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Faith & Finances

English, Religion, 1 season, 495 episodes, 1 day, 14 hours, 37 minutes
About
To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/1085 MoneyWise is a daily radio ministry of MoneyWise Media. Hosted by Rob West and Steve Moore, the program offers a practical, biblical and good-natured approach to managing your time, talents and resources.
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Set Your Finish Line with Dr. Kelly Rush

It’s human nature to be concerned about having enough, but would you know it when you get there?It’s a question we don’t ask ourselves enough…how much is enough? We have a great story in the Bible that gives us a clue, and Dr. Kelly Rush joins us today to talk about it.Dr. Kelly Rush is a Professor of Finance, Department Chair, and Financial Planning Program Coordinator at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio. Understanding Lifestyle CreepIf you’re unfamiliar with the concept of "lifestyle creep," it’s where individuals tend to spend more on lifestyle comforts and luxuries as they earn more money. For example, a college student on a Taco Bell budget may progress to eating at Panera and eventually to dining at more expensive restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory as their income increases.Lifestyle creep isn't limited to dining choices. It affects various aspects of life, including vacations, clothing, entertainment, and cars. For instance, a high school student might start with an old Ford Taurus, but they may drive a luxury car like a Mercedes or BMW by their peak earning years. This progression happens gradually and can lead to significant lifestyle changes over time.Is Lifestyle Creep Wrong?Increases in lifestyle spending can be healthy and motivating but can also be a slippery slope if left unchecked. It's essential to monitor our budgets and hearts to avoid falling into the trap of excessive spending.Lifestyle creep is fundamental to the human condition and not just a result of cultural norms. There are parallels to the biblical story of Lot, who progressively moved closer to the affluent and corrupt city of Sodom, illustrating that the desire for more is a timeless human trait.Lessons from Lot's StoryLot's story in Genesis 13 shows how he chose the greener pastures of Sodom for greater financial gain, eventually becoming influential in the corrupt city. This progression highlights the dangers of prioritizing wealth and lifestyle over spiritual and moral values.While Sodom is often associated with sexual sins, Ezekiel 16:49-50 reveals that their iniquity also included arrogance, gluttony, idleness, and neglect of the poor and needy. Wealth gave them a false sense of superiority and security, leading to their downfall.Avoiding Lot's MistakesTo avoid the pitfalls of lifestyle creep, it’s crucial to set financial finish lines—real dollar limits on spending that help define "how much is enough." These limits can be for lifestyle expenses and assets, ensuring that any financial blessings beyond these limits are used to bless others.Setting financial finish lines increases giving and sharing of the Lord's abundance. As Paul advised in 2 Corinthians, giving should be decided in one's heart and done cheerfully. Establishing these limits helps align our financial decisions with our values, creating greater joy and purpose.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Should I keep my $25,000 in a conservative investment group that is no longer actively managing it, or should I roll it over to the company I have been with for 30 years? They have been handling my other $50,000 investment and are doing well as my advisors.I was wondering what to do with my $60,000 disability settlement. Is there any way I could stop paying the extra Medicare insurance that was automatically taken out since I already have insurance through my pension?I recently received a call from USAA about investing $300,000 from my TSP into a retirement annuity. Since I plan to retire within the next year, I wanted to know if putting the money into an annuity would be a good idea so that I could get a return on it.Resources Mentioned:Timothy PlanRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/23/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giving Appreciated Stocks

Stock markets have seen record highs in the past couple of months. Is it a good time to take profits?Well, it certainly can be a good time to take profits if you’ve seen your investments go through the roof recently. And today, I want to tell you about a way to realize those gains for God’s Kingdom.Why Donate Appreciated Stocks?With recent historic highs in the markets, now is an excellent time to consider donating appreciated stocks to your church or other ministries. Donating stock instead of cash can significantly benefit both the donor and recipient, primarily due to its tax advantages.The Benefits of Donating StocksDonating appreciated stocks to a ministry typically gets a higher tax deduction and avoids capital gains taxes. This means you can give more than you might if you donate cash. Here’s why:Tax Deductible: The total value of the stock is deductible.Avoid Capital Gains Taxes: There is no need to pay taxes on the appreciated value.If the stock value has appreciated, donating it directly to a church or charity is usually the best option. However, if the stock has lost value, it’s better to sell it, take the deductible loss, and then donate the cash proceeds.Understanding the Tax BenefitsThe tax benefits of donating stocks depend on the type of organization you’re giving to and your adjusted gross income. Donating appreciated stocks allows you to use their fair market value as an itemized deduction if you’ve held the stock for over a year.Let’s say you bought 50 shares of Mock Industries at $20 each, totaling $1,000. Those shares are worth $40 each, making your investment worth $2,000. If you sell the shares and donate the after-tax proceeds, you’d have to pay 20% capital gains taxes on the $1,000 profit, leaving you with $1,800 to donate. However, donating the stock directly means the church receives $2,000, which you can deduct from your taxes.Some ministries may not be set up to accept stock donations and might ask you to sell the stock first. This is less efficient due to the capital gains taxes involved.Using Third-Party OrganizationsOrganizations like the National Christian Foundation (NCF) can handle stock donations for you. By setting up a donor-advised fund or a Giving Fund, you can donate cash, stocks, or other assets, which NCF will liquidate and distribute to your chosen ministries. This method also offers flexibility in managing your taxes.One significant advantage of using a Giving Fund at NCF is the ability to "bundle" your deductions. For instance, if you typically tithe $12,000 annually, you're still below the standard deduction of $14,600 for single taxpayers or $29,200 for married taxpayers filing jointly. However, if you donate $36,000 worth of stock into your Giving Fund, you can take the full deduction in one year, which can exceed the standard deduction, then spread out your actual donations over the following years.Donating appreciated stocks is a powerful way to increase your giving while reaping significant tax benefits. By leveraging tools like donor-advised funds from organizations like the National Christian Foundation, you can maximize your impact on God’s Kingdom while minimizing your tax burden.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Is there a statute of limitations for a collection agency to collect credit card debt? What is the best way to move multiple 401(k)’s from past employers to one account? About $750,000 was invested with my investment manager across a few investments. I'm being charged 1% in fees, which I understand is standard, but another company mentioned most of my investments are in just 6 ETFs, so there is little active management involved, and I should be charged closer to 0.8%. Given the passive nature of the strategy, I would like a second opinion on if 1% seems too high. I also have about $50,000 left on my mortgage with a rate of 2.75%, and I can pay it off this year. I'm figuring out whether I should pay it off early.Resources Mentioned:National Christian Foundation (NCF)Consumer Financial Protection BureauRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giving To Children and Grandchildren with Ron Blue

“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.” - Proverbs 13:22That verse seems pretty straightforward … but it leaves several questions unanswered. What should we leave to our kids…how much…, and when? Ron Blue joins us today with the answers.Ron Blue is the Co-Founder of Kingdom Advisors and the author of many books on biblical finance, including Splitting Heirs: Giving Your Money and Things to Your Children Without Ruining Their Lives.When To Leave Money to Your Kids and When Not ToMany people wonder if Proverbs 13:22 means they must leave money to their children and grandchildren. This verse should be seen as a principle rather than a command. In biblical times, wealth stayed within the family because no charitable organizations existed. Today, leaving a financial inheritance is a personal decision, not a mandate.If you believe God owns everything, the final decision you make as a steward is who receives His resources. If you think your heirs might misuse or squander the inheritance, it’s worth reconsidering. Money can be harmful without wisdom, whereas wisdom can create and sustain wealth.The fundamental principle is to impart wisdom before leaving money. If your children and grandchildren still need to gain the wisdom to manage resources responsibly, leaving them money can do more harm than good. Wisdom should always precede financial inheritance.When making decisions regarding wealth transfer, asking the right questions is crucial. A good question is, “If we leave this money to this child, what's the worst thing that can happen?" This question can help anticipate potential consequences and make informed decisions based on the likely outcomes.Treating Heirs Uniquely It's essential to understand that treating your children equally doesn't mean giving them the same financial inheritance. Each child is unique, and their needs and circumstances vary. Just as God treats us uniquely according to what’s best for us, parents should consider each child's needs and potential consequences when deciding on wealth transfer.The goal is to ensure that any financial inheritance supports and enhances the lives of your heirs rather than causing harm. By asking the right questions and understanding the unique needs of each child, you can make decisions that honor God's resources and benefit your family in the long term.Ron Blue’s book, "Splitting Heirs: Giving Your Money and Things to Your Children Without Ruining Their Lives," is a must-read for those navigating this complex topic, offering detailed guidance and thoughtful advice.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I need help managing my finances throughout my career, including multiple jobs and retirement accounts. Can you advise me on getting a financial advisor or someone to help me keep track of everything?I want to ask about cashing in several Savings Bonds I purchased in 1998. Since then, I have moved several times and cannot locate the bonds. Can I cash them in without having the physical bonds, or am I out of luck?Is it too late for me to buy a home? I am 58 years old and earn $98,000 per year. Home prices are costly right now, so I wanted advice on whether I should still pursue buying a home or if I am too old. I want to make a biblically sound decision.Is it biblical for my husband to have complete control over our finances and not allow me to use any money other than what he gives me for groceries each week? He reviews the grocery receipts to ensure I haven't purchased anything else. I shouldn't have to ask permission for every purchase since I am an adult, but he thinks this is the proper way to handle our finances.Resources Mentioned:Splitting Heirs: Giving Your Money and Things to Your Children Without Ruining Their Lives by Ron BlueTreasuryDirect.govRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/19/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Talking Inheritance

The Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet once wrote, “Wisdom without an inheritance is better than an inheritance without wisdom.”As Baby Boomers age, it’s estimated they’ll leave a tidal wave of wealth to their heirs, perhaps as much as $68 trillion by 2030. But is the next generation ready for that wealth?The Biblical Perspective on Inheritance Anne Bradstreet’s wisdom likely stemmed from Ecclesiastes 7:11-12, highlighting wisdom's value alongside an inheritance. This biblical perspective underscores the importance of preparing heirs with wealth and the wisdom to manage it.Current State of Wealth Transfer PreparednessResearch indicates that while Boomers are poised to make the greatest wealth transfer in history, they may need to prepare their heirs adequately. A study by Edward Jones revealed that while 48% of Americans plan to leave an inheritance, only 27% have discussed wealth transfer with their heirs, leaving many millennials and Gen Zers unprepared.The Impact of Longer Lifespans on Inheritance Longer lifespans mean Boomers might consume more of their assets due to rising healthcare costs, potentially reducing what’s available for inheritance. This reality necessitates early and ongoing conversations about wealth transfer to set realistic expectations.Four Approaches to Wealth Transfer The Edward Jones study identified four ways Boomers might transfer wealth:Traditional Giving—Assets like cash, stocks, and real estate are passed directly to children. Parents must discuss these plans with their children to ensure mutual understanding and preparation.Giving While Living—Boomers may help the younger generation by funding education, purchasing homes, or even paying for vacations. Early conversations about these financial supports can help manage expectations and alleviate concerns about future inheritance.Generational Skip—Some Boomers might transfer wealth directly to grandchildren, aiding in education or business ventures. Clear communication is vital to avoid resentment from the skipped generation and ensure a smooth wealth transfer.No Inheritance—Due to longer lifespans and increased expenses, some may find little or nothing left to inherit. Retirees are generally advised to draw down no more than 4% annually from retirement assets to preserve principal, but this might not always be feasible.The Solution: Communication and Wisdom Transfer Boomers must start discussing their plans with their adult children to ensure a smooth wealth transfer. Passing on financial wisdom is crucial, preparing heirs to be faithful stewards. Family conferences, possibly facilitated by a Certified Kingdom Advisor®, can be an effective way to start these conversations and ensure ongoing communication as circumstances change.Preparing the next generation to manage inherited wealth involves more than just transferring assets; it requires imparting the wisdom to steward those resources responsibly. By fostering open communication and providing financial education, Boomers can help their heirs honor God and manage their inheritance wisely. Teaching them that everything belongs to God and instilling values of stewardship, provision, and generosity is the greatest inheritance they can leave.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have a question about setting up a will since I have never made one. What do I need to do to set it up?I recently became widowed and retired, with a total net worth of around $500,000, including the value of my home that I plan to sell. With an annual income of $31,000 from Social Security, I wanted advice on how much of my $500,000 I should reasonably invest in a new home, considering I also want to become a foster parent and live in the house myself.I am asking about applying for Social Security benefits since I was informed that my job was being phased out at age 64. However, I had already earned more than the allowed amount for the year. I wanted to know if I started receiving Social Security later in the year, after August, if I would still get a check or if there is some sort of "clawback" since I exceeded the earnings limit earlier in the year.I have a question about updating my will, which I created 20 years ago in North Carolina. Is it still valid, or do I need to change it since I now live in Florida?Resources Mentioned:The Great Wealth Transfer Starts with the Great Wealth Talk (Edward Jones Research Study)Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/18/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Does Your Budget Reflect Your Priorities? with Brian Holtz

“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” - Ephesians 5:17That verse is a good reminder that to follow God's will, we must first know it for all areas of our lives—including finances. Brian Holtz joins us today with a question: Does your budget reflect God’s priorities or yours?Brian Holtz is the Chief Operating Officer at Compass Financial Ministry and the author of Financial Discipleship for Families: Intentionally Raising Faithful Children.Ownership vs. Stewardship One of the fundamental concepts of Christian finances is the distinction between ownership and stewardship. Psalm 24:1 reminds us, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains.” In 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, we learn that we are stewards or managers of God's resources, and as such, we must be faithful to His goals and priorities rather than our own.God’s Priorities for Money Scripture reveals five critical priorities for managing our finances in a way that honors God:Generosity—There are over 300 verses about giving and generosity. We are encouraged to give our first and best, never the leftovers.Providing for Family—1 Timothy 5:8 emphasizes the importance of providing for our families, stating that neglecting this responsibility is akin to denying the faith.Meeting Financial Obligations—Romans 13 urges us to meet our financial obligations, including paying taxes and repaying debts, reflecting our commitment as representatives of Jesus.Saving for the Future—Responsible saving is crucial to being faithful to the first three priorities during times of hardship or insufficient income.Enjoying God’s Blessings—While enjoying God's blessings, we must ensure that this enjoyment does not take precedence over His greater priorities.Aligning Our Budget with God’s Priorities If our budget isn't aligned with God's priorities, we need to admit our mistakes to God and recommit to His goals. As a family, we should make financial trades to align our budget lines with God’s priorities.Generosity: What abundance could we cut back on to be more generous?Provision: Are we saving too much at the expense of our family's immediate needs?Debt Repayment: What could we stop doing to pay off debt faster?Enjoyment: Once priorities are in order, how can we honor God by enjoying His blessings?Aligning our finances with God's priorities honors Him and brings a more fulfilling and purposeful life.You can learn more about biblical money management by visiting the Learn section at CompassFinancialMinistry.org. You can find resources suited to your preferred learning methods, whether reading, watching, or listening.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I love the idea of the QCD, and I know they work with IRAs. Do they work with 403b accounts?I used to have investments but had some high veterinary bills, and I'm on disability. I'm trying to get an emergency fund, but every month, I have to use the money I put aside. I need some encouragement on how to get his emergency fund because that's the first step I have to do.Is a reverse mortgage a good idea? Would we lose ownership of our home if we did this?I'm looking forward to starting a business and would like to know if I should open it as an LLC or an S corporation.I have my will and everything specified in it, including how things are divided regarding my house, estate, etc. I also have investments, and those are all I have beneficiaries on. My financial advisor says that I don't need a trust, but my kids are pushing me to get a trust to avoid probate. Resources Mentioned:Compass Financial MinistryWise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More by Miriam Neff and Valerie Neff Hogan, J.D. Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/17/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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What People Think About Inflation with Mark Biller

Everyone knows what inflation means, right? You’d be surprised by how fuzzy some people think about inflation.Is inflation a rise in prices, or simply high prices? Or does it mean something else entirely? The results of a recent poll may surprise you, but we’ve got Mark Biller with us today to explain it.Mark Biller is Executive Editor and Senior Portfolio Manager at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. What is Inflation? A Common MisunderstandingA recent survey revealed a significant misunderstanding among the general public about what inflation actually means. While 86% of respondents expressed concern about inflation, their definitions varied widely. Some believed it meant a rise in prices, others thought it referred to high prices, and there was confusion about the time periods involved—fewer than half correctly defined inflation as a rise in the cost of goods and services.Economists vs. Everyday ExperienceThere needs to be more connection between how economists talk about inflation and how ordinary people experience it. Economists focus on the rate of change in prices, which peaked at 9% in June 2022 and has since declined to 3-3.5%. However, this doesn’t mean prices are decreasing; they are simply rising at a slower rate. On the other hand, people experience inflation cumulatively. Since prices started soaring after COVID-19, the cumulative cost of inflation is between 22% and 25%.The Reality of Persistent High PricesUnfortunately, once prices rise, they seldom go back down. The concept of "transitory" inflation was misleading because it suggested that prices might return to previous levels, which they haven't. The cumulative impact of inflation since 2020 means that everything we buy now costs significantly more, and this higher cost is here to stay.Future of Inflation and Its ImplicationsLooking ahead, the battle against inflation continues. The Federal Reserve aims for a 2% inflation target, but the current rate above 3% indicates that more efforts are needed. The longer high inflation persists, the more it influences people's expectations and behaviors, which can lead to demands for higher wages and further price increases.Investing in an Inflationary EnvironmentHigher inflation has several implications for investors. Interest rates have spiked, hurting bond returns but benefiting savers with higher cash and other safe holdings yields. Real assets like gold, commodities, and energy stocks have performed well during this period. Sound Mind Investing has emphasized these assets while slightly reducing bond investments to mitigate the effects of higher inflation and interest rates.While economists and financial experts view inflation through a specific lens, everyday experiences paint a different picture. Understanding these differences can help us make better financial decisions navigating this inflationary environment. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’m seeking a good church management software program for our small church of less than 100 members. I want it to track our members' giving records and coordinate events.What do I do about the loan I took from my previous employer's 401k? I had borrowed around $9,000 to help buy a car for my daughter when she went to college. I am no longer with that employer, but they will allow me to repay the loan even though I've left. I'm currently paying $2,000 per month towards it. Should I continue repaying the loan or just stop paying it back? I also wanted to know if I should pay it off in one lump sum or continue monthly payments. Lastly, I also wanted to see if I should keep the 401k funds with my former employer or move them elsewhere.Would it be wise for my husband and I to co-sign on student loans for our son starting college this fall? Since he has no credit history, I wondered if that would factor into getting a better loan interest rate. Where would you recommend looking for loans that have the best interest rates?Resources Mentioned:Sound Mind InvestingChurch Center | PowerChurch | Tithe.ly | SecureGive | Shelby Systems | PushpayBankrate | Lending Tree | NerdWalletRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/16/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Back To School Smarts with Crystal Paine

Well, it’s hard to believe, but soon, the kids will be heading back to school. Are you ready to start the new school year on the right foot? Could you use a few tips? Well, you’re in for a treat. Crystal Paine joins us today with some great advice to make your back-to-school experience easier.Crystal Paine is the founder of MoneySavingMom.com and the author of The Time-Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most.Budgeting for Back-to-School EssentialsAs the new school year approaches, parents are reminded of the inevitable expenses, from clothes to school supplies and electronics. It’s crucial to start with the essentials. Determine what is necessary and set a budget. For families with older children, involve them in the process by giving them a budget for their back-to-school needs. This teaches financial responsibility and helps them prioritize their wants and needs.Also, it’s worth looking into whether your school offers package deals on back-to-school products. These can often be cost-effective and save time compared to buying items individually. For the best deals on school supplies, clothes, and even laptops, it is highly recommended that you follow MoneySavingMom.com and sign up for their hot deals email list.Making the Most of Tax-Free WeekendsTax-free weekends can be an excellent opportunity to save on back-to-school purchases. Check if your state offers tax-free weekends, what items are covered, and the specific dates. Planning allows you to maximize savings, especially on more significant purchases like electronics or even groceries if they are included.Shopping with Kids: A Learning OpportunityTaking kids shopping for back-to-school items can be a valuable learning experience. If your children are new to budget shopping, it might be better to leave them at home initially. However, parents should prioritize teaching their kids how to stick to a budget over the coming months. Give them opportunities to earn and spend money wisely, learning from the process.Establishing a School RoutineRe-establishing a good routine before school starts is crucial. Start a few weeks before school begins. Practice waking up at the required time and go through the morning routine. Involve the entire family in this process by discussing and planning it together. A successful morning routine often begins the night before. Preparing as much as possible the night before—laying out clothes, packing lunches, and planning breakfast—sets up the next day for success.Maintaining Spiritual Balance During Hectic TimesThe back-to-school season can be hectic, but maintaining spiritual balance is essential. Start your day with prayer, entrusting God with your worries and tasks. Pray for your kids, spouse, and the details of your day. Incorporate God’s Word into your daily routine—listen to the Bible on audio while getting ready, play worship music in the car, or read a devotional with your kids at breakfast. Demonstrating reliance on God and releasing stress to Him is a powerful example for children.Preparing for the school year doesn’t have to be overwhelming or financially draining. With careful planning, budgeting, and a focus on spiritual balance, parents can navigate this busy season with confidence and grace.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have two kids who are in college right now. My grandfather set up a 529 for each of them some years ago, and he passed away in 2010. I had another daughter who was born in 2010. Can that money be applied to my younger daughter with the money left over in one of my two older kids' 529 plans after graduating college?I haven't done any IRAs in about 20 years. I was told I could catch up. Is that true?Do I need to be concerned about my CDs at the bank and what the bank is investing my money in?My husband and I have always tithed because we believe everything we have is God's. But we struggle with where we're at in church and some of their financial decisions. So, tithing has been problematic when we disagree with what they're investing money in. Are we wrong? Is the church wrong?Resources Mentioned:MoneySavingMom.comChristian Community Credit UnionRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Don’t Carry Debt Into Retirement

Paying off debt is always a good thing…but paying it off before retirement is one of the best financial moves you’ll ever make.It’s a disturbing trend: more people than ever are retiring with debt. That reduces their lifestyle choices and increases the likelihood they’ll have to return to work at some point. Today, we’ll talk about carrying debt into retirement and how you can avoid it.Preparing for a Debt-Free Retirement: A Practical GuideAccording to the Federal Reserve's 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, 65% of people aged 65 to 74 are in debt, up from 50% 35 years ago. This rising debt can severely impact your lifestyle in retirement and might even force you to return to work. Proverbs 22:7 warns, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”A recent report by T. Rowe Price revealed that 20% of previously retired individuals are back to work, either full or part-time, and another 7% are actively seeking employment. The primary reason? The need for more income. Inflation has increased costs by about 15% over the past three years, stretching many retirement budgets thin, especially those burdened with debt.Steps to Achieve a Debt-Free RetirementSet a Goal to Eliminate Debt Before Retirement—If you're 5, 10, or 15 years away from retirement, aim to have all your debts paid off by then. Eliminating a mortgage, car payment, or other debts can allow you to live on less and create a critical financial margin in retirement. Prepare for Economic Downturns—Debt restricts financial flexibility, especially during economic slowdowns and stock market declines. Since the economy moves in cycles, preparing for these downturns is essential.Practical Strategies to Pay Off DebtCut Expenses—Review your budget and eliminate unnecessary expenses. Often, we continue paying for things out of habit. A thorough budget overhaul can free up funds to pay down debt. Increase Your Income—Consider side work or other income-generating opportunities. Increasing your income, coupled with reducing expenses, can help you knock out debt faster. Downsize Your Home—If feasible, downsizing to a smaller house can be a significant financial move. Selling a larger home can provide enough equity to pay off the mortgage and purchase a smaller home with cash or a much smaller mortgage. This also reduces expenses like property taxes and maintenance costs. Accelerate Mortgage Payments—If downsizing isn’t an option, focus on speeding up your mortgage payments. Use any extra income or savings from reduced expenses to pay down the mortgage principal. Making just one extra payment a year can significantly reduce the loan term and interest paid over the life of the loan. Tackle Credit Card Debt—Inflation increases credit card interest rates. To manage credit card debt, make more than the minimum payments. Use the “snowball method” by paying off the smallest balance first, then moving on to the next. This method is highly effective. Avoid Using Home Equity to Pay Off Consumer Debt—Using home equity to pay off credit card debt converts unsecured debt to secured debt, risking your home if payments aren’t made. Additionally, it doesn’t address the spending habits that led to the debt. Seek Professional Help—If you have more than $4,000 in credit card debt, consider contacting Christian Credit Counselors. They can help you create a debt management plan to pay off your debt 80% faster than going it alone.The Benefits of a Debt-Free RetirementAt FaithFi, we’ve never heard from anyone who regretted paying off their consumer debt or mortgage. Planning to get out of debt before retirement dramatically improves your chances of staying retired. This provides financial peace and frees up more time and resources to give back to God’s Kingdom.While the current financial landscape may be challenging, taking proactive steps now can ensure a more secure and fulfilling retirement. Start today, and you'll thank yourself in the years to come.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I recently retired and had a bad experience with an advisor who lost over $100,000 of my money in just a few months. What steps should I take to find an advisor I can trust? What questions should I ask them to ensure they fit me well?Should I pay cash or finance a piece of property I want to buy for $330,000? It's four acres of land behind where I live, and my friend is selling it to me. I have a lot of money in treasuries and CDs, but I don't have any credit. What do you recommend? Should I pay cash for the land using my treasuries and CDs, or should I try to finance it even though I don't have good credit?I'm receiving VA disability benefits, which are not taxable, but will my Social Security retirement be taxable? Will the VA benefits count as income, affecting how much my Social Security retirement is taxed?Given her situation, I’m wondering how to protect my mother's assets, including her 401k and home. She is 67 years old and has been diagnosed with dementia. I'm concerned about how to ensure my mother has access to her 401k to help pay for care if she needs to go into a home, but I also want to protect her assets and the house for inheritance down the road. What options do we have to do this?Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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State of the Housing Market

Is it the best of times or the worst of times? Well, it all depends on if you’re trying to buy or sell a house.It really is a matter of perspective. Home values remain sky-high and are likely to continue rising in the foreseeable future. How you view that depends on which side of the transaction you’re on.Navigating the Current Housing Market: Tips for First-Time Home BuyersIt may be the worst of times if you're a first-time home buyer. Home values have never been higher, thanks to the continued high cost of building materials, inflation, and low inventory. Coupled with mortgage rates of around 7%, buying your first home is undeniably an uphill battle.Moving Up in the MarketIf you're moving up—selling a starter home and buying one that fits your current needs—the situation is slightly different. While your dream house is more expensive, so is the house you're selling, which helps offset high home values. However, higher interest rates have many prospective home sellers sitting on the sidelines, waiting for rates to drop. This results in fewer homes on the market, driving up prices even more.Downsizing: A Silver LiningFor those downsizing, it truly is the best of times. You can sell a larger, more expensive home, pay off any existing mortgage, and be mortgage-free in your new, smaller home. This transition can leave you with a sizable nest egg for future needs.Market Trends and PredictionsThe housing market has always been influenced by these factors, but they are currently exaggerated by inflation and rising prices. Recent data shows a 6.5% increase in home values over the past year. Analysts predict that while home prices will continue to rise, the growth rate will begin to slow.Steps to Take if You’re Buying a HomeCheck Your Credit Reports—First, obtain all three credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Review them carefully and dispute any errors to boost your credit score, which will help you secure the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. Consult a Mortgage Loan Officer—Meet with a mortgage loan officer for guidance on the loan application and approval process. During the first visit, you don’t need to provide your personal financial information, but you should ask about programs for first-time home buyers. Assess Your Borrowing Capacity—Eventually, you’ll need to share your financial details with a loan officer to determine your debt-to-income ratio and how much you can borrow. Avoid borrowing the maximum amount the lender offers, as this can strain your budget. Aim to keep your mortgage payments within 25% of your take-home pay. Save for a Down Payment—Assemble the largest down payment you can. Putting down 20% helps you avoid private mortgage insurance, which costs around 1% of the loan amount annually. Reserve a few thousand dollars for unexpected expenses when you move in, avoiding reliance on credit cards. Get Pre-Approved—Shop around for the best interest rate and mortgage provider. Pre-approval strengthens your position as a buyer and helps streamline the home-buying process.A Mortgage with a PurposeConsider working with Movement Mortgage, a Christian mortgage company founded during the 2008 housing crisis. They offer competitive rates and a chance to contribute to a global movement of change. Movement Mortgage has donated $377 million to community projects and has locations in all 50 states. Learn more at Movement.com/Faith.Finding Your New HomeMake a list of essential features for your new home and connect with a knowledgeable real estate agent. Keep your list of “must-haves” short to stay flexible in this strong seller’s market.If possible, wait until winter to make an offer. Buyer competition typically decreases during colder months, giving you an edge.That's the current state of the housing market and a few tips to help you navigate it. We hope these insights and strategies assist you in your home-buying journey.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:How do I determine my tithe amount when liquidating a portion of my long-term investment holdings, which include stocks and bonds? Sometimes, the investment shows a slight increase over the principal in a year, but other times, there is a loss. I would like to know how to calculate my tithe since I wouldn't be cashing out the whole investment.Should I move some of my precious metals into my IRA, which I want to diversify into, or should I keep them at home where I can physically possess them? I'm particularly interested in silver since gold is quite expensive.Is making a living off the interest from my IRA investments through a financial advisor considered evil according to passages in the Bible that prohibit putting out money at interest or getting interest from my investments?Would an irrevocable trust be taxable after death, or would it just go back to the will already in place? How do the taxes work with an irrevocable trust if the original owner dies?Resources Mentioned:Movement MortgageAnnualCreditReport.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/11/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Economics of Genesis with Jerry Bowyer

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” - Genesis 1:1-2I’m sure you’re more than familiar with those first lines of the Bible…but are you aware of the economic implications of the creation story? Jerry Bowyer fills us in today.Jerry Bowyer is the President of Bowyer Research and our Resident Economist here at Faith & Finance. He is the author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.” You can also read his insightful columns for World News Group. Understanding the BeginningIn the opening verses of Genesis, we learn that the earth was formless, void, and dark. This detail is crucial for two reasons: it sets the stage for the rest of Genesis 1 and highlights God's creative process. When we understand that the earth was initially disorganized, empty, and dark, we can appreciate God's work in bringing order and fullness.God’s Creative ProcessFor the first few days of creation, God deals with the earth's formlessness by separating elements: light from darkness, waters above from waters below, and dry land from the sea. This separation creates structure. Then, God begins to fill what He has organized. He populates the sky with the sun, moon, stars, the seas with fish, and the land with plants and animals. Ultimately, He fills the earth with humanity.The first thing God does is turn on the light, akin to how we start our workday by turning on the light in our office. God’s act of turning on the light symbolizes bringing clarity and purpose to the day ahead.The Significance of “It Was So”Genesis often states, "Let us do such and such, and it was so." This phrase can be confusing as it seems out of order. However, it signifies that God’s actions were deliberate and agreed upon, possibly within the Trinity or with the angels. This consensus highlights the collaborative nature of God's work, which we can emulate in our own lives by seeking agreement and unity in our endeavors.Evaluating Our WorkGenesis 1:18 says, “God saw that it was good.” This implies that after creating, God stopped to evaluate His work. Similarly, we should regularly review and assess our efforts to ensure they meet our standards and God's approval. This practice underscores the inherent goodness of the material world and our role in stewarding it responsibly.Humanity's Unique RoleAfter creating humanity, God saw that it was "very good." Humans are unique because we are made in God’s image, capable of forming, filling, and evaluating our work. This divine likeness sets us apart from the rest of creation, emphasizing our unique role in God's plan.Our Relationship with CreationHumanity’s relationship with the garden and the earth is distinct. The garden was a cultivated space where Adam and Eve learned from God. However, the rest of the earth was wild and needed to be subdued and developed. This mandate to cultivate and improve the earth remains fundamental to our purpose.Any economic philosophy that discourages development contradicts this biblical mandate. While we must avoid pollution and destruction, we are called to transform and utilize the earth's resources to promote human flourishing.Applying Creation Principles to EconomicsIn our daily work, turning raw materials into useful products—like sand into microprocessors or seeds into crops—is not optional but a divine command. This creative mandate is essential for economic growth and human flourishing. Neglecting it leads to stagnation and conflict.Understanding the creation story from an economist's perspective reveals God's intention for humanity to bring order, fill the earth, and evaluate our work. Our work, done unto the Lord, is part of His grand plan and promotes true human flourishing.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I recently borrowed money on my life insurance. Should I declare that on my income taxes next year?In Florida, many of us have 55-deed-restricted homes. Many fees are involved, and quite a few have gone up. There is the recreation and fitness membership, which is deeded to the house. Can we get out of something like this?My question is about my work annuity. What's the best way for me to use it when I retire so that I don't lose money and it can continue to grow? A friend lost 18% by taking a lump sum; I wonder if that was taxes or penalties.Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/10/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Social Security FAQ with Eddie Holland

You have to be at least 62 to collect Social Security…maybe because it takes that long to understand the program.Do you have questions about Social Security? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? Well, you don’t want to miss today’s program. Eddie Holland is back to answer more of your questions about Social Security.Eddie Holland is a Senior Private Wealth Advisor and partner of Blue Trust in Greenville, South Carolina. He’s also a CPA, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), and a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®).Can You Claim Benefits Early and Switch Later? You can claim Social Security benefits at 62 and switch to spousal benefits later if the spousal benefit is higher than your own. However, if your benefit is higher, you must take that instead. Conversely, you must wait to claim spousal benefits first and then switch to your benefit at full retirement age; you must take the higher of the two benefits available.Survivor Benefits Exception Survivor benefits are an exception where you can take one benefit and let the other grow. For instance, a widow can claim a survivor benefit as early as 60 and then switch to her benefit at 70, which would have grown due to delayed retirement credits.Taxation of Social Security Benefits Social Security benefits can be taxed based on your combined income, including half of your Social Security benefits, adjusted gross income, and any tax-exempt interest. Federal taxes apply progressively, with higher income leading to more taxable benefits.Roth Conversions and Social Security Be cautious with Roth conversions, as they can increase your combined income and make more of your Social Security benefits taxable. This strategy might push you into a higher marginal tax bracket.Stopping Benefits If you decide to stop your Social Security benefits, you can do so within the first 12 months of receiving them if you're under full retirement age. Beyond that, you can pause benefits after reaching full retirement age to earn delayed retirement credits.Scams and Social Security There is an increasing problem of Social Security scams. Legitimate Social Security issues will be communicated via mail, not phone calls, emails, or social media messages. If in doubt, always verify by setting up an appointment with your local Social Security office.If you have questions about your benefits, consider consulting a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®) who can provide tailored advice for your unique situation. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I already have an LLC as a sole proprietor but want to set up another one. When I research online, I see that there are so many different options, such as having a holding company or adding a trust above the holding company. Which structure would be best for my situation? What do you recommend regarding how I should go about setting up another LLC?I recently sold a vehicle and bought another one, and I had some savings, totaling about $25,000, available after my emergency fund was covered. I also took money out of my Thrift Savings Plan (retirement account) two years ago to purchase a home, and the balance on that loan is around $25,000 at a very low interest rate. Given this situation, what would your advice be for where I should put this extra $25,000 - pay down the TSP loan, pay down the auto loan, or invest in the open market?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/9/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Put Your Principles Where Your Money Is

If you’re tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck…you can make a decision today that will change your life.All you have to do is practice God’s financial principles and then wait to see what happens. You’ll be amazed at the results.Admitting the ProblemLike most things, the first step in making financial changes is admitting that you have a problem and then identifying what you’re doing wrong. So, what’s not right with the way you’re handling money?Maybe you worry about bouncing a check, or you fear the phone ringing because it might be a bill collector, or you’re dealing with the gas or electricity being turned off for non-payment. Maybe you argue with your spouse about money. Or you’ve stopped giving to your church because you’re afraid you won’t have enough.Those are all signs that something needs to change. And you shouldn’t fear that change. It might be a little scary initially…but it’s nowhere near as scary as living paycheck to paycheck. Following God’s principles will give you welcome relief from worrying about money.Embracing Change Through FaithIsaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”So, how do you begin to bring about this change? First, dispelling the notion that God’s Word doesn’t contain everything you need to transform how you handle money.Hebrews 4:12 reads, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”Understanding and believing in biblical truth is essential. The first principle you need to grasp is that God owns everything.Recognizing God's OwnershipPsalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who live in it.” When you fully embrace that principle…everything else can fall into place.You won’t be consumed with thoughts about how you’re handling your money…because it’s not yours. Instead, you’ll begin to think about managing God’s money…because you’re simply His steward…or manager…of the resources He’s temporarily entrusted to you.And as His steward…God will never abandon you to fend for yourself. He’s always with you, and He’s promised to provide. Luke 12:24 reads, “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap…they have neither storehouse nor barn…yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!”Applying Biblical PrinciplesOnce you believe that God will provide…Scripture becomes your guide for changing the way you think and act about money. Instead of running away from God’s financial principles, you’ll run to them. The Bible says a lot about spending, saving, investing, and getting out of debt, along with contentment and generosity—everything you need to know for wise money management.Take just one principle to start. Pray earnestly about it. Ask God for strength, discipline, and the desire to carry it out. Maybe that’s setting aside a few dollars from your paycheck, paying more than the minimum on your credit card, or setting aside a little more to give to your church. Pick one and stick with it. Then, when it’s part of your life…you can go on to the next…and the next.Practical Tools for ChangeThis is putting the principle into practice. You do that with tools and structure…a budget, a will, a long-term financial plan, and so on.If you’re not living on a budget…you need to develop a spending plan now. Proverbs 27:23 teaches, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” These days, our “herds and flocks” are our bank accounts and other financial assets.There’s no better tool for developing a spending plan than the FaithFi app. With three money management options, you can easily find one that fits your unique needs and preferences.Seeking AccountabilityNow, many people find it difficult to change by themselves. As our friend Howard Dayton says, they need someone to encourage them and hold them accountable “to hold their fuzzy feet to the fire.”You may need someone to keep you on track. It could be a spouse, another family member, or a friend—but someone to hold you accountable for staying on budget.So, those are the tools you need to start putting God’s financial principles into practice. When you do, you’ll see significant changes in your life—not right away, but be patient—it’ll happen.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Would building a new home be a good use of my money at 74, or would that be greedy? I have enjoyed the home-building process before and still feel energetic. I also have a trusted contractor who has already made plans for the new home.I have a question about options for an unwanted timeshare I purchased years ago. I'm tired of paying the high annual maintenance fees, but I need help finding a helpful property. Could I donate the timeshare to charity or otherwise get rid of it?I was recently approached about transferring the money to an insurance company that claimed they could add 30% to the amount and guarantee an 8% annual return over ten years. Is this a good idea? Do you have any other recommendations for what to do with my 401k funds? I also wanted to know what questions I should ask the insurance company to ensure the opportunity wasn't too good to be true.Resources Mentioned:Timeshare Users GroupRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Invest in Beautiful with Jason Myhre

Beauty matters to painters, musicians, and photographers, but what does it have to do with investing? The creation account suggests that beauty is also at the core of faithful stewardship and investing. Today, we’ll discuss “Investing in Beautiful” with Jason Myhre of the Eventide Center for Faith & Investing.Jason Myhre is the Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith & Investing, an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management, and an underwriter of Faith & Finance. The Experience of BeautyWe all encounter beauty in various forms—an orchestral performance, a mountain hike, a beach stroll, or even a bouquet of flowers at home. However, we seldom consider the role of beauty in our work or finances. Beauty is integral to creation and essential in our stewardship of God’s world.In Genesis, God is depicted as a worker, creating the heavens and the earth and declaring His creation "very good." The Hebrew word for "good" encompasses moral perfection, functional excellence, and surpassing beauty—a concept better captured by the compound word "beauty-good." God, as a master artisan, crafted a world full of potential and delight.Humanity is called to contribute to the beauty and goodness of creation through work. Genesis 2:15 says, “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it.” This passage indicates that humans are to make God's creation even better. God’s creation is full of hidden potential, like seeds, waiting for us to uncover and develop it through our work.Uncovering Creation’s PotentialConsider simple examples like bread and wine. God created grain with the potential to become bread and grapes with the potential to become wine. These transformations reveal the hidden potential within creation, brought to fruition through human work.A more sophisticated example relevant today is semiconductors, which are essential for our smart devices and computers. The fundamental material for semiconductors is sand. Kristen Say from Eventide Asset Management aptly describes it: “With semiconductors, we’re taking sand and teaching it to think.” This potential was embedded in creation from the beginning, waiting for us to uncover and develop it.Theologian Craig Bartholomew also offers a powerful analogy: Imagine being a sculptor and receiving a call from Michelangelo, who asks you to complete a sculpture he started. This mirrors our role in God’s creation: to finish and enhance the work God began, thereby revealing all its hidden beauty and goodness and glorifying God as the ultimate Creator.Applying This Vision to Business and InvestingAs Christians with a biblical worldview, we must view business and investing through the lens of this divine vision. The Genesis instructions for developing the beauty and goodness of creation still apply to us today. Businesses are called to create products and services that are genuinely good, and that truly serve humanity. Investors play a crucial role by supplying the capital that enables and expands the good work of businesses.When contemplating investments, we should ask whether the companies we invest in create goods and services that enhance the world or harm God's creation. Embracing this perspective helps align our investments with our faith, ensuring they contribute positively to God's world.Faith-Based InvestingThe good news is that the faith-based investing movement is growing. Numerous Christian faith-based investments now help us avoid companies whose products contradict biblical values while supporting those that meet human needs and enhance the world.Understanding and developing the hidden potential in God's creation is a profound aspect of our work and investments. By aligning our investments with Christian values, we honor God and contribute to the ongoing revelation of His creation’s beauty and goodness.To learn more about faith-based investment resources and to find a list of faith-based investment options, visit faithandinvesting.com/faithfi.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:A close family member is dealing with excessive medical debt that totals around $200,000. They had long-term medical issues and were unable to work for a period of time. Some of these bills have now gone to collections agencies. I'm figuring out how to handle this debt and where to go. We've been helping them occasionally, but their living expenses are tight.Resources Mentioned:Eventide Center for Faith & InvestingRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Road To Financial Freedom

It’s the 4th of July—the day we celebrate our nation’s independence. It’s also a great day to take stock of your financial independence.Are you on the road to financial freedom? Or are you falling under the bondage of money? It’s one or the other. Either you control your money…or your money controls you. The Gift of Financial FreedomIndependence gave our nation freedom, and financial independence provides us with the freedom to make choices. When we control our money, we can decide where and how we live, where we work, and how much we work. However, financial freedom doesn't mean independence from God. Everything we have comes from Him, including our ability to earn money. James 1:17 reminds us, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."God's Desire for Our Financial FreedomTo achieve financial freedom, we must remember that God desires it for us so that we can be more generous and serve Him more fully. Unfortunately, many people say they’d love to give more to God’s kingdom but can't afford to. The more control we have over our household finances, the more generous we can be, and that’s why financial freedom is crucial.The Burden of DebtA significant obstacle to financial freedom is debt. Proverbs 22:7 warns us, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” When we’re in debt, we work for someone else, not ourselves or God. The more we pay to service debt each month, the less freedom we have to use that money in other ways, including serving God.Debt is just one form of financial bondage. Another, often harder to recognize, is the mindset that material things will make us happy. When we strive to acquire more, we may find that our possessions end up owning us. Money is a tool to be used wisely, and having a lot of it can enslave us as effectively as debt if we’re not careful. The Bible warns about our attitude toward wealth. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”Signs of Financial BondageHere are some signs of financial bondage: You think about money constantly and have no peace with God. Your focus is on daily concerns rather than eternal ones. You struggle to give generously, even when you have the means. This reluctance indicates a lack of financial freedom. Additionally, a lack of contentment is a red flag. You'll never have enough if you always want more and are never satisfied with God’s provision.Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”The Path to Financial FreedomSo, how do we get back on the road to financial freedom? If you’re in debt, stop borrowing, get on a budget, and start paying down your debt. The FaithFi app can help you set up your budget quickly and easily. If you have plenty of money but no peace, try giving more. Giving breaks the power that money has to enslave us.By following God’s principles for managing money—avoiding debt, saving diligently, and giving generously—you can experience true financial freedom. This freedom enhances your life and empowers you to serve God more fully and generously.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:How should I invest for retirement as a 26-year-old single man? As suggested by my financial advisor, I had been considering an IUL (indexed universal life insurance plan). Still, I was uncertain if that was the best option given my long time horizon and ability to take risks at my age.Should I use $6,000 from my Roth account to pay down some of my $24,000 in credit card debt, reducing it to $18,000? I contacted a debt management company, which said they could lower my interest rate to 12%, but I would have to pay $540 per month, which I can't afford. The debt management company said that if I took $6,000 from my Roth to pay the debt, my monthly payment would be around $415, which I think I can afford.I’m about to meet with my financial advisor, who I am not happy with at the moment. I’m 71 and have $265,000 left in my Wells Fargo account. How should I allocate my investments moving forward, and how should I communicate with him when I meet to discuss my portfolio?Resources Mentioned:The Sound Mind Investing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Money From a Biblical Perspective by Austin Pryor with Mark BillerMovement MortgageRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/4/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giving While You’re Living with Ron Blue

2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”God’s Word repeatedly challenges us to be generous givers to our families and His Kingdom. When should we do this giving? Are we waiting too long? Ron Blue joins us today with an idea you may not have thought about.Ron Blue is the Co-Founder of Kingdom Advisors and the author of many books on biblical finance, most notably “Master Your Money: A Step-by-Step Plan for Experiencing Financial Contentment.”The Joy of GivingThere is immense joy in seeing the impact of your generosity firsthand. Whether you give $20 to someone working in an airport bathroom or support a charity, the act of giving not only helps others but also enriches your own life.Preparing for Wealth TransferOne practical aspect of this principle is involving your children in your financial generosity. By allowing them to see and participate in how you handle and distribute your wealth, you prepare them for the future. This hands-on experience can be vital to your wealth transfer or estate plan, ensuring that your values and approach to money are passed down.Defining Your Financial Finish LineTo give maximally, you should define your financial finish line. This means determining what you must live on for the rest of your life and setting a limit. Once you reach this limit, you are free to give away the excess. This clear boundary simplifies financial decisions and opens up opportunities for greater generosity.True joy and fulfillment come from using our resources to make a difference while we can see the results. By defining our financial finish line and involving our families, we can ensure that our generosity leaves a lasting legacy.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Do you have any recommendations on pamphlets or printouts about giving to the church or tithing?Should I set up a revocable trust for my farm and assets to ensure an uninterrupted transfer of the farming business to my farming heirs when I pass away? I'm concerned about avoiding probate costs and ensuring the assets are distributed according to my wishes.I was looking at purchasing some land and paying cash for it. But I am looking at putting it into a revocable trust. That way, when I pass, it can go right to my children and grandchildren and not go through a probate court or have all the taxes and fees and everything that, you know, happens when somebody dies. I also asked if putting it in a revocable trust would keep all of the inheritance tax and everything away or if there would still be some of that tax.I have an extra $400 a month that I don’t know what to do with. Should I put it in my IRA, which has $2000, or my husband's IRA, which has $80,000, or put the extra $400 a month towards our mortgage payment?Resources Mentioned:Master Your Money: A Step-by-Step Plan for Experiencing Financial Contentment by Ron BlueSplitting Heirs: Giving Your Money and Things to Your Children Without Ruining Their Lives by Ron Blue with Jeremy WhiteMoney, Possessions, and Eternity: A Comprehensive Guide to What the Bible Says about Financial Stewardship, Generosity, Materialism, Retirement, Financial Planning, Gambling, Debt, and More by Randy AlcornRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/3/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Set Free From Anxiety

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. today? You might assume that we have a major anxiety problem just by the number of commercials you see for new medicines to treat these disorders, but is anxiety really a new thing?The Reality Of AnxietyModern medicine recognizes anxiety in many forms: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and various phobias. Data shows nearly a third of all U.S. adults will experience some form of anxiety in their lifetime. The cost of treating anxiety disorders in the U.S. runs into the tens of billions of dollars, with an even higher economic impact due to lost productivity.What causes this widespread anxiety? According to the Mayo Clinic, the causes aren’t fully understood but likely include physical and mental health issues, as well as negative life events such as job loss or financial troubles.If you’re struggling with persistent anxiety, it’s crucial to see a doctor. Medication and counseling can be transformative.Jesus’ Teachings On AnxietyDespite appearing like a modern affliction exacerbated by hectic schedules, technology overload, and perhaps even diet, anxiety is not new. We know this because Jesus addresses it in the Bible, particularly Matthew 6 and Luke 12.Matthew 6:25-26 says: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”Imagine the disciples traveling around Galilee and Judea, relying on donations for their needs. It’s easy to see why they might have felt anxious about where they’d sleep or their next meal. Jesus encourages them to have faith. In Matthew 6:31-33, He says:“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Resisting The Love Of MoneyJohn Rinehart, founder of Gospel Patrons, explains that Jesus aims to free us from fear and anxiety to be distinct from the world. The world often idolizes money and seeks comfort and security through wealth. While financial planning is important, it shouldn’t be for the sake of leisure alone. Rinehart notes that the world is preoccupied with wealth, which can be perilous for Christians.Jesus warns of this temptation, emphasizing the need to resist the love of money by recognizing our value to God. He made us with a purpose. Jesus instructs us to seek God’s Kingdom and righteousness first, promising our needs will be met.We must actively participate in our provision and trust God to fulfill His promise. When we understand our worth to God, we’ll pursue His Kingdom and boldly share the Gospel, glorifying Him in the process.The Choice We All Have To MakeUltimately, we all face a choice: will we follow the world or seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? We can’t do both. As Jesus states in Matthew 6:24:“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”Choose God over money and watch the cares of the world fade away.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have two debts here that I'd like to see which one to tackle first. One is obviously just my own mortgage, which I have about 5% interest. And the other one is a small business loan I obtained a couple of years ago at a lower interest rate of 3.5%. I don't know if it makes sense to put all my extra income and money now that I have come to every extra income towards an SBA loan or if you should go ahead and try to pay the home off.I have a couple of CD IRAs above from my wife and me. One was a four-year and a two-year one a while ago, but they both matured around the same time. When I went to roll over the CD IRAs, they were like $20,000, and they said you can only put in $7,000 per person now. I'm wondering what I should do because otherwise, I must pay taxes.I recently received mail promoting a service called ID Resolve. Is it worth it to get these ID protection plans? We have a term life insurance policy that is ending. We can cash it out or roll it into a whole life policy, but we have other adequate life insurance. I'm just wondering if there's a way to put that money in a savings account for our child's college expenses in about a year and a half that would not be painful for taxes.Resources Mentioned:1PasswordLastPassRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/2/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Living Wisely in Either Prosperity or Adversity

In the First Century B.C., Roman historian Sallust said, “Prosperity tries the souls, even of the wise.”Most people would choose financial prosperity despite its temptations. But what if you’re living with financial adversity? Today, we’ll talk about how to be wise in good times and bad.The Temptations of Financial Success and AdversityWhen things are going well financially, it’s tempting to take credit for your success, leading to sins like pride and greed. On the other hand, adversity brings its own set of temptations, such as self-pity, bitterness, and envy. Neither set of attitudes is godly.Christians are called to live with integrity, no matter our circumstances. But how do we consistently do that? According to the Bible, wisdom is the key to godly living in both good times and bad.Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Fearing the Lord means respecting and honoring His authority and obeying His commands. Understanding the consequences of breaking God’s rules is the first step toward living wisely.Good parents know that children need boundaries for safety and healthy development. God has also set boundaries for His children that protect us spiritually and physically. When God says “no” to something, like stealing or dishonesty, those things hurt us by breaking relationships with others and the Lord.Because God loves us, He sets these boundaries for our lives. When we obey, we are safe and at peace. So, fearing the Lord isn’t about being afraid; it’s about learning to love and obey our Heavenly Father even more.The Benefits of WisdomWisdom begins with a healthy respect for God’s authority. Whether struggling financially or experiencing prosperity, you can still live wisely by listening to God's words. Here are a few benefits of wisdom:Discernment: Proverbs 2:9 says the wise “…will understand what is right and just and fair.”Guidance: Proverbs 3:6 reminds us, “In all your ways acknowledge Him…and He will make your paths straight.”Blessing: Proverbs 3:13 says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom.”Good Reputation: Proverbs 3:35 says, “The wise inherit honor.”Protection: Proverbs 16:6 says, “Through the fear of the Lord, a man avoids evil.”These benefits are available to you, no matter your financial state. Conversely, the Bible refers to those who do not honor God and live by His rules as “fools.” Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.” Fools suffer shame, disaster, distress, and troubles—outcomes we should strive to avoid in our finances and lives.Following a Path of Wisdom in Financial DecisionsSo, how can you follow a path of wisdom in your day-to-day financial decisions? Understand how God views money and possessions. The Bible tells us that God owns everything, and we are to be wise caretakers of whatever we have. He’s not really concerned about your bank balance; what matters is where your heart is. Ask the Lord to change your heart so you can follow Him in this area.Being financially wise means living according to biblical principles. Practice integrity in all your dealings and consider others more important than yourself.Contentment is key to financial wisdom. When you invite God into your finances, trusting Him to lead you and provide what you need, you’ll begin to understand 1 Timothy 6:6, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”What do your actions and attitudes about money reveal about you? Are you wise or foolish? If you’re committed to Jesus and following the Lord with all your heart, it will show in your financial choices. Whether God has provided you with adversity or prosperity, you can be confident in His love and provision. Stay focused on what’s really important—following Jesus.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I own a home, and it's just my name. I do have a will, but I’m concerned about these advertisements on TV about people being scammed out of their houses. I wondered if I should put my house in an LLC or a trust.I wanted to cash in some US Treasury Savings Bonds I bought in the 80s and 90s to take advantage of higher interest rates today. I wondered if there would be any problems with cashing them in to put the money into a one-year CD since it's paying 5% interest now.I wanted to understand why, when you get your first mortgage statement, they haven't taken the interest rate you were quoted—like 7%—but a much larger portion of your interest payment, like 60% rather than 7%. How do amortized loans work? Is the interest on the loan “front-loaded” in the early years of the loan?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
7/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Family Inspires Hope With Dr. Albert Reyes

