Breaking the Power of Money

Breaking the Power of Money Are you aware that there is an anecdote for the struggles we have with money? When people come to me and say they are having issues with debt and materialism, my first question to them is, “Are you tithing?” Seem a strange question, but based on scripture, I do not believe we will ever conquer our issues with money unless we are good givers. Through personal observation as a faith-based financial planner, I can attest that those stewards who focus on giving first have very few debts and materialism problems.

Giving breaks the power of money over us. I will rearrange the question….have you ever seen someone in severe debt or living paycheck to paycheck their entire lives being a cheerful giver? Probably not. From a teaching position, God has instructed us time and time again throughout scriptures the importance of giving as stated below:

2 Corinthians 9:7 KJVEvery man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

1 John 3:16-18 KJV: Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

Leviticus 25:35-37 KJV: And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.

Acts 20:35 KJVI: have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Reaching Contentment

contentment in retirementWhat is your idea of a perfect retirement? Over the last 25 years as a financial planner, I have heard many similar answers to that question. Many men say they want to play golf every day. People want to travel and buy homes near the beach. Often, the answers revolve around buying things or spending all their time focused on leisure. My friends, I have yet to witness any of the retirees finding happiness with 100% leisure and attempting to buy happiness. In fact, when a retired person focuses on those things, I see divorces happen, I see nervous breakdowns, I see depression, and simply people being unhappy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when retirees have a Kingdom focus during their elder years and devote their time, talent, and treasures to serving the Kingdom, I am witness to believers who are content. Contentment is a state of peaceful happiness. You cannot buy contentment, but you can surely earn it. It is difficult for people nearing retirement age as the advisors world is focused on marketing to those things that look good. Pull up any advisors website that works with retirees and you will see people on the golf course, on a sailboat, walking the beach, etc.. What you don’t see from the marketing world are those truly content retirees who are donating their time at the local thrift shop, foodbank, or children’s services. The world view of retirement happiness is a short-lived venture. I encourage you to approach retirement with a Kingdom focus, where contentment can be found.

The Final Tithe: Conclusion

As we conclude the podcast series on our “Final Tithe”, I want to share with you the reasoning behind the need to include the Kingdom in your estate plan.As we conclude the podcast series on our “Final Tithe”, I want to share with you the reasoning behind the need to include the Kingdom in your estate plan. As we follow our faith throughout our natural lives, many of us have a clear understanding of good stewardship. Good Stewardship includes avoiding debt, providing for your family, and being charitable. The world influences our stewardship both in our life and at our death. The world says that you divide everything equally among your surviving family members at death. Very few estate plans ever venture into a Kingdom oriented conversation. An estate plan becomes Kingdom oriented when we review our quest to be charitable. A Kingdom oriented plan does not simply divide everything equally without any investigation into the impact or influence money will have on those designated as beneficiaries.

We should ask ourselves these questions.

Am I leaving “God’s assets” to good stewards?

What will they do with the assets?

Will they spend it on  material things?

Will they spend it on addictive behaviors?

Will it cause division within my family?

What impact on the Kingdom am I having with the assets God has entrusted me with?

Would God approve of the plan I have in place to distribute those assets he blessed me with during my lifetime?

When we ask ourselves these questions, we develop a different approach to estate planning. We should be charitable at our death. We should attempt to provide for the needs of our loved ones. We should make an effort to teach good stewardship to our beneficiaries while we can so that we can be confident that God’s assets are handled with care. Ultimately, we are attempting to reach a level of contentment through good stewardship while we are living and at our death.

The Final Tithe: Tax Efficiency

Estate Planning and Tax Efficiency - Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the management and disposal of that person's estate during the person's life, in the event the person becomes incapacitated and after death.The Final Tithe: Tax Efficiency – Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person’s life, for the management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person’s life, in the event the person becomes incapacitated and after death. The planning includes the bequest of assets to heirs and may include minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and taxes. Estate planning includes planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The ultimate goal of estate planning can only be determined by the specific goals of the estate owner and may be as simple or complex as the owner’s wishes and needs directs. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

Below are the four main tax baskets (tax categories in which individuals can hold assets):

  1. Traditional (a/k/a Deductible) Retirement Accounts: These include workplace plans such as the 401(k), the 403(b), the 457, and the TSP, and IRAs. Under ideal conditions, the contributions, when earned, are not taxed but the contributions and earnings are taxed when later withdrawn.
  2. Roth Retirement Accounts: These include workplace plans such as the Roth 401(k), the Roth 403(b), and the Roth TSP, and Roth IRAs. Under ideal conditions, the contributions, when earned, are taxed but the contributions and earnings are tax-free when later withdrawn.
  3. Health Savings Accounts: HSAs are tax-advantaged accounts only available to you if you have a high deductible health plan (a “HDHP”) as your health insurance. Under ideal conditions, the contributions, when earned, are not taxed and the contributions and earnings are tax-free when later withdrawn.
  4. Taxable Accounts: Holding financial assets in your own name or otherwise not in a tax-advantaged account (tax baskets 1 through 3). The basic concept is taxable in, taxable on “realized” earnings (rental income, business income, dividends, interest, etc.) while in the account, and partially taxable (value less “tax basis”) on the way out.

The Final Tithe: Using Beneficiary Designations

As we continue the series on “The Final Tithe” and how to include the Kingdom in our estate plan, I want to share with you a missed opportunity to easily name people or entities as Beneficiary.As we continue the series on “The Final Tithe” and how to include the Kingdom in our estate plan, I want to share with you a missed opportunity to easily name people or entities as beneficiaries. Beneficiary planning is so important and should carry I high importance in your estate plan. The first area I see people missing an opportunity to name beneficiaries is on their banking accounts. You can utilize a feature at your bank called Payable on Death (POD). A POD allows you to name beneficiaries. By naming beneficiaries, you can avoid sending those assets through costly probate. Another issue I see is on non-qualified investment accounts that are individually owned or jointly owned.  You can add a feature called Transfer on Death (TOD) that will prevent those assets from being pushed into probate. More commonly known beneficiary designations are found on life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts. It is extremely important to conduct a tax efficient review of your estate plan to retain as much of the asset(s) as possible without paying unnecessary taxes and attorney fees.  We would be happy to assist you with your Biblically Responsible estate planning. You can reach Jay D Schurz at 888-226-7614 or by email at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com.

What Is Payable On Death (POD)?

Payable on death (POD) is an arrangement between a bank or credit union and a client that designates beneficiaries to receive all of the client’s assets. The immediate transfer of assets is triggered by the death of the client.

What Is Transfer on Death?

The transfer on death designation lets beneficiaries receive assets at the time of the person’s death without going through probate. This designation also lets the account holder or security owner specify the percentage of assets each designated beneficiary receives, which helps the executor distribute the person’s assets after death. With TOD registration, the named beneficiaries have no access to or control over a person’s assets as long as the person is alive.

 

The Final Tithe: Discussing Trusts

In this episode of “The Final Tithe”, I discuss the use of Trusts and how they can serve our purpose in a non-secular estate plan.In our third episode in the current series of “The Final Tithe”, I discuss the use of a Trust and how it can serve our purpose in a non-secular estate plan. A trust is an opportunity for “Grasp beyond the Grave”. Not everyone needs a trust. Those that do need a trust, should utilize an estate planning attorney to develop the trust for them. There are several different types of trusts which I have included explanations of below. I encourage you to review your stewardship needs in regards to your estate planning. We can help with that review and give you an opinion on what types of planning you should consider. Many of our final wishes can be accomplished without the need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on legal planning. Other times, more aggressive planning is needed. You can find our contact information at www.kingdomplanadvisory.com.

This is a sampling of different types of trusts. Please consult with a licensed professional to discuss your specific needs.

