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

Oct 26

Important Social Security Tips

Almost all Americans fall into one of two groups. You’re either receiving Social Security Benefits or you will someday. So how do you make the most of it? You may be thinking that Social Security is something to think about later. But steps you make now can have a big impact on your future financial security. Why bother? Social Security won’t be there for me anyway. Let’s put that myth to rest right away. Yes, the Social Security trust fund is projected to run out in 2034 or 35. But that doesn’t mean the program is going away. The worst case scenario is that benefits would have to be reduced. Should I start receiving Social Security benefits at 62 or at full retirementage 66 or 67? We usually advise folks to wait if they can because it means their check will increase by 8% each year. However, certain individuals might do better by taking benefits early. Don’t depend on Social Security as the only source of your retirement income. It was never intended to be more than about 40% of the average worker’s preretirement income. Another reasonto delay benefits is if you’re still working. If you start benefits before full retirement age, your check will be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn above $18,960. You’ll be reimbursed the amount withheld after you reach full retirement age. After full retirement age, you can earn any amount without it affecting your benefits. Coordinate with your spouse. Having a working spouse gives you more options. You can elect to have the one making less start receiving benefits earlier while the higher earner delays benefits. That gives you some income earlier; but you’re still increasing the other spouse’s future benefit checks. Go toSSA.govto set up a My Social Security Account. There you’ll be able to see the record of your income and the payroll taxes you’ve paid. You then can estimate your future benefits. On today’s program we also answer a few of your questions: My son’s separated from his wife and they’re soon to be divorced. They are co-owners on a credit card that she is ringing up large debts on. She does this without telling my son. I’m afraid that when they actually do get divorced that he’s going to be saddled with this debt that he has nothing to do with. We have a time share. Is it worth it? Is there an easy way to exit out of it? I’ll be receiving $50,000. What’s a good way to invest that? I’ll be retiring at year’s end. Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them [email protected] Also, visit our website atMoneyWise.orgwhere you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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If you’ve been struggling to qualify for federal student loan forgiveness, you’re certainly not alone, but relief could be just around the corner. The Department of Education says it’s launching a major overhaul of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which critics think is too complicated. The proposed changes would affect around a half-million borrowers, those working in jobs with the government or non-profit organizations. Today, Rob West explores some of the confusion and explains a few of the changes that may be coming. The program forgives student loan debt for those who have worked in the public-sector and have faithfully made their loan payments for 10 years. Thousands of borrowers have complained that the application process is difficult to understand. This has led to costly and time-consuming errors, and applicants who have met all the necessary requirements have been told they are ineligible for loan forgiveness. The Education Department has admitted that only about 5,000 people have had their student loan debt forgiven in the 15 years existence of the program. The Education Department says it will review all existing procedures to find ways to streamline the application process and improve communication for all parties. Additional changes they want to make should give military service members and federal employees more access to the program and would allow members of the military to have their active duty time count towards the program, even if their student loans were in deferment or forbearance. Two hundred organizations and teachers’ unions have pressured the White House to take steps to cancel debt for borrowers who have followed all of the requirements. The administration has extended deferment on federal student loan payments until January 31, 2022, due to COVID, and if you’re still working full-time for a qualified employer, you will continue to receive credit toward the 10 years of required payments even if you’re not making them. If you have student debt but don’t want to work in the public sector, here are some things to keep in mind: --Save as much as you can for college and consider a tax-advantaged 529 plan. --Borrow as little as you can. --If you do borrow for college, before signing for a student loan, make a firm commitment to yourself that you will graduate no matter what. A college degree can lead to better earning potential down the road, but if you borrow for college and don’t graduate, you’ll have all the debt with none of the benefit. Rob says you should think of college as an investment. You want to find the sweet spot between following your dreams and choosing a major that gives you skills prospective employers want. And remember that the less your desired job pays, the less you can afford to borrow. Fox Business News has an interesting article about the imbalance many graduates are facing between the amount of student debt they hold and the annual earning potential in their chosen fields. You’ll find it here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/student-loan-debt-college-degree-study. Next, Rob answers listener questions including the following: --I started withdrawing funds from my 529 account, do I need to report that on my tax return? --My husband and I have approximately $30,000 across three different IRA’s, would it be beneficial to roll them all into a ROTH IRA? --Should I transfer money from my 401K to a Kingdom Advisor, even if it incurs fees? --Should I move my overseas investment accounts back to US markets? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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Colossians 2:8 warns, "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Our view of the world shapes our lives, especially how we manage money. We talk about that today with Paul David Tripp. Money problems aren’t actually money problems, they’re heart problems. Money can define how you think about who you really are. Where does your use of money expose your need for a heart change? Beware of taking your money-life into your own hands. And how has your money-life been shaped by the blessing of knowing that you’re one of God’s saints? If the rules of a budget could solve your money problems then Jesus would never have had to come. His cross teaches us that something is broken, that understanding must come before solving any money problems. Remember: it’s all about His glory, not yours. Don’t let money become an idol, this distorts the way we live. We are to live for God’s kingdom. The purpose of your money is so that you can be part of God’s grand generosity agenda. Giving to others is more important than providing for our own needs. Generosity is actually the good life. Keeping it all and spending it all on ourselves is not the thriving life, giving is. On today’s program we also answer a couple of your questions: --I’m retiring soon and have $26,000 in a credit union. But I’m thinking there has to be a better place to earn more money. Are online banks better? --What is title lock insurance? Is this similar to title insurance? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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Proverbs 23 warns, "Do not toil to acquire wealth; when your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven." From risky investments in cryptocurrency to buying lottery tickets in the 45 states that offer them, society is obsessed with acquiring wealth. Today on MoneyWise, we’ll talk about 6 reasons not to get rich. First, some people want to get rich simply because they’re told to by friends, family or our society in general that glorifies money. The second reason not to get rich is envy. Envious or jealous people see the opulent lifestyle of others and lust for it. The third reason is looking at wealth accumulation as a game, like it’s a winner-take-all contest (often at the expense of family, friends or business associates). The fourth reason not to get rich is for self-esteem. Society promotes the misguided belief that money makes you better than others by glamorizing the wealthy. Number five: the love of money. These poor souls hoard wealth because they love it and won’t part with it for any reason. Losing just a bit of it is a disaster for them. Our sixth and final reason not to get rich is for protection against any and all adversities in the world. Here we see a lack of faith in God to provide, putting faith in money instead. On today’s program we also take your calls: --I’m 65 and most of my investments are in annuities. When should I start withdrawing? Should I keep it in my annuities? What are the pros and cons? --I need a lot of money to pay for repairs for damage done on a re-roofing process. What do you think about a HELOC for this? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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The COVID crisis and resulting shutdowns have at least one silver lining: more people are living on a budget these days. As work hours shrank, folks found they needed a spending plan to stretch their precious dollars. We’ll talk about that today and why some people still aren’t budgeting. The folks at debt.com recently surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that 80% of them were living on a budget since the pandemic started. That’s up from 68%. 1 out of 5 people still aren’t living on a budget. So, they're not motivated to do it. The solution is simply more education. People are afraid a budget will be like wearing chains and will make them miserable. Folks who stick it out and stay on a budget find it liberating. For example, they feel better about spending money for a vacation because they've planned and saved for it. Some people don’t think they make enough to justify budgeting. But the less you make the more you need to budget. "Everything we make goes right back out the door to pay bills, so there’s no point in budgeting." However, that might be true only for a minority of people living near the poverty level. Start by tracking your spending. Write down everything you spend for at least a month so you can see where your money’s going. Then you need to make categories for your spending like for groceries, gas, clothing, rent or mortgage, and utilities. Add up your total monthly income. Subtract your obligations - the total of all your categories - from your income. Then you’ll see how much you have in discretionary funds. More people are budgeting these days. Make sure you’re one of them. On today’s program we also answer a few of your questions: --I have a sizable 401(k) that I’d like to help my parents with. Should I do this? --What do you know about trusts and who should have them? --One of my credit cards was hacked! I got about $3,100 in fraudulent charges put on it. Can the merchants take any action against me and could this affect my credit rating? --I have two deferred annuities. Do you have any suggestions for low-load funds? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions 24/7 at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and even download free, helpful resources like the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for the very latest discussion! And remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking the Donate tab on our website or in our app.

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