Since the beginning of time, God’s design for humanity has always been to be a giant family spread throughout the earth. So what happened?Because of the power of sin in our world, families are broken, children become orphans, and many feel alone and isolated, as if they don’t belong. Dr. Albert Reyes with Buckner International joins us today to share a hopeful message about God’s design for his family.Dr. Albert Reyes is the author of Never Alone: The Power of Family to Inspire Hope and Hope Now: Peace, Healing, and Justice When the Kingdom Comes Near. He serves as the President and CEO of Buckner International, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. The Importance of FamiliesSadly, there is a growing effort to undermine the family structure. Strong families are critical to communities, cities, and any organization of humanity. Through Buckner International, they see the impact daily of providing strong families for children who need them and supporting existing families to thrive.Lessons from Biblical FamiliesExamining the families we see in the Bible reveals valuable lessons from their experiences—positive actions to emulate and mistakes to avoid. Despite their flaws, these families needed redemption, much like ours today. This underscores the importance of a redeemer in strengthening our family units.Buckner International’s MissionBuckner International is grounded in the biblical directive from James 1:27, which emphasizes caring for orphans and widows. Their ministry focuses on two main areas: senior living and services for children and families. The Children and Families division provides foster care and adoption, support for single-parent families, and Family Hope Centers to aid struggling families. Additionally, they’ve distributed over 5 million pairs of shoes to children in more than 85 countries since 1994.Shoes for Orphan SoulsOne of Buckner’s notable projects is "Shoes for Orphan Souls." This initiative collects new shoes for children, which volunteers sort, prepare, and ship. These shoes are crucial in allowing children to run, play, attend school, and stay healthy. Volunteers also include personal notes of encouragement, sharing the love of Christ with each child who receives a pair.Get InvolvedFor just $15, you can provide a pair of shoes to a child in need anywhere in the world. To contribute, visit GiveShoesToday.org.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I've got four credit cards and about $6,500 in debt, and I want to get rid of that debt. Should I go through the Trinity finance program, consolidate that, save some of those penalties and things, and get that paid off? Or is it better for my credit to go ahead and do the best I can to make the payments? Is that the best for my future?I have a second home, and my parents live in it. I've been thinking about selling it, but my parents are hesitant because they want to stay there until they pass. They're up there in age, but I just want to get rid of the house. I don't want to put my parents in a nursing home or anything, so what can I do? What are my options?I'm only 63, but I applied for disability. I'm about to have my fourth back surgery. So they asked me if I wanted to go ahead and receive social security while I was waiting for disability to be approved. So, I am receiving that $1,700 a month. Now, there is a cap on how much income, and I'm trying to continue to work to supplement that. But I have a cap of $1,400. That's still not enough to live on, so I live in my car now. But once I receive my disability, and that's approved, will there still be a cap on how much additional supplemental income I can earn?Resources Mentioned:Never Alone: The Power of Family to Inspire Hope by Dr. Albert ReyesBuckner Shoes for Orphan Souls (GiveShoesToday.com)Give To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/28/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Timeshare Tribulation

What’s harder to get rid of than termites and hurts more than a toothache?A certain group of people will tell you it’s a timeshare. It seemed like a good idea at the time…but now it’s just another budget buster. Today, we’re diving deeper into this topic. Unfortunately, none of the options are particularly great, but let’s explore them.Why Are Timeshares Hard to Sell?First, it’s important to understand why timeshares are so difficult to sell. Ideally, you’d sell your timeshare and recoup your investment. However, this rarely happens. If anyone has managed it, please let us know how!The main issue is that timeshares often lack a clear need for potential buyers. You can book a week at a similar resort without the upfront cost and ongoing fees. Additionally, timeshares suffer from a poor public image due to aggressive sales tactics, making them less appealing to buyers.Getting InformedBefore attempting to sell, gather as much information as possible. A great resource is the Timeshare Users Group (TUG) at Tug2.com. For a $15 annual membership, you can access a community of timeshare owners sharing advice and experiences.Selling Your TimeshareIf you decide to sell your timeshare yourself, be realistic about its value. It’s likely worth much less than what you paid. Advertising options include TUG’s marketplace, eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, and local classifieds.Once you find a buyer, drafting a contract is essential. It is wise to hire an attorney to ensure the contract is legally sound.Other OptionsIf selling doesn’t work, consider these alternatives:Timeshare Deed Back: You can ask the resort to take back the timeshare. This is called a deed back and is often the cheapest way out. However, you might need to have paid off the full timeshare cost.Timeshare Exit Company: Be cautious with these companies. Look for one with a solid track record and referrals, as there are many scams. Costs typically start around $5,000 and can go much higher.Hiring an Attorney: An attorney experienced in timeshare contracts might help, especially if the company has breached the contract. Legal fees can also be high, often comparable to timeshare exit companies.Costs and ConsiderationsSelling your timeshare might involve several hundred dollars in advertising fees. You’ll also lose the difference between your purchase and sale prices. Using a timeshare exit company or attorney can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 or more.What to AvoidExtravagant Claims: Avoid companies that make unrealistic promises about getting you out of your timeshare for a low cost.Upfront Payments: Don’t pay upfront fees to timeshare exit companies.Illegal Actions: Never engage in anything illegal or dishonorable.Don’t Stop PaymentsStopping payments on your timeshare is tempting but dangerous. It can lead to relentless harassment from the timeshare company or collection agencies, damage your credit score, and potentially result in foreclosure. Remember, you signed a contract, and as believers, we are called to honor our commitments. Psalm 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”Prevention is KeyUltimately, the best advice is to avoid buying a timeshare in the first place. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”We hope this information helps you navigate the challenging process of getting out of a timeshare. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Should I use my extra $500 income each month to pay off my car loan quicker to save on interest, or should I invest that money in renting a parking lot so I can provide dog training services again?I wanted to ask about a new feature in the Roth IRA that my school system offers, where I can choose to protect my investments at certain percentages from drops in the market. I would like to know if choosing the option where I would be protected unless it dropped below 40% or rose above 60% is a good idea or if the other option of protection below 115% and above 40-60% is better. Is this type of downside protection even a good idea?I’m looking for ideas on how to fund a supplemental retirement for my wife using some inheritance money I recently received. As a retired federal employee, I only chose a minimal survivor benefit for her, which will not provide her with enough income when I pass away. I wanted suggestions on investing the $75,000 inheritance to generate retirement income for her after I am gone.Resources Mentioned:Timeshare Users Group (TUG)Give To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/27/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Message of the Widow’s Oil with Sharon Epps

The Bible contains many accounts of God providing miraculously for His people, but none are more fascinating than the story of the Widow’s Oil.That passage is found in 2 Kings 4:1-7—it’s just seven verses, but they’re loaded with teaching about God’s provision. Sharon Epps joins us today to unpack the story of the Widow’s Oil and how we can apply it to our lives today.Sharon Epps is the president of Kingdom Advisors, FaithFi’s parent organization. Kingdom Advisors serves the broad Christian financial industry by educating and equipping professionals to integrate biblical wisdom and financial expertise.Elisha and the Widow’s OilLet's start by reading the whole story from 2 Kings 4:1-7:Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”God’s Role in Our ProvisionThis story beautifully illustrates God's role in our lives. God provided the oil when the widow had no other means and also ensured there were buyers for the oil to settle her debts. This story reminds us of our total dependence on God for our needs.Our Role in God’s PlanWhile God is the ultimate provider, the widow has a significant role to play. She sought help from Elijah, followed his instructions, gathered the jars, poured the oil, and sold it. This highlights the importance of our participation in God’s provision. We must be active in our faith, seeking guidance, obeying God’s instructions, and doing our part diligently.The Lesson of FaithVerse 3 of this passage is particularly powerful. Elijah instructed the widow to gather as many jars as possible, and the amount of oil she received was directly tied to the number of jars she collected. This act of gathering jars was a manifestation of her faith. Similarly, our faith can determine the extent of God's blessings in our lives.Practical Steps for Faithful StewardshipThere are several practical lessons from this story:Rely on God: In difficult situations, look to God for guidance rather than relying solely on your own abilities.Seek Wise Counsel: Just as the widow sought Elijah's help, we should seek advice from trusted advisors and fellow believers.Do Your Part: Be faithful to the tasks God has given you, no matter how small or mundane they may seem.Involve Your Family: Include your family in your journey of faith and stewardship, allowing them to witness God’s provision firsthand.Avoid Debt: Be mindful of the financial burdens you might leave behind, ensuring you plan for the future responsibly.Use What You Have: Consider how you can use your current resources to meet the needs of others, practicing generosity as an essential aspect of stewardship.By aligning our hearts with God's, we can experience the true joy of faithful stewardship.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I want to pay off my mortgage faster to pay less interest. I have some extra money that I can put towards the mortgage. Would making an extra monthly or a large lump sum payment be best?My wife and I have been paying for long-term care insurance for about 15 years and are in our mid to late 70s. There has been a class action suit against the long-term care company informing us that their rating is now C++, which means they're marginally able to pay for future claims. They're forecasting more premium increases to come and have offered some options, and I don't know what the overall state of the industry is. Still, we're wondering whether we should cancel our policy. What kinds of things should I consider when deciding what to do?Resources Mentioned:Give To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/26/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Does God Care Where We Give? with David Wills

The Bible clearly says that Christians are to give…but is it always as clear about where we should give?We all have to decide where we will give from our limited resources. So, a good question to ask is, “Does God care where we give?” I’ll talk about that today with David Wills.David Wills is President of The National Christian Foundation (NCF). He is also the co-author of Investing in God’s Business (The “How To” of Smart Christian Giving) and numerous articles and lectures nationwide.  A New Perspective on GivingA recent article titled “Does God Care Where We Give?” appeared on the NCF website and challenges a common misconception: that our personal passions should solely drive our giving. Instead, we should place God at the center of our giving decisions.Determining God's Will in GivingWhile we often give to areas we care about, it’s crucial to consider what God thinks. How do we determine this? God cares about each of us and allows us to steward financial resources for His glory and our good. By obeying God and reflecting His love, we gain supreme motivation, and our giving can glorify God.Biblical Guidance on Where to GiveGod’s Word offers guidance on where to give. Acts 1:8 provides a model with three geographic areas: Jerusalem (local), Judea and Samaria (national and regional), and the ends of the earth (international). This model challenges us to think strategically about our giving on these levels.Focusing on Eternal InvestmentsTwo things will last forever: God’s Word and people. Therefore, supporting the translation, distribution, teaching, and preaching of Scripture and aiding those spreading the gospel aligns with God's priorities. 3 John 5-8 underscores the importance of supporting workers who spread the good news of Jesus Christ.Specific Groups to SupportThe Bible also identifies specific groups we should care for: the poor and oppressed, orphans, widows, the hungry, thirsty, strangers, the naked, the sick, prisoners, refugees, and victims of calamity. These groups repeatedly surface as recipients of giving in the Bible, indicating God's special concern for them.Laying Up Treasures in HeavenWhile these categories don’t exhaust all giving possibilities, they guide us to support what God cares about locally, nationally, and internationally while leaving room for creative freedom in our giving.As Jesus said in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” By focusing our giving on what aligns with God's heart, we can experience greater joy and fulfillment.For more details, be sure to check out David’s article, “Does God Care Where We Give?”On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I recently learned that I will soon receive an inheritance of $200,000. Since my husband and I plan to retire in five years, how can I save or invest this money? What are some options for me to consider with this timeframe in mind?What would be a good amount for me to invest in an annuity? I was told that if I invested $200,000, I would get a guarantee of $16,200 in return each year. Given my situation, what are your thoughts on investing that amount in an annuity?Resources Mentioned:Does God Care Where We Give? By David Wills (NCF Article)Give To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/25/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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3 Myths About Wealth That Christians Believe with Rachel Mcdonough

Myths can be persistent things. For a long time, people thought the world was flat. The investing world has its share of myths that persist to this day. Rachel McDonough joins us today to go over 3 myths about wealth that many Christians believe—but shouldn’t.Rachel McDonough is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®), and a regular Faith & Finance contributor.Flat Earth and Financial MythsWhen your core assumptions are wrong, your strategy becomes useless. Imagine planning a voyage worldwide while believing it's flat—you'd never reach your destination accurately. Similarly, in finance, myths perpetuated by various professionals are usually unintentional but can mislead our strategies.Myth #1: Performance Equals SuccessMany think you've succeeded if you can beat the S&P 500. This oversimplifies the complex nature of investing, neglecting how profits are generated.In God's economy, people matter more than profit. True success isn’t high profitability achieved by harmful businesses but investments that honor God's values.Myth #2 & #3: Avoiding Risk Unless for Higher ReturnThe second and third myths are interconnected: the idea that unnecessary risks should be avoided and that risks are only for higher returns. Financial planning often teaches clients to avoid risks unless needed to achieve goals. However, humans take risks for reasons beyond returns—we risk out of love, trust, worship, and obedience.For instance, people take risks for the sake of love, like adopting special needs kids or rescuing trafficking victims. These acts reflect God's sacrificial love for us.Two Things To Remember:First, if you don’t have a financial plan, make one. Second, check your assumptions when planning how to steward God's resources. We shouldn't aim to die wealthy while ignoring the harm our investments might cause.Instead, we should embrace risks for the sake of impact and love, share generously with the poor, invest in impact funds, and choose careers based on Kingdom impact, not just financial gain.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’m a 64-year-old retiree who recently started receiving Social Security benefits but has taken a higher-paying job. I was unsure whether I should contact Social Security to suspend my benefits and pay back what I had received to increase my future monthly payments or just let them reduce my benefits due to earning more than the income limit. I was also concerned about not having the $8,000 needed to pay back benefits.I want to help my graduating high school senior son start investing some of the money he had earned. Specifically, opening a Roth IRA with $1,000 would be a good option for him, even if he wouldn't contribute more each year until after college. I wanted to know the steps he would need to take to open an account and get started.What is the best way to use two home equity lines of credit? I have one at 6.4% interest and the other at 14% to pay off about $28,000 in credit card debt across various cards with interest rates in the high teens and 20s. I was thinking of using $17,000 from the lower interest line of credit and the remainder from the higher interest line, but I wanted advice on whether that was the right approach or if there were better options.Resources Mentioned:Rachel McDonoughChristian Credit CounselorsCharles SchwabBettermentGive To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/24/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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FaithFi: The Mission with Chad Clark

You’ve probably heard the saying…“If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.” But do you know who coined it?Christian author and speaker Zig Ziglar is credited with that famous quote. It urges us to set goals and stay on mission. What are our goals, and what’s our mission here at FaithFi? Chad Clark fills you in today and invites you to be a part of it all.Chad Clark is the Executive Director of FaithFi: Faith & Finance. Integrating Faith and Finances for God’s GloryAt FaithFi, our mission is clear: we aim to equip Christians with the tools and resources they need to integrate their faith with their financial decisions, all for the glory of God. Our vision is that all Christians would see God as their ultimate treasure, placing Him above all else, including money, which often competes for the primary position in our hearts.Money: A Tool, Not a TreasureWe see money for what it truly is—a tool. It is not inherently good or bad, but how we use it can be. At FaithFi, we strive to help you grow in your faith and make wise financial decisions that honor God.Our resources include our radio program, FaithFi.com, the FaithFi app, and our brand-new studies designed to integrate faith and financial wisdom. We receive daily feedback from individuals whose relationships with God have deepened and who have become wiser stewards of His resources through our ministry. Join Us in Our MissionOur fiscal year ends on June 30th, and we are still $50,000 short of our fundraising goal.If you have been impacted by FaithFi and want to help others find the freedom to make God their ultimate treasure and wisely steward His resources, please consider making a donation. You can do so securely online at faithfi.com/give or find our mailing address to send a check.As a token of our appreciation, we will send you a copy of our new study, Rich Toward God, for any gift over $25. This study addresses many of the topics we discuss at FaithFi.To our faithful supporters, we extend our heartfelt thanks. Your partnership is invaluable in this important work. Together, we can continue to help Christians integrate their faith and financial decisions for the glory of God.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have $280,000 in an annuity that I've had for over 15 years. It's approaching the point where I have to decide whether to annuitize it or surrender it. If I surrender it, there would be no surrender fee. I'm wondering if I should do that and then put half the money into a money market or high-yield savings account and $140,000 into conservative growth funds to try to get a better return than the 4.1% average I've been getting from the annuity.I have a question about investing for retirement income. My wife and I have both retired, though we still work other jobs. We max out our traditional IRAs each year and have no debt. Our other investments are also doing well. I wonder what you think about focusing on dividend stocks for additional investments past maxing out our IRAs each year to generate retirement income.I have a question about an investment property I'm considering in Decatur, Illinois. It's a mixed-use property with residential and retail units that are currently occupied. The list price was $695,000, but I negotiated it down to $650,000. I plan to put 30% down and take out a loan for the rest. The loans I've been offered are around 7.75-8.5% interest. Given the interest rates and Decatur's declining population, is this a good investment opportunity?As we know, retiring before full retirement age results in an 8% reduction for each year early. I want to know if the annual cost of living increases offset this 8% reduction for taking benefits early.Resources Mentioned:Eventide Dividend Opportunities FundGive To FaithFiRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/21/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Avoiding The Most Common Retirement-Planning Mistakes with Mark Biller

It’s said that we learn from mistakes, not success…but do you want to experience that with your retirement savings?No question, saving and investing for retirement is something you want to get right the first time. Mark Biller joins us today to help you avoid some of the most common retirement planning mistakes.Mark Biller is Executive Editor and Senior Portfolio Manager at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. Underestimating the Impact of InflationOne of the most common retirement-planning mistakes is underestimating the impact of inflation. Many fail to grasp the destructive power of inflation’s compounding effect over time. For example, with a 3% annual inflation rate, a lifestyle costing $75,000 today will require $135,000 in twenty years. Understanding this helps retirees plan for sufficient income to maintain their standard of living.Investing Too ConservativelyAnother common mistake is investing too conservatively. While fixed-income instruments like CDs and bonds are important, they often do not keep pace with inflation. Retirees need to ensure their portfolios continue to grow by maintaining some exposure to stocks and equities to stay ahead of inflation.Overestimating Investment IncomeA realistic retirement plan should be conservative about projected returns. Withdrawing too much money too soon from retirement accounts can create problems later, especially with increased life expectancy. The general guideline is to withdraw no more than 4% annually from your portfolio, but this can vary based on individual circumstances.Underestimating LifespanMany people underestimate their lifespan when planning for retirement. Statistics show that a 65-year-old man has a 60% chance of living to age 85, and a 65-year-old woman has over a 50% chance of living into her 90s. Planning for at least two decades of retirement is essential to ensure financial stability.Forgetting to Account for Healthcare CostsHealthcare costs are a significant consideration in retirement planning. While Medicare covers many expenses for those 65 and older, it doesn't cover everything. Supplemental insurance plans, out-of-pocket expenses, and potential long-term care costs must be factored into retirement plans. Building a Health Savings Account (HSA) during working years can help fund later-life health costs.Utilizing Resources and Professional GuidanceDue to the many variables in retirement planning, avoidance of these common mistakes isn't always easy. Resources like MoneyGuide, a financial planning tool used by many advisors, can help by running "what if" scenarios. Additionally, seeking guidance from a financial professional, such as a Stewardship Advisor at SMI Private Client or a Certified Kingdom Advisor® (CKA), can provide valuable insights and help secure one's financial future.While retirement planning is complex and unpredictable, diligent preparation and utilizing available resources can significantly enhance financial security. Learning from others' mistakes can help you better navigate your path to a comfortable retirement.Read the article “Avoiding The Most Common Retirement-Planning Mistakes” from Sound Mind Investing to learn more. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Do I tithe 10% of each paycheck I receive from my three jobs? Or do I tithe 10% of my weekly income regardless of how many paychecks I receive?My 401k is down over 51% from three years ago. Is there anything I can do to help it recover?Resources Mentioned:Avoiding The Most Common Retirement-Planning Mistakes (Sound Mind Investing Article)Sound Mind InvestingMoneyGuideRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/20/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Financial Discipleship for Families With Brian Holtz

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6Teaching our children how to manage God’s money is vital to raising them. But how can parents do this well? Brian Holtz will share some great insights today.Brian Holtz is the Chief Operating Officer at Compass Financial Ministry and the author of Financial Discipleship for Families: Intentionally Raising Faithful Children.MVP Parenting: Building Financial Wisdom in the Next GenerationIntroducing MVP Parenting, a concept foundational for nurturing financial wisdom and spiritual growth in our children. Howard Dayton defines MVP as Modeling, Verbal Instruction, and Practical Opportunities. This approach helps parents effectively teach their kids crucial life skills and values.Modeling: Leading by ExampleAs parents, our actions speak louder than words. Modeling means demonstrating behaviors that our children can observe and learn from. If your child wants to learn how to pray, they need to see you praying, not just hear about it. Children are always watching and absorbing our behaviors, whether intentional or not. They learn how we handle money, attitudes, and financial habits. Therefore, it's essential to model the right behavior visibly.Verbal Instruction: Explaining the WhyProviding verbal instruction involves explaining actions in a way that children can understand. For instance, after praying or reading the Bible, explain to your children why you do it. Without explanation, they might create their own reasons, which could be far from the truth. Similarly, when giving money at church, explain why you do it. This helps them understand the purpose behind your actions and prevents misunderstandings.Practical Opportunities: Hands-On LearningPractical opportunities invite children to engage and try things for themselves. It's not enough for them to see and understand; they must practice under supervision. For example, involve them in simple financial tasks appropriate for their age, allowing them to apply what they've observed and learned.Implementing MVP Parenting with ClientsThis MVP approach is not limited to parenting young children; it works with adult children and even in professional settings. When working with clients, encourage them to document their experiences and prepare their wealth for the next generation. Challenge them to apply the MVP principles to teach their children financial stewardship.In a corporate setting, this might look like mentoring a junior team member by letting them observe your presentations, explaining the outcomes, and gradually involving them in the process. Similarly, parents can apply these principles to raise financially wise children by providing a vision for the family’s wealth and decisions.The Importance of Family VisionA clear family vision is crucial. It defines why you exist, why the wealth has been entrusted to you, and why you make certain decisions. Core values and a family vision ensure that everyone understands the purpose behind their actions. Just like a book's value depends on its purpose, a family's success in stewardship depends on defining what that means for them.By integrating these principles, families can nurture financial wisdom and spiritual growth, ensuring that the next generation is well-prepared to be good stewards of their resources.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My wife and I received an inherited IRA from her father. We've been taking the required minimum distributions since he passed away, but now we've been told we must liquidate the entire account, which is around $100,000, by next year. We don't need to take all the money out since we don't use it for living expenses. Is there another option besides liquidating the whole thing?I’m looking for guidance on optimizing my retirement plan as I prepare to retire next quarter at age 61. I'll have significant assets and want to ensure I use them efficiently. I'm wondering if I should work with a CPA or a financial planner and if you could provide any suggestions on who might be a good fit given that I want to consider the interaction between required minimum distributions, Roth conversions, donor-advised funds, and when to start taking Social Security benefits. I have a lot of factors to consider when planning my retirement, and I could use help putting together a comprehensive plan.Should I use a home equity line of credit to purchase a new vehicle? Our mortgage has been paid off for a while, but the interest rates on new cars are so high. I wonder if using some of the equity in our home instead through a HELOC would be better. We'd prefer to buy a new car to avoid any potential mechanical issues from a used vehicle. What are your thoughts on using a HELOC versus financing through an auto loan?I'm 62 and no longer working, while my husband is 63 and plans to work until 65 or 67. We had always planned to delay taking benefits as long as possible, but I read something recently about how I could potentially take just my own benefit now at 62. Then, once my husband retires and starts collecting his, my benefit would convert to receiving the spousal benefit instead. I'm still confused about exactly how the spousal benefit works, though, and I was hoping you could help explain it.Resources Mentioned:Financial Discipleship for Families: Intentionally Raising Faithful Children by Brian C. HoltzCompass Financial MinistryBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/19/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Managing Assets After a Disability with Valerie Hogan

“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” - Proverbs 24:3-4Faithful stewardship requires us to make wise financial decisions…manage and grow assets, and protect our families from hardship. Are you ready if you’re suddenly disabled or incapacitated? Valerie Hogan joins us with a checklist to prepare you for it.Valerie Hogan is an attorney, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a member of Kingdom Advisors, as well as the co-author of Wise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More with Miriam Neff. The Importance of Disability InsuranceWe need the humility to realize we don't know what's coming in the future and the due diligence to get disability insurance, which protects us from loss of income if we're disabled. It's available publicly and through private programs, with costs varying based on qualification strictness, medical history, benefit duration (short or long term), and waiting period before it kicks in.Preparing for disability also falls in the same category as basic estate planning. This includes considering a durable power of attorney for finance or health decisions, a will or revocable living trust, and a living will when you can't make medical decisions independently.Organizing for IncapacityTo get organized, securely store important papers and legal documents and let someone you trust know their location. Talk to your spouse or family member about your advanced care wishes and permit your doctors and lawyers to speak with your caregiver, which may require a HIPAA release.Essential Documents to OrganizeHere’s a comprehensive list:Birth, death, and marriage certificatesNames and phone numbers of close friends, relatives, doctors, lawyers, and financial advisorsFinancial information such as social security card or number, sources of income, IRAs, 401(k)sInsurance information, including life, long-term care, home, and car policies, with policy numbers and agents’ contact detailsBank account numbers, checking, savings, and credit union detailsInvestment information (stocks, bonds, property) with broker’s contact detailsMost recent income tax returnsUp-to-date will or trust with original signatures and witnesses (varies by state)List of liabilities and whom you oweDeeds or trust documents for your house and carHealth information, including current prescriptions, a living will, a durable power of attorney for health care, health insurance policies with policy numbers and contacts, and HIPAA releases.It’s worth it to ensure everything is done properly, so a licensed attorney specializing in estate planning in your state is an excellent resource for wisdom and advice. A godly estate planning attorney can help you consider whether the next steward is chosen and prepared.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Should I consider paying off my mortgage since the mortgage rate is considerably less than I could get by investing money in CDs? I'm also curious if digital currency is coming to the United States and if we must worry about the government taking our home.As a new medical practice owner who is barely making it right now with overhead and mortgage expenses, do I tithe from the gross income that the practice brings in, or can I tithe from the net income after taking care of all the expenses? Also, I bought a house in Florida to pay off, and I just got engaged. I plan to add him to the deed. What will the tax consequences be for him?How can my husband and I save or invest $200,000 that I will soon receive as an inheritance, given that we plan to retire in five years?My husband and I had gotten behind in tithing and giving to the ministries we support. We were challenged to get caught up, so despite life circumstances, we dipped into our savings and sent the checks. The day we delivered our tithe check to the church, we received a cash offer and sold our house in just two weeks. I wanted to encourage others that God is faithful when we surrender our hearts to him.I'm a 73-year-old widow living on Medicare and Medicaid. Because of this, I've heard they could take my house, but I want to understand more about how true that is and what I need to do, like possibly setting up a trust to secure my home. Where should I start to get advice on this issue?Resources Mentioned:Wise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More by Miriam Neff and Valerie Neff Hogan, JDMoney and Marriage God’s Way by Howard DaytonRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/18/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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What to Do with a Surplus

You’ve been a careful steward, working hard, saving your money, and spending wisely. Now what?Being able to live comfortably and afford the things you need seems like a worthy goal. Today, we’ll look at having a surplus from a biblical perspective.Celebrating Financial FaithfulnessMaybe we don’t do this enough—speak directly to the faithful listeners who already follow God’s principles in their finances. You’ve been living with integrity and making wise choices with your money for years. Well, we’re talking to you today.First of all, well done. Financial faithfulness is a big deal. It takes sacrifice, commitment, and patience. You’ve paid off debts, worked hard at one or more jobs, invested wisely, and built your savings. More importantly, you understand that everything belongs to God. Your responsibility is to faithfully and humbly care for what He’s provided.As a Christian, you know the future is in God’s hands. Markets rise and fall, and your economic realities may change, but God is always faithful. You also know that following biblical financial principles is the wise thing to do. And now you find yourself with a surplus. What’s next?You might think, “I don’t have a surplus – I’m just getting to where I can keep my head above water financially.” Let me clarify what we mean by a surplus. A surplus is any money God has provided above what you need to live. The late Larry Burkett calls it “prosperity.” He explains that prosperity can be a blessing from God or a trap from Satan, depending on how it is used. The Spiritual Danger of SurplusScripture warns that having a surplus can be more dangerous than having a need. If your surplus leads to a desire for more, it becomes a spiritual trap. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 warns, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.”You might think it’s possible to focus on getting and keeping wealth and be devoted to God at the same time. But Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and money.”If it’s dangerous to focus on getting rich and impossible to serve God and money at the same time, what’s the godly alternative? According to Jesus in Luke 12:21, we’re supposed to be “rich toward God.” When you value Jesus most, you place your trust in an eternal and imperishable treasure. God’s abundance offers so much more than worldly riches do—including power for living and peace in your heart.God's Perspective on Financial SurplusesSo, what’s God’s perspective on financial surpluses? In 1 Samuel 16:7, we learn that “…the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”Two things come to mind concerning how we manage a surplus. First, we are to be imitators of Christ. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” How we use our surplus should reflect the God we serve. God is a generous father, faithful and sacrificial in His dealings with us. As a result, we are to be the same toward others.Second, we must be “in the world but not of it” [John 17:11,16] in handling that surplus. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains that God’s power doesn’t follow worldly priorities. True power is displayed through self-giving love. Through the power of generosity, we can participate in God’s work in the world.Planning for Potential SurplusesWhen God blesses you with a surplus, it’s essential to see it for what it is—a physical blessing with a spiritual purpose. Larry Burkett states, “The important thing is to have a plan for the use of potential surpluses—planning before the money becomes available.”Here’s a final word from 1 Timothy 6:17-19: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”Being financially faithful and handling surpluses with a heart aligned with God’s will allows you to experience true abundance—one that transcends worldly riches and brings eternal peace and joy.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:God has always blessed me, and instead of paying 10%, I pay 11% off of gross. My question is, when I start receiving Social Security, is there a formula? Or to know what part social security has given us that we didn't put in ourselves?I'm a 60-year-old man who retired from the military and still works for them as a contractor. I will collect social security between 66 and 67 when I max out because I am working, so I won't collect it at 62. My question is that I got in trouble with credit cards, so I’m wondering if I should pay that off now with a HELOC or pull it from my 401k. My IRA is no problem because it's a Roth. So they have no taxes, but my 401k is a mandated tax withdrawn 20% for federal 5%. Is there anything I'm not seeing in this conversation that you might be able to see regarding reducing the tax burden I'm about to encounter?My wife is 47, and I am 46 and still working. We have over $100,000 in savings, and we’re looking for good ideas about what to do with the money.I am turning 70 in October this year and have several IRAs. Do I have to cash them all in, or what is the deadline?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/17/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Laziness vs. Rest

Dr. Richard Swenson, author of The Overload Syndrome and Margin, writes that… “We must have some room to breathe. We need freedom to think and permission to heal. Our relationships are being starved to death by velocity.”Too many people are physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially overloaded these days. So, we’ll look at rest from a biblical perspective today.The Concept of MarginIn his writings, Dr. Richard Swenson introduces the concept of "margin"—essentially, it's the space to take a break before you break down. Many of us feel there’s just not enough time, money, or energy left at the end of the day to recuperate, leading us to start the next day at full throttle again. This lifestyle, lacking margin, can have severe physical and financial consequences.Consider sleep, for instance. The Sleep Foundation reports that nearly half of people in the U.S. struggle with sleep, and about one-third of adults sleep less than seven hours each night. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to expensive health issues like diabetes, anxiety, obesity, and heart disease. Additionally, research from Sleep Advisor indicates that over 2 percent of the U.S. GDP is lost due to workers' lack of proper sleep.Working late nights and weekends might seem necessary if you feel like life is moving too fast. However, burning the candle at both ends is ultimately unproductive. Exhaustion leaves no energy for the most important things—your relationships with others and the Lord.Work and Rest: Finding the Right BalanceWhile God calls us to work for our families, His Kingdom, and the community, He also emphasizes the need for rest. Rest is God’s idea as much as work is. God rested on the seventh day of Creation—not out of tiredness, but because His work was complete. He blessed that rest and called it holy. The Sabbath, enshrined as one of the Ten Commandments, shows how much God values rest. We need time to be with the Lord, reconnect with loved ones, relax, enjoy God’s creation, exercise, breathe deeply, and sleep!Technology enables us to work from anywhere at any time, but that doesn't mean we should. Creating margin in our work means getting enough rest to do our jobs “as unto the Lord” with purpose and energy. Staying late at the office or skipping vacations might make you look diligent, but the stress and broken relationships that follow are too high a price for professional progress.However, it’s important to distinguish between proper rest and laziness. Laziness is choosing not to do what you’re supposed to or doing the bare minimum. This goes against God’s purpose for us, which involves good works. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul advises the church to “…warn those who are idle and disruptive,” implying that inactivity can lead to trouble. The saying “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” is a testament to this idea.The Dangers of IdlenessIn 1 Timothy 5, Paul highlights other dangers of idleness, such as gossiping and leading others into sin. Idleness, unproductiveness, and laziness open the door to harmful habits. Contrarily, Proverbs 31 praises the “woman of noble character” for her hard work in caring for her family, running her business, training her workers, and providing for the poor. Verse 27 confirms that she “does not eat the bread of idleness.”Laziness can also mean spending too much time on unimportant activities like endless scrolling through Instagram or mindlessly shopping online. At its core, laziness is a failure to take care of responsibilities. Paul provides a stern example in 1 Timothy 5:8, stating, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”If laziness tempts you, turn to Jesus in prayer. 1 John 1:9 assures us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”Whether your issue is working too hard or hardly working, it’s time to restore the margin in your work and finances. Do your work “as unto the Lord,” as Colossians 3:23 advises. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, find comfort in Jesus’ words from Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Where should I go to find a Certified Kingdom Advisor to get a referral for a godly estate planning attorney?I paid a capital gains tax a few years ago when I sold some stock. Even though my income from my job was below the limit to be taxed at 0% for long-term capital gains, they taxed me on the full capital gains amount as if that was my adjusted gross income. I want to check with my tax preparer since I thought I should have gotten taxed at 0% based on my income that year.Please give me a simplified explanation of a money market account. My new husband and I are considering putting some retirement money into one.Given all the economic uncertainties, does it make sense for someone in their 70s who is still working, with money in a 401k and savings account, to consider spending that money now on something of value like real estate? I'm concerned about the dollar's devaluation and wanted your perspective on proactively spending the money versus letting it sit in investments and seeing what happens.Resources Mentioned:The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits by Dr. Richard SwensonMargin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Dr. Richard SwensonBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/14/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Financial Plans and God’s Will

We all want our plans to succeed, but what does the Lord want?Are you and God on the same page regarding your financial plans? Today, we’ll discuss achieving your financial goals and doing God’s will.As avid planners, we know that having a plan is the best way to meet your financial goals—or any goals, for that matter. But how do you ensure your plans align with God’s will for your life? As Christians, we believe that Jesus’ plans are the best, and the Bible supports this in Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will succeed.”Discovering God's PurposeUnderstanding God’s will is crucial because His purpose will always succeed. But how do you discern what God wants? The Bible guides us in Micah 6:8, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”Proverbs 3:5-7 advises, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”You might wonder how submitting to God’s ways can help with practical goals like retirement, buying a car, or planning a vacation. While you may not receive a direct message from God about which car to buy, living by biblical standards will give you greater peace and confidence in your decisions. The key is to focus on what has eternal value: “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” By trusting in the Lord, praying, reading His Word, and submitting your plans to Him, you align with His will. This doesn’t guarantee an easy path but ensures a godly one.Seeking Wise CounselSometimes, even when praying for guidance, you need practical advice. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.”Here are some biblical counsels for saving, debt elimination, and employment:Saving for the FutureWhether saving for college, retirement, or a home purchase requires patience and commitment, so set a target amount and determine how much to save each month. Place your savings in a high-interest account and pray for the discipline to stay on track. Maximize employer-offered savings options or start with a traditional or Roth IRA. For college savings, consider 529 plans.If you’re starting late, don’t worry. The Bible assures us that God will provide for our needs. Remember, God is “YHWH Jireh,” our provider, who cares for us more than the sparrows.Eliminating DebtTo eliminate debt, you need a clear plan. List all your debts and create a strategy to pay them off, starting with one debt at a time. Once one is paid off, apply that payment amount to the next debt. If you need assistance, visit ChristianCreditCounselors.org. Avoid debt consolidation or settlement services. Share your goals with trusted friends or family for encouragement and accountability.“The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7), so keep your debt-free goal in sight and seek God’s help to break bad habits.Improving EmploymentIf you’re unemployed or underemployed, improving your earning power might require a new job or a promotion. Enhance your skills through training, network regularly, update your resume, and practice interview skills. Your persistence and enthusiasm will make a difference.Focusing first on what has eternal value ensures that God’s purpose will prevail in your financial life. As you plan and make decisions, remember to trust in the Lord, seek His guidance, and rely on wise counsel. By doing so, you align your financial goals with His will, ensuring a path that is both successful and godly.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Would a reverse mortgage help my situation? My wife and I are elderly and live on a fixed monthly income of about $2500. Our house is valued at around $160,000, but we still owe $50,000. I would like to use some of the equity in our home to help build an emergency fund and give us a little more financial cushion each month since we're living pretty hand-to-mouth right now. What are your thoughts on whether a reverse mortgage would work for us?I'm 66.5 years old and dealing with Social Security. I took my Social Security last year, starting it in June. I'm considering withdrawing what I've received and reapplying later, in a few more months or a year. What advice do you have about withdrawing my claim and any drawbacks I should know?When should I start receiving my Social Security benefits? I'll be eligible at 66.5 years old but intend to continue working until at least 70. What are the pros and cons of taking my benefits at 66.5 years old versus waiting until 70? I'm also considering using the monthly check between now and 70 to help pay my mortgage, but I'm unsure if that's the best financial decision. What are your thoughts on my options?Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/13/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giving As a Couple With Bob Doll

Knowing where and how to give to God’s Kingdom can be a challenge for any one person…but all the more so if you’re married.It’s beautiful when couples agree on how to manage their money—how much to spend and save…but finding agreement on giving is just as important. Today, Bob shares what he and his wife, Leslie, learned about it.Bob Doll is the CEO and CIO of Crossmark Global Investments. He regularly contributes to Faith and Finance and other media outlets, such as Bloomberg TV, Fox Business, and CNBC. The Foundation of GivingFinancial disagreements are common in marriages, and the Bible provides wisdom on handling money in over 120 passages. This connection between our spiritual lives and finances is crucial—God wants us to integrate our faith with our financial decisions (Matthew 6:25, 33).Five Core Premises for GivingIn their home, Bob and Leslie follow five guiding principles:God Owns It All: The question isn’t how much to give but how much to keep.We’re Temporary Residents: We’re on earth briefly and in heaven eternally.Send It Ahead: You can’t take wealth with you but can invest in eternal treasures (Matthew 6:19-21).Increase Your Standard of Giving, Not Living: As Randy Alcorn puts it, “God prospers us by raising our standard of giving.”Give While Alive: They prefer to give their money away during their lifetime.Navigating Differences in Giving PreferencesBob and Leslie have different giving styles—Leslie prefers focusing on a few causes, while Bob prefers to give broadly. They’ve learned to compromise and respect each other’s preferences. Each initiates about 20% of their giving individually in their system, while they jointly decide on the remaining 60%.Structuring Their GivingTheir giving strategy involves a pyramid approach:Top Tier: Large gifts to a few organizations they’re deeply involved with and trust.Middle Tier: Causes they know well but are less involved in.Bottom Tier: Smaller donations to various ministries or individuals.A Practical Process for Giving DecisionsHere’s the process Bob and Leslie follow:Pray Together: Remember that it’s God’s money, and aim to be a faithful steward.Respect Each Other: Listen to each other’s voices and be open to the Spirit’s guidance.Be Strategic: Research potential opportunities and be mindful of red flags.Engage Personally: Get involved with some of your giving to maintain the joy and avoid feeling like a checkbook.Allow Flexibility: Be open to new ideas and understand that some giving may be seasonal.Learn from Mistakes: Don’t dwell on mistakes; learn from them and strive to be faithful.Key Truths to RememberBob concludes by reminding us of three critical truths:Time is ShortThe Need is GreatThe Cost is HighInvesting in God’s Kingdom yields eternal returns, far surpassing any earthly investment. As believers, we’re called to do “above and beyond” for the honor and glory of God’s name, our good, and the benefit of others.For more detailed guidance, see their article, “How to Plan Your Giving as a Married Couple.” On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Both my parents are in their 80s. And my mom didn't work a lot. She stayed home with us. And then my dad worked, you know, work the job for a long time. And someone told her that if something happened to him, she could not draw his social security and that she wouldn't be able to draw his pension. So I didn't know if there was something that they could do about the retirement so she could pull it since he had worked all those years and made that money. Could you give me advice on any of this?I'm updating my will now that I live in Texas. Is it God's will for me to give my children a percentage of the funds that the Lord has gathered for me rather than splitting it three ways for them? I would like to give it to two to three nonprofit organizations I support now.Resources Mentioned:How to Plan Your Giving as a Married Couple (Article by Bob and Leslie Doll)Splitting Heirs: Giving Your Money and Things to Your Children Without Ruining Their Lives by Ron Blue with Jeremy WhiteSSA.gov/applyRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Biggest Financial Mistakes With Ron Blue

Some people learn from the mistakes of others. Unfortunately, some people have to be the others.You certainly don’t want to be one of the “others” who must learn things the hard way by making mistakes. Today, we'll talk to Ron Blue about some of the biggest financial mistakes you want to avoid.Ron Blue is the Co-Founder of Kingdom Advisors and the author of many books on biblical finance, most notably “Master Your Money: A Step-by-Step Plan for Experiencing Financial Contentment.”Setting Financial GoalsRon emphasized the importance of establishing clear financial goals. Without clear financial goals, you're essentially aiming at nothing. Goals help you prioritize and manage your spending effectively. Setting goals provides direction and ensures that your spending aligns with your priorities.Avoiding a Consumptive LifestyleA consumptive lifestyle involves spending significantly more than necessary, often on things that don’t build financial equity. We all face the temptation of greed—a new car or a dress. Overspending on consumable items leads to a lack of financial growth. Instead, focus on investing in things that build equity and create long-term value.The Pitfall of GreedGreed is often disguised in pursuing the American dream. It's a subtle but pervasive issue. Tim Keller, a well-known pastor, once pointed out that in his experience, greed is rarely confessed as a sin. We often justify our spending under the guise of higher motives, which can lead to financial mismanagement. Avoiding greed starts with creating and sticking to a budget.The Importance of BudgetingMany view budgeting as restrictive, but it's quite the opposite—budgeting is liberating. A budget allows for pre-planned spending, which includes saving for vacations and preparing for emergencies like car repairs or broken appliances. Planning your expenses provides financial freedom and security.Giving: A Key to Financial FreedomMany believe that giving should come from surplus rather than regular income. However, giving is essential for experiencing true financial freedom. It's not about the money but about your heart and willingness to trust and honor God with your finances.By following these principles, you can achieve financial contentment and freedom. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:What are the tax implications of an inheritance I received from my deceased mother-in-law? Part of the inheritance was a CD, which I understand has no tax implications. The other part was an IRA worth around $9,800 that was distributed to me. I don't know if there is a requirement to withhold taxes from that distribution or what the tax basis would be.I have a balance I have been trying to pay down at the hospital. I have been making $100 monthly payments, but when I get my statements, they still show the original balance and no credits for my payments. I have called the hospital billing department twice, and they said they would call me back within three days, but I never received a return call. Is there a way to get them to show where my payments are being reflected, or should I call the hospital administrator's office to resolve this since I am not getting responses from the billing department?My 97-year-old father had a term life insurance policy that he has now outlived. I checked with the insurance company, and they said something about a tariff that would apply if we tried to renew the policy at his age. Is it financially beneficial to continue the policy?How will my IRMA score impact my retirement planning? I would like to know if my situation is affected by this. My wife and I have been paying off debt and increasing our income over the past ten years through overtime and promotions. We are now debt-free, and I have recently surpassed six figures in income. I want to understand how my current income level might affect my Medicare premiums and overall retirement planning as I approach that stage of life in my 60s.Resources Mentioned:Master Your Money: A Step-by-Step Plan for Experiencing Financial Contentment by Ron BlueRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/11/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Eat In, Save Big

According to some estimates, the average household spends an astonishing 40% of its food budget on eating out. That’s a lot to digest.After housing and transportation, food is probably the next biggest item in the budget. It’s also a place where you can easily make changes that will save you a lot of money.The Cost of ConvenienceEating out is convenient, especially for busy families with two working parents or parents shuttling kids to various activities. However, this convenience comes at a cost—not just financially but also in terms of health. Fast food often leads to weight gain and less control over nutrition. To combat this, consider preparing more meals at home. It starts with planning, particularly menu planning.The Power of Menu PlanningHow often have you looked in your cupboard and wondered, “Why did I buy that?” Before you go shopping, you can avoid this by planning your meals for the week—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This also allows you to choose healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts. When planning your menu, select meals you can prepare ahead of time over the weekend, eliminating weekday guesswork and last-minute scrambling.Creating a Shopping ListOnce your menu plan is ready, list all the items you need. Inventory your fridge and cupboards, crossing off what you already have. What’s left is your shopping list. Stick to this list when you shop, and you’ll start saving money immediately. To avoid impulse buys, eat a meal or snack before heading to the store.Strategic ShoppingAvoid the middle sections of the grocery store where cookies, candy, and chips are typically placed. Instead, focus on the outer sections where you’ll find meats, vegetables, fruits, and yogurt. Of course, you’ll need to venture into the middle aisles for certain items, but make these trips quick.Stocking Up and Choosing Budget-Friendly OptionsStock up on staples like cereals, rice, cornmeal, and oatmeal when they’re on sale. For protein, choose lower-cost options—hamburger costs less than steak, chicken costs less than hamburger, and incorporating a meat-free dinner into your weekly plan can save even more. Also, making coffee at home and taking it to work is far cheaper than buying it out, and the same goes for water.Utilizing Free Pickup ServicesMany larger grocery chains now offer free pickup options. This service helps avoid the temptation of unnecessary purchases while pushing a cart around the store. You can also keep a running total of your spending, making it easier to stay on budget. If you have little ones, curbside pickup avoids the “buy me this!” requests.Smart Shopping LocationsBe mindful of where you shop, as prices vary. Generally, larger stores or chains offer lower prices, though the service might not be as personalized. Some big box stores have membership fees, but shopping there even once a month can be worth it. Just be sure you can use the large packages before they expire and have space for them at home.Online Shopping for EssentialsYou can also save by buying household necessities online from sites like Amazon. Look for free shipping offers to save even more.Preparing more meals at home can save you a lot of money and help you eat healthier by allowing you to plan meals, shop strategically, and utilize modern conveniences.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:The $50,000 my husband and I had in a CD expired. The new rate we're being offered for 12 months is only 4%, and I was wondering if there might be something better we could do with that money, given the bumpy roads that may be coming up with the upcoming election. Also, would it be a good idea to invest in gold? I have only studied the Bible for over a year, so I wanted to understand who should receive my tithe.My mother has $116,500 in a John Hancock safe access account, paying only 1% interest. She uses it mainly to pay taxes and her mortgage. I wondered if she could move that money elsewhere to get a better interest rate since she also receives a pension and social security.What would happen to my social security benefits if I were to pass away before my wife? As someone with a government pension from working in a police department who was not married when I retired, I know my pension will end when I pass away. I also know that because I have a government pension, my social security is cut in half from what it usually would be. I wanted to know if, if I pass before my wife, her social security benefits would go back up to the normal rate.Resources Mentioned:TreasuryDirect.govBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/10/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The ABCs of QCDs With David Hogan

The Qualified Charitable Distribution is one of the most underutilized tax benefits, yet almost 25 million Americans can take it.There are many requirements for taking a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), or QCD. You must be 70 ½ and have an IRA. If more folks understood QCDs better, they might take them. David Hogan joins us today with the ABCs of QCDs.David Hogan is the Principal of Clifton Larson Allen CPA’s in Atlanta, GA. What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?Simply put, a QCD directly transfers funds from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a qualified charity. This move doesn’t offer a deduction, but you don’t have to report the distribution as income, creating a unique tax advantage for those who qualify.How to Take a QCDTaking a QCD can be straightforward. If your IRA offers check-writing capabilities, you can write a check directly to your chosen charity. If not, you can set up a direct transfer online or over the phone. Your favorite charity can often assist you in setting this up if needed.Tax Advantages of a QCDA QCD can be particularly beneficial for those over 70 and a half if you’re not itemizing deductions. You might not get a tax benefit from your charitable contributions if you take the standard deduction. However, with a QCD, you avoid recognizing the IRA distribution as income, effectively reducing your taxable income.Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) and QCDsAlthough the required minimum distribution (RMD) age has been moved to 73, you can still benefit from a QCD. Distributions to a charity through a QCD count toward satisfying your RMDs without adding to your taxable income. This is especially useful for those with larger IRAs who don’t need the funds for living expenses.Who Can Benefit from a QCD?QCDs aren’t just for the wealthy. While those with large IRAs can undoubtedly benefit, anyone with an IRA who is charitably inclined can use a QCD to gain a tax advantage. If you’re not itemizing deductions and usually take the standard deduction, a QCD allows you to give charitably without increasing your taxable income.Practical Tips for Using a QCDConsider replacing the charitable contributions you typically make from your after-tax dollars with distributions from your IRA. This strategy allows you to use your other assets for personal expenses while maximizing the tax benefits of your IRA distributions.A QCD is the best giving opportunity that many eligible individuals are not taking advantage of. If you have an IRA and are over 70 and a half, consider this tax-efficient way to support your favorite charities.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:What should I do with my 401k since I’m approaching retirement in March 2025? I'll have around $200,000 in it, and I wanted advice on whether to roll it over to an advisor or leave it where it is once I retire.Can I deduct the value of my labor for the repairs and maintenance I do on the rental property where I live? Since I own and live in the building with some tenants, I do much of the work to keep costs down. But I wanted to know if I could charge for my time or labor and have it be legal.Would it be wise to take out a home equity line of credit on my $181,000 mortgage and use that HELOC to pay my daily expenses? I would throw my entire paycheck towards paying down the principal on the mortgage, and I would pay it off within about four years. I would like your thoughts on whether that strategy is a good idea.Would it be wise to use my $215,000 annuity to pay off my $140,000 mortgage as soon as possible? I'm 54 years old and will be retiring in about five years, at which point I'll receive a yearly pension of around $85,000-$90,000. I wanted advice on utilizing my annuity and whether eliminating my mortgage debt made the most sense.Resources Mentioned:An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God's Purpose for the Next Season of Life by Jeff HaanenRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/7/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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3 Money Moves of Solomon With John Putnam

Many think Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived…and much of his God-given wisdom is about managing money.John Putnam joins us today to talk about the 3 Money Moves of Solomon—so you can be just as wise.John Putnam is a Strategic Stewardship Coach, a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®), and the founder of Money Made Faithful, a financial discipleship marketplace ministry.The Wisdom of King SolomonScripture makes it clear just how wise Solomon was. In 1 Kings, we learn that God granted Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, surpassing all others in wisdom. So, what financial principles did Solomon advocate?1. Be DisciplinedThe first principle is to be disciplined. Proverbs 13:11 states, "Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it." Discipline in this context means making small, wise financial choices consistently over time, which leads to long-term success. This approach helps build a strong foundation for financial stewardship.2. Be DeniedThe second principle is to deny oneself. Proverbs 21:20 reads, "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." Denying immediate gratification helps prepare for future uncertainties and ensures you are better positioned to seize present opportunities. It fosters a wise stewardship mindset and focuses on God’s plans for your life.3. Be DeterminedThe third principle is to be determined. Proverbs 10:4 says, "A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich." A clear vision, mission, and values are crucial for financial success. Determination helps create a focused approach to stewardship, impacting your life and leaving a lasting legacy.Timeless WisdomThese principles are timeless and apply to all stages of life. Whether in your twenties or seventies, the wisdom of disciplined, self-denying, and determined financial stewardship remains relevant. Sharing and applying these traits can create ripple effects through eternity.For more insights from John Putnam, visit MoneyMadeFaithful.com, tune into the weekly Money Made Faithful podcast, or follow @MoneyMadeFaithful on Instagram and Facebook.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I recently started pricing some options with my financial advisor but sought additional guidance. I was considering it because, at my age, in my late 50s, there may not be family available to care for me in the future, so I wanted peace of mind. Do you have any recommendations for specialists in my area of Naples, Florida, from whom I could get more advice?Is it possible to purchase a gift certificate equivalent to a store gift certificate for stocks? I want to give money to someone to invest in stocks, but they don't want to accept the money directly. Is there a way I could buy a "gift certificate" that they could then use to purchase stocks themselves?What is the best time of year to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from my retirement account since I have to start taking them at 75? I am still working at 75 and directing the RMD money directly to my church. Do you recommend taking the RMD early in the year, in the middle of the year, or later? I am looking for guidance on the optimal timing.What is driving the strong bull market performance? My investment portfolio is up 35% over the past three years and I see sky-high returns. Will our grandchildren and their grandchildren ever be able to pay down the massive national deficit?Resources Mentioned:Money Made FaithfulStockpileCharles SchwabFidelityTreasury DirectRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/6/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Whole Heart Finances With Dr. Shane Enete

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and anxious about your finances? You're not alone.For many, money is the number one source of stress. But what if you could transform your relationship with money from one of fear and dread to one of trust and joy? Dr. Shane Enete joins us today to discuss how we can do that.Dr. Shane Enete is an Associate Professor of Finance at Biola University and the author of the brand new book, “Whole Heart Finances: A Jesus-Centered Guide to Managing Your Money with Joy.”Addressing the Fear of Financial CommitmentOne of the most dangerous questions Christians might ask is, "Should I give away all of my money?" This question stems from a hidden presumption that Jesus disapproves of us having money. However, Jesus lived a physical life, requiring financial resources, and he merged the physical and spiritual worlds. Therefore, Jesus does not despise our need for financial planning. Understanding this can alleviate much of the fear associated with money management.When we separate Christ from our finances, we experience anxiety and alienation. By bringing our financial worries to God, we can grow in our relationship with Him and find comfort in His provision.Practical Exercises for Joyful Money ManagementAt the end of each chapter in his book, Shane suggests Whole Heart exercises to help readers experience joy in managing money. One such exercise is creating a financial gratitude journal. You can transform a mundane task into a formative gratitude practice by tracking your expenses and recognizing God's provision.Another exercise involves building an "elder years reservoir" for retirement. This concept focuses on sustaining generosity throughout life rather than merely accumulating wealth. By meditating on the amount needed to maintain a generous flow of resources, you can align your financial planning with your values.Maximizing GenerosityRather than asking, "How much can I save?" ask, "How much can I give?" This mindset shift aligns with the biblical principle of generosity and helps Christians manage their resources with a heart transformed by Christ.Transforming your relationship with money requires integrating your faith into your financial decisions. By trusting Jesus, practicing gratitude, and prioritizing generosity, you can move from anxiety to joy in your financial journey.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:What are the tax implications for my children, who have received an inherited small farm and house in their name since the 1990s? They did not have control over it until recently, when their father passed away. I wanted to know if they would have to pay capital gains or inheritance taxes now that they have complete control over the property.I recently transitioned from being an employee getting paid hourly to being an independent contractor on a 1099. I wanted to know if taking on more responsibility as a self-employed person was digging myself into a hole from a tax perspective or if there could be benefits. I also asked about keeping track of my miles for tax deductions and whether I could claim detention time spent waiting at locations as a deduction since I'm not paid for that time.Resources Mentioned:Whole Heart Finances: A Jesus-Centered Guide to Managing Your Money with Joy by Dr. Shane EneteBiola UniversityRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Stewardship of Housing Wealth With Harlan Accola

