SCAM Alert: Ticketmaster,
Minute with Maxwell: “Abundance”
Welcome to Financial Freedom God’s Way Radio. This is where you to learn to identify, apply, and pass on, Bible-based financial principles and applications so that you and your family will not only just survive, but thrive during these very uncertain times.
Hi and welcome everyone, this is Bob Louder from Christian Financial Ministries, and it is an absolute honor to have you with us again, it really is. Now, what is on the schedule for our 30 minute time together today?
I know you know that God’s Word is important—it is important to you and it is important to others—particularly important to the three generally underserved groups of folks in our community and the Body of Christ: Our single parents, our children, and our seniors. We have already talked about helping to meet the needs of our single parents and our children. This week you will discover what it is like to help our seniors learn, apply, and pass on Bible-based financial principles and applications.
Then we will respond to some real-world questions from real world people.
Boy, here’s something you don’t want to miss: according to Clark Howard, music concerts are really starting to ramp up again and so are the scammers. Today you will hear how to avoid Ticketmaster lookalike scams.
And finally, well finally, one of our favorite Christian leadership authors, speakers, teachers John Maxwell will share his thoughts on the Word ABUNDANCE.
So stay tuned, won’t you. It is going to be a time together with the Lord you are not going to want to miss. So, let’s start by making sure He is the one driving this time together—let’s open with a word of prayer. Father, we thank You for meeting with us, teaching us, and challenging us again today. Will You please give us ears to hear and the faith to put into practice all that you have planned for us today, to Your glory, in Jesus’ mighty name we ask, amen.
Now, as we kick off our Radio Seminar time together today, recall that God gives you His Word for two very good reasons. Do you recall what they are? Sure you do. First, He expects you, to get what He has to say to you, up and operating in your life, and then He expects you to allow His Word to flow through you to be a blessing to others to include our single parents, children, and our senior citizens. .
The point is, you are learning a lot about what God has to say about how to manage His resources, correct? Sure you are. And as you learn and begin to apply what you learn, you need to keep your eyes and your ears open for chances to help others learn and apply as well
So far we have talked about our single parents and our children, but seniors also desperately need to hear and apply Bible-based financial principles.
To start, let me set the stage for us by sharing with you some current statistics. As the matter of fact I just verified these stats this week. For example, the current data shows you that the average life expectancy today is at a record high of 76 years for men and 80 years for women. The data also shows that 64% of all Americans—including 64% of all seniors—are living paycheck to paycheck, and the data shows that 59% of all Americans—including seniors—are living beyond their means which is to say that 59% of all Americans to include all of our seniors have more money going out than they have coming in. Finally older adults are known to be vulnerable to a number of financially related threats to include things like fraud, identity theft, and something that is called “financial elder abuse.”
This means that seniors—seniors have some definite needs.
And one of the greatest needs seniors have is to be able to live a physically and a financially safe and comfortable retirement life as independently as possible—as independently as possible for as long as possible. However, these needs are complicated by a level of struggles, obstacles, and uncertainties that no other aging population has ever had to face. These obstacles include a really poor economy; there are hardly any jobs out there available for seniors. They are facing dwindling company pension plans—if they even have a company pension plan. They are looking at poor retirement planning. They are looking at unexpected health problems. And so many of our seniors are even caring for their senior parents. And you combine all of this with the challenges of living on a fixed income with almost no retirement—no retirement savings, and it becomes crystal clear that financial literacy is a necessary skill for all of our elders. Now, all of this combines into the need our seniors have for education, and training and some application accountability. And by the way, remember what we said during one of our very first times together? Remember that you saw that biblical financial principles are the same whether you are young or whether you are young at heart. His financial principles are the same whether you are young or whether you are a senior citizen. Now, that being true, there are still some very specific applications that apply only to our seniors.
All of this combines into the need our seniors have for—again—some education, training and some application accountability.
That being the case, what are some specific things that you and your community and your church—that you and your church can do to help seniors meet their needs?
For example, you can and should set up the capacity to help out financially—that’s going to need to be there—but you can…
…also provide financial literacy educational services that are specifically designed for Senior Citizens. You can provide individualized help so that these senior citizens can personally apply all that they learn. And you can provide these financial literacy services by using experienced, professional financial coaches and trained Senior Citizen volunteers all who have three things in common—three things in common for those who are going to help your seniors. Number one, they need to have a history—they need to know how to work with senior citizens. Number two, they cannot have anything to sell. The people who are going to help your seniors ought not to try to sell your seniors a single product. And number three, these folks need to be around for a while to help provide some long term follow-up help.
Your church can also set up programs for seniors to learn to help themselves and to help others. For example, why not involve your seniors when planning church senior support programs?–get them involved in the planning process. You can even certify some of your seniors to help teach, and train and counsel other seniors and others in the church.
