MoneyWise with Rob West on Bott Radio

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

MoneyWise is a daily radio ministry of MoneyWise Media. Hosted by Rob West, the program offers a practical, biblical and good-natured approach to managing your time, talents and resources. To be a part of the broadcast, call 1 (800) 525-7000.

Recent Episodes

May 21

Get More From Your Groceries

What if you could save almost a third of your grocery budget by doing nothing? A study done a couple of years ago revealed that Americans waste almost 32-percent of the groceries we buy because we throw out food that may still be safe, but has passed its sell-by date. The typical family spends $900 a month in groceries, so cutting out this waste could save nearly $300 per month. Rob West says that’s not as easy as it sounds, but you may be able to save $100 per month. Best if used by or before means the date when the product has the best quality or flavor. It’s not referring to safety. Most foods can be consumed after those dates. Note thatthis does NOT apply to infant formula and baby foods. You might also see a sell by date on a package. In most states, that’s just a suggestion and the item can still be sold after that date, often at a reduced price. A freeze by date means the date by which the item should be frozen to maintain optimum quality. Again, with the exception of baby products, none of these labels is an indication of thesafetyof food items. How to know when an item is safe According to the U. S. D. A, foods not showing signs of spoilage should be okay to use depending on the individual item and the temperature where it’s stored. One other exception to this is eggs. Some states prohibit sell by dates on eggs and some require more restrictive expiration dates. In any case, it’s probably best to not use eggs after any type of end date. How long should items last? Here are some examples: Fresh eggs in the she'll should last 3 to 5 weeks in the fridge. Bacon 7 days refrigerated or a month in the freezer. Raw hamburger 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 4 months in the freezer. Steaks are at their peak for 3 to 5 days refrigerated, and 6 to 12 months if frozen. Cooked Fish 3 to 4 days refrigerated or 4 to 6 months in the freezer. Raw Chicken Turkey 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 9 to 12 months in the freezer. Fresh Shrimp, Scallops or Squid 1 to 2 days refrigerated or 3 to 6 months frozen. Foods that may last indefinitely: Honey It has antimicrobial properties and if it’s sealed and stored in a cool place out of sunlight, you could leave it to heirs in your will. I think they found some in the ancient pyramids that still looked good. Canned goods As long as the can doesn’t have rust, dents or swelling, it should be okay. Packaged foods like cereals are also good well past their best by dates, although they can develop an off flavor. Factory-sealed maple syrup lasts indefinitely, but once opened, keep it refrigerated. Salt is itself a preservative but usually comes with a use by date of 5 years. After that, it may pick up a bad taste. Dried Beans are good for 10 years if stored in a cool place, out of sunlight, in factory packaging or sealed buckets with reduced oxygen levels. Whole grains have a one-year shelf life if frozen, or 6 months in a cool, dry location in airtight containers. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: I grew up in the foster care program and don’t have many resources. I need surgery for chronic pain I’ve been suffering from for several years. How can I find the money to help pay for this surgery? I’ve inherited some money and need to know where to put it. I’m a little concerned with putting it into the stock market given recent volatility. What would you recommend?

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An empty nest, aging parents, and having enough saved for retirement. These are the issues facing many couples in their fifties. We’ll discuss those challenges with author Jim Burns today on MoneyWise. Jim Burns is the author ofFind Joy In the Empty Nest: Discover Purpose and Passion In the Next Stage of Life. Not long after the average couple becomes empty nesters, their parents begin to rely on them more. After children leave the house, they tend to circle back to mom and dad and expect their parents to handle certain things for them. Burns says you have to re-negotate the process and make your expectations clear. Also, help your adult kids to clarify their own expectations for their lives. To be clear is to be kind. Remember that your job as a parent is to help them become fully responsible adults. Burns says it’s important to talk about your parents’ finances and bills long in advance. Don’t wait until the need is pressing communicate with your parents years earlier about how you can work together to be there for them as they age. Whether with you adult kids or your parents, having honest conversations about money and expectations is critically important. Learn more about Jim Burns atHomeWord.com. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●How can you get started with investing later in life? ●What is a second mortgage and when does it make sense? ●When does it make sense to stop paying into cash value life insurance policies? ●How do you determine if you’ll owe capital gains tax on the sale of a home? ●Is it prudent to refinance a mortgage right now? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●Schwab Intelligent Portfolios ●BankRate.com