Homeowners now have an average of nearly $300,000 in home equity, and the nationwide total is staggering at $16 trillion. Home equity is undoubtedly one of our largest assets. So, how do the biblical principles of stewardship apply to it? Harlan Accola joins us today to discuss this.Harlan Accola is the National Reverse Mortgage Director at Movement Mortgage, an underwriter of Faith and Finance. He is also the author of Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement. Understanding Reverse MortgagesToday’s reverse mortgages are not the same product that gave the name such a negative reputation in the past. Here are some of the facts that need to be known:Not Like Credit Card Debt: Unlike credit card debt or the subprime crash of 2008, reverse mortgages don't carry the same financial risks.Widow Protections: New laws ensure that widows can stay in their homes for as long as they wish, a significant improvement from the past.Retained Ownership: Modern reverse mortgages allow homeowners to maintain ownership and pass their homes to their children, unlike older versions that often result in loss of ownership.Home Equity as God’s ProvidenceHome equity is a remarkable gift, especially for baby boomers who have seen their home values skyrocket over the decades. If you bought a house in 1967 for $100,000, it might be worth a million dollars today. This incredible growth represents a unique wealth that no other generation has managed. As Christian baby boomers, we hold a significant amount of this wealth and must manage it wisely.We've all heard the phrase "Home is where the heart is" and Jesus' words in Matthew 6:21, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Our hearts can become too attached to our homes, and we need to view our home equity as we do other assets – with stewardship. This means planning strategically how to spend, give, manage, preserve, and grow it, just like we would with our savings or retirement funds.Practical StewardshipWhile we would never encourage someone who is strongly led to be debt-free to leverage their home equity, it can be a powerful tool for many in this stage of life. Whether through reverse mortgages or buying and selling homes, we should consider how to use our home equity in the best interests of our family and God's kingdom.It's also important to note that the government guarantees these reverse mortgages. This means you don't have to worry about being kicked out of your house if you live too long or the home's value decreases. This guarantee makes reverse mortgages unique and different from other types of debt.Movement MortgageFor those interested in learning more about reverse mortgages and how to manage their home equity with biblical stewardship, visit movement.com/faith. You can also email [email protected]; someone from their team will be happy to help.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Would investing the $35,000 due in gold or CDs be better? I plan to give the interest or increased value to charity within the following year.If I were to die at 68 years old, being married to my second wife for 26 years, but she is not currently drawing social security at 63, would she receive part or all of my social security since she has never remarried?Should I roll over some money from my 401k into an IRA annuity? I currently have some money in an annuity that guarantees 4%, but I wanted to know if better annuity options are available now that could provide a higher rate of return.Are there any repercussions if I draw on my grandchild's social security? I have about a year and a half before I retire and am raising my grandchild. I wanted to know if I could do that or what the situation was regarding drawing on a grandchild's social security.Resources Mentioned:Movement MortgageSSA.govRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/4/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Kill That Unused Account

Americans have an average of four credit cards. Do you really need that many? And how many is enough?Too often, we hang on to credit cards we no longer use…providing an unnecessary invitation to identity thieves to run up charges in our names. Canceling them is a good idea if done correctly.The Risks of Holding Unused Credit CardsMany of us hang on to credit cards we no longer use, but this can invite identity thieves to run up charges in your name. Canceling unused cards is a good idea, but it needs to be done correctly. Let’s explore why and how to do it.Why Closing a Credit Card Affects Your Credit ScoreOne common concern is whether closing a credit card will affect your credit score. The short answer is yes, it will drop a little. This drop happens because of the way credit scores are calculated.Algorithms used to calculate your score favor long-standing accounts, available credit, and a mix of account types (like credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages). Closing a credit card affects these factors, hence the drop in your score. However, this drop is usually minor and temporary.When to Be Cautious About Closing a Credit CardIf you’re shopping for a mortgage or another major loan, it’s essential to maintain the highest credit score possible. A lower score, even by a few points, can result in a higher interest rate, costing you more money over time. In other cases, the drop in your credit score from closing an account is not something to worry about too much.Why Close Unused Credit Cards?There are two main reasons to close unused credit card accounts:Reduce Temptation: An unused credit card can become a temptation during financial stress. Instead, rely on your emergency fund for unexpected expenses.Prevent Identity Theft: Unused accounts are a target for identity thieves. Closing these accounts reduces your risk.How to Properly Close a Credit Card AccountIf you decide to close an unused credit card account, here’s how to do it properly:Pay Off the Balance: Ensure there is no remaining balance on the card.Cancel Recurring Charges: Check for any recurring charges and cancel or transfer them.Notify the Issuer: Call your card issuer to cancel the account and follow up with an email or letter for confirmation.Check Your Credit Report: Verify the account is closed by checking your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can access these reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.Gradually Closing AccountsAvoid closing several accounts at once. This can multiply the negative impact on your credit score. Instead, close no more than one or two accounts every six months. This gradual approach minimizes the adverse effects while keeping your credit utilization low and maintaining timely payments on other accounts.Following these steps, you can manage your credit cards wisely and protect yourself from potential risks. And remember, a slight dip in your credit score from closing an account is usually not a cause for concern.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:What are the tax implications of selling a rental property I own in Montana? I recently sold the property and want to reinvest the money from the sale into my business and possibly another investment property. What will my tax obligations be for the sale of the property? Is there a way that I can put the money into something like a 1031 exchange to use the funds for reinvestment without being taxed on it as income?I'm paying an extra $115 over my normal monthly payment amount. However, when I check my statements, I notice that my bill is not changing, and the extra $115 I'm paying is not reducing my principal balance. I've called my loan servicer about this, and they tell me that I still have one more payment to make, but that doesn't make sense if I'm paying extra each month.I have some retirement funds that I have from working as a government employee that I have not utilized yet and will need to move. I have two TSP funds sitting there and was looking for recommendations on what to do with the money. I'm also retired, so I wanted to check if my age will impact anything when moving the funds to an IRA. Additionally, I was curious about keeping the money in an IRA for a long time and potentially making a trust the beneficiary instead of just leaving it to my kids directly.Resources Mentioned:The Sound Mind Investing Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Money From a Biblical Perspective by Austin Pryor with Mark BillerAnnualCreditReport.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
6/3/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Buckner International, Doing Good With Scott Collins

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” - Galatians 6:9One Christian ministry has been doing good for nearly 150 years and shows zero signs of growing weary. Scott Collins joins us today to discuss Buckner International and its ongoing efforts to support foster care, adoption, and family outreach.Scott Collins is the Senior Vice President of Communications at Buckner International, an underwriter of Faith & Finance.A Legacy of Service Since 1879Buckner International, founded by R.C. Buckner 145 years ago with just $27 for its first orphanage, has grown into a multifaceted ministry dedicated to serving vulnerable children and families worldwide. One of their well-known initiatives is the Shoes for Orphan Souls program, which provides shoes to at-risk kids globally. However, Buckner’s mission extends far beyond this.Current Ministry EffortsToday, Buckner International focuses on:Shoes for Orphan Souls: Providing footwear to children in need.Foster Care and Adoption: Finding loving homes for children.Family Outreach: Supporting families to create stable and nurturing environments.Humanitarian Aid: Offering essential resources to those in crisis.Community Development: Building strong communities through various programs.Buckner’s ultimate goal is to lead people to Christ. The Spirit of God is actively using its initiatives to inspire professions of faith, with numerous individuals committing their lives to Christ in the past year.How You Can HelpIf you’re inspired by Buckner International’s mission and want to support its efforts, visit Buckner.org and click “Donate.” Your contribution can help continue the transformative work Buckner is doing worldwide.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Do I need a lawyer to draw up another deed to add transfer-on-death beneficiaries to our home deed since we own a home in Iowa?What do I do with an inherited IRA that my fiancée received after her father passed away? She is currently in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and I was wondering if the IRA would be exempt from her creditors. I was also asking for advice on what to do with the funds once her father's estate is settled and she inherits more money once her bankruptcy is paid off.I have two private student loans totaling $70,000 with interest rates of 9.5% and 10.5%. Would it be wise to get a lower-interest personal loan or refinance the existing loans?I invested $10,000 in I-Bonds two years ago, specifically for my daughter's college. Since the interest rates on I-Bonds have dropped below 5%, is there another investment I could transfer the I-Bond money that would have a better return?Would it be reasonable for me to transfer my money management to a financial advisor in Florida? I recently moved to Florida from the northern United States, and my current financial advisor is still up north. Would there be any problems with transferring, and would transferring allow me the convenience of meeting with an advisor face-to-face by walking into their local office?Resources Mentioned:Buckner InternationalGiveShoesToday.orgRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/31/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Worrying About The Financial Future With Neile Simon

The data shows that personal debt is rising, and folks are worried about their financial future. So what’s the solution?We can’t control some things, like inflation and a slowing economy. But we can do some things—especially when managing and eliminating debt. Neile Simon joins us today to discuss the solution to fretting over finances.Neile Simon is a Certified Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors (CCC), an underwriter of Faith & Finance.Understanding The Financial StormWith credit card debt at an all-time high, the GDP falling, and a disappointing jobs report, it’s a perfect storm for financial stress. Debt is a common part of life, but it becomes a significant issue when it consumes our lives. Christian Credit Counselors is here to help, emphasizing that financial challenges shouldn't be faced alone. We must discuss our finances and reduce the stigma around debt because many experience it. Often, guilt and shame prevent us from seeking the help we need.The Extent of Financial WorriesA 2024 survey by the Wells Fargo Foundation highlights the extent of financial worry among Americans:61% feel that most improvements in the U.S. economy don’t benefit people like them.55% agree that economic uncertainty makes achieving long-term financial goals impossible.39% are concerned their money won’t last, and 24% feel they will never have the things they want due to their financial situation.31% don’t pay all their bills on time, and only 42% have a budget and track spending.The top financial concern remains to be a lack of savings. Steps to Financial FreedomHere are some practical steps to move from an uncertain financial future to a secure and stable tomorrow:Get Out of Debt: Connect with a certified credit counseling company to reduce payments and interest rates, allowing you to get out of debt 80% faster while honoring your debt in full.Spend Less Than You Make: Focus on saving and creating a financial cushion.Experience Peace: Achieve financial peace that enables you to give generously and find contentment.Christian Credit Counselors offers free and confidential consultations to educate you on your options, provide a comparison estimate outlining all the program's benefits and fees, and help you create a budget and plan to get out of debt. They aim to empower and encourage you to make a plan together.By taking proactive steps and seeking help, you can find a path to financial freedom and peace.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My question was about clarifying the capital gains tax exemption requirements for selling a primary residence. Specifically, I wanted to know if the five years of ownership required to qualify for the exemption had to be the most recent five years or if there were any exceptions to that timeframe.What should I do with the $30,000 to $50,000 profit I expect to make from selling my house? Since I plan to move to senior housing, I want advice on making that profit work for me, such as investing it for retirement.What do I do with my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account from retirement as an Air Force reservist technician? I currently have around $200,000 in my TSP and wondered if I should take that money out and reinvest it in a money market account or leave it where it is. I want advice on the best option for managing that money in retirement.What factors should I consider when pricing a trust I want to set up? Specifically, I wanted to know if trusts typically have a set fee or if there are other things I should look at besides the price. I was curious about the typical cost range for a basic trust.Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsChristian Community Credit UnionBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/30/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Escape the World's Money Trap with Sharon Epps

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net … the troubles of my heart are enlarged, bring me out of my distresses.” - Psalm 25:15, 17Do you feel trapped by your finances? Do you find yourself giving in to worldly pressure? Is there a way out of the world’s money trap? There is, and Sharon Epps joins us today to talk about it.Sharon Epps is the president of Kingdom Advisors, FaithFi’s parent organization. Kingdom Advisors serves the broad Christian financial industry by educating and equipping professionals to integrate biblical wisdom and financial expertise.Finding Financial FreedomYou might be surprised to learn that financial anxiety isn't exclusive to those who are struggling. People living beyond their means often fear the unexpected, while those living right at their means worry about the future. Even individuals with a financial surplus can feel trapped by never having enough, seeking security in money rather than elsewhere.In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples, which highlights that while we are in the world, we are not of the world. This perspective is crucial when considering our finances. Being "in the world, not of the world" doesn’t mean we abandon modern conveniences or go off the grid. Instead, it means aligning our financial practices with three life-changing concepts from God's economy:Lordship: Surrender to the fact that God owns everything. Psalm 24:1 reminds us, "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."Stewardship: Use God’s resources to fulfill His purposes. As Genesis 2:15 states, "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work and care for it."Generosity: Sharing releases the world’s grip on us. The Macedonians' example in 2 Corinthians 8:2 beautifully illustrates this: "Out of the most severe trials, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity."To put these spiritual concepts into practice, here are three practical steps:Transfer ownership to God: Acknowledge that everything we have belongs to Him.Create financial margin: This allows us to fulfill God's purposes without being constrained by our own needs.Grow in giving and sharing: Generosity breaks the power money has over us.Money is a valuable servant but a terrible master. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve God and money." Money has power over us, which is why the Bible contains more than 2,300 verses on money and possessions. It's also the only area where God invites us to test Him, promising He will provide.Money is undeniably powerful, but generosity is even more powerful. It's a tool that can liberate us from the world's financial traps.Implementing these principles can transform our relationship with money, leading us to a life of greater peace and purpose.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I recently turned 62 and probably think about working for another five years until I’m 67. I live in an apartment in Iowa with my wife, who is slightly younger than me. My wife and I have a home in another state, and we're considering selling it. It's worth about $1.1 million, but we're considering selling that and then paying off the remaining balance, which is probably close to about $303,500. We just wanted to see if we could leave some of that money to my three kids. Would it be taxed?What is your opinion of a reverse mortgage, and is it a sound financial decision?I'm the oldest sibling, and my father passed away in 2015. My mom will be 100 in a couple of weeks, but they have a home right now that she has not been living in for the past eight months. Everything is in a trust fund for the kids upon her passing. Will a capital gain tax exist, and who must pay that? Is it based on when the house was sold? My parents built the house in 1967.I'm the oldest of four siblings, and both my folks have passed away. There's about $160,000 in an IRA portfolio and another $60,000 in various stocks, and all that's in the trust. My sister is a trustee. So we want to liquidate that, or some of us want to. I'm 68 and don't want to take that tax hit until I retire in two years. Can we split up that distribution four ways and pay individual taxes on it? How do the taxes work on that?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/29/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Real Christian Love In Investing With Jason Myhre

Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” It may not be intuitive, but this verse is a compelling guide for applying our faith to our investment decisions. We’ll talk with Jason Myhre today about how we can love without hypocrisy as we invest our money.Jason Myhre is the Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith & Investing, an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management, and an underwriter of Faith & Finance. Bringing Faith into Investing: A Deeper LookThe phrase, “Let love be without hypocrisy,” challenges us to ensure our love is genuine. In Paul's time, hypocrisy referred to actors wearing masks and pretending to be someone else. Similarly, our love must be real, not a façade. As Christians, the greatest commandment is to love God and our neighbors authentically. This principle extends to our investments, calling us to invest with genuine love and integrity.Recognizing Good and EvilPaul’s guidance on what real love looks like—abhorring evil and clinging to good—provides a litmus test for our actions. Genuine Christian love passionately opposes evil and fervently supports good. In the context of investing, this means avoiding investments in companies that engage in harmful practices and supporting those that contribute positively to society.Three Key Takeaways For Faith-Based Investing1. Add Moral DiscernmentTraditional investing focuses on risk and return. However, as Christians, we should prioritize moral discernment. When investing, we are supporting real businesses with real-world impacts. Recognizing the moral dimensions of these businesses is crucial. We must look beyond the numbers and assess the ethical implications of our investments.2. Avoid Harmful InvestmentsWhile not every investment decision is clear-cut, some areas are easier to discern. The Christian investment community consistently recommends avoiding companies involved in abortion, tobacco, pornography, gambling, and alcohol. These industries are consistently identified as morally problematic. Faith-based investing can guide us in steering clear of such entanglements.3. Embrace Good InvestmentsMany businesses produce goods and services that benefit society. As investors, we should actively seek out and support these companies. Investing in businesses that align with our values allows us to live out the love described in Romans 12:9.Taking the Next StepTo help you apply these principles, Eventide Center for Faith and Investing has created a resource listing faith-based investment products that align with Romans 12:9. You can access this resource at faithandinvesting.com/faithfi.By integrating faith into our investment decisions, we can honor God and contribute to a more just and loving world. Let's strive to invest with authenticity, discernment, and a commitment to good, reflecting our Christian values in every financial choice we make.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I currently have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with my husband, and we're looking to upgrade it because my parents are planning on moving in with me. We're selling our current home and plan on having $260,000 as a deposit somewhere. Our ballpark is around $500,000, but finding a four-bedroom at that price point is a little tricky. In the worst case, we'd be willing to go up to about $540,000, but that's about 30% of our take-home expenses. 25% is the ideal, and I wanted your thoughts on that.What documentation does the IRS need from a church for me to claim a deduction for tithes paid last year? We tithed to a church last year and then changed churches. However, we didn't receive documentation of giving from the church we left. We've tried to contact the church but haven't got a response.Resources Mentioned:Eventide Center for Faith & InvestingList of Faith-Based Funds (By ECFI)Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/28/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why Are We Generous? With Chris Gabriel

Do you think of yourself as a generous person? Most of us would like to think we are, but do we know why we’re generous?Jesus told us that it’s better to give than to receive, and Christians are very generous people. Today, we’ll hear from Chris Gabriel about why this is the case and how we can be even more generous.Chris Gabriel is the author of WISEgenerosity: A Guide To Purposeful and Productive Living and Giving. Chris recently spoke to financial professionals at the 2024 Kingdom Advisors Redeeming Money Conference in Orlando. However, his keen insights on why and how we’re generous apply to all of us.Embracing Generosity: A Divine DesignThere's a simple explanation for why we feel compelled to be generous: God made us this way. All discussions on generosity, whether they start this way or not, eventually lead to God. The conversation becomes more meaningful when you share your own stories about giving, priorities, and purpose. Generosity has a powerful impact, and it's no accident. Jesus, the most generous person who ever lived, exemplifies this mindset.We often encounter a scarcity mindset—the belief that whatever we have is never enough. This lie hinders our ability to give freely. In contrast, God’s abundant economy views opportunities as limitless, accessed through giving and generosity. This principle is captured in Proverbs 11:24: "One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." This reflects God's intention for how we should live.Fostering generosity has two goals: removing barriers to giving and presenting opportunities to serve God and others. Many struggle with giving because they don’t see themselves as generous. They compare themselves to others and feel inadequate. Addressing this identity issue can help cultivate a generous mindset.Generosity can be expressed in three ways: kindness, charity, and philanthropy. Kindness, the most common form, makes life meaningful and enjoyable. Charity involves direct, tangible assistance to individuals or groups, while philanthropy focuses on solving broader societal issues. Both are essential and resonate differently with people.Understanding whether you lean more towards charity or philanthropy can help tailor your giving approach. Charity is often more emotionally connected and immediate, involving direct interaction and visible impact. Philanthropy addresses systemic problems, focusing on larger-scale solutions.By recognizing and embracing our God-given capacity for generosity, understanding the different expressions of giving, and overcoming identity barriers, we can enhance our ability to serve and positively impact the world. Generosity is not just about money; it's about engaging with others and contributing to a greater purpose. Let's strive to live as God intended, giving generously and embracing the limitless opportunities in His abundant economy.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Do I need to 1099 the young man I'm hiring to help with my small agricultural operation this summer? I want to have everything set up correctly from a tax perspective when I pay him.What are the tax implications of cashing out $16,000 in stocks, and do I have to give $50,000 to my church's building fund? Most of the money comes from our savings, but I want to understand if I have any tax liability from cashing out the stocks I should be aware of.Is there an insurance stock fund that I could invest in to diversify my portfolio? I'd also like your general thoughts on fixed-indexed annuities.Resources Mentioned:WiseGenerosity.comWISEgenerosity: A Guide for Purposeful and Practical Living and Giving by Chris GabrieliSharesState StreetInvescoRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/27/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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For Where Your Treasure Is With Chad Clark

Are you storing up treasures on earth, or in heaven? Are you focused on the temporal or the eternal?In Matthew 6, Jesus clarifies that our hearts will always follow after what we treasure. Was he talking about money? Chad Clark shares his insights with us today. Chad Clark is the Executive Director of FaithFi: Faith & Finance. What does Jesus mean when he says, “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also”? It challenges us to evaluate what we treasure most. It's common for us to say that where our money is, there our hearts will be, and we can sometimes use this to encourage generosity. People can look at their checkbooks to see where their hearts are based. However, there's another way to look at the word “treasure,” which doesn't refer to physical treasure but more to what we value or devote ourselves to. There are parallels between Matthew 6:21 and Matthew 13:44, where Jesus tells us the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field that a man found and covered up. Then, in his joy, he sells all he has and buys that field. Now, we see the word treasure here in both of these. But for this man in Matthew 13, nothing is more important, valuable, or glorious than this treasure he has discovered.How is this idea foundational to the way we manage God’s money? Jesus follows up this statement in Matthew 6:24, where he says:“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”Money is a terrible master, but it is a useful tool. Paul David Tripp puts it this way:“Money is one of God's good creations. But a good thing becomes a bad thing when it becomes a ruling thing.” So, the question we need to wrestle with today is, where is our treasure? Is our hope, joy, safety, satisfaction, and identity found in money, and are the things of this world in the person of Jesus?When God is the treasure of our hearts, it completely changes how we view and use money. We see money as a tool for His glory and desire to faithfully steward what He has entrusted to us. That means that our financial decisions may look and probably should look very different from the rest of the world because we aren't here to build our kingdom, but His. Support FaithFi’s MinistryIf you'd like to partner with us to help others on their stewardship journey, would you consider supporting FaithFi? A gift of any amount would go a long way to helping us bring this message to more people. A gift of $25 or more would allow us to send you a copy of our new study, Rich Toward God. Just go to faithfi.com/give.  You can also become a FaithFi Partner by giving a gift of at least $35 a month. FaithFi Partners are committed to living out biblical stewardship principles in their lives and desire to see others be good and faithful stewards of God's resources.FaithFi Partner Benefits*:Exclusive quarterly ministry updatesEarly release copy of each FaithFi Study mailed to your door50% discount on additional orders of FaithFi Studies25% discount on FaithFi Pro*Donations of $35/month ($400/year) qualify for FaithFi Partner benefits.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Does a VA loan have a different appraisal amount than a conventional mortgage?I'm 58 years old and looking to retire between 62 and 65 if I can make it. I do have some savings and some investments. I have an inherited Raymond James brokerage account and about half a million in there. Then, I got a Charles Schwab Roth IRA, primarily invested in NVIDIA for about $100,000. I also have a condo that's paid for that is worth about $260,000. I’m just wondering if it'd be a good idea to cash out what I have in the Raymond James account, just to sit on it for a while and see what the markets do. It feels like the stock markets are just really high right now, and I would hate to go back down at that end to that decrease and lose all those gains that I had made the last couple of years.My wife and I are currently separated. There's a divorce settlement agreement out there, and as I looked through the contract, I noticed that I could keep the house. But I will need to provide $35,000 to her, which I don't have on hand. So to do that and take my wife's name off the mortgage, I will have to refinance. The bad part about that is that I have a really good low rate right now, and the rates for refinancing are not very good currently. I was just wondering if there are any other strategies out there that I could consider, whether dipping into my 401k or anything else, because I want to stay in the house.I have a problem with a law firm that I reached out to to renegotiate some credit card debt and get the interest rates down. Unfortunately, they haven't done anything, and they’ve been taking $1,500 a month from me. Now I have two lawsuits outstanding. What should I do? Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/24/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Speaking Up for Shareholders with Chris Meyer

From Jeremiah 29:7, we know God's people should seek the welfare of the places and people around them. But is seeking the welfare of our community something Christians can pursue by means of investing choices?Today, we speak with an investment manager who has been "seeking the welfare of cities" all over America and the world through his advocacy work with corporations. As we will hear today, investors can influence decisions made behind closed doors by corporations. Chris Meyer joins us today to examine how this advocacy works.Chris Meyer is the Manager of Stewardship Investing Research and Advocacy for Praxis Mutual Funds®, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. What is shareholder advocacy, and how are you currently doing it with Praxis?At Praxis, they use seven different impact strategies to make a difference through investments. One of them is shareholder advocacy, which they also call corporate engagement. It harnesses the power of ownership to create change by using voting stock rights and privileges. This can take the form of writing letters, filing shareholder proposals, and dialogue with company management, which is the most effective form of engagement. Their advocacy program aims to build relationships with companies and help them improve their policies and performance, rather than chastising or embarrassing them.What’s the recipe for real, lasting change in how these companies operate?Meaningful change always takes time. When they start an engagement with a company, their outlook for achieving goals is typically in terms of years, not weeks or months. Part of that is spent on building a solid foundation because they need to understand the issues we work on deeply. So they familiarize themselves with the necessary information to speak intelligently and purposefully when they engage the company. And that takes, of course, a lot of preparation. They also seek to build trusting relationships with the companies they engage with. This comes over many minor and significant interactions with company leaders. Trust, as we know, is usually earned and not given, and so that takes time as well. However, companies typically come to understand that Praxis is approaching them in good faith and that we're invested in their success, not just our own; an overarching goal they have for every engagement is to reach mutually beneficial outcomes. So, for instance, if a power company is able to reduce its air and water pollution substantially, it's excellent for creation. The company is also more efficient in its operations and better positioned to compete against its peers. And its reputation can benefit as well. In the long term, that's better for shareholders, the company, and the communities where it operates.How do you stay motivated when change seems to come so slowly?Recognizing incremental changes along the way, even small ones, is crucial as these can facilitate future progress. As individuals, we are not responsible for solving all the world's problems alone or righting all wrongs. The mission is to work toward creation's wholeness with the time and resources available while honoring the progress made step by step. This long-term perspective can help us persevere even when change does not happen as quickly as desired.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Is there any way I could make an extra $400 per month to help support my wife and me until her disability is reapproved, which is expected to take up to nine months? My job in the restaurant industry doesn't provide stable hours, so I wanted to know if there were any other options to increase our income temporarily during this challenging time.Should start taking my Social Security benefits at age 67 or wait until age 70? I recently applied for Social Security but haven't received a decision yet. I want to put the lump sum retroactive payment and my monthly benefits toward paying my $87,000 mortgage. According to a mortgage calculator, I could pay it off within two years if I do this. However, my nephew thinks I should wait until I am 70 for higher monthly benefits. I didn't fully understand his perspective, so I wanted your help in explaining the pros and cons of each approach.Do I need to pay tithes based on the interest I am earning from a CD that I have invested in through my financial advisor? Rather than taking the interest payments, I have been reinvesting them, so I would like to know if I should be tithing on that interest income even though I have not actually received the money since it has been reinvested back into the CD.Resources Mentioned:Praxis Mutual FundsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/23/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Responsible Savings With Brian Holtz

Statistics show that many people aren’t saving for retirement. Others may have far more than enough. How do you find the right balance?Yes, saving too much for retirement is possible, although many more folks aren’t saving enough. What does Scripture tell us about responsible savings? Brian Holtz fills us in today. Brian Holtz is the Chief Operating Officer at Compass Financial Ministry and the author of Financial Discipleship for Families: Intentionally Raising Faithful Children.It’s essential to save and invest enough for retirement, but it’s just as misguided to prioritize that above all others, right?The Bible gives us direction in both cases, all with the goal of finishing well:We find God encouraging us to save in Proverbs 21:5, Proverbs 21:20, Proverbs 30:24-25, and Genesis 41:34-36.But like everything else, saving should be intentional. The goal is to be a good steward rather than living a life of excess or becoming less dependent on God.What are some ways to ensure we’re saving responsibly?Discern what God has called you to do.Determine the expected cost, including an appropriate “emergency fund” to ensure you can persevere through challenges.Save toward those specific things and with those particular goals.When you have enough, ask God where He would have you shift new financial resources.It’s important to know what you’re saving for, right? Absolutely! Avoid having money set aside without a purpose. If it’s for emergencies, call it emergency savings.If it’s for kids’ or grandkids’ college, call it that.If it’s for radical generosity, call it that. You may not know precisely what it will be used for, but giving it a name helps you remember the purpose God has called that money to so you can remain faithful in your stewardship. There is a big difference between saving a million dollars for retirement and saving a million dollars for your next car. Give the money a purpose and save an appropriate amount for its purpose.What about retirement savings?In your retirement savings, figure out what total you need to care for yourself and your spouse and faithfully work toward that goal. When you reach that goal, shift additional resources to another one of God’s priorities in your life.With so many unknowns in retirement, you can never have enough, but over-saving can have two negative outcomes. First, it can lead to us adopting a lifestyle inconsistent with our values. If I’ve already determined what I should save to do what God’s called me to do, I’m far less likely to get off track in my spending decisions.Second, when we oversave, we miss the opportunity to participate financially in God's work. While we keep this extra money in our personal accounts, earning ten or fifteen percent a year, it’s not being invested in God’s work, and He always outperforms the market.What new changes are we seeing at Compass?Compass's rebranding and messaging efforts are all centered on helping people understand who we are and how we can help.The new name and tagline is Compass Financial Ministry: Well Versed In Finances.New website: CompassFinancialMinistry.org.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I just received an inheritance and wanted to know if it would cause my Medicare premium to go up.My wife's parents both passed away in the last eight months or so, and we now have inherited a farm. We had an appraisal done to establish our tax bases, and we're probably looking at selling a portion of it, at least the house and the farm buildings. Based on the appraiser's opinion, should we sell that, or would it be better to hire a real estate lawyer to do that for us?What is your opinion on purchasing gold coins? My husband and I had several thousand dollars in regular savings accounts and wanted to move them to an online bank where we'd get higher interest. But my son suggested we put them in a money market account through Schwab. Can you explain the difference between the two? In July, it will be two years since I opened an I-bond. When I did that, it was over 9%. I went online and tried to look at it, but I'm having difficulty understanding the current interest rate. And then, should I cash that out, depending on what that is? I was told you can cash that out without losing money after a year.Resources Mentioned:Compass Financial MinistryBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Lessons From Today’s Retirees with Matt Bell

Are you confident you’ll be able to retire comfortably someday? Are you taking steps to make that happen?Inadequate savings, faulty assumptions, and high inflation could create barriers to a comfortable retirement. Can we learn anything from today’s retirees? Matt Bell thinks we can and joins us today to discuss this.Matt Bell is the Managing Editor at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. What does the latest Employee Benefit Research Institute data show about how people feel about their retirement prospects?In the latest report, nearly 70% of people in the workforce, and somewhat higher numbers of those who are retired, say they feel at least somewhat confident they’ll have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. Not surprisingly, one of the top retirement-related concerns among both groups centers on inflation. Today’s workers say higher prices make it harder to save for later years. Another concern for both groups is the possibility that the government may change the American retirement system.What lessons can workers learn from this survey?What stands out are several areas of disconnect between worker optimism and their preparedness or between worker expectations and retiree experiences. For example, while many people in the workforce are confident about how well their finances will hold up in retirement, many of today’s oldest workers—43 % of those age 55 or older—have less than $100,000 saved for retirement. While we can’t control how the stock market performs, many of us have some control over how much we’re setting aside for retirement.Another area of disconnect is that many of today’s workers say they intend to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. Yet, just 19% of today’s retirees actually retire that late. It’s essential for all of us working to see that many of today’s retirees stepped out of the workforce earlier than they had intended. And while some did so simply because they could afford to, most in that situation had to retire because of health issues or changes at work.On a related note, large numbers of today’s workers—75% are counting on being able to work for pay to some degree in retirement, whereas just 30% of today’s retirees can.What are the takeaways from those two areas of disconnect?They both have to do with setting realistic expectations. You don’t want to create a retirement plan based on an absolute best-case scenario. The ideal scenario is to build a strategy where those things will be helpful if they work out, but they’re not absolutely necessary.What else stood out from this study?It’s beneficial to run the numbers on retirement. That means using a retirement calculator to estimate how much money you’ll need in retirement and how much you should be investing now to achieve that goal. Surprisingly, only half of today’s workers have taken that step. But those who have run the numbers tend to begin saving more, which makes sense. The more real we can make retirement—the more we can see what we need to do to retire successfully—the more likely we are to take the steps we need to take.What should future retirees know about Social Security?For starters, it would be helpful to determine how much they’re likely to receive in benefits. Social Security will be an essential source of income for most of today’s workers in retirement. However, fewer than half know what their benefits will amount to at their planned retirement age, and less than 60% have thought about how the age at which they claim benefits will impact the amount they receive. All this information is available on the Social Security Administration’s website, SSA.gov, or your Social Security statements.  What did the survey show about that debt in retirement?In last year’s survey, nearly two-thirds of workers acknowledged that debt is a problem for them, and that issue is not likely to have disappeared between the previous year and this year.While last year’s survey didn’t break debt down into specific types, other surveys have pointed to an increase in the number of people bringing a mortgage into their later years and how that hinders their financial freedom. As we’ve recommended before, it’s wise to plan to retire your mortgage by the time you retire. And, if rates ever go down again and you decide to refinance, be careful not to reset the 30-year payoff clock to a date past your intended retirement age.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have a question about comparing the TSP and a Roth IRA. Are there differences in how you can use the money when you can take it out, or anything?I have a long-term care plan for myself, but I do not have one for my husband. So if I had to put him in a nursing home, are they going to take away all of our land and our property?Resources Mentioned:Helpful Lessons From Today’s Retirees by Matt Bell (Article on Sound Mind Investing)Sound Mind Investing2024 Retirement Confidence Survey (EBRI)SSA.gov (Social Security Administration)Retirement Planning CalculatorsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/21/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Save a Fortune On Your Mortgage

You’ve heard the expression, “Pennywise and pound foolish?” Here in the States, we could say “Pennywise and dollar foolish.”A good example is when someone is more concerned about the interest they’re getting on their savings account than the interest they’re paying on their mortgage.Top Tips to Save Big on InterestWhen managing your finances, shopping around for the best interest rates on savings is wise. However, focusing on reducing the interest on your mortgage can have a much bigger payoff. Consider the total interest paid over a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It's a powerful motivator to pay off your mortgage quickly.Let's break it down. Imagine you have a $375,000 mortgage at a 7.3% interest rate. Over 30 years, you’ll pay over $550,000 in interest, bringing the total cost of your home to around $925,000. With today's higher rates, paying off your mortgage faster is more crucial than ever.Suppose you pay an extra $300 a month on the principal. This might require some sacrifices, but it’s worth it. By doing this, you can repay your loan eight years and three months faster and save $176,000 in interest. Paying down the principal each month should be a top priority.Here are four steps to help you achieve this:Create a Spending Plan: A budget is essential. The FaithFi app can help you set up a spending plan using the envelope system, track your spending, and identify areas to cut back, freeing up more cash for your mortgage.Identify Extra Cash: Determine how much extra money you can allocate to your mortgage. Even small amounts make a significant difference over time.Use Unexpected Income: Apply bonuses, tax refunds, or any unexpected money directly to your mortgage principal.Track Your Progress: Set up an online account with your lender to easily apply extra payments and monitor your principal balance. Watching it decrease can keep you motivated.Starting early means more savings that you can use elsewhere. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Slow and steady plodding brings prosperity.” So, begin your journey to an early mortgage payoff now.While at it, consider a mortgage with Movement Mortgage, a Christian company dedicated to making a positive impact. Since its inception in 2008, Movement has donated $377 million to community projects. With 775 locations nationwide, Movement offers competitive rates and a chance to be part of a greater cause. Check them out at: FaithFi.com/Movement.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I purchased a home nine years ago to provide housing for my mother. I had put her on the mortgage and deed for the home to get it financed. Since then, I have paid off the home. Would it be best to have my mother sign the deed through a quitclaim deed so that I can move ownership of the home back to myself, or could I put the home into a trust I have set up? I want to ensure the proper steps are taken, and the home is handled appropriately after my mother and I are gone.My wife passed away in March at the age of 60. She had retired from her career as an educator but was not yet drawing Social Security. I will turn 63 in July and don't plan to start drawing my own Social Security until age 67 or later since my health is good. Can I apply for Social Security benefits now and suspend my own, instead of drawing on my late wife's benefits, so that mine can continue to grow until I need to start drawing on them?I will be turning 69 years old in November, and my only source of income is my Social Security checks. I have 250 acres of property that I am considering selling. If I sell the property, would I qualify for the 0% capital gains tax rate since my total annual income is below $40,000 and comes only from Social Security? The property was purchased in 2002 for $200,000, and I am considering selling it for around $500,000.Resources Mentioned:Movement MortgageRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/20/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Power of Pentecost

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” - Acts 1:8Those were Christ’s words to the apostles after his resurrection. The fulfillment of that promise began a few days later, on Pentecost, and continues in believers to this day. We’ll explain what that has to do with your finances.Transforming Your Financial DecisionsIn the Christian calendar, while Christmas and Easter receive the most attention, Pentecost is a pivotal event for believers, emphasizing themes of power and proclamation. This year, as Pentecost approaches, let's explore how this day influences more than just spiritual life—it impacts our financial decisions too.Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and early followers of Jesus, as recounted in Acts 1:4-8 and Acts 2. Jesus, after his resurrection, promised his disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit, which would empower them to be his witnesses "to the ends of the earth." This promise was fulfilled on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended like tongues of fire, enabling the apostles to speak in various tongues and proclaim the Good News to people from diverse regions, resulting in 3,000 new believers in one day. This miraculous birth of the Church underscores Pentecost’s themes of divine power and the call to proclaim the gospel.But what does Pentecost mean for Christians today, especially regarding financial decisions? Pentecost reminds us that, as part of the body of Christ, our actions—including how we manage our money—reflect our faith and values. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, our lives are not our own; we were bought at a price and are called to glorify God in all aspects, including our finances.A Pentecost-informed perspective on money prioritizes serving others over personal gain. It changes our motivations, inspiring us with a new spirit and a heart for generosity and ethical conduct. This spiritual transformation should drive our financial choices, encouraging us to use our resources to further the gospel and serve the global community.As Pentecost Sunday nears, let's remember its profound impact on our spiritual lives and daily financial decisions. Embrace the Holy Spirit’s power to cultivate godliness in every area, including our economics.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I had a question about saving on capital gains from selling my home and two properties, totaling 27 acres. We're selling the 27-acre property for $400,000, and I'm considering possibly having $140,000 in capital gains from that sale. I also sold 5 acres for $92,000 and expect $10,000 in capital gains. I would like to know if I can do anything to reduce the capital gains I owe or how I can best handle this situation from a tax perspective.Do I need to pay taxes on the capital gains I received from property I inherited from my deceased brother? The property went through probate, and I became its successor. I had the property for over a year before selling it last year. I wanted to know if I would need to pay taxes on the capital gain since the property was inherited from a family member.I had a question about the capital gains tax on a house I sold after my mother passed away, and my brother lived in it under a life estate. I had my mother's house put in my name years ago, and after she passed away, my brother lived there for the last 12-15 years under a life estate. He recently passed away about a month ago, and the house came back to me, so I went ahead and sold it. I'm splitting the money evenly with my other brother. I wanted to know how the capital gains tax would work since there was never a formal will, and I'm sharing the proceeds with my brother.Do you have any thoughts on using the mobile banking apps that banks offer and cash transfer services like Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, and Paypal, and if you prefer any of those services over another when transferring money?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/17/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Pros and Cons of Using a Credit Union With Aaron Caid

Do you use a credit union? Or have you never considered using one?Credit union members know their advantages, and 120 million nationwide can’t be wrong. Aaron Caid joins us today to discuss the pros and cons of credit unions (and spoiler alert: there aren’t many cons).Aaron Caid is the Chief Marketing Officer at Christian Community Credit Union, an underwriter of Faith & Finance. What are the “pros” of joining a typical credit union?Credit unions are member-owned cooperatives. Members are customers and stakeholders governed by a volunteer board selected from the member base. They also have voting rights on credit union policies which help their decisions reflect the members' needs.They exist to serve members, as opposed to banks which exist to maximize profits for shareholders. Credit Unions return earnings to members through better rates and lower fees. Are Credit Unions as safe as banks? They are! Many credit unions are federally insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), which covers up to $250,000 per member. Christian Community Credit Union is privately insured by American Share Insurance (ASI). Every member account is insured up to $250,000; no account holder has ever lost a dime with ASI.Can Credit Unions really compete with banks?Of course! Because credit union profits go back to members in the form of better rates and lower fees, credit unions offer higher yields on deposits like savings products, CDs, and savings accounts, as well as lower rates on loans (including mortgages) and lower fees overall.What about branches?Many credit unions are part of the co-op shared branch network, and Christian Community Credit Union is one of them. This network gives members access to over 5,600 shared branches nationwide, so there's likely one in your neighborhood. It provides access to 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs and broader coverage than all the big banks.What makes Christian Community Credit Union different?What distinguishes Christian Community Credit Union from others is their common bond in Christianity. Their members are unified in their faith and devotion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. CCCU is unapologetically Christian, invests in biblical causes, and makes decisions driven by Scripture. Additionally, CCCU is led by devoted Christians and uses member deposits to provide affordable financing and biblical banking solutions for churches, ministries, and thousands of other Christians across the US. Are there any cons? There is only one con to joining a credit union, which wouldn’t even be considered a negative for many people. You have to become a member to benefit from its advantages. The only membership eligibility requirement for Christian Community Credit Union is that a person needs to be Christian and agree to their statement of faith in the membership application. If someone is a Christ follower in the United States and agrees to the statement of faith, they are eligible to be a member.Where can we get more information about Christian Community Credit Union?JoinChristianCommunity.comOn Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I'm 33, and I feel like I’m financially handling everything the way I’m supposed to–I saved my money, had a 401k a couple of years ago, my stepdad is an accountant who taught me how to budget, and I'm studying accounting now in finance classes. I quit my nighttime job, which paid well, to gain experience in a daytime accounting position. After budgeting my money with bills, I barely break even to cover my bills. What can I do? I've cut my spending, have no debt, no credit card, and my car is used and paid off. It's just bills. I use coupons and don't know what else I can do to survive or even have an emergency fund.I'm 69 years old and living alone. I have about $100,000 in a liquid savings account that I know I need to do something with. I'm collecting Social Security and do not want to stop working. What can I do with this money so the government won't take it from me if I ever get sick? I don't have Medicaid; I just have a Medicare Advantage plan.I took out a long-term health insurance policy several years ago with John Hancock, which has recently increased to $29,147 in paid-up policy value. When I purchased it, the premium was $300 per quarter, and I remember the agent saying it hadn't gone up in years. It has increased to $388 per quarter in the past few years. I just got a notice stating that as of July 1st, it is going up to $480 per quarter. And that's not even the worst of it–in 2025, it will go up to $593 per quarter, and in 2026 it will go up to $734 per quarter. They are legally allowed to do this, but they are putting people in a position where it doesn't make sense to keep paying such high premiums at my age. I either have to drop the policy or risk going broke paying the premiums. My son said I don't even have an option to sell this policy. I'd like your advice on what I should do in this situation.Resources Mentioned:Christian Community Credit UnionRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/16/202425 minutes
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God Takes Stinginess or Generosity Personally with Randy Alcorn

We’d like to think that our actions are always pleasing to God and certainly don’t offend Him…but we also know that isn’t always true.Christians are called to do good works so the world will see them and God will be glorified. So it shouldn’t surprise us that God takes stinginess and generosity personally. Randy Alcorn joins us today to discuss this.Randy Alcorn is a New York Times bestselling author of over 60 books on Christian Living and the Founder and Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. His ministry focuses on helping others use their time, money, possessions, and opportunities in ways that count for eternity.Living The Good LifeWhat does it mean to be truly rich in our pursuit of a fulfilling life? The concept of being "rich toward God" is explored in the biblical narrative, emphasizing the importance of generosity and selflessness. This richness is not measured by accumulating wealth for personal gain but by giving lavishly to those in need, aligning with God's priorities rather than hoarding possessions.The parable of the Rich Fool serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the folly of materialism and selfishness. Despite worldly success, the rich fool is deemed a fool by God for prioritizing his desires over preparing for eternity and acknowledging God's sovereignty over his life and possessions.The passage warns that materialism diminishes the true value of possessions and increases anxiety by focusing solely on self-preservation and indulgence. True joy and fulfillment, it suggests, come from selfless giving and serving others rather than selfish accumulation.Contrary to the worldly view of the "good life," Christians are called to find abundance in knowing Jesus and living a life of purpose and generosity. This abundance extends beyond material wealth to encompass the spiritual richness of serving God and others.Living the good life involves shifting priorities toward God's kingdom, sacrificial giving, and finding joy in serving others. It's about embracing a life of abundance through generosity and aligning one's life with God's purposes, finding fulfillment in possessions, relationships, and purposeful living.Ultimately, the true richness of life lies in living for something greater than oneself, embracing a lifestyle of generosity and selflessness that reflects God's love and character.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:After my husband passed away, I recently received a $126,000 inheritance. I wasn't sure what to do with the money, as I had some liquid savings, but I wanted advice. I planned to put some in savings, but my local bank offered a 7% interest rate on a 7-month CD, which seemed like a good option. I asked the host if he recommended putting all of it in the CD or if you had other advice.What’s the best place to look into getting a high-yield savings account? I'd also like to know the interest on that savings account—if it's added monthly, and how that works. I just wanted to know where to look and how the interest works on a high-yield savings account.Resources Mentioned:Wise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More by Miriam Neff and Valerie Neff Hogan, JDBankrate.comEternal Perspectives Ministries with Randy AlcornRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Top 5 Mistakes of the Wealthy With Cole Pearson

We tend to think that wealthy individuals always make the right financial decisions, but is that always the case? The truth is that people with a high net worth can sometimes make financial mistakes just as easily as the rest of us and perhaps with even worse consequences. Cole Pearson shares five of them today.Cole Pearson is the President of Investment Solutions at OneAscent, a family of companies seeking to help people align their investments with their Christian values. OneAscent is also an underwriter of Faith & Finance. Five Mistakes That The Wealthy Make With Their InvestmentsEven wealthy or high-net-worth individuals can often make common mistakes that can undermine their financial success. For most people, wealthy or not, having a financial advisor can help you avoid these mistakes. Here are 5 mistakes that the wealthy make:Not updating estate plans regularly. As people accumulate wealth, their estate planning needs change, and failing to update their plans can lead to unintended consequences. This could include probate, unforeseen taxes, and legal challenges for heirs, among other problems. The greater the estate, the greater the need to keep estate planning up to date.Not creating a tax strategy. Everyone should be aware of the taxes they’ll have to pay and take advantage of tax-minimizing opportunities, but again, all the more so for wealthy individuals. They’re subject to various taxes, including income, estate, and gift taxes. Proper tax planning can help minimize their tax liabilities and maximize their after-tax income and opportunities to be generous during their lifetimes!Not diversifying their income. Failing to diversify income streams can leave high-net-worth individuals vulnerable to market fluctuations and other economic risks. However, anyone could benefit from thinking about ways to diversify income. Proper income diversification can help most people weather economic storms and ensure financial stability.Not guarding against lifestyle inflation. This refers to the tendency to increase spending as income increases. While the wealthy may have more disposable income, increasing spending at any income level can quickly erode wealth and jeopardize long-term financial goals. Not passing our values to the next generation. Often people worry about planning to pass on their valuables but not their values to their children. As Christians we know that our financial decisions are stewardship decisions and that the resources God has entrusted to us can be used as a tool to make an eternal impact. One of the ways we can intentionally prepare to pass on values, not just valuables, is by incorporating them into our planning, investing, and making decisions—and teaching our children and grandchildren to do so early.How Can People Learn More About OneAscent?Explore a new way of investing that aligns with your values at OneAscent.com. Click on 'Analyze My Investments' on the home page to tailor your portfolio to what truly matters to you.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Recently, my father-in-law passed away, and my wife and her brother are trying to get his house in their name, but there was no will. So I know it has to go to probate court. So we probably will have to get a lawyer from probate or just try to figure out the following steps, such as how likely it is to get his house in their name or how unlikely it is since there was no will.I want to give a gift to my church for a building program. I've sold about 12,600 hours of stock to help with this. If I give all the money from the stock sale to our church, will I also owe any taxes?I just received a new job. I'm 74, and I retired at 62. My husband and I are both debt-free. I have a part-time job as a greeter at the bank. I start at $11 an hour, 12 hours a week. But they offer a 401(k), so I wanted to ask if I’m too old to contribute to this or if I make enough money to justify putting money into it.Resources Mentioned:The National Christian FoundationRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/14/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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All The Insurance You Need

Proverbs 27:12 reads, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”The word “insurance” isn’t in the Bible, but it does say that it’s wise to protect your financial holdings—and insurance is one way to do that.Understanding Essential Insurance PoliciesInsurance is a fundamental aspect of financial planning. For most of us, unless we have vast wealth diversified across numerous investments, insurance serves as a critical safety net. So, what insurance policies are necessary?Auto and Home InsuranceAuto insurance is generally required by law if you own a vehicle. Homeowners insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage and advisable even if you don't. Bundling these two can save money, and adding an umbrella policy provides extra liability protection for a modest cost.Renters InsuranceRenters insurance is often overlooked but vital for protecting personal property and covering liability. It's affordable, typically under $200 annually.Health InsuranceHealth insurance is a must. Without insurance, the costs of medical care can be astronomical, making health coverage a crucial safeguard.Life InsuranceLife insurance is necessary if someone depends on your income. Consider term life insurance over whole life, especially when downsizing your policy later in life.Long-Term Care InsuranceLong-term care insurance is vital for those in their 50s and beyond. With most seniors needing some form of long-term care, this insurance can prevent financial ruin.Long-Term Disability InsuranceThis insurance protects your income if you're incapacitated. Premiums are typically a small percentage of your annual salary.Insurance to AvoidTitle theft insurance and identity theft insurance can be redundant. Instead, monitor your credit through free services like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, or AnnualCreditReport.com and freeze it if needed. Title insurance, on the other hand, is crucial when purchasing a home.By strategically selecting the right insurance policies, you can protect yourself and your family against unforeseen events while avoiding unnecessary expenses.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My wife and I sold our house in 2018 before the pandemic and we were living overseas for a while. Now that we're back, we're renting a home from some friends at a below-market price of $1100 a month. We have four kids, and it's a bit cramped in the three-bedroom, one-bath house. With the rising housing prices and interest rates, we're not sure if we should keep saving for a larger down payment on a $300,000 home or buy now with the 20% down payment we have. What do you think we should do - keep renting to save more or buy now, even with the high interest rates?I'm 56 years old and currently receiving Social Security disability benefits. Will the monthly amount I receive now change when I turn 67 and start receiving regular Social Security retirement benefits?I purchased a home in Dyer, Indiana, with a balance of $310,000, and I put a substantial amount down, so now I owe $173,338. My current monthly mortgage payment is $577, with $31.92 to the principal and $101.47 to the interest. I have substantial savings to pay off the remaining balance of $173,338. Given that I have the money and the interest rate on the loan is 7%, should I pay off the mortgage now or hold on to the cash for another year?Resources Mentioned:AnnualCreditReport.comCredit KarmaCredit SesameRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/13/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Value of Moms

“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” - Proverbs 31:28The True Value of MotherhoodAs we approach Mother's Day, it's a great time to reflect on mothers' immense value to our lives, beyond their immeasurable emotional and spiritual support. While it's clear that a mother's contributions are priceless, have you ever wondered what the monetary value of a mother's work might be?Recent data from Salary.com helps put this into perspective, revealing that if motherhood were paid like a traditional job, the average stay-at-home mom would earn an annual base salary of around $185,000. This figure accounts for her myriad roles—from Chief Financial Officer to Nurse and Educator. When you factor in potential bonuses, overtime, and hazard pay that a top employee might earn in the corporate world, this figure could easily surpass $200,000!Working moms, too, work a staggering 54 hours a week managing home duties on top of their professional responsibilities. Whether in the workforce or full-time at home, moms perform a labor of love that would command a hefty salary in any other context.Yet, the discussion about the value of mothers isn't just about financial compensation; it's also deeply rooted in spiritual and moral values. The Fifth Commandment, "Honor your father and mother," (Exodus 20:12) underscores the importance of recognizing and respecting parents, ranking it alongside commandments against stealing and murder. This commandment highlights the significance of family and the sacred act of honoring those who gave us life.So as we celebrate Mother’s Day, let's remember that honoring our mothers isn't just a once-a-year event but a lifelong commitment. It’s about more than just cards and flowers; it's about recognizing their daily sacrifices, respecting their contributions, and loving them unconditionally. After all, their role in our lives is beyond any price tag.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have some plans from companies where I no longer work. One is with the same company; the other is one I had rolled into a Wells Fargo plan. I had heard on Christian radio about this company that helps you invest in places where it keeps your nest egg safe by using call options. And I'm curious about that option versus annuities versus some other option and what makes sense.My husband passed away over 10 years ago and I was left with maybe I have left from the inheritance of $150,000. Five years ago, I put $40,000 in a CD, and the CDs are almost up. And then I have $100,000 sitting in a savings account making zero interest because it's in a savings account. And what can you advise me on if I'm 65?I'm a 75-year-old widow, and I own my home, which is worth about $350,000 to $400,000. I heard you talk about high-yield accounts without locking your money into a CD, and I wanted to ask about that. I have about $175,000 in CDs, cash, and other assets.Resources Mentioned:Bankrate.comHow Much is a Mom Really Worth? The Amount May Surprise You (Study by Salary.com)Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/10/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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What the Cross Reveals About Generosity With Art Rainer

What would you say is the most generous act of all time? If you said “The Cross,” you’d be correct.Jesus gave His life so we may spend eternity with Him. We must only have faith in Him as our Lord and Savior to receive this gift. Art Rainer joins us today with thoughts on what the Cross reveals about generosity. Art Rainer is the founder of the Institute for Christian Financial Health and Christian Money Solutions. He is a regular contributor here at Faith & Finance and the author of “Money in the Light of Eternity: What the Bible Says about Your Financial Purpose.”In Matthew 27, we read how the unfathomable became reality. God sent his only Son, Jesus, to the world. While on earth, he lived sinless, doing what no human could ever do on their own. Yet, he was condemned to die on the cross. Christians can’t look at the cross without seeing radical generosity. The blood-stained wood reminds us of the greatest gift ever given. It shows us what genuine, biblical generosity looks like. Five Lessons About Generosity From The CrossBiblical generosity is not deserved. No human has ever deserved what we read about in Matthew 27. The Bible is evident on this matter. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Biblical generosity should be a priority. God did not give us his leftovers. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God gives us His one and only, His first and best. God leads us in the first fruits principle in Proverbs 3:9 and throughout Scripture.Biblical generosity should be sacrificial. A sacrifice occurs when something desirable and beneficial is given up. Jesus’ sacrifice was astonishing not only because he was unjustly executed but also because he took on the wrath of God for all sins—past, present, and future. It is an act truly unfathomable to the human mind.Biblical generosity should reflect God’s generosity. God is a generous God; throughout Scripture, we see God’s generosity on full display. God’s generosity is no more evident than when He sent His Son to earth as our sacrificial lamb.Biblical generosity impacts eternity, and the cross certainly did. When we give, individuals may hear about and put their faith in Christ because we chose to live with open hands. It’s an incredible honor.What is a Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)?Christian Financial Counselors help individuals and couples discover and pursue God’s design for money. They guide them in making wise financial decisions, building sound financial habits, and increasing their biblical financial literacy.If you’re looking for a Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC) to help you with your finances, go to FaithFi.com and click “Find A Professional.” To learn more about becoming a Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC), visit ChristianFinancialHealth.com. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I had about $630,000 in my 401k, which I took out of the market just before the pandemic and put in a safe fund. I'm still deciding whether to return to the market or leave it in the safe fund, which yields about 1.3%. I plan to retire in about two years when I'll be 70 and start collecting my Social Security benefits. What do you recommend I do with the money in my 401k—get back into the market or leave it in the safe fund?Resources Mentioned:The Institute For Christian Financial HealthChristian Money SolutionsBecome A Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/9/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Should Christians Vote with Their Investments? With Jerry Bowyer

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus called us to be wise as snakes and gentle as doves. But can we be gentle and wise when standing up for biblical principles and our voting rights as investors?It’s the annual shareholder meeting season for public corporations, meaning companies will hear about their policies from investors. Jerry Bowyer joins us today with a biblical perspective on corporate engagement.Jerry Bowyer is the President of Bowyer Research and our Resident Economist here at Faith & Finance. He is the author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.” You can also read his insightful columns for World News Group. When you work with corporations and voting shares, are you helping Christians stand up for their “rights” in some way?Christians can advocate for their rights as corporate shareholders by putting shareholder proposals on the ballot if they own $2,000 worth of shares for three years. This enables them to speak at the annual meeting or delegate that to somebody else and present their questions and cases to the CEOs and executives. Through shareholder activism and proxy voting, there is a great deal of ability to "speak to kings" or address corporate leadership.How does proxy voting work and how can it impact a company?Proxy voting works similarly to how voting works for citizens. As shareholders, investors get to vote for members of the board of directors, just like citizens vote for members of Congress or the president. As shareholders, investors can attend the annual meeting and speak up if they own just one or even a fractional share, similar to how citizens can go to town hall meetings to voice their opinions.What are some differences in how one engages a corporation vs. a government agency?When engaging with government funds as investors, they are on the "our side" as the investor. They help governments engage properly when they are company investors, just like individuals invest through 401ks, ETFs, etc. Governments have a fiduciary obligation to invest for retirees' good and vote in a way that benefits them. With corporations, the engagement is more about holding them accountable and encouraging them to focus on their core business rather than politics or social issues.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I just read the book “Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement” by Harlan Accola and have decided to move forward to do that, too. I contacted my bank, and they don’t offer that service. Do you have any suggestions? In Virginia, specifically Richmond, are there banks that do this?My house loan is only in my husband's name, and I would like to know if I should put my name on it or leave it as is.I will be 65 in June and don't want to work until I fully retire. My job is gratifying but very stressful. I have no credit card bills or anything additional to the mortgage or car payment. My car payment is about $400 monthly, and I still owe about $18,000. Would it be in my best interest to take my additional monthly commission checks, typically put in savings, and put that toward paying the car off?Resources Mentioned:Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement by Harlan AccolaMovement MortgageRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) or Certified Christian Financial Counselor (CertCFC)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Poverty: More Than a Lack of Resources With Brian Fikkert

The dictionary defines poverty as having little or no money or possessions…and no means of getting them. That definition of poverty is undoubtedly true, as far as it goes, but is there more to poverty than a lack of resources? Brian Fikkert certainly thinks so and joins us today to discuss it. Brian Fikkert is a Professor of Economics and Community Development and the Founder and President of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He is also the co-author of the best-selling book, “When Helping Hurts: How To Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting The Poor…And Yourself”. In his book, Brian describes how the Allied powers established the World Bank to rebuild a shattered Europe after World War II. How can that lesson inform us about treating poverty today?While pumping money into Europe was successful, pumping money into developing regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America afterward did not have as good results. This shows that while surface issues like lack of infrastructure may look the same, the underlying conditions are often very different, and we need to consider those underlying conditions when addressing poverty.The World Bank then surveyed impoverished people, and the results were surprising.What did the results reveal? They were shocked to find that the answers people gave were things like "I feel less than human, I feel shame, I lacked dignity, I don't feel like I'm part of the team, I feel like I'm ignored by society, I feel like I have no voice no agency." This showed the World Bank that impoverished people experience poverty in more social, psychological, and even spiritual ways related to their sense of self and place in the world, rather than just in material terms of lacking resources.Why are definitions so important?They are crucial because if you misdiagnose what's wrong with someone, you can give them the wrong treatment and make them worse instead of better. If you go to the doctor and they misdiagnose the problem, they may prescribe something that doesn't address the underlying cause and could worsen the condition. If we define poverty incorrectly when trying to help people, we may treat symptoms rather than causes, making the situation worse. Defining poverty accurately is crucial for understanding and effectively addressing the root issues.How can Christians do a better job of caring for the poor rather than simply sending money or giving material things? By taking a relational approach, you can help solve problems that can’t be solved with just money. Christians must walk with people in poverty in highly relational ways that help them rediscover their dignity, sense of self, and relationships with others and God. This involves walking with them over time, not just quick fixes. We can also support organizations that work effectively with the poor and seek human flourishing by promoting the common good. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I own real estate. Should I pay my tithes out of the gross income I receive, or should I pay them after all the bills have been paid? I've been wrestling with this question for a while. I have some answers, but I just wanted to touch base and get some assistance.Resources Mentioned:When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself by Brian Fikkert and Steve CorbettHelping Without Hurting in Church Benevolence: A Practical Guide to Walking with Low-Income People by Brian Fikkert and Steve CorbettThe Chalmers CenterRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/7/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Are You Buying into Busyness?

