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Materialism: Putting “Things” in Their Place

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2024 6:04 pm

Materialism: Putting “Things” in Their Place

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 15, 2024 6:04 pm

From the time we’re children and well into adulthood, we attach ourselves to our possessions. Ultimately, the love of stuff leads to discontentment, but God’s Word shows us a better way. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will help us consider a biblical perspective on material possessions. Then, he’ll take some calls and answer various financial questions. 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Today's Faith and Finance Live is actually not live, so our phone lines are not open. First Timothy 6-7 reminds us that we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.

And that's why hearses never have trailer hitches. Hi, I'm Rob West. How much do you love your stuff? Today, we'll consider a biblical perspective on material possessions. Then we have some great questions lined up for you.

But don't call in today because we're prerecorded. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, from the time we're children and well into adulthood, we attach ourselves to our possessions. Ultimately, the love of stuff leads to discontentment, but God's Word shows us a better way. You see, God made us with the capacity to love.

As a reflection of His own character and His image in us, He wants us to love Him first and best, putting all other affections in proper perspective. A materialistic attitude goes against God's good plan for His people because it puts the love of material things ahead of loving God. The Bible makes it clear that wrong attitudes like materialism can hinder your relationship with God and destroy your peace. You may not even realize how much your love of things is affecting you because it's so easy to rationalize.

Have you ever thought, I need this thing to make me happy, or life will be better if I have this thing? As Ecclesiastes 2-11 warns us, this kind of thinking is futile. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless.

A chasing after the wind, nothing was gained under the sun. Let's look at three lies materialism tells us and the biblical answer to those lies. Lie number one, life is better when you have more. This lie is subtle because having more stuff does make life easier in some ways. But once you start on the more is better road, well, you can never be satisfied, and then life actually becomes more miserable.

Ecclesiastes 5-10 confirms this. Whoever loves money never has money enough. Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. The answer to this lie is contentment. Hebrews 13-5 encourages us to keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have.

For he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. All right, here's materialism lie number two. You must keep up with what other people have. The desire to have what the neighbors have or live like someone you see on social media is a materialist trap. In fact, there will always be someone who has more than you, which makes envy a treadmill of unhappiness. The answer to this lie is godly peace found in knowing Jesus.

In Matthew 6-33, Jesus says, seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Materialism lie number three. It's not fair when other people have things you can't afford.

Blaming others for your circumstances just combines discontentment with lack of responsibility. The antidote to this attitude of materialistic self-pity is a commitment to believing and doing what's true. As it says in 1 John 3-22, whatever we ask, we receive from him because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. It's pretty clear that a materialistic mindset is displeasing to God. The Lord is willing and able to provide for his children when they trust him, but materialism can really get in the way of your relationship with God. Okay, so we've looked at the ways people get trapped by the lies of materialism, but does that mean it's wrong or sinful to want things?

Not necessarily. The Bible makes it clear that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. But if you have the right attitude about money as a means, not an end in itself, well, you'll have a right perspective about things as well.

A right perspective about things includes knowing the difference between what you want and what you need. You can always trust God to provide what you need. When you have a spending plan, the things you want or need can be considered in light of the resources God has given you. If you don't have a spending plan, well, we can help. Just visit us online at faithfi.com.

That's faithfi.com and download the Faithfi app. By the way, when you plan ahead, you can make wise choices about saving and working to pay for what you need. This helps you avoid going into debt for impulse purchases. And finally, if you're considering a purchase and you're not sure if it's a want or a need, pray.

Wait 30 days and check again. You might find your desires have changed. Material possessions are a part of life, but what you do with your desire for things is a hard issue.

Avoid materialism by putting God first. 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 in, but much more to come just around the corner on Faith and Finance Live. You're listening to Faith and Finance Live, and you can find us online at faithfi.com. However, today we are not live, so if you hear that phone number, please don't call. But do stay with us.

There's lots of good information ahead. Here's how we approach this hour. We want to take you into God's Word, pull out those big ideas we see in Scripture related to our role as stewards, money managers for the King of Kings, which, by the way, is a pretty high calling. We want to pull out those big ideas and themes from God's Word and apply those to the practical and daily decisions we're making with money, because we recognize that the way we handle God's money is one of the clearest indicators in what's happening in our lives spiritually.