  1. Living Trusts

living trust, sometimes known as an inter-vivos trust, is one made by a trustor (grantor) during his or her lifetime, with assets or property intended for the individual’s use during their lifetime. This type of trust allows the trustor to benefit from the trust while alive, but passes the assets and property on to a beneficiary (using a trustee) upon their death. With a living trust, you are generally able to avoid probate court, provided the trust is funded.

  1. Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust, often called a will trust, is an agreement made for the benefit of a beneficiary once the trustor has died, and details how the assets must be endowed after their death. This type of trust is often instituted by an executor, who will manage the trust for the trustor’s decedents after their will and testament has been created. And, a testamentary trust is irrevocable (cannot be changed or altered).

  1. Revocable Trusts

A revocable trust, like a living trust, is created during the trustor’s lifetime. It is able to be changed, terminated, or otherwise altered during the trustor’s lifetime by the trustor themselves. It is often set up to transfer assets outside of probate. In this case, all three parts of the arrangement (the trustor, trustee  and beneficiary) are often the same person who can manage their own assets, but will be given over to a successor trustee and other beneficiaries upon the original trustor’s death.

  1. Irrevocable Trusts

On the contrary, an irrevocable trust is one that a trustor (grantor) cannot change or alter during his or her lifetime or that cannot be revoked after his or her death. Because this type of trust contains assets that cannot be moved back into the possession of the trustor, irrevocable trusts are often more tax efficient – with little to no estate taxes at all. For this reason, irrevocable trusts are often the most popular as they transfer assets completely out of the trustor’s name and into the next generation or beneficiary’s name. However, a living trust can be either revocable or irrevocable based on its specifications.

 

The Final Tithe: Using a Will

The will accomplishes many tasks for your estate, primarily handling those tangible assets that must be distributed. As we continue the podcast series discussing your “Final Tithe”, I want to discuss the importance of a will. The will accomplishes many tasks for your estate, primarily handling those tangible assets that must be distributed. Additionally, having a Durable Power of Attorney and Living Will in place can make handling your wishes much easier. I suggest you utilize a local attorney with expertise in estate planning in the construction of your legal documents. I am including explanations of topics I discuss in this Podcast. If you have questions regarding the subject of a will, please call my office at 888-226-7614. You can request a consultation at www.kingdomplanavisory.com.

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be carried out. Further, your heirs may be forced to spend additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principal). The agent can have broad legal authority or limited authority to make legal decisions about the principal’s property, finances or medical care. The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal’s illness or disability, or when the principal can’t be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.

A living will – also known as an advance directive – is a legal document that specifies the type of medical care that an individual does or does not want in the event they are unable to communicate their wishes.

The Final Tithe- Part 1

The need to include the Kingdom in your estate planning.I am going to begin a series of podcasts titled “The Final Tithe”. I will discuss the need to include the Kingdom in your estate planning. To fully understand estate planning with a Biblical perspective, one must first understand ownership. The following verses all describe the fact that God is the creator and owner of all things. To claim ownership of his assets at our death does not coincide with the belief that God owns it all, in fact, it is my belief that estate planning that does not include the Kingdom is theft. I will explain in the next several podcasts why I believe that. My objective is to take you from A-Z in planning your Final Tithe!

Psalm 24:1
A Psalm of David.The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.

Ephesians 4:6
one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Hebrews 3:4
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

1 Corinthians 10:26
for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.

Haggai 2:8
‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts.

Psalm 50:10
“For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.

1 Chronicles 29:12
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.

Leviticus 25:23
‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me.

Luke 12:20
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’

Acts 4:24
And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them,

Psalm 104:24
O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.

Matthew 21:3
If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Job 41:11
“Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.

Genesis 14:19
He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;

 

Stop Procrastinating!

Having been a financial planner for the last quarter of century, I have made many observations of people who have been successful and people who have failed regarding their stewardship. Stop Procrastinating

Stop procrastinating!  Having been a financial planner for the last quarter of century, I have made many observations of people who have been successful and people who have failed regarding their stewardship. Each person had similar characteristics of other fellow successful or unsuccessful people. Those who were debt free, had sufficient savings in place, and adequate protection portfolios have one profound characteristic. That characteristic is proactivity. Those who controlled their debt, were good savers, limited spending, were good givers, and listened to advice have all done remarkably well. In contrast, those who procrastinated, were always in debt, lived paycheck to paycheck, never saved, cashed in the retirement accounts each time they changed jobs, and basically were oblivious to the fact that they will not live forever all did poorly. We all can learn from other people’s success and failures. The underlying component to successful planners was obedience to God’s word regarding our stewardship. Those who failed. Has no grasp of Biblical financial instruction.

We must, as obedient stewards, be proactive. We must seek the advice of advisors who apply your faith to your plan. We must avoid those who offer world view advice. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, please review your current situation. Whether you have taken the step to begin a plan, or maybe you have a plan in place, but it isn’t a plan that aligns with God’s word, please start now. I would be happy to review your current situation and apprise you of any shortfalls or needed changes. You can reach me at 888-226-7614 or visit www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

The Market Roller Coaster

The Market Roller Coaster - We have seen some prime examples of an emotional stock market in recent weeks.The Market Roller Coaster – We have seen some prime examples of an emotional stock market in recent weeks. There has been a competition of individual investors versus hedge fund managers, a modern day David versus Goliath. We are witnessing a market reaction to political influence as the new administration is making big moves in the areas of energy, social governance, and healthcare. It all can be overwhelming if a person is attached to the minute to minute news that is flowing through a biased media and various social media outlets. In times like these, many people become alarmed and even immersed in deep worry.

As obedient stewards, we must disconnect from the worldly influences and focus on our position as stewards. We must first determine our beliefs. What is it we wish to support and avoid as we invest? We should consider avoiding investing in companies or mutual funds that own companies that support or profit from the abortion and pornography industries. We should avoid companies involved in human rights violations and companies that utilize unfair labor practices. We should support companies that align with our beliefs, companies that treat their employees and the environment with respect. These are just a small selection of issues we should consider as we begin or change or investment journey.

Once we get a grip on aligning our beliefs with out stewardship, at that time, the risk tolerance determination is critical. How much risk can we as the steward be exposed to based on underlying criteria?

If you would like a screening of your current investments, or would like to discuss Biblically Responsible Investing options, please send a message to jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com. You can find additional contact information at www.kingdomplanadvisory.com.

Buying a Home

buying a home Buying a home is often one of the largest financial decision a person makes in their lifetime. The process can be stressful without the proper guidance regarding the home purchase. I have seen many people make serious mistakes during their home buying event. I am going to give you some common sense advice that I pray will help you.

First, have your financial affairs in order. Know what you make, what you owe, and what discretionary income is available for a home payment. Do not consider buying a home without first having your emergency fund in place, be free of unsecured debt, and have some reasonable idea of future income projections.

Secondly, when beginning your search, an old but reliable guide is to never buy a home that is more than your annual income. For example, if your household income is 200,000, do not consider buying a home for more than that. Also, your mortgage payment including taxes and insurance should not be  more than one weeks income. If you bring home $750 a week, make sure your mortgage payment is less than that.

Third, compare interest rates and terms from various institutions to receive the best offer.

Fourth, do not be pushed into a hasty decision by the realtor or bank. Make sure you are fully apprised of all issues such as home inspections, loan terms including all fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying a home is a complex stewardship decision. Move at your pace, be fully informed, don’t be pushed, and pray through the process.

A New Administration

I have fielded many questions over the last three weeks regarding the new administration and what impact this change may have on a person’s financial plan and investment accounts.I have fielded many questions over the last three weeks regarding the new administration and what impact this change may have on a person’s financial plan and investment accounts. First, let me begin by saying that news programs, whatever they may be, should have little to do with your long-term financial plan. The stock market is an individual entity that reacts differently according to financial criteria. Seldom can one predict the reaction of the market to public information that is spread via biased news outlets. If the market responded accordingly during the Trump administration and the multitude of negative news stories, one would think the market and the economy would have been dismal the last four years. The fact is, the economy and market set many new positive records in various areas during those four years of the Trump presidency. Now we have a new President and new administration. People have legitimate causes for concern, but I want to stress to you that we should not be reactionary in our planning and stewardship. A good steward will follow the guidance established by a proper risk tolerance questionnaire and seek the advice of a trilogy of professionals such as an investment advisor, CPA, and attorney in accordance with their needs. The advice provided by these professionals should be void of emotion and founded in research of your specific situation.