May brings a flurry of activities—graduations, sports playoffs, and school events—that, while meaningful, can also lead to overwhelming stress. In our busy world, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle, often driven by societal pressures to do more, buy more, and be everywhere at once.Colossians 2:8 reminds us not to be swayed by the "hollow and deceptive philosophy" that glorifies materialism over spiritual values. We are often misled into thinking that accumulating possessions or filling our calendars is the path to fulfillment. However, these beliefs only bring chaos and stress, not peace.To combat this, the Bible offers clear guidance. Jesus, in John 14:6, states He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," emphasizing that true contentment comes from following Him, not from material wealth. Scriptures like Proverbs 23:5 and Psalm 31 encourage us to focus on spiritual richness rather than worldly allure.Proverbs 3:5–6 advises us to trust in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding, promising that this faith will direct our paths. Jesus taught us not to worry about daily needs but to prioritize spiritual pursuits, as stated in Matthew 6. He assures us that all else will follow by seeking God's kingdom first.So, in this busy month, take a moment to step back from the frenzy. Talk to the Lord, engage with His word, and recalibrate your priorities. By focusing on what's truly important, you can navigate May with peace and purpose.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I wanted to give a praise report. For many years I had not paid my income taxes due to an addiction, but after getting clean I was learning biblical principles of giving and tithing. I was convicted by Scripture to pay my taxes and get right with the IRS, so I called the program for advice. They connected me with a certified Christian accountant who helped me pay off my current taxes, and now we are working on a payment plan to take care of the back taxes over time. I am so thankful to God for restoring me and helping me align my finances with His Word through the ministry of Faith and Finance.I have been paying on a life insurance policy for over 40 years. Recently, the premiums have been increasing a lot each month, and I'm not sure why. On top of that, the insurance company is saying I owe them another $385 and I've been paying on time all these years. I would like someone on the program to help explain whether I owe that money or am current on my payments. I'm confused about my policy and could use help figuring out what's going on from a financial professional I can trust.I'm seeking advice on how much reserve churches and nonprofits should keep on hand. As someone who manages a church's finances, I want to ensure we have enough to cover unexpected expenses, but I don't want to hold onto too much.Resources Mentioned:Master Your Money: A Step-by-Step Plan for Experiencing Financial Contentment by Ron BlueChurch Cash Reserves - How Much Is Enough? (Article by Dan Busby and Michael Martin - ECFA)Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/6/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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A Break for Home Sellers? With Dale Vermillion

The summer home buying season is straight ahead. Will sellers get a break on real estate commissions?The National Association of Realtors recently shocked the industry by dropping its 6% sales commission. What does that mean for home sellers this summer? Dale Vermillion fills us in today.Dale Vermillion is the author of Navigating the Mortgage Maze: The Simple Truth About Financing Your Home. This book covers everything you need to know about securing a mortgage—all from a biblical perspective.Industry watchers say this National Association of Realtors settlement will change how people buy houses. What is this settlement about?It’s about a lawsuit that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) settled regarding real estate commissions. Traditionally, commissions have been around 6% (3% to the buyer's agent and 3% to the seller's agent), but the lawsuit argued this controlled pricing. The settlement will require NAR to remove language requiring the seller to pay the buyer's agent commission, allowing buyers to negotiate commissions independently.Did the National Association of Realtors set that commission, or was it a suggestion? The 6% commission was a suggestion that had come out of NAR, but it had been in place for so long that there was a lot of back and forth about it over the years. The NAR did not officially set the commission percentage. If commissions were always negotiable, how would this settlement change things?It will give buyers and sellers more negotiating power when working with agents because commissions have always been negotiable but many agents don't negotiate them. It will directly affect buyer's agents, who must work harder to earn their commission. It may also affect agents who only sell one or two houses per year, as they may decide it's not worth it anymore. But it likely won't affect full-time agents. Some buyer's agents may become listing or dual agents to have more control over both sides of the transaction.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:How do you know how much you need at retirement? My husband is 55 and planning on working for another 10 to 15 years, while I'm 57.I just inherited about $102,000, sitting in the bank. I've had it for about a month, and I don't know how to invest it or how I could earn an income from it. I'm currently unemployed since I had to take care of my husband, who was ill. We have a minor daughter. What advice do you have for how I could invest this money?Should I pull some money out of our IRA to put into our savings as an emergency fund? We have about $125,000 in an IRA but don't have much savings. My husband is retired and I work part-time.Resources Mentioned:Navigating the Mortgage Maze: The Simple Truth About Financing Your Home by Dale VermillionRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/3/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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6 Big-Time Money Wasters

Okay, before we get into the specific money wasters, there’s a general principle you should be aware of…if you’re buying things that provide only a temporary sense of satisfaction, you’re probably wasting money. It doesn’t matter what it is—if it’s unnecessary and you grow bored with it, it was a waste of money. Check your closets for examples.I’m not saying you should take a “vow of poverty.” The Lord wants us to enjoy the resources He’s given us, but that must be tempered by the principle that we’re merely stewards and must use His resources wisely.Of course, we live in a culture that promotes spending. It’s a big problem. One survey showed that the average adult spends around $1,500 monthly on non-essentials. No wonder so many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Imagine what that kind of money would do if put into savings or invested for retirement.Let’s look at our 6 money wasters for today…and what you can do about them.The first is one of the biggest—but also one of the easiest to fix—not preparing meals. It’s okay to eat out occasionally…but too often it’s just for convenience and unnecessary. A restaurant-prepared meal will cost you three times what you would pay for the same meal cooked at home.Money-waster number two…upgrading your smartphone when a new one comes out. For example, the iPhone 15 could cost as much as $1,600…or lock you into a long contract if your carrier provides it. Eventually, a smartphone will have to be replaced…but the longer you delay upgrading…the more money you keep in your pocket. This year’s red hot phone is next year’s discount model. And you have to ask how smart your phone needs to be. Most of us don’t use the features we have now. Okay, number three…Clothing is another biggie. Wearing the latest fashion is expensive. By some estimates, the average American spends nearly $2,000 a year on clothing. And in a few months, whatever you buy will probably be out of fashion. Clothes wear out and need to be replaced…so you must include that in your budget … but those spending decisions should be practical … not a way to boost your ego.Money waster number four … buying lottery tickets. The ads say “You can’t win if you don’t play,” but that’s nonsense. You definitely will win if you don’t play. You’ll get to keep your money. You have better odds of being hit by lightning twice than winning the lottery. Plus, you don’t want to participate in something that disproportionately hurts the poor. A Bankrate report found that low-income households spend as much as 13% of their income on lottery tickets—far more than higher-income earners.Okay, number five…extended warranties…especially for automobiles. It’s now a $40 billion-a-year industry…and just an expensive form of insurance you probably won’t need.So, instead of buying an extended warranty, do your homework to ensure you’re buying a quality item. Most will have an adequate manufacturer’s warranty anyway. Then, ensure you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover any necessary repairs.And our number six big money waster is … your cable or streaming package. If you’re still paying for cable, it could be as much as $200 monthly for Internet and TV. Do you need 568 channels?More and more folks are dropping cable and satellite TV and using only streaming apps, but even there, you can waste a lot of money. A survey by FinanceBuzz showed that a quarter of households have at least three more streaming apps than they did two years ago…and one in 10 reported having no idea how much they’re spending on streaming.So keep track of what you’re watching, and if you’re not getting your money’s worth from an app, drop it. That’s one great thing about streaming apps—no service contract, so you can drop it anytime.Okay, those are your 6 big-time money wasters. We hope you find this helpful.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My 19-year-old daughter is looking to purchase a car and has found one she likes with low mileage. She has also had a mechanic inspect it. My husband and I thought the daughter should put down half on the car instead of paying in total to help establish credit, but I wanted to ask if that was the best approach. I have around $9,000 in two retirement accounts, about $18,000. However, they want to withhold 20% plus fees to withdraw it, which would be around $2,200 from each account. Is this normal? I need the cash reasonably quickly.I have around $135,000 in retirement accounts that will mature in July. Do you have any advice on what I should do with that money? I'm 69 years old and mostly living off of social security right now, with little savings but not much.I will be 68 in September and have lived off my savings for the past year. I know how much I spent in that time. I started taking my Social Security benefits, but now want to wait. I have about $42,000 in savings, my house and cars are paid off, I have around $260,000 in an IRA, and another $105,000 in a guaranteed annuity paying 4%. Would suspending my Social Security benefits and letting them grow while drawing from my IRA makes sense? How much would I need to draw each month?Resources Mentioned:Credit KarmaAnnualCreditReport.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/2/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Debt Repayment Or Giving? With Ron Blue

Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” God isn’t just telling us to test Him with our giving—He’s challenging us to test Him. “Do it and see what I will do.” Why do you think many Christians are reluctant to do this?Many Christians are reluctant to test God with their finances because of greed. Greed is when we envy what others have or want something we don't have. This greed leads to a fear of lack and insufficient money if they prioritize giving over other expenses. Giving should come first to recognize God's ownership and break the power of money over our lives. God doesn’t promise to make us wealthy because we give generously. When you give, you need to give up ownership of the money and what happens to it after that is up to God. God does not promise that he will return the money multifold. People sometimes mistakenly attach that expectation to giving, but God does not explicitly promise wealth or return on investment in the act of giving.If I’m In Debt, Should I Decrease My Giving?The answer to that begins with a principle or a truth. The truth is this: God owns it all and is interested in it. If I believe that God owns it all, and it says that in many places in Scripture, God owns it all, it's all his. The earth and everything in it are the Lord's. He created it. If he owns it, and I'm a steward or a manager, I make a biblical decision every time I spend money. I'm making a stewardship decision, a scriptural decision. So if I'm paying off debt, I'm using God's money to pay off debt. If I tithe, I'm using God's money to tithe. He gave it to me. So we can begin by saying that from a scriptural standpoint, there's no difference in using God's money, whether I pay off debt or give because it all belongs to him. When you make giving your highest priority, you begin to set the right priorities for your money.Suppose you're in a crisis where you can't give and pay off debt, get some counsel. Get some accountability. If you reduce your giving to pay off debt, it needs to be under a plan and with accountability. The best accountability is to go to your pastor and say, “This is what I'm thinking of doing. Will you hold me accountable to it?” Do you agree with this decision so that you will eventually get out of debt? If you're using your giving dollars to get out of debt because you're in a crisis, do it with accountability and a plan—don't just do it.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Can the RMD amount from an inherited IRA be taken from any of the account's assets, including stocks? What are the tax implications of taking more than the RMD amount from an inherited IRA?What are the tax implications of inheriting annuities and Roth IRAs from your parents? My parents had annuities as investments that were closed out and put into a trust after they passed away. I’m unsure how the taxes work in this situation, and I was told my children may have to pay some taxes.Should I pay my home mortgage or use my savings to buy a new vehicle? I may need to sell my home and move in with an aging parent in a year or two.Would it be okay to leave my deferred compensation of around $15,000 in the account and use it as a burial plan for my husband and me when needed? I don’t need the money currently to live on. Also, should I keep the money invested in stocks, or is there a better option given that I’m 65?Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
5/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Advantages of Online Banking

The Difference Between Online Banking and Online BanksThese days, you can do online banking with almost any brick-and-mortar bank or credit union, although features and services will undoubtedly vary from one financial institution to another.Of course, online banks have no brick-and-mortar branches. They’re online-only, except for the ATM networks they use, all transactions with them are online. Okay, that’s the difference between online banks and online banking, but the reality is, that difference is getting smaller and smaller. The online features of brick-and-mortar banks do rival anything that online-only banks have.Still, some folks are wondering if we will not need brick-and-mortar banks someday. We’re probably a long way from that. People still need services only brick-and-mortar banks can provide, like businesses depositing coins and currency. You can’t do that online.The Effects of Online BankingThere are still 77,500 bank branches in the U.S., which sounds like a lot, but it’s 12,500 fewer than five years ago. As more and more people do their banking online, traditional banks need fewer branches. You’ve probably noticed some of them closing in your area. We’ll probably always need brick-and-mortar banks—just fewer of them.So, with both online banks and online banking, it doesn’t matter where the bank is, and it also doesn’t matter where you are. You can do almost everything that needs to be done on your computer or smartphone. Now that’s convenient. Don’t ever use public Wi-Fi for your banking or any financial transaction. It’s too easy for hackers to steal your personal information.Now, there’s another massive advantage of online banking that few people think about. It doesn’t matter where the financial institution is; you can select any bank or credit union for your banking needs.You may have chosen a particular bank because they have many branches or even one branch conveniently located along your way home from work. Direct deposit long ago removed the need to stop and deposit a paycheck, but now you can deposit any check with your smartphone.Is there much of a difference between banks? Aren’t they all pretty much the same? Actually, no.Wouldn’t it be great to know that your financial institution supports Christian values making a positive change in the world and providing excellent service? Wouldn’t you want it to prioritize people over profit? Profit is not bad, but it can’t be the only priority.Stewardship is about 100% of what God gives us, not just the 10% in the offering plate. What if you could find and support faith-based institutions to help Christ's followers live and give more abundantly? Online banking can give you faith-aligned options once you choose an institution that aligns with your values. There are many great faith-aligned banks and credit unions available today. One example is Christian Community Credit Union, an underwriter of this program. Christian Community Credit Union (CCCU)CCCU offers online banking that can be accessed from anywhere in the country. It’s a great example of how our banking decisions can positively impact the kingdom. CCCU has donated over $6 million to ministry and mission projects in the U.S. and worldwide. And they’re using banking to leverage the money their members deposit with them to help construct new church buildings, expand ministries, and help Christian business owners thrive.If you’re looking for a faith-based banking solution that aligns with your beliefs and values, I’d encourage you to consider Christian Community Credit Union. Plus, each account is insured for up to $250,000 by ASI. You can find out more at JoinChristianCommunity.com. That’s JoinChristianCommunity.com.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My daughter was recently in an accident which resulted in a lawsuit of $250,000. She is 50 years old, has no savings plan, and is in a quandary currently. She’s supposed to meet with the lawyers next week and has been told that they will instruct her to take this money as an annuity, which we know nothing about. How would you instruct her going forward? My mom passed away in 2021 and left money in a trust for each of her children, but she made me the trustee of that trust. One of my brothers has always struggled financially so his portion is left with special considerations to be given annually, no more than a certain amount so that it will last in case he needs it. Sadly, it’s created some relational stress because he continually asks for more than my mom wants me to give him. Because of this, he has stopped speaking to me and I’m wondering if I should turn it over to a banker to improve our relationship.My wife is a business owner and she is 51 years old. She wonders if it’s too late to get some retirement in an account for her and which company you recommend. My father is 88 years old and in good health. My mom died about 4 months ago and my father wants to protect his home which is worth between $350,000 - $400,000. He wants to give it to my two siblings and me as an inheritance. He also has about $250,000 in liquid assets, so if he were to go into a nursing home, how could he protect that inheritance? All the kids' names are on the liquid assets, but the home only has his and my mom’s names on the deed. If we wanted to do a trust, what kind should we consider opening? What about the timeframe?My wife and I have a 5-year-old, a 7-year-old, and an 18-month-old right now. We are trying to be intentional about helping our boys create a foundation they can build off of financial knowledge and management of money from saving to giving to spending. Do you have any recommendations regarding resources to help us teach our kids these biblical money management principles?Resources Mentioned:Christian Community Credit UnionThe Sound Mind Investing Handbook by Austin Pryor and Mark BillerTrusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management by Matt BellRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/30/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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It's Not About The Money

God Owns EverythingNow, to be sure, the message that God owns everything—and we don’t—is something we need to hear repeatedly. That’s probably why the Bible repeats this teaching several times.Job needed reminding. Job 38:1-5 reads, “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!’” Psalm 24:1-2 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.And of course, Colossians 1:16 reads, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”This is a message that we need to hear constantly. It frees us from getting too attached to our money and possessions because they’re not our money and possessions—they belong to God.Putting Things Into PerspectiveYou may have heard the story about the believer who took this to heart. He’d saved and saved to buy a new car, but soon after taking possession, he got into a fender bender. But he didn’t get upset. He shrugged it off and thought, “I wonder why God wanted His car to get in an accident?”That would undoubtedly be difficult, but it makes things much easier if you think of yourself only as a steward and not an owner. Okay, we’ve got stewardship covered, but what about that deeper meaning in these verses?For that, we need to consider the larger passage of Psalm 50— verses 10 through 15:“For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”The psalmist is warning Israel that they’ve become legalistic with their sacrifices. They had come to put value on the sacrifices and, by extension, themselves.God already owns the beasts of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills— indeed all the cattle on all the hills. He owns all creatures wild and tamed, the fowls in the mountains and beasts of the fields.That said, how could He possibly be impressed with the burnt offerings of the Israelites? They were just giving him back a tiny bit of what He already owned— and then patting themselves on the back for it.Nonetheless, God did require Israel to make those sacrifices to cover sin and something else temporarily. Note verse 14 again: “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.”This verse gives us the context we need to put things in perspective. That passage and others like it are about giving and our hearts' attitude. They’re not about legalism and checking boxes. Galatians 2:16 reads, “We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ … by works of the law no one will be justified.”Cultivating An Attitude Of GratitudeWhen we give purely out of gratitude— expecting nothing and taking no pride in it— and certainly not to earn our way into heaven— only then are we giving Him the loyalty of our hearts.God is a spiritual being. What use does he have for earthly things? None, of course. He wants our hearts. He wants us to worship him in spirit and truth.Our tithing and gifts must only be tributes to our gratitude for what He has already given us—not just material things but the priceless gift of His Son Jesus Christ for our eternal salvation.We must search our hearts to ensure we give for the right reason because He is the most High God. He sees right through us— and takes no pleasure in giving that isn’t joyful and done out of gratitude.2 Corinthians 9:7 teaches, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’m looking to invest as a hobby. I’m already invested in different companies with well-diversified portfolios, so this would be outside of that. I’m looking at investing about $100 a month and wanted to know if you had any recommendations. I’m approaching 65 years old and will soon be able to withdraw just shy of $70,000 from my 401(k). I am seeking advice on investing this money to create wealth. I recently heard that the government will do away with cash in December. How are we to plan for that? My friend in Colorado is single and desperately needs cash flow. She has equity in her home and I wanted to know if she would qualify for a reverse mortgage. Resources Mentioned:Movement MortgageThe Sound Mind Investing Handbook by Austin Pryor and Mark BillerSound Mind InvestingRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/29/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Jesus and the Wealthy With John Cortines

At the most recent Kingdom Advisors Conference, John shared an incredible story about some friends of his and an inheritance decision they made:“I’ve got some friends who are a super sharp young couple in their 30s. His Father shared that he was about to give them a vast, multi-million-dollar inheritance. Amazing! But they had been reflecting carefully on money and faith for months.They said, ‘We are so grateful for this, but we’re already OK. And if we got this money, we’d start to rely on the shifting sands of this money for our security, instead of the firm foundation of Christ.’Long story short, they worked with his Dad to use that money to advance God’s Kingdom through giving. I was blown away by that decision.”Three Ways That Jesus Interacted With Wealthy PeopleSo, if we go through the four Gospels and find the times Jesus interacted with a wealthy person, it happened a lot. He had a pretty unique pattern, and it was three things:LoveInvitationChallengeSo for us, in our wealth today, Jesus loves us, invites us, and challenges us.  Jesus said You can’t serve God and money. Money promises us Pleasure, Possessions, Protection, and Position, but it can’t give us those things. We have to look for God to get them eternally and in truth. Is Jesus challenging us to sell our possessions and give everything to the poor?While he might ask us to do that, this is the only time Jesus tells anyone to sell it all in Scripture.Zacchaeus gave away half of his wealth, Peter left his boats, and Nicodemus, after the crucifixion, spent a fortune on the burial spices for Jesus, gaoing public with his faith.The beauty is that it will look different for each of us as we read Scripture carefully and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But we can be sure God will challenge us to mobilize our wealth in this world to bless people and to bring Him glory.How can we use our wealth to honor God and bless others?We want to invite them into a deeper, right relationship with God and others. There are four areas where we can do this:Family: Caring for those we are responsible for is godly and right.Generosity: Scripture is clear we’re called to invest money into God’s Kingdom work.Hospitality: In today’s isolated culture, opening your home and sharing meals with people is a radical and good step.Employment (if you own a business): God calls many of us to employ others in good jobs in healthy, God-honoring work environments.When we use our wealth for the benefit of others, it makes us richer spiritually. God is with us in that.How can people can learn more about biblical generosity?There’s a great ministry that works closely with Kingdom Advisors. It's called Generous Giving, and its video stories of Christian givers could greatly encourage anyone. Going to GenerousGiving.org, you can find dozens of sermons, stories, and resources to encourage you.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I'm retired and have a 401(k) from a previous employer from about 15 years ago. Should I take that 401(k) and move it into an IRA to have more control over it?I have about $50,000 with Vanguard in an IRA account and another $20,000 in a 401(k). Up until about three years ago, I made good money with Vanguard in my IRA account, but in the last three years, I've gone nowhere with my investments in a targeted retirement account. I would gain a little bit and lose a little, and that's all it would do. So I put it all into a money market account, but I wanted to know if you had any suggestions, like what type of account I could put it into to start making some gains.I have a Social Security Question for my sister who turned 60 in December. Her husband passed away about eight years ago, but she's still working full-time. Can she collect on her husband's Social Security in whole or part where she's still working?My husband passed in 2016 and at the time, we had an 18-year-old and a 25-year-old. A couple of years ago, before everything went crazy during the pandemic, I was able to refinance my house to get a lower rate. My house has a rate of 3.75%, and at the time, I thought I was helping my children by putting their names on the deed during the refi. However, I've been hearing a lot about capital gains taxes, what will happen to them, in the event of my passing, and if the house is evaluated at more than what we paid for. I just don’t want to put them in a situation where they will owe a lot of money. Was I wrong for doing that? If so, can I reverse it with little or no problem simply by paying to have it reversed?Resources Mentioned:True Riches: What Jesus Really Said About Money and Your Heart by John Cortines and Gregory BaumerGod and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School by John Cortines and Gregory BaumerGenerousGiving.orgSound Mind InvestingRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/26/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Managing Chronic Financial Anxiety With Steve Cuss

The Playbook for Chronic AnxietyIt's generated by assumptions, expectations, false beliefs, and false needs. So, if we can uncover false needs, we can learn to die to them and relax into God's sovereignty. This is a compelling way to grow in our relationship with faith. We can use our anxiety triggers to open our souls up to God's presence. What is an assumption you hold about yourself that's unreasonable? If you’re a perfectionist, almost every assumption you hold about yourself is unreasonable. Think about it. When was the last time you looked at your work and said, "That was well done." Perfectionism is always chasing a carrot we can never reach. It’s a treadmill to nowhere. Anxiety has a competing gospel. The idea out of all of the gospels is that this is the only gospel where God pays and the human benefits. In every other belief system, the human pays and the god benefits.If you think about ancient sacrifice systems, even in the Roman Empire and the Egyptian Empire back in the days of Moses, humans paid, and the gods benefited. In the Roman Empire, Caesar Augustus's nickname was the son of god and the most profound confession of faith in Rome was Caesar is lord. And along come Luke and Paul, and they say, "Nope."The people paid and paid, and Caesar got all the benefits. For perfectionists, this message will free you when you realize that perfectionism is a gospel that makes you pay for its benefits.The Treadmill To NowhereGod is not asking you to be perfect. God is asking you to be human-sized. You're expecting yourself to be perfect. You are living out of a gospel of self. Whether you’re a perfectionist or a people pleaser, you’ll realize you can never please people enough because it is forever a carrot out of reach. Or a treadmill with no end in sight. Chronic anxiety is like a personal trainer tapeworm. If you’ve ever had a tapeworm, you usually don’t even know you have it because they are so small and feed off your energy. That’s how they grow. That's what anxiety does. It grows by consuming you, and like perfectionism or people pleasing, it puts you on a treadmill to nowhere. As you run, it’s pushing the incline and go-faster buttons into burnout, and you're not getting anywhere. God doesn’t want us to be anxious, especially about finances. We need only to be faithful stewards and trust Him to provide because He always does.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My husband recently retired from the military with over 20 years of service and received a small VA pension in his retirement. I work full time and we can live off of that so he was lucky enough to find employment in his field. We're excited that he'll be getting that income but right now, we have $47,807 left on our mortgage, which is at 2.5% interest. I recently completed my doctorate and to do that I had to take out three student loans whose interest rates vary from 5.2%, 6.6%, and 6%. I owe $45,032. So, where do we start the income he'll get from his employment?I'm 69 years old and bought a 20-year life insurance term 20 years ago. I also had the cash surrender value option and now that the 20 years is up, I've got a check for $16,945 from the life insurance company. But when I saw what they were doing, I should have been getting $17,600. So I called them up and asked where the rest of the money was. They said that I automatically went into extended-term insurance when mine canceled out. After reading the fine print, I called them a month before this term insurance was supposed to be canceled and stopped the check so they couldn't get money out of the account anymore. I also told them to cancel this policy as of the date, and they still got the extra $514.22 for the extended term. Have you heard of that before?Some family members are overwhelmed financially and have a lot of credit card debt. Is there a credit counseling agency that you recommend?Resources Mentioned:Being Human with Steve Cuss (A Podcast by Christianity Today)The Expectation Gap: The Tiny, Vast Space between Our Beliefs and Experience of God by Steve CussNew York State - Department of Financial ServicesRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/25/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Powerful Financial Tips With Sharon Epps

The Power of TrustProverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”This establishes our role as stewards and God as the owner, which gives us the freedom to look to Him for His plans for our money and not worry about our plans.The Power of FocusThe power of focus is to ask God what the next thing He would have us do is and to focus on that one thing until we progress on it before moving to the next. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”Proverbs 16:3 also says, to “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”Research shows we can't multitask, so focusing on one goal at a time is essential.The Power of PrioritiesWe can think of financial priorities for the "live, give, grow” pie, starting with the 10/10/80 principle—give 10% first, save/grow 10%, and use the remaining 80% for living expenses. Prioritize giving first, then growing, then living expenses. The big priorities within living are housing, transportation, and food, and we should keep those to less than half of our take-home pay.The Power of PlanningWe must spend money on purpose by making a plan on paper or digitally before each month begins. We recommend using a budgeting app like FaithFi to digitally allocate money to "envelopes" each month for planned expenses. Proverbs 27:23 tells us to “Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds,”Larry Burkett popularized the envelope system in the past, and even digitally savvy couples sometimes find it helpful to use cash envelopes to control their spending in some categories better.The Power of CashIf you only use cash, you can’t easily go into debt. Proverbs 21:20 reminds us, "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.”Proverbs 22:7 also says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”The Power of Decision-MakingGod’s Word teaches that we can always go to Him when unsure of what to do.James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”Here is a flowchart approach to decision-making, asking questions like if the expense is essential, whether it will help or hurt financial goals, whether it can wait, and whether there are less expensive options:Is this expense essential for our family’s survival?Will this purchase help my financial situation?Will this purchase hurt my financial situation?Will this purchase move me toward meeting my financial goals?Can we wait to incur this expense?Is there a less expensive alternative?On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:When I had my first baby, I had an attorney draft a will. Now I'm finding all of this about probate. My youngest is 18, and I am looking to see what I can do instead of having a will because of probate court. I made sure all my accounts had beneficiaries, and I'm looking to get my house title transferred upon death. What would you advise for that? How can I eliminate that will since it doesn't apply anymore? My kids are older and other people that I put in there I no longer want to be in there. Medicare has notified me that they automatically provide prescription or drug coverage, so they gave me a new card. However, I already have Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage, which works fine, but I would have to opt out of what Medicare provides. I started to opt out of what Medicare provided but wanted your feedback since they already provided it. Do you have any thoughts? Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/24/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Shoes Make Hope Shine With Shawn Spurrier

What does Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls do? They are Buckner International's largest humanitarian aid project. Their mission is to follow Jesus' example by serving vulnerable children, families, and seniors. One way they do that is through partnerships like Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls, where they come alongside believers in churches, businesses, and families throughout the U.S. to provide new shoes for children worldwide. Why are shoes important for health, education, and opportunity, especially in underdeveloped countries?Children can't go to school without shoes in many countries where they work, so Buckner promotes education by providing that gift. Additionally, wearing shoes makes many foot-borne illnesses in some communities entirely preventable. Many of the shoes they distribute also allow Buckner ministries to meet and come alongside children and families in their community, providing redemptive ministry for them.How do shoes pave the way for sharing the Gospel?Every pair of shoes is an opportunity to directly connect with the child and let them know they're loved, cared for, and not forgotten by us or God. Additionally, every pair of shoes will have an encouraging note to them, often expressing the love of Christ for them.Every pair of shoes is often the start of a relationship between the recipient and Buckner ministries where Christ-centered redemptive ministry is being done.How can people get involved with Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls?GiveShoesToday.orgEvery $15 will provide a pair of shoes for a child worldwide, giving them further opportunities in education, healthcare, and, most importantly, the hope of the Gospel. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My wife and I want to purchase our first home in about a year. We are a single-income family: I work, and she stays and homeschools our four children. Would it be a good idea to have her listed on the mortgage when it's time to get our mortgage? Or would it be better to keep her off? I don't want her to be responsible for something happening to me. I would like your opinion on that.I had a couple of garage sales on our block this weekend. Both neighbors are selling their homes and my daughter and her husband love my neighbor's home. They got married in June last year when they got their condo. They want to buy this cute, humble home, jump from the condo, and maybe get this first home, but both are fortunate to be college-educated and are doing okay. One was late on several car payments so their credit score wouldn't be too good. Unfortunately, they need a cosigner so they asked me if I would be willing to do that. What do you think about this and more importantly, what does the Bible say about this?I have a 457 retirement plan, and my beneficiary is my wife. If something should happen to me, she would get the money, but I was wondering since she doesn't have any retirement income set up, if she would be able to roll it over so she could make it her retirement savings so that she wouldn't get hit so hard on the taxes?I contacted a Christian credit counselor because I have about $9,000-$10,000 in credit card debt. They were able to break it down so that I could afford the payments, but I'm curious how that will look in the eyes of a lender for future financing. I am looking to purchase a home within the next year, which may negatively impact how a lender views me. My husband passed away over 10 years ago and I was left with about $150,000 from the inheritance. I put about $40,000 into a CD five years ago, and the five years are almost up. I have about $100,000 sitting in a savings account making zero interest because it's in a savings account and I wanted to know what you can advise me on it. I'm 65 years old, so I don't want to do anything with a high risk, but it's just sitting there and not making anything.Resources Mentioned:GiveShoesToday.orgBankrate.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/23/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Cut Your Healthcare Costs With Lauren Gajdek

What options and rates do Christian Health Ministries offer?CHM is not health insurance, but medical cost-sharing, and nonprofit, enabling us to keep member costs down. CHM shares 100% of eligible medical bills, over $10 billion since its founding in 1981. Here are some of the plan costs to start (for individuals):Bronze, $92 per unit, per month Silver, $138 per unit, per monthGold, $240 per unit, per monthSenior Share, $115 per unit, per monthHow is being a member of Christian Healthcare Ministries more flexible than most health insurance plans?CHM members are not limited to a provider network. They can go to any doctor or hospital if the treatment is eligible according to CHM guidelines. This gives members more flexibility and control over their healthcare than typical health insurance plans.Where does CHM’s ministry concept originate?CHM draws its concepts from the New Testament, where the Book of Acts says that all the believers pooled their resources together and shared what they had. So, CHM practically does that nowadays with medical costs. The spiritual component of what they do is vital to CHM, as they also pray for each other and send cards and emails of encouragement. It is an excellent example of the body of Christ serving one another.Where can people get more information?chministries.org/faithfiOn Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I've been through over a decade of financial abuse, so I'm starting off having to reestablish with a low income. Are there any investment opportunities with a smaller amount that I can receive returns on, keeping some and then reinvesting the other? Also, do you have any other ideas for someone with a low income?I'm considering retiring to get my money out of the company I work for now, but I don't know how much the government will take because I'm not 65 yet. Is there a cut-off where they don't take anything?When I was stationed in Fort Polk and Fort Hood and bought houses, we had insurance that covered me if something happened to me, and the house would be paid for. I can't find those insurance policies anymore. Do you know of a resource that can help me track those down?Resources Mentioned:Christian Healthcare MinistriesNational Association of Insurance CommissionersRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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To Be Rich Toward God Pt. 2 With Carolyn Calupca

What does it mean to be Rich Toward God?It doesn't mean just giving money and possessions away. Anyone can do that. And the spiritual ramifications are different depending on your heart. But Jesus is inviting us to set our hearts on an imperishable inheritance. So here's the context, a man from the crowd asks Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute, and Jesus deflects that question. He gets to the heart of the issue by telling a parable about man's greed and envy, not just the man who asked the question or had the issue, but ours. So this parable is about a rich man who poured his whole heart into accumulating and essentially worshiping his wealth and died before he could enjoy it. So obviously, perishable worldly inheritance is a false solution.Where can we find more about this imperishable inheritance? 1 Peter 1:3-9 talks about our inheritance as believers, which calls it imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. And here are a few things the passage says about our inheritance. It includes a living hope in Christ, which is an eternal hope. Because we have the mind and spirit of Christ, we can also have joy amid trial. And then we have our genuine faith, which it says is more precious than gold. The result of faith in Jesus Christ is what we long for, and that's the salvation of our souls and abundant life. That's our imperishable inheritance.How should Christians view wealth?The Bible isn’t saying that money is evil and it’s not even saying that wealth is evil. There is nowhere in Scripture that condemns someone for being rich. Money is just a tool, it’s a matter of the heart. God’s concern is with the use of money and your attitude towards money, not the amount. Is wealth dangerous?It definitely can be when it becomes our priority. Paul David Tripp once said, “Money is one of God’s good creations, but this good thing becomes a bad thing for you when it becomes a ruling thing. You simply cannot serve the King of Kings and have acquisition of wealth as the organizing dream of your heart.”So what is Jesus inviting us into?Jesus is inviting us to set our hearts on imperishable things. Jesus is calling us to make him the desire of our hearts every moment of every day. He's asking us to surrender our lives our plans and our finances to him, to allow Him to be our ultimate treasure. Jesus invites us to say that God is our abundance now and we have an imperishable inheritance in heaven. That's good news for everyone!You can get a copy for personal study or several copies for everyone in your Bible study group to experience together. Visit FaithFi.com/rtg to purchase Rich Toward God today. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My mom is an 85-year-old widow who lives with my sister. In 2009, my dad had enough strokes that my mom realized that she couldn’t take care of the whole house by herself. So after that, my older sister built an addition to her house and they moved in after that. My dad then passed away in 2013 and now she is a widow and now my sister is charging her rent to live in that addition of her home. I’m wondering if that is biblically acceptable. We want to put money into an existing 529 plan that our son has for their children. Do I get a tax break from it or do they get the tax break from our donation? We have a life insurance policy that is ending, and we can cash it out or roll it into a whole life policy. We also have other adequate life insurance, so we were just wondering if there is a way to put that money into a savings account for that expenditure that wouldn’t be painful for taxes, with a child going to college in about a year. I’m about to be 71 years old and I’ve been taking some monthly income from my IRA, which was based on high-dividend stocks. But as of late, I’m afraid the stocks are a little too volatile for my comfort level so my financial advisor suggested I go with a GMIC annuity that pays 7%. Should this be something I look into? I’ve always felt wrong about annuities so I just wanted to hear your thoughts.Resources Mentioned:SavingForCollege.comRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/19/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Must-Have Financial Skills for Young Adults

Must-Have Financial SkillsThe first “skill” is an attitude. The Bible says God owns everything, as in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Understand that nothing belongs to you, even you. You are a manager of God’s resources, which should change your perspective on money and material things.The number two financial skill you’ll need is planning. “A dream without a plan is just a wish,” they say. And wishes won’t buy you a house. The fundamental planning tool we recommend is a budget, otherwise known as a “spending plan.” A budget keeps track of your income, giving, and spending, and gives you a picture of your progress towards meeting your financial goals. Download the free FaithFi app to get started.The following fundamental financial skill everyone needs is work!  Maybe your dad always told you that “Money Doesn’t Grow on trees!” Annoying as that was, it’s the truth. So, start at the bottom if you have to, work hard, and develop your resume!Colossians 3:23 and 24 see the key to successful work: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”The next skill is to open and manage a bank account. Then, make sure you develop habits of giving and saving from every paycheck. Watching your balance increase will encourage you to stick to your plan. Keeping track of your bank balance will also help you understand your limits. You can’t spend what isn’t there.The following skill will also help you understand your limits. Learn about credit. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that a credit card equals permission to spend all you want. Instead, keep track of your balances, pay your balances in full every month, and watch your credit score.Another essential financial skill you’ll need is an understanding of investing, including types of investments, risk, and return. Check out the great information at SoundMindinvesting.org.Finally, admit you don’t know it all and learn where to go for solid financial advice. As Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Visit faithfi.com and click on the “Community” tab to chat online about your money questions.  Or, ask someone you trust, who knows about finances, to help you.Now more than ever, young adults need financial skills to succeed in the “real world”.  Our challenge to our bright and hopeful “Gen Z” generation is to pursue a firm faith and financial literacy.  On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My house is paid for, but I am considering moving and wondering if I can borrow from my 401(k) instead of going to the bank and getting a loan.We have some stock that we want to sell and we want it to go to a charity so that we don’t have to pay taxes. How can we do that? I called in about an HSA vs. a traditional health care plan for my family and now we’re a family of six. I’m the only one who works as my wife is home with the four kids and we ended up picking the HSA to max it out financially. Six or seven years later, we’ve been maxing it out, and now I’ve rolled it over to an online investment brokerage. It’s still an HSA, but now I can put it into CD’s at 5% interest or in an index fund, so I just wanted to thank you for the advice and wisdom.Resources Mentioned:Movement MortgageNational Christian FoundationFidelityCharles SchwabRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/18/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Busy Mom’s 4 Steps To Spiritual Balance With Crystal Paine

The 4-Step Process For How Busy Moms (Or Stay-At-Home Dads) Can Get Control Of Their TimePrayStarting our day in a posture of prayer and reliance on the Lord instead of trying to white-knuckle our way through life in our strength changes how we approach life. We feel a lot less stressed and more at peace, and it helps us focus our energy on those things that truly matter in Eternity. This can look like quick flare prayers we shoot up throughout the day when we feel overwhelmed, aren’t sure how to approach something, or just feel extra tired or weary.PrioritizeIn the book, Crystal outlines what she calls the 6x2 Priority System. She has six Priority Areas around which she wraps her time and life, but she only picks two to focus on per day and then rotates the ones she focuses on. So, instead of trying to do all the things every day, she just intentionally spends time on two areas. For instance, that might look like an at-home date with your spouse (Marriage Priority Area) and coffee with a friend (Friendships Priority Area). The next day, it might be spending extra time decluttering and catching up on tasks at home (Home Priority area) and having a game night with the kids (Kids Priority area).PlanCrystal suggests writing down everything you need to do or remember (even tiny things) in a Google calendar as an all-day task and assigning it to a day by which it needs to be done. Then, every night before bed, write out a handwritten Time-Blocked To-Do List with everything mapped out for the next day. It’s like a budget but for your time. PrepA successful day begins the night before. One way to make your day run much more smoothly is to take 30 minutes before going to bed to pick up the house quickly, figure out what to do for breakfast, make lunches, get bags and backpacks ready and set out by the door and lay out everyone’s clothes for the morning. The difference this makes in our mornings and the rest of the day is incredible.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’ve been unemployed since February of this year and have been applying to numerous positions with various companies. All I’ve gotten is one in-person interview and a few phone interviews, but beyond that, there is nothing else. I want to find out what mistakes I’m making in this stage of the job search as I’m worried about my employability. I’m a retired military serviceman who currently has TRICARE and doesn’t qualify for an HSA because of the type of insurance I have. Am I correct in that?I’m confused about tithing. I received an inheritance about 10 years ago, and before I deposited it into my account, I tithed the full amount. After that, I put the money in an annuity to give me an income stream when I retired. My question is, do I tithe on the income I receive, or has that already been tithed on?Resources Mentioned:The Time-Saving Mom: How to Juggle a Lot, Enjoy Your Life, and Accomplish What Matters Most by Crystal PaineMoneySavingMom.comCareer DirectNail Your Next Job Interview: Faith & Finance EpisodeRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/17/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Risk of Playing It Too Safe With Mark Biller

What is the risk of playing it too safe? That does seem like a bit of a riddle, but we can start to make sense of it by first exploring a behavioral phenomenon called “loss aversion.” Researchers have found that most people feel the pain of losing money roughly twice as strongly as the joy of gaining money. To say it again clearly: losses feel twice as bad as gains feel good. This naturally causes many people to be “loss averse” and try to avoid losses, sometimes to such a substantial degree that it undermines their long-term goals. One of the trickiest parts of investing is taking enough risk to meet your long-term goals without taking more risk than necessary. There are very tangible steps we can take to reduce or mitigate risk—things like maintaining an emergency savings fund to minimize the risk of a financial emergency, such as a job loss or an unexpected major expense. When it comes to investing, diversifying your holdings rather than putting all your eggs in one basket is an example. Can someone be too risk-averse? Sometimes, we actually increase our long-term risk by playing it too safe. One example is young people not investing aggressively enough, letting the opportunity for long-term compounding slip away.This is ironic because young people are often stereotyped as inherently bold risk-takers. We read stories about them buying meme stocks, Bitcoin, and other risky investments. But the broad research on Gen Z — adults ages 27 or younger — doesn’t back that up. A recent national study found that Gen Zers are the least financially confident generation and 57% think savings accounts are the best way to invest their money. Most financial pros would agree that savings accounts are an extremely conservative choice for those with several decades of investing time ahead of them.Even the next age demographic, the Millennials (ages 28 to 43), appear to be surprisingly risk-averse. A different Schwab study last year found that Millennials were especially interested in bonds. Bonds are generally the favorite of retirees, not 28-to-43-year-olds. These surveys indicate that younger investors are arguably too loss-averse and are making investing choices that are likely to impair their ability to build long-term wealth significantly. It’s fair to point out that previous generations didn’t have that same inclination when they were younger and less experienced investors. There’s a disconnect between making a safe 5% in a savings account or bond today and not recognizing the impact inflation is likely to have on that relatively low rate of return. Young people should target the higher returns of stocks over the decades they’re saving for retirement so they can grow the purchasing power of their savings at a faster rate than inflation over the course of their careers. What are you seeing with new retirees? Retirees often fall into the same trap. A 65-year-old new retiree who has all her retirement savings in cash told us she could live just fine on Social Security and the $450 she took out of her retirement savings each month. When we asked how long her savings would last if she kept taking out $450 each month, she knew the answer immediately—a little more than 25 years.She had run the numbers and thought she was in good shape. But she isn’t because she failed to factor in the rising cost of living. Because of inflation’s corrosive power, $450 will buy far less in the future than it does today. That means her standard of living will decline steadily as the years pass. That investor doesn’t want to take any risk. But ironically by playing it so safe, they aren’t just risking the possibility of financial trouble down the road, they’re guaranteeing it.How do we prevent that from happening?Investors normally need to accept some degree of risk to prepare for the future. That typically means maintaining at least some exposure to stocks even after retirement age, because these days, a person needs to plan for a retirement that could last 20 to 30 years. Dialing in that “not too much risk, but just enough” balance is tricky. A good financial advisor or a service like Sound Mind Investing can really help a person figure out an appropriate level of risk and translate that into a portfolio of stock and bond investments. We’re not a big fan of annuities in most cases, but in the case of the new retiree previously discussed, even an extremely conservative step like buying an annuity with an inflation rider would likely provide her with a higher monthly income while also locking in some inflation protection. So, there are usually things that can be done, as long as a person recognizes the risk of playing it too safe. What is a better approach in a situation like this?Mark typically desires SMI investors to have a closer to a 50-50 blend of stocks and bonds as they hit retirement age. If the numbers work, a conservative investor like this might be able to reduce that to 20 to 30% in stock mutual funds or ETFs, with most of the rest in fixed-income securities. Keeping that little stock growth exposure is one way to improve the odds of having enough money in your later years. Again, we don’t take on extra risk just to grow the most giant pile of money possible, but we need our returns to be higher than inflation to protect our purchasing power. For most people, that means taking some risk. Yes, try to reduce that risk over time, and don’t take more risk than you need. Recognizing taking too little risk over the long haul can ironically be as damaging as taking too much risk. We have to weigh the risk of action against the risk of inaction.Investment risk certainly should be managed and minimized to whatever degree. No one gets bonus points for taking more risks than they need to. However, sometimes the riskiest thing you can do is play it too safely.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I wanted to move some money from a regular annuity into a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Do you have any funds that you recommend? I’m calling about a widow that I represent. She sold her small farm property. Her income is so low that she hasn’t paid any taxes over the past 10-11 years. Is she going to have a big tax liability on selling this property? I have some questions regarding a solar roofing system. Our home is paid for and our insurance company said we need a new roof due to wind damage. We would like to incorporate a solar roofing system when we install the new roof since we would qualify for a 30% tax credit. Is the 35-40% offset on the solar roof worth it as a return on investment for our home?Resources Mentioned:The Risk of Playing It Too Safe (Sound Mind Investing Article)Project SunroofNational Christian FoundationRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/16/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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When You’re Treated Unfairly

What To Do When You’re Treated UnfairlyMoney is often the issue when we interact with others, and it’s a powerful motivator to strike back when we feel we’re being mistreated. Losing money we feel we deserve to have can make us feel bitter.But Hebrews 12:15 tells us, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”We live in a fallen world filled with fallen people, and we’ll all experience mistreatment at one time or another.It’s important to remember that you’re one of those fallen people, too. Your first instinct might be to lash out against someone who’s mistreating you, but that is not a biblical response to mistreatment. Instead, look to Christ as your model. No one suffered more injustice and mistreatment than Jesus.In 1 Peter 2:20-22, the apostle tells us how a Christian should respond to mistreatment. It reads, “When you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”That’s a high bar to reach, but Peter tells us how to respond like Christ to injustice in verses 23 and 24. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”Responding Like ChristTrusting God to work for good in all your affairs is the key to responding like Christ to injustice.Psalm 37:4-6 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”One of the most significant examples of a Christ-like response to injustice is found in Genesis and the story of Joseph. He was first sold into slavery by his brothers, then wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.Yet Joseph never reacted ungodly to injustice. He even went on to save his brothers and all of Israel when famine struck. Joseph trusted God, who eventually used Joseph’s mistreatment in a powerful way. God tests us the same way when we suffer injustice. He expects us to respond like Christ.This doesn’t mean that we must quietly accept every injustice that comes our way. It’s not unbiblical to state your case in truth and love; the result must be left to God.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My husband and I just sold our home, and we’re close to retirement age. My husband is almost 70 and would like to retire in July, and I’m only working part-time. What we want to know is what would be a prudent amount to reinvest in another home.We have about $420,000 in retirement, and my employer contributes 14% regardless, so we’ve been adding 10% extra to that for as long as we’ve been employed. We have no debt, but we owe $154,000 on our home, and I’m wondering if it would be better just to take that extra 10% every month and pay off our home.Resources Mentioned:Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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8 Springtime Maintenance Tips

Here at FaithFi, we always want to help you manage your time, talent and treasure. And make no mistake—do-it-yourself preventive maintenance is a wise use of all three of those gifts you received from God. The more time and talent you have, the less of your treasure you’ll have to use to get things done. But if you don’t have the physical ability or know-how to do any of the chores on our list, it’s also wise to hire someone to do them.Now, of course, we always use the Bible as our ultimate guide, and Proverbs 14:23 tells us, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” That means we’d better get started with our list!So first up, Inspect your outdoor air conditioning unit to make sure it’s ready for summer. Look for debris inside and around the unit. Leaves and other material can collect over the winter and could cause damage when the system kicks on.Of course, it’s also wise to have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean the coils and service the outside unit—and that’s not a D-I-Y project. An annual maintenance checkup to clean coils, change filters and possibly add coolant can add years of service to the unit. Definitely worth having done.Next up, take a look at the roof.  You may be able to do this from the ground and we’d recommend that, if possible. Did you lose any shingles over the winter? If you spot damage, you can call in a professional roofer to make repairs.You may also want to start saving a little each month toward a new roof. They do wear out, and these days can cost anything from $7,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the size of your house. Set up a separate savings account that can earn interest until your roof needs replacement.Our next spring maintenance chore can’t be done from the ground—inspect for loose, leaky, or clogged gutters around the house. You’ll need to get on a ladder for this one, so if you’re not comfortable and careful doing that, again, it’s better to hire someone. It’s important to have this done, though, because drainage problems can lead to water entering your basement or crawlspace, causing further damage. If the gutters are only clogged, you can try removing the debris from the ground with one of those hose attachments shaped like a candy cane. Various models sell online for $15 to $115. Anytime you can avoid getting on a ladder, it’s best to do it.Next, check around the yard and next to the foundation for low areas. They can fill with spring rains and also threaten to flood the house. You can fill them with soil and spread grass seed there to eliminate the problem.You should also test your outside faucets for freeze damage. How do you do that, you ask? It’s pretty simple, actually. Just put your thumb firmly over the faucet opening and then turn on the water. If you can stop water from coming out of the faucet, the pipe inside your home is probably ruptured from freezing. Turn the water off immediately and replace the entire faucet unit. Unless you’re very handy, you’ll probably have to call a plumber for that one.By the way, if you’re wondering why the pipe inside your house wasn’t leaking all winter, it’s because the actual shut off valve for the faucet is in the pipe a foot or more inside the house. That prevents flooding if the pipe closest to the outside wall is ruptured.Okay, here’s a spring maintenance project you may not have thought of. If you stacked firewood for heating over the winter on your deck or otherwise near your home, it’s time to move it. You don’t want it close to the house over the summer when termites and carpenter ants get busy. Move the wood farther away, or stack it away from the house to begin with, so you don’t have to move it in the spring.Here’s another one, especially if you live in the north where moisture is constantly freezing and thawing. That can cause cracks in your concrete patio, sidewalk and driveway, so inspect those areas and fill any cracks with cement filler or silicone caulk. Otherwise, they’ll just keep growing and widening every winter.And one last spring maintenance project— prepare your lawn mower to sally forth and slay grass for another season. Do a walk around inspection and tighten or repair outside components on the mower, such as handles, grass chutes and wheels. Then change the spark plug and oil, and inspect air, oil and fuel filters. Replace as needed.Next, sharpen or replace the blades as needed…and finally fill the tank with fresh ethanol-free fuel. Ethanol is terrible for small engines and will dramatically short the life of the carburetor, so avoid that.Okay, those are your spring maintenance tips. We hope they help you to have an enjoyable summer season. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Rich Toward God: True Abundance

