Byron Moore

Byron is a Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director of the Planning Group at Argent Advisors, Inc.

Byron has been in the financial services industry since 1982 and a Certified Financial Planner® practitioner since 1991. His financial columns have appeared in three North Louisiana Newspapers since 1993. His Money Matters television segment aired weekly on KNOE TV's Good Morning Ark La Miss from 1995 through 2010.

With 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Byron designs and implements financial plans that seek to protect, grow and enhance the enjoyment of his clients' wealth.

In addition to financial planning, Byron provides asset management services. Insurance services are offered through the affiliate Argent Insurance Services. Trust services are offered through the affiliate Argent Trust.

Byron and his wife Melinda have four children. They are why he smiles a lot.

Timothy K. Hamilton / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y7blnhhn

Are you ready to retire?

How would you know?

Retirement is certainly about financial readiness. But it is also about so much more than that. I think it is important that you address some very important issues:

First, Are you emotionally ready to retire? Work is a great source of identity for most of us. Just read the death announcements. “Joe Blow, 66, a plumber, died.” That’s it – how old he was when he died, and what he did for a living while he lived.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/ybe4gzea

Last week, I reviewed the identify crisis suffered by insurance companies, who forgot they are primarily security providers and not investment managers.

History shows that no matter how you package it, using the cash values of a life insurance policy as an investment accumulation vehicle is rarely a good idea.

What escapes many, however, is the corresponding truth that investments are usually very poor insurance.

Pictures of Money / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/ydcara3c

Life insurance. We need it. We hate it. We don’t really understand it. But we know we don’t want to be sold it.

If I had a message for life insurance companies, it would be this:

When you forget who you are, it’s easy to lose your focus.

The two decades spanning the 1980s and 1990s represent one of the most lucrative periods in history for investors. It was a time of declining interest rates, expanded borrowing, baby boomer buying and a growth in productivity made possible by the dawn of the personal computer.

Vimal Kumar / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/ychaps6l

You are a very normal, average American.

You know financial trouble is down the road – even a cursory look at what you’ve got in the bank and in your 401K proves that. But the thought of what it would take to fix things is just too much to fathom.

So instead of dealing with it, you put it off…again.

You put off thinking about it in your 20s because, hey, you had your whole life ahead of you.

You put it off in your 30s because you were having kids and stuff.

And you put it off in your 40s because now putting stuff off had just become a habit.

Jake Kitchener / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y7yt6shv

How much money do you need to save?

The answer: enough.

What other answer makes sense?

OK. But “enough” to do what?

Enough to make you financially free during your working years and enough to make going to work optional as soon as possible.

GotCredit / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/yabzglhq

Are you too…fraud friendly?

Unfortunately, too many Americans are susceptible to financial fraud.

Financial fraud solicitations are everywhere. It’s hard to tell how widespread the problem is because people tend to under-report. Who wants to get ripped off, then admit to the world what an idiot they’ve been? It’s a double whammy most folks are unwilling to stomach.

Steven Depolo / Flickr.com

I once had someone come to see me about their mother. They described her as “totally obsessed with not spending money.”

Apparently she never went anywhere or spent anything, nor did she throw anything away. Her house smelled pretty bad due to all the old newspapers and magazines she kept.

She was widowed, but her late husband had left her with more than enough money. Her children would swear she never spent a penny of it.

It sounded like a plot from a reality TV show.

Junk Dynasty, maybe?

Grant Tarrant / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/y8z8exnx

When counseling someone with a debt problem, I usually have to explain to them that the easy way is often the worst way.

Consider the individual with several maxed out credits cards. Of course they want to get rid of them. So they look at their 401K account and notice there’s enough money in there to pay off all their credit cards.

They tell themselves they can then save all that money they were paying to the credit card company and pay back the 401K.

If they ask my opinion, my answer is usually – “No.”

Paul Inkles / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/yb2g6myd

If you own a small business that involves family members, I’ve got a question for you:

Do you have a family-oriented business or a business-oriented family?

It doesn’t really matter what your answer is…

What if I just showed up one night for dinner at your house? Is it likely you would be there for dinner? And if I asked your kids the “family-oriented business or business-oriented family” question, what kind of answer do you think I’d get?

Mike Houge / Flickr.com https://tinyurl.com/ybz97dve

The Law of Diminishing Intent.

Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably experienced it.

I first ran across this idea when reading a piece by consultant Duncan MacPherson.

As he explains it, “In simple terms, the Law of Diminishing Intent states that, when it comes to finishing a task that seems absolutely crucial one moment, our motivation wanes at about the same rate as the task’s significance. This is largely due to the fact that the emotion associated with the action dwindles, causing the motivation required to finish the project to fade.”

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