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Bill Gates once said, The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life. That may be true for things like computer operating systems and smartphones. But if technology eliminates your job, you’ll certainly notice. We’ll talk about careers at risk of being replaced by new tech today on MoneyWise. JOBS AT RISK OF BEING REPLACED If you google future, jobs and eliminate, you’ll get scads of lists about jobs that technology might do away with in the years ahead. Some could be expected, like mail sorters and meter readers. But others are surprising and include air traffic controllers and even pilots. It’s been said that there’s no such thing as job security, but there is employment security. That means there will always be work the trick is to make yourself ready for it. It could also mean choosing a career that’s less likely to be eliminated by technology. These would include things like healthcare workers, software developers, specialized repair technicians and teachers. And with today’s employers desperate to find new workers, it’s a great time to consider a career change. Employers are easing prerequisites and more willing to provide on the job training. They’re far more likely now to consider hiring someone who’s trying to switch over from another field. Making a career change is much more difficult when unemployment is high. THE FIRST STEP So, if you’re thinking about a career change, what’s your first step? It’s making sure you actually need or want to switch careers. Your current job might not be in danger of being automated and you might enjoy what you’re doing just not where you’re doing it. So changing companies, not careers, might be a better move. CHANGING CAREERS But if you really don’t like what you’re doing , start by making a detailed assessment of your skills and interests. Take a career assessment, many of them are offered online. Your answers will generate a list of occupations where you’re more likely to achieve success and satisfaction. Job satisfaction is important, but through this entire process, you also have to keep earning potential in mind. If going into a new career at entry level means temporarily less pay, you’ll have to adjust your budget accordingly. Now that you have a list of new career possibilities, the next step is whittling them down. It could be a long list, but consider each possibility carefully and cross off those that aren’t appealing to you. With that complete, you now have a much shorter list with maybe five possibilities or so. These are the occupations you want to start researching and try to keep an open mind. Start rounding up job descriptions for each of your remaining career possibilities. You also want to look at education requirements. Will you have to go back to school? If so, for how long? And how much will it cost? After gathering all that information, you’ll probably eliminate a few more occupations. Maybe you have only a few left. Prioritize them, then take the one that best meets your needs and put an action plan in place to prepare for it. Talk to employers and workers in that field to find out what’s needed. It could involve going back to school or getting the necessary training some other way. This leads us to the most difficult part of changing careers: making .commitment to landing a job there. If you have to start at a lower level, be willing to do it, just so long as you can earn enough to still meet your monthly obligations. A good verse to meditate on during this process is Proverbs 16: 3.commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is silver a good investment right now with inflation in mind? ●How do you approach taxes as an independent contractor? ●How do you determine when it’s time to stop paying for life insurance? ●Is it wise to take money out of a 401k to pay off credit cards?

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Isaiah 55: 8 says ​​’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord. That’s a profound statement that certainly puts us in our place. But don’t think it lets us off the hook. We’ll discuss on MoneyWise, we’ll discuss a God’s eye view of money. Howard Dayton is a MoneyWise contributor and the founder of Compass Finances God’s Way. He’s also the author of several books on biblical finance. A GOD’S EYE VIEW OF MONEY We can’t manage money wisely unless we understand God’s perspective on it. Howard Dayton says he’s convinced Jesus said so much about money for two reasons: How we handle our money impacts our fellowship with Him. He wants to help us handle money wisely. Jesus revealed a direct relationship between how we handle our money and the quality of our spiritual lives. In Luke 16: 11, He asks a penetrating question: "So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? " Every time you apply one of God's financial principles, you will find yourself drawn closer to Christ. On the other hand, if you are unfaithful, your fellowship with Him suffers. But there's another reason why Jesus taught so specifically on the handling of money. THE IMPORTANCE OF MONEY AND HANDLING IT CORRECTLY He knows that money plays a big part in our lives. We spend much of our time working for it, deciding how to spend it, grappling with debt, thinking about where to save and invest, and praying about giving. The Lord knew money would be a challenge, even a source of conflict for many of us. So God wants us to manage money wisely, and that’s why He’s given us clear, practical truths in the Bible that really work. They are His roadmap to guide us on our financial journey. GOD'S ROLE AND OUR ROLE God has certain responsibilities, and He has given other responsibilities to us. Most frustration in handling money comes because we don’t realize which responsibilities are ours and which belong to the Lord. It’s helpful to understand this division as you evaluate your current situation. God’s responsibility is that of the Owner. He created all things and owns everything. Psalm 24: 1 tells us, "The earth is the LORD'S, and everything in it" Scripture gets even more specific. Leviticus 25: 23 identifies God as the owner of all the land: "The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are . . . my tenants. " Haggai 2: 8 says He owns all the mineral riches of the earth: "'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, ' declares the Lord Almighty. " HOW DOES OUR VIEW OF MONEY CHANGE WHEN WE ACKNOWLEDGE GOD'S OWNERSHIP? Every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, "Lord, what do You want me to do with my money? " The question becomes, "Lord, what do You want me to do with YOUR money? " When we have this attitude and handle His money according to His wishes, spending decisions are just as spiritual as giving decisions. The word that best describes our responsibility is steward. Stewards manage someone else's possessions or money. Our responsibility is summed up in 1 Corinthians 4: 2, "It is required in stewards that one be found faithful. " Before we can be found faithful, we must know what we are required to do. Just as the operator of .complicated piece of machinery studies the manufacturer's manual to learn how to operate it, we need to examine the Owner's manual the Bible to determine how He wants us to handle His possessions. You can find out a lot more about this topic and many more of God’s financial principles in his book Free and Clear God’s Road Map To Debt-Free Living. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●What is the best way to will your house to your kids to avoid probate? ●How should you go about investing money for a child’s future? ●Is it wise to leave an emergency fund in a savings account? ●Is it prudent to combine retirement accounts into an IRA? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ●Find a Certified Kingdom Advisor