If you need assistance in establishing a God honoring financial plan, please request a consultation with our office. You can reach us at 888-226-7614 or you can schedule a consultation online at www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Obedience in our Stewardship

Obedience in our StewardshipScripture mentioning financial issues is throughout the bible, in fact, there are over 2300 verses detailing how we should handle money. God knew we were going to struggle with stewardship of the “treasures” he has blessed us with. As I counsel people of all denominations, ethnic groups, ages, and genders, I see the struggles that people have with money. To be good stewards, we must first understand obedience and ownership. God owns it all and we manage those assets belonging to God which is the definition on a steward. The focus begins with obedience after we realize ownership and we must strive to honor God in our stewardship. There are many scriptures teaching us to honor God of which I have shared a few. The simple question regarding stewardship decisions is “Would God approve of this financial decision?”.

1 Corinthians 10:31 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 6:20 

For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Samuel 2:30 

Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Proverbs 3:9 

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce;

2 Timothy 2:21 

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Deuteronomy 6:5 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

1 Corinthians 3:16 

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

Numbers 30:2 

If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Joshua 24:15 

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Acts 20:35 

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.’”

 

Controlling the Physical

What are the non-verbal characteristics of a Christian? What are the non-verbal characteristics of a Christian? What would make someone who sees you in public think that you are a believer? I have taught many lessons on the non-verbal characteristics if a Christian and those identifiers include showing love, showing kindness, being joyful, being charitable, and having self-control. When we are unable to show those characteristics, many times it is because we have lost control of the physical, or “free will”. If we are unhappy and angry, it’s very difficult to show love, joy, kindness, and to be charitable. When we lose control of the physical, we start to treat our unhappiness with a number of sinful activities such as buying material things to make us feel better, being promiscuous, gambling, drinking, and addictions. Those symptoms are evidence of losing control of the PHYSICAL and our God given free will allowed us to slide down that path of sin. Free will can be used to glorify God or rebel against God.

Obedient stewardship is 100% free will. We can choose to avoid debt. We can choose to avoid gambling. We can choose to invest with a biblical perspective. We can choose to be charitable. To be obedient, one must control the physical. When we are free of financial concerns and worries, our attitude is considerably different and we can show that attributes of a Christian and ultimately be content in Christ and the Kingdom.

Why Risk Tolerance is Important

Risk toleranceRisk tolerance is the degree of variability in investment returns that an investor is willing to withstand in their financial planning. Risk tolerance is an important component in investing. is the degree of variability in investment returns that an investor is willing to withstand in their financial planning. Risk tolerance is an important component in investing. You should have a realistic understanding of your ability and willingness to stomach large swings in the value of your investments; if you take on too much risk, you might panic and sell at the wrong time.

Risk tolerance is often associated with age, although that is not the only determining factor. However, in a general sense, people who are younger and have a longer time horizon are often able to and are encouraged to take on greater risk than people older with a shorter-term horizon. Greater risk tolerance is often synonymous with equities and equity funds and ETFs, while lower risk tolerance is often associated with bonds, bond funds, and ETFs. But age itself shouldn’t determine a switch in asset classes. Those with a higher net worth and more disposable income can also typically afford to take greater risks with their investments.

Understanding Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance assessments for investors abound, including risk-related surveys or questionnaires. As an investor, you may also want to review historical worst-case returns for different asset classes to get an idea of how much money you would feel comfortable losing if your investments have a bad year or bad series of years. Other factors affecting risk tolerance are the time horizon you have to invest, your future earning capacity, and the presence of other assets such as a home, pension, Social Security, or an inheritance. In general, you can take greater risk with investable assets when you have other, more stable sources of funds available.

 

What to do with the Stimulus check?

Roth IRA or 401k?  Jay goes into what you can do with your stimulus check to contribute to your retirement.

What to Do with the Stimulus Check?  If you’re working at a company that offers an employer-sponsored retirement plan — specifically, a 401(k) plan — you might be wondering if you should participate in this or open a new individual retirement account (IRA) or continue to fund your existing IRA. There are benefits and tax considerations for both of these tax-advantaged retirement plans. Here are some factors to compare:

Annual contribution limits. For 2021, an individual may contribute up to $6,000 to a traditional or Roth IRA (with an additional $1,000 in catch-up contributions for people age 50 and older). Note that taxpayers may be limited in their contribution limits to a Roth IRA or be prohibited from contributing at all, based on modified adjusted gross income (for single filers or those filing jointly), as detailed by the IRS.

Employees with a 401(k) plan may contribute up to $19,500, and the catch-up contribution is also much higher at $6,500. In addition, a 401(k) plan may have an employer match (often 2% or 3%), which helps boost retirement savings more quickly; this may require the employee to make a required contribution amount to trigger the employer match. The employer’s contributions do not count toward the employee’s contribution limit.

With a 401(k) plan, the employee’s contributions are deducted from their salary as a pretax contribution, and funds grow tax-deferred. With an IRA, you have the option of opening either a traditional or Roth IRA, which will determine whether those funds are taxed when withdrawn (traditional) or when contributed (Roth).

Guaranteed Life Insurance Explained

You often see commercials on television offering “Guaranteed Life Insurance”.  Those commercials are talking about Graded Death Benefit Life insurance and I think it is important to understand these types of life insurance contracts.You often see commercials on television offering “Guaranteed Life Insurance”.  Those commercials are talking about Graded Death Benefit Life insurance and I think it is important to understand these types of life insurance contracts

There are several different types of life insurance policies which are designed to meet the needs of individuals of all ages. You may have heard about graded premium whole life insurance that promises for a low price to guarantee coverage that holds the same premiums into your senior years. But what is graded death benefit insurance and is it a good fit for you?

 

What is Graded Death Benefit Life Insurance?

 

It is a permanent life insurance policy as opposed to a term policy that ends after a pre-designated period. What makes this type of life insurance different from standard permanent policies is that it is graded over time so that your premiums will not increase. This means that for the first two years of the policy itself if you should pass away the beneficiary will only receive the payments from the premiums and interests, but not the stated benefits. This means that for the first two years the beneficiary will not receive any more than what you paid in and the interest it has built up over that time frame. Although that may not sound like much, it should be noted that the average interest rate ranges from seven to ten percent with some insurers. This means that the interest rate is substantially higher than what you would find at a bank which is one reason why the policy is rather attractive for some.

 

Good candidates for a Graded death benefit are applicants who would not or can not qualify for medically underwritten life insurance contracts due to existing health concerns such as diabetes, recent cancers, cardiovascular issues, and some diseases.

 

It is a good idea to speak with a professional who can first see if you are qualified for “day 1” types of life insurance. If you do not qualify for a traditional plan, then a graded death benefit option may be a wise choice for you.

Why Rebalance?

You may or may not need to do any rebalancing at that time, but reviewing your portfolio periodically is a good exercise. You may or may not need to do any rebalancing at that time, but reviewing your portfolio periodically is a good exercise. Rebalancing is a way to control portfolio risk. Rebalancing can help you keep your portfolio on track with your overall financial plan.

 

What happens when you rebalance your portfolio?

Rebalancing is the process of realigning your current portfolio holdings to your target asset allocation. What this truly entails is counterintuitive to many investors. When you rebalanceyou sell positions that outperformed and use the proceeds to buy more of a position that did not grow as quickly.

 

Does portfolio rebalancing actually improve returns?

