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 don’t understand what first right of refusal means.


Dear Craig,

A lot depends on the wording, but typically it means that 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 timeframe specified in the first right of refusal contract, you’d 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. They’re in the business of selling lots, not buying them, so it may be an easy deal.


OK for pastor to want to become millionaire?

Dear Dave,
I’m the pastor of a Midwest church. Do you think it’s morally OK for someone in my position to want to become a millionaire as long as the desire isn’t motivated by greed?


Dear Mike,

Sure it’s OK, but under one condition. A pastor, or any other Christian, should understand that they don’t really own anything. When it comes right down to it, we’re 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 you’ll see that many of the patriarchs, like Abraham, Solomon and David, were extremely wealthy – even by today’s standards. Some people argue that Jesus didn’t walk around with lots of possessions, but he was God in human form so he owned it all anyway!

People who say you can’t be wealthy and be consistent with Christian beliefs just don’t understand the Bible. If you can manage God’s money with wisdom and grace rather than greed – whether it’s $100 or $1,000,000 – I think you’re OK.


What is a workplace 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 I’m concerned about the possibility of losing the balance at the end of the year.


Dear J.B.,

You have every right to be concerned about losing what you don’t spend at the end of the year, because that’s 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 you’ll need.


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