Show me your check register or your financial account online, and I'll tell you what you value, where your priorities are, and the same is true about me. The question is, what story does the way that we're using God's money tell about what's most important to us? And perhaps this is a time where we need to make some changes, surrender to the Lord, seek first the kingdom, and allow money, which, by the way, is one of God's good creations, it's not evil, allow money to be a tool, because it's to be used to provide, it's to enjoy, it's also to be used to give generously. And when we do that, when we give it away, not only are we participants or active, do we have active involvement in God's activity through our giving, but it's the ultimate demonstration of our trust and our understanding that God is the owner of everything and our provider, and here's why. You see, if you and I thought that we were required in the equation to earn money, then we would hold on to every penny. But when we know that God is our provider, we can trust him and give it away, because we know he'll continue to provide. Now, clearly, we have a part in that. Bible is very clear that we shouldn't be lazy, that we were created to be workers, made in the image of God, the ultimate worker, we see God's handiwork on display in terms of creation throughout the Scriptures, so we're to take his creation and improve it, we're to work throughout our whole lives, I believe, and that's going to look different in different seasons, but ultimately we're surrendered to God and his purposes.

But money is that tool to accomplish that. So as we gather together here today, the question is, what are you wrestling with in your financial life as you live, give, owe, and grow? There's principles we can apply to each of those as we live within our means and as we avoid the use of debt and as we set long-term goals and have some cushion or margin and give generously, but we know that there's practical decisions you need to make today. All right, let's head to the phones, we're going to begin in Tennessee today, and Joshua, how can I help?

Hey, Rob, thanks for your time and your ministry. I'm thinking about making a withdrawal from retirement to pay off my student debt. I don't know if it makes sense or not.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of that, but let me ask a couple of questions because I could certainly understand why you want to get that knocked out, Joshua. What is your age? I'm 42. Okay, and when you say retirement accounts, what do you have currently? Is it a 401k at work or something else? Yes, my previous 401k is a plan, so I got almost like $300,000 in it.

Okay, great. And are you still contributing with your new employer? Yes, with my new employer, with the match, I'm contributing about 18%.

Oh, nice, okay. So you feel like, I mean, at your age, you're young, you've still got 20 plus years before you might start thinking about what God has next for you that may involve a reduction in your income. You're probably pretty close to being on track there. Now, with the student debt, what is the interest rate you're paying on that? It varies, anywhere between 2.3, 4.6, I think there may be one or two at six, but not very much if there is.

I think it's mostly 4.6 and 2.3. Okay, so let's say your average is maybe three and a half percent, and then what do you, you know, on your current track, do you have a sense of, you know, how quickly you'll pay this back? Well, I just started my new job and I haven't restarted payments on the student loans yet, so no, I don't. Sorry. Okay, got it.

Yeah, no worries. Alright, well, I mean, I typically look at this and say, you know, if we could do a 10-year payback, that would be ideal. Now, 120 months, you know, let's call it three and a half percent interest, I mean, that's going to require that in order for you to do that, you're going to have to put $1,825 a month toward this, which I realize is quite a bit. What kind of margin do you have that would allow you to pay this back out of current cash flow without pulling out of the 401k?

So, I could do, without being too tight, I could probably do 15, but that would be about as tight as I'm comfortable going. Okay, alright. 1,500.

Yeah, yeah, no worries. So, I get that, and so that would probably put us at about a 12-year, let's see, if we think in terms of the 12-year payback at three and a half, no, I'm sorry, I think I got my numbers wrong. Actually, you know, if you did 1,500 a month, you know, that's 60 months, I mean, that would only be 1,000 a month at three and a half percent interest. So, you know, I mean, if you could put 1,500 toward it, you know, you'd pay this back obviously, you know, pretty quick at maybe four years. And, you know, I think that's a better option just because, you know, we preserve the 100% of that 401k, so that can continue to grow. If you were to pull it out now, you'd have a penalty of 10%, plus it would be added to your taxable income, and even bigger than that, you just have the loss of the potential for compounding. So, you know, I think, you know, if you can really focus on paying this off, set a goal to, let's say, pay it off in no more than five years, but it sounds like you could do even more than that, with 1,100 a month at three and a half percent interest, that 60,000 is gone after five years. And, you know, that way you're only 47. Now, apart from this, if you just have a real conviction from the Lord to be debt-free, I'd say go for it.

