you have control over what that season of life looks like, and again, you've got to make sure it fits in the budget because they're not cheap, but I think that's a better solution. But as to legal protection around Medicaid spend downs, I mean, you certainly could talk to an attorney about that, and that's a real thing. I just don't think it's necessarily a solution for having control over how you're going to be cared for in that season of life. Is that okay?

Yes, yes, it is. Because at the end of the day, you don't want to spend your assets down to zero, you want to be able to have the income you need to be able to cover, you know, what could be nine or ten thousand dollars a month for nursing care, and it's growing, it's going up. And so I think that's where having that longterm care insurance is going to provide that added income so you're not draining that seven or eight hundred thousand down to zero, even if it was protected, you know, in a Medicaid asset protection trust, again, eventually you're going to lose control over what kind of facility you're in, you know, because you're going into a Medicaid facility versus you being able to fund that out of your own cash flow. So hopefully that helps you. We appreciate your call today.

Al, unfortunately, I apologize, we didn't get to your question about your legal refugee friend who wants to establish credit, but let's do this. I would love to chat with you. Let's see if we can get you scheduled for first on the program tomorrow and we'll see if we can get you then. If that doesn't work for you, we'll get you on a future broadcast. But let me just say thanks for your patience.

And again, I apologize. We didn't get you on the air. Stay right there. Our team will pick up the line, folks.

That's going to do it for us. I'm so thankful that you join us each day on this broadcast. Thanks for your kind remarks about the program, for calling, for being involved.

We're so thankful. By the way, we just came out with a brand new study. It's the first in our FaithFi study series. I would love for you to check it out. It's called Rich Toward God. It's a four-week study on the parable of the rich fool, which has some amazing connections to our heart and our management of God's money. Check it out at

Click shop. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Dan, Amy, Gabby T, and Jim. We'll see you tomorrow. We'll see you next time. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-06 19:49:43 / 2024-03-06 20:07:27 / 18

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