So, there are quite a few things we can and should do to help our senior citizens, but seniors have some responsibilities as well. For example,
Seniors need to be alert to the fact that the biggest obstacle they are going to face as they try to first survive and then thrive during the perilous economic times of their senior years is to recognize their lack of knowledge and their inability to correctly assess where they are financially—their ability or inability to set financial goals, then finally to develop and manage a plan to help them reach the goals that they set.
They need to make their financial and informational needs known,
They need help to take advantage of whatever financial literacy programs are available.
Seniors need help to put into practice and to share with others what it is that they learn.
My friend, as you begin to put all of this together for our seniors, do you know what you are going to find? When we begin to move to recognize and help meet the financial needs of our seniors, we will find that our senior community is going to get stronger; it’s no longer going to get weaker. Our seniors will begin to reduce their vulnerability to a number of financial threats for example—again—like fraud, identity theft, and financial elder abuse. They will also have an increased ability to live and enjoy life on a fixed income and be better equipped to actively take part in a “community” –a community of like-minded and trained senior service volunteers to help serve each other and others as well.
So, there you have it…three “underserved” groups of folks in your church and your community. You have seen their needs, some of the things you and other like-minded folks can do to help meet those needs, and you have also seen some of the responsibilities each of these folks have as they receive help.
My friend, it is just exactly like you have seen right from the very start of our radio times together—according to the Bible, the Lord has in mind for you to do two things—two things with all that He is giving you. First of all, you are to prayerfully learn, understand and apply—that’s the first thing. Then secondly, you are to prayerfully begin to help others do the same. Remember, according to the Bible, you are not fully trained—you cannot expect to be able to fully live out what you learn in your own life, until you come to the point that you help get it up and operating into the lives of others as well. It is simply the disciple-making process applied to personal spiritual and financial transformation.
Simply put, if you want to see all of these Bible-based spiritual principles and spiritual applications alive and well and working in your life—and I know you do or you wouldn’t be here right now, if not you would have already tuned out or you would not have tuned in to begin with. So, if you want to get all that God is giving you up and operating in your life, then you need to ask the Lord to help you share what He’s giving you with someone else. You have to ask Him. You have to ask for His direction to begin to share these spiritual principles and spiritual applications. And by the way, you can share what you know as you go…don’t wait to become an expert before you reach out to help someone else. Plus, the Lord will make sure you have something to share with everyone He brings across your path. You may not be able to help in every way but He promises you will be able to help in some way. You need to allow God to get you moving down your road to Financial Freedom God’s Way, but you need to also allow Him to send one or two or three or maybe even a whole busload along with you.
Now, as we finish up our radio seminar time together today, what I want to do is to pray for us. Father, we thank you that you are beginning to lay on our hearts the need to learn and apply what you are giving us. Thank you God for that. And Lord, we want to be more like Jesus—we really do. And we know that you show us in your Word that Jesus taught His disciples what they needed to know and apply and He taught them how to teach others to know and apply as well. Lord, the disciples became fully trained only after they began to teach and train others to teach and train others. Wow, what a great model You have set before us. So Lord, I pray that You not only continue to transform us, but that You would begin to show us exactly who it is that You want to transform through us. Father, we give ourselves—continue to give ourselves to You, to Your glory, and we do it in Jesus’ name, amen.
OK, let’s follow up our radio seminar time with a couple of great questions seniors have about passing along wealth to the next generation.
For example, how about this question?
Bob, my wife and I are Christians, but none of our children are. We’ve been entrusted by God with a large amount of money. I don’t feel good about leaving it to the children, since we have not communicated for a long time, and they’re not following God’s path. Would it be wise to leave any money to them? What does the Bible have to say.
Great question Josh,
First of all, the Bible is clear. As long as your children are under your care, you have a responsibility to support them. However, if they no longer are dependent on you, then the assets are yours to do with as your believe God leads. If you don’t want to leave anything to your children, you don’t have to.
However, I suggest you pray about this, talk it over with your wife, and be absolutely sure this is God’s direction. Don’t use your assets to “get even” with your children. It may be that by leaving them something, you would have one last chance to share the message of salvation with them. Another alternative is to leave something in trust that would be paid out later under very specific and controlled conditions.
Great question Josh, thank you
Here’s another great question
I’m a widow whose husband died many years ago. Our children are grown, and over the years I’ve given most of our assets to them. They’ve managed things well, and I don’t feel that they have any further needs. I would like to ensure that my remaining assets go to the Lord’s work, but I need them to live on until I die. How can I accomplish this?