But just given the composite rate, when we put all of those together, being, you know, under four, and the fact that you're living within your means and you've got so much margin that you could throw at this, I just don't like you paying the tax, paying the penalty, and losing that tax-deferred compounding over the next 25 years when you can get this paid off in a relatively reasonable period of time just based on your current excesses. All right, that makes a lot of sense, Rob. Thank you very much. You're very welcome, Joshua. Listen, kudos to you for doing such a great job in managing all this, and call anytime. We appreciate you being on the program today. Let's go to Missouri.

Hey, Guy, how can I help? There may not be a right or wrong answer to this, but a lady had called in a few days ago asking about burial expenses and that type of thing. I've been giving this some thought. I've heard that it's really not prudent to actually pre-pay for funeral expenses because you're just giving them the money when I could be saved in it, and then just tell our kids, you know, when that time comes, we've saved the money instead of pre-paying it, I don't know if it would actually make a difference long-term in how much they would be getting for it and that type of thing.

Yeah, very good. Let's do this. I've got to take a quick break. It's a great question that you're raising here, Guy, and it's one I think that's important because a lot of folks are thinking about this as well.

What are the pros and cons of pre-paid versus pre-planned funerals? If you don't mind, you stay on the line. We'll take this quick break, and then I'll address that right on the other side. This is a great opportunity, though, for me to remind you that we're not here today.

We're away from the studio, so don't call in, but we're going to have some great questions coming up just on the other side of this break. This is Faith and Finance Live biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. I hope you don't go anywhere because we have a lot more to come. Stick around. So glad to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

Our team is away today, so don't call in, but we lined up some great questions in advance, and we'll be going to those here in just a moment. Let me also remind you that the advice that I give each day on this program is general in nature. We offer principles and ideas that apply at a high level. They are not personalized, so that's why you should always seek professional financial advice. And if you'd like to find a professional who shares your values, we of course here at Faith and Finance Live recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. These are men and women who've met high standards, and they've been trained to bring a biblical worldview of financial decision-making.

You can find one at faithfi.com. Just before the break, we were talking to Guy in Missouri. Guy was wondering about the wisdom in prepaying versus pre-planning the funeral, and I would just say Guy at a high level and we'll talk about the specifics. You know, ultimately my view is the best way to relieve your family of the financial burden and the decision-making, and then also make sure your wishes are honored is to prepare, not necessarily to prepay. If you have enough money to prepay your funeral expenses, you can certainly put that money in an investment account and watch it grow.

So, you know, if you put that $8,000 into a good investment at age 40 by the time you're 70, that's $80,000 with a conservative return, which just helps us understand what the potential is for that. Out-of-pocket expenses can be pretty high. The average funeral today is somewhere between $8,000 and $10,000, and then obviously it goes up from there.

But the benefit of the prepaid is there's no second guessing for your family, so they quickly know exactly what your wishes are because you've already locked it in. The prices are locked in. There is an inflation factor here within funerals, with funerals.

So, you know, they're outpacing more than two times, maybe even three times in some cases, the rate of just normal CPI inflation. So I think, you know, we've seen about between a 6 and a 7% increase each year in the cost of funerals. And so you're locking that in. And then you've obviously got a spot reserved because, you know, cemeteries or mausoleums, you know, they can fill up and perhaps you want to be buried near a family member or something like that. The downside is just what I mentioned, though, that the cost, you know, the funds are tied up and so you don't get the benefit of the growth of that money that's sitting there for this purpose. The funeral home can go out of business.

That does happen. And you can't change your mind. In many cases, you may decide, you know, you want to get buried somewhere else, out of state or something like that. So I think, you know, the idea that we could go and make those decisions to lessen that burden on our family, set the money aside, do some pre-planning, but not be locked in for most people is the better option. But give me your thoughts on that. Well, that's, that's really kind of my thoughts on it, too. You know, I'd heard others just say, well, I don't want to fool with this. I just want to pay it up front and do all that.

But I agree with you. I think it'd be better just to plan it all, have that in our documents, you know, for our family. And so they know everything is already pre-planned and ready, but then just to save that money and let it grow until, you know, until it's completed.

Yeah, yeah, very good. I would concur with you there, Guy. I mean, obviously, if you've got the funds to do it and, you know, you've got surplus and it's just kind of from the hassle factor, you just want to know that it's done and, and there's as few decisions as possible.

