Wisdom on Wealth

Wednesday at 7:45 a.m.

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.

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What is your time horizon when it comes to your retirement planning?

Before you answer, check your calendar, your watch…or maybe your birth certificate. I’m guessing your time horizon is a lot longer than you might realize.

If, for example, you said that you have a 20 year time horizon, I’m guessing you mean the time until you plan to retire. So that would make you mid-forties (sorry to give that away).

You feel like you are at the base of your own personal financial Mount Everest and you’ve got a mere 20 years to climb to the top. Fine.

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Not everyone is rich. So, does the profession of financial planning have anything to offer to the average or even poor person? What could just plain old regular folks do to live better?

I have met individuals worth multiple millions who had no time, no love and no peace in their lives. I have also met others who could list all their possessions on the back of a napkin whose family, community and lifestyle were a constant source of joy to them.

So let’s begin with the understanding that wealth never made anyone rich and poverty never made anyone…well, poor.

Gregory Roberts / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/hdaocon

When you were a kid, did you ever imagine retiring with $1,000,000?

You’d be set! But if you are anywhere near retirement age now, you know $1,000,000 doesn’t necessarily make you as secure as you once thought it would. So what’s the solution?

Most people could answer in a single word: more.

The traditional approach to financial planning can be summarized in three words: bigger is better.

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Have you see those ads from the nice folks who want to buy your pension for cash? Who couldn’t use an extra six figures worth of money? But…how do you tell if that is a good deal?

Well, this would be a great time to be very, very careful. That guy who says he wants to buy your pension may be Mr. Potter knocking at your front door.

Clayton Scott / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/jbmplh8

A certain amount of financial stress is fact of life in our modern world.

As my wife used to tell our teenagers on a nearly daily basis – what you are feeling is 98.6 – very normal.

But sometimes it all seems to come down around you – suddenly: a job loss, an illness, an unexpected emergency, a foolish purchase you wish you’d not made…however you got here, you now have more demands financially than dollars you can find.

So how do you handle those seasons of life when your financial circumstances threaten to overwhelm you?

This week on Wisdom on Wealth Byron talks about our need for financial life boats such as insurance, legal documents, and savings. 

He compares the famed Titanic to our lives saying,"after you hit your an ice berg, it's too late."

The crew of the Titanic were not prepared for the possibility of the iceberg, so they did not have enough precautions or training when such an event happen.

In our own financial life Byron reminds us that, "you trade the certain but small loss of protection for the possible but horrific loss if tragedy strikes."

Budget or Bust

Jul 27, 2016
Trevor Bashnick / Flickr.com

You’re selling your house and downsizing…or, upsizing. Either way, you’ve found the newest home of your dreams. Except that it will require a bit of…updating as they say.

As you wander through the new house, you’re making lists of carpets, cabinets and carports that will have to undergo some renovation.

Unless you’ve got more money than the Republican presidential nominee, you’d better do some serious planning before one thread of that ugly shag carpet gets ripped up.

Ken Walton / Flickr.com

If you’re one of those souls who get out of bed each day and can’t wait to get to work – good for you!

But even if you feel like you enjoy your work so much you can never imagine stopping – don’t for one second think that gives you a pass on responsibly planning your financial future.


Because there is a world of difference between “get to” and “got to.”

Right now you “get to” go to work. That’s as much a reflection of your attitude as it is of your circumstances.

Darrell Miller / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

Whenever you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else.

Suppose you are thinking about buying a small lake house. The price seems pretty good, but something is bothering you. You still have some other credit card debt you haven’t paid off yet. The angel on your shoulder says take care of the debt, but the devil whispers that you’ve got to pull the trigger on this kind of thing quickly or someone else may buy it.

How do we know what’s right?

Well, we could agree to meet again in twenty years and then we would both know what the right decision was.

Henk Sijgers / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

I’m looking forward to this weekend – it will be one of those lovely three day weekends, this time to celebrate America’s birthday – 240 years old, to be exact. And while you lounge in your lawn chair or splash you feet in the water, waiting for those burgers to cook to juicy char-broiled perfection, the thought might just cross your mind…is the dream…the American Dream … still alive? The true American Dream? Yes, I’d say it is now alive more than ever. But -- the American Fairy Tale?