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Dave Says Archives for 2022-12

I'll Be Nice, But I'll Tell the Truth

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

I’m 32 and a teacher. My house is my only debt, and there’s $55,000 left on my mortgage. My parents always taught my brother and I about saving and being smart with money. The other day, mom and dad offered to pay off the rest of my mortgage by loaning me the money with a very small interest rate. I know you don’t like the idea of mixing money and family, but considering I have a great relationship with my parents, what do you think about this offer?

 

Lacy

 

Dear Lacy,

 

I’m going to make a suggestion before saying don’t do this. See what I did there?

 

But seriously, I’d recommend they just make the money a gift and reduce your portion of any later inheritance by that amount. By doing this, you could help reduce the possibility of your brother feeling slighted in any way.

 

I would never loan my kids money. And here’s why: One hundred percent of the time, the Bible says the borrower is slave to the lender. That doesn’t exempt parents and their kids. No matter how nice your masters are, you’re still a slave in this kind of situation—and you’ll feel it. Family dinners and get-togethers are different when you’re sitting down to eat with your masters—your creditors—instead of just good ol’ Mom and Dad.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you should act ungrateful that they offered a loan instead of a gift. It’s a generous thing either way. But if they don’t want to go the gift route, that’s fine. You have a good job, a nice home, and you’ll be okay. The thing is, I just wouldn’t want to take a chance on straining a great relationship—or even ruining it—because of money.

 

Lacy, you’re 32, a teacher and a homeowner. In my mind that says a lot about you, your maturity and your work ethic. That being the case, I get how this could be a weird thing for you to do. So, I’m going to give you an out: Blame me. Just tell them you talked to me, and I said don’t do the loan idea. Tell them I gave you the make-it-a-gift-tied-to-the-inheritance idea.

 

If your mom or dad wants to talk to me about things, that’s fine. I’ll be kind to them. But I’ll tell the truth like I always do.

 

— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show,” heard by more than 18 million listeners. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth, and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

 

Wait Until the Time is Right

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

Is it even worth it to buy a house these days? I’ve always been told buying a house is the adult thing to do and that it’s a great investment, but I can’t find anything decent and livable in my area for less than $350,000. My wife and I are debt-free, and we’re expecting our first baby in January. I was hoping to get your advice.

 

Craig

 

Dear Craig,

 

I can understand how things might feel a little hopeless in your current situation. You’re probably feeling the weight of the responsibility a new life brings to the picture. Things are getting real really fast, aren’t they? Believe me, I get it.

 

The truth is you may not be ready to buy a house today. And that’s okay. Having a new baby on the horizon doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a home. That little boy or girl isn’t going to know the difference between a house and an apartment for a long time. Right now, giving your child a safe, loving environment is the most important thing.

 

Now, looking down the road, is owning a house worth it? Yes. But it’s not worth doing it at the wrong time or in a stupid way. You first need to make sure the income is there. Then, you need an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses in place along with a strong down payment. So, what if you don’t buy a home for another two or three years? Home buying should always be done with patience and wisdom.

 

There are two or three things that make buying a home a great long-term investment versus renting your whole life:

  1. Rents go up every year. If you lock in a good, fixed-rate mortgage, that payment will stay the same.
  2. The value of your home will increase. When you rent, you don’t own your residence, and you won’t benefit from the value of it going up.
  3. Our study of 10,000 millionaires showed that most say two things were integral parts of their ability to build wealth: Good retirement investments and a paid-off home.

A house is a great wealth-building tool, and it can also stabilize the biggest line item in your budget—housing.

 

God bless you guys, Craig!

 

— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show,” heard by more than 18 million listeners. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth, and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

A Travel Agent for Guilt Trips

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

My dad and his wife asked my husband and I for $55,000. They want the money so they can pay off their debt. We’re debt-free and have a net worth of between $2 to 3 million, but we’re also retired. We don’t keep that much in the bank, so we’d have to draw from our retirement accounts—which is something we don’t want to do. They’ve already approached other family members about this too. His wife is owed money at some point from a family settlement, but they don’t want to wait that long. My dad said we should do this if we want them to get ahead and have anything left in their later years. My dad is 80, and his wife is in her late 70s. My husband and I are both in our 50s. Please tell me how to handle this.   

 

Karla

 

Dear Karla,

 

In their later years? I’m not trying to be mean, but they’re already in their later years.

 

I’m really sorry you’re in this situation. Even though you’re in your 50s, he’s still your dad, and I know this hurts your heart. It’s probably even tougher to accept the fact that he’s being manipulative. I mean, seriously. What dad calls up his daughter with the idea he’s entitled to $55,000 of her money and starts acting like a travel agent for guilt trips in the process? That’s just wrong.

 

Look, if the relationship and the situation were different, we might have something to talk about. With your net worth, you’re not going to miss $55,000 out of $2 to 3 million. In a good relationship, I’d help my mom or dad like that in a heartbeat—just to help them out because they’re older. But this situation already is what it is. Something tells me this isn’t the first time he’s behaved in a manipulative way. And if you say yes to this, then I’ve got a feeling it isn’t the first time you’ve caved into him. I’m worried you won’t be able to live with yourself if you do this, and that it may cause a big rift between you and your husband.

 

It’s wrong of your dad to treat you this way and put you in this situation. If you want to tell him your money’s tied up, which it is, or you just don’t like the way it feels, that’s fine. But my advice is to try to step back from the emotions and come to the realization in your own head that no is a complete answer.

 

You don’t have an ethical or moral obligation to give manipulative people money just because they’re related to you.       

   

— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert and host of “The Ramsey Show,” heard by more than 18 million listeners. He has appeared on “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning,” “Today,” Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth, and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO of Ramsey Solutions.

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