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.

Garrette / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/zzs4gle

When it comes to making decisions about your cash flow, precision beats perception every time.

Let’s say you’ve taken your car in for several repairs in the last couple of months. You might start assuming you’ll need to replace it soon. You starting checking to see whether or not you’ve got enough cash…should you try to get one of those zero percent finance deals or use my cash?

eltpics / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/hb92hfg

I find that the farther away an event is, the more willing people are to accept risk now in hopes of dealing with it later. But when later comes…

Why else would a 45 year old man keep telling himself, “I’ll do some retirement planning…when the kids are out of school.”

The same is true for many a 60 year old who says, “I plan to self-insure for long-term care,” when they may know very little about the risk they are now so blithely accepting.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/jvdw3g5

How is anyone supposed to do any financial planning these days?

After all, we don’t know if taxes are doing down, the affordable care act is going away, jobs are coming back or a border fence is going up!

How are we supposed to know what to do next?

Really? Is it really that difficult?

Or are you just stuck because your concept of financial planning is proving to be fatally flawed?

Jake Stimpson / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/z92e48x

It is a story too often repeated.

A woman used to being independent and self-sufficient insists on living by herself, even as she ages. Over time, the family notices that some of the people working for her are “borrowing” money from her. Or they hear (after the fact) of a sales person who has come to her house to sell her some financial product she neither understands or needs.

Her children become concerned because Momma does not always know what day it is. But what can they do?

First, you can call it what it is – financial elder abuse.

Flickr.com / duncan c / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

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.

Tax Credits / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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.

David Strom / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/zovpe56

Resolved: no matter what happens in 2017, I will keep going.

Everything else is just details.

Winston Churchill will forever be remembered as England’s greatest prime minister, not because of his brilliant military strategies or political skill, but because when hopeless circumstances and fearful friends advised England to surrender, Churchill stood firm.

“Never give in; never give in; never, never, never…!” he growled to war-torn citizenry desperately in need of hopeful leadership.

Praveen / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/zvxwx64

What are you giving for Christmas this year?

Each year there’s an “it” gift that everyone seems to want, yet it’s often hard to find. Remember Tickle-Me Elmo? That was creepy.

As in economics, so in life… scarcity plus desirability equals value. High value. If you want an “it” gift bad enough, you may be willing to look high and low…and pay someone more than top dollar to acquire it.

Here are some gifts that are both rare and desired by many. See which ones you can be thankful you’ve received and which ones are so rare that only you can give:

Moderation is Overrated

Dec 14, 2016
Chapendra / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/zs2sn2m

I have no problem with eating healthy I do it all the time. I can say no to sweets, fried stuff and jumbo portions. As long as Im all in.

This week I've been telling my wife, I am embracing hunger." I almost believe myself.

What trips me up every time is when I decide its time to introduce some moderation back into my diet. I'll just eat one cookie, maybe a couple of chips and what could it hurt if I ate a fry off my childs plate?

Ken Teegardin / Flickr.com http://tinyurl.com/h862a6a

Twenty-five years ago, Bob Castiglione told me, Money is not math, and math is not money. At the time I just scratched my head (till all my hair fell out), but I finally figured out what he meant.

The advent of personal computers thirty years ago enabled those of us in the fledgling financial planning community to crunch numbers to our hearts content. Thus enabled to calculate the numerical nuances of infinite financial possibilities, financial planners began producing elaborate projections of potential financial futures.