30.6 F
Waurika
Monday, February 18, 2019
Home Dave Ramsey Says

Dave Ramsey Says

Dave Ramsey Says Column: “Is Rent to Own OK?”

0

Is Rent to Own OK?

Dear Dave,

Is it okay to buy something using a rent-to-own plan?

Josh

Dear Josh,

I advise against rent-to-own deals. Rent-to-own places get people in the door with promises of low monthly or weekly payments. But when it comes to rent-to-own furniture, washer and dryer sets, and that kind of thing, you’ll end up paying much, much more than if you saved up and bought item outright. The amount you’ll pay out of pocket is even more ridiculous if you compare it to buying the same item, slightly used, somewhere else.

I don’t recommend rent-to-own scenarios when it comes to buying a home, either. Most of those offerings are listed at full retail price and then some. Plus, the contracts are tilted toward the seller’s side of the equation. And very few people who sign a rent-to-own home deal follow through and become homeowners.

When it comes to real estate deals, the only thing I would consider — other than an outright cash purchase — is leasing with an option to buy. That’s different than rent-to-own, because in a rent-to-own situation you’ve committed to purchase. On a lease with an option to buy deal, you have the right to purchase, but not the obligation.

Josh, most of the people who use rent-to-own deals are not in good financial shape. They’re deeply in debt, and they have no money. Rent-to-own ensures they’ll stay there.

—Dave

Disability insurance elimination period?

Dear Dave,

I’m looking at long-term disability insurance policies. What does the term “elimination period” mean?

Glen

Dear Glen,

The elimination period is, by definition, the time from the point you’re declared disabled by a doctor until you begin receiving payments from the insurance company. If you have a 90-day elimination period, it will be about that long from the time you’re officially declared disabled until you see your first check.

I recommend 90- to 180-day elimination periods, depending on what kind of financial shape you’re in, and how much money you have stashed away in savings, investments, and your emergency fund. If you have a fully-loaded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses — and you have little or no debt, plus other money stashed away — you should be able to carry a policy with a longer elimination period.

And remember, the longer the elimination period, the lower your premiums will be. Hope this helps, Glen!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Ramsey Says June 18 2018

0

Stop playing with silver and gold and pay off that debt!

Dear Dave,

I make about $240,000 annually, and I will be maxing out my 401(k) contributions this year. I have $60,000 in student loan debt I’m trying to pay off, a small amount left on my home mortgage, plus I’ve been investing in a lot of gold and silver. Those investments are worth about $30,000 right now. In addition to this, I’ve got $10,000 in cash just sitting in a savings account for emergencies. Should I stop the gold and silver investing, and focus on paying off the loans, or keep splitting my money between them?

Adam

Dear Adam,

I’d stop investing in gold and silver completely. I don’t put money in precious metals at all, because they have a lousy long-term track record.

My advice would be to cash out every bit of your gold and silver, and put the money toward paying off your student loans. That would instantly cut your student loan debt in half. Then, with your salary, you should be able to pay off the rest in just a few months.

The key will be to start living on a very strict budget. Don’t spend on anything that’s not absolutely necessary. I also want you to temporarily stop contributing to your 401(k). Do this just until you get the student loan debt wiped out, then pick it up again like before. If you want to put even more toward retirement, you could check with a quality investment professional — one with the heart of a teacher — to see if you’re eligible for a back-door Roth IRA. When it’s all said and done, Adam, I want you to have 15 percent of your yearly income going toward retirement.

You already know the value of saving and investing. With your income, once you knock out your debt and begin investing again, you have the very real potential to become a millionaire in just a few years!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.S

Dave Says May 22 2018

0

It takes two

Dear Dave,

My husband has an old car that has become a real sticking point between us. He bought it for $2,400, and it needs about $4,000 in repairs and restoration. Together, we bring home $50,000 a year, and I feel like this car is interfering with our ability to save money and pay off $35,000 in debt. We already have two decent cars we drive to work, so what should I do about this?