The Danger Of CovetousnessCovetousness is what happens when you see someone else’s possessions and want them for yourself.  It’s part envy and part greed, and completely sinful. But what’s so dangerous about that kind of desire?Well, like any sin, its first effect is to draw you away from a right relationship with God. Envy can also destroy your relationships with other people. When you’re zeroing in on getting and keeping what you want, you’re putting your fleshly desires in God’s place. Selfishness obliterates your ability to love God and other people. One problem with a materialistic mindset is that you start to believe “more is always better”, and you never have enough.  Ultimately, covetousness is just a treadmill of frustration and desire. In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon calls it “chasing after the wind.”  Jesus warns his followers against this sin, but he also gives them-–and us-–the key to a better way of living: “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.In other words, you won’t find lasting satisfaction in getting more stuff. Material things just can’t give you the life you crave. So, what kind of abundance does produce life?”Finding Fulfillment In GodAs Luke 12 recounts, Jesus gives the answer in a story we know as “The Parable of the Rich Fool”. He tells of a rich man who is so enamored of his possessions that he decides to tear down his storehouses and build bigger ones, promising himself a long and relaxing retirement.Before the rich man can fulfill his selfish dreams, God comes to him and says, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Jesus’s next words serve as a warning, but also a promise for those who “have ears to hear”: “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”As always, Jesus is addressing the hearts of his followers.  He knows we live in a physical world, surrounded by desirable things.  But God created men and women for more than just temporary worldly pleasures and achievements.  According to Ecclesiastes 3:11, He has also set eternity in the human heart.What we really want, at our core, is abundant life. What we want is God Himself.  To possess a relationship with the Lord is to be full of His abundance – to be “rich toward God”.Here’s what Jesus says about this in John 10:9. “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”Experiencing God’s AbundanceThroughout the New Testament, and specifically in the Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus urges us to take the focus off “me” and “my stuff” and put it where it belongs–on Him. True abundance comes from a personal, intimate relationship with God, through Christ.In John 15:5 Jesus confirms this: “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”The tragedy of the Rich Fool is not that his life was cut short…but that he was looking for abundance in all the wrong places. In his pride and greed, he gave up the opportunity to abide in God and serve others. He failed to choose a life that was eternally “rich toward God”. Instead, he pursued a foolish life that was rich toward himself. So, are you experiencing abundant life? If not, here’s what you can do right now to turn things around: First, get things right between you and the Lord. Surrender your life to Christ. Here’s the promise from John 1:12 “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”When your desires are getting in the way, and pride and envy are making you miserable, tell the Lord about it and ask for his help. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”Another action you can take to experience God’s abundance is to read God’s Word.  Check out a Bible reading app like Bible Project, Read Scripture, or Through the Word.  Or just pick up a Bible and read the Gospel of John. Finally, find a body of believers who can encourage you and hold you accountable. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone!Today's topic was drawn from our new study guide entitled Rich Toward God. We'd like to invite you to get a copy for personal study, or get copies for everyone in your Bible study group to experience it together. Go to FaithFi.com to learn more.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’m looking to buy a property for business use and I’m wondering if I could use my 401(k) funds without penalty to make that purchase? I’m getting ready to retire since I’m 62 years old and have multiple 401(k) accounts. Should I combine those or keep them separate?A good Christian friend of mine is in a lot of debt. I’ve tried so long to get this friend to see how great it is to be debt-free but I’m running out of ways to try and encourage him to do that so he stops throwing his money away. Any thoughts? Other than a 401(k), is there any other type of avenue where one can reduce their taxes? I’m currently paying about $1,000 a week in federal taxes. Resources Mentioned:Your Money Counts: The Biblical Guide to Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing, Giving, and Getting Out of Debt by Howard DaytonRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/11/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Lending to Family and Friends

Relational Effects Of Lending MoneyProverbs 22:7 reads, “The borrower becomes slave to the lender.” Lending money can hurt a relationship. And that can happen whether you lend the money or not. You’re “between a rock and a hard place,” and it seems like either way, someone may end up resentful.There are really only three things that can happen and only one of them is good: If you decide not to lend the money, the other person could be upset. If you do lend the money and the other person doesn’t repay it, you’ll probably be upset.It’s only the third possibility that makes everyone happy: You lend the money, and the borrower pays it back. But consider carefully why they asked to borrow in the first place. They may not be able to repay the loan if they’re already in bad shape financially, for whatever reason.Fortunately, God’s Word gives us guidance here. What does the Bible say? First, God’s Word tells us to help those in need…lending money if necessary. Deuteronomy 15:8 says, “You shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.”Turning to the New Testament, in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:42, Jesus says, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”And finally, a verse that might make you think the only proper response is to lend money to a family member, in particular, is 1 Timothy 5:8, which reads, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”So should you always lend money when asked?Not at all. The above Scriptures imply a couple of things: First, there must truly be a need. And second, that lending the money would actually help the borrower and not simply allow that person to make more unwise financial decisions. Here Scripture has more to say:Proverbs 13:11 warns about one possible outcome of lending money. It reads, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” Getting a loan is often the “easy way out.”Maybe the borrower tells you the loan would be a “lifeline”—which it may be. But it’s also “easy money” and the borrower may not appreciate the effort it takes to create that wealth. When you have to work hard for something…you tend to want to hold onto it.Hard work produces character and wisdom. Proverbs 21:20 reads, “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.”How can I discern a real need?So before you get out the checkbook, think carefully about whether there’s a real need. You also have to be sure that lending the money will actually help the borrower. Here are some questions to ask yourself:Can the borrower repay the loan? If there’s not sufficient income or ability, promises to repay will come to nothing.Then ask, what shape will you be in if the money isn’t repaid? If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to lend it.Then ask, can you help in another way? If the person needs money to repair a car for example—could you give rides to work until they’ve saved enough for repairs?And last, ask yourself, can you make the money a gift instead of a loan? That way you’re not expecting it to be paid back, so you can’t be disappointed and your relationship won’t suffer. But again, only do that if you can afford it and the gift doesn’t encourage more financial mismanagement.Finally, If you do decide to lend the money, draw up a written agreement—even if you’re lending to a family member. When something’s in writing, it clarifies things and makes it known who’s responsible for what and when.The loan agreement should specify the amount, interest rate if any, payment structure and collateral, if any. That will help eliminate misunderstandings later on. You can find lots of promissory note templates online. Just fill in the blanks.One final thought if you end up lending the money—make preserving the relationship your priority. Be prepared to forgive the loan if it keeps the relationship intact. But that’s only possible if you have the ability to lose it in the first place.So those are some things to consider before lending money to a family member or friend, based on God’s Word.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My former mortgage company transferred my mortgage over to a new company and then a few months later, I received a letter in the mail from my former mortgage company that there was a breach in their system. Some of my information was taken from their system and they wanted to set me up with free monitoring from Kroll. I just wanted to make sure that this was a legitimate company that I should share my information with before I do so. My wife has not worked in over 30 years since we’ve had children but she did have employment prior to that. Will she be able to collect any social security at 65 on her own or will it only be a spousal benefit? I know you generally don’t recommend that people pay for identity protection plans since most of that stuff you can do yourself but if you can afford it, is it good to have those protection plans anyways? I just received a settlement for $170,000 and just wanted to know what is the best way to invest it? I’m currently 49 years old and I have a 401(k) with about $400,000. I also have a savings account with about $80,000 and don’t really have any debt besides a car payment. What would be the best use of this money? Resources Mentioned:Sound Mind InvestingRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/10/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Scoop On Annuities With Mike Miller

What is the main problem with any investment that guarantees returns, such as annuities?They’re always a tradeoff. Guarantees come with a cost. Typically, the lower the risk, the lower the return. What does the Bible say about this?You won’t find the word “annuities'' in the Bible, but there is a biblical principle to guide us on this topic. The Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25 reveals that one of the servants buried his talent in the ground. The master asked why he did that and the servant said he was afraid, and the master was displeased.All too often, annuities are marketed and purchased based on fear. What should we look out for?If a salesperson is ONLY selling annuities, rather than a full suite of investment options, that’s a potential problem. If he or she only has a square peg to sell, they’ll always try to sell a square peg, regardless of whether the hole is a square, a circle, or a triangle. Also, if an annuity salesperson is trying to get you to put a large percentage of your money into an annuity? If so, watch out! It’s always a good idea to diversify. And do you feel like someone is trying to sell it because it's in your best interest? … or because they’re trying to win a contest? Listen to those spirit checks if you feel like they’re not acting in your best interest. There are three different types of annuities: Fixed, Indexed, and Variable. Fixed annuities do have some advantages in an era of elevated interest rates. You usually get a higher guarantee than in other types of annuities, at least for a period of time. Variable annuities have a higher potential upside, but a higher potential downside as well. Indexed annuities are a product where you really need to understand the guarantee and proposal. It's difficult to understand what the guarantee really is because there is risk involved that may not be apparent. Indexed annuities look good in brochures but once you "bite into it," it can disappear like cotton candy. It's important to understand how the annuity works and whether you will actually make money if the market goes up.Whatever the annuity, it always makes your money less liquid and available. And if you’re going to leave that money alone for a long period of time, why not invest in the things the insurance companies are investing in (the market)? Just take a long-term approach and diversify properly. There are some limited situations in which an annuity makes sense. That could be a situation in which you’ve exhausted other investment options. Seek out a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA®) if you want to evaluate annuities for your needs.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I’m an 82 year-old widow and live on a very low income of just over $1,000 a month. I have a little bit of savings in case of car problems but I feel really lost when it comes to my finances. The only thing I own is my home. However, I need to know how to make out a will and an estate plan but I can’t afford an attorney or lawyer. Is there someone out there who can help me with all of this?I’ve got a 401(k) in the previous company that I worked for that has around $2,000 in it. I’ve been really wanting to change it so that it’s invested in a biblically sound company and they’re telling me that I can’t do that because it was set up through my company that I work for. I was just wondering if I need to pull the money out and reinvest it in an IRA or something so I can have more control over where it goes?Resources Mentioned:Freewill.comLegalzoom.comAmerican Red CrossRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi AppFidelityCharles Schwab Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/9/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Financial Options for Seniors with Harlan Accola

Why do reverse mortgages still have a bit of a PR problem? Many people are not aware that federal regulations were put in place in 1988 to address issues with the product and protect consumers. However, some bad players still gave the product a bad reputation by taking advantage of vulnerable seniors in the past.Now there are new laws and safeguards by the FHA for widows to be protected and financial assessments to assure someone can afford taxes and maintenance which are recent within the last 10 years or so to eliminate problems in the program.How is a HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) reverse mortgage similar to a Swiss Army knife? There are so many different ways to use them. Just like a Swiss army knife has multiple tools, reverse mortgages can be used for various purposes beyond just being a loan of last resort. This is in contrast to many people's perception that reverse mortgages are only designed for people who are broke.How can a reverse mortgage help keep your Medicare premiums low? A reverse mortgage can help keep Medicare premiums low because the money received from a reverse mortgage is not considered taxable income. It does not generate a 1099 or W-2 form like withdrawing money from other retirement accounts might. Since the reverse mortgage funds are not reported as income, it does not count towards calculating the "IRMAA (Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount)" that can cause Medicare premiums to increase substantially for some seniors. Taking money from a reverse mortgage avoids this unexpected Medicare premium increase.How could a reverse mortgage help with Long-Term Care?It can provide funds to keep long-term care insurance policies in force if rising premiums would otherwise cause someone to cancel their policy when they may need it.It can be used as a line of credit that seniors can tap into in the future to pay for long-term care costs like home care, rather than being forced to move to a more expensive nursing home.Harlan's parents were able to use funds from their reverse mortgage to pay for home care so his mother with Alzheimer's could stay at home, which was better for her condition, rather than moving to a nursing home.Can a reverse mortgage actually keep you in your house?Yes! A reverse mortgage can help keep seniors in their homes. While paying off a mortgage eliminates the monthly principal and interest payment, homeowners still have costs like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and homeowners association fees that increase over time. A reverse mortgage can provide funds to pay these ongoing costs and allow seniors to stay in their homes rather than feeling pressure to sell and move to a less expensive area, which may involve capital gains taxes. The equity in their home can be used to cover rising costs and keep seniors in the place they want to live.How can people get more information?Movement.com/FaithEmail them directly at [email protected] Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have a retirement plan through my workplace but I also have a 401(k) that has about $70,000 in it. I haven’t contributed to that for the past three years but I’m just wondering what I should do with that? Should I just leave it there and never touch it or should I move it?My mother left a home to my sister and I and it was a Quitclaim deed that was written up about 30 years ago and never changed. My family needs the equity out of this home because I still have a mortgage on my house, a car that’s dying, and kids that are in college. I’m trying to find a way to pull the equity out of this house but since my sister and I own it together, I’m not sure how to do that. I’d hate to force a sale and cause them to move out.Resources Mentioned:Use Your Home To Stay At Home (A Brochure from The National Council on Aging)Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement by Harlan AccolaMovement MortgageRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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How Much Is Enough?

So, how much is enough for Christians?If you’re just starting out, or struggling financially, “How much is enough?” might seem like a silly question. The bottom line for you is that you just need more money at the moment! Why should you think about “how much is enough” when you hardly have anything?  And what if you’re at the other end of things? If you’re approaching retirement, you might be thinking about the size of your nest egg. But why put a limit on accumulating money and possessions?  Based on these two examples, the definition of “enough” seems to depend on what stage of life you’re in. Well, let’s look at what the Bible has to say about what’s “enough”.  In Luke 12:15, Jesus says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Jesus is making a rather unexpected statement: Getting more money is never the goal, no matter how old you are. Jesus As The Source Of LifeThe desire of every human heart is for life, which means satisfying, abundant, purposeful existence. So, when Jesus says “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions,” he’s pointing away from money as the source of life, and to something else.That something else is Himself. Here’s what Jesus says:John 11:25-26 - “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.’”John 14:6 - “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 10:10 - “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”So, our deepest needs for relationship and purpose are met in Christ. He is enough. But what about the things we need to survive, day to day? Well, believers in Christ serve a God who promises to “meet all our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)Trusting God For Daily NeedsIn Matthew 6, Jesus reminds his followers not to be anxious about food, or clothing, or shelter. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”This means… you will always have enough of what you need to live, and you can trust God to know what that is. Anything beyond that is a gift.Following Jesus means acknowledging God’s sovereignty and his ownership of everything.  As the Holy Spirit works in your heart, your motivation to accumulate gradually changes from self-centered to God-centered.With Jesus as Lord of your life, your idea of “enough” begins to change, too…because you’re trusting God to meet your needs…and your desires start to line up with what God wants. You will begin to “desire less” of worldly things, and “more” of Christ.All this is part of the miraculous heart-change that happens when God gets hold of you.  So, while the worldly person is asking, “How can I get more?”, the Christian asks, “How can I love God more?”As a loving Father, God not only provides for daily needs, but he provides satisfying Kingdom work for his children to do. James 1:7 says, “Everygood and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”. Out of gratitude and a desire to be more like Jesus, we look for ways to serve others with what God has provided. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” - Ephesians 2:10So, consider this…“How much is enough?” may actually be the wrong question.  For believers, the real question is, “Who is enough?” Following Christ is the way to peace, joy and abundant life.No matter what your financial situation is, ask God to change your heart. He will change your desire for accumulation…into a desire for less stuff and more Jesus. The rest will fall into place.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I collect Social Security Disability and I was wondering if I should stop that and go straight to Social Security or is there a way I can receive both? My wife and I are debt-free minus our mortgage. I’m maxing out my retirement account right now and have sufficient funds in my savings account for an emergency fund. Should we start aiming at paying our house off early? I have a neighbor who wants to buy 20 feet of a property I own which I’m willing to do, but I have no concept of how to determine a fair market value for the property. And I also don’t know how to determine the implications for income tax on this transaction. I have a question regarding donations to 501(C)3 organizations where I gave in the month of December. The reason I’m confused is that the bill doesn’t come due on my credit card until January. So which year is the gift tax-deductible for? I have about $12,000 in credit card debt and I’m wondering if I should transfer it over to a new credit card that offers 0% interest for 21 months or go with a personal loan with a lower interest rate. Thoughts? Resources Mentioned:Social Security Administration (ssa.gov)Christian Credit CounselorsRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Estate Planning for Blended Families With Valerie Hogan

It All Starts With CommunicationCommunication is crucial for estate planning in blended families, highlighting the importance of being open, transparent, and truthful. While this may be difficult at times, it's essential for bringing issues to the forefront, suggesting that effective communication is the foundation for addressing the unique challenges blended families face in estate planning.How do blended families with different goals work it out?When spouses in blended families have different goals, they should prioritize seeking understanding and compromise. Seek first to understand and then to be understood, emphasizing the value of asking questions like "tell me more about that" to gain insight into the other person's perspective. When disagreements become particularly challenging, involve a third party for neutral counsel. This approach aims to help spouses find common ground, or at least agree to respect and support their separate goals, fostering unity and cooperation.The Importance Of Meeting The Needs Of Both FamiliesIt’s important to have at least some common goals between the two families, emphasizing that it's ideal for all parties to be pulling in the same direction. There may be separate goals but it’s crucial that these not be in opposition to each other. The aim is for the families to work together on shared goals, and if there are individual goals, both spouses should be supportive of them. This approach facilitates a process where peace can be made with having separate goals, ensuring that efforts are collaborative rather than divisive.What are some of the issues or sticking points that blended families commonly run into?One major issue is the division of attention and resources among children from previous relationships versus those from the current relationship. This can lead to feelings of being overlooked or undervalued, particularly among older children who may fear being left out or disinherited. Additionally, blended families often face challenges stemming from different levels of wealth, assets, and experiences brought into the union by each partner. These differences can create conflicts over how to integrate and manage such varied financial backgrounds and expectations within the family.The goal of estate planning in blended families is to achieve unity and honor God in the process. It’s important to address the unique challenges blended families face, such as managing different goals between spouses, ensuring all children feel valued, and integrating various financial backgrounds. The aim is to find a balance that meets the needs of both families involved, fostering an environment where all members can agree and make peace with their financial decisions and estate planning, ultimately honoring their shared values and beliefs.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:My mom’s estate is split into two pieces and we're currently in probate as we navigate the details of the distribution of all her assets. However, my question is that I’m getting a lot of paperwork during this process and the lawyer handling the probate process is asking me to forfeit my right to an audit of her estate. Is that normal? Do lawyers do this a lot? I just didn’t want to sign something before knowing what I was signing. Do I need to hire an attorney to help me translate all of the lawyer talk I’m running into?On my Roth 401(k), do I have to pay taxes on it? I’m about to retire in a few months and just want to make sure I don’t draw funds too early. I’m wondering if I should pay off our mortgage. There is a $70,000 balance left on it with a 3% interest rate but I still have several years before I want to retire so I just wanted to know if that was the best thing to do with that money. Is Social Security Disability considered taxable and is also considered income? Resources Mentioned:Wise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More by Valerie Neff Hogan, JD and Miriam NeffRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/4/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Will Your Career Path Be Enough To Retire? With Ron Blue

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that the power of compounding is the eighth wonder of the world, and “He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it. And Ron Blue shares a story for us about a couple who apparently understood this very well.“I received a call from my 30-something-year old son awhile back. He’d been married for some time and he is a teacher and his wife Ann was a teacher. And his question to me was, “Dad,” he said, “You know, Ann and I are just teachers and we're just never going to have enough, probably, to ever retire.So I said, well, Tim, tell me a little bit about your financial situation. And what he said to me was truly amazing! They have never ever used credit card debt. They didn't have any car loans. They had a home mortgage and they had a savings account and their savings account was maybe 30-thousand. I don't remember the exact amount. And the reason they had a savings account I think is significant. It’s that when they both worked, they saved one of the salaries. They wanted to save one of the salaries prior to having children. Not only did they save that money, but it taught them to live on one salary. And so they had some money in savings that, quite frankly, for a 30 year old couple, put them in phenomenal financial shape.”How Did They Do It? Well, it’s not rocket science and you don’t need to be Einstein to appreciate compound earnings, which is what this is all about. Ron later remarked that “Tim shared with me that they were contributing to their 403b plan the maximum amount and that was another four or $5000 a year. So they were not spending everything that was coming in and they were saving for the future. And I said to him, Tim, do you realize that if you continue to save $1000 or $2000 or $3000 a year, what that's going to grow into over the next 35 or 40 years when you plan on retiring?I said my guess is that it'll grow to probably at least a million or even more dollars. And when I looked at the compounding charts, I realized that just saving $1000 a year out of his salary, or out of their salary and putting it towards retirement, he was going to have enough to retire on. However, just like Tim and Ann, you have to make that commitment. They had chosen a lifestyle that was relatively small compared to what the world said that he could afford.Another example is my wife’s Aunt. She died without marrying and when she died, she left a considerable amount of money. She had stayed in one home over her whole working life. She never even owned a car because she could walk to work. The reason she had enough for retirement was that she hadn't spent it on consumptive items early on.”What To Do If You’re Worrying About Saving For Retirement? Whether or not you have enough for retirement is really not a function of your income as much as it is a function of the expenses. If you can live below your income and if you can avoid spending consumptively, then given enough time, you are probably going to have enough for retirement. And that starts with a spending plan that keeps your spending less than your income.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:A little over two years ago, my husband passed away and my CPA said that if nothing changes with my finances anytime soon, I won’t have to worry about filing taxes anymore. I initially heard that and wanted to see if you could provide some confirmation about whether or not that could be true. I have a question about capital gains on the sale of a home. Am I correct in figuring out the basis that you take what you received on the sale of the home and you subtract what you paid initially and that forms a basic part of the basis for how you calculate the capital gains tax? Currently I’m in the Florida Drop System for retirement since I’m a government worker. I’ve got about $180,000 set aside in a credit union for savings and was earning 3.5% interest on a variable rate, but now it’s earning close to 2.75%. I didn’t know if it would be a good idea to move that money or some of that money to somewhere different to see if I could earn more money during this time. What are your thoughts? I’m hearing some new teaching recently that tells me that we’re not under the law anymore and therefore aren’t required to tithe anymore. According to the New Testament, they are saying we are called to give according to what we have decided in our heart. What do you think? Resources Mentioned:BankrateRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/3/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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College Majors Are Not Created Equal

The Financial Impact of College EducationGoing to college is a financial decision, second only to buying a house. More specifically, it’s an investment decision. Will it pay off? Perhaps the most important factor determining that is whether you graduate with a degree. Fail to do that, and any money you spend, or borrow, for college, will likely be money down the drain in terms of future earnings.The good news is that data just released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that earning a college degree is still financially worthwhile—generally speaking. The data shows that recent college grads working full time earn about $25,000 a year more than those with only a high school diploma.The catch is, they have to be working. That means majors chosen by college grads must give them skills that managers are willing to pay for.Another study by the American Educational Research Journal shows that engineering and computer science degrees give the highest rate of return on dollars spent for education. They’re followed by business, health, math, and science majors.So for example, those with a bachelor degree in engineering can expect to start out at around $80,000 a year, and significantly higher with a master’s degree. The highest paid engineers working on aircraft, satellites, bridges and other infrastructure can earn several hundred thousand dollars a year. One catch, though, you have to be really good at math.Meanwhile, computer systems managers make, on average, a bit over $140,000, but can earn significantly more than that depending on the level of complexity and responsibility with the job.Managing Student Loan DebtThe study also showed that education, humanities and arts majors ranked the lowest in return on investment. Now, to be clear, we’re not telling you to avoid those fields if that’s where your passion lies. But college is expensive, and it’s important to know the earning potential of any major you’re considering, especially if you’re borrowing to attend college.U.S. Census Bureau data shows a median salary of around $53,000 for degrees in Family and Consumer Services and Fine Arts … and $55,000 for degrees in Elementary education and Social work. If that’s where you’re headed, you’ll need to watch your expenses like a hawk, and borrow as little as possible.Now consider that according to the National Education Association, teachers with student loan debt owe an average of $56,000. We’ll take that with a grain of salt because the NEA exists to advocate for higher teacher salaries, but if that figure is even close to accurate, it shows the difficulty many teachers have in paying back their student loans—when they only make that much in a year.Remember, college is an investment, so always consider how long it will take to pay back your student loans on the salary you can expect to get with your major. Obviously, the less you borrow, the faster that will be. But also, the higher the salary, the faster you’ll get out of the red and into the black.Perhaps the ultimate example of that is the emergency room physician. That person will leave medical school with an average of $215,000 in student loan debt, according to the Education Data Initiative. That sounds like an awful lot, and it is, but consider that the median salary of an emergency room physician is now $350,000 a year. A doctor will almost certainly pay off student loan debt before a teacher.But again, we’re not telling you not to become a teacher or social worker if you feel that’s your Godly calling. Just do everything you can to minimize your student loan debt. That’s good advice regardless of the major you choose.Remember Proverbs 22:7— just 15 words that you need to memorize: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”Practical Advice for Future StudentsSo, take as many Advanced Placement classes as possible. Get a part time job in high school and college and put your earnings toward tuition. But perhaps the most productive use of your time will be applying for scholarships.Set up a scholarship application assembly line and apply for dozens of them. It will pay off, but it takes time and effort. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to graduate from college with little or no debt. That way, you’ll hit the ground running when you take on the world as a new grad.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have an investment property that I’m planning to sell, but at the same time after I sell that, I was planning on paying off a mortgage at my primary residence. I was wondering if there are any tax advantages to doing that? I’m 71 and still working. I’m a widow and have my husband’s pension and my own social security that I’m drawing from so I’m in a good place with my income. I’m trying to play catch-up on my retirement to prepare for that and I max out my 401(k) and I’m doing fine there. Does it make sense if I take $7,000 out of savings to lump sum into an IRA before April 15th so that it counts for 2023? If I do that, I can do another $7,000 for 2024 but I’m worried about whether I will be taxed again on that since I’ve already been taxed on that money as earned income. My husband and I are believers and are in our mid 60’s. We’re dual citizens of the U.S. and Canada and half of our working income was gained in each country where we own and operate a farm and have for the past 40 years. There is no successor in view right now and we want to continue to farm as long as our health allows. But we have no retirement accounts or plans for retirement. However, we are completely debt-free. So we're not sure if we should start with an accountant or a lawyer or another place but we were wondering if there is a Certified Kingdom Advisor that would be familiar with agriculture, qualified to practice in both the U.S. and Canada for retirement planning?Resources Mentioned:An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God's Purpose for the Next Season of Life by Jeff HaanenRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/2/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Which God Will You Choose?

Historical Context and Modern ImplicationsAfter crossing the Jordan into the promised land, the Israelites fought the battle of Jericho. Joshua was their leader, and the Lord gave them the victory. In Joshua 24, the general reminds his people of God’s faithfulness to them at Jericho and through their history.  He ends by making that memorable statement of faith: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”As Christians in a non-Christian culture, we are also called to take a stand. We can either choose to serve the gods of this world, or the Lord. It’s not easy for us, and it wasn’t easy for the Israelites. There were temptations everywhere to serve other Gods.  That’s why Joshua reminds the people over and over, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.”In the New Testament, Paul echoes Joshua’s call to the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” It takes courage, determination, and trust in the Lord to withstand the worldly desires and impulses that assault us every day.Facing Today's False GodsSo, what are some of the false gods we deal with today? Larry Burkett used to say that a false god is “anything that detours our commitment to God”. So, anything you focus on, depend on, or put your trust in other than the Lord is a false god, or an idol. Let’s look at a few of today’s idols:Financial Security can become an idol. You might be depending on your retirement plans, savings accounts, and investment income to see you through, but financial security won’t save you in the end.Another false god is government provision. Do you expect welfare programs, federal relief checks, or government handouts to meet your needs? These are only temporary fixes. God is your ultimate provider. For some folks, power is what they trust. Personal status, reputation, and financial influence might seem desirable, but these don’t have the power to bring peace.Another idol you’ll see everywhere is the idea of personal autonomy.  “I did it my way” seems empowering.  “Follow your own desires” looks appealing, and “I deserve this” feels right, but all of these represent a world view that puts you on the throne of your life.  Selfishness and pride are sins that leave no room for the Lord.It’s possible to be strong in a worldly way, either physically, or by sheer human determination. But I don’t think that’s what Joshua meant when he challenged his people to “be strong and courageous”. True strength is defined by its source, and when the Lord is your source, your strength is from him. Our faith in God is our trust in him to be our strength in times of need.As it says in Psalm 20, God’s people can “rise up and stand firm”, because “we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” But what if you don’t choose to serve the Lord?Well, the consequences of trusting in false gods are severe. Throughout God’s word you’ll find warnings against bowing down to idols. Israel suffered God’s judgment many times for their unfaithfulness. On the other hand, there are many benefits to trusting the Lord instead of false gods.A Call To Choose ChristOne benefit is a closer walk with Christ. Following biblical principles in your financial choices means you’re listening closely to what God wants for you, reading His Word and trusting Christ to lead you. When you invite God into this important area of your life…you’ll begin to understand 1 Timothy 6, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”Another benefit that comes with trusting God in your finances is peace.  When your financial choices are made “in Christ”, the result is peace, because God is in control.  As it says in Romans 8:6, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”While worldly desires and attitudes will lead people astray, pursuing God’s way in your financial life can bring spiritual growth. 1 Peter 2:1-3 gives this advice: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”Another benefit to trusting God in your financial life is the blessing of generosity. When we give…willingly and generously…we are acknowledging God’s lordship over everything. 1 Chronicles 29:14 says, “…For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you.”  You can make your financial decisions according to God’s principles…or according to secular, worldly ideas. Like Joshua, you must “choose for yourself this day whom you will serve.” We pray that you will choose to serve Christ, and trust the Lord with everything.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I rolled over my previous annuity to a F&G annuity about two years ago. The way it was presented to me was that I was supposed to make some money and sadly it hasn’t grown at all. So I didn’t know whether to try to roll it into something else or what. I also have the ability to take out $20,000 a year without any penalties and we’ve got some house repairs that we wanted to take care of before I retired. Would it be wise to do that? I’m 70 and my wife is 69 and we want to do a reverse mortgage but don’t know where to start. We probably owe between 35-40% of the home’s value left on the mortgage. We also have an investment in a local credit union where we’re getting 5% every 11 to 13 months. Also, do you have any suggestions for how to maintain the lowest prices for home and car insurance since all of those prices seem to be going up? Resources Mentioned:BankrateMovement MortgageRich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich FoolFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
4/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Good Friday Reflections

It's appropriate during this Easter season to reflect on the big picture of our Christian faith.  Sometimes we just have our noses to the grindstone, so to speak, and we can lose sight of why we’re here and how much God has done for us!You know, whether you’re in a season of prosperity, or facing hardships, you have to remember that God is still on the throne and that your circumstances haven’t caught Him by surprise. His plan for the redemption of humankind is still on track.The Significance of Jesus’ SacrificeOf course, on Easter Sunday, Christians everywhere will rejoice in the resurrection of Christ…who conquered death and made a way to restore our relationship with God. But sometimes in that celebration … we might forget why Jesus had to die in the first place. The fact is, humankind is completely corrupted by sin. The rebellion that stains our hearts says, “I can choose for myself what is right and wrong, I don’t need God.” God’s Word confirms our sin nature.Job 15:16 declares that man is "abominable and corrupt," one who "drinks injustice like water". 1 Kings 8:46 quotes Solomon saying, "there is no one who does not sin". The apostle John warns in 1 John 1:8 that "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves". God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments makes it very clear that sin has a price. God’s Law requires that those who break it be punished and that the punishment should be terrifying … an eternity in Hell.Hebrews 9:22 says, “... without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” And Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Sin separates us from a holy God, so mankind needed someone sinless to do what we couldn’t do for ourselves – pay the price, which is death. In his love and mercy, God met our need by sending his only son to die in our place. Jesus, who is God made Man— took our sins upon Himself and carried them to the cross. His blood paid for our sins.The good news in this familiar story is that it doesn’t end with a cross and a grave.Gratitude, Joy & GenerosityOn Good Friday, we commemorate the love of God in sending His son to pay for our sin.  We mourn with his followers who knelt at the foot of the cross in grief for their loss. And then there’s Easter.  On Easter we celebrate the victory of the resurrection! Jesus rose from the dead, conquering death once and for all. In John 11:25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” So, we thank God for our present circumstances – good or bad – and His continued provision. But we must also have a deep sense of gratitude for God’s sacrificial love.  We can also live in joyful hope of eternity because of His resurrection. Thanks to Jesus, our debt is stamped “paid in full,” and our relationship with the Lord is restored forever.As you contemplate the amazing love of God today, ask yourself this: how can you put your gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice into action?I believe one of the best ways is by keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help those around you who may be suffering.  Ask God to show you those in your church and the wider community who might need your help.God’s Word repeatedly tells us to help others in need. Look at Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”It can be difficult to be generous when your finances seem uncertain, but we know that giving breaks the power of money over us, so it’s the perfect antidote for our financial fears and anxieties. Giving is also a source of joy, because of the promise of heaven.  Jesus experienced joy in his sacrifice, and we can experience it in ours. Hebrews 12:2 says, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”Christians should act differently than non-believers … and now is the perfect time to show just how different we can be … as we reflect God’s love in a broken and confused world. Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”So, with gratitude, joy, and generosity … that’s how we should respond during this Easter season and beyond. On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I have several investment properties in Florida but since the rates are so high right now, I haven’t been able to invest in others at the moment. Currently, I have money in high-yield savings accounts but are there any other investment vehicles you recommend while we wait for rates to go down? I heard about this program recently that allows you to consolidate debt while paying 0% interest. I’m 70-years-old and have about $25,000 in debt and would like to find out more information about how to get started. I’ve been working at a company for 4 years now and have been investing about $300 a month into their stock program. However, recently they split their stocks 3 to 1 so I’m wondering if I should invest more or wait to see what the market does.  I’ve been looking at the faith-based alternatives in investing and from my research, it seems like a lot of them are on the more expensive side in terms of fees, sales charge, and expense ratios. I also notice that some aren’t as diversified as some products that are offered by companies like Charles Schwab or Vanguard. I’d love to get your perspective on this. I left an employer about 5 years ago and had a pension left in there and right now I have an IRA. Recently, my wife and I have been talking about whether we should pull the pension and put it in the IRA to earn more money or to cash it out and pay off some debts. Thoughts?I made some poor financial decisions when I was young and would suggest that if anyone is making major financial decisions to always seek wise counsel as it couldn’t hurt to have wise people involved in your decision-making.Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/29/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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When To Take Social Security With Eddie Holland

What should folks consider when making this decision?People should consider the following when deciding when to take Social Security benefits:Understanding that if they take benefits before full retirement age, they will be subject to a reductionDelaying past full retirement age means receiving an annual increase of 8% called a delayed retirement creditCash flow needs if retiring and replacing incomePaying down debtIncreasing charitable givingHealth and longevity in the family (impacting how long benefits may need to last)Legacy goals and inheritance, as Social Security benefits can't typically be passed on while portfolio assets can beIncome taxes, as Social Security could be subject to tax depending on other incomeOn Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Should I take $15,000 from my 401k to pay for home repairs like a furnace and AC replacement?Can I deduct the value of my own labor for maintenance and repairs on a rental property that I own? If I’ve invested in companies in the past who do things that I don’t agree with, am I ethically responsible for the things they do with that money?If I have a long term care plan for myself but not my husband, would that mean that Medicaid can take away all of our land and properties if he needed to be placed in a nursing home?Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsNerdwalletFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/28/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Wisdom About Work from Proverbs 31

When it comes to work ethic, there’s nobody we like better–aside from Jesus, of course–than the woman described in Proverbs 31. We don’t know her name, but her actions and attitudes are worth studying and imitating…no matter what kind of work you do.A Biblical Work Ethic From Proverbs 31First, a note about Proverbs.  It’s part of the “wisdom literature” found in the Old Testament. We refer to Proverbs a lot, since there are many nuggets of financial truth there. Proverbs 31 is the final chapter, and the description of the “woman of noble character” is written as a poem, with each line beginning with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.Proverbs 31:10 introduces the “woman of noble character” who is “worth more than rubies”, because she sets the standard for trustworthiness and generosity towards her husband and all those around her.  She’s also a top-notch businesswoman.Here are some of the characteristics that make the Proverbs 31 woman such a great example of a biblical work ethic.First, she “works with eager hands”. She has a positive attitude towards work, knowing that diligence can produce many benefits.Next, verse 15 tells us, “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family…” The Bible makes it clear that providing for your family is a primary responsibility. She takes it very seriously.The Proverbs 31 woman is also a careful entrepreneur. In verse 16 “She considers a field and buys it…with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”  So, part of the biblical work ethic involves expertise – gaining useful skills and using them for the benefit of your family and community.       In verse 17, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks”. Living and working well requires persistence and determination.  You don’t reach your goals just sitting around watching YouTube!       Proverbs 31 also offers us a picture of generosity in verse 20: “She opens her arms to the poor”. This woman of character is so successful in her work…that she is able to be generous with her surplus.  Are you working just for yourself, or so you can help others also?   Next, “…she speaks with wisdom…” in verse 26. A person of noble character uses their experience and authority to teach others.  To put it another way, this woman’s work ethic is the “water that raises all boats”, because everyone benefits from her industry.     It comes as no surprise in verse 27 that “she does not eat the bread of idleness”.  It’s pretty clear that a biblical work ethic means NOT being lazy!Well, that’s an impossibly impressive resume, but I think the most important quality of a woman of noble character is that she follows and honors the Lord. Verse 30: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”.  She serves God first, and all her success springs from this priority.The Importance Of RestYou might look at this biblical portrait of a godly worker and wonder how she does it all.  She’s running a farm, marketing her products, teaching, mentoring, and taking care of a household at the same time.  I think we have to understand that this is a portrait of virtue at work…not a blueprint for what you have to do next week.Another point I’d like to make here is about “rest”. It might not look like the Proverbs 31 woman got much of that…but her success points to the fact that she did know when to go and when to stop.God does call us to work – for His Kingdom, for our families, and for the community – with the same commitment we see in the Proverbs 31 woman.  We work to pay the bills, to give, to save, and to invest, as she did.  It’s part of how God has made us. But work isn’t all there is.  We need to rest sometimes, too.Perhaps you find things moving too fast in your life.  Working late nights and weekends might seem necessary, but burning the candle at both ends is ultimately unproductive.  You’ll find that exhaustion leaves no energy for the most important things –time with the Lord and relationships with others. You don’t have to go full throttle all the time.  But if you are feeling overwhelmed, be comforted by the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”We can learn a lot from the Proverbs 31 woman about what it means to live with personal and financial integrity. I encourage you to read Proverbs 31 today and consider how you can apply a biblical work ethic to your life and work.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:What are the differences between prepaid cards and credit cards? How does that compare to a secured credit card? I’ve come into about $20,000 recently and I’m trying to figure out how to best invest it. What are your suggestions? I’m currently on Federal Workers Comp and I’m wondering if I’ll be able to draw social security when that time comes if I’m still on Workers Comp. I have a friend who has not paid her taxes for five years. How would that affect her children’s inheritance and what steps can she take to kind of get out of that situation?Can I pay off my remaining $125,000 mortgage in 3-7 years by moving it to a home equity line of credit? I was told that I could deposit his paycheck into the HELOC each month, use the HELOC to pay bills, and pay off the mortgage much faster that way.Resources Mentioned:Bankrate.comNerdwallet.comFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/27/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Facing Financial Disappointment

Disappointment is inevitable, but discouragement is a choice.People love to look into the future. We all have hopes, and dreams, and expectations about what we want our life to be. So, we make plans. Plans to save, serve, build a family, work, travel, learn, grow…you name it. Planning is part of what it takes to make our dreams come true. And there’s nothing wrong with planning. Planning is an important part of being a good steward of whatever God has entrusted to you.But here's the problem. Our plans don’t always succeed. Dreams fail. Expectations go unmet. And then, disappointment happens…maybe more than we want to admit.Perhaps you invested your savings…but now inflation is killing your returns.Or you worked hard to start a business, but it still isn’t making a profit.You planned for your marriage to last…only to experience an expensive divorce.Maybe you’ve been working towards that promotion…but someone else got the job.Or, you planned to have a big nest egg when you retire…but health issues have reduced your savings.And then there’s always the disappointment of finding your adult child living in your basement when you thought they were going to be financially independent.How Do You Handle the Disappointments and Unmet Expectations You Face?Financial disappointments can cause some people to shake their fist at God and lose faith.  Others might become discouraged, depressed or apathetic. Sometimes, disappointment leads to broken relationships. Stress and anxiety are common responses when our plans fail. In fact, the more important we think something is, the more upset we are when our expectations aren’t met.It’s not sinful to feel disappointed. But your reaction to disappointments can become sin if you’re not careful.  According to God’s word, discouragement, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, and fear are all sinful attitudes. Ephesians 4:31 warns about them: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you.”So, you can respond to disappointment with discouragement, anger, fear, or apathy…or you can take a more positive approach…realizing that unmet expectations are often God’s way of leading you in a new direction. Just look at how many disappointed people there are in the Bible, and see how God worked in their lives.Like Sarah and Hannah, who couldn’t have children. Or Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery. Or imagine how Jesus must have felt when Judas betrayed him. But the Lord had amazing plans for these unmet expectations: Sarah and Hannah ultimately had children who changed the world. Joseph saved his people. Jesus saved us all.Here’s another thought: Your response to the disappointments in your own life can be a powerful witness to those around you. Maybe this isn’t the way you thought your life would turn out…but God can use your unmet expectations…for your good and his glory.A Godly Approach To Financial DisappointmentsWhen life doesn’t go your way, it’s common to look for someone to blame.  Instead, ask God to help you forgive the people who’ve hurt you. Begin to pray for the strength to live through your difficult circumstances. In addition, recognize that it may be time to let go of your expectations, and ask God to show you his plans. People and circumstances are unreliable, but Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. The Lord is always loving, faithful, and just.The bottom line? God never fails. You can trust him, even in the midst of your deepest disappointments, when big expectations come to nothing, and people let you down.  God will make a way for you every time.  It might not be what you expect, but it will be good. Hold on to what’s true, from Romans 8:28: we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.The late Charles Stanley, a faithful preacher of God’s truth for many years, said this about disappointment: “Disappointment is inevitable. But to become discouraged, there's a choice I make. God would never discourage me. He would always point me to himself to trust him.”On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:I am 75 and my husband is 76 and we are retired. Recently we went to one of the marketplaces for our supplemental health insurance coverage and while there, the agent recommended that we get this hospital benefit that would pay extra money should we ever be hospitalized. It sounded good at first but now as I’m second guessing it, I’m not sure if it was timely or wise. Any thoughts? I’m calling on behalf of my brother who is in about $40,000 in credit card debt with about a 30% interest rate. He makes about $900 a week and his minimum payments are about $1300 a month. He’s looked at bankruptcy as well as national debt relief programs, do you have any ideas on how he can realistically pay down this debt? I’m 65 years old and financially secure. I want to do something for my grandson who will be two years old in August. However, I want this to be as hands-free as possible since my daughter isn’t the most astute when it comes to taxes and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around. What’s the best investment tool I can put the money in to accomplish this goal? If I have a mortgage with a small loan and I make extra payments toward it throughout the year, does that really make that much of a difference? What is the difference between a living trust and a will and which is better? Resources Mentioned:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA)FaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/26/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Handling Economic Uncertainty with Brandon Sieben

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” - Proverbs 3:5-6Why are people so worried about the economy these days?Part of the issue is concern about a number of factors, including the upcoming US election, high inflation, high interest rates, and various geopolitical issues like what's happening with China/Taiwan, Ukraine, and the Middle East.How are people dealing with this uncertainty?Uncertainty for many people leads to fear, especially for those on a fixed budget or struggling financially.Fear can cause people to become either indecisive with money or take ill-advised financial risks by forgetting whose money they are stewarding.How do you help people who are struggling with economic uncertainty? Get back to the basics and focus on the things that are within our control. Pray and ask God for insight on ways you can trust Him more in your finances.Look to Scripture for guidance, such as Deuteronomy 8 which talks about God's purpose for us in times of crisis, and 1 Corinthians 7:7 which discusses God's role in providing and our responsibility to obey his commands regarding finances.On a practical level: tightening budgets, reducing spending, paying down debt, and building emergency funds during uncertain times helps tremendously as well.What about someone who might not be thinking about the future at all?There could be an opposite issue - if their investments are doing well and markets have recovered, there could be some greed or pride setting in where they think "I did this."Stay balanced, remain committed to your financial plan, and most of all, stay humble.Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us that it is God who gives the power to get wealth, not ourselves.What resources would you recommend for those who want to trust God more in their finances during times of economic uncertainty? Compass has partnered with YouVersion to provide a series of short, topical Reading Plans to help you learn, apply, and multiply what the Bible says about money and possessions.On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:Because of the devaluation of the dollar with the BRICS situation right now and the implications that may have for our 401(k) accounts, what can I invest in or look at to protect us from losing our money? Should we invest in gold or other things so that we don’t lose anything?What resources can you point me towards if I’d like to lead a small group at my church on the subject of managing finances God’s way?What are the differences between a TSP and a Roth IRA? Are there differences in how you can use the money or when you can take it out?My husband recently passed away and he was always a very good steward of our finances. I don’t have a house payment or any other bills, but I have a very large sum of money that has come to me after his death. Everything else we had prior to his death has been invested and I don’t know if I should be investing in annuities or take that money and split it up. What should I do with it?Resources Mentioned:Building Your Finances God’s Way: A Financial Discipleship Study (Compass)Wise Women Managing Money: Expert Advice on Debt, Wealth, Budgeting, and More by Miriam Neff and Valerie Neff Hogan, JD, CFP®Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorFaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/25/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Preparing Your Child for College and Beyond

CONSIDERING THE FUTURE POST-HIGH SCHOOLRob discusses the pressure high school seniors and their parents face concerning post-secondary education and emphasizes the importance of aligning educational choices with financial realities. He stresses the goal of avoiding college debt through early savings, exploring scholarships, and considering alternatives to a four-year college, such as technical schools, online courses, and military service.Financial planning for education should begin early, incorporating discussions about affordability and scholarships.Exploring educational alternatives can provide viable paths that align with career goals and financial constraints.Completing the FAFSA is essential for all college-bound students to assess eligibility for financial aid, regardless of expected qualification. PREPARING FOR THE COLLEGE TRANSITIONTransitioning to college is a significant step for students and parents alike. Rob advises parents to discuss with their children the costs and values of education, the importance of academic success, available school resources, and the necessity of budgeting and managing credit responsibly. He also highlights the importance of instilling moral and financial values as students step into greater independence.Understanding the cost-value ratio of education and encouraging part-time employment can foster responsibility.Academic success is closely tied to career opportunities, emphasizing the importance of educational achievements.Discussing budgeting and credit card use is crucial to prevent financial missteps during college years. NAVIGATING POST-COLLEGE TRANSITIONS AND BOOMERANG KIDSRob touches on the challenges young adults face in transitioning to the workforce and the reality of "boomerang kids" who return home due to economic pressures. He cites statistics indicating an increase in multigenerational households and suggests ways to make this arrangement work, such as sharing household expenses, setting clear expectations, and encouraging financial independence.Letting go is a necessary part of parenting, allowing children to grow into independent adults.Trusting in God's care for their children can ease parents' concerns during these transitions, fostering faith and resilience in the face of change. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm interested in making additional payments to my mortgage and wondering if making small extra payments monthly has the same impact as making a larger yearly principal-only payment.I'm looking to invest $20,000 for my grandson's future and want something hands-off and tax-efficient, considering mutual funds or indexes.I'm 69 years old with about $300,000 in a 401(k) and am considering an annuity with a lifetime benefit. I'm also concerned about long-term care options as I have no children and am divorced.I'm 72, still working, and have a Thrift Savings Plan. I'm wondering if I'm required to take the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) while I'm still employed. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Principal Reduction CalculatorFind a Certified Kingdom AdvisorSchwab Intelligent PortfoliosNational Christian Foundation Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Exploring the Parable of the Rich Fool

So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”  Luke 12:21Chad Clark is Executive Director here at FaithFi, and over the last several months our team has been working on a brand new 4-week study on the Parable of the Rich Fool called Rich Toward God.  INTRODUCTION TO THE "RICH TOWARD GOD" STUDYThe "Rich Toward God '' study emerges from FaithFi’s mission to equip Christians with tools and resources for integrating faith with financial decisions, aiming to help believers see God as their ultimate treasure. The parable of the rich fool serves as an ideal starting point, prompting us to contemplate what it truly means to be "rich toward God."The study seeks to explore the integration of faith and financial decisions.It aims to inspire Christians to see God as their most valuable treasure.The parable of the rich fool is used as a foundational narrative to examine concepts of true wealth in God's eyes. EXPLORATION OF KEY THEMES IN THE STUDYThe "Rich Toward God" study delves into the historical and biblical context of the parable, emphasizing the importance of understanding the backdrop against which Jesus shared this teaching. It unpacks several key themes:1. True Abundance: Investigating the biblical perspective on abundance, contrasting worldly accumulation with spiritual wealth.2. Pride and Prosperity: Examining how the rich fool's pride in his possessions offers a mirror for personal reflection on our attitudes towards wealth and success.3. Uncertainty of Tomorrow: Addressing the tension between planning for the future and acknowledging life's unpredictability, emphasizing reliance on God rather than wealth.4. Being Rich Toward God: The study culminates in exploring what it means to prioritize God above all else, storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth.Each theme encourages deep personal reflection and group discussion, offering a strong understanding of the parable's teachings. PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND USAGE OF THE STUDYDesigned for versatility, the "Rich Toward God" study is suitable for individual use, couples, families, or small groups. Its structure facilitates personal devotion, family discussions, or community learning, making it accessible and applicable to a wide audience.Encourages application in various settings: personal study, family time, or small groups.Designed to foster personal growth, communal learning, and spiritual reflection. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm coming into a significant inheritance and am considering setting up a donor-advised fund to manage my charitable giving more efficiently and want to understand how it works and its advantages.I'm contemplating selling 20 feet of my property to a neighbor and need guidance on determining fair market value, tax implications, and legal steps for properly severing and selling this parcel of land.At 48, I'm considering withdrawing money from my Roth IRA to buy a new car due to high loan interest rates, but I'm concerned about losing out on future tax-free growth and whether this is a wise financial decision. RESOURCES MENTIONED:National Christian Foundation for setting up a donor-advised fund.Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/21/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Hospitality as Generosity With Sharon Epps

WHAT DOES BIBLICAL HOSPITALITY LOOK LIKE IN TODAY'S CULTURE?Sharon reflects on the biblical instruction to show hospitality, emphasizing its relevance beyond traditional notions of entertaining. Hospitality is an act of generosity and kindness, extending warmth and generosity to both guests and strangers alike. This understanding encourages us to reconsider hospitality as acting as God's ambassadors.Hospitality transcends formal dining and embraces the simple, generous reception of others.It's an expression of generosity, serving as a means to fulfill our role as ambassadors for Christ.Personal experiences underscore the profound impact hospitality can have during challenging times, illustrating its power to provide support and comfort. HOW DOES 'UNREASONABLE HOSPITALITY' TRANSFORM EXPERIENCES?Drawing inspiration from Will Guidara's book "Unreasonable Hospitality," Sharon highlights how exceeding expectations in hospitality can create memorable and personalized experiences. Guidara's approach to making every guest feel like a VIP through tailored service and attention to detail serves as a model for extending hospitality that goes beyond what seems sensible, focusing on celebrating others and recognizing their uniqueness."Unreasonable Hospitality" involves stretching the limits to provide a remarkable experience.It's about making guests feel celebrated and special, not through extravagant means but through thoughtful, personalized attention.This approach fosters a mindset of celebrating the smallest details that contribute to making someone feel valued and cared for. WHAT ARE THE OUTCOMES OF EXTENDING 'UNREASONABLE HOSPITALITY'?Embracing unreasonable hospitality leads to several positive outcomes, including demonstrating love in recognizable ways, fostering selflessness, creating a safe and calm environment, deepening fellowship, and filling us with joy. Sharon underscores how such hospitality aligns with our inherent design to give and receive joy through acts of kindness and generosity.Shows love in a manner that is palpable and meaningful to each individual.Encourages selflessness and generosity, moving beyond self-interest to cater to the needs of others.Provides a rare safe space in today's culture, allowing for genuine expression and comfort. CHALLENGE FOR EMBRACING UNREASONABLE HOSPITALITYSharon challenges listeners to consider how they can use their unique gifts to meet the specific needs of others. This challenge prompts us to think creatively about how we can share our talents, interests, and resources in ways that uniquely benefit those around us, further extending the reach and impact of hospitality in our communities.Encourages reflection on how personal gifts can be utilized to serve others in meaningful ways.Suggests identifying common interests or needs that can serve as a basis for extending hospitality.Motivates individuals to act on opportunities to share and serve, reinforcing the connection between hospitality and generosity. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:As a 57-year-old nearing retirement with a portfolio heavily invested in stocks, I'm contemplating how much to shift into safer investments like government bonds or T-bills to rebalance my 401(k).I need dental work totaling $5,500 and am considering different payment methods since the dentist requires upfront payment, but I want to avoid high-interest healthcare credit cards.At 99 years old, my mother is still paying for life insurance, and I'm wondering whether it's necessary to continue those payments or if there are more practical options regarding her burial expenses and potential cash value of the policy.As a 64-year-old "solo ager" or "elder orphan" without dependents, I'm setting up my estate plan but struggle to find a Power of Attorney for property management, considering a lawyer or a corporate trustee as potential solutions. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/20/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Your Pre-Retirement Checklist With Mark Biller

Mark Biller is Executive Editor at Sound Mind Investing, a longtime underwriter of this program. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF A RETIREMENT PLANNING CHECKLIST?Comparing retirement planning to a preflight checklist underscores the critical importance of preparation. Just as pilots meticulously ensure the safety of their flight, individuals approaching retirement need to assess various aspects of their financial life to ensure a smooth transition into retirement. This analogy highlights the need for thoroughness and attention to detail in retirement planning, especially for those within a decade of their planned retirement date.A retirement planning checklist serves as a comprehensive review to ensure all financial aspects are in order for a secure retirement.Such preparation is crucial for a safe transition to a post-paycheck lifestyle, minimizing potential financial turbulence.The checklist approach encourages individuals to address and rectify any financial concerns well before retirement, promoting peace of mind. HOW DO YOU DETERMINE YOUR INTENDED RETIREMENT AGE?Setting an intended retirement age is the foundational step in retirement planning. This decision, while seemingly straightforward, involves complex considerations including personal health, job satisfaction, income needs, and eligibility for health insurance benefits. It’s a deeply personal choice that requires introspection, prayer, and discussion, particularly for those in a partnership.Choosing a retirement date involves weighing personal preferences, financial readiness, and health considerations.It’s advisable to seek divine guidance and engage in open discussions with a spouse to align on future expectations.Retirement age, while influenced by societal norms, should ultimately reflect one’s unique life circumstances and aspirations. WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE THE REALISM OF YOUR RETIREMENT AGE?A notable gap often exists between the age people intend to retire and when they actually do, primarily due to unforeseen health issues or family obligations. Despite many workers aiming to retire past 65, reality shows a majority retire earlier. This discrepancy emphasizes the importance of flexible retirement planning, accounting for potential early retirement due to health declines or caregiving responsibilities.Statistics reveal a disparity between expected and actual retirement ages, suggesting many are overly optimistic about working into their late 60s.Planning for an earlier retirement age than desired can provide a financial safety net, allowing for adjustments if circumstances change.Acknowledging the unpredictability of future health and caregiving needs is crucial in setting a realistic retirement timeline. WHY IS ESTIMATING A RETIREMENT BUDGET CRUCIAL?Developing a retirement budget involves estimating future expenses and income to ensure financial stability in retirement. This task can be complex, as certain costs may decrease (e.g., commuting expenses) while others, like healthcare or leisure activities, might increase. Understanding these shifts is vital for creating a budget that reflects the changing nature of expenses through the retirement years.Accurately estimating retirement expenses is critical for financial planning, acknowledging that some costs will decrease while others may rise.It’s important to consider the evolving nature of retirement expenses, from active early years to potentially more sedentary later years, and plan for healthcare costs accordingly.Regularly revisiting and adjusting the retirement budget is recommended to reflect real-world spending and income changes. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING DEBT-FREE AT RETIREMENTAchieving a debt-free status by retirement significantly enhances financial freedom and reduces stress. This goal includes paying off mortgages, car loans, and any other debts. A debt-free retirement simplifies cash flow management, allowing for a focus on living expenses and leisure activities without the burden of debt repayments.Eliminating debt before retirement is crucial for optimizing retirement income and minimizing financial stress.Strategies such as accelerated mortgage payments can ensure debt obligations are fulfilled before retirement, offering peace of mind.Being debt-free enhances the ability to enjoy retirement fully, with more resources available for travel, hobbies, and unforeseen expenses. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:At 31, having had several jobs with different retirement benefits, I'm struggling to keep track of all my money and wonder if I should get a financial advisor to help with a financial plan and investment strategy.Owning multiple properties in different states, I'm considering how best to leave them to my children and wonder if a will or a trust would be more appropriate for efficient wealth transfer. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/19/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Do Investors Care About Faith-Based Investing? With Shaun Morgan