Just to be clear: rebalancing doesn’t boost your long-term returns. If anything, to the extent rebalancing forces you to cut back on your stock holdings and put more money into bonds, it reduces the return you’re likely to earn over the long-term, as stocks tend to outperform bonds over long periods.

 

How often should I rebalance my portfolio?

Portfolio’s can be rebalanced at set time points (quarterly, monthly, annually) or at set allocation points (when the assets change a certain amount). A good rule of thumb is to rebalance when an asset allocation changes more than 5%

 

How do you calculate portfolio rebalance?

Let’s look at each step in detail.

  1. Review your ideal asset allocation. Your ideal asset allocation—the right mix of stocks, bonds, and other asset classes in which to invest your retirement money—is a personal decision. …
  2. Determine your portfolio’s current allocation. …
  3. Buy and sell shares to balance your portfolio.

3 Helpful Tips

3 pieces of advice entering the new yearAs we enter into a new year, here are three pieces of advice I recommend.

Change your passwords.

No one enjoys working with passwords, but they’re necessary for keeping your accounts secure — at least until something better comes along.

You likely already make sure that your passwords are strong and difficult-to-crack. You might even go the extra step, and never use the same password for more than one account at once.

But there’s another issue to consider: Should you change your passwords on a recurring basis? And if so, how often?

Conventional wisdom holds that you should change your passwords every few months. For years, this was the advice given by security experts, and it’s still easy to find this advice online.

Search for recurring payments

What Are Recurring Credit Card Charges?

Normally when you use your credit card to make a purchase, it’s a one-time deal. You swipe or dip your card at the checkout, or enter your details when shopping online, and that’s it. A one-time charge shows up for the purchase on your next card statement. You choose to pay it in full or pay it off over time.

Recurring credit card charges, on the other hand, are charges that come back again and again. They can be larger charges, but most often, they’re smaller costs that you don’t necessarily notice unless you’re carefully going over your statements each month.

Gray charges are a type of recurring charge that’s associated with hidden fees, automatic renewals or increasing service fees for things you regularly pay for. The “gray” comes from the under-the-radar nature of these costs; they can sometimes be the result of sneaky or even fraudulent tactics used by the company that’s charging you. In other words, it may be less apparent to you that you’re paying for them.

Negotiate a better cell phone plan

Call Your Current Carrier

After you’ve checked the status of your current cell phone plan/device repayments and done ample research on what’s available, it’s time to call and negotiate. Have your list of requests in front of you, and prepare what you are going to say. Let them know how you’re feeling and what you’re looking for in a new cell phone plan. Remember that the worst that can happen is for the carrier to say no.

Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away

If the carrier isn’t willing to negotiate, or what they are willing to compromise on isn’t worth it to you, it’s o.k. to walk away. Walking away from the company and going to another carrier gives you power to negotiate again. When one cell phone carrier door closes, another one opens.

 

 

 

The Importance of a Will

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children.

A will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children. If you die without a will, those wishes may not be carried out.1 Further, your heirs may be forced to spend additional time, money, and emotional energy to settle your affairs after you’re gone.

Wills can vary in their effectiveness, depending on the type, though no document will likely resolve every issue that arises after your death. Here’s what you need to know about these vital documents.

IMPORTANT ISSUES

  • A will is a legal document that spells out your wishes regarding care of your children, as well as distribution of your assets after your death.
  • Failure to prepare a will typically leaves decisions about your estate in the hands of judges or state officials, and may also cause family strife.
  • You can prepare a valid will yourself, but you should have the document witnessed to decrease the likelihood of successful challenges later.
  • To be completely sure everything is in order, consider having your will prepared by a trusts and estates attorney.

WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A WILL

Some people think that only the very wealthy or those with complicated assets need wills. However, there are many good reasons to have a will.

  • You can be clear about who gets your assets. You can decide who gets what and how much.
  • You can keep your assets out of the hands of people you don’t want to have them (like an estranged relative).
  • You can identify who should care for your children. Without a will, the courts will decide.
  • Your heirs will have a faster and easier time getting access to your assets.
  • You can plan to save your estate money on taxes. You can also give gifts and charitable donations, which can help offset the estate tax.

 

International Travel Tips to the Mission Field

International Travel Tips to the Mission FieldAs believers, we are often given an opportunity to travel abroad to the mission field. In this podcast I discuss various tips regarding international travel and the need for travel insurance.

What is travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a type of policy that reimburses you for money you lose from non-refundable deposits and payments when something goes wrong on your trip. These problems can range from lost baggage to flight delays to medical problems.

The more you’re spending on your trip, the more you likely need travel insurance. This is especially true for International trips and cruises, where travel problems become more expensive to solve.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

There are common things not covered by travel insurance. Make sure you read a policy’s exclusions so you’re not caught by surprise later. For example, a travel insurance policy could have medical coverage but exclude pre-existing conditions. So if an existing condition flares up during your trip, the travel insurance policy won’t cover it unless you purchased a pre-existing conditions exclusion waiver.

High-risk activities may not be covered, such as scuba diving. Nor are problems that happen because you were drunk or using drugs.

Medical tourism is also a common exclusion, so if you’re going abroad for a face lift, travel insurance won’t cover the hospital bills or aftercare.

What is travel medical insurance?

Travel medical insurance provides coverage for emergency medical expenses and emergency evacuation while you’re on your trip. If you suffer an injury, illness or problems with a medical condition that’s covered by your travel medical insurance plan, you’ll be reimbursed for reasonable and customary costs of emergency medical care. This also includes emergency dental care.

You can buy travel medical insurance as a plan by itself or as part of a more comprehensive travel insurance policy.

 

 

Inflation Impact on Retirement

Inflation Impact on RetirementThe primary concern for retirees is how inflation affects their purchasing power. This is true even if inflation remains low because seniors are more likely than younger consumers to spend money on things that tend to increase in price, such as healthcare.

Few things can cause as many problems for your retirement outlook as inflation. You know that when the average inflation rate increases, things get more expensive. But did you know that the types of goods and services used by the elderly are affected more by inflation than the goods and services used by younger people?

That means inflation is going to pack a bigger wallop to your retirement savings than you expect to face in your golden years.

As a matter of fact, seniors say that the most surprising thing they have discovered once in their retirement years is how much everything costs. When they started saving for retirement years ago, they knew that groceries, gas, medical care and other expenses would cost more than they were presently paying, but they had no idea the difference would be so dramatic. They never could have imagined how much more they would have to pay for everything they need.

Inflation can have a major impact on your retirement income and other financial planning concerns such as the cost for final expenses and Long-Term Care needs. As good stewards, we should consider the inflationary increases to our financial plan so that we can reduce the negative effects of price increases.

 

Investment Accounts for Children

Investment accounts for childrenOne way we can raise good stewards is to begin teaching a child early in their life God’s plan for obedient stewardship. A unique opportunity to teach a child about investing is to create an investment account and include the child in the conversations regarding, management of the assets. There are three types of accounts that I choose to recommend based on the financial situation of the investor. The three plans are:

  1. The Uniform Transfers To Minors Act(UTMA) is a uniform act drafted and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1986, and subsequently enacted by most S. States, which provides a mechanism under which gifts can be made to a minor without requiring the presence of an appointed guardian for the minor, and which satisfies the Internal Revenue Service requirements for qualifying a gift of up to $14,000 for exclusion from the gift tax.[1] It is a more flexible extension of the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA), and allows the gifts to be real estate, inheritances, and other property.
  2. Coverdell education savings account(also known as an education savings account, a Coverdell ESA, a Coverdell account, or just an ESA, and formerly known as an education individual retirement account), is a tax-advantaged investment account in the U.S. designed to encourage savings to cover future education expenses (elementary, secondary, or college), such as tuition, books, and uniforms (for the same year as the distribution). It is found at Section 530 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.  530). Coverdell ESAs were first introduced under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
  3. 529 plan is a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the United States designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. In 2017, K–12 public, private, and religious school tuition were included as qualified expenses for 529 plans along with post-secondary education costs after passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Should I Co-Sign?