Great question. One alternative you have is to place all your assets in what is called a living trust, with the charitable organizations you want to support as the beneficiaries. You can even place your home into this trust under what is called a “life estate,” in which you give up ownership but retain the privilege of living there during your lifetime. At your death, all assets in trust will go immediately to the charitable organizations according to the terms you decided on, and the assets will not be taxed. Because this is a very specialized estate planning law, I encourage you to contact a good Christian attorney in your area to have him handle the entire estate plan for you.
Here’s one final one for today
Bob, how do you feel about gold and silver as investments?
I believe that according to the Bible, Christians can invest in any area provided they know the potential risk and return and don’t risk money they can’t afford to lose. It’s no secret that gold has been used as a standard of value worldwide for thousands of years because
It’s easily storable
It’s divisible into small pieces
It’s a limited resource that can’t be counterfeited. And it’s the same with silver to a lesser degree.
I’ve been told by those who know a whole lot more about investing that I, I’ve been told that buying gold and silver as a hedge against runaway inflation or a financial collapse does make some sense. However, the majority of people who buy gold or silver do so because it’s a speculative commodity. That’s to say that they buy at one price, hoping to sell it at a higher price. Gold and silver prices tend to rise and fall with cycles in the economy, and very few people are able to accurately forecast these cycles. I’m not one of them. In my opinion, gold and silver are not good short-term investments for the average investor. A good quality mutual fund with professional advisors specializing in gold or silver would be better diversification.
Concerts are back! Bands are touring again, and according to our consumer advocate friend, Clark Howard, ticket spending is back to pre-COVID-19 levels. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by scammers, though. Recent reports to the BBB Scam Tracker indicate that con artists are preying on concert goers by pretending to represent popular ticket seller Ticketmaster.
Here’s how the scam works. You are looking to buy tickets to an upcoming concert or need to transfer tickets for a show that was postponed due to COVID-19. You do an internet search for your question, which brings up results for Ticketmaster. You click through to the website, and everything looks normal.
The website prompts you to enter your personal information and a credit card number. However, as soon as you complete a transaction, you notice some suspicious activity. You might receive tickets with someone else’s name on them, or you may never receive your tickets at all. In other cases, you get the tickets, but the site charges you a much higher rate than advertised.
Upon closer inspection, you realize you were not on the Ticketmaster site at all! It was a lookalike site with a similar name, such as “TicketSmarter” or “TicketFaster.” When you call the customer service number, they are either unreachable, unhelpful, or downright aggressive.
So, that’s how the scam works. Now, how can you avoid it?
Purchase directly from the venue. The safest way to purchase event tickets is to go directly through the venue, either in person or through their official website. The venue’s website may point you to Ticketmaster or another provider to complete your purchase, but you can be sure of having the correct website URL.
Check out the seller. If you purchase from a third-party company, make sure they are a reputable ticket vendor or reseller, not a ticket scalper. Check reviews on BBB.org.
Watch out for fake websites. Take a close look at the website’s URL to ensure there are no slight misspellings. Impostors like to make lookalike websites with domain names that are similar to well-known business names. This makes them hard to spot.
Use a safe payment method. Always make online purchases with your credit card. You can dispute fraudulent charges and have a better chance of getting your money back.
Minute with Maxwell
So, great Radio Seminar, Q&A, and Clark Howard times together today, Now, well now is one of my favorite times of the day when we get to spend a minute with Maxwell. Today, Christian leadership author, speaker, teacher, trainer, and coach, John Maxwell shares with us his thoughts on the word Relentless.
What I hear John telling is that staying relentless will keep us in the game, even when we’re ready to quit. What to do? Stay persistent, strong-headed, and remember, stay in the game. Thank you John Maxwell
And that just about wraps up our time together for today. But before we go I want to remind you again this fall we will be offering both our “How To Raise Money Wise Children God’s Way” and our new “Widowhood, What to do both before and after” seminars and workshops at our ministry location in Hiawassee—you will begin promoting these seminars soon. However, If you would like us to bring either or both of these complementary, no-charge seminars to your church all you need to do is to give me a call at 678-386-2640. That’s 678-386-2648. Our fall schedule openings are limited so please get in touch with me soon if you would like to talk about bring our “How To Raise Money Wise Children God’s Way” or the “Widowhood, what to do both before and after” seminars to your church or organization.
Wow, another great time together with the Lord today,
We talked about how we can help support our seniors
Had a great Q&A time
You learned how to avoid the Ticketmaster scam
And just heard from John Maxwell about the word Relentless
Yep, it’s been another great time together. Now, well now, let’s close as we always close, and that is with a word of prayer. Father, we thank you for bringing us together and teaching us today and for each of the days yet to come, to Your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Have a blessed rest of your day won’t you, and we will see you next time as we continue down your personal road to Financial Freedom God’s Way.