That's where a lot of folks will say, I just feel better knowing that it's, it's locked up. But apart from that, I think there's some wisdom in exactly the way you're thinking. So hopefully that helps you, sir. If not, anything else confirms what you're already thinking, but we appreciate you being on the program today. Let's go to Virginia. Hi, Albert.

How can we help? Yes, sir. I just wanted to make a comment about my Medicare. I had one of those Medicare Advantage programs a couple of years ago. So anyway, I sold, I sold all of my stock that I had because, well, I'm 81 now and I didn't want to be in the stock market anymore. So I just went ahead and sold everything. And so I had to pay like $60,000 and I had to pay $10,000 state tax.

Well, I didn't, I didn't really mind that too bad because I did what I wanted to do. But what I didn't realize is it caused my Medicare premium to go up to like $560 a month. I didn't know if people knew that or not, but your Medicare premium is based on your income.

Yep, that's exactly right. And I think that's good to point out because a lot of folks don't realize that that's the case. You know, if you're on Medicare or Medicare Advantage, you know, and your income rises above a certain threshold, the Social Security Administration adds an extra charge to the standard Plan B or Plan D premiums based on something called IRMA, which is the income related monthly adjustment amount. And, you know, I think that based on what's called your modified adjusted grossed income from the prior two years certainly can drive that up. And, you know, folks just need to be aware that that is a reality. And that can include, you know, things like required minimum distributions, income in the year you stop working.

You know, if you have, you know, certain asset sales like you're talking about, inheritances, Roth conversions, all of these things, you know, can can affect that. And so it's a part of the planning. We don't want to get caught by surprise with the tax bill.

We also don't want to get caught by surprise with the increase to the Medicare premiums. So it's a great reminder. Albert, I appreciate you weighing into the program on that, sir.

God bless you. We're going to head to a break here in just a moment. Up next, we're going to talk to Christopher in Tennessee.

He wants to know how to get a reasonable rate of return on seven digits worth of money coming their way from the sale of a home. And we'll tackle that just around the corner as well. Before we head to our break, let me remind you with expenses up across the board, it's more important than ever to stay on plan. The only way you can do that is to not only have a plan, but have a system to control the flow of money in and out. For Julie and I, that means the FaithFi app. We've set up our budget at any point during the month.

We can see what's left in any of our envelopes. If you'd like to check it out today, download it at faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.

Just click app. A quick reminder, we're not here today, so don't call in, but some great questions coming up just around the corner. Back with more on Faith and Finance Live. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live. Again, we're not here today. Our team is away from the studio, so don't call in, but we've got some great questions coming up. In fact, let's head right back to the phones to North Carolina. We go, hi, Jimmy, how can we help? Hey, Rob. It's good to talk with you.

Thank you. Here is what's happened with me financially. I've come into a fraud situation, whereas somebody around 11 o'clock at night hacked into my computer and then got into my bank and transferred $5,000 twice to an outside account, I assume belonged to them. My bank tells me that it's a total of $10,000. My bank tells me they can't do anything about it, even though they have the last four digits of the account where the money got transferred to. I'm sitting here with this big, lawful $10,000 is a lot of money to me. I'm just trying to figure out, is there possibly a way that I could approach somehow to get my money back?

Number two, what things can I do to my computer that would prevent this from happening again? Yeah, it's a great question. And I can understand your concern here. So you know, normally what we would see in a situation like this is once you notify your bank or credit union, it generally has 10 business days to investigate the issue. 20 business days of the account has been open less than 30 days. And that's according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is a part of the US government. So they have to correct the error within one business day after they determine that an error has occurred. And this is with regard to unauthorized transactions, which I would clearly put this in the camp of, and they have to report their findings to you.

So what are they saying with regard to that? Because normally what I would expect is for them to launch an investigation based on what you're saying here that you didn't initiate this and especially once they can determine that you're not connected to this account. You know that they would at least take steps to try to investigate it, but they're not willing to do that.

Is that right? Here is what transpired. They did launch an investigation for 10 days. And then they created a letter to me telling me that the loss is just my loss. And the reason that they gave that they evidently could not trace the transfers and get with the other bank to get money back, even though they said they did try that. But they say the real problem is that theft really happened on my computer and not at their bank by another method. And therefore somebody, I think it's really, really experienced and does this for a living, hacked into my computer.