Scripture gives us an abundance of advice regarding financial stewardship, and although it does not specifically say “co-signing”, we can gather enough information relating to the topic.I am often asked questions regarding the subject of co-signing for a loan. Scripture gives us an abundance of advice regarding financial stewardship, and although it does not specifically say “co-signing”, we can gather enough information relating to the topic to know that it is not a good idea and here is why:

It doesn’t really help.  The reason the person needs a co-signer is because the lender doesn’t have confidence they borrower can pay.  Could it be that we perpetuate the problems of poor credit or money management issues by co-signing?   Wouldn’t wisdom tell us that saying “no” could be the best help we could offer?

Co-signing is implicitly agreeing to debt.  Whereas the Bible never says “Debt = Sin”, it does portray debt as being a type of bondage.  Wise Solomon, who disdained co-signing, also said, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7

The relationship is jeopardized.  If we assume that the lender who originally turned down the loan was correct in doing so, there is a good chance that the co-signed loan will not get paid.  At that point, the one who co-signed will be required to make those payments, which, in most cases, will strain or even break the relationship with the borrower.

Proverbs addresses this subject in the following passages:

Proverbs 17:18 One who lacks sense gives a pledge and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.

Proverbs 11:15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.

 

A Materialistic Christmas

materialistic christmasWe are in high gear with just a few weeks remaining until Christmas. Christmas has turned from a day of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ into the devil’s holiday as materialism consumes our thoughts. God knew we would struggle with materialism as it is valuing the physical over the spiritual. Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus warned about the three deadly dangers of materialism.

First, materialism is deadly because it consumes a person. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (verse 19). Earthly wealth does not provide ultimate satisfaction. It is undependable. It is not wrong to be wealthy. Working hard, providing for our families and saving for the future are godly virtues. Jesus is not teaching asceticism. Jesus is forbidding storing up things as if they had the ultimate importance.

Jesus warned, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (verse 21). Wherever we invest our treasure will ultimately determine the direction of our lives. Focusing on this life leads to being consumed with this life. We must invest in eternity.

Second, materialism is deadly because it blinds a person. Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (verses 22-23). Jesus is using a play upon words. The word translated bad can also mean envious or covetous. The word translated clear can also mean generous. Proverbs 28:22 says, “A man with an evil eye (envious, covetous) hastens after wealth.”

Jesus is basically saying, “As the physical eye allows physical light into the body so your mind allows spiritual truth into your life.  If your mind is clouded by materialism, spiritual truth will not penetrate your mind.” Materialism blinds a person. It blinds a person to the value of spiritual things. It blinds a person to the gospel. It blinds a person to what truly matters.

In Luke 12:16-21 Jesus told the story of a very materialistic person. This man tore down his barns and built larger ones to contain all his wealth.  The man said, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry (verse 19). That very night he died. Jesus pronounced the man foolish. Jesus said, “So is the man who stores up treasure to himself, and is not rich toward God” (verse 21). In Luke 9:25 Jesus asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loses his soul?”

Third, materialism is deadly because it demands worship. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (verse 24). Every person is a slave to something or someone. We are all ultimately slaves to God or slaves to sin.

Money can easily become an idol in our lives. Do you love wealth more than you love anything else- including God? Do you believe money and physical things will bring you the greatest happiness and joy?

If materialism does not satisfy, what does satisfy? It is only the Person of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Only Jesus died for our sins. This life is short. James, the half brother of Jesus, said, “You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). We must value the spiritual over the physical. We must value the eternal over the temporal. We must focus on the future and not just today. We must turn to Jesus today!

 

Donor Advised Funds

Give it away?  Instead of selling their potentially taxable appreciated assets, benevolent clients might want to donate the shares to a qualified charity.Give it away?

Instead of selling their potentially taxable appreciated assets, benevolent clients might want to donate the shares to a qualified charity. The process can be a little tedious, but not much more than selling the asset, calculating the cost basis, incurring capital gains taxes and then writing a check.

If the appreciated asset is worth more than what the clients would like to donate right now, they should look at placing all they wish to get rid of into a donor advised fund (DAF).

Then they will receive a larger tax deduction in 2020, and can choose if and when to donate from the DAF in the future (albeit, without a tax break at the time of the distribution). In an ideal scenario, the clients could donate some of their appreciated assets to the DAF in 2020 and then sell another portion in the same year. They could then use the tax break received by the donation to the DAF to offset all of the tax cost incurred by selling the appreciated assets.

How a donor-advised fund works

Make a tax-deductible donation

Donate cash, stocks or non-publicly traded assets such as private business interests, cryptocurrency and private company stock to be eligible for an immediate tax deduction. A contribution to a donor-advised fund is an irrevocable commitment to charity; the funds cannot be returned to the donor or any other individual or used for any purpose other than grantmaking to charities.

Grow your donation, tax-free

While you’re deciding which charities to support, your donation can potentially grow, making available even more money for charities. Most sponsoring organizations have a variety of investment options from which you can recommend an investment strategy for your charitable dollars.

Support charities you love, now or over time

You can support virtually any IRS-qualified public charity with grant recommendations from the donor-advised fund—from your local homeless shelter to your alma mater or religious institution. The public charity sponsoring your account will conduct due diligence to ensure the funds granted go to an IRS-qualified public charity and will be used for charitable purposes.

 

 

Seek Godly Advice

Seeking Godly advice on money and financial stewardship.The Bible has over 2300 verses that discuss money and financial stewardship. Scripture relating to debt, investing, giving, and sin is found throughout the gospels. God knew we would struggle with stewardship and the amount of instruction on money management within the Bible is proof of this. With money being such an important topic, I find that the trend of investing online with Robo Advisors and cheap online stock trades alarming. People become very confident in their investing abilities during bull market runs and under confident when a correction or recession occurs. At no time does the act of obedient stewardship come into play as people avoid the use of God honoring advisors and do it themselves through online opportunities. Would you perform brain surgery on yourself? Would you self-diagnose a cancer and treat yourself without expert advice? Why is the most discussed topic in scripture any different? Avoiding using counsel to help you align your beliefs with management of God’s assets is poor stewardship. Tax planning and estate planning are no different. Avoid the cheap alternatives that are offered online and pursue professional, God Honoring advise. It is important to avoid worldview advisors, tax professionals, and attorneys. Seek those advisors that understand obedience to God is the first criteria to be met. What does scripture say about using or seeking advice?

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

The Importance of Diversification

The importance of diversificationIn times of economic uncertainty, I like to focus the conversation regarding investing to risk tolerance and diversification. These are tumultuous times. We have the issues with the pandemic, politics, and social divisions across the globe. People are genuinely concerned. During these troubled times it is important to focus on the guidance God has delivered to us regarding our stewardship. King Solomon gave wonderful advice concerning diversification.

Ecclesiastes 11:2

Invest is seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

Why diversify?

The goal of diversification is not necessarily to boost performance—it won’t guarantee gains or guarantee against losses. Diversification does have the potential to improve returns for the level of risk you choose to target.

To build a diversified portfolio, you should look for investments—stocks, bonds, cash, or others—whose returns haven’t historically moved in the same direction and to the same degree. This way, even if a portion of your portfolio is declining, the rest of your portfolio is more likely to be growing, or at least not declining as much.

Another important aspect of building a well-diversified portfolio is trying to stay diversified within each type of investment.

Within your individual stock holdings, beware of overconcentration in a single investment. For example, you may not want one stock to make up more than 5% of your stock portfolio. It’s smart to diversify across stocks by market capitalization (small, mid, and large caps), sectors, and geography. Again, not all caps, sectors, and regions have prospered at the same time, or to the same degree, so you may be able to reduce portfolio risk by spreading your assets across different parts of the stock market. You may want to consider a mix of styles too, such as growth and value.

