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

Sep 15

Your Home Repair Fund

Proverbs 10 makes clear the wisdom of saving money, "A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son." Saving in general is certainly prudent, but today we want to talk about a special category of saving that you may want to consider. It could give you an extra measure of peace as you face life’s financial challenges. Then it’s your calls at 800-525-7000. How do you define an emergency for your emergency fund? A real emergency will fall into one of three areas, housing, food and transportation. It must be absolutely necessary, urgent and truly unexpected. Everything else should be part of your regular budget. Living expenses: if you lose your job or have a severe pay cut, unplanned medical expenses, and unexpected home repairs. Most home repairs are predictable. They’re not really unexpected, and for these, you may want to consider setting up a separate category for home repairs, separate from your emergency fund. Most people understand that a home generally appreciates in value, especially these days. But consumer expert Clark Howard points out that in many cases, it’s the land a house is built on that actually appreciates. You can’t really separate a house from the land it sits on, but you might find that the structure itself depreciates as it becomes run down and in need of repairs. That means your house needs constant, expected maintenance to uphold its part of total home value. That’s a strong argument for keeping your home repair fund separate from your true emergency fund. How much should we keep in my home repair category? A good starting point might be one month’s mortgage payment, possibly going up to two months. That would take most of the sting out of completely predictable home repairs and the money will be there in your separate home repair fund. On today’s program we also answer you’re a few of your calls: -Is it wise to get a loan against my car to pay off bills? -What is your opinion on reverse mortgage for a single retired woman? -I have a mutual fund in my IRA. I would like to sell it and get into some Christian backed mutual funds. Advice? -I just sold a business and now have 100K to invest. Where should I begin? -We have paid on our home for 12 years and would like to refinance to lower our interest rate. We are only looking to stay a couple more years. What should we do? -I sold a property and have about 100K. I also have 100K in student loans. Should I wipe out my loans or invest the 100K into real estate? 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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2 Corinthians 9:6 reads, "The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously." For over a century, Americans who itemize their taxes have been able to deduct their charitable giving. But a new study has revealed a problem with one form of that giving. Should you shy away from setting up a donor-advised fund and not take advantage of the tax benefits they offer? Not at all. If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax form, a donor-advised fund is still one of the best ways you can maximize your giving to your church or other ministries. The best way to do that is by setting one up with the National Christian Foundation or NCF. Their version is called a Giving Fund. NCF takes great pains to quickly get money to ministries. It’s one of the largest US charities and the largest Christian grant-maker in the world. Over 30,000 families have used their Giving Funds to send more than $13 billion to 63,000 ministries, churches, and other charities. Unlike other entities that manage donor-advised funds, NCF’s mission is to mobilize resources. They don’t try to accumulate assets under management, but rather to inspire givers to direct their NCF giving funds to charities and causes that need it most. NCF is an industry leader in the amount of funds granted each year which means more money is available for immediate impact. Get more information at NCFGiving.com. Acts 20:35 sums up the work at NCF: "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" On today’s program we also answer your questions: --My husband and I have lost faith in our financial advisor. What advice do you have about switching advisors, moving our portfolio from one advisor to the next? What should we take to the advisor? --What do you think about timing the market? --What are the top 3 companies you’d recommend to get a good credit card in terms of no annual fee, good interest rate, and getting money back? --Is there any reason we shouldn’t enter into a non-QM mortgage? 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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Economist Thomas Sowell said this about inflation, "It is a way to take people's wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all." As inflation creeps up, people are understandably concerned about how it will affect their budgets and investments. We’ll talk about that first today with our own economist, Jerry Bowyer. Then it’s on to your calls and questions at 800-525-7000. Jerry Bowyer is the financial editor at Townhall.com, a frequent guest on the Fox Business Channel, and author of "The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics." We recently received an email from listener Kurt in Colorado. Kurt was asking to have a discussion about how the Federal Reserve "prints money" that it pours into the economy and whether this leads to inflation. He also wanted to know if there are good investments that protect against inflation. Jerry Bowyer tackles the first part of the question by talking about The Bureau of Engraving and Printing and how they actually print money. He also describes the Fed’s policy of expanding the money supply since the onset of the pandemic. Jerry also answers the question about when the Fed increases the supply of money does that automatically cause inflation, more dollars chasing goods, so prices rise? Our listener, Kurt, also had a question regarding the trillion-dollar spending bills that Congress has been passing since the pandemic, greatly increasing the national debt. Jerry speaks about how significant this deficit spending is in a historical sense. Economist Jerry Bowyer’s been our guest today. You can read his insightful articles at TownHall.com. On today’s program we also answer your calls: --My husband and I started a remodel on our home and then I ended up having some medical problems, so we had to wait on our remodel. We are now back to remodeling. We have been told to get a construction loan or a HELOC. What is your advice? --I am 80K in credit card debt. I would like to change my ways. Where should I start? 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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Folks are always asking us, "How much will I need to retire?" And of course, the answer is, "It depends." It depends on your needs, lifestyle and one more important factor. That other important piece of the retirement puzzle is, "How much are you willing and able to cut from your budget?" We’ll talk about that first today then we’ll take your calls and questions on any financial topic at 800-525-7000. Experts will tell you that you’ll need at least 70% of your working income when you retire. Your transportation, clothing and dining out expenses will drop considerably when you’re no longer working. Studies show the average retirement budget is only about 60% of working income. So, if you’re working and making $50,000 a year you’ll need 70% or $35,000 in retirement. But if you’re on track to generate only 60% of your working budget from Social Security and income generated by your investments you’ll be $5000 a year short of your estimated living expenses. This all means that you’ll have to work longer to generate more savings unless you’re able to cut your retirement expenses enough to close that gap or at least make it smaller. One major way to do that is to downsize in your home. Downsizing should leave you with cash left over that you can convert into an income stream. The next biggest way to cut your retirement budget is with transportation. If neither you nor your spouse is working, do you really need two vehicles? Another thing to consider is insurance, specifically, disability and life insurance. You may not need the same policies that you have been carrying. Also, look at interest on a credit card balance or other consumer debt. It’s never good, but it is a lot worse when you’re retired and trying to adjust to a smaller income. Finally, carefully go through your monthly bills to see what else you can cut. One thing you may have plenty of in retirement is time, so consider giving more of it to your church or favorite ministry. Christians shouldn’t retire from something, but to something. Here are a few of questions we answered from our callers on today’s program: ●My wife and I bought a new vehicle a couple years ago. We financed 12K on it. I was under the assumption that we could pay off the vehicle early and not pay the interest, but apparently, I was wrong. Can you explain this? ●I am 43 years old and am trying to think of the best ways to invest. Advice? ●My kids are encouraging us to invest in the stock market. Can you offer some wisdom on this subject? ●My husband just retired from the air force. We are trying to make sure that we have a good looking portfolio for retirement. Can you advise us on this? Ask your questions at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Remember, you can call or email us 24/7. Visit us online at MoneyWise.org where you can listen to past programs, connect with a MoneyWise Coach, and download free resources like the MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media to join the latest discussion! 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 at the top of the page.

