News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Dave Ramsey

What does first right of refusal mean?

Dear Dave: I bought a piece of lake property not long ago, and the developer has first right of refusal if we decide to sell it. We originally looked at the property as an investment or building site, but I really donít understand what first right of refusal means. — Craig

Dear Craig: A lot depends on the wording, but typically it means you can sell property to another buyer subject to the developer not wanting to buy it back at that price.

If you decided to sell within the time frame specified in the first right of refusal contract youíd have to notify the developer that you have a written offer on the property. Then, you have to give him a chance to buy the lot first at that price.

Or, you could just ask the developer — in writing — to waive his first right of refusal if this is something you want to do. Theyíre in the business of selling lots, not buying them, so it may be an easy deal. — Dave

Pastor millionaire

Dear Dave: Iím the pastor of a Midwest church. Do you think itís morally OK for someone in my position to want to become a millionaire as long as the desire isnít motivated by greed? — Mike

Dear Mike: Sure itís OK, but under one condition. A pastor, or any other Christian, should understand that they donít really own anything. When it comes right down to it, weíre just asset managers for God. And if you understand this deep down in your soul, it will change how you view money and how you handle it.

If you look back in the Bible youíll see that many of the patriarchs, like Abraham, Solomon and David, were extremely wealthy — even by todayís standards. Some people argue that Jesus didnít walk around with lots of possessions, but he was God in human form so he owned it all anyway!

People who say you canít be wealthy and be consistent with Christian beliefs just donít understand the Bible. If you can manage Godís money with wisdom and grace rather than greed — whether itís $100 or $1 million — I think youíre OK. — Dave

Medical flexible account

Dear Dave: What is your opinion of workplace medical flexible spending accounts? I have one, and I like the pre-tax savings for medical bills. But Iím concerned about the possibility of losing the balance at the end of the year. — J.B.

Dear J.B.: You have every right to be concerned about losing what you donít spend at the end of the year, because thatís exactly what will happen! Basically, this type of plan is a pre-tax way to save money to cover your deductibles and the out-of-pocket portion of your medical bills. So estimate your spending very carefully, then set your savings up to be a little less than what you think youíll need. — Dave

Dave Ramsey Dave Ramsey
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