Stacy

Dear Stacy,

There are lots of guys out there who like shiny toys — especially cars. I get it, because I’m one of them. But these kinds of things are luxuries, and stuff like this should wait until the household and finances are in order. The family should always come first.

Dumping money into this while you two are struggling financially doesn’t make sense. On top of that, it’s causing problems between you two on a deeper level. I’m sure your husband isn’t a bad guy, so try sitting down with him and explaining how it makes you feel. Let him know what it’s doing to your finances and your marriage. You might even write the financial side down, so he can see exactly what kind of shape you two are in and where the money is going.

Once you do this in a kind, but concerned, manner, it may be a real eye-opener for him. On top of that, you might consider giving him a little incentive to get on board with the idea of getting your finances in order. Suggest that once the debt is gone, and you’ve got some savings in place, there might be a little extra cash on hand to help get that car up and running.

Good luck, Stacy!

—Dave

Postpone the marriage?

Dear Dave,

My fiancé and I are planning to be married in less than a year. We’ve both been through your class at church, and the other night we started wondering if we should wait to have the wedding until we’re both completely debt-free. Would you give us your opinion?

Michelle

Dear Michelle,

Congratulations! I hope you two will have long and happy lives together.

To answer your question, I don’t think there’s a reason to wait. When two people know they really love each other, they should get married whenever they feel in their hearts the time is right.

At this point, you shouldn’t be thinking about money as anything except an indicator of where you’re going. It doesn’t matter who got into debt or how, because everyone makes mistakes. But if you’re both serious about getting out of debt, living on less than you make, and are in agreement about how the dollars are going to be handled, then — where money is concerned — you’re ready to be married.

Many relationship experts say if a couple can agree on four important things — kids, money, religion, and how to handle the in-laws — they have a great statistical chance of a happy marriage. I believe this, too. And make sure you meet with your pastor for some good, pre-marital counseling before the big day. With all this going for you, I think you two will be okay.

God bless you both!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Says June 14 2018

0

No obligation here

Dear Dave,

My father died recently. He walked out of my life 25 years ago when I was a teenager, and he never wanted anything to do with me after that. His brothers, who have already paid for some of his final expenses, asked if I wanted to pay to have his body cremated. They didn’t ask for money, they just offered it as a chance to be part of things. I’m in good shape financially, and I could easily afford the cost. Morally, I wonder if I have a responsibility to help with things. Do you feel I’m obligated in any way?

Julie

Dear Julie,

I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry, too, about what happened with your father. I can’t imagine the mixed emotions you must have in your heart.

When someone asks me a question like this, I try to put myself in their shoes. Under the circumstances, I don’t think you have any obligation whatsoever — morally or legally — to help pay for anything. If you want to help, and you can afford to do so, then follow your heart. At the same time, I don’t think you should lose one wink of sleep over this if you decide not to contribute.

Twenty-five years is long, long time. I don’t know your dad, and I have no clue about his situation or state of mind back then and in the time since. I can’t imagine doing that to a child of any age, though.

Do what you feel in your heart is best. But in my opinion, there’s no obligation here. God bless you, Julie.

—Dave

Step by step

Dear Dave,

When is the right time to buy a house when someone is following your Baby Steps plan?

Samuel

Dear Samuel,

That’s a good question. Let’s start by going over the first few Baby Steps.

Baby Step 1 is saving $1,000 for a beginner emergency fund. Baby Step 2 is paying off all consumer debt, from smallest to largest, using the debt snowball. Baby Step 3 is where you increase your emergency fund to the point where you have three to six months of expenses set aside.

Once you’ve done all that you can begin saving for a home. I’ll call it Baby Step 3b. For folks looking to buy a house, I advise saving enough money for a down payment of at least 20 percent. I don’t beat people up over mortgage debt, but I do advise them to get a 15-year, fixed rate loan, where the payments are no more than 25 percent of their monthly take-home pay.