On the computer itself, I have two programs that handles viruses, malware and that kind of thing. And I just can't understand how this could have happened. But the bank no longer says this is an issue that they will look at.

Yeah. Well, it sounds like this hacker has found a loophole of sorts because they didn't hack the bank's system on their own computer and they didn't, you know, access it another way. They essentially, what they're claiming is, gained access to your personal computer and then use that to facilitate the transfer. And so it sounds like you'd have to file, you know, a certain go to the police essentially and, you know, do a report there.

The challenge is that's going to be really challenging to ever see anything come of it. You know, I would probably file at a minimum a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, at FTC dot gov slash complaint. And they'll provide information about what steps to take given that, you know, this was fraudulent. Somebody compromised your account information and you're looking for protection from the bank to that regard. And regardless of whether or not they did it by way of fraudulently accessing or taking over your computer or not, as to whether that's a disqualifier for them to make you whole. I don't know the answer to that, but I would at a minimum, you know, file that complaint with the FTC.

Again, FTC dot gov. Now, it sounds like you're doing a lot of things right here with regard to preventing this in the future. I mean, you certainly want to install ad blockers.

You want to update and patch your operating software regularly. You don't want to access this account on public Wi-Fi. Another big one that I think could be helpful if you haven't done it, other than using a password manager with unique passwords for every account, is two-factor authentication. Now, again, if they compromised your account and essentially took over your computer, you know, a lot of times we have our instant messaging or texting coming into our computer. So even if you had two-factor authentication, they might have been able to see the instant message come through from your bank with that second factor that allowed them to gain access. So that's somewhat scary for folks to think about.

They could be, you know, having the full view that you would have as the user. And because we save a lot of these things, you know, when we're using our own personal computer, a trusted device, I could see how that would create additional problems. But let me ask, do you have two-factor authentication enabled on this account? Here's what happened in regard to that. I didn't have two-factor authentication. And the thing I haven't told you is that ever who crashed into my computer also destroyed it. The motherboard and all the hard drives all crashed. And I had to actually go buy another computer. So now, when I go to my financial institution, there is a two-factor which sends something to my cell phone, a code that I have to re-enter.

If that had been in place from the bank at that time, it wouldn't happen. Well, Jimmy, I'm so sorry to hear that you're going through this. I know this is devastating. It's significant financially.

That's a lot of money. And it's just, you know, I think concerning at a lot of levels because of what a violation this is of you, not to mention illegal. So I'm really sorry. I hope, you know, in the future, your bank would be willing to work with you a little bit more closely given the way this went down. I'm sorry to hear that it sounds like their initial pass was a refusal to be involved because of how this went, took place. I would file that complaint with the FTC if I were you.

I would make sure you're learning from this and using two-factor authentication on all of your accounts moving forward. This serves as a good reminder to our listening audience. But apart from that, sir, I don't have anything else to offer other than just to thank you for sharing your story today, because I'm confident it'll help someone else. Well, yeah. And folks might want to know if they can afford it, add a VPN to their computer, which I have done the new one. Yeah. And I appreciate your information.

Absolutely. And thanks very much, Jimmy. By the way, what he mentioned right there at the tail end is a VPN is a virtual private network, which establishes kind of a digital handshake, if you will, a digital connection between your computer and a remote server that's encrypted. So that tunnel, if you will, that point-to-point tunnel encrypts your personal data. And it does one other thing. It masks your IP address, which I know we're getting technical here, but that is often the entry point for somebody into your device.

So you could just look at VPN for not only your phone, but also your desktop computer, whether that's a Mac or a PC. So, Jimmy, thanks for your call today. Well, folks, we're going to take one more quick break and then back with our final segment today. But if you need assistance from a financial or legal professional, we'd love for you to visit faithfi.com and click Find a CKA. Again, that's faithfi.com and click Find a CKA.

That stands for Certified Kingdom Advisor, our preferred designation for financial advice from a biblical worldview. We're back with much more just around the corner. Stick around. This is our final segment of a Faith and Finance Live program that we previously recorded, but we think the upcoming information will help you and make you a wise steward of what God's given you.