When it comes to your bond investments, consider varying maturities, credit qualities, and durations, which measure sensitivity to interest-rate changes.

 

Non-Qualified Investing

A non-qualifying investment is an investment that does not qualify for any level of tax-deferred or tax-exempt status.A non-qualifying investment is an investment that does not qualify for any level of tax-deferred or tax-exempt status. Investments of this sort are made with after-tax money. They are purchased and held in tax-deferred accounts, plans or trusts. Returns from these investments are taxed on an annual basis.

With non-qualifying investments, typically the investor is under no annual restrictions on the amount they can put towards such assets. This can offer more flexibility in some regards compared with qualifying investment accounts, which typically have maximum amounts that may be contributed depending on the type of asset. For instance, employee 401(k) contributions have an annual maximum contribution that can be made toward their plans. The limit may change to some degree, determined by the Internal Revenue Service. A non-qualifying investment can see any size contribution made over the course of each year according to the account holder’s strategy for saving.

Account holders can also make withdrawals on non-qualifying investments when they want, though they will pay tax on interest and other gains such as appreciation that have accrued.

Examples of non-qualified investments may include individually, jointly, and entity owned stocks, bonds, mutual funds, precious metals, guns, antiques, and real estate.

If you have questions regarding the subject of qualified investing versus non-qualified investing, fell free to call 888-226-7614 or visit www.kingdomplanadvisory.com to schedule a free consultation.

Qualified Plans Available to You

As we continue to discuss building a God honoring financial plan, we begin to discuss the third building block of the plan, which is qualified investing.As we continue to discuss building a God honoring financial plan, we begin to discuss the third building block of the plan, which is qualified investing. The most common options for qualified investing are dependent upon your type of employment. For those that are self-employed or work at an employer that does not offer a retirement plan, the traditional IRA and Roth IRA may be an option you use.

traditional IRA is an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), established in the United States by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (Pub.L. 93–406, 88 Stat. 829, enacted September 2, 1974, codified in part at 29 U.S.C. ch. 18). Normal IRAs also existed before ERISA.

A Roth IRA is an individual retirement account (IRA) under United States law that is generally not taxed upon distribution, provided certain conditions are met. The principal difference between Roth IRAs and most other tax-advantaged retirement plans is that rather than granting a tax reduction for contributions to the retirement plan, qualified withdrawals from the Roth IRA plan are tax-free, and growth in the account is tax-free.

Another option for self-employed business owners may include the SEP IRA.

A Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement is a variation of the Individual Retirement Account used in the United States. SEP IRAs are adopted by business owners to provide retirement benefits for themselves and their employees. There are no significant administration costs for a self-employed person with no employees. If the self-employed person does have employees, all employees must receive the same benefits under a SEP plan. Since SEP-IRAs are a type of IRA, funds can be invested the same way as most other IRAs.

For those people who work for a healthcare organization, not-for profit, or educational position, a 403 plan may be offered to you through your employer.

In the United States, a 403(b) plan is a U.S. tax-advantaged retirement savings plan available for public education organizations, some non-profit employers (only Internal Revenue Code 501(c organizations), cooperative hospital service organizations, and self-employed ministers in the United States. It has tax treatment similar to a 401(k) plan, especially after the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

If you work with a municipality, a 457 plan is an option that could be available.

The 457 plan is a type of nonqualified, tax advantaged deferred-compensation retirement plan that is available for governmental and certain nongovernmental employers in the United States. The employer provides the plan and the employee defers compensation into it on a pretax or after-tax basis. For the most part, the plan operates similarly to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan with which most people in the US are familiar. The key difference is that unlike with a 401(k) plan, it has no 10% penalty for withdrawal before the age of 55. These 457 plans can also allow independent contractors to participate in the plan, where 401(k) and 403(b) plans cannot.

And the most popular plan many employees have available to them is the 401k.

In the United States, a 401(k) plan is an employer-sponsored defined-contribution pension account defined in subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code. Employee funding comes directly off their paycheck and may be matched by the employer. There are two main types corresponding to the same distinction in an Individual Retirement Account; variously referred to as traditional vs. Roth, or tax-deferred vs. tax exempt, or EET vs. TEE. For both types profits in the account are never taxed. For tax exempt accounts contributions and withdrawals have no impact on income tax. For tax deferred accounts contributions may be deducted from taxable income and withdrawals are added to taxable income. There are limits to contributions, rules governing withdrawals and possible penalties

It is important you speak with an advisor and a tax professional to determine contribution limits and taxable consequences to each plan that may be available to you.

Prioritizing Your Plan

 A question that is asked in regards to starting a financial plan is “Should I pay off my debt before I start a financial plan?” Over the last several podcasts, we have discussed the building block of a financial plan and the important of protection planning and emergency fund needs. A question that is asked in regards to starting a financial plan is “Should I pay off my debt before I start a financial plan?” That is a great question and one that needs addressed. My opinion is that starting a financial plan by having your protection planning (Life insurance, health insurance, home and auto insurance) is a priority to attacking the debt issue. Creating an aggressive plan to pay off unsecured debt requires one critical point, and that is you are alive to earn the income to eliminate the debt. What happens if you pass away from an accident or illness without protection in place to replace you and your earned income? Now, you are leaving debt and lack of income because you prioritized debt reduction before protection planning. When looking for funds to cerate the foundation of the financial plan and elimination of debt, we must realize that we may have to give up some luxuries such as cable television, eating out frequently, daily Pumpkin Spice Lattes, car payments, and the newest and greatest Apple I-phone. When we look at our budget, many times we can create the necessary means to create the financial plan foundation and attack debt burdens. I understand reduction in many of the luxuries of our materialistic lives isn’t what we want to do, but it may be necessary to be an obedient steward. If you have questions or need a review of your current situation, please feel free to contact us at 888-226-7614. You can visit our website at www.kingdomplanadvisory.com and arrange a personal consultation online. Please do not be embarrassed by your current financial situation. Take control of it!

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is the 2nd building block of a financial plan and is critical to have in place for a myriad of reasons.An emergency fund is an often discussed topic among financial planners and consultants. An emergency fund is the 2nd building block of a financial plan and is critical to have in place for a myriad of reasons. Many planners advise that 6 months of income is an adequate amount of funds to set aside for emergencies. I believe that the amount depends on your circumstances. If you are a small business owner, then your emergency fund may need to be larger to bridge you through things such as non-essential business closures. I would suggest for the average family, a minimum of two months of income set aside for emergencies such as home, auto, and medical issues. You must realize, even with a good insurance program in place, the average claim is paid in 60 days. Your family will need access to funds while the death claim is being processed. You do not want you family cashing in IRAs and 401ks to survive while waiting on insurance proceeds. An emergency fund must be liquid and accessible. Do not categorize your retirement assets as emergency funds. Even qualified funds require distribution request and may incur early withdraw penalties and taxes. I suggest emergency funds be held in a checking, savings, money market, or 30 day CD. I believe emergency funds are assets that you can get your hands on with 24-48 hrs. You must be obedient to your financial plan and possibly need to change your budget to create the emergency fund as quickly as possible. Once the emergency plan is in place, avoid using the funds for anything other than emergencies and review your current needs frequently to make sure that your emergency fund requirements are adequate at all times.