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The web portal "Excite" once turned down an offer to buy Google for a million dollars. Today, Google is worth $420 billion. When it comes to financial mistakes, that was a biggie. We all make the occasional misstep with our money. Maybe not on such an epic scale, but they can be painful nonetheless. Today we’ll give you a top-10 of personal finance mistakes to avoid. Borrowing from your 401(k). It’s tempting because it’s your money. However, often this is just to fix an earlier mistake, like going into debt. It’s a bad idea because you’ll likely reduce or suspend new contributions during the period you’re repaying the loan. Claiming Social Security early. If you take benefits at 62 instead of waiting until your full retirement age of 66 or 67, you’ll permanently reduce your benefit by as much as 32%. Paying the minimum on credit cards. If you have a $5,000 balance on a card with a fixed rate of 12.5% making only the minimum payments, it’ll take 10 years and $1,700 in interest to eliminate that debt. Putting off saving for retirement. You need time to take full advantage of the power of compounding earnings. If you start in your 20's saving 10 to 15%, you’ll be well-prepared for when you stop working. Bankrolling your kids. You may want to give your children the best college education or wedding, but not at the expense of your own retirement savings. Not getting professional, financial advice. Many people could have used the services of a trusted advisor when the pandemic hit and stocks plummeted. Folks panicked and sold stocks low. Cosigning a loan. The Bible explicitly tells us never to do it. Proverbs 17:18 warns, "One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor." And neighbor includes friends, family, or anyone else. By some estimates, 40% of cosigners get stuck paying off the loan. Quitting school. Though some people make a lot of money without college, some college grads barely make enough to pay their student loans. But that’s not the norm. In general, the more schooling you have, the more money you make. Buying a timeshare. In the vast majority of cases, people really regret this one. Falling for a scam. Con-artists can play on your fear or greed to bilk you out of thousands of dollars. The FTC says Americans are scammed out of nearly a billion dollars a year. On today’s program we also answer a few of your questions: --I’m approaching retirement age. Is it best to keep up with our Roth IRA that we have now, continue putting money into it, but just disregard the simple IRA and just let it sit there? Or, should we continue to put money into the simple IRA as well as into the Roth? --What’s your opinion on doing a reverse mortgage, using it to purchase additional property? --I need to temporarily rent an apartment in another state where my daughter is having her first baby. However, instead of an apartment, what are your thoughts about doing an Airbnb or even a vacation rental? 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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