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Dave Says Archives for 2023-01

Remember, You're A Team

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

Earlier this month, my husband and I both were laid off from our jobs within a few days of each other. The layoffs were not our fault. The company is letting several people go as a cost-cutting measure. We cashed in an annuity because our finances have been tight, but the good news is he began training for a new job last week. We don’t have children, so I am interviewing or filling out applications every day. Should we use the cash from the annuity to live on until things are stable again, or should we use it to pay off debt?

 

Anjanette

 

 

Dear Anjanette,

If you haven’t done so already, contact your creditors and explain what happened. Let them know the layoffs weren’t because either of you did anything wrong, and that you’ll get current with them as soon as possible. This is a scary situation you’re facing, so make sure you two keep the lines of communication wide open and encourage each other while you’re solving this problem.

 

The good news, though, is it sounds like things may be looking up. Support your husband all you can as he takes on his new job, and make sure you continue looking for work, too. A little extra money never hurts, so temporarily taking on a part-time gig while you’re looking for a permanent position isn’t a bad idea, either.

 

Of course, you need to be honorable and pay your debts if possible. But that may have to be put on hold for a while. Right now, the important thing is keeping food in the house and the lights and heat on. Hug on each other, stay determined and keep each other’s spirits up. You’re a team, and you’ll get through this.

 

Always remember, too, that prayer’s a good thing.

 

— Dave

 

 

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 18 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, 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 for Ramsey Solutions.

I Know He's Your Dad, But It's His Responsibility – Not Yours

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

My husband and I just heard of your plan. We are excited to learn more about money, and we have already saved up $1,000 for our beginner emergency fund. Right now, we have a problem. My father has never taken his finances seriously, and the other day he asked us for $400 to pay his cell phone bill and overdraft fees at his bank. Even as an adult, he would go to his parents regularly before they died asking for money when he always had a good job. Giving him the money right now would make things really tight for our family, and we don’t want to lose the ground we have gained where our finances are concerned. Do you have any advice?

 

Brooke

 

Dear Brooke,

 

Way to go! It makes me to happy to hear folks so charged up and on fire to get control of their finances. You won’t regret the decision.

 

I’m going to be straightforward with you, ok? You and you husband need do the right thing, no matter how dad reacts to this. And the right thing, right now, is taking care of your family first and not putting your finances in jeopardy. If I were in your situation, my answer to dad would be no.

 

I understand there’s a feeling of obligation to help your father. But it sounds like dad needs to learn a lesson or two about life and money. When you say your dad is irresponsible with money, handing him more of it won’t help. It would be like giving a drunk a drink. On top of that, it will reinforce the idea he can continue being dumb with money and there will be no consequences.

 

Trust me, I understand the emotions involved in helping out a parent. If you feel this is a situation where there is literally no alternative, I’d suggest making the $400 contingent on your dad beginning—and successfully completing—a good financial counseling course. Whatever you do, be gentle and respectful when you talk to him. And make sure he understands it hurts when you see him struggling.

 

But let him know, too, it’s his responsibility to work through his bills and take care of his finances.

 

— Dave

* Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 18 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, 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 for Ramsey Solutions.

Managing A Friend's Will

 

 

Dear Dave,

 

Our next-door neighbor was an older single man with no family, and my wife and I always tried to look out for him and help with things. He died recently, and in his will, he left us his home, his car and the money he had in his bank account. The will was handwritten, and it said the house was worth around $350,000, with $150,000 left on the mortgage. The car is worth about $10,000. Officials at our county office building said the money in the bank account wouldn’t have to go into probate since I was listed as the beneficiary, and I was given a check for that amount. We’ve just never handled anything like this before, and my wife and I were hoping you would help us navigate things.

 

Steven

 

 

Dear Steven,

 

There are a couple hundred thousand dollars in equity involved here. The fact that the will is handwritten doesn’t necessarily invalidate it, but it does increase the possibility of encountering some bumps down the road.

 

I’m not a lawyer, so the first thing I’d do is talk to a couple of probate attorneys in your county. Find out what they’d charge to handle things. I wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars to get this done, but I would pay $500, maybe $1,000, to let someone who knows what they’re doing handle things. If your county affairs people are right and everything’s easy and straightforward, it’s not a lot of legal work for an attorney.

 

On top of that, if the attorney you work with knows folks at the courthouse and is familiar with how things work there, then it’s kind of like traffic court, you know? It’s almost automatic. I mean, we’re only talking about three assets here—a bank account that’s already been handed off, a car and a house that’s mortgaged. For me, it’d be worth a little money to have someone on my side who knows the path through the woods.

 

I’m sorry to hear your friend and neighbor passed on, Steven. But I hope I’ve been able to help.

 

— 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 each week. 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 take control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.

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