Shaun Morgan is the Director of Product Marketing at Eventide Asset Management, an underwriter of this program. IS THERE A NEED TO REBRAND "FAITH-BASED INVESTING"?Shaun Morgan discusses the ambiguous understanding of "Faith-Based Investing" among investors who consider faith important in their lives. Eventide's survey reveals that terms like "Values-Based Investing" and "Faith-Based Investing" often lead to neutral or unfamiliar responses, suggesting a gap in communication and understanding.The term "Faith-Based Investing" does not resonate strongly with many, even those who prioritize their faith.A survey indicates a general lack of awareness and understanding about investing terms related to faith and values.Neutral responses to these terms suggest a need for clearer definitions and more effective communication. WHAT INSIGHTS DID THE SURVEY PROVIDE ABOUT INVESTORS' PREFERENCES?The survey unearthed significant preferences among investors for companies aligned with their values, particularly regarding unethical practices. A substantial majority expressed willingness to divest from companies involved in objectionable activities, such as profiting from pornography or exploiting child labor.Many respondents were unaware of terms like "Faith-Based Investing," yet showed a clear preference for ethically aligned investments.Specific concerns, such as exploitation and unethical business practices, elicited strong reactions and a willingness to act.The feedback suggests a latent demand for investment options that are more closely aligned with personal and ethical values. HOW DO INVESTORS FEEL ABOUT CHANGING FINANCIAL ADVISORS FOR VALUE ALIGNMENT?Surprisingly, a significant portion of investors indicated they would change financial advisors to access investments that align with their values. This willingness underscores a substantial gap in the current advisory landscape, where many advisors may not adequately address their clients' desires for values-aligned investing.A notable percentage of investors would consider switching advisors for better alignment with their values.The survey revealed that many advisors do not discuss values-based or faith-based investing options with their clients.This finding suggests a strong, unmet demand for financial advice that incorporates personal values and ethical considerations. WHAT ARE THE KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS?The survey offers critical insights for financial advisors on approaching the topic of values-based and faith-based investing with their clients. It highlights the importance of not assuming clients are familiar with these concepts and suggests that engaging in meaningful conversations about values in investing can deepen client relationships.Financial advisors should proactively discuss values-aligned investing options with their clients.There is a significant educational gap among both investors and advisors regarding faith-based and values-based investing.Advisors who address this gap and actively engage clients on values-aligned investing may enhance client satisfaction and loyalty. CONCLUSIONThis survey gives us insight into how advisors can talk to investors about "faith-based" or "values-based" investing. Overall, Eventide figured out that these terms carry a lot more weight when you describe what they mean.But people DO care about what they are investing in, and advisors can really show that they care about their clients by having these conversations with them. DISCLOSURE: Based on a survey of 1,479 respondents who self-identified as committed Christians (defined as having a Christian faith that is important in their life), ages 30+, with a minimum $100K investable assets or $75K household income. 54% of respondents indicate they have a financial advisor. 62% of respondents who have a financial advisor would be willing to change financial advisors in order to get access to investments that align with their values. The survey was conducted by Pinkston, on behalf of Eventide, in October 2023. Third-party sources referenced herein have not been independently verified, nor is Eventide affiliated with any third-parties referenced, unless otherwise noted. Eventide has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of third-party information. There can be no assurances that the information is accurate or complete. The information is subject to change without notice. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm 73, raising my 8-year-old granddaughter, and want to know the best way to grow the money left by my parents for her college, considering a 529 or other options.I'm retired with my husband, and we've been saving cash; I'm concerned about the potential for a digital dollar and what it means for our savings.At 65 and nearing retirement, my wife and I are debt-free, and I'm wondering if we still need life insurance. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Saving for CollegeSchwab Intelligent PortfoliosFaithFiSound Mind Investing Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. DisclosureBased on a survey of 1,479 respondents who self-identified as committed Christians (defined as having a Christian faith that is important in their life), ages 30+, with a minimum $100K investable assets or $75K household income. 54% of respondents indicate they have a financial advisor. 62% of respondents who have a financial advisor would be willing to change financial advisors in order to get access to investments that align with their values. The survey was conducted by Pinkston, on behalf of Eventide, in October 2023. Third-party sources referenced herein have not been independently verified, nor is Eventide affiliated with any third-parties referenced, unless otherwise noted. Eventide has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of third-party information. There can be no assurances that the information is accurate or complete. The information is subject to change without notice Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/18/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Materialism: Putting “Things” in Their Place

THE DANGER OF MATERIALISM AND FINDING CONTENTMENT IN GODMaterialism contradicts God's plan for His people by prioritizing the love of material things over loving God. This attitude can hinder our relationship with Him and rob us of peace. The Bible, in Ecclesiastes 2:11, warns us of the futility in pursuing material wealth, emphasizing that everything is meaningless without God. LIE #1: LIFE IS BETTER WITH MOREThis mindset leads to an endless cycle of discontentment as no amount of wealth can truly satisfy.Ecclesiastes 5:10 states that those who love money will never have enough, illustrating the emptiness of materialism.Contentment is the biblical answer to this lie, as Hebrews 13:5 urges us to be content with what we have, reminding us of God's constant presence and provision. LIE #2: YOU MUST KEEP UP WITH OTHERSThe desire to match others' possessions is a trap that leads to envy and unhappiness.Matthew 6:33 advises seeking God's kingdom first, assuring that our needs will be met when we prioritize Him over worldly desires.True peace comes from knowing Jesus and finding satisfaction in His righteousness rather than in material possessions. LIE #3: IT'S UNFAIR WHEN OTHERS HAVE MOREBlaming others for one's circumstances combines discontentment with a lack of personal responsibility.First John 3:22 reminds us that God blesses obedience and a life pleasing to Him, offering an alternative to the self-pity associated with materialism.Trusting God to provide for our needs helps us overcome feelings of unfairness related to others' wealth. A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE ON MATERIAL POSSESSIONSWhile desiring things is not inherently sinful, it's crucial to maintain a healthy attitude towards money and possessions.Differentiating between wants and needs allows for responsible spending and reliance on God for provision.Implementing a spending plan and waiting on purchases can shift desires and help distinguish between necessities and luxuries.Material possessions are part of life, but our desires for them reflect the condition of our hearts. Avoiding materialism involves prioritizing our relationship with God and finding contentment in His promises and provision. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:My sister is contesting our parents' will, which leaves everything to me. I've been financially burdened by legal fees and my cancer diagnosis. I'm trying to find a way forward but feel lost and my faith is shaken.I'm interested in buying land but don't have the cash available. I have substantial retirement savings, and my financial advisor suggested using a portion of it without major consequences. I'm seeking advice on whether this is a wise move considering my retirement plans. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorFaithFi App Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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To Be Rich Toward God Pt. 1 With Carolyn Calupca

Carolyn Calupca on the program was a long time senior producer at Crown Financial Ministries where she worked closely with Larry Burkett for many years. She’s now a frequent contributor here at Faith and Finance and the author of our new 4-week study guide, Rich Toward God: A Study on the Parable of the Rich Fool.  WHAT IS THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL?Jesus delivers this parable in 33 AD, during a time of significant political and spiritual tension in Judea under Roman rule. As Jesus moves toward Jerusalem for the last time, he attracts a large following, drawn by his authoritative teaching and miraculous deeds. Amidst his teachings on judgment and preparation, an individual interrupts to seek Jesus' mediation in a familial inheritance dispute.The setting is marked by societal unrest and anticipation for spiritual guidance.Jesus' teachings captivate thousands, highlighting his unique authority and the miracles he performs.The request for arbitration on an inheritance matter presents a moment of personal concern amidst broader spiritual teachings. WHY IS THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL RELEVANT TODAY?Jesus' teachings are timeless, addressing the core issues of the human heart, which remains unchanged. The parable of the rich fool is particularly poignant in today's materialistic society, where the accumulation of possessions often overshadows spiritual richness.The human heart's condition and its inclinations have remained constant throughout history.Modern society mirrors the parable’s theme with its focus on accumulating material wealth.Jesus' message challenges individuals to examine the true source of satisfaction and richness in life. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE 'RICH TOWARD GOD'?Being rich toward God entails prioritizing a relationship with God over material wealth and possessions. Unlike the rich fool, who focused solely on his earthly treasures, being rich toward God means acknowledging His sovereignty and utilizing His blessings to serve others rather than oneself.Treasuring God above all material possessions and successes.Recognizing and giving credit to God for all blessings, contrasting the rich fool's self-centeredness.Utilizing God's resources to serve others, highlighting a shift from self-service to serving God and community. HOW CAN THE STUDY "RICH TOWARD GOD" HELP GOD'S PEOPLE?The study "Rich Toward God" encourages introspection on personal values and priorities, guiding individuals toward a deeper understanding of what truly satisfies the soul. It asks probing questions about one's deepest needs, the pursuit of abundance, and the journey to becoming rich toward God.Encourages self-examination of one's deepest needs and sources of true satisfaction.Guides individuals on a reflective journey to discover how to become genuinely rich toward God.Offers practical questions and insights to facilitate personal spiritual growth and reevaluation of life's priorities. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm considering a reverse mortgage for my home valued at $200,000 and want to know if I qualify and the benefits.I want to place an alert on inherited property to be notified if someone tries to sell it or use it as collateral.I have my savings sitting in cash within a Fidelity account after losing money during the pandemic. I'm 71 and need to know about required minimum distributions for this year.As newlyweds living debt-free in a tiny house, my husband and I are looking for advice on saving for a larger home to start our family, considering our modest beginnings and desire for financial literacy. RESOURCES MENTIONED:FidelityBankrate for emergency savings tips.FaithFi App for tracking monthly expenses and budgeting. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/14/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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What’s In Your Health Care Directive?

THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE IN ESTATE PLANNINGA Health Care Directive, also recognized as a living will, Medical Directive, or Durable Health Care Power of Attorney, is an indispensable legal document outlining your medical care preferences when you're unable to communicate. It plays a critical role in estate planning, ensuring your medical and end-of-life wishes are honored. KEY COMPONENTS OF A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE:Understanding Its Purpose: A Health Care Directive specifies your wishes for medical treatment, end-of-life care, and the handling of your remains, eliminating uncertainty for your family during difficult times.Choosing an Agent: Select a trusted individual, whether a family member or a friend, to act on your behalf, ensuring your healthcare decisions are respected if you're incapacitated.Specifying Your Wishes: Clearly articulate your medical treatment preferences, end-of-life care, and post-mortem arrangements, providing clarity and preventing potential conflicts among family members.Communicating With Your Family: Openly discuss your Health Care Directive with your family, explaining your decisions to ensure understanding and reduce the likelihood of disputes. BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES ON PLANNING AND WISDOM:The concept of a Health Care Directive aligns with Biblical teachings on wisdom, stewardship, and preparing for the future. Proverbs 13:22 states, "A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.” A Health Care Directive is a practical expression of this wisdom, ensuring that your healthcare wishes are known and respected, ultimately serving as a form of inheritance by providing peace and guidance to your loved ones. THE PROCESS OF CREATING A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE:- Step 1: Select an agent who understands your values and wishes.- Step 2: Detail your medical treatment preferences and end-of-life care decisions.- Step 3: Discuss your directive thoroughly with your agent and family to ensure your wishes are understood and can be faithfully executed. CONCLUSION:Creating a Health Care Directive is an act of wisdom and stewardship, reflecting careful planning for the future. It ensures that your values and desires regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care are upheld, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones. As followers of Christ, we are called to manage God's gifts wisely, and preparing a Health Care Directive is a responsible step in honoring that calling. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm debating whether to roll my TSA into a 403(b) and if a 403(b) is considered an annuity.I have $1,000 to invest and want to know the best place to grow it, considering I already have an emergency fund and retirement savings.At 77 years old, I'm contemplating selling my property in East Texas and am concerned about how capital gains tax will affect me.My FICO score dropped from "excellent" to "very good," and I'm unsure why this happened and if I should be concerned.I'm trying to exit a timeshare that we've sunk a lot of money into, including a large fee to a company promising to help us get out, but we're still waiting for resolution. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Edward JonesSound Mind InvestingAnnualCreditReport.comTUG - Timeshare Users Group Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/13/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Trusting God with Your Money Matters

SPIRITUAL BOTTOM LINE OVER FINANCIAL CONCERNS:The true "bottom line" for believers in Jesus is our identity in Christ, providing us peace and assurance that our sins are paid for, as highlighted in the hymn "Jesus paid it all." This foundational truth encourages believers to rest in God's role as protector and provider, alleviating worries about financial matters. SCRIPTURAL ENCOURAGEMENTS AGAINST WORRY:Matthew 6: Jesus teaches not to worry about material needs, emphasizing God's provision for all creation, thus underscoring our value and God's care for us over our material concerns. Numbers 23:19: Highlights God's unchangeable and trustworthy nature, contrasting human unreliability with God's steadfast promise-keeping. Romans 8:31: Reminds us of God's omnipotence and support. Nothing can stand against us when God is on our side. EXAMPLES OF GOD'S PROTECTION AND POWER:2 Kings 6: The story of Elisha and his servant illustrates God's overwhelming power and protection, revealing that divine forces always outnumber and outmatch earthly challenges. CONCLUSION: TRUST IN GOD'S PROVISION:As followers of Christ, we're encouraged to shift focus from our financial insecurities to the reliability and strength of our God, ensuring peace and confidence. Our financial bottom line is secondary to our spiritual standing in Christ, offering an opportunity to deepen our trust in God's provision and care. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:My 16-year-old daughter spends all her earnings on gifts for friends and pets; how can I guide her towards better financial habits without taking control of her money?I inherited a condo with my siblings and need to buy them out. Is it wise to withdraw from my 401(k) to pay them or try to get a loan, given the condo's age and owner occupancy level?Considering the performance of precious metals versus stocks in recent years, would it be wise to allocate more of my investment portfolio to precious metals?I have a dormant 401(k) from a past employer and will soon receive an Army Reserve retirement check. Should I roll the 401(k) into an IRA or Roth IRA, and how should I manage it? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Open Hands FinanceMovement MortgageFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Will or Trust or Both?

WILL BASICS:A will is a simpler document that names an executor and beneficiaries.It must go through probate court and becomes public record, potentially delaying heirs' access to assets.Drafting a will through an estate attorney is recommended to minimize probate delays, typically costing around $500. TRUST BASICS:Trusts manage assets both before and after death, bypassing probate and keeping transactions private.Types include revocable (living) and irrevocable trusts, with the former being alterable during the grantor's lifetime.Trusts can designate a successor trustee to manage assets if the grantor becomes incapacitated, ensuring continuity and privacy. KEY REASONS FOR A WILL:Designating a guardian for minor children to avoid court-appointed guardianships.Disinheriting individuals or managing how minors receive assets.A will only takes effect after death, whereas a trust operates both during the grantor's life and after. ADVANTAGES OF A TRUST:Avoids probate, keeping estate management private and efficient.Allows for immediate successor trustee management if the grantor is incapacitated.Provides specific management of assets for minors or those deemed incapable of responsible financial management. CONCLUSION:Both a will and a trust may be necessary for comprehensive estate planning, especially for those with minor children or a preference for privacy and control over asset distribution. Consulting with a state attorney, preferably with a Certified Kingdom Advisor designation for alignment with Christian values, is advised for drafting these essential documents. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:My husband wants to sell our house in Florida for a profit, invest some in stocks, and live on the rest with our Social Security in North Carolina, but I'm concerned about moving and leaving my elderly parents.I have savings in a credit union and am considering moving to a regular bank to see my money grow; I'm looking for advice on making this transition effectively.Is it advisable to leave my wife's 401(k) with her former employer, where it's invested in a target retirement fund, or should we move it to an IRA with a similar investment strategy? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorBankrateChristian Community Credit Union Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/11/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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LLC vs. C-Corp vs. S-Corp for Your Business

LLC, or Limited Liability Company. This business structure protects you from personal responsibility for the company’s debts or liabilities. An LLC gives you protection from debt collectors and lawsuits involving the company, just as a corporation would. But unlike a corporation, the LLC allows what’s called “flow through” for tax purposes. The LLC doesn’t pay corporate income taxes. The company’s profits and losses (or deductions) are passed on to the members of the LLC. With an LLC it’s easier to set up than a corporation . An LLC may have to be dissolved if a member dies or files for bankruptcy. The ownership or equity stake of an LLC cannot be publicly traded. But for many folks starting a business, forming an LLC is a great way to get started.C-corp … the C-corp is different from LLC as it does not allow a “flow through” treatment of profits and losses for tax purposes. A C-corp is subject to corporate income taxation. A C-corp requires you to hold annual meetings and have a board of directors that’s voted on by shareholders. A benefit to a C-corp is that it lives beyond the life of an individual owner, since they have many owners called shareholders. C-corp also allows for passive income for the shareholdersS-corp … This structure has the best features of both the LLC and the C-corp. The S-corp provides you with liability protection, but also allows you to pass profits and losses directly to shareholders, so you’re only taxed once.The S-corp avoids the double taxation inherent in the C-corp. Filing as an S corp can also reduce personal income taxes for the business owners, by characterizing money they receive from the business as salary or dividends to owners. Those are the advantages and disadvantages of the 3 most common company structures … just in case you’re thinking about starting your own business one day.   On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions:Jordan from Florida has  investments with Fidelity and Vangaurd, and he wants to know which one is better.Sherilynn from Idaho recently was widowed and has sold a house and bought another cheaper one and wants to know what is the best way to invest her funds.Ann in Akron is looking for a used car and wondering if this is a better time to buy.Dora has a small ira, and would like to give some to her church, and is curious about the qualified charitable distributions. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Preparing for the Inevitable

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE AND ESTATE PLANNINGProverbs 13:16 highlights the importance of acting with knowledge in all aspects of life, including the preparation for inevitable events like death. This preparation involves legal, financial, and personal readiness to ensure your wishes are honored and your loved ones are cared for. IMPORTANCE OF UPDATED WILLS AND DIRECTIVESHaving updated wills is critical to ensure your wishes are followed after your death, with legal powers of attorney and health care directives being equally important.An estate attorney is necessary to prepare these documents, representing an essential investment in your family's future well-being. PREPARING FOR YOUR MEMORIAL SERVICE OR FUNERALOrganizing instructions for your memorial service or funeral is a considerate way to help your family and friends start the grieving process, ensuring your wishes are respected. CREATING ESSENTIAL LISTSCompile a list of all your financial accounts, including bank accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgages, retirement accounts, outstanding loans, and pensions, and keep this list updated.Make a list of contacts who need to be informed about your death, including family, friends, financial institutions, government agencies, and any other organizations you're associated with. UPDATING BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONSRegularly update the beneficiary designations on all your accounts to ensure they align with your current wishes. ENSURING ACCESS TO IMPORTANT DOCUMENTSEnsure someone you trust knows where to find all your important documents, ideally making this information accessible to your spouse if you're married. JOINT OWNERSHIP AND TRANSFER ON DEATH ARRANGEMENTSWork with an estate attorney to arrange for major assets to be owned jointly or transferred upon death to avoid probate and secure assets for the survivor's use. ADVICE FOR MARRIED COUPLESBoth spouses should understand the family finances to avoid leaving the surviving spouse in the dark in the event of the other's death.Each spouse should have a credit card in their own name to ensure access to credit after one spouse's death.Plan for the surviving spouse's income, considering potential lifestyle changes due to reduced income, and understand the implications for Social Security benefits upon a spouse's death. THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATIONOpen communication about financial matters with your spouse and, if appropriate, with your children or other family members is crucial to ensure everyone knows what to expect. SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVEYou and I can’t know when the Lord will call us home, but we do know where home is. Philippians 3:20 reminds us that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Our job is to be ready. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm 76, on Supplemental Security Income, and interested in finding affordable life insurance options to cover funeral expenses and potentially support my daughter.I've been managing our family budget with spreadsheets since the 1980s, but I'm concerned my wife won't be able to manage it if I pass away. Can you recommend a simpler system?I have three retirement accounts totaling $100,000 and am considering rolling them into a Roth IRA for better investment options, despite potential tax implications.My tax preparer is requesting a photocopy of my Social Security card. Is it safe to provide it to him?After hearing advice on your show, I took responsibility for a debt I owed, despite being advised I could walk away due to its impact on my public aid. I want to share how your guidance inspired me to fulfill my obligations. RESOURCES MENTIONED:NerdWallet:NerdWalletUS News and World Report: Best Burial Insurance of 2024FaithFi appSound Mind Investing or FaithFi.com for articles on Roth vs. traditional IRA. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/7/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Right Financial Lifestyle for a Christian With Ron Blue

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE WITH REGARDS TO MONEY?Living a Christian lifestyle with money involves having the right attitude towards it, regardless of the amount one possesses. This perspective transcends the amount of wealth and focuses on the heart and obedience to God's principles on financial management.It's about the attitude and obedience rather than the amount of wealth.Lifestyle controversies often stem from misunderstandings of biblical teachings on wealth.True obedience involves aligning one's financial decisions and lifestyle with biblical convictions. HOW CAN WE INTERPRET THE BIBLICAL RANGE OF WEALTH AND POVERTY?The Bible presents a wide spectrum of financial statuses among believers, from extreme wealth to significant poverty. Key lessons from these narratives emphasize the believers' heart posture and faithfulness in stewardship, rather than the material wealth itself.Scripture showcases both wealthy individuals and those living in poverty, focusing on their faithfulness and heart posture towards God.The widow's mite is highlighted not for her poverty but for her willingness to give all she had, demonstrating an attitude of complete trust and surrender to God.Wealth or poverty is not inherently righteous or sinful; the focus is on one's attitude and actions with what they are given. IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL A BIBLICAL MODEL FOR A CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE?The prosperity gospel, which often misinterprets scripture to equate faithfulness with material wealth, is not supported by biblical teachings. The true biblical model emphasizes forgiveness, contentment, and stewardship over material gain.The prosperity gospel misuses scriptures, such as Luke 6:38, which in context, speaks about forgiveness rather than financial blessings.True biblical prosperity is found in spiritual richness and obedience to God's commands, including living a life marked by forgiveness and generosity. WHAT SCRIPTURES OFFER GUIDANCE ON THE APPROPRIATE FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE FOR BELIEVERS?First and Second Timothy provide clear guidance on a Christian's approach to finances, emphasizing the importance of provision for one's family, enjoyment of God's blessings with a giving heart, and contentment regardless of one's financial state.Believers are called to provide for their families, enjoy God's blessings, and live in contentment.Paul's teachings in Philippians show that contentment in Christ transcends financial status, focusing on trust and strength found in God rather than material wealth.A Christian's financial lifestyle is marked by obedience, stewardship, and a heart aligned with God's purposes, rather than the pursuit of wealth for its own sake. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL LIFESTYLE?A Christian financial lifestyle is characterized by provision for one's family, enjoyment of God's gifts within the context of giving, and contentment with what one has, as instructed in First and Second Timothy and Hebrews.Provision, enjoyment, and contentment are key elements of a Christian financial lifestyle.These principles guide believers to focus on what truly matters: faithfulness in stewardship, generosity, and a heart content with God's provision.The biblical model does not prescribe a specific spending or saving percentage but encourages a prayerful and obedient approach to financial management, seeking God's wisdom and guidance in all things. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I discovered an unknown American Express account on my credit report from 2017 that I did not open. What steps should I take to address this issue?I'm nearing retirement and currently contribute 5% to my 401k. Should I increase my contribution to 25-30% to maximize it before I retire?I recently inherited a non-qualified annuity and was given only two options for distribution. Is it possible to leave the annuity in for the life term, and how can I find out more about this?My father gave us a timeshare many years ago, which we no longer want. After failing to exit the timeshare through paid services, we were advised legally to just stop paying the maintenance fee. Is there another solution? RESOURCES MENTIONED:FTC article: What To Know About Credit Freezes and Fraud AlertsRemember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/6/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Understanding ABLE Accounts With Matt Syverson

Matt Syverson is a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Kingdom Advisor in Overland Park, Kansas. He’s also a specialist in helping families understand and set up ABLE accounts.  WHAT ARE ABLE ACCOUNTS AND HOW DO THEY COMPARE TO 529 EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS?ABLE accounts, akin to 529 education savings accounts in terms of contributions and tax treatments, are designed to assist individuals with disabilities by allowing for the accumulation of resources without affecting their eligibility for government assistance.ABLE accounts, initially referred to as 529A plans, are intended for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to save beyond the typical asset limits set by government assistance programs.These accounts enable the saving of funds for a broad range of needs beyond just educational expenses, providing a more flexible financial support system for people with disabilities. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN ABLE ACCOUNT, AND WHAT ARE THE CONTRIBUTION LIMITS?ABLE accounts are specifically for individuals receiving or eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability onset before age 26, with annual contribution limits matching the federal gift tax exclusion amount.Eligibility for ABLE accounts extends to individuals with significant disabilities with an onset before age 26, who are recipients of or qualify for SSI, allowing for a greater financial cushion without risking their SSI benefits.The annual contribution limit to an ABLE account is set at $18,000, aligning with the annual gift tax exclusion, enabling families and the individual to contribute without tax penalties and without affecting the individual’s SSI asset limits. HOW DO ABLE ACCOUNTS AFFECT SSI BENEFITS, AND WHAT ARE QUALIFIED DISABILITY EXPENSES?ABLE accounts do not count towards the SSI $2,000 asset limit, and funds can be used for a wide array of disability-related expenses without impacting SSI benefits, offering significant flexibility and financial relief.Contributions to ABLE accounts and the savings therein do not affect an individual’s eligibility for SSI as long as the account balance stays below $100,000, thus providing a secure means to save and support disability-related needs without jeopardizing SSI benefits.Qualified disability expenses are broadly defined, covering any costs related to living with a disability, including but not limited to housing, education, healthcare, and personal support services, thereby offering a versatile tool for financial planning and care. HOW ARE ABLE ACCOUNTS MANAGED AND WHAT ARE THE INVESTMENT OPTIONS?ABLE accounts are state-sponsored, similar to 529 plans, with investment options ranging from aggressive to conservative portfolios, as well as offering FDIC-insured options with debit card access for day-to-day expenses.Each state sponsors its own ABLE program, with only a few exceptions; individuals can choose to open an account in any participating state, often guided by the specific features and benefits offered by each state’s plan.Investment options within ABLE accounts vary, allowing for tailored investment strategies according to the beneficiary’s needs and risk tolerance, including the possibility of a portion being allocated to a checking-like account with FDIC insurance for immediate needs.ABLE National Resource Center:able nrc.org ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have a 401k from a previous employer and a portable pension; I'm wondering if I can roll these over into an existing IRA Roth, or if I need to consolidate them into a new IRA.My daughter is looking to buy a house or land and pay cash, but someone suggested delayed financing to get her cash back and then get a mortgage; I'm trying to understand what that is.We have a family business and are currently with a credit card processing company that does not share our Christian values. We are looking for recommendations on credit card processing companies that might be more aligned with our values. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Inspire InsightChristian Community Credit Union Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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30 Years of Faith-based Investing With Chad Horning

1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Chad Horning is the president of Praxis Mutual Funds, an underwriter of this program and one of the oldest faith-based mutual funds in the country.  WHAT DOES "FAITH BASED INVESTING" MEAN TO PRAXIS?At Praxis, Faith Based Investing is all about letting your faith guide your investment decisions. It's not just about smart money moves; it's about aligning those moves with your Christian principles. This approach is key for those looking to ensure their investments reflect their values.The idea here is to let your faith lead the way in how you invest.Praxis champions the integration of faith and finances, aiming for your investments to mirror your values.Essentially, the goal is to align your investments with your Christian values seamlessly. HOW HAS FAITH BASED INVESTING EVOLVED OVER 30 YEARS?Initially, it focused on avoiding investments in industries that conflicted with Christian ethics. Now, it's grown to include proactive impact through investments, like engaging in shareholder advocacy and investing in community projects. This evolution marks a shift from merely avoiding harm to actively doing good.It started with steering clear of certain sectors.Today, it’s about positive actions, making a real impact through where you invest.Activities like international microfinance and expanding affordable housing exemplify this proactive stance. WHAT'S THIS "DISTANCE FROM THE ACTUAL BUSINESS" CONCEPT?This refers to the modern form of investing through stocks and mutual funds, where direct involvement in business operations isn't the norm. Despite this, the foundational Christian command to love one's neighbor as oneself still applies, guiding investors to choose businesses that uphold these values, even from afar.Modern investing often means less direct involvement with businesses.The principle of loving your neighbor still informs investment choices.This wisdom encourages investment in businesses that respect and uphold neighborly love. HOW HAVE FAITH BASED INVESTORS PERFORMED OVER THE YEARS?You might wonder if prioritizing values over returns means sacrificing financial performance. Fortunately, the landscape has evolved significantly, offering a broad spectrum of faith-oriented investment options that don't compromise on returns. This growth means investors can remain true to their values without sacrificing financial success.Prioritizing values doesn't mean sacrificing returns.The variety of faith-oriented investment options has expanded significantly.It’s entirely possible to support your family’s financial goals while making a positive impact. WHAT'S ON THE HORIZON FOR FAITH BASED INVESTORS?Looking forward, the industry is set to continue its evolution, offering an even wider range of products that cater to diverse Christian values and expressions. This expansion means investors can expect more opportunities to invest in ways that truly reflect their faith, from supporting ethical businesses to focusing on social justice.Expect more diverse faith-based investment products in the future.A convergence of interests between faith-based and traditional investors is likely, focusing on ethical business practices.The future promises a broad spectrum of options catering to various expressions of Christian faith. ANY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THOSE CONSIDERING FAITH BASED INVESTING?Faith Based Investing is a viable and impactful approach that you can adopt. When meeting with your financial advisor, consider discussing how to integrate your faith with your investment portfolio. The increasing number of advisors familiar with this approach is a positive trend, offering more support for those looking to invest according to their values.Faith Based Investing is not only possible but impactful.Discuss integrating faith into your investment strategy with your financial advisor.The growing familiarity of advisors with Faith Based Investing means more support for aligning your investments with your values. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm retiring soon and noticed my Social Security projection doesn't include earnings for 2023; will filing for Social Security before filing my 2023 taxes affect my monthly check amount?After inheriting some money, I'm looking for advice on how to invest it or put it in a safe spot to help it grow, considering we're already doing well with our current finances and have an emergency fund. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/4/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Finding Victory in Uncertain Circumstances

FINDING PEACE IN UNCERTAIN TIMESNavigating Financial Uncertainty: In today's world, uncertainty abounds, especially in financial matters like home-buying, career changes, and retirement. This uncertainty often leads to worry and sleepless nights.Guidance from Scripture: Drawing from Psalm 119:105, we find reassurance that God's Word illuminates our path, preventing us from stumbling in the darkness of uncertainty.Casting Anxiety on God: First Peter 5:6-7 reminds us that God cares for us deeply, encouraging us to cast all our anxieties on Him through humble submission. FOUR STEPS TO CONQUERING ANXIETYStep One: Rejoice in the Lord: Philippians 4:4 instructs us to rejoice always, recognizing that everything God allows into our lives is ultimately for our benefit.Step Two: Prayer and Thanksgiving: Philippians 4:6 urges us to present our worries to God in prayer, with thanksgiving, trusting in His provision and care.Step Three: Think Truth: Philippians 4:8 advises us to focus our minds on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy, finding solace in the truth of God's Word.Step Four: Do What's Right: Philippians 4:9 encourages us to follow the example of Christ in our actions, trusting that obedience to God's commands brings peace. FAITHFULNESS AMIDST CHALLENGESVictory in Christ's Resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us of the victory we have through Christ's resurrection, urging us to stand firm and remain steadfast in our commitment to godly principles.Assurance of God's Provision: Romans 8:28 and Philippians 4:19 reassure us that God works all things for our good and will meet all our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.Purpose in Faithfulness: Our faithfulness in following godly financial values serves as a witness for Jesus, an investment in God's kingdom, and a means of drawing closer to the Lord. FINAL ENCOURAGEMENTDespite challenges, remaining faithful to godly financial principles brings peace on earth and treasures in heaven, fulfilling God's purposes for our lives. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:Can National Debt Relief justify its fees considering the caller's situation?How should Conrad begin retirement planning, especially with access to a 401(k) plan?What steps are needed to transfer ownership of a home and continue mortgage payments after a parent's passing?Are gold coins a wise investment, given the risks and benefits? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsWise Women Managing Money Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
3/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why Choose Faith-Based Financial Solutions?

Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”HONORING GOD THROUGH FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIPInspiring Words: We all aspire to hear the commendation found in Matthew 25:23 and to be found faithful as stewards in all aspects of life, including finances.Biblical Foundation: Our financial decisions are rooted in Scripture, with Deuteronomy 8:1 reminding us that all wealth comes from God, and Psalm 50:10-11 affirming His ownership over everything, including us.Glorifying God: The Bible teaches us to honor God in all that we do, including our financial choices. Revelation 4:11, 1 Corinthians 10:31, and Colossians 3:17 urge us to glorify God in every aspect of life, including our finances. FAITH-BASED APPROACH TO FINANCEAligning Values: We are encouraged to make financial decisions that align with our Christian values, including supporting companies with godly practices and investing in opportunities that honor God's principles.Faith-Based Institutions: In the world of finance, there are institutions that prioritize faith-based principles. Christian Community Credit Union is one such example, offering banking solutions that align with our beliefs.Survey Insights: Recent surveys have shown a strong desire among Christians for banking practices that reflect their values, with many considering switching to faith-based institutions like Christian Community Credit Union. CALL TO ACTION AND ASSURANCETaking Action: As faithful stewards, we are prompted to consider our financial decisions carefully and explore options that honor God. Joining a faith-based institution like Christian Community Credit Union can be a practical step in this direction.Security and Peace of Mind: Accounts with Christian Community Credit Union are insured up to $250,000 by ASI, providing not only alignment with Christian values but also peace of mind regarding the safety of our finances. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:Considering cashing out an annuity to supplement Social Security income; advisor suggests another annuity with guaranteed 6% interest. Is this a good plan?Inheriting property, considering adding son to deed to avoid probate; host advises against, suggests Ladybird deed for tax benefits.Inherited $72,000; seeking advice on allocation for paying off mortgage, car replacement, and daughter's college expenses.Jointly owned timeshare; sister wants to buy caller's half. Caller seeks advice on potential tax implications. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorChristian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/29/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Boomers Hanging On to Houses

BOOMER INFLUENCE ON HOUSING MARKET:The current landscape of the housing market is significantly influenced by baby boomers, particularly in terms of home ownership patterns and inventory distribution.A substantial portion of large homes, defined as those with three bedrooms or more, is owned by baby boomers, who are aged between 58 to 76 years old.In contrast, younger generations, including millennials (ages 26 to 41) and Gen Zers (ages 19 to 25), possess a smaller share of large homes, leading to a disparity in housing options.Boomers' ownership status, with many owning homes outright and having little financial incentive to sell, contributes to the limited availability of homes for sale, particularly larger ones suitable for growing families.The disparity in housing ownership between generations underscores the challenges faced by younger individuals and families in accessing affordable and adequately sized housing. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HOUSING CHALLENGES:Various factors exacerbate the housing challenges experienced by younger generations, including supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a decrease in new construction and available inventory.Additionally, rising building costs and inflationary pressures have contributed to higher home values, making homeownership less attainable for first-time buyers, especially those without existing equity in their homes.Record-low mortgage rates in recent years have further intensified demand for homes, driving up prices and creating a competitive market environment for prospective buyers.Despite projections for improvements in the housing market in 2024, with expectations of increased inventory and potentially lower mortgage rates, significant disparities persist between the housing opportunities available to different generations. STRATEGIES FOR PROSPECTIVE HOMEBUYERS:Prospective homebuyers can take proactive steps to prepare for homeownership amid challenging market conditions, including prioritizing debt reduction to improve debt-to-income ratios and credit scores.Saving for a substantial down payment, ideally 20% of the home's purchase price, can help avoid additional costs associated with private mortgage insurance (PMI) and lower monthly mortgage payments.Monitoring credit reports for errors and disputing inaccuracies can contribute to improving credit scores, enhancing eligibility for favorable mortgage rates and terms.When ready to purchase a home, prospective buyers are advised to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and shop around for the best rates and terms, potentially saving significant sums over the life of the loan. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:Should I repair my 13-year-old car's AC for $1,700-$1,900, or should I invest in a newer car, considering my vehicle's worth and potential lifespan?Do my children inherit money tax-free from my Roth IRA upon my passing?Should I roll over my maturing CD to a new institution offering a slightly higher interest rate, or stick with my credit union for convenience?How can I choose a high-yield savings account? Is it safe to trust banks with higher rates than Capital One? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Bankrate.comNerdWallet Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/28/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Update on Lebanon Crisis With Tom Atema

WHAT DOES HEART FOR LEBANON AIM TO ACHIEVE, AND HOW HAS THE RECENT FIGHTING AFFECTED THEIR MISSION?Heart for Lebanon creates faith-defining environments for under-resourced families in Lebanon to encounter God and grow spiritually. Recent fighting has expanded the ministry's outreach, particularly aiding families fleeing from conflict zones near the border.Heart for Lebanon aims to provide basic necessities and spiritual guidance to families in Lebanon.Recent fighting has increased the demand for their services, with many families seeking refuge and assistance.WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR CRISIS SITUATIONS IN LEBANON, AND HOW DOES THIS CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MINISTRY?Lebanon faces numerous crises, including the aftermath of the port explosion, high inflation, and political instability. 87% of the population lives at or below the poverty line, and 38% have never heard the gospel, presenting a significant opportunity for ministry.Lebanon's crises include the port explosion, economic instability, and political turmoil.These challenges provide an opening for ministry to address both physical and spiritual needs in the country. WHAT COMPELLING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY EXIST IN LEBANON, AND WHAT IS THE THIRST FOR THE GOSPEL LIKE?Families in Lebanon, like Martha's, come seeking basic necessities and a longing for peace amidst conflict. With radical groups filling gaps in aid, Heart for Lebanon sees this as a critical moment to provide essential support and share the hope of the gospel.Families in Lebanon are desperate for basic necessities and yearn for peace amid ongoing conflict.Heart for Lebanon sees an opportunity to provide practical aid and share the gospel amidst challenging circumstances. HOW CAN LISTENERS RESPOND TO SUPPORT THE MINISTRY IN LEBANON?Listeners can support Heart for Lebanon's vital work by visiting faithfi.com/lebanon to learn more and contribute to this Kingdom-focused effort. Each donation helps provide practical aid and spiritual guidance to families in Lebanon facing unimaginable challenges. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:Recently divorced and seeking estate planning advice, especially considering the impact on her will and guardianship for her adult child.Considering splitting contributions between a 403(b) and an IRA, seeking guidance on the allocation considering her age and financial situation.Prefers traditional banks over online banks for CDs due to a dislike of online transactions, seeking advice on whether the higher rates of online banks outweigh this preference. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorBankrate.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/27/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Kingdom Impact Beyond Tithes and Offerings With Brandon Pizzurro

Brandon Pizzurro is President and Chief Investment Officer of GuideStone Capital Management, an underwriter of this program.  WHAT DOES SEEING THE WORLD TRANSFORMED THROUGH CHRISTIAN INVESTING MEAN?Seeing the world transformed through Christian investing means stewarding investment resources with intentionality and a faith-driven mindset. Christians approach investing to reflect God's Kingdom, impacting areas like sanctity of life, human dignity, and stewardship of creation.It means stewarding investment resources with intentionality and faith-driven mindset.Christians approach investing to reflect God's Kingdom, impacting areas like sanctity of life, human dignity, and stewardship of creation. HOW CAN INVESTING BRING ABOUT CHANGE?Investing can bring about change by allowing Christians to support organizations and companies aligned with their values. Guidestone emphasizes three key areas: sanctity of life, spreading the gospel, and stewardship of God's creation.Impact investing allows Christians to support organizations and companies aligned with their values.Guidestone emphasizes three key areas: sanctity of life, spreading the gospel, and stewardship of God's creation. HOW DOES GUIDESTONE GIVE BACK THROUGH ITS IMPACT INVESTMENTS?Guidestone donates 20% of revenue from impact funds to Kingdom causes, supporting organizations like the Psalm 139 project and Minno. These donations enable impactful initiatives like providing ultrasound equipment for pregnancy centers and offering gospel-centered content for kids.Guidestone donates 20% of revenue from impact funds to Kingdom causes, supporting organizations like the Psalm 139 project and Minno.Donations enable impactful initiatives like providing ultrasound equipment for pregnancy centers and offering gospel-centered content for kids. WHAT OTHER WAYS DOES GUIDESTONE TRANSFORM THE WORLD THROUGH ITS FUNDS?Guidestone engages in corporate activism and uses proxy voting power to influence companies to align with Christian values. By offering faith-based investments and impact opportunities, Guidestone helps believers align their finances with their values.Guidestone engages in corporate activism and uses proxy voting power to influence companies to align with Christian values.By offering faith-based investments and impact opportunities, Guidestone helps believers align their finances with their values. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR BELIEVERS TO BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT HOW THEY INVEST?It is important for believers to be intentional about how they invest to align their finances with their values. Guidestone supports believers on this journey by offering faith-based investments and impact opportunities.Intentionality is key for Christians to align their finances with their values.Guidestone supports believers on this journey by offering faith-based investments and impact opportunities. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:How can I verify whether a financial advisor corporation is legit? Can you recommend any websites to check?Should I pay cash for a new car or finance it, considering it would be 15-20% of my liquid net wealth?Can you suggest resources for teaching high school students about money and finance?I owe the IRS $12,000. Should I pay them in cash or consider an offer in compromise?How can families afford the increasing cost of private Christian education? Is it wise to redirect giving from the church to tuition? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Investor.gov and FINRA's BrokerCheck for verifying financial advisors.Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton for teaching financial basics from a biblical worldview.IRS Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool for exploring tax payment options. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/26/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Pride in Prosperity

THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL: UNDERSTANDING STEWARDSHIP AND PRIDEIn Luke 12:16-18, Jesus tells a parable of a rich man who credits himself for his wealth, planning to build larger barns for his abundant crops, highlighting his self-reliance and pride. BIBLICAL WARNINGS AGAINST PRIDE:1 Corinthians 4:7 questions what we have that we did not receive from God, critiquing the notion of boasting about personal achievements.1 Timothy 6:7-8 emphasizes contentment with what we have, reminding us that we brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out.2 Corinthians 10:17-18 instructs us to boast in the Lord, not in ourselves, for true approval comes from God. THE MISTAKE OF THE RICH MAN:Luke 12:19 illustrates the rich man's plan to enjoy his wealth alone, which God rebukes by calling him a fool for not being rich toward God, highlighting the folly of finding security in possessions.Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 reflects on the vanity of loving money, as it cannot fulfill one's desire for true abundance. REFLECTIONS ON FINANCIAL ANXIETY AND ENVY:Jesus' parable serves as a caution against pride and greed, urging us to recognize God as the source of all blessings and to use our resources to serve Him and others.C.S. Lewis describes pride as "spiritual cancer," emphasizing that pride prevents us from knowing God, as it involves looking down on others and things, missing what is above. CONCLUSION:The parable of the rich fool teaches us to be rich toward God, using our blessings to glorify Him and serve others, rather than accumulating wealth for self-satisfaction. Recognizing Jesus as the source of true life and abundance helps us avoid the spiritual pitfalls of pride and self-sufficiency.As we quoted earlier, C.S. Lewis called pride “spiritual cancer”. He goes on to say: “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”Today's topic was drawn from our new study guide entitledRich Toward God. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm in my 60s and financially set but curious about Roth IRAs for my daughter, who's earning around $150k-$160k. Should she open a Roth IRA despite nearing the income limit, and how do we navigate financial planning costs?I've been divorced for 10 years, and despite filing a quitclaim deed, I'm still on the mortgage. How can I remove my name from the mortgage when my ex-husband cannot refinance?I'm contemplating the best investment for securing $90,000. Is buying property a good option, or are there better investments?Concerning Matthew 25:16 and the parable of the talents, specifically the trading aspect, how did they make money in a way that was acceptable to God?I've accumulated about $75,000 in debt due to a timeshare mistake and took out a home equity loan with a high interest rate that's barely covering the principal. Should I refinance my mortgage or take another approach? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorEveryday Steward (a division of Ron Blue Trust for financial planning):  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/23/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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What’s Up With Mortgage Rates? With Dale Vermillion

Dale Vermillion is the author of Navigating The Mortgage Maze: The Simple Truth About Financing Your Home. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CURRENT TREND IN MORTGAGE RATES?Mortgage rates are stabilizing, currently fluctuating around 6.25% to 6.5%, expected to gradually decrease over the coming months.Rates have become more stable recently, bouncing around a consistent range.Predictions indicate a potential drop below 6% by the end of the year.Stability and future trends are largely influenced by inflation and bond market conditions. WHAT IMPACT MIGHT THE FED'S EXPECTED INTEREST RATE CUTS HAVE ON MORTGAGE RATES?Though Federal rate cuts don't directly correlate with mortgage rates, significant cuts are expected to improve mortgage rates.The Federal rate and mortgage rates often move independently, but significant Federal cuts could lead to lower mortgage rates.Analysts expect mortgage rates to fall under 6% by year's end.Inflation reduction and bond market improvements are key to driving mortgage rate reductions. WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR HOME VALUES IN THE COMING MONTHS?Home values are expected to increase by about 3.2% this year, slower than last year's 7.1% increase, due to adjustments for affordability.Growth in home values is slowing but still expected to rise.Listing price adjustments for affordability are influencing the slower growth rate.Despite the slowdown, the market remains favorable for buying. HOW IS THE INVENTORY OF HOMES CHANGING?Inventory levels are improving, with expectations for a significant increase in available homes by year-end, aided by new construction.Inventory has significantly increased from last year and is expected to continue rising.New construction is contributing to the improvement in inventory levels.Anticipated inventory increase to over 800,000 units by year-end will create more buying opportunities. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE CONSIDERING BUYING A HOME SOON?Prospective buyers financially ready to purchase should proceed now rather than waiting for further rate reductions to avoid future market competitiveness.Financial readiness and affordability should be the main considerations for buying now.Waiting may lead to increased competition and potentially higher prices as rates decrease.The current market presents an opportune time for prepared buyers. IS RENTING A BETTER VALUE THAN BUYING RIGHT NOW?Despite current high home values and mortgage rates, buying a home remains a better long-term financial decision than renting due to appreciation, tax benefits, and wealth accumulation.Rents are increasing faster than incomes, offering less stability and no appreciation compared to homeownership.Homeownership provides significant tax benefits and potential for appreciation.The financial advantages and wealth accumulation of owning outweigh the costs compared to renting. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:After my divorce, I realized filing a quitclaim deed doesn't remove my obligation from the mortgage. Is there any way to get my name off the mortgage if my ex can't refinance?My wife believes tithes should only go to our home church, but I think giving to ministries where we see need should also count. What's your perspective?My wife and I have $90,000 saved and are unsure how to invest it wisely. What would be the best and most secure investment for us, considering the current market challenges?Since Social Security benefits are essentially a return of money we've already paid into the system, should we tithe on the entire Social Security check or only on the "increase"? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Dangers of Budgeting With Chad Clark

Chad Clark is Executive Director here at FaithFi. WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF HAVING A BUDGET?A budget, while essential for managing finances, comes with potential dangers such as idolizing money, succumbing to pride, and relying more on the budget than on God.Idolizing money can occur when constant monitoring of finances leads to an excessive focus on money instead of God.Pride can emerge from achieving financial goals, leading to self-boasting rather than recognizing God's provision.Relying too heavily on a budget may restrict following God's promptings that go beyond our financial plans. HOW CAN WE AVOID THESE DANGERS WHILE USING A BUDGET?To safely use a budget without falling into these traps, it is important to renew our minds with God's Word, give thanks to Him for His provisions, and prioritize obedience to God over strict adherence to the budget.Regularly immersing oneself in scripture helps combat the idolization of money by reminding us that God is our ultimate treasure.Acknowledging God as the source of all wealth and success fosters humility and guards against pride.Being flexible with our budget allows us to respond to God's leading, even when it doesn't align with our financial plans, ensuring our trust remains in Him rather than our financial strategies. WHAT IS THE FAITHFI APP AND HOW DOES IT SUPPORT GODLY STEWARDSHIP?The FaithFi app is designed to assist users in managing their finances in a way that honors God, incorporating budgeting tools along with spiritual resources to encourage stewardship that aligns with biblical principles.The app aims to help users steward God's resources effectively while being mindful of the spiritual dangers associated with financial management.By integrating budgeting with spiritual guidance, the FaithFi app encourages users to view money as a tool for God's kingdom, not an end in itself.The FaithFi app supports users in their stewardship journey, helping them to balance financial responsibility with spiritual obedience. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have enough to hire a financial advisor who uses Charles Schwab. Can I have a faith-based type of investing to avoid supporting companies against my values?I'm paying around $1,300 monthly for a car that's not affordable anymore due to high insurance from accidents. What's the best option for handling this financially overwhelming situation?As a recent homebuyer with a 30-year mortgage at 5.625% and about $140,000 owed, how should I consider refinancing, and what factors should influence my decision?My 17-year-old son is making about $30,000 a year from his first job and wants to know how to invest his money wisely without any current bills to pay. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Schwab Intelligent PortfoliosFidelityHoward Dayton's book Your Money CountsBankrate.com for finding high yield savings accounts for an emergency fund. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/21/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Marriage and Your Inner Money Manager With Matt Bell

Matt Bell is the managing editor at Sound Mind Investing and the author of several books on personal finance, including Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged and Newly Married Couples. HOW DO INDIVIDUAL TEMPERAMENTS AFFECT MARRIED COUPLES' FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT?Understanding each other's temperament helps couples manage money together effectively since temperament influences how individuals naturally react to financial situations, bringing inherent strengths and weaknesses to money management.Temperament shapes our financial behaviors and preferences, influenced by upbringing and personal experiences.Knowing and respecting each other's temperament can lead to better teamwork in financial decisions.It's crucial to recognize that while temperaments have their financial strengths, they also come with challenges that can be managed through awareness and cooperation. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN FINANCIAL PERSPECTIVES AND BEHAVIORS? Research shows men and women often have different financial priorities, emotions related to money, interests in financial topics, negotiation tendencies, and risk levels in investing, which can lead to conflict in marriages.Men and women have distinct spending priorities, with men favoring electronics and women preferring travel.Men associate money with confidence, while women tend to associate it with anxiety and confusion.Differences extend to financial interests and behaviors, such as investing versus saving strategies and openness to negotiating salaries. DO FINANCIAL OPPOSITES ATTRACT IN MARRIAGES ACCORDING TO RESEARCH?Research indicates that individuals often choose mates with opposite financial habits, such as spendthrifts marrying tightwads, which can lead to conflict but also complements each partner's financial behavior. Initial attraction may lead to choosing partners with differing financial habits, despite logical preferences for similarity.This attraction of opposites in financial habits necessitates understanding and cooperation to manage the inherent conflicts. HOW CAN COUPLES RECONCILE DIFFERENCES IN FINANCIAL TEMPERAMENTS AND HABITS?Understanding and accepting each other's financial temperament is key, with communication playing a crucial role in reconciling differences and managing finances as a team.Discovering and appreciating each other's financial temperament fosters empathy, reduces frustration, and enhances teamwork.Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses associated with each temperament allows couples to assign financial roles and responsibilities that play to each partner's strengths.Continuous learning and adaptation to each other's temperaments can lead to more effective and harmonious financial management. HOW DOES IDENTIFYING AND WORKING WITH EACH OTHER'S TEMPERAMENTS IMPROVE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN MARRIAGE?Identifying and understanding each other's temperaments can greatly improve how couples manage their finances by maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses inherent to each temperament. This process encourages empathy and understanding, reducing blame and frustration over financial differences.By leveraging each other's natural tendencies, couples can create a more balanced and effective approach to financial planning and decision-making.Continuous exploration and appreciation of each other's temperament foster a collaborative environment for managing finances as a cohesive unit. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm retired and haven't made withdrawals from my 457 plan but am concerned about digital currency replacing the dollar. How can I protect my money?I want to save for a car for my grandson who will be driving in three years. Should I put the funds in a CD or a U.S. I Bond?My mother moved in with me, and we put my name on her accounts. As her primary caregiver, she intends for me to inherit her savings. Do we need to take any legal steps to ensure this? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Bankrate.com for finding the best CD rates Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/20/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Financial Heart Check

FINANCIAL ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENTUNDERSTANDING THE HEART'S ROLE IN FINANCIAL ATTITUDES:Financial attitudes reflect one's spiritual health, as wrong attitudes towards money and possessions stem from the heart, mirroring a broader spiritual condition.Jesus identified the root of evil thoughts, including greed and envy, as originating from the heart (Mark 7:21-23), highlighting the spiritual battle within. THE BATTLE AGAINST SINThe struggle with sinful attitudes like envy, pride, and greed is common, even among devout believers like the Apostle Paul, who shared his own struggles in Romans 7:21-24.Overcoming these attitudes requires divine intervention, as Paul acknowledges deliverance through Jesus Christ. CULTIVATING RIGHT ATTITUDES TOWARDS MONEYRight financial attitudes include serving Christ, stewardship, gratitude, and seeking wisdom, reflecting virtues like love, generosity, humility, and kindness.Larry Burkett emphasized that spiritual values should be mirrored in one's finances, honoring God and leading to a more fulfilling financial life. THE PROMISE OF GODLY LIVINGRighteous living, characterized by trust in God rather than material wealth, promises peace and the opportunity to serve Jesus, despite not guaranteeing material prosperity.Scriptures such as John 10:9, Psalm 37, and Romans 8:10 highlight the blessings of living with godly attitudes, including salvation, peace, and hope. CALL TO ACTIONThe monologue concludes with a call for listeners to examine their financial attitudes, emphasizing that the significance lies not in the amount of money one has but in the attitude towards money and possessions.It warns against attitudes of pride, selfishness, greed, envy, and dishonesty, encouraging listeners to pursue a relationship with Christ for a life marked by peace and hope. SCRIPTURES MENTIONEDMark 7:21-23: Illustrates the origin of evil thoughts and attitudes from the heart.Romans 7:21-24: Paul discusses the internal battle against sin and the law within himself.John 10:9: Jesus promises salvation and abundant life to those who enter through Him.Psalm 37: Encourages trust in the Lord for a hopeful future and inheritance.Romans 8:10: Highlights the life and peace given through the Spirit because of righteousness. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:As my husband and I approach retirement and streamline our finances, what is the best way to maintain my own credit score, considering we're reducing our credit cards and I'm not the main breadwinner?My husband's FICO score on our Citibank Costco card suddenly dropped to 598 according to the card's report, but Equifax and Experian show no changes and maintain his score is over 800. How do we resolve this discrepancy?We've sold our home and will soon receive $450,000 in proceeds. As we're in our late 50s with no children at home and uncertain about buying a new house, what should we do with the money in the meantime?If I have my credit accounts frozen to protect against fraud, is it still beneficial to use a service like LifeLock, or is it unnecessary?I've seen ads for home title theft protection services. Considering my accounts are frozen, is investing in title insurance or similar protections worth it? RESOURCES MENTIONED:AnnualCreditReport.comBankrate.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/19/202425 minutes, 24 seconds
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Marriage and the Bottom Line