Doing it this way may take a little more time, and delay your dream of becoming a homeowner a bit, but buying a house when you’re broke is the quickest way I know to turn something that should be a blessing into a burden!

—Dave

*Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Says May 2, 2018

0

First, lay a solid foundation

Dear Dave,

When is it okay to have a little fun, and buy things you want, when you’re following the Baby Steps plan?

Kaitlin

Dear Kaitlin,

The time for a little fun is after you’ve completed the first three Baby Steps. Baby Step 1 is saving $1,000 for a beginner emergency fund. Baby Step 2 is paying off all debt, except for your home. And Baby Step 3 means you go back and add to your emergency fund until you have three to six months of expenses set aside.

Once you’re debt-free except for your home — and you have your emergency fund completed — you’ve laid a solid, financial foundation for your life. That’s when you can have a little fun and spend some money on a vacation, new furniture, or something like that.

Children think about their immediate wants and do what feels good. Adults, on the other hand, devise smart, logical plans, and stick to them. I want you to have a great life, but you have to put in some hard work and say “no” to yourself sometimes in order to attain that great life!

—Dave

It’s Baby Step 1 for a reason

Dear Dave,

I’ll be receiving my income tax refund soon. It will be enough to completely pay off my two smallest debts, or get my starter emergency fund of $1,000 for Baby Step 1 in place. What should I do?

Brandy

Dear Brandy,

I love that you’re excited about using your refund to start the Baby Steps, and begin gaining control of your finances. But we call the beginner’s emergency fund Baby Step 1 for a reason.

Bad things can happen while you’re working to get out of debt. That’s why I want people to get a little money set aside before they start Baby Step 2, which is the debt snowball. What if the alternator on your car goes out, or your refrigerator dies? Life happens, and things go wrong. When this kind of stuff pops up, and you don’t have any money set aside, you’re likely to quit the plan and wind up going even deeper into debt.

I know you want to get out of debt. I want you to get out of debt, too. But I want you to stick with the plan, and actually get out of debt, instead of falling off the wagon the first time you hit a bump in the road!

Dave Says October 18 2018

0

Pay it off!

Dear Dave,

I can’t decide what to do about my car. I owe $8,000 on it, and I have the cash to pay it off with plenty left over. One of my co-workers said I shouldn’t pay it off, because I have a very low interest rate on the loan. What do you think?

Derricka

Dear Derricka,

What do I think? I think your co-worker is broke. Taking financial advice from broke people is like taking dieting advice from fat people. In other words, it’s dumb.

Pay off your car, and never borrow money to buy a car again for the rest of your life. If you want to win with money, you have to get out of the land of car payments. The idea that you’re stuck with car payments — that you’re always going to have one — is the mantra of those who’ve given up hope. You are in charge of your life. You are in charge of your financial situation. Don’t be like all those folks out there who whine about stuff like stagnant wages and are unwilling to get up off their stagnant butts to make their lives better.

Derricka, pay off your car today. And please, don’t take any more financial advice from broke people!

—Dave

Emergency fund in cash?

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are completely debt-free. We would like to have part of our emergency fund in cash inside a heavy duty safe at home. How should we document this cash in the event of fire or theft? Also, would our homeowners insurance policy cover cash?

Will

Dear Will,

Typically, homeowners insurance policies have a limit as to how much cash they will cover. I’d advise re-reading your policy, and double checking with your insurance agent just to be sure. When it comes to documenting valuables, I’d suggest making a video or taking photographs. Just to be extra cautious, you could store these in a safe deposit box at your local credit union or bank.

Having some cash on hand is never a bad thing. When it comes to the portion of your emergency fund you keep at home, I’d recommend just being reasonable. If you’ve got $10,000 set aside for emergencies, I’m okay with you keeping $5,000 at home in a quality safe. I wouldn’t put all, or even most of it, in a safe, though.

Again, just make sure your homeowners policy covers anything you might put in there. A strong, fireproof safe is a must!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Ramsey Says November 8 2018

0

Wait on the honeymoon?