Determining Need

Life insurance is the building block of a financial plan.Life insurance is the building block of a financial plan. Life insurance allows a financial plan to be self-completing if you fail to survive until the goals of your plan are met. Determining the amount of life insurance need is an exact science. You can discover the number by answering an in-depth series of questions. The first number needed in the equation is current debt. Add you mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit cards to find this number. The second question to be answered is the amount of funds needed to replace your income. I use the number of 5%. For example; if I made 50,000 annually, I would need 1M dollars invested at 5% to replace my income. The third question to be answered are financial goals. These goals can include sending your children or grandchildren to college. As obedient stewards, I recommend we leave funds to the Kingdom at our passing as well. Lastly, the actual cost of burial. A number often used is 15k. By answering these questions, a person a make a good determination of the amount of insurance needed to replace them. We can never be replaced as a spouse, father or mother from an emotional standpoint, but leaving your survivors without adequate funds to carry on with their life and the goals you made together can be devastating. Once you have determined the need, solving the need can be done in several ways by laddering term insurance. Often, the needs carry a different time frame. By structuring term insurance based on the length of years the need is present can save you money that can be used within the financial plan in other areas such as creating an emergency fund, retirement funds, or being aggressive in eliminating current debt.

Tax Efficient Estate Planning

Tax Efficient Estate PlanningTax Efficient Estate Planning – Life insurance is an instrumental piece of a financial plan for a myriad of reasons. One characteristic of life insurance is that the death benefit is tax free to the named beneficiaries under normal circumstances. A majority of assets held in the United States today are held within qualified accounts, such as 401ks, IRAs, 457 and 403B plans. These qualified accounts are taxable upon distribution to your spouse, children, and other people. You can pass a qualified account to a spouse without creating a taxable event until the surviving spouse takes distributions. Non-spouse beneficiaries are required to drain the qualified account within 10 years.  Life insurance creates an estate of tax free funds without the taxation burden. By utilizing tax efficient estate planning, a person can blend the taxable and non-taxable estate. This tax efficient planning is a wonderful opportunity to include the Kingdom in your estate planning.

Scripture states in Psalm 24:1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. The world, and those who dwell in it”. We are stewards of God’s assets throughout our lifetime, including at our death. It is standard practice that people leave their assets to their family at death without regard to “ownership” and taxation.

Currently, a person can name a non-profit organization as a beneficiary of their qualified accounts without it being a taxable event to the charitable entity. A wise person should review their current beneficiary designations, life insurance plans, and their obedience to the Kingdom regarding their estate planning.

A Buy and Sell Agreement

A buy and sell agreement is a legally binding contract that stipulates how a partner's share of a business may be reassigned if that partner dies or otherwise leaves the business. Concerning discussions regarding uses of Life Insurance, we need to look at life insurance as a tool that uses leverage to accomplish a task. One of these uses addresses eliminating a potential problem with people who are partners or co-owners of a business. What happens when one owner passes away? What happens to their share of the business? Life Insurance can be used to provide a remedy for this issue by providing financial funds for a Buy-Sell agreement.

What Is a Buy and Sell Agreement?

A buy and sell agreement is a legally binding contract that stipulates how a partner’s share of a business may be reassigned if that partner dies or otherwise leaves the business. Most often, these agreements stipulate that the available share be sold to the remaining partners or to the partnership.

The buy and sell agreement is also known as a buy-sell agreement, a buyout agreement, a business will, or a business prenup.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Buy and sell agreements stipulate how a partner’s share of a business may be transferred in the event of the partner’s death or departure.
  • They may also establish a method for determining the value of a business.
  • The two most-common buy and sell agreements are cross-purchase, and redemption; some agreements will combine the two.
  • Cross-purchase agreements allow remaining owners to buy the interests of a deceased or selling owner.
  • Redemption agreements require the business entity to buy the interests of the selling owner.

Buy and sell agreements are commonly used by sole proprietorships, partnerships, and closed corporations in an attempt to smooth transitions in ownership when each partner dies, retires, or decides to exit the business.

The buy and sell agreement requires that the business share be sold to the company or the remaining members of the business according to a predetermined formula.

In the case of the death of a partner, the estate must agree to sell.

Listen to More Episodes here!

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mykingdomplan/?ref=bookmarks

Types of Life Insurance

In today’s podcast, we discuss the 3 types of Life Insurance.In today’s podcast, we discuss the 3 types of Life Insurance.

Term life insurance or term assurance is life insurance that provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a limited period of time, the relevant term.

Universal life insurance is a type of cash value life insurance, sold primarily in the United States. Under the terms of the policy, the excess of premium payments above the current cost of insurance is credited to the cash value of the policy, which is credited each month with interest.

Whole life insurance, or whole of life assurance, sometimes called “straight life” or “ordinary life,” is a life insurance policy which is guaranteed to remain in force for the insured’s entire lifetime, provided required premiums are paid, or to the maturity date.

A person’s unique situation dictates what type of insurance is needed. Variables such as debt, premium cost, age, health, and financial goals are all considered in the decision making process of purchasing life insurance and what type is needed to accomplish these needs.

A Self-Completing Plan

Life insurance is a topic that many people avoid.Life insurance is a topic that many people avoid. People do not like to talk about dying, and many more people don’t like the idea of paying premiums associated with life insurance. 1 Tim 5:8 states that “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” In regards to financial planning, people have many financial goals such as sending their children to college, retiring early, paying off their home and being debt free which are all achievable goals, but require for the bread winner(s) to be alive and earning an income. Life insurance allows a financial plan to be self-completing and allows the surviving family to not have a severe financial disruption associated with the death of a spouse or parent.

How Much is Enough?

How much money is enough?How much money is enough? The world says that money provides success, security, and significance. The world says we will be happier if we have more. Do people with more money find happiness? We see people playing Powerball, Mega Millions, and scratch off tickets daily attempting to “get rich”. Through investigation, we see that many of those people who have won millions playing their state lottery have found nothing but misery in the form of divorce, loss of friends and family, and even death from suicide and murder. Biblical view of money shows us that God owns it all and we are stewards of those assets. The power of money is broken by being a generous giver, not by attaining more.

Long Term Care

Long Term Care may easily be one of our largest financial expenditures in our lifetime. A person has a 68% chance of needing care to assist them with one or more activities of daily living. Long Term Care may easily be one of our largest financial expenditures in our lifetime. A person has a 68% chance of needing care to assist them with one or more activities of daily living. With a national average of $8,300 a month for full-time custodial care, lack of planning for this event can be financially devastating. There are a number of options available to plan for this event. A combination of Long-Term Care insurance, Medicaid friendly trusts, life insurance with accelerated benefit riders, and proper ownership of assets are a some of options available to someone as they plan for long-term care needs.

Healthcare Options

Healthcare is a major topic for all of us, but especially for those that are self-employed.Healthcare is a major topic for all of us, but especially for those that are self-employed. Those people who are need of their own health plans are dealing with issues in relation to premium cost, deductibles, exclusions, and doctor acceptance of their plan. Healthcare.gov  is an option for people to purchase “Obamacare” in their individual states. The deadline for signing up for Jan 1, 2021 plans is November 1, 2020 through December 15, 2020. Another option that can be considered and compared to the Healthcare.gov plans are Christian cost-share plans. There are several plans available, and may be a viable option for you and your family. They are not traditional health insurance, but by participating in a Christian cost-share plan, you will satisfy the government mandate to have health insurance.

Fiduciary Explained

The term fiduciary is a buzz word in the financial planning arena. The term is also applicable to our stewardship of God’s assets.The term fiduciary is a buzz word in the financial planning arena. The term is also applicable to our stewardship of God’s assets. Review the definition of fiduciary and envision how this applies to your personal financial stewardship. If God were looking to hire an advisor, what would your resume look like based on your past and current stewardship responsibilities?

“A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties (person or group of persons). Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other assets for another person. One party, for example, a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, acts in a fiduciary capacity to another party, who, for example, has entrusted funds to the fiduciary for safekeeping or investment. Likewise, financial advisers, financial planners, and asset managers, including managers of pension plans, endowments, and other tax-exempt assets, are considered fiduciaries under applicable statutes and laws. In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice, or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trusts.”