THE DECLINING MARRIAGE RATE AND ITS FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:Studies consistently show that married people fare better financially than single people. Significantly better. But the marriage rate in America continues to fall. The percentage of adults living with a spouse dropped from 52% to 50% over the last decade, continuing a trend that started when 67% of adults were married in 1960.This trend affects millennials significantly, with only 44% choosing to marry, potentially missing out on the financial benefits associated with marital status. THE FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE OF MARRIED COUPLES:Married couples generally have a higher median net worth at all age levels compared to unmarried individuals, with married households having a net worth up to 9 times greater than unmarried female householders and 3 times more than unmarried male householders.While there are exceptions and marriage is not universally advantageous, on average, married couples fare better financially. THE SINGLE PARENT CHALLENGE:Single parents, especially single mothers, face significant financial strains, with 40% of single mother families living below the poverty line compared to only 10% of married couples.The rise in births outside of marriage from 7% in 1965 to around 40% today has contributed to financial challenges for single parents and societal implications. THE BENEFITS OF MARRIAGE FOR MEN AND WOMEN:Married men tend to work harder, earn more, and receive more promotions than their unmarried counterparts, while marriage provides financial stability for women, particularly those with children. KEY DECISIONS FOR FINANCIAL STABILITY:Rob outlines four key life decisions for financial stability: graduating from high school, securing employment, getting married, and, if having children, waiting until at least 21.Marriage, as ordained by God, is highlighted as a blessing with significant benefits beyond financial aspects. For a married couple, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. By joining together,their strength is more than doubled. None of this should be surprising. Marriage was ordained by God to be a blessing to us. Ecclesiastes 4 teaches “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” ON TODAY'S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm considering whole life insurance and wonder if there's a place for it in my financial plan, given I've checked off other savings and estate planning boxes.As my husband becomes eligible for Social Security and I am not for another four years, we're trying to figure out if he should draw now and how spousal benefits work with Social Security.I'm retiring in four months, am debt-free except for monthly expenses, and need advice on how retirement income from Social Security and a state retirement plan will be taxed.We own a rental property that hasn't been profitable and with upcoming college expenses for our children, we're debating if selling the property now to cover costs is a wise financial move.With the housing market's uncertainties and a mortgage that could take up 45% of our income, I'm unsure if now is a good time to buy a house or if we should wait.Considering selling a rental property to pay for college expenses without incurring debt, wondering if this is the best use of the asset or if there are other factors we haven't considered. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Social Security Administration: ssa.govRemember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/16/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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AI: Boon or Bane With Jerry Bowyer

Jerry Bowyer is our resident economist and frequent contributor here FaithFi. IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) A THREAT TO MANKIND, SIMILAR TO SCENARIOS IN SCIENCE FICTION?Humanity cannot surpass God's creation, and AI, being a product of human invention, cannot exceed the intelligence and capabilities God endowed in humans. AI is constrained by the boundaries of human creativity.AI cannot surpass human intelligence as this would imply humans have the capability to create something superior to God’s own creation, which is not possible given our finite nature.The portrayal of AI as a potential threat or a deity in itself, capable of surpassing human intelligence, erroneously attributes divine characteristics to AI.It's essential to recognize humanity's unique status as God's highest creation to maintain a balanced perspective on AI's potential and limitations, acknowledging that any creation by humans, including AI, remains subordinate to God's creation. WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF AI, AND HOW SIGNIFICANT WILL ITS IMPACT BE?While AI promises considerable economic benefits, its potential has been somewhat overestimated. Its efficiency and the scope of its impact compared to human intelligence and creativity are yet to be fully realized.AI's processing power and efficiency are significantly less than the human brain, which exceeds the complexity of the global internet, highlighting the vast difference in capabilities.Economic predictions about AI adding trillions to the global economy might be overblown. Its development and practical application are likely to follow a more gradual path than the current hype suggests.AI can be a useful tool for initial tasks such as drafting documents or conducting preliminary research but requires human oversight for accuracy, underscoring the indispensable value of human creativity and judgment. WHERE DOES THE FUTURE OF JOBS STAND WITH THE RISE OF AI, AND WHICH SECTORS MIGHT BE MOST AFFECTED?The advancement of AI may pose challenges for certain job sectors, particularly those involving routine or non-creative tasks, but it also highlights the irreplaceable value of human creativity and adaptability.Jobs that demand high levels of creativity and innovative thinking are less susceptible to being replaced by AI, as AI's output in creative tasks tends to be mediocre at best.The labor market is expected to evolve, with AI-induced job displacements leading to new opportunities that better utilize human creativity and adaptability, reflecting the dynamic nature of technological advancement.Christians should actively participate in the development and application of AI, shaping its trajectory to ensure it serves humanity's best interests while aligning with biblical principles and values. CONCLUSION: A BIBLICAL VIEW ON AI AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTChristians should not fear AI but engage with it constructively, recognizing that while technology brings new challenges, it also provides opportunities to exercise dominion and creativity in alignment with God's design.Approaching the development of AI with biblical wisdom ensures that it serves to enhance, rather than replace, the unique qualities God has instilled in humanity, keeping technology as a tool under human stewardship.By participating in AI's development, Christians can steer its use towards beneficial and ethical applications, reflecting God's goodness and creativity, and ensuring technology remains a positive force in society.In the end, technology, including AI, is a tool that, when wielded with intention and guided by God's principles, can glorify God and benefit humanity, echoing our role as stewards of God's creation. You can find Jerry Bowyer’s insightful articles for WORLD News Group at WNG.org/opinions. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I just realized a store card I own was changed to a MasterCard without my knowledge, and I signed up for another card to get a discount without fully understanding. Will closing these accounts hurt my credit score?I've recently received an inheritance in the form of stock and am considering how to tithe from this. How do taxes play into tithing from an inherited stock? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Valentine’s Day With Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman is the best-selling author of The Five Love Languages. HOW SHOULD THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES INFLUENCE GIFT-GIVING ON VALENTINE'S DAY?Understanding and applying the Five Love Languages to gift-giving, especially on Valentine's Day, can really enhance the impact of the gesture. If your spouse's primary love language is receiving gifts, then selecting a thoughtful gift becomes crucial.However, for those whose love language is not gifts, recognizing Valentine's Day and making an effort to express love is still important.Recognizing if gifts are your spouse's primary love language is key; if so, choose gifts with care and intention.Even if gifts don't rank highly for your spouse, don't overlook Valentine's Day—any act of love will be appreciated.Manage expectations and be understanding if your spouse doesn't respond as enthusiastically as hoped; their love language may differ from yours. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A COUNSELOR, HOW OFTEN DOES MONEY CREATE CHALLENGES IN MARRIAGES?Money is frequently a source of conflict within marriages, with differences in financial priorities and management styles often leading to disagreements.Money disputes are common, stemming from differences in spending habits, financial planning, and priorities.A specific case highlighted a couple's disagreement over purchasing a home, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing relationships over material possessions.Reflecting on Jesus's teachings reminds us that life's true meaning is found in our relationship with God and with others, not in the accumulation of stuff. HOW CRUCIAL IS IT FOR COUPLES TO ALIGN ON FINANCIAL GOALS AND PRIORITIES?Agreeing on financial goals and priorities is essential for marital harmony. Discussing and aligning on financial matters, including attitudes towards spending, saving, and giving, before marriage can head off future conflicts. But if these discussions did not happen premaritally, finding common ground after tying the knot is critical.Understanding each other's background and approach to money helps in forming a united financial strategy.Conflicts over money are inevitable due to inherent differences; thus, effective communication and compromise are key.Establishing shared financial goals and priorities supports marital unity and facilitates collaborative problem-solving. HOW SHOULD COUPLES THINK ABOUT THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES IN LIGHT OF RECONCILING THEIR DIFFERENCES ABOUT MANAGING MONEY?Incorporating the understanding of each other's primary love language into daily interactions, including discussions about money, can create a positive environment that fosters understanding and cooperation. When both partners feel loved and valued in their preferred love language, they are more likely to approach financial disagreements with empathy and a willingness to find common ground. Regularly speaking your spouse's primary love language can significantly improve the emotional climate of the marriage.Feeling loved and appreciated makes it easier to navigate and resolve financial disagreements or any other conflicts.Effective communication, understanding, and expressing love through the appropriate love languages can lead to healthier money management discussions. WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE WITH COUPLES ON THIS VALENTINE'S DAY?Valentine's Day serves as a reminder to express love and appreciation to our partners. But it's important to continue these expressions of love beyond this single day. Understanding and speaking your spouse's primary love language regularly not only enriches your marriage but also ensures that both partners feel loved and valued consistently. Use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to express your love, but also commit to doing so throughout the year.Discovering and speaking your spouse's primary love language can transform your marriage, leading to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship.Acts of love, whether big or small, should be a constant in your relationship, with every day seen as an opportunity to demonstrate your love and commitment. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm considering a career change into financial counseling or advising and need advice on which path to pursue, especially without an interest in selling products but focusing on advising people on money management.I was recently forced into retirement and am trying to figure out how to manage my finances, specifically if there's a way to withdraw from my 401(k) to pay off car debt without it counting as income and affecting my state insurance benefits. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Kingdom AdvisorsCertified Christian Financial Counselor: Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/14/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Helping the Kids Buy a House

LENDING MONEY TO CHILDREN FOR A HOUSE PURCHASE:Rob discusses the reasons parents might consider lending money to their children for a house purchase, such as reducing the interest the child must pay and helping if the child does not qualify for a mortgage due to debt-to-income ratio issues or insufficient credit history. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the implications of lending versus gifting money, the potential risks involved, and ensuring any loan is legally documented.Parents may lend to their children to save them from high interest rates or if they're unable to secure a loan due to financial reasons.Lending money can potentially harm the recipient by discouraging their efforts to earn money and achieve financial independence, and it can risk the lender's financial security and relationship with the child if the loan is not repaid.The Bible encourages providing for relatives, as seen in 1 Timothy 5:8, which states, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever," but this provision must be balanced with wisdom to ensure it does not encourage dependency.Gifting rather than lending may avoid relationship strain, but it comes with IRS implications if the gifted amount exceeds annual exclusions, impacting the lifetime gift tax exclusion.Private loans to children for home purchases won't help build their credit history, potentially affecting future borrowing capabilities, but can save significant amounts in mortgage interest.If parents decide to lend, the loan should be formalized with a legally binding contract detailing the loan's terms, ensuring compliance with IRS requirements and protecting both parties' interests. Rob underscores that while personal loans for home purchases can offer significant benefits, especially in saving on interest payments, they also carry risks that must be carefully weighed. Thorough preparation and legal documentation can help head off or mitigate potential issues. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:At 63 and my husband nearly 80, we're considering buying another rental property in these uncertain times; is this a wise decision?Having sold a property two years ago, we paid capital gains tax on it; was that necessary for everyone across the board?I've never been good with money, but God has changed my life in recent years. At 65, I've saved in my 401(k) but have debts and am seeking advice on financial planning for the future.Is it advisable to reduce my 401(k) contribution to the company match level and use the extra income to pay off my car loan faster? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/13/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Best Investment I’ve Ever Made With Rachel McDonough

“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  Rachel McDonough is a Certified Financial Planner, a CertifiedKingdom Advisor and a regular FaithFi contributor. WHAT IS THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU EVER MADE, ACCORDING TO RACHEL MCDONOUGH?Rachel recounts a story of investing not in stocks or bonds but in a person's life with a simple act of kindness. She met a woman who identified herself as a witch and was initially very hostile. With just $35, Rachel and her friends paid for the woman's phone bill, leading to a surprising transformation. The woman opened up about her painful past and received the message of God's love through this act of generosity.Investing in kindness can lead to spiritual breakthroughs, even with a small amount like $35.A simple act of generosity can soften a hardened heart, demonstrating God's love in a tangible way.Rachel's story emphasizes the power of meeting physical needs as an entry point to share the gospel. HOW CAN PLANNED SPONTANEITY PLAY A ROLE IN GENEROSITY ACCORDING TO RACHEL?Rachel advocates for planned spontaneity in generosity, suggesting that people include a budget line item for spontaneous acts of kindness. This approach combines the intentionality of budgeting with the flexibility to respond to the Holy Spirit's leading. Rachel shares examples of how this concept has been put into practice, including a client who felt nudged to give $500 to a foster family and another couple who invested in their backyard as a ministry tool to reach out to the next generation.Setting aside money for spontaneous generosity removes hesitation and promotes readiness to act on God's prompting.Generosity planned in this way can lead to meaningful encounters and support for those in need, reflecting God's love through our actions.Such acts of kindness not only meet immediate needs but also open doors for sharing the gospel and building relationships based on faith. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF INVESTING IN EVANGELISM THROUGH GENEROSITY?Rachel provides several inspiring examples of how generosity can facilitate evangelism. One story involves a client who noticed a foster family in need and responded to the Holy Spirit's nudge by giving them $500, which was a significant help during a financial crisis. Another example is a couple who plans to invest in a welcoming space for their children's friends, aiming to share the love of God with the next generation.Generosity can be a direct response to God's nudge, leading to impactful support for families and people in challenging circumstances.Large investments, like updating a backyard for ministry purposes, showcase a commitment to using personal resources for kingdom impact.Each act of kindness, whether spontaneous or planned, serves as a testimony of God's love and opens opportunities for gospel conversations. FINAL THOUGHTS IN MAKING ETERNAL INVESTMENTS THROUGH GENEROSITY:“Worldly wealth” can be invested to win souls, which are the “true riches” referred to in Luke 16:11.  Prayerfully consider adding a line item to their budget — to be used for investing in the expansion of God’s family. The Great Commission is the one calling we have all received from God. Rachel says, while it doesn’t have to be spontaneous, she encourages some semi-planned spontaneity. This does three things.1. It will remove the hesitation you may feel as you consider what you can afford to give. That way, when a spontaneous opportunity is spotted, you’re ready.2. It will prevent miscommunication with your spouse if you agree beforehand that this is a priority for your family and you agree on an amount.3. It will make investing in souls an intentional and ongoing part of your lifestyle. Friends, I know of no better way to stay in close life-union with God than to take steps to 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! Jesus paid with his life for this treasure. As his stewards, managing his resources on his behalf, when we use 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. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have a family member who didn't file taxes in 2017 and recently received a letter from the IRS. They're willing to pay but want to ensure it's done correctly and verify payment.After losing my job of 21 years and now living on Social Security, I'm trying to figure out how to manage financially without my previous income and considering how to access equity from my house to cover expenses. RESOURCES MENTIONED:IRS payments:irs.gov/paymentsChristian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Love of Money

THE DANGERS OF LOVING MONEY AND THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSESome people view money as the source of life's greatest pleasures, equating it with security, success, freedom, and power. However, the Biblical perspective emphasizes trust in Jesus rather than in fleeting worldly possessions. THE PROBLEMS WITH LOVING MONEY:1 Timothy 6:10 warns about the love of money being the root of all kinds of evils, emphasizing the destruction and ruin it can bring.Loving money leads to a life-destroying path marked by temptation and harmful desires.It can cause us to stray from our faith, experiencing deep sorrow as a result.Money can become an idol, taking God's place as the highest priority in our lives. BIBLICAL WARNINGS AGAINST SERVING MONEY:Jesus taught in Matthew 6:24 that it's impossible to serve both God and money, highlighting the conflict between material wealth and spiritual devotion.Loving money is incompatible with serving God fully.Money, while neutral itself, can lead to sins like greed, fear, envy, and dishonesty when idolized. THE INSUFFICIENCY OF MONEY:Ecclesiastes 5:10 illustrates that money can never truly satisfy the human heart's desires, a void that only Jesus can fill. The pursuit of wealth for its own sake is ultimately unfulfilling. CHRISTIAN STRATEGY AGAINST THE TEMPTATION OF MONEY:1 Timothy 6:11-12 offers a way out for believers, urging them to flee from the love of money and pursue virtues like righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.Followers of Christ are encouraged to fight the good fight of faith and cling to the hope of eternal life. CONCLUSION:While the world offers many temptations, including the allure of wealth, believers are called to prioritize their spiritual well-being over material gains, staying true to their commitment to God and the eternal life promised through faith in Jesus Christ.If we can help you restore your focus on Jesus in your finances, I hope you’ll contact us at faithfi.com. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm interested in donor-advised funds for tax planning but concerned about supporting entities that don't align with my values. Can you provide guidance on choosing one, particularly your thoughts on the National Christian Foundation (NCF)?As I approach retirement, when is my Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) due and how do I find out the amount? Also, can I direct my RMD to charitable giving without facing taxes or penalties?We're considering moving into a retirement community in a few years. How should we manage our assets, including our home equity and IRA, to cover the entrance fee and monthly rent without incurring unnecessary taxes or penalties?A member of my church needs a car for transportation. I've saved $1,000 to help purchase one for her. Do you know any organizations where I can find a reliable car at a low price? RESOURCES MENTIONED:National Christian Foundation (NCF): For setting up a donor-advised fund aligned with Christian values.Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/9/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Giving As an Act of Trust With Art Rainer

Art Rainer is author of the brand new book, “Money in the Light of Eternity: What the Bible Says about Your Financial Purpose.” He’s also a frequent contributor here at FaithFi. EVERY SPENDING DECISION IS A SPIRITUAL DECISIONArt Rainer emphasizes Jesus' words that where one's treasure is, their heart will also be.The Bible, with over 2000 verses on money, shows its spiritual significance.Managing money well reflects trust in God's promises and provision.Trusting God with finances is as crucial as trusting Him with one's soul. GOD'S PROMISES:God promises to provide and bless those who give, demonstrating His commitment to bless generosity.Malachi 3:10 highlights God's promise to bless those who bring their tithes, promising abundant blessings as a sign of His faithfulness.He doesn't tell us to give only to leave us hanging. No, he ties a promise to our generosity. He promises to pour out an abundance of blessings.He invites believers to test Him in this, promising blessings that may be financial, material, or spiritual.Generosity becomes part of something greater than our temporary life on Earth. GOD PROMISES HE WILL MULTIPLY: CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS?The multiplication of the boy's five loaves and two fish in John 6 demonstrates God's ability to multiply what we give, fulfilling His purposes.Like the boy's small offering, our resources can be multiplied by God.This multiplication requires trust in God's ability to use our generosity effectively. GOD PROMISES HE WILL ENRICH: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?Second Corinthians 9:11 explains God's intention to enrich those who give, enabling them to be generous and bless others.God seeks a good return on investment (ROI) from our giving. In.2nd Corinthians 9:11, Paul writes to those who trust God with their money, yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.He gives so that we can give. He enriches us so we can be conduits of generosity, blessing others. CONCLUSION: GENEROSITY AS AN ACT OF TRUSTGenerosity is not just about giving but trusting God with our finances, demonstrating faith in His provision, multiplication, and enrichment.Generosity shifts our reliance from money to God.By trusting God with our soul, we should also trust Him with our finances, embracing our role as stewards of His resources. Art Rainer's insights remind us that financial stewardship and generosity are integral to our spiritual lives and our maturity in Christ, underlining the importance of trusting God with every aspect of our finances. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I received a settlement offer from my credit card company that's less than my outstanding balance; what should I be aware of if I accept this offer?Fidelity recommended I move my $50,000 savings into a high-yield or money market account; is this the same, and what are the differences?I have a loan from my 401(k) that's now paid off, including interest; does this interest benefit me or go somewhere else?We need a new roof costing $25,000 but don't have the full amount saved; should we take out a loan, and if so, what kind?My car lease is ending next month, and I can buy the car for $18,000; is purchasing it a good investment considering we're planning for a family and I want to avoid further payments? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom AdvisorFor comparing car values: Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Helping Your Divorced Daughter With Ron Blue

Ron Blue is the co-founder of Kingdom Advisors, author of a shelf-full of books on biblical finance, including Master Your Money. HELPING A DAUGHTER WHO'S GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE: WHAT'S THE BEST APPROACH?Support must be dynamic, adapting as circumstances change.Emotional, spiritual, and financial challenges intertwine, requiring sensitive navigation.Equitable treatment among siblings means addressing each child's unique needs, especially in crisis. HOW DID YOU AND JUDY DECIDE ON THE EXTENT AND MANNER OF HELP?The decision on how much to help was made progressively, acknowledging the fluid situation post-divorce.The process involves constant reassessment based on changing needs and situations.Supporting a child who feels like they've failed requires careful emotional and financial consideration.The principle of loving your children equally but treating them uniquely guided their approach, especially in allocating resources differently from other siblings. WHAT DID THE JOURNEY TO REESTABLISHING SELF-SUFFICIENCY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER LOOK LIKE?The path to self-sufficiency was gradual, spanning several years until she remarried and established her career.Support extended beyond financial help to include significant time spent babysitting and being involved in her and her son's life.The closeness to their grandson is a testament to the time and care invested during this period. HOW SIGNIFICANT WAS PRAYER IN THIS PROCESS?The power of prayer and the support of friends played a critical role in navigating the challenges of divorce and single parenthood.Ron Blue emphasizes the importance of adaptability, empathy, and a tailored approach when supporting a family member through divorce, underpinned by a strong foundation of prayer and support. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I found out my 403(b) contributions stopped without my knowledge, and now I have $49,000 sitting unmanaged; what should I do with this account moving forward?My daughter, who has moved away from her faith, wants to buy land in a foreign country and is asking for a significant financial contribution from us; how should we handle this as believing parents?I'm considering investing in a fixed index annuity offering a 40% initial bonus and subsequent returns based on interest rates; is this a good investment for me?I acquired two properties through a 1031 exchange and want them to transfer to my son upon my death without tax implications; how can I ensure this happens smoothly? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/7/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Housing Market: Rent or Buy?

IMPACT OF COVID ON HOUSING MARKET AND RENT VS. BUY DEBATEThere’s no question that we’re still feeling the impact of the COVID pandemic. The COVID pandemic significantly disrupted the housing market, increasing home prices and rental rates, making it challenging for first-time home buyers.Also during that time, rental rates also skyrocketed. In the age-old debate, rent vs. buy, things have shifted. CURRENT HOUSING MARKET CONDITIONS:Skyhigh mortgage payments: On average, new mortgage payments are now 52% higher than apartment rents, the largest gap in 27 years, according to CBRE.Low first-time home buyer activity: Only 26% of buyers were first-timers in 2022, the lowest percentage on record by the National Association of Realtors.Steady home values despite high mortgage rates: Despite expectations, high mortgage rates haven't lowered home values due to low housing inventory. RENTAL MARKET AS THE NEW "VALUE OPTION":Changing perspective on renting vs. buying: Renting is now seen as more financially sensible for many, as it doesn't involve skyhigh mortgage payments and allows for flexibility in this uncertain market. FUTURE MARKET CORRECTIONS EXPECTED:Market self-correction: The free market is expected to adjust—more houses built if needed, material costs to decrease with increased production, and interest rates to align with economic conditions, potentially making housing more affordable. STEPS TOWARDS HOMEOWNERSHIP WHILE RENTING:1. Reduce debt: Pay off credit cards and make extra payments on car loans to improve the debt-to-income ratio.2. Improve credit score: Ensure timely payments, check and dispute any errors on credit reports to secure lower interest rates.3. Increase savings: Save diligently for a down payment, aiming for 20% to avoid private mortgage insurance, ultimately reducing monthly payments. SCRIPTURAL ENCOURAGEMENT:Follow God’s financial principles and see what He will do. Romans 12:12 reads, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have about $4,000 in credit card bills due to lawyer bills and am considering taking money out of my IRA to pay it off; is this a good idea?My husband and I are considering selling our rental properties due to active management demands, but are concerned about capital gains; are there any other options?Our church has $500,000 we'd like to invest to get a better yield than our current savings account, considering we'll need some of the money in about 14 months; what do you recommend?I retired in January and have two 401(k)s not performing well; I'm considering moving some of the money into more guaranteed interest options and need advice on what percentage to allocate.I have a home with a $72,000 mortgage and $90,000 in savings; should I pay off my house with the savings? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsChristian Community Credit UnionFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/6/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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3 Tips for Financial Wellness With Neile Simon

Neile Simon is a Certified Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors, and underwriter of this program.  WHAT ARE SOME TRIED AND TRUE WAYS TO AVOID DEBT AND PROMOTE FINANCIAL WELLNESS?Neile Simon from Christian Credit Counselors shares key strategies to manage finances effectively, emphasizing the importance of budgeting, reducing debt, and saving for emergencies.Creating or updating a budget is crucial: Most Americans need to revisit their budgets, especially to adjust for inflation. Your budget should track major expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and more. It's also wise to review and possibly reduce subscriptions to entertainment services by examining bank and credit card statements for auto payments.Paying down credit card debt is vital: Credit card debt is expensive, with average interest rates over 20%. Making only minimum payments on a balance can extend repayment over years, resulting in high interest costs. Neely recommends exploring debt consolidation through a debt management program to lower interest rates and achieve faster debt elimination.Starting an emergency fund is essential: An emergency fund provides a financial buffer for unexpected expenses and can help avoid further debt. The recommendation is to save three to six months' worth of expenses, but starting with a smaller goal, like $500, is also beneficial. Automating savings can help build this fund over time. HOW CAN CHRISTIAN CREDIT COUNSELORS HELP PEOPLE FEELING OVERWHELMED BY DEBT?Christian Credit Counselors offer a debt management program designed to significantly reduce the time and cost of debt repayment, supporting clients to honor their debts fully.Christian Credit Counselors provide an action plan: They help individuals develop a comprehensive strategy to get out of debt 80% faster while fully honoring their debts. This includes lowering interest rates and establishing a manageable monthly payment plan.Free consultation for personalized advice: Interested individuals can reach out to Christian Credit Counselors for a free consultation to discuss their specific situation and get started on the path to financial wellness. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm trying to decide whether to use investment money or home equity to pay off credit card bills and car payments.I'm curious about the legitimacy and benefits of using online auto refinance companies for better rates compared to traditional banks or credit unions.I want my required IRA withdrawal to go directly to charity before taxes to avoid raising my tax bracket; is this possible?My husband and I, being mortgage-free and considering building a small Airbnb on our property for extra income, are wondering how to choose the best company for a home equity line of credit. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsMovement Mortgage Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Banking On Eternal Rewards With Aaron Caid

Aaron Caid joins us again today. Aaron’s the Chief Marketing Officer at Christian Community Credit Union, an underwriter of this program. INTEGRATING STEWARDSHIP INTO DAILY LIVING: HOW CAN CHRISTIANS PRACTICALLY APPLY THE CONCEPT OF STEWARDSHIP IN THEIR DAILY LIVESRecent research showed that while Christians understand the concept of stewardship, they often struggle with practical application in daily life.Over 80% of surveyed Christians believe applying stewardship principles positively impacts their lives.Many expressed a desire to learn basic stewardship principles and how to use financial blessings in a God-honoring way. THE IMPACT OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION (CCCU) ON MINISTRIES LIKE HOUSE OF REFUGE SUNNYSLOPE:House of Refuge Sunnyslope in Phoenix provides transitional housing and focuses on preventing homelessness and sharing the gospel.CCCU helped them acquire adjacent property to expand their single moms program, providing affordable financing and rapid problem-solving.CCCU’s contributions are guided by Scripture, investing resources in ministries that further the gospel and support vulnerable communities. THE ROLE OF CCCU MEMBERS IN KINGDOM WORK AND TREASURE BUILDING IN HEAVEN:Joining CCCU aligns members with a Christian financial institution that invests in spreading the gospel and aiding ministries.Members’ deposits help provide affordable financing for church construction and ministry growth.Products like the Cash Rewards Visa Card benefit members and contribute to Christian charities, with CCCU having donated over $6 million to date. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm interested in internet banks for their high savings and CD rates, which seem to offer over 5%, and I want your opinion on them.At 76 years old and retired with various accounts like annuities and a money market, I'm wondering if there are any other financial avenues I should consider at this stage in my life.With $125,000 saved to buy a property in Florida, I'm unsure what to do with this amount as it has been sitting in a bank for over 10 years in a regular money market account.I'm 61, and my wife is 63. We're looking to renovate our paid-off house and are considering how to finance the updates, including potentially using our HELOC, which is one minus prime.RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/2/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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How Much Can You Make On Social Security?

DECIDING WHEN TO START RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITSIt's recommended to delay receiving Social Security benefits until Full Retirement Age (FRA) of 66 or 67, as benefits are permanently reduced by about 8% for each year you start taking them before reaching FRA. BREAK-EVEN POINT FOR DELAYING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITSIf you delay receiving Social Security benefits until FRA, it takes nearly 12 years to recoup the money you missed by not taking benefits early. After around age 79, you'll be financially ahead each month for the rest of your life. LIFE EXPECTANCY CONSIDERATIONS FOR SOCIAL SECURITYOnce you reach age 65, the average life expectancy is 86 for females and 83 for males. While there's no guarantee of living that long, the odds are in your favor, making it beneficial to wait for higher monthly benefits. WORKING WHILE RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITSIf you start receiving Social Security benefits before FRA and continue to work, your benefits will be temporarily reduced if you earn more than a certain amount. For 2024, the earning limit is $22,320 before FRA and $59,520 in the year you reach FRA. REIMBURSEMENT OF REDUCED SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITSAny reduction in your Social Security benefits due to earning above the limit will be reimbursed once you reach FRA. The reduction is calculated as $1 for every $2 or $3 earned above the limit, depending on your age. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:As a pastor with a salary of $70,000 and a housing allowance of $20,000, can I still claim the standard government deduction after reducing my taxable income to $50,000?I have a rental property I'm considering selling in a year or two; do I have to pay capital gains on it and can I use some of the sale funds to pay off my primary residence?My husband and I are in our early 50s, working with a solid retirement plan, and are exploring mutual funds to save for home renovations and other goals in the next 5-10 years.RESOURCES MENTIONED:For selecting mutual funds: Betterment or Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
2/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Starting a Stewardship Ministry With Leo Sabo

Leo Sabo is president of the Christian Stewardship Network and a Faith and Finance contributor. He also knows a thing or two about starting a stewardship ministry.  THE FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE OF STEWARDSHIP MINISTRIES IN CHURCHESBiblical Foundation: Stewardship ministries are vital as they align with biblical teachings about money and possessions, which are prevalent throughout the Bible.Discipleship and Purpose: These ministries guide congregants in using money as a tool for fulfilling their God-given calling and purposes, emphasizing discipleship in financial matters. STEPS FOR ESTABLISHING A STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY IN A CHURCH1. Securing Leadership Support: Begin by gaining the church leadership's endorsement. Emphasize that the ministry's focus is on making true disciples and equipping them, rather than just fundraising.2. Assessing Congregational Needs: Understand the financial needs and desires of the church members through surveys. Tailor the ministry's educational content to these identified needs.3. Team Formation and Training: Assemble a passionate team and provide them with comprehensive training that includes both biblical teachings and practical application.4. Initiating the Ministry: Launch with a significant event, like a seminar or workshop, to establish the ministry's presence and importance in the church community.5. Celebrating and Reporting Impact: Share success stories and regularly report the ministry's positive impact to maintain support and encourage participation. RESOURCES AND SUPPORT FOR CHURCHES INITIATING STEWARDSHIP MINISTRIESChristian Stewardship Network: The network offers a wealth of resources, including training programs and a platform for connecting with other stewardship leaders. Annual Forums and Continuous Learning: They organize events like the CSN Annual Forum and continuously release new courses to keep stewardship leaders updated and equipped.Membership and Community Connection: By joining the network, church leaders can engage with a larger community of stewardship professionals, enhancing their ministry's effectiveness through shared knowledge and experiences. CONCLUSION AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PARTICIPATIONImportance of Involvement: Leo Saibot underscores the significance of these ministries and encourages listeners to visit the Christian Stewardship Network for further guidance and resources. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:My 14-year-old son has saved $100 and is asking for advice on how to start smart with his financial life; what would be the best advice for him?I'm contemplating a reverse mortgage for my home valued at over a million dollars, but I'm concerned about the implications and whether it's the best option for my financial situation.I own a rental property and the renter wants to buy it, along with an additional acre of land; I'm considering selling it and need advice on how to handle this transaction and its impact on my finances.I'm looking at downsizing and came across a 'lifestyle home loan' which seems like a reverse mortgage; I want to know if this is a good option for me and what it entails. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Robinhood or Stockpile for fractional shares investingEventide Mutual Funds for faith-based investingMovement Mortgage for evaluating or getting a second opinion on home loans Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/31/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Private Market Investing With Tim Macready

Tim Macready is head of Global Multi-Asset Investing with BrightLight, an EverSource Wealth Advisors Team. HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN AND A LEADER IN THE FAITH-BASED INVESTING MOVEMENT?Tim grew up on the mission field and returned to Australia for studies, initially working with pension plans. His desire to do something meaningful led him to a faith-based pension fund in Sydney. For 15 years, he has explored what it means to be a faithful steward of God's resources, now working with pension funds, investment advisors, and families at the intersection of faith and investing. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MARKETS IN INVESTING?Private markets differ from public markets in investment structures, using vehicles like private market funds, real estate investment trusts, and limited partnerships instead of mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs. These are typically aimed at more experienced investors with larger investment sizes and hold various assets such as venture capital, private equity, or private credit. HOW DO PRIVATE MARKET INVESTMENTS OFFER DIVERSIFICATION?Private markets are used by large investors to diversify into different types of assets and specific themes. These investments are becoming more accessible to smaller investors, offering diversification away from traditional public stocks and bonds. HOW DO FAITH-BASED INVESTMENTS INTERSECT WITH PRIVATE MARKETS?Initially, there were hardly any faith-based options in private markets, but now there are 50 to 100 faith-based private market funds and hundreds more in broader impact investing. Most are still for qualified or accredited investors, but I'm optimistic that faith-integrated private market investments will become available to everyday investors soon. WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND POTENTIAL PERFORMANCE OF PRIVATE MARKET INVESTMENTS?Investors should be aware of risks, especially liquidity, as private market funds cannot be sold as quickly as public stocks or bonds. Private markets can have more volatile performance due to concentrated portfolios but offer diversification and potential for investment outcomes independent of public markets. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm a 76-year-old single woman with a home valued over a million dollars, $80,000 in cash, and $2,000 monthly from Social Security. I enjoy a good lifestyle but am unsure about my financial future and options.I own a rental property adjacent to my home and the renter wants to buy it, along with an additional acre of land. Should I sell it as one parcel to maximize capital gains, and how can I transition from this passive income?I'm currently employed full-time but struggling to make ends meet and pay off debts, including credit cards and a personal loan. I'm considering taking out a loan to invest in a cryptocurrency business for additional income. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Movement MortgageChristian Credit Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/30/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Financial Injustice

GOD'S CREATION AND EXPECTATIONS:God created humanity in His image, as reflected in Psalm 139:13 and Ephesians 2:10. These Scriptures emphasize His intention for His people to live justly and righteously. THE REALITY OF FINANCIAL INJUSTICE:The world, marred by sins such as greed, envy, dishonesty, and pride, often leads to the unfair financial exploitation of others, a stark reality that Christians must recognize. BIBLICAL WARNINGS AGAINST FINANCIAL INJUSTICE:The Scriptures provide clear warnings against various forms of financial injustice:Proverbs 22:16 and 14:31 caution against oppressing the poor, teaching that such actions lead to poverty and are an insult to God.Proverbs 20:10 denounces dishonesty in transactions, labeling unequal weights and measures as abominable to the Lord.Psalm 12:5 reflects God's concern for victims of robbery and embezzlement, assuring His protection and support.Exodus 23 explicitly forbids false testimony and bias in legal matters, underscoring the importance of integrity in financial dealings. CONSEQUENCES OF INJUSTICE:Galatians 6:7 tells us that God is not mocked; individuals will reap the consequences of their actions, highlighting the seriousness of engaging in injustice. CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO INJUSTICE:In confronting sin within the community, Christians should adhere to Jesus' instructions in Matthew 18.Reporting legal wrongdoing to authorities is a necessary step when witnessing financial misconduct.Prayer is a powerful tool for addressing injustices beyond one's immediate influence, seeking God's intervention for the oppressed and the exposure of evil.Victims of financial injustice are encouraged to seek resolution through church or secular authorities and to expose fraudulent activities to prevent others from being victimized. MAINTAINING PERSONAL INTEGRITY:In cases of personal discrimination or unkindness, upholding one's integrity is crucial. Psalm 41 offers solace, affirming God's support for those who maintain their integrity.Jesus' assurance in John 16:33 provides comfort in the midst of worldly injustices, reminding believers of His ultimate victory. CONCLUSION:We wrap up our thoughts on financial injustice with a reminder from Micah 6:8 that Christians are expected to “… act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. “ ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I've been diagnosed with cancer and plan to retire this year; my wife will continue working. How should I manage my finances, including $500,000 in a 401k and the option of taking Social Security now or later?I'm 66 years old and recently moved from my home to a rental. I'm enjoying renting but wonder if there's a benchmark for when it's wise to step back into homeownership.Should I pay a tithe on my Social Security income, and if so, how do I calculate the right amount to give?Where can my son and his wife go for budgeting assistance? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Certified Christian Financial Counselors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/29/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Futility of Fear

SCRIPTURES ON FEAR AND GOD'S PRESENCE:Jesus asks a powerful question about worry in Matthew 6:27, asking, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”Romans 8:15 encourages reliance on God instead of falling back into fear: "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”Faith is the opposite of fear, and fear is a tool used by Satan to distract from God's goodness. COMMON "WHAT-IF" FEARS AND THEIR FUTILITY:Rob lists common "what-if" scenarios that lead to fear about the future, highlighting their tendency to divert focus from God’s plan. BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON FEAR:Isaiah 54:17 offers reassurance: "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.John 16:33 affirms that despite tribulations in the world, victory in Christ is assured: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”Isaiah 41:13 reassures God's help and presence: “I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand, who says, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.”1 Timothy 1:7 emphasizes that God grants us a spirit of power, love, and sound mind instead of fear.Proverbs 12:25 highlights the negative impact of anxiety and the uplifting power of kindness: “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm old-school and accustomed to writing checks, should I switch to online bill payment, and is it safer?Concerned about the possibility of an audit, I'm debating whether to itemize my donations this year or wait until next year, given my wife's concerns about the audit process.I contribute 15% to my Roth 401(k) and want to know if it's better to split contributions between traditional and Roth accounts. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Movement MortgageSound Mind Investing:SoundMindInvesting.orgCredit Karma:CreditKarma.comChristian Credit Counselors:christiancreditcounselors.orgFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/26/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Missed Open Enrollment, No Problem With Lauren Gajdek

Lauren Gajdek is Vice President of Communications and Media at Christian Healthcare Ministries, an underwriter of this program. WHY IS CHRISTIAN HEALTHCARE MINISTRIES A LIFESAVER FOR THOSE WHO MISSED THE OPEN ENROLLMENT DEADLINE?Lauren explains that Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) operates differently from traditional insurance companies, allowing people to join at any time of the year without waiting for an open enrollment season. This flexibility makes CHM accessible for those who have missed enrollment deadlines.CHM allows joining anytime.It operates on a biblical concept of sharing resources among members.CHM has shared over $10 billion in members' medical bills, demonstrating its extensive support network. HOW DOES CHM DIFFER FROM TRADITIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?CHM is a medical cost-sharing organization, not an insurance company. It's based on a biblical concept where believers pool resources to ensure no one is left in need. Lauren emphasizes that CHM's approach has enabled the sharing of substantial amounts of medical bills, providing a reliable alternative to traditional health insurance.CHM is a medical cost-sharing organization inspired by biblical principles.It emphasizes mutual support among members, replicating the early church's resource sharing.CHM's long history and significant bill-sharing reflect its effectiveness and reliability. WHAT ARE THE COST BENEFITS OF CHM COMPARED TO TRADITIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE?Lauren highlights the affordability of CHM, with membership costs ranging from $92 to $267 per month for an individual, regardless of health history, age, or weight. She points out that CHM's 'personal responsibility' costs, similar to deductibles, are significantly lower than high insurance deductibles, making it an affordable option.CHM offers affordable membership rates, unrelated to personal health factors.It provides a financially viable alternative to high-deductible health insurance plans.The 'personal responsibility' cost in CHM is capped annually, enhancing its affordability. WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL COMPONENT OF CHM?The spiritual aspect of CHM, as Lauren explains, is based on Galatians 6:2, focusing on bearing each other's burdens. This spiritual support is manifested through prayer, encouragement, and being a part of a larger Christian community, adding a significant dimension to the financial assistance CHM provides.CHM emphasizes spiritual support alongside financial assistance.Members engage in prayer and encouragement, strengthening communal bonds.The ministry operates under the principle of bearing each other's burdens as a reflection of Christ's teachings. For more information or to explore joining CHM, visitChristian Health Care Ministries or call 800-791-6225. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have a $79,000 annuity with an insurance company and am considering rolling it over into my IRA for better returns, but I'm unsure if it's a good idea.Is debt consolidation worth it, and can you recommend any companies for it?As a military veteran with a head injury and recent widower, I'm unsure about filing a special tax return; what should I do?I had hail damage to my roof and a roofing company wants to replace it, but I can't afford the $2,000 deductible. Is it proper or legal to find another company that can offset this amount?I own my home and recently sold some real estate for about $750,000. I'm interested in other investment properties but didn't file the proper form for a 1031 exchange. What can I do now? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/25/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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The Bible’s Financial Wisdom With Sharon Epps

Sharon Epps is the president of Kingdom Advisors, our parent organization. Kingdom Advisors is a group dedicated to training financial professionals to guide and advise you according to biblical principles. WHAT ARE THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES RELATED TO CASH FLOW AND LIVING EXPENSES?Sharon emphasizes the importance of spending less than we earn, drawing from Philippians which teaches contentment in all situations. Contentment is key in managing finances as it helps us be satisfied with what we have and avoid unnecessary spending.To improve financial health, it's vital to spend less than what we earn.Contentment with our current situation is crucial for financial stability.Reducing living expenses is a quick way to enhance cash flow. HOW CAN WE TRAIN OUR CHILDREN IN FINANCIAL MATTERS FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE?Proverbs 22:6 tells us to train children in the way they should go, including financial education. Sharon suggests setting an example through actions rather than just words, teaching children both financial literacy and a biblical worldview of money.Train children in financial matters, including the importance of savings and understanding debt.It's essential to model good financial behavior as children learn more from what they see than from what they hear.A biblical worldview of money, emphasizing stewardship and generosity, should be part of their financial education. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT BORROWING AND DEBT?Proverbs 22:7 warns about the dangers of borrowing, portraying the borrower as a slave to the lender. Borrowing can sometimes prevent us from seeing God's provision and often presumes on the future. Sharon advises careful consideration before taking on debt, ensuring there's a guaranteed way to repay.Borrowing should be approached with caution, as it can lead to financial slavery.It's important to consider if the economic return of borrowing outweighs the cost.Before taking on debt, ensure unity with a spouse, exhaust all alternatives, and have a guaranteed repayment plan. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF GOAL SETTING ACCORDING TO BIBLICAL WISDOM?Sharon highlights the importance of setting goals, referencing Proverbs 16:3 which directs us to commit our plans to the Lord. Goal setting, when done prayerfully, aligns our financial plans with God's will and allows for flexibility as He leads.Setting financial goals helps align our plans with God's will.Goals should be set prayerfully, keeping open to God's guidance and changes.Flexibility in goals allows for God's intervention and redirection. HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS APPROACH PAYING TAXES ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?Referencing Luke 20:25, Sharon says that Jesus teaches to render to Caesar what is Caesar's. Paying taxes should be seen as a part of God's provision, recognizing that income is the reason for taxation. She emphasizes that seeking tax deductions shouldn't lead to unnecessary spending.Paying taxes is part of our duty and a reflection of God's provision.Taxes are symptomatic of income; reducing them often costs more in the long run.Rejoicing in the ability to pay taxes acknowledges God's provision in our lives. Sharon also discussed the principles of investing, understanding net worth, life insurance, life planning, and the role of a Certified Kingdom Advisor in integrating faith into financial decision-making. For more information on becoming a Certified Kingdom Advisor or finding one, visitKingdom Advisors. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I recently bought a car with cash after initially considering financing it, and I'm receiving notifications about a hard credit check; can you explain why this impacts my credit score?We came into some money, about $25,000, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage it without nickel-and-diming it away.RESOURCES MENTIONED:Bankrate for finding the best online savings account rates:bankrate.comRemember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/24/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Rebalance Your Portfolio With Mark Biller

Mark Biller is executive editor at Sound Mind Investing, an underwriter of this program.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ALLOCATE YOUR PORTFOLIO OR REBALANCE IT?Mark Biller explains that asset allocation refers to the distribution of investments across various asset types, like stocks and bonds. Portfolio rebalancing is the process of adjusting the portfolio back to its target allocation. This is necessary because different investments perform differently over time, causing the portfolio to drift from its intended allocation. Rebalancing involves selling assets that have grown beyond their target percentage and buying those that are underrepresented to maintain the desired risk/reward balance.Asset allocation involves deciding how much to invest in different asset types like stocks and bonds.Portfolio rebalancing is adjusting the investment mix back to the target allocation.Rebalancing ensures the portfolio stays aligned with the investor's risk tolerance and goals. HOW DOES ONE DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE TARGET ASSET ALLOCATION?The appropriate target asset allocation depends on the investor's goals, risk tolerance, and time until retirement. A thorough risk assessment is typically one of the first steps in investment planning. For example, someone with many years until retirement can usually afford more risk compared to someone closer to retirement. This assessment is crucial to arriving at an appropriate asset allocation target.Determining the right asset allocation involves considering personal goals, risk tolerance, and time until retirement.Younger investors can typically afford more risk than those nearing retirement.A detailed risk assessment is essential in setting the right target allocation. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REBALANCING AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD IT BE DONE?Rebalancing aligns the investor's portfolio with their ideal mix of risk versus reward. It also helps in achieving the goal of buying low and selling high by adjusting investments based on their performance. While conventional wisdom suggests rebalancing once a year, the key is to ensure the portfolio remains close to the target allocation. This process can be more straightforward for those with fewer asset types and more complex for diversified portfolios. It's also often a service provided by financial advisors.Rebalancing aligns the investment portfolio with the investor's ideal risk-reward mix.It helps to buy low and sell high by adjusting based on performance.Regular rebalancing, often yearly, is recommended to maintain the target allocation. WHAT ARE TARGET DATE FUNDS AND HOW DO THEY RELATE TO REBALANCING?Target date funds, increasingly popular in retirement plans, automatically handle asset allocation and rebalancing. These funds have a year in their name indicating the target retirement date, and the fund's allocation of stocks and bonds is managed accordingly. While convenient, it's important to ensure that the fund's assumptions match the investor's specific needs, as they can sometimes be more conservative than ideal. Choosing a fund with a different target year can adjust the asset allocation to better suit personal preferences.Target date funds automatically manage asset allocation and rebalancing for retirement.They may be more conservative, so it's important to choose one that aligns with personal goals and risk tolerance.Adjusting the target year can help match the fund's allocation to the investor's preferences. You’ll find a more detailed guide at Sound Mind Investing’s website. It’s called “SMI’s 2024 Rebalancing Guide.” ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have enough savings to pay off my car loan with a balance of $12,000 and an interest rate of 3.84%; should I pay it off now while still having savings left?As I retire today at 65 and a half and plan to keep working, will my Social Security benefits increase if I continue working until 70? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.    Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/23/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Act Your Wage With Howard Dayton

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3.Howard Dayton is the founder of Compass— Finances God’s Way and the former host of this program.  HOW DOES A SPENDING PLAN HELP WITH MANAGING YOUR MONEY AND REDUCING YOUR DEBT?Howard, founder of Compass Finances God's Way, introduces the concept of a spending plan (budget). He explains that a spending plan is not just about restricting expenses but is a strategic tool that helps direct money towards achieving life goals and reducing debt. The plan also controls impulse spending and is flexible enough to adjust as needed.A spending plan is a strategic tool for directing money towards life goals and debt reduction.It controls impulse spending and is flexible for adjustments.Spending plans are ultimately freeing, not stifling. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING A SPENDING PLAN AND HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THEM?The implementation of a spending plan can be challenging due to lifestyle changes and the need to make hard decisions. Howard advises that to effectively reduce spending, individuals may need to trim expenses, or even sell assets with high liabilities. He emphasizes that making both big and small cuts can significantly reduce monthly expenses.Implementing a spending plan may require lifestyle changes and hard decisions.Cutting back on expenses like entertainment and dining out can help reduce monthly spending.Selling high-liability assets (like a car with a loan) can also contribute to your financial health. HOW SHOULD COUPLES APPROACH SETTING UP A SPENDING PLAN?Howard highlights the importance of teamwork and communication for couples in setting up a spending plan. He mentions that patience and flexibility are key, considering the different personalities and money-handling approaches of each partner. The goal is to achieve unity in financial decisions, reflecting the harmony intended in marriage.Couples should work together and communicate openly while setting up a spending plan.Patience and flexibility are important due to different financial personalities and approaches.Unity in financial decisions is crucial for marital harmony. WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF A 'MONEY DATE' AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD IT OCCUR?Howard recommends regular ‘money dates', ideally every other week, where couples review their financial situation. These dates are for reviewing income, expenses, and encouraging each other, avoiding the blame game. This regular check-in ensures both partners are aligned and accountable in their financial journey.A 'money date' is a regular meeting for couples to review and discuss their financial situation.It should occur at least every other week for effective financial management.This practice encourages mutual support and accountability in managing finances. WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF HAVING A SPENDING PLAN ON LONG-TERM FINANCIAL HEALTH?While not directly addressed in the conversation, it's implied that a well-implemented spending plan positively impacts long-term financial health. By ensuring money is spent according to set goals and priorities, individuals and couples can avoid debt accumulation, save for emergencies, and invest wisely, all of which contribute to financial stability and growth.A spending plan leads to better control over finances and avoids unnecessary debt.It facilitates saving for emergencies and wise investments.Long-term, it contributes to financial stability and growth. You can learn more about the new video study from Compass — Finances God’s Way, Navigating Your Finances God’s Way, at navstudy.org. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I sold my house and used some Roth IRA money for a new house, planning to put it back when I sold another property. Should I use more retirement money for a bigger house without a mortgage?My wife and I are wondering if we should tithe before or after taxes. What's your opinion on this?I recently inherited some money and my advisor recommends a fee-based account for stock and bond trading. Is this a good idea as I approach retirement?As a 55-year-old with a special needs son and limited retirement savings, how can I prepare for retirement and ensure my son is cared for? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Social Security Administration website:ssa.govFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/22/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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4 Keys to Replace Striving with Thriving With John Putnam

Matthew 6:28-29: “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”John Putnam is a certified financial planner, a Certified Kingdom Advisor, and founder of Smarter Stewardship, a marketplace ministry.  HOW DO YOU COUNSEL PEOPLE WHO WORRY ABOUT MONEY, ESPECIALLY WITH TALK OF A LOOMING RECESSION?John Putnam discusses Matthew 6:28-29 and what it teaches us about God's provision and the importance of not being anxious.Focus on God's provision, as shown in nature, to minimize worry.Striving, or being overly concerned with the future, should be replaced by thriving, or being present in the moment God created.Anxiety does not add value to life; instead, it distracts from experiencing God's blessings. WHAT DOES REPLACING STRIVING WITH THRIVING LOOK LIKE?Replacing the struggle of striving with thriving involves being present in financial moments, patient, and generous, aligning with Jesus' approach to life.Being present in financial moments God gives, avoiding debt which can delay God’s provision.Being patient, following Jesus’ example of intentional ministry without haste.Being generous to others as a way to combat worldly worries and emulate Jesus' actions. HOW IMPORTANT IS UNDERSTANDING OUR ROLE AS STEWARDS IN THIS CONTEXT?John emphasizes the importance of stewardship, highlighting that everything belongs to God and leaving room for God's intervention in our finances and life can lead to peace and amazement.Acknowledging everything as God's provision leads to peace.As stewards, we should play our part but also allow God to work in our lives.Realizing the holistic provision from God helps replace worry with thriving. SUMMARY OF JOHN PUTNAM'S ADVICE ON MONEY AND STEWARDSHIPJohn Putnam concludes by encouraging people to focus on the overall provision from God and not let money concerns hinder enjoying life’s blessings.Replace worry and striving with a focus on God's overall provision.Embrace the specialness of life and God's goodness without being held back by money concerns.Trust in God's plan and stewardship to lead a fulfilling life. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I purchased a used vehicle and was offered an extended warranty. Is it advisable to get an extended warranty for a used car?I have the option to receive a buyout from my pension plan now or wait until retirement for a monthly payout. Should I take the lump sum to pay off my house, or wait for the monthly payments later?I own an older vehicle and am transitioning to newer models. When is it appropriate to switch from full coverage to just liability insurance?I have an old Honda Accord with a recall issue and now face a costly repair. Should I invest in repairing it, or consider buying a newer car considering I have upcoming housing expenses and a new job?Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/19/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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8 Habits of Wise Women Managing Money With Miriam Neff

Miriam Neff back on the program. She’s the founder and president of Widow Connection, a ministry dedicated to helping women overcome and thrive after the loss of a husband. She’s also co-author, with her daughter Valerie Neff Hogan, of Wise Women Managing Money.  THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN UNDERSTANDING FINANCESMiriam Neff discusses the importance of women, including widows and single moms, understanding and managing finances. She emphasizes that women manage over 51% of wealth in the U.S., and this number is growing.Every woman should understand finances, regardless of their marital status.It's crucial to acknowledge that all possessions are God's and manage them accordingly.Knowing the 'why' behind financial management is essential as it aligns with God's purpose. EIGHT HABITS OF WISE WOMEN MANAGING MONEYMiriam Neff outlines eight habits for effective money management, particularly for women who may suddenly find themselves in charge of household finances.1. ACKNOWLEDGE ALL BELONGINGS AS GOD'S: Recognize that everything, including income, housing, and personal belongings, are God's resources.2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR FINANCES: Emphasize the importance of being aware and responsible for personal finances.3. CREATE A SPENDING PLAN BASED ON INCOME AND VALUES: Develop a budget that reflects income and aligns with personal and spiritual values.4. CONSIDER THE HEART'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY: Reflect on personal attitudes and priorities regarding money to ensure they align with biblical teachings.5. AVOID EXCUSES IN FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: Resist justifying poor financial decisions and take personal responsibility for money management.6. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Acknowledge personal control over financial decisions and resist blaming circumstances or others.7. REGULARLY REVIEW AND ADJUST FINANCIAL PLANS: Continuously reassess and adapt financial plans to accommodate changes such as inflation.8. INVEST IN KINGDOM PURPOSES: Encourage investing in projects that have eternal value and contribute to God's work.Miriam stresses the importance of these habits not only for financial stability but also for aligning your financial decisions with your faith and values. STICKING TO THESE HABITS: RemindersAccountability partnerAvoid giving detailed information ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I own some collectible coins for over 20 years, including slab coins and rare pennies; when is a good time to sell these, and do they fluctuate like the equities market?I've retired and have a rollover IRA worth $119,000 and a Roth IRA worth $11,000; should I consider withdrawing from my IRA to pay off a $40,000 roof replacement loan with a 10% interest rate?I bought property a few years ago intending to give it to my son, who built and sold a house on it this year; how can I manage the capital gains tax since the property was still in my name at the time of sale? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/18/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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10 Predictions for 2024 With Bob Doll

REFLECTION ON LAST YEAR'S PREDICTIONSBob Doll reflects on his previous year's predictions, noting that while they achieved a 50% accuracy rate, it fell short of their usual 72% mark. The unexpected strength in the economy and labor market, combined with a decrease in inflation, led to deviations from their projections.The economy was stronger than expected, preventing the anticipated recession.Inflation continued to decrease but did not reach the central bank's target of 2%.Stock market valuations increased, particularly for a small group of high-performing stocks. OUTLOOK ON THE US ECONOMY FOR THE UPCOMING YEARBob predicts a mild recession for the upcoming year, citing residual issues from Federal Reserve tightening and an inverted yield curve. He expresses skepticism about the current optimistic outlook for a soft landing in the economy.A mild recession is anticipated due to ongoing economic tightening and yield curve inversion.The labor market remains strong, posing challenges for reducing inflation.A shift from almost unanimous recession expectations to widespread soft landing predictions is observed.10 PREDICTIONS FOR 2024:Bob explains that the ideal 'Goldilocks' scenario of perfect economic balance is unlikely. The predictions for 2024 involve trade-offs between strong earnings growth and low inflation, which are mutually exclusive under current economic conditions. 1. The U.S. economy experiences a mild recession as the unemployment rate rises above 4.5%. 2. The 2-3% inflation ceiling of the 2010s becomes the 2-3% inflation floor of the 2020s. 3. The Fed cuts rates fewer than the six times suggested by the Fed funds futures curve4. Credit spreads widen as interest rates decline.5. Earnings growth falls short of the double-digit percentage consensus expectation.6. Stocks record a new all-time high early in the year, but then experience a fade.7. Energy, Financials and Consumer Staples outperform Utilities, Healthcare and Real Estate.8. Faith-based share of industry AUM rises for the eighth year in a row.9. Geopolitical crosscurrents multiply but have little impact on markets.10. The White House, Senate and House all switch parties in November.  THE ONLY THING CERTAIN IS UNCERTAINTYThe main focal point for 2024 is likely to be whether investors enjoy further significant progress on inflation, decent economic growth and double-digit earnings growth. We’re skeptical. Either 1) we get a noticeable slowdown/recession and earnings fall short, or 2) double-digit earnings growth materializes, probably requiring stronger economic growth, less progress (if any) on inflation and a Fed that is boxed in. The long-predicted recession will likely materialize in 2024, although it most likely will be brief and shallow. Also, after the largest growth in the money supply since WWII (due to COVID), we’re now experiencing the biggest decline since the 1930s. Can a productivity boom rescue the U.S. via AI, automation and robotics? Only time will tell. We expect the 2023 momentum and Fed cut euphoria to fade early in the new year, resulting in lackluster earnings growth and downside risk to equities as 2024 unfolds. At some point, the political dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and record non-recession, non-war deficits will pile up even as interest expense takes an even larger share of  ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I purchased a $10,000 I bond back in October 2022 with high rates; should I keep it for a few years and continue investing in it or consider liquidating it?As a truck driver, I spend a lot of time on the road and I'm considering selling my mobile home, which is on rented property, to invest in a piece of land or another home.My wife and I each have an IRA worth about $200,000, and with potential tax rate changes in 2026 and our increasing income due to delayed Social Security benefits, should we consider converting our IRAs to Roths? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/17/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Is Your Budget Due an Overhaul?