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Proverbs 6 tells us that we must be prepared for whatever lies ahead. Today on MoneyWise, we’ll talk about what that means for your investments should we enter a recession. First off, we must always put our trust in the Lord to provide for our needs. Joshua 1: 9 is a powerful reminder of that. It reads, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not' be frightened, and do not' be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. That said, we must also do our part, preparing as the ant does for possible hard times ahead. And there are increasing indicators that the economy may be heading into a recession. ECONOMISTS SAY RECESSION COULD BE LOOMING But plenty of economists are now predicting that the U. S. will enter a recession this year for several reasons: the war in Ukraine, interest rate hikes, decreasing economic growth and skyrocketing inflation. So what does that mean for your retirement portfolio? Investment advisors are weighing in with their advice and it’s interesting to note that much of it is what we say here everyday. For starters, think beyond the next recession, whenever it may come. Have a long term investment plan and stick with it. Recessions are always temporary. Market downturns are always temporary. Trying to predict or time the market is difficult for the smartest brains on Wall Street. Consider all the managed funds that do no better than index funds and sometimes much worse. YOU LONG RANGE PLAN Now, what should your long range investment plan look like? First, it should be based on your time horizon. When is your best estimate for retiring? Ideally, you want that date to be at least 10 years out. Here, a target date fund can be a big help. These are mutual funds or exchange-trade funds (ETFs) that rebalance your portfolio periodically, shifting to more conservative investments as you near your retirement date. Robo-advisors do much the same thing. They’re digital platforms that use algorithms to manage your investments without human supervision. Another key part of your long term investment plan should be dollar-cost averaging. That simply means you contribute a set amount to your retirement account every pay period, no matter what. That means when the market’s up and shares are expensive, you buy fewer of them. When the market’s down and shares are cheap, you buy more of them. Then, when the market recovers, those additional shares you bought will increase in value right along with it. But if you sell during a recession, you lose out and lock in your losses. SAFE-HAVEN INVESTMENTS If you feel you must tweak your portfolio, the time to do it is before a recession hits, not after. In that case you might look at what are called safe-haven investments. These would include some cash and short-maturity bonds, and right now, we’d recommend I-bonds. They’re adjusted every six months for inflation, and currently are yielding near 10-percent. You can’t redeem them for one year, and if you cash them in before five years, you’ll lose a few months’ interest. But in this current inflationary period, they’re tough to beat. Gold would be another safe-haven investment and a hedge against inflation. In theory, it moves opposite of the market, but not always. For that reason, gold should be a very small part of your portfolio, no more than five or 10%. DIVERSIFY! If you’re not using a robo-advisor or a target date fund, you have to decide what the other 90-percent of your portfolio will be. Here we look to Ecclesiastes 11: 2, Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on earth. Your portfolio should be well-diversified to weather a recession without serious losses. Assets would include some index funds, safe fixed income securities like the I bonds I mentioned, and even real estate or real estate investment trusts. taking these steps should get you through the next recession, whenever it comes, with peace of mind. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ●Is it wise and appropriate for a church to take liquid funds out of savings and invest the money in the market to seek a better return? ●Should you take out small life insurance policies on adult children? ●What is the best way to get started with investing? ●Would it be wise to pull money out of retirement savings to pay for private rehab treatment for an adult child?

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