Kingdom Focused Retirement

Retirement is a hot topic. As a believer, what should our focus be as we prepare for that period in our lives.Retirement is a hot topic. We are involved in IRAs, 401ks, and pensions. Investment companies and advisory firms bombard us with marketing that is infiltrated with worldview. Many websites created by retirement consultants have photos of retirees on the golf course, on a sailboat, or relaxing on the beach. I have yet to see any retirement marketing that shows anyone serving the Kingdom as they transition to a different season in their life. Retirement isn’t biblical. It is mentioned one time regarding the church of Corinth and not one of us are priests from the church of Corinth. As a believer, what should our focus be as we prepare for that period in our lives. The answer is to do the only thing that brings contentment, and that is serving the Kingdom.  That change of focus from worldview to Kingdom service directly contradicts what we are told will bring us happiness from worldview marketing.  The God honoring plan should involve being an obedient steward, avoiding investments that violate our faith as we save, to avoid the use of debt, and finally to be financially stable and free from the worries associated with income issues. To serve the Kingdom without worry! Whether it be volunteering at a foodbank, orphanage, ministry, church, or mission. You can have a very rewarding and happy “retirement” serving our Lord.  You must simply refocus on what you are called to do.

Romans 12:2
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Making A Change

The world says there is no need for change, but scripture gives us a path to contentment we cannot find elsewhere.Change is often necessary regarding our financial stewardship. Sometimes change happens voluntarily and sometimes involuntarily. We are destined to make the same mistakes and stay in a rut of poor stewardship if we are not willing to make a change. Change may require us to stop using debt, may require us to live with less,  may require us to be more aggressive with the amount of money we save. The world says there is no need for change, but scripture gives us a path to contentment we cannot find elsewhere.

Faith Overcomes Your Problems

David's problem was not bigger than his faith!We are living in a world that has been turned upside down. Many people have lost their jobs, lost income, and have been restricted because of the pandemic. We have been limited to online worship instead of attending the church. Travel is restricted and there is no end in sight. In these times of trouble, I look to 1 Samuel chapter 17 and read how David overcame his hurdle, the 9 ft giant named Goliath. David did not overcome this problem based on what he had in material things, David overcame the hurdle based on his faith and obedience to God. His problem was not bigger than his faith!

Does Money Dictate Your Behavior?

Who do you serve? God or money? In today’s world, the overwhelming issue is that money is dictating the behavior of people.Who do you serve? God or money? In today’s world, the overwhelming issue is that money is dictating the behavior of people. In 1 Tim 6:10 we are told that the love of money is the root of all evil. I can attest to validity of that statement. Money cannot physically harm us, but the decisions we make on how we use the money or the thoughts we have on how to save, give away, or spend that money is a mirror of our faith.

The Church is an Organism not an Institution

The church is an organism, not an institution. There is a whole demographic of people who have changed churches or have left their church who feel bitterness because the relationships they believed were real, ceased upon leaving their church.The church is an organism, not an institution. There is a whole demographic of people who have changed churches or have left their church who feel bitterness because the relationships they believed were real, ceased upon leaving their church. God has not forgotten you and God still loves you. Don’t allow the failures of man to dictate your relationship with your creator.

Meet Jay Dee Schurz, Church Pastor, Certified Kingdom Advisor™, Certified Stewardship Instructor, and Host of the “Revolutionary Stewardship” podcast

Jay has dedicated his life to providing education to those people seeking to align their faith and values with their stewardship. Jay spent the early part of his life serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for 12 years and has served in the financial industry since 1996.

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mykingdomplan/?ref=bookmarks

Listen to more podcasts here: https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/revolutionary-stewardship-podcast/

Important Documents

Important Documents for your loved ones or executor.Your important documents and final wishes should not become a treasure hunt for your loved ones or executor. In this episode, I discuss the types of documents that need to be available for your beneficiaries and executor of your estate.  Regardless of age, this topic needs to be addressed and followed.

Meet Jay Dee Schurz, Church Pastor, Certified Kingdom Advisor™, Certified Stewardship Instructor, and Host of the “Revolutionary Stewardship” podcast

Jay has dedicated his life to providing education to those people seeking to align their faith and values with their stewardship. Jay spent the early part of his life serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for 12 years and has served in the financial industry since 1996.

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mykingdomplan/?ref=bookmarks

Listen to more podcasts here: https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/revolutionary-stewardship-podcast/

Being Proactive vs. Reactive

Proactive vs. ReactiveDefinition of being proactive versus reactive. There is a difference between being a subscriber of a service to being an owner of a company providing that service. As a subscriber, we can choose to avoid those things that are contrary to our beliefs. An example is subscribing to Netflix and choosing to watch family oriented programming and avoiding watching programs that are sexually explicit, show nudity and violence. If you have internet service, you can choose to avoid pornography and use the internet service to research scripture. It is all in the hands of the subscriber and how they use those services. If you own shares of a company that provide internet services or programming, you may be profiting from those things you disagree with. As a shareholder you can be proactive and voice your opinion to shareholder services or vote on key issues. Ultimately, you can divest yourself of those companies you own that profit from and support those activities that are contrary. It is a question of being proactive versus being reactive. Many times, it is an ownership issue.


Meet Jay Dee Schurz, Pastor, Certified Kingdom Advisor™, Certified Stewardship Instructor, and Host of the “Revolutionary Stewardship” podcast

Jay has dedicated his life to providing education to those people seeking to align their faith and values with their stewardship. Jay spent the early part of his life serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for 12 years and has served in the financial industry since 1996.

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Listen to more episodes here: https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/revolutionary-stewardship-podcast/

Difficult Topics of a Financial Plan

We, as responsible stewards, must be prepared for the unexpected.Creating a financial plan isn’t simply talking about investing. A financial plan has many moving parts that can and will change over your lifetime. There are topics within the financial plan that people like to discuss and there are issues that people avoid because of the sensitivity to the topic. Death is one of those subjects that people avoid, especially when discussing the potential loss of a child. Avoiding the subject does not prevent the devastating possibility from happening. We, as responsible stewards, must be prepared for the unexpected.

Meet Jay Dee Schurz, Church Pastor, Certified Kingdom Advisor™, Certified Stewardship Instructor, and Host of the “Revolutionary Stewardship” podcast

Jay has dedicated his life to providing education to those people seeking to align their faith and values with their stewardship. Jay spent the early part of his life serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for 12 years and has served in the financial industry since 1996.

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mykingdomplan/?ref=bookmarks

Listen to more podcasts here: https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/revolutionary-stewardship-podcast/

The Dangers of Insolvency

An alarming trend that I see as a financial planner is the high number of Christians who’s estate would be insolvent at death.An alarming trend that I see as a financial planner is the high number of Christians who’s estate would be insolvent at death. Insolvency is when your you owe more than what you are worth. I also see a larger number of people accumulating debt past the age of 65. These issues have the strong potential to leave a disaster for you loved ones. Simple planning based on God’s word can lead us out of the quicksand before it becomes a devastating financial issue after you have moved on to your eternal home.

Meet Jay Dee Schurz, Church Pastor, Certified Kingdom Advisor™, Certified Stewardship Instructor, and Host of the “Revolutionary Stewardship” podcast

Jay has dedicated his life to providing education to those people seeking to align their faith and values with their stewardship. Jay spent the early part of his life serving in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman for 12 years and has served in the financial industry since 1996.

Do you have a question? Email jay at jschurz@vanderbiltsecurities.com

Visit my website here www.kingdomplanadvisory.com

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mykingdomplan/?ref=bookmarks

Listen to more podcasts here: https://ultimatechristianpodcastnetwork.com/revolutionary-stewardship-podcast/

Revolutionary Stewardship

Financial Stewardship is meaningless without that eternal perspective and how it guides us through the decisions we make. In Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, King Soloman observed and journaled many things pertaining to the seasons of our lives. His conclusion was that everything is meaningless without God’s eternal perspective he has placed in our heart. Financial Stewardship is meaningless without that eternal perspective and how it guides us through the decisions we make.