INFLATION “FELL”?There’s something you need to understand about the inflation numbers you hear in the news, such as, “Inflation fell to 3.2% last month on an annualized basis.” Some folks think that means prices went down, but it really only means that the rate of price increases has gone down.  INFLATION'S PERMANENT PRICE INCREASES:A decrease in inflation rate means slower price increase, not price reduction.Even if inflation drops to zero, the high prices from past inflation remain. WAGE GROWTH NOT KEEPING UP WITH INFLATION:A significant portion of workers report their wages haven't kept up with inflation, leading to financial strain.Many Americans have used their savings or resorted to credit card use due to the discrepancy between income and rising costs.To cope with financial strain, it's essential to adjust one's lifestyle and budget, potentially including major changes like downsizing.IMMEDIATE COST-CUTTING STRATEGIES:Freeze credit cards literally to curb impulse spending.Remove saved credit card information from online accounts to prevent easy online purchases.Utilize cash for daily expenses to control spending and potentially save 10% to 30%.Preparing extra meals in advance helps avoid expensive fast food, saving money in the long run.Learn to cut hair at home to save on salon expenses, which can add up significantly over time.Lower the temperature in your water heater. Your water heater accounts for 20% of your monthly electricity cost, and lowering it to 120 could cut you 10% on your bill.So there you have it— ways you can cut back on spending today to counteract inflation. Let us know how it works out. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:My wife and I are financially stable and have discussed retiring early, but we're unsure if we have saved enough; when is it enough to retire comfortably and still give to the kingdom?Should I aggressively pay off my student loans now or wait and hope for loan forgiveness, considering I work at a nonprofit and am eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?My son is considering cashing out his Roth IRA to pay off a business mortgage; is this a wise decision given the potential penalties and loss of compound growth?My wife is nearing 62, and we're considering whether to take her Social Security benefits early or wait, especially with concerns about potential future Social Security reductions.I'm interested in online high-yield savings accounts and whether they are as beneficial as they claim to be, and I also want to know if canceling unused credit cards or reducing credit limits can affect my credit score. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/16/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Don’t Forget Beneficiary Designations With Valerie Hogan

WHY ARE BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS IMPORTANT?Beneficiary designations are crucial because they're an easy, quick, and free way to transfer assets, accounts, and insurance benefits after passing away. They take precedence over wills or trusts and are significant because they skip probate and remain private.Beneficiary designations offer a straightforward method to transfer assets after death.They are prioritized over estate planning documents and bypass the probate process.Keeping them updated and accurate is crucial for ensuring assets are distributed as intended. WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO REMEMBER ABOUT DESIGNATING BENEFICIARIES?When designating beneficiaries, it's important to consider various account types like IRAs, 401(k)s, life insurance policies, and regularly update these designations. Ensure that primary and contingent beneficiaries are named and understand the implications of each type. It's also vital to coordinate with your will or trust and consider the potential uneven growth of different assets.Review and update beneficiary designations across different accounts regularly.Distinguish between primary and contingent beneficiaries and understand their roles.Coordinate beneficiary designations with your will or trust to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes. IS THERE EVER A REASON NOT TO DESIGNATE BENEFICIARIES?Generally, there's no good reason to avoid designating beneficiaries. Not doing so can lead to confusion, interpretation by others, or court decisions. Ideally, it's better to name a specific person rather than leaving it to documents or courts.It's always advisable to designate beneficiaries to avoid leaving asset distribution open to interpretation.Designating specific individuals as beneficiaries is preferable to relying on estate documents or courts.Regular updates to beneficiary designations are essential to maintain clarity in estate planning. WHAT ARE COMMON MISTAKES IN HANDLING BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS?A common mistake is the "set it and forget it" approach, where individuals fail to regularly update their beneficiary designations. This oversight can lead to outdated or unintended distributions of assets.Regularly revisiting and updating beneficiary designations is crucial to reflect current intentions.Ignoring the need for updates can result in unintended or outdated asset distribution.Coordinating beneficiary designations with overall estate plans ensures consistency and fulfills intended wishes. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm curious about tax lien auctions; if I purchase a property with a tax lien and the original owner doesn't reclaim it, am I responsible for the existing mortgage?As a retiree, I'm considering using $10,000 annually from my $200,000 retirement fund for family vacations; is this a wise decision?I'm at full retirement age, receiving Social Security while working full-time; I wonder how my continued employment will affect my future Social Security benefits.Next year, when I turn 60, I plan to start drawing Social Security; I'm concerned about the earnings limit and how it affects my benefits.We have an adjustable-rate mortgage; with current high rates, should we consider refinancing or stick with our current mortgage? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/15/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Investing in the Care of Creation With Mark Regier

“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it, for he has founded it on the seas and established it on the rivers.” Psalm 24:1-2: Mark Regier is Vice President of Stewardship Investing at Praxis Mutual Funds. WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP INVESTING AND HOW DOES IT INCORPORATE CREATION CARE?Stewardship investing is an approach rooted in biblical principles, emphasizing responsibility and management of all that God has entrusted to us. It involves recognizing God's ownership over everything and managing resources wisely and according to His wishes. This philosophy extends to caring for our neighbors, seeking justice, peace, and importantly, caring for the world God created.Stewardship investing is about managing resources as God's stewards, recognizing His ownership.The approach involves investing responsibly and ethically, integrating care for neighbors and the environment.It emphasizes investing in ways that do not harm the world but seek to improve it, aligning with biblical stewardship. HOW CAN INVESTMENT MANAGERS SUPPORT CREATION CARE?Investment managers can support creation care through various strategies, including investing in green and social bonds, engaging in shareholder advocacy, and community investing. Green and social bonds finance projects with positive environmental or social impacts. Shareholder advocacy involves using shareholder power to influence corporate behavior towards more sustainable practices. Community investing directs funds to help marginalized communities adapt to a changing climate and embrace emerging technologies.Investing in green and social bonds that finance environmentally friendly projects.Engaging in shareholder advocacy to influence corporate policies and practices.Community investing to support marginalized groups affected by environmental changes. WHAT IS GREENWASHING AND HOW CAN INVESTORS AVOID IT?Greenwashing is when companies or funds claim to be more environmentally friendly or engaged in sustainable practices than they actually are. It's important for investors to research and verify these claims. To avoid greenwashing, investors should look deeply into company or fund activities, visit their websites for environmental reports, understand the information's source, and consider the company's willingness to discuss and address environmental issues. Transparency and evidence of genuine sustainable practices are key to discerning genuine efforts from greenwashing.Greenwashing is misleading claims about environmental practices or benefits.Investors should research and verify environmental claims made by companies or funds.Looking at a company's actual environmental policies, actions, and willingness to engage in discussions about sustainability can help avoid greenwashing. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I live on a fixed income of less than $1,000 a month and want to tithe. Should I adjust my expenses to give 10% or is it more about the condition of my heart when it comes to giving?I have a CD maturing and I'm considering locking into a longer term at a higher interest rate. Is it advisable to lock in for a longer term, like 4.75% for five years? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/12/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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5 Signs You May Need a Certified Christian Financial Counselor With Art Rainer

Art Rainer is Director of the Institute for Christian Financial Health, which administers the Certified Christian Financial Counselor program.  WHAT DO CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL COUNSELORS DO?Christian financial counselors aim to integrate God's design into financial decisions. They guide individuals and couples through making wise financial choices, establishing healthy financial habits, and increasing biblical and financial literacy.They help you understand and pursue God's design for money.They guide you in wise decision-making and developing sound financial habits.They increase your understanding of both biblical and financial principles. WHO NEEDS A CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL COUNSELOR?We actually have a list of signs that may indicate you would benefit from a Christian Financial Counselor:1. Your finances feel out of control. Your finances feel like one big mess. Every month, you are just flying by the seat of your pants. There is no direction, only disorganization. And it stresses you out. You know something must change. A Christian Financial Counselor can help make sense of the mess. They can help you develop financial goals and organize your finances. 2. You need to know what financial step to take next. It feels like you are, financially, just existing. There seems to be no progress in your finances. This is mainly because you have yet to learn what progress looks like. A Christian Financial Counselor can look at your financial situation and suggest wise next steps.3. You need help creating and maintaining a budget. Most of us know that budgeting is a good idea. However, many don’t know how to craft a reasonable budget or have struggled to stick with one. This is one of the top reasons individuals and couples seek out a Christian Financial Counselor. A Christian Financial Counselor educates clients on how to craft a budget and keeps them on track.3. You are loaded with debt. The Bible says that debt is a burden. Anyone who has carried debt would agree with this. And as time goes on, the burden of debt feels heavier. A Christian Financial Counselor will review a client’s debt and craft a debt payoff plan. Having this plan in place and providing regular check-ins motivate clients to pay off debt more quickly.4. You are regularly arguing about money with your spouse. God designed married couples to operate as one, even in finances. And you want this, but you need help to get on the same financial page with your spouse. Money is not a point of unity but a point of division. A Christian Financial Counselor can help a couple get on the same financial page. They can help couples understand one another money personality and how their past experiences with money are influencing their decisions today.5. You need accountability. You know what to do, but this knowledge only sometimes leads to the right action. You are still tempted to spend money you should save. You still give out of your leftovers. You still add to the credit card balance. Regular meetings with a Christian Financial Counselor can create accountability around your finances. Those feeling overwhelmed or disorganized with their finances might consider seeking a Christian financial counselor. Signs include feeling out of control, struggling with budgeting, being burdened by debt, marital discord over money, or needing accountability in financial matters.WHAT ARE THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH CHRISTIAN FINANCIAL COUNSELING?Typically, Christian financial counselors charge an hourly session fee, similar to other counseling services. This investment often leads to significant returns, as clients are more engaged and committed to following the advice given.Most counselors charge an hourly rate, encouraging client commitment.The fees help ensure clients are engaged and complete necessary steps.The return on investment from counseling typically outweighs the cost. WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND MORE INFORMATION OR SEEK COUNSELING?Visit ChristianFinancialHealth.com. The site offers a directory of certified counselors and information on certification programs. ON TODAY'S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I am in my 70s with term life insurance and substantial debt; is it wise to drop my life insurance to pay off the loans?I've recently upped my company contributions to 10% for my 401k and am considering a Roth option; should I diversify more outside the company for better returns?I own an older car with some issues and high mileage; when does it make sense to drop the comprehensive part of my insurance?I have $100,000 in an annuity nearing the end of its term; should I reinvest it at a fixed rate or look into online CDs for potentially higher returns? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Sound Mind InvestingChristian Financial Health Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/11/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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A Tale of Two Widows With Harlan Accola

“If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8It’s a pleasure to welcome Harlan Accola back to the program. Harlan is with Movement Mortgage, an underwriter of this program. He is also the author of Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages: The Cinderella of the Baby Boomer Retirement.  WHY ARE REVERSE MORTGAGES REFERRED TO AS THE CINDERELLA OF RETIREMENT PLANNING?Reverse mortgages are seen as the Cinderella of retirement planning because they have been underestimated but hold significant potential for aiding in financial stability, especially for widows.These government-insured tools have been marginalized but can provide significant help for those living longer, particularly by offering financial support without the burden of monthly repayments.The concept resonates with the Cinderella story due to its transformative potential and the gradual recognition of its value in the retirement planning space. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL FINANCIAL CONDITION OF MANY WIDOWS?Many widows end up in poverty post their spouse's demise. Currently, 20% of women over 65 are in poverty, and that number is increasing. Half of women over 65 are single.Most live only on social security. 50% live into their 90s, while only 30% of men make it into their nineties. Women are four times more likely to outlive their spouses. 85% of people over 85 are widows. After a spouse's death, income usually decreases by 40% because only one social security check continues.  HOW CAN REVERSE MORTGAGES AID?Reverse mortgages can provide financial relief by allowing access to home equity without requiring monthly repayments, thus offering a consistent income stream to manage living expenses and maintain a standard of living. WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC WAYS REVERSE MORTGAGES CAN BE USED TO AID WIDOWS?Delaying Social Security: Reverse mortgages can help individuals delay taking Social Security benefits, thereby increasing the eventual payout and providing a larger financial safety net.Long-term Care: It can be used for covering long-term care expenses, often a significant financial burden, without depleting other retirement savings drastically.Increasing Generosity: By alleviating financial strain, reverse mortgages can enable individuals to continue or even increase their charitable giving, as they find more financial flexibility.Provides Peace of Mind: Utilizing a reverse mortgage can offer significant peace of mind by securing a source of income and potentially freeing up resources for other necessary or desired expenses. WHY IS IT CHALLENGING FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THE BENEFIT OF REVERSE MORTGAGES?Cultural Perception: Reverse mortgages are often seen negatively due to cultural misconceptions and the general aversion to debt, despite being a unique form of debt with no mandatory monthly payments.Misinformation: There's a lack of understanding and misinformation about how reverse mortgages work, their safety, and their place in a comprehensive retirement plan.Stewardship Aspect: Understanding reverse mortgages as a form of stewardship, using all resources God has provided wisely, including home equity, is crucial but often overlooked in the broader context of financial planning. SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS ON REVERSE MORTGAGES AND WIDOWSImportance of Protecting Widows: The Bible mentions widows 102 times, indicating God's concern for their wellbeing and the need for society to protect and support them.Safety and Stewardship: Reverse mortgages are seen as the safest form of borrowing, especially important in the stewardship of God's given resources, including the home.Comprehensive Stewardship: Properly using all assets, including home equity, in alignment with biblical wisdom and stewardship principles, is crucial in ensuring the well-being of the surviving spouse and fulfilling God's command to care for widows. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I recently sold a property and am wondering if it's better to use the proceeds to pay off my investment property or invest in mutual funds?I have some extra money each month and am unsure whether to use it to pay off our mortgage sooner or invest it in a 401k or something similar? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/10/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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A Budget Is Like a Fence

You won’t find the word “budget” in the Bible, but it does say a lot about stewardship— and budgeting is stewardship. Having a spending plan and sticking to it is the only way to control your money, stay out of debt and gain peace of mind about your finances. When you practice faithful stewardship, you no longer have to worry about your money, because you’ve accepted that it’s God’s money. He owns everything. So budgeting is a key part of stewardship.  BIBLICAL BASIS FOR BUDGETINGProverbs 27:23 emphasizes the need to be aware of one's assets: "Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds."Proverbs 21:20 contrasts wise and foolish financial behaviors: "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." COMMON EXCUSES AGAINST BUDGETINGMath Skills Not Required: With tools like the FaithFi app, anyone can set up a budget quickly, even without strong math skills.Overconfidence in Income: Assuming one doesn't need a budget due to high income can be risky, especially with job market uncertainties.Relying on Unemployment Benefits: Unemployment benefits are often insufficient, highlighting the need for a robust emergency fund.Fear of Reality: Fear or shock of realizing overspending on non-essentials can deter budgeting but recognizing this is the first step to better financial health.Past Failures: Initial difficulties in budgeting are normal; perseverance is key.Complacency with Surplus: Surpluses can diminish over time due to inflation or lifestyle creep, underscoring the need for deliberate saving and spending. BENEFITS OF BUDGETINGLiberation over Limitation: A well-maintained budget is liberating rather than limiting, allowing intentional and wise use of money.Preventive Measure: Budgeting acts as a preventive measure against debt and financial crisis, encouraging early adoption of wise spending habits.Intentional Giving: A budget helps in being more intentional in giving, aligning with the understanding that all resources are God's provision. CONCLUSIONChristians should view budgeting not as a restrictive tool but as a liberating and wise approach to managing finances, aligning with biblical stewardship, and ensuring a more secure and intentional use of God's resources.One financial commentator put it like this: “A budget is like a fence around your money. It protects it from impulse spending. You can still spend money on things you enjoy— as long as you stay on budget.”You can hide behind your budget fence and avoid a great deal of financial danger.ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I own two rental properties and am contemplating whether to sell them to the school district, which offered their appraised value, to pay off debts and possibly invest elsewhere or keep them for rental income in retirement.I'm 63 years old, wondering when the best time to start taking Social Security is, and considering selling my paid-off home in a good location, needing advice on the timing and financial implications of both decisions. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/9/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Created for Good Works

The usual “honey-do” jobs are anything but sweet. “Get the oil changed”, “Empty the dishwasher”, and “take the dog to the vet” are a few that come to mind.  But if you think about it, these are jobs we do because we love our family, and we want things to go smoothly around the house.God doesn't require good works for salvation; however, they're a necessary, joyful part of living for Christ. Scripture emphasizes the interconnection of faith and works, underscoring that like a body without spirit is dead, so is faith without works. SCRIPTURE INSIGHTS:James 2: Faith apart from works is dead.Ephesians 2:10: We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.John 11:25: Believing in Christ is the foundational work of God.2 Corinthians 9:8: God will provide all you need to abound in every good work. LIVING OUT FAITH THROUGH GOOD WORKS: Embrace your responsibilities in God's family to keep things running smoothly and to spread God's love. Understand that God has already prepared specific good works for you. To discover these works:Foster a right relationship with Jesus.Engage in prayer and scripture reading to discern God's will.Trust that God will provide the necessary resources, time, and energy. FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP AND GOOD WORKS:Consider good works as part of your spiritual budget, protecting you from missing out on God's blessings and joy. Be proactive in identifying and undertaking the good works God has prepared for you, whether it's meeting a financial need, volunteering your time and skills, or sharing your faith. ENCOURAGEMENT AND ASSURANCE:Even if you're unsure or intimidated by the good works God has for you, remember He provides and guides. Your commitment to doing these works reflects your faith and can lead to a more fulfilled and impactful Christian life. Seek opportunities for generosity and be open to God's leading in every area of your life.You can hide behind your budget fence and avoid a great deal of financial danger. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ALSO ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I own my home with a mortgage set to be paid off in 2039 and have the means to pay it off now, but my attorney advised against it, and I'm unsure what to do.I'm considering closing my long-held Disney credit card due to a shift in values and am concerned about how it will affect my credit score, especially with a possible vehicle purchase ahead.As a 60-year-old single woman raising three minor children with some savings, I need advice on investing to grow my money, particularly as my part-time income won't last forever.How can I locate my previous 401(k)s after learning my former employer switched their 401(k) plan provider, and I'm unsure how to track it down? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/8/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Identity in Money vs Identity in Christ

THE ISSUE OF IDENTITY & BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE:In today's culture, there's pressure to define ourselves by worldly standards, but for Christians, true identity is found in Jesus, not in worldly achievements or possessions.John 1:12 says: But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.DANGERS OF WORLDLY IDENTITY & SPIRITUAL PITFALLS:Focusing on wealth or success can lead to pride, envy, constant comparison, worry about finances, and disillusionment, as these pursuits never truly satisfy.Letting money or success define us can make us believe our worth is tied to our work, income, or spending, leading to a lack of peace and misguided identity. SCRIPTURAL GUIDANCE:Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 1:27 teach that our identity in Christ transcends worldly measures like job status or wealth; our true value is rooted in being made right with God through Jesus.LIVING IN — AND OVERCOMING — A BROKEN WORLD:Despite our identity in Christ, we still face challenges due to living in a broken world, but God continually calls us back to Him, reminding us of our true identity. As children of God, we can rely on Him for provision, help, and peace, free from fear and guilt, supported by the community of believers and empowered by the Holy Spirit. ETERNAL HOPE:If you believe Jesus is the son of God, and acknowledge his work on the cross saves you from sin, your identity is secure as a child of God, forgiven and free.  Your hope is eternal, and your inheritance in Christ will last forever. If you want the full story, read Romans 7 and 8! ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I have a life insurance policy with a critical illness rider in my 50s; should I keep it or change it to a non-rider policy?What data or information are economists using to predict that home interest rates might drop over the next year?I heard about switching from a savings account to a CD with a higher interest rate at Wells Fargo Bank; should I make this switch?I'm retired and considering using part of my $500,000 deferred comp to pay off my $84,000 mortgage, but I'm concerned about the tax implications; also, should I invest this money differently? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Bankrate.com (for comparing interest rates on savings accounts and CDs) Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/5/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Know Your Tax Preparer

UNDERSTANDING THE PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE:Tax preparers are typically CPAs (Certified Public Accountants), Enrolled Agents, or specialized attorneys. CPAs have more stringent requirements than Enrolled Agents.There's a shortage of CPAs and Enrolled Agents, leading to firms hiring high school interns at competitive rates to encourage CPA careers.Due to professional shortages, there's a risk of encountering unscrupulous tax preparers, potentially leading to scams like refund fraud and identity theft. SAFEGUARDS AGAINST FRAUD:Seek preparers available year-round, especially useful in case of audits.Verify the preparer’s IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) through the IRS directory.Inquire about their professional credentials and continuing education to ensure they're up-to-date with tax laws.Check their professional history via the State Board of Accountancy for CPAs, the IRS for Enrolled Agents, and State Bar Association for attorneys. WARNING SIGNS TO WATCH FOR:Avoid preparers who base fees on refund percentages or boast unusually high refunds.Ensure preparers offer and use IRS e-file; reluctance to e-file can be a red flag.Legitimate preparers will request documents and receipts; be cautious of those who don’t or who offer to file with inadequate documentation, like just a pay stub. KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS & BEST PRACTICES FOR TAX FILERS:Understand that only CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and attorneys can represent you in audits. Non-credentialed preparers, like a numerically skilled relative, cannot offer this representation.Never sign a blank or incomplete tax return.Review and understand your tax return before signing, ensuring refunds are directed to your account. One way you can avoid any potential problem with your tax preparer is to look for a CPA, Enrolled Agent or tax attorney with the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation FaithFi.com.  ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I've been with a broker for 10 years and am concerned about unknowingly investing in companies that don't align with Christian values; how can we identify these companies and make faith-based investment choices?I'm retiring soon and under an old pension plan; should I take my pension to pay off debts or roll it into an IRA and pay off debts gradually?I have the opportunity to buy a two-acre parcel with two old trailers across from my house, but it's overpriced and would require a HELOC; is this a good financial decision?Living in Cook County, I found my house was over-assessed and doesn’t have a basement or attic as claimed; I appealed, but it was rejected because the market value assessment remains high – what should I do next?RESOURCES MENTIONED: FaithFi.com/show (for a list of faith-based investment firms)Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/4/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Bad Credit Is Expensive

GOD'S WORD ON PAYING DEBTS:Proverbs 3:27 emphasizes the importance of paying back debts on time: "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."DEFINING GOOD CREDIT SCORES:FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with a good score between 670 and 739.A very good score is between 740 and 799, and excellent is 800 to 850.Higher credit scores result in better interest rate offers from lenders.IMPACT OF CREDIT SCORE ON LOANS AND INTEREST RATES:A higher credit score (740+) can significantly reduce interest rates on mortgages, personal loans, and credit cards.Example: Raising a credit score by 100 points (from 640 to 740) can save around $72,000 in interest over a 30-year $300,000 mortgage.A better credit score can also reduce interest rates on a $5,000 personal loan and credit card balances, saving substantial amounts over time. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF A HIGH CREDIT SCORE:Higher credit scores can lead to lower home and auto insurance premiums.Employers may use credit scores in hiring decisions, potentially affecting job opportunities and income. HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE:Pay all bills on time and keep credit card balances below 30% of available credit.Build a credit history with a secured credit card, using it for routine expenses and paying off the balance in full each month. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm 66 years old and disabled, receiving Social Security. I have only $15,000 to sustain the rest of my life and am looking for advice on how to manage this situation effectively.I have a pension and a 403B from my W-2 income, and I contribute to a SEP from my self-employment income. Should I continue matching my employer's after-tax contributions to the pension plan, or would it be better to invest elsewhere?What's your opinion on structured notes as a part of a well-diversified investment portfolio, especially ones backed by mortgages, considering they can be complex and have varying maturity lengths? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/3/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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A New Perspective for the New Year with Chad Clark

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN BUDGETING SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT?Perspective is key in creating and adhering to a budget.Budgeting is often viewed as a necessary but challenging task, similar to a diet.Success in budgeting hinges on understanding the 'why' behind it.Differentiating between your financial goals (what you want to do) and the underlying reasons (why you're doing it) is crucial. AS BELIEVERS, WHAT SHOULD OUR 'WHY' BE IN BUDGETING?Our 'why' should align with scriptural teachings, recognizing God's ownership over everything.Believers should form their own 'why' statements, reflecting a commitment to stewardship based on biblical principles. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO START WITH GOD AS OWNER IN BUDGETING AND MONEY MANAGEMENT?Acknowledging God as the owner defines our role as stewards, influencing our financial choices.Seeing ourselves as managers under God's ownership leads to more thoughtful and responsible decision-making. RECOGNIZING GOD AS AN ACTIVE OWNER IN BUDGETING:A passive owner is uninvolved, while an active owner like the Holy Spirit seeks to guide our financial decisions.Recognizing God as an active owner encourages us to seek His wisdom and alleviates the burden of solo decision-making.This perspective leads us to view our financial decisions as part of our stewardship role.It encourages reliance on God for guidance in managing finances, reducing stress and guesswork. HOW DOES THIS UNDERSTANDING RELATE TO BUDGETING PRACTICALLY?Budgeting becomes a tool for stewarding God's resources, rather than just a financial exercise.Understanding our stewardship role enhances commitment to and effectiveness in budgeting. HOW CAN THE FAITH FI APP PRACTICALLY HELP IN MANAGING MONEY?The app provides various systems to fit individual money management styles.It serves as a supportive tool for effective stewardship, adaptable to personal needs.The Faith Fi app is designed to meet diverse financial personalities and challenges.Support from Christian financial counselors and resources is available to overcome past barriers.The app features a digital version of the traditional envelope budgeting system.It allows for carrying forward balances in different categories for planned expenses. HOW CAN MARRIED COUPLES USE THE APP EFFECTIVELY TOGETHER?The app promotes joint financial management, improving communication and decision-making.It helps couples align on stewardship goals, reducing money-related conflicts. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I'm in my 60s and worried about our investments in the stock market after losing money. Should we keep our money there or move it to a safer place due to our age and market uncertainty?I'm looking to get out of credit card debt and have contacted Christian credit counselors, but they don't service Kansas. I'm considering a company that offers to pay back less than what I owe through negotiation, but I'm unsure if this is the right approach. RESOURCES MENTIONED:Christian Credit CounselorsFind a Certified Kingdom Advisor Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/2/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:A survey of 2,000 people highlights common resolutions: diet (71%), exercise more (65%), save more/spend less (32%), learn a new skill, quit smoking, find a new job, and spend time with family and friends.These resolutions are often hard to keep due to requiring significant lifestyle changes. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRISTIAN RESOLUTIONS:For Christians, resolutions should prioritize God's will and honor Him.Success in resolutions is more likely when they align with God's will.Examples of Christian resolutions include seeking God's guidance for resolutions and praying for wisdom and strength. SCRIPTURAL GUIDANCE:James 1:5 encourages seeking God's wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."Philippians 4:13 emphasizes reliance on Christ: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Matthew 6:5 warns against hypocritical actions: "When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites...that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward."Ephesians 2:10 underscores living for God's purpose: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS:Be accountable to others for resolution adherence.Avoid taking personal credit for successes, recognizing God's empowerment.Include spiritual resolutions like reading the Bible, praying more, and giving to the church.Ensure motivations for spiritual resolutions are to honor God, not for self-aggrandizement.It’s only January 1. You still have time to make a few more resolutions that honor God and seek his help in keeping all the rest! ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:I want to refinish our basement and put in a beauty salon, but we don't have much money; should I use a line of credit, and what are my best options for financing?I'm recently retired and concerned about the reliability of Ally, where I've opened a Roth IRA; should I move my funds to a different institution?As we prepare for our elderly parents' future, what type of insurance should we purchase to cover burial expenses, especially if they wish to be buried in their home country?We sold a pickup truck; should I tithe on the proceeds from this sale? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Small Business Loan Program (SBA 7(a) loan)FidelitySchwab Intelligent PortfoliosSound Mind InvestingEventide Funds Guidestone FundsPraxis Funds Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
1/1/202424 minutes, 57 seconds
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How To Tithe In Retirement

The following is an encore presentation from 2023.Tithing is fairly simple in your working years. Your only decision is whether to tithe on your net or gross income. But tithing becomes a bit more complicated when you retire. So we’re bringing in an expert to help simplify things today on Faith and Finance. Anthony Saffer is a Certified Financial Planner with One Degree Advisorswhere they’ve put together a handy resource to help you decide how to tithe in retirement.WHY TITHE? Let’s start by laying the biblical foundation for tithing because some folks will argue that Christians today are no longer under that law.Tthing is an act of worship that demonstrates trust and obedience to God. Key biblical verses to study include, Genesis 14:20, Hebrews 7:4-10, Leviticus 27:30-32, Luke 11:42, and Malachi 3:8-10.The practice of tithing, as introduced in Genesis 14 precedes God’s law given to Moses to guide Israel. Hebrews 7 of the New Testament refers to the event of Abraham tithing to the Priest and King, Melchizedek.Jesus refers to tithing in Luke 11:42, admonishing the religious leaders who are meticulously calculating their tithe while neglecting love, mercy, and compassion.WHY IS TITHING EASIER DURING YOUR WORKING YEARS? Tithing, which literally means a “tenth,” is often simple to calculate from working income. If someone earns $10,000, a tenth would be $1,000.You may question whether you should calculate the tithe from gross (before-tax) or net (after-tax) income. You’ll need to make this personal decision; although, the “first fruits” principle (Leviticus 23:10, 2 Chronicles 31:5), would seem to support tithing prior to paying the government.In either case, this is an easy calculation by applying 10% to an income amount.Many retirees choose to tithe similarly to how they did in their working years. They simply tithe on whatever income they receive. This can be a simple solution.WHEN TITHING IN RETIREMENT SEEMS MORE COMPLICATEDQuestions often arise among retirees about how to tithe in retirement. This is usually because income sources can vary in timing and composition.Specifically, many retirement income sources feature some return of principal (contributions) combined with growth or earnings. This feature is not common during working years.And while we probably have only one income source while working, that’s often not the case in retirement. There are five common income sources for those who tithe in retirement. Let’s look at common retirement income sources that feature a return of principal and how this can cause confusion when you tithe in retirement:1. Social Security.During your working years, you pay payroll taxes into Social Security to receive an income stream in retirement. A benefits statement obtained from the Social Security Administration website lists how much you have paid into Social Security during your working years.Now you have to decide whether to tithe (again) on the return of principal with each payment.2. A pension.If your employer’s pension plan pays you a retirement income stream, similar considerations to Social Security apply. In this case, you would need to see how much, if any, you contributed to your benefit.3. Retirement accounts. Here’s an example: Let’s assume a retiree owns an IRA valued at $1,000,000. ($250,000 of principal and $750,000 of growth)Many years of working income contributed to the $250,000 of principal. Should that reitree tithe (again) on this principal amount when withdrawals are made?4. Brokerage investment accounts. The government taxes most dividends, interest, and capital gains as yearly income. Some retirees may choose to tithe on this taxable income since it shows up on their tax return.However, the dividends, interest, and capital gains that investment accounts earn usually stay inside the account until later distribution.  So you must decide if you’ll tithe on the earnings not yet distributed, and possibly tax-free income that doesn’t show up on the tax return. You could also treat this type of account like an IRA, considering it has both a principal component (what you contribute) and earnings growth.5. Rental properties.Expenses are generally ongoing with real estate even while earning rental income. So, should you tithe from the gross rents received or from the net rents received after paying expenses?Then, of course, how to tithe on the eventual sale of that property is another decision, likely calculated on the gain above the purchase price.SIMPLIFYING THE PROCESSFortunately, there’s a way to make this simpler.You have two options for calculating an appropriate tithe in retirement, one simple, the other more complicated. But before personally deciding how to tithe in retirement, it can be helpful to note your priorities.Are you aiming to keep things simple? Are you willing to apply more detailed calculations to minimize tithing on the principal? In that case, you want the simple option, tithing on the total income you receive.In that case, you tithe off the income that’s deposited into your bank account and any tax-withheld money. (Or, only what hits your bank account if you choose to tithe off the “net.”) That’s the simple method and here’s an example:Mary is retired and wants to continue tithing to her local church. Every month she receives $2,500 from Social Security and $3,500 from her IRA directly into her bank account. She has $1,000 withheld from her IRA income for Federal and State taxes each month.She chooses to tithe off her gross income. Her monthly tithe is $700. ([$2,500 + $3,500 + $1,000] * 10%). That results in a larger tithe than subtracting any return of principal as it does not delineate principal from earnings.You want that option if you aim to tithe faithfully from a generous and cheerful heart without the hassle of math.You may be “re-tithing” on principal, but perhaps it does not matter if you believe you are making an impact with your giving and you prioritize simplicity.IF THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE …For some folks, that may not be possible if they’re struggling to make ends meet. In that case, you would tithe on growth but not principle, because you’ve already tithed on the principal. Because each income source, such as an IRA, Social Security, or pension, differs in composition, you must calculate each source separately, and at One Degree Advisors, they have a great, free resourceto help you do that.And here’s an example of tithing only on earnings, not principal:Let’s go back to our hypothetical friend Mary. She wants to continue tithing, but she only wants to tithe off her growth. She determines that calculating the principal in her Social Security income is too cumbersome but calculating the principal in her IRA income is easy enough.Mary discovers that of her $1,000,000 IRA account, $250,000 is principal and $750,000 is growth. So, 25% of her account is principal and 75% is growth. From each IRA withdrawal of $4,500 (Mary chooses to tithe off her gross income), she tithes off $3,375 or 75% of that income. That makes her tithe $587.50 per month. ([$2,500 * 10%] + [$3,375 * 10%])For lifetime fixed income sources such as Social Security or a Pension, the calculation may be more challenging. While you may know how much you have contributed, you don’t know how much you will receive over your lifetime. How long you live plus cost-of-living adjustments will vary the total income amount.With fixed income sources, some will simply tithe the gross income amount. Others will apply their best estimate of a percentage.On this program, Rob also answers listener questions: How can both spouses be sufficiently involved in planning the household finances?What is the income limit for Social Security benefits and how should you weigh that against an income opportunity?RESOURCES MENTIONED:FaithFi AppRemember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/29/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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Inside Out Stewardship

The following is an encore presentation from 2023.Chad Clark is Executive Director here at FaithFi. WHERE DOES STEWARDSHIP BEGIN?Start by envisioning a target with three rings. When we think about stewardship we need to start in the inner circle, the bullseye, which is our heart.At the heart of a good and faithful steward you will find a love and devotion to Christ. Really, it’s our identity that is found in Christ as Galatians 2:20 points out “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me”.This is contrary to the world, which is focused on self. When we think of what it means to be a good and faithful steward we must start with Christ and resist the temptation to put ourselves at the center.DOERS OF THE WORDThe outermost ring of this target is APPLICATION.We are in the world but not of the world. We still have bills to pay, and financial decisions to make, but when we make decisions from the inside out, we recognize that God is the owner of everything and our role as stewards is simply to glorify Him with what he has entrusted to us.We built the FaithFi app with this application layer in mind. It’s a great tool to help you better understand how you are stewarding God’s resources. You can connect your bank accounts, manage your income and expenses, and better understand the financial decisions you need to make.On this program, Rob also answers listener questions: What kind of tax liability might apply to an inheritance?How can you begin building business credit for a relatively young company?What is the wisest way to begin saving and investing for a grandchild?If you use money from a 401k for a downpayment on a home, is that money taxable?RESOURCES MENTIONED:BettermentSchwab Intelligent Portfolios Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/28/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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3 Steps To Ease Marriage Tension

The following is an encore presentation from 2023.Shaunti Feldhahn is a relationship expert and the author of several very helpful books about marriage, including Thriving in Love and Money.There’s a saying about marriage: “When money troubles come in the door, love goes out the window.” But Shaunti has 3 steps for couples to keep that from happening.  3 STEPS TO ERASE TO AVOID FINANCIAL TENSION IN YOUR MARRIAGE1. ENSURE MARGIN: Make sure you have a cushion — some margin in your budget and finances. The Feldhahns conducted a three-year study involving a couple-thousand people. They found that no matter the income level, it wasn’t the topline income number that mattered. The key to avoiding tension was to spend less than they took in. This was true across all demographics. You’ve got to have a cushion to be able to make that car repair or whatever life throws your way. It’s great stewardship and helps keep you out of debt and bondage. But as it turns out, it’s not just protective of your finances, but of your relationship as well. 2. COMMUNICATE: You have to be able to talk to your spouse about money. It can't just be a one-person thing. It must be BOTH of you, and you have to be able to openly and honestly communicate about money. Communication really is the secret weapon. Most couples have trouble communicating about money. It’s a very common problem. But the Feldhahns found in their research that communication even trumps having a financial cushion or having the perfect budget. If you can talk about money, even if the technical stuff isn't perfect, you are far more likely to avoid tension and resentment. So start opening those lines of communication! It’s vital! 3. BUILD AWARENESS: You have to understand what's going on underneath the surface and how you and how your spouse respond to money. Shaunti explains that if there is tension around money in your marriage, it’s not really about the money. It’s about how money makes you feel, and how it makes your spouse feel. It’s about all of the insecurities and worries and beliefs about how money should work that are running under the surface. And we have two different sets of those. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: What are a couple of good options for online banking?How do you determine whether you should roll over an IRA? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Ally BankCapital One 360 CheckingMarcus Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.    Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/27/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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When Someone Owes You Money

The following is an encore presentation from 2023.God’s Word contains dozens of verses about repaying debt, but usually from the perspective of owing it to others. Another example of this is Ecclesiastes 5:5. It reads, “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”We have to dig a little deeper to discern God’s will for us when someone owes us money, but one thing is very clear - the Lord expects us to act differently than the world.For one thing, if the one who owes you is a fellow believer, you should never sue to recover that money. Paul says this in no uncertain terms. In 1 Corinthians 6:6-7 he writes, “But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”Of course, this applies only if the person owing you money is a fellow believer. The Bible doesn’t say that you can’t sue someone outside the church. If you own a business, you may someday be forced to take someone to court for non-payment, simply to keep your business going.That’s not to say you have no recourse within the church. If someone rightfully owes you money and doesn’t pay, there’s a four-step process for reconciling the issue.First is to put the matter into perspective. You shouldn’t be surprised if another believer attempts to defraud you. Romans 3:23 reads, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”With that in mind, consider how Jesus treated sinners, with kindness and patience. Avoid confrontation. A good way to do that is by praying for the one who owes you money. You might say to God: “Heavenly Father, I lift this person up to you and put this situation in your hands. Please give me wisdom. Please bless this person financially so they will never feel the need to borrow in the future. Your ways are not our ways. Please use this situation to give glory to You and guide my steps. Help me act as Christ would, showing mercy, that others might see and be drawn to you In Jesus’ name, Amen.”The next step is to meet with the person who owes you money. In Matthew 18:15 Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” That means keeping the matter private for now. Don’t grouse about it to your spouse or friends and certainly not on social media.The idea is to show respect for the other person so their heart might be softened. The real goal is reconciliation. Getting what you’re owed is secondary. Be willing from the outset to forgo payment if need be.If meeting privately with the person doesn’t work, step three is to take other Christians with you for another meeting. Jesus goes on to say in verses 16 and 17: “If they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that “every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.Now, that seems pretty drastic, but we’re entering the realm of church discipline. It’s important to understand that this isn’t to punish the individual, but to help him or her see the error of their ways, repent, and make good.If this person rightfully owes you money and refuses to pay, it’s a sin and the Church needs to deal with it. Just as with adultery or any other type of public sin, the Church must exercise proper discipline or it ceases to honor God. If the offender refuses to repent, Jesus Himself says they should be treated as an unbeliever.And finally, step four. You must continue to show humility, respect and love for the offender. You must remember that you represent Christ and that you trust Him for the outcome.People are  watching you. Think of the situation not as a win/lose proposition, but as an opportunity to express the love of Christ in a difficult situation. As believers, we should be better than the world at resolving conflict.Pray that the Holy Spirit will show His power through this process, that God’s will should be accomplished through you, whether you’re paid or not. Either way, you must forgive that person, as Christ has forgiven you.Mark 11:25 reads, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your trespasses.”Next, Rob answers these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at [email protected]:Should you stay in a 40-60 stock to bond allocation if your IRA is down about 13% since the beginning of 2022, you are age 70 are now claiming your maximized Social Security benefit and therefore don't need to draw on your portfolio?Will there be a decline in housing prices over the next few years and how should you navigate a home purchase with an FHA loan?If you are age 70 and retiring this year, should you reallocate your $300,000 Thrift Savings Plan from the C and S Funds into the fixed rate G Fund if you won't need to rely on the account for income? (Rob referred the caller to faithfi.com and the Find a CKA link).Is it better to pay your Home Equity Line of Credit down monthly or to make additional payments every month now that the interest rate has increased?Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.   Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/26/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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Six Lessons for Financial Literacy

The following is an encore presentation from 2023.April is just 72 hours away and it’s one of our favorite months of the year. That’s because April is Financial Literacy Month. This event began some two decades ago to raise awareness about the critical need for financial literacy. It’s just as important as learning to read and write. We’ll talk about that on Faith and Finance. It’s not quite April yet, but we want to give you a head start on gaining financial literacy. It’s important, because if you don’t know how to set up a budget, handle credit cards responsibly, or figure out how much car or house you can afford— you’ll run into all sorts of trouble.And guess what? Financial literacy is just another way of knowing and following God’s financial principles for earning and saving money.Now, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal laid out six practical things you need to know to be financially literate, so let’s go over them one by one.6 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW1. The power of compound interest and how it works and that it can work for you, or against you. When you save, your interest is “compounded.” That means at some point, it’s added to your principal, making it larger. You’re then paid more interest on your larger balance, and so on. The earlier you start saving, the more time your balance has to grow at an ever-accelerating rate.Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re 20 and you invest $5,000 a year for 10 years, and then stop. Over the next 30 years, at an annual return of 7%, your balance will be $600,000.But if you wait until age 30 to start, and invest the same $5,000 a year for the next 30 years, do you think you’ll have more? Nope. Your balance will only be $540,000. So the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be.By the way, we said compound interest can work against you, too. If you use a credit card and don’t pay it off each month, the interest is added to your balance, meaning you’ll owe even more.2. So-called “good debt.” This is debt you take on with a reasonable expectation that the return you’ll get will be more than what you have to pay in principal and interest.Some examples would be borrowing to start a business, if you expect that your revenues for the business will be enough to cover the loan and give you enough to live on.Buying a house would fall into the category of good debt, because in most years, homes appreciate in value. A student loan, also, because if you finish with a degree that gives you marketable skills, you can reasonably expect to earn more than the loan will cost you, but be careful to borrow as little as possible for education. Far better to save for it ahead of time, again using compound interest in your favor, like with a 529 education savings plan.On the “outside edge” of good debt could be a car loan, if you need it for transportation to a job. But make as big a downpayment as possible and continue to save when the loan is paid off so you can eventually buy a car with “all cash.”3. Credit utilization rate. That’s how much credit you have versus what you owe, as spelled out in your credit report, which affects your credit score. You should never owe more than 30% of your available credit because it will lower your score, resulting in having to pay a higher interest rate if you need another loan.4. “Pay yourself first.” This simply means that you should put something into savings each pay period before you spend any money. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account into savings, and let the bank do the work for you.5. Diversification. This is another of God’s financial principles. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.” It means to divide your investments among different stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other securities. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.You can also diversify your assets for tax purposes. For example, contribute to your employer’s 401k or 403b with pre-tax money, but also open a Roth IRA and invest after-tax money in it. It’s great to have something in each bucket if you can do it.6. Liquidity. All that means is that you can get to your money when you need it. If that sounds like an emergency fund, you’re exactly right. Your retirement accounts and even CDs and money markets are not the place to keep funds that you may need at a moment’s notice.Keep at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in a savings account at an online bank to get the best interest possible on your liquid funds. If you have an unforeseen medical condition, lose your job, or total the car, you can get to that money in a hurry.On this program, Rob also answers listener questions: Is it wise to use an accelerated mortgage payoff system?How do you determine when it is wise to sell multiple properties that you own?Will receiving pension payments affect your Social Security income?Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.  Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/25/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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Economics of the Nativity With Jerry Bowyer

That’s from the Christmas Story in Luke, Chapter 2. The angels announce the coming of the Savior to a group of shepherds. It sounds simple enough … but there’s more to the story. Jerry Bowyer joins us to talk about it. Our guest, Jerry Bowyer, is the author of The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics. It’s loaded with amazing insights about Jesus' time on earth from an economic perspective.  Angels carried probably the most important message in history … why deliver it to shepherds? Weren’t they social outcasts?Shepherds were under social outcasts because they couldn’t keep their sheep from going into their neighbors yard and eat the grass - thereby committing theft against your neighbor. The Temple system ran on sheep. They used a lot of sheep for the sacrifices. So there was a country set aside for sheep to be raised. This was near Jerusalem. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was born in the city where lambs for the Temple system were bred.So God’s master plan included finance. We know a little more about Mary than we do Joseph at this point. Does she have an economic philosophy?Mary’s song, Magnificat, has words concerning economics about the rich being torn down and set away empty, and the poor being filled.Mary visits Elizabeth in Judea, a little higher society. Elizabeth subordinates herself to Mary, this is a reversal of status.Jesus uses parts of the Magnifcat in one of His sermonsMary was exposed to multiple languages, and had some intellectual teaching/learning. How did the birth of Jesus threaten the ruling temple class in Jerusalem?Herod understands that the birth of Jesus will unset everything and bring justice to the world, and as a tyrant, he was disturbed with this idea.Jesus will ruin many people’s livelihoods, etc moneychangers in the Temple. In Matthew, Chapter 2, the Magi come to worship the baby Jesus and give him very expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What was timely about that?The Magi brought Jesus things that would be brought to the Temple. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:  Anna bought a 2014 Buick. She is currently not making enough money to keep up with the payments and still owe $20,000 and the car is not worth that. She wants to know the options that would be available.Evelyn just sold their home and need to rent for 6 months before buying another home. How should they invest this money from the home sale in the meantime?  RESOURCES MENTIONED:FaithFi appEdmunds.comKellyBlueBookBankrate.com Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/22/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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Heart for Lebanon

With everything going on in Israel right now why is it important to funnel resources to Lebanon?Because the level of despair in Lebanon is at an historic high.  And  . . . Because God is working there like never beforeThere is an urgency to this situation - 2.5 million refugees in a country of only 4 million.  More per square mile than any place in the worldA collapsed economy - World Bank calling it the worst economic collapse in 150 years. 85% of everyone living there needing aid and 99% of every refugee family looking for their next meal. In the middle of this despair though - - HOPE is rising.  I know you have made a number of trips there personally - how have you seen God working in the hearts and lives of the people there. Because of the relational ministry philosophy of Heart for Lebanon, everything they do points to the opportunity to share the Gospel. Lebanon remains the most democratic free society in the middle East.  We are free to share the Gospel and More Muslim Cultured people are coming to Christ than at any time in our generation.  One of my visits there I meet a refugee family in a farmer’s field. They were displaced in the middle of the night and went on the run. But Heart for Lebanon met with us and shared with us who Christ is and how He came to save them. How can people help today?(JH) $116 helps provide survival essentials AND the Gospel to a poverty stricken child and their family. Go to faithfi.com/lebanonThe website again is faithfi.com/lebanon. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:  
Sharon will be done paying for her home mortgage next July. What should she expect?Marie has a received a lump sum for a pension she didn’t realized she had. She’s paid the taxes on it, paid tithe and now wants to know how to best invest it.Cora has money in a high rate savings that was at 3.75% and now is .08%, can we transfer that someplace that is higher?Laura wants to share saving for her 6 grandsons that was not a 529, in case one of them decides not to go to college. RESOURCES MENTIONED:
FaithFi.com/Lebanon

- Certified Kingdom AdvisorBankrate.comJoinChristianCommunity.com
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.comwhere you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/21/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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Where to Give with Sharon Epps

So how would God's word in particular give us guidance on this giving portfolio approach?Jesus gives His mission here on earth in Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”This is a really is a model for a giving portfolio So how do you take that and apply it to giving?Well, he really talks about 3 categories of giving. God's mercy. People that are in need, poor and needy. The prisoners, basic recovery ministries and just basic human needs like water and food, shelter and those kinds of things.God's justice, the people that have been oppressed, widows, orphans, more the helpless, the victims. God's Word. And as you know here at FaithFi, we encourage you to do your first giving to the local church, but then also to other evangelism and discipleship ministries.I love that the ministry of God's mercy, God's justice in God's word. So those are the key themes from God's word. But now we use this word portfolio. So how do you treat your giving like it's a portfolio?A portfolio simply means that there are multiple buckets to put money in with intended multiple purposes. And so when you put multiple buckets and multiple purposes, it makes a portfolio. It helps with your giving as well. And so where we choose to give around these themes can be done whether we have a widow's might or whether we have multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars to give. This is powerful because it really gives you a filter or a lens to look at your giving, evaluated in light of your passions, but also God's word, and then see if there's any gaps. ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:  Ethan and his wife are trying to get out of college debt and looking for health insurance. The places they are employed at offer policies, but they are wondering what is best and cost efficient.Nancy is thinking about changing her living situation and figuring out our monthly expenses. Don’t know how to figure for inflation, putting away for savings, and how do you plan for things that don’t come up every year.Jim and his wife retired 2 yrs ago, he moved 401k into an IRA and combined it with traditional IRA and a small amount in a Roth. Is it a good idea to slowly convert IRA to Roth?Jack had heard a past Faith and Finance program that talked about a looming recession and wondering what experts are saying about this today.Danita is asking that with interest rates going up, is it a good idea to buy a home right now? RESOURCES MENTIONED:Kingdom Advisors Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network and American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community and give as we expand our outreach.
12/20/202324 minutes, 57 seconds
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10 Important Financial Moves for 2024 With Mark Biller

Please tell us about your list titled, “Your 10 Most Important Financial Moves for 2024.”We want to help people choose the best 10 ideas that specifically fit their situation. So we discuss over 60 suggestions in the article and encourage each reader to select their personal Top 10 list. We’ve found that those who go through this process of making a personal Top 10 list — and then follow through on those action steps — become better stewards and make tangible progress toward their long-term goals. These suggestions are broken into several categories. Help us understand spiritual and financial fundamentals …We try to set the appropriate context before diving into the nitty gritty financial stuff. And that begins with understanding what God says about us, and about our money, in scripture. So a few highlights from this section include:Resting in God’s love. His love isn’t based on our worth or merit.Invest time in studying what Scripture says about money and material possessions. SMI has long believed the #1 financial mistake Christians make is ignoring biblical wisdom about financial matters and looking to secular advice instead.  The next category is “the world around you.” What does that cover?Improve your understanding of the problems and policies shaping today’s economy.Another “big picture” topic to understand relates to the rapidly expanding level of federal debt. The next category is “strengthening your foundation.” What do we have there?Building an adequate emergency fund — before risking money in the stock and bond markets.Invest time creating and following a budget. This is probably the most powerful single step many people can take to make tangible financial progress in the year ahead.Committing to giving generously even if you’re paying off debt. Getting out of consumer debt is crucial for long-term financial stability.  The next section now is “developing your investing plan.”Face your fears, overcome your inertia, and start investing! Don’t wait for the “perfect time” to get started. A second step for relatively new investors is to become a dollar-cost averaging investor — and ideally automate that process so it’s out of sight, out of mind. “Dollar-cost averaging” (DCA) just means investing the same amount of money at regular intervals — for example, investing $300 every month.  Tell us what “broadening your portfolio“ is.Become a “diversified” investor. This includes starting to learn about different types of stocks and bonds and how to combine them in a portfolio. This is also where a person would start thinking more closely about retirement taxes and the best way to utilize traditional and Roth accounts. And for the gold bugs out there, we’ve got a separate action item about gold investing.  Let’s talk about retirement.Start thinking through your later-life decisions when you’re in your 50s. Most people put this off, but research suggests it’s wise to think this through earlier. There are lots of tangible retirement items relating to Medicare, how to optimize your Social Security benefits, and so forth.  The last category is what you might call,” everything else.” It includes children, work, college technology and insurance.For parents — and grandparents — Be intentional about training your children to be wise and faithful stewards. Other ideas here include insurance items, specifically making sure you have enough liability insurance coverage, because the default liability coverage in a lot of homeowner and auto policies is insufficient. Disability insurance is another one to consider here. And of course, for those with young children, the topic of saving for college is always of particular interest, so learning about the best ways to approach that is time well spent.  ON TODAY’S PROGRAM, ROB ANSWERS LISTENER QUESTIONS:  Alan wants to know if solar panels will help with paying his bills now and going into the future.Kristen is a widow. Her husband recently passed away. He was a pastor and their church was putting away in a 403b for his retirement. What is the best way for the church to give her the money without being penalized? RESOURCES MENTIONED:The Sound Mind Investing HandbookSoundMindInvesting