Dear Dave,

My fiancé and I are getting married in three weeks, but he lost his job as an experienced HVAC technician at a hospital a few days ago. Do you think we should still go on a honeymoon, or wait until things are more stable? I’m on Baby Step 3 of your plan, and I make $56,000 a year. I also have $7,000 in an emergency fund. He was making $64,000 a year, and he’s on Baby Step 2 with about $10,000 in car debt remaining. We have $3,000 already set aside for the trip, plus another $2,000 we were planning to put toward fixing up his place.

Corina

Dear Corina,

First, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I hope you two will have long and happy lives together.

Usually, I’m not a big fan of spending when someone loses a job. But I think your situation is a little different than most. You’re both serious about dumping debt and getting control of your finances. Plus, you’re working together, and you’ve already got a nice chunk of cash parked in the bank. That tells me you’re both wise enough to know the importance of saving.

Your guy can find another job in a couple of weeks, considering his field and experience. Companies everywhere are hiring people right now, and the economy is booming! If he gets out there and really busts it looking for another position leading up to the wedding, I think you two will be fine. He might even be able to work it out to start right after the honeymoon.

You two have some financial padding, his job is an easy one to replace, and his income will be restored soon if he’ll just get out there and make it happen. Go on the honeymoon, and have a wonderful time. God bless you both!

—Dave

 

Dental insurance for the kids?

Dear Dave,

Should I keep buying dental insurance for my kids, or is it just a gimmick?

Brenda,

Dear Brenda,

Dental insurance is one of those things where it’s easy to see that the payout is greater than the return. We’ve had dental insurance proposed to us at my company several times as an employee benefit, but when you add up what you pay for it you’ll find you rarely spend that much on dentistry. In many cases, I advise self-insuring for dental care.

Now, there is a dental discount company I highly recommend called 1Dental.com. This kind of thing is worth it. As a member, you get discounted rates on dental work when you visit an in-network provider. I’ve gotten to know the folks behind this organization, too, and they’re great people.

Hope this helps, Brenda!

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Ramsey Says November 15, 2018

0

Home warranties?

Dear Dave,

Are home warranties a waste of money if someone has been following your plan and already has six months of expenses set aside in an emergency fund, plus home insurance?

Andrea

Dear Andrea,

Home warranties are a waste of money even if you don’t have quite that

much set aside in an emergency fund. I recommend an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses to cover the unexpected things that life will throw at you. This amount of cash, sitting in a good money market account with check writing privileges, will give you easy access in the event of a financial emergency.

I don’t recommend extended warranties of any kind. They’re just not a good deal. You’re better off to self-insure against things breaking down, and putting what would have been profit and marketing dollars for the extended warranty company in your own pocket!

—Dave

Put retirement on hold temporarily

Dear Dave,

Should I stop making contributions to my 401(k) account for a year in order to save up an emergency fund? Thanks to you, I’m 33 and debt-free.

Blake
Dear Blake,

Congratulations on being debt-free at such a young age! I appreciate the credit, but the truth is I just pointed you in the right direction. You made the sacrifices and did all the hard work. I’m really proud of you!

Yes, my advice is to temporarily stop making contributions to your 401(k) until you save up an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. It shouldn’t take a year, though, to set aside an emergency fund if you’re debt-free and making decent money at your job. Just make it part of your monthly budget plan, and get that emergency fund set up in a few months.

Here’s the way I look at it. If you don’t have an emergency fund, but you’re contributing to a 401(k), there’s a good chance you’ll end up cashing out your 401(k) if something happens that leaves you with a large, unexpected bill. When you cash out a 401(k) early, you get hit with a penalty plus your tax rate. That’s not a good plan!
And that’s just one of the reasons I tell people to have an emergency fund in place before they start investing.

