Wisdom on Wealth


Everyone has money questions, whether it's what to do about retirement, or how to invest for the first time. Each week, Byron Moore offers practical, down-to-earth advice on handling money; and shows that even though money is important, paying attention to it can keep it from ruling your life.

blooming flower
Roan Fourie / Creative Commons / https://bit.ly/2TCtFT0

This is for the person who can look in the mirror and say, “I have messed up my financial life!”

If that’s you, where do you start?

Let’s start with something that I heard consultant Wayne Cotton say one time, “If you don’t like your past, then fix your present and you’ll have a new past in your future. Just clean-slate it and build a new past by building your present properly.”

See The Big Picture

Feb 26, 2020
Sharon McCutcheon / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2SEzu0u

One dimensional thinking is rarely quality thinking.

The problem comes when you only consider one piece of a total financial picture.

Let’s say that there is a piece of land that you’ve had your eye on for some time. And it comes up for sale.

Well, you could borrow $100,000 to buy the land. If the bank agrees to finance the purchase for you at 4% over 20 years, you’re gonna owe the bank 240 payments of $600. If my $5 Wal-Mart calculator still works, that’s about $145,000. It means that you paid $45,000 in interest on top of the $100,000 that you paid for the land.

Victoria Kure-Wu / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/39J7b8f

When it comes to estate planning, good intentions are unlikely to produce good results.

I most often see this in the case of second marriages…even those in which everybody in both families are getting along great…for now.

I am not an attorney and you should consult one in the state in which you live. But here are the scenarios that I often see…

Auto Insurance Basics

Feb 12, 2020
Ethan / Flickr.com https://bit.ly/2OA9vWG

The purpose of auto insurance is to protect the insured financially against damage done to her car and by her car.

The second item (damage done by her car) has a far bigger potential for financial damage, though it’s less common.

These are two really important things to remember when shopping for auto insurance for yourself…but it’s especially important to keep them in mind when shopping for auto insurance for your driving teen or college student.

Here are the basics to keep in mind whenever and for whomever when you shop for auto insurance:

old man
Kenny Luo / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/31dKiGN

Small steps can make a big difference in retirement planning.

Dee Lay and his wife (Fee Lay, of course!) arrive at age 66, trying to figure out if they can retire. Dee has about $500,000 in his 401(k) and they spend about $5,000 a month to live.

They go see their financial planner, Les Werking, to find out if they are ready to retire.

“Well that all depends on whether or not you plan to live past age 80,” Les tells them. “Cause that’s about how long your money will last.”

Aaron Andrew Ang / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/3avqCSR

As people age physically, they also tend to age financially.

Failure to understand and accept these twin realities can lead to much frustration and stress.  Those who accept and (even better) anticipate the changes that come with physical and financial aging can experience a more peaceful transition as their lives change.

Here are a few thoughts on the similarities of physical and financial aging:

You Have Enough Time

Jan 22, 2020
noor Younis / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2G21vsN

Life is busy, isn’t it? Work, family, community commitments, a little social life…

But imagine for a moment the nightmare of every parent: in the middle of the night, your young child stumbles, bleary-eyed into your room, struggling to breathe. Is it a cold? Allergies? Asthma? Something else? Quickly you pull on some clothes and rush him to the emergency room. Maybe you’re there for an hour. Maybe all night.

Does it really matter? Of course not. You did what any loving parent would do – you took care of your priority - your child.

Elephant Time

Jan 20, 2020
K. Ouchley

I have seen the beginning and end of time. It first appeared on the steep slope of a volcanic crater perhaps a quarter-mile distant and flowed toward us in the form of a giant bull elephant. His gait was such that he moved without moving, a majestic fluid passing silent and determined. Time is like that. Evidence of his seasons reflected in huge, polished tusks worn on the ends from mining red clay banks for essential minerals. His right ear was ragged and cleft from an encounter with mortality.

Hunters Race / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2Ns2p6e

Do you remember who taught you how to play tic-tac-toe? Probably not – for most of us it was a while ago. Usually it’s an older sibling or a neighbor kid down the street. They “graciously” offer to teach us how to play. They might even let us go first.

Three moves in they’ve got an “x” in the middle and an “x” on both lower corners. They look at you, smile, and offer, “Your turn.”

No matter what you do, you’re toast. No matter where your next “O” goes, you’re about to get “tic-tac-toed.”

All because they knew how the game works, and you didn’t.

Louis Velazquez / UNSPLASH.COM https://bit.ly/2sM2XNh

Every time Congress passes a major piece of legislation, they aren’t just passing a law. They are sending a message.

And with the passage of the SECURE Act, the message could not be clearer.

“Keep working.”

While most of us were wrapping the last of our Christmas packages a few weeks ago, Congress passed and the President signed into law the SECURE Act.

With broad bipartisan support, Congress obviously felt a need to pass The SECURE Act legislation precisely because most Americans are so in-secure when it comes to retirement.