Thanks so much for being with us today, and we hope you'll stick around and enjoy the rest of the program. Hey, before we head back to the phones, let me let you know that you may not be aware we just launched our brand new FaithFi study. It's called Rich Toward God. It's a four-week dive into the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12.

It's amazing. It really tackles some key questions that I think we all need to deal with related to money and our hearts, the pride we can have in prosperity, the uncertainty of tomorrow. What is true abundance? The fact that our abundance is found in Christ alone, not in the things of this world. And then finally, and this is right at the end of that parable of the rich fool, we see that God says we're to live rich toward God. What does that mean?

How does that play itself out in our everyday decision-making? Well, this four-week study that's beautifully designed will tackle all of these subjects and more. And perhaps you're in a small group at church and you're looking for a great practical study that's new and fresh.

This could be exactly what you're looking for. Just head to our website, faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com. Click the button right at the top of the page that says shop, where you can go shopping and you'll see our brand new study Rich Toward God. Check it out today, faithfi.com. All right, we're going to head back to the phones to Christopher in Tennessee. Christopher, go right ahead.

How can I help? Yes. We just sold our home, moving, downsizing to a second home we had. And of course, coming out of this, I've got quite a bit of cash.

We're both in our seventies. We had income outside of this money, so we don't need this for income. But I'm concerned about keeping up with the rate of inflation, but I don't necessarily want to get into anything in the stock market. I'm just looking what kind of options would I have other than a CD that could possibly put this money into?

Yeah, it's a great question, Christopher. And I think the key is just your risk tolerance. And I'm hearing you that you want to stay on the most conservative end of the risk spectrum. So how do we hedge against inflation? Well, there are several asset classes that we could consider. Certainly commodities are one. Gold is often considered a hedge against inflation.

It's looked at as an alternative currency, but it's also an asset that has some growth potential and is uncorrelated to the stock and bond market. Other commodities would also fit into that category as well. Real estate investment trusts would be another option where you're buying into a basket of real estate holdings. And there's all types of REITs, but that would be one option as well. You could look at TIPS, Treasury Inflation Protected Securities. So these are issued by the U.S. Treasuries. They're indexed to inflation to protect you from inflation and the negative effects of it.

They're obviously very safe because they're backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. You also could just go into a basket of bonds. Now you could buy individual T-bills, bills, bonds and notes from the U.S. government. You could buy high quality corporates or you could buy kind of a high quality bond mutual fund. And I would be on the shorter end to medium term duration fund, but that would be a basket of corporate and government bonds. It diversifies the risk, but in this environment with yields up, it would pay you a nice rate of return.

And then as rates fall, that would help as well because the underlying price of the bonds would increase as rates come down. So that could be another option as well. Annuities are another option here. You know, I'm not a huge fan, but in a situation like this where you say, listen, I want some some tax advantage. You know, I want to eventually a steady stream of income down the road. But more importantly, I want a guaranteed return that's attractive either through a fixed, a guaranteed fixed annuity or even a variable annuity where you get some of the upside, but you don't have any downside. You know, that can be an option as well. And then muni bonds would be the final one that I'd throw out, which is, you know, issued by state cities, counties, you know, to fund public projects. The interest is often tax free and it can be another way to go. So, you know, I think if you're looking to build this yourself, you could certainly, you know, pick from these other types of investments and and build a nice, stable portfolio focused on income and offsetting inflation. The other option is to hire an advisor where you'd talk through your goals and objectives in the way you just did with me.

And you all would come to a decision on how to build a portfolio, but ultimately you wouldn't have to make those decisions. Let me also just mention in conclusion, you know, if you want a faith aligned approach and you really want to look at not only a compelling return, but also the impact potential, you could look at one of the faith based investing fund families like Praxis. Their impact bond fund is phenomenal.

Crossmark Global, another faith based investing fund family that has a bond fund that, again, is screened for, you know, Christian values. So anyway, that's a number of options there. Hopefully I didn't overwhelm you. But is that helpful? Yeah, yes. Yeah, I hadn't thought about the bond mutual, but that might that might be an option. Okay, good.

Yeah. I mean, you could do that with just a real low cost, high quality bond fund, you know, with one of the big, you know, mutual fund companies. But if you want a faith aligned option, I think that's where looking to some of these other choices might give you some other considerations. So listen, all the best to you, Christopher in this season of life. And if we can help further along the way, don't hesitate to reach out.