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Ramsey Says January 3 2019

0

Worried about mom

Dear Dave,

My mom is 75, and I’m the executor of her estate. She has $500,000 in retirement accounts, and the only debt she has is around $70,000 on her mortgage. Most of her money is in the stock market, with only $20,000 in a money market account, and this worries me. She lives well within her means, so am I wrong to be concerned? Also, do you think she should go ahead and pay off her mortgage? 

Keith

Dear Keith,

Yes, I would recommend she go ahead a pay off the mortgage. If she can do that at age 75, and still have $430,000 left, that’s the way to go.

Now, being in the stock market at her age sounds like a shock to you. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. It’s not what the typical financial planner tells you to do. For the most part, they’ll tell you to get super conservative with your money as you get older. But from what you’ve said, she’s not going to use this money. She’s going to use the income from this money. So, the money’s going to be left alone. If she’s in good mutual funds, and not single stocks, I’m not worried about her.

Let’s pay off the mortgage, and then she can start taking her income off the remainder. With the house payment out of the way, she won’t need as much in terms of income, because she won’t be sending money to the bank to pay the note on the house anymore. I’m comfortable with that. I’m 58, and I’m 100 percent into stocks through mutual funds. I don’t have anything else, and I really don’t ever plan on changing that!

—Dave

Changing jobs and retirement savings

Dear Dave,

What happens to my Roth 401(k) when I change jobs and go to a company that doesn’t offer this type of investment savings account? How should you proceed in this situation?

Jamie

Dear Jamie,

Anytime you leave one company for another, you should always roll your 401(k) from your former employer into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). If it’s a traditional IRA, you roll it to a traditional IRA. If it’s a Roth IRA, you roll it to a Roth IRA. You would choose your own mutual funds, and you would manage your own accounts, with the help of a financial advisor of your choosing.

When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, my advice is to find someone with the heart of a teacher. A good financial advisor will help you make informed decisions about your money, and they will explain all aspects of your investments until you fully understand everything. In short, a quality advisor will never encourage you to invest in something you don’t understand.

Also, look for someone with the ability to assess your overall retirement picture. You need someone who will help you map out a complete retirement plan, and your advisor should be able to explain the big picture and provide a comprehensive, easy-to-understand strategy for achieving your retirement goals.

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

Dave Says October 11 2018

0

Spending money in the budget?

Dear Dave,

We are debt-free except for our home, and we have six months of expenses set aside in our emergency fund. Every time we do our monthly budget, we set aside a small amount of personal spending money for us both. Do you see anything wrong with this?

DeAnna

Dear DeAnna,

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a little fun money calculated into your monthly budget when you’re in good financial shape. The problems start when couples don’t agree on these kinds of things — or worse — when they start hiding stuff and lying to each other about where the money’s going.

People either grow together or they grow apart when they get married. When you start hiding things from your spouse you’re essentially keeping separate lives. That’s a bad sign in any marriage, and in many cases, this kind of thing leads to divorce.

Having an agreed-upon budget isn’t just telling your money what to do. It’s also an important part of a healthy sharing and communication process between husband and wife!

—Dave

 

Close up small business?

Dear Dave,

I have a small business, and I love what I do. Unfortunately, things haven’t been going well the last several months. On top of that, I’ve committed a lot of money to advertising in the coming year. Recently, I got a great job offer from a company that would pay me twice what I’m making now. What do you think I should do?

Hugh

Dear Hugh,

If it were me, I’d want to keep my options open. Closing your business would mean giving up all your customers. I’m not sure that’s a good idea when the offer has just been made, and you know so little about the actual job.

If you think this new job is something you might like, why not accept the offer and see if you can continue your other work on the weekends? That would help cover some, if not all, of your advertising commitment. Plus, it would keep some money rolling in if the new job doesn’t work out.

If you find you like this new job, then you’ve got a great income and something you like doing on weekends that pays. If you keep your business open — even on a small scale — there’s always a chance it will begin to grow again. Who knows? It might give you the opportunity to jump back into it full-time somewhere down the road!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

FOLLOW US

1,847FansLike
363FollowersFollow
289FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

RECENT POSTS