Let's go to Indiana. Hi, Fred. How can I help?

I appreciate your your work you're doing. Yeah, I had a question regards to I have an emergency fund set aside and I'm just wondering if, you know, in regular savings, I've got I'm getting about one percent from the bank. I was just wondering if there was something that I could put it into that maybe maybe a little bit more money, but also still be accessible in terms of, you know, if I did have an emergency, that sort of thing. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I like the way you're thinking that you've got that emergency fund.

That's really important. I also love the fact that you're thinking about, you know, how can I get the very best rate right now? Because there are some compelling rates now. Those are going to head lower as interest rates decline. The consensus was that we'd have at least three declines this year. The consumer has been holding up a little bit better than I think the Fed anticipated.

So that continues to be pushed back. But nevertheless, we're going to see some rate declines this year. And even if it's not as many as we expect in the meantime, though, let's take advantage of these high yield interest rates. You're going to have to go, though, to an online bank if you really want to get a compelling option. So, for instance, if you were to go to bankrate.com right now, which is a website that every day is updated with the banks and credit unions that have the very highest interest rates on savings accounts with no fees and very low minimums, often a zero minimum, with FDIC insurance backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the United States government, you will see today that you can get four and a half to five percent on your high yield savings. But you would have to be willing to open an online savings account and link it, which is what I recommend, link it to your existing checking account with your current bank. That way you can move the money back and forth electronically. But that would take you up four or five times what you're getting today with full FDIC insurance. Are you aware of that option? I was not. No, not at all.

OK. Yeah. So, for instance, I'm looking at right now, Marcus, which is the retail bank of Goldman Sachs. They're offering four and a half percent. American Express, for their high yield savings, is offering four point three five. SoFi, which is a fintech company and bank, you know, they're five star rated. They're FDIC insured.

They're offering four point six right now with zero minimum on that balance. So, you know, that would be, I think, a great option for you. Again, bankrate.com. Just click high yield savings. And again, you don't have to disrupt your current checking account. You can leave that right where it is.

Just open this savings account in addition to it, link them up electronically, and then you can move money back and forth as you need to. OK. That sounds great. That's kind of what I was looking for. Just something that I could you know, if I needed it, I could get at it very quickly. And then I'd be a peace of mind with that.

Absolutely. Well, listen, I appreciate your call, Fred. May the Lord bless you. And if we can serve you in any way in the future, don't hesitate to reach out.

Our final call will be in Pennsylvania today. Steven, go ahead, sir. Thanks for taking my call. Been listening since Larry Burkett back in the 80s. And I miss I miss Steve too. Oh, well, thank you. I talked to Steve just a few weeks ago.

So next time I speak to him, I will mention that you asked about it. OK. Our insurance, I'm a deacon at my church and our insurance will be dropped in two weeks. What insurance companies of integrity do you recommend? You know, I wish I had an answer for you on that. You know, in terms of a faith-based alternative for insurance and are you talking about what type of insurance for the church itself or something else? It's basically for the church itself.

Everything in general. Yes. Yeah. You know, I mean, perhaps you could check with Guidestone. That might be a great option. They offer, you know, church liability insurance policies and and they work with hundreds of thousands of churches across the country. So if they don't have a solution exactly what you're looking for, they could certainly recommend someone for you. That's Guidestone. And you'll find them on the web at Guidestone.org.

They're a financial services and insurance solutions specifically guided by Christian values, but not only for individuals, but for churches as well. So Guidestone.org is the place that I would start, Stephen. That sounds like good guidance. Thank you. I'm glad to hear it. Hey, and thanks for mentioning Larry Burkett. I appreciate the fact that you've been listening all the way back to Larry's days. We certainly miss him dearly. And I'll tell you, there is not a kinder voice, more biblical with greater integrity than than the late Larry Burkett.

We all walk in his giant shoes to this day, and we're grateful for the impact he continues to have in people's lives. So thanks for mentioning that. God bless you, sir. Well, that's going to do it for us today. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and Faith File. Let me say thanks to my amazing team, Amy, Jim, Tahira, Dan and Gabby T., plus the rest of the team behind the scenes that makes this happen every day. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and come back and join us next time on Faith in Finance Live. We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-15 21:06:15 / 2024-03-15 21:23:05 / 17

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