Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

The News Star columns

Budgeting made easy – stop budgeting, pt. 1

By Byron Moore, posted February 20, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
 

abacus_sm.jpgQuestion: I keep trying to figure a budgeting system that will work for me. But I keep failing. Do you have a favorite app to recommend?

Answer: Do you have areas of your life in which you are constantly hitting the reset button?

First things first

By Byron Moore, posted February 12, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 11, 2018.
 

Foundation_sm.jpgQuestion: I am about to sign up for my company’s retirement plan. I’m 40 and getting a late start. With the market where it is, where should I invest the money now?

Answer: Maybe in something outside a retirement plan. And maybe in something that isn’t an investment at all.

What's the difference between a pension and a 401K?

By Byron Moore, posted February 5, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, February 4, 2018.
 

Simple math_sm.jpgQuestion: What is the difference between a pension and a 401K plan? I know they both have to do with retirement, but are they the same thing?

Answer: They are not.

In some ways, retirement planning is like a math problem. In reality, it is much more than a math problem, but there are similarities.

The secret of financial and career confidence

By Byron Moore, posted January 29, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 28, 2018.
 

goals_kid airplane taking off_sm.jpgQuestion: My children seem to have little initiative to set out and build a career as I did. We feel as if we have given them every advantage. Any hints on how to incentivize my children to succeed?

Answer: A father once told me he was driven to succeed financially because of all the hardships he had to endure as a child. He didn’t want his children to have to face the same difficulties he had.

Financial wellness

By Byron Moore, posted January 22, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 21, 2018.
 

piggybank with stethoscope_sm.jpgQuestion: What is financial wellness? I am a human resources professional and financial wellness is a hot topic among my peers. The idea is that if we provide financial wellness training for our employees, they can be more stable and productive for their employers. That sounds good, but I’m not even sure how to define the term, much less offer training for it.

Answer: I think it would be helpful to think of financial wellness in much the same way we think of physical wellness. It isn’t so much a destination as a state of being.

Retirement goal setting – aim at what you require, desire and aspire

By Byron Moore, posted January 16, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 14, 2018.
 

goal setting_sm.jpgQuestion: My wife and I are setting some goals with respect to our retirement and we have a question. Should we be pessimistic or optimistic about how things will go, both now and in retirement? I’ve run different scenarios and things can really turn out wildly different depending on what assumptions you use.

Answer: One of the great unspoken sins of my profession (financial planning) is allowing people to think we can forecast the future with any greater precision than a palm reader.

Mistakes when working with a financial advisor

By Byron Moore, posted January 8, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
 

paperwork with advisor_sm.jpgQuestion: I have been working with a financial planner for a few years and I’m not satisfied. It isn’t so much about the investment part. That’s been OK. But I just don’t feel like he knows I am alive. Is it too much to expect to be able to find someone who will take care of me and my money?

Answer: It is not too much to ask that a financial advisor be a competent partner in assisting you achieve realistic financial goals.

Making New Year’s resolutions? Focus on habits more than goals

By Byron Moore, posted January 2, 2018
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 30, 2017.
 

January 1st_sm.jpgQuestion: Like most people, I make New Year’s resolutions. Some I have actually kept long-term, but most have been pretty short lived. What do you think is the secret of keeping your resolutions – especially the financial kind?

Answer: I have no idea how many dieting books, fitness club memberships or getting-organized supplies are sold during the weeks just before and just after New Year’s Day…but I suspect it’s a big number.

Something about a new year suggests a clean slate – a fresh opportunity to do it again, only this time get it right!

The Christmas Effect

By Byron Moore, posted December 26, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 24, 2017.
 

Stressed Santa_sm.jpgQuestion: I am a poor planner and I end up overspending during Christmas. This inevitably leads to a bunch of credit card debt I wasn’t expecting, which totally bums me out. I can already feel myself going into a downward spiral. How do I break this cycle? 

Answer: Your answer may not be in your wallet.

When I was a child, the lowest part of the year came about 4 pm on Christmas Day. The presents had all been unwrapped, all the grandparents and cousins who were going to come over had arrived and there was just nothing else to look forward to. The emotional elation of anticipation had evaporated. Nothing had gone wrong. It was all just…over.

Where do I start?

By Byron Moore, posted December 18, 2017
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, December 17, 2017.
 

budgeting.jpegQuestion: I'm 35 now and way behind in life financially, and I’m trying to figure out where I need to be and how to get there. I'm low in debt (0% interest), but also low in assets, no retirement planning, no home ownership. I've got to get out of this loop. Right now my instinct is to throw all my energy into purchasing a home to at least get that started, but I don't know how to determine if that's the right move, and what order I should tackle what financial goals in. 

Answer: You don’t have time to waste, but it’s not time to panic either.

Rookies panic when they fear time is running out. But this kind of fear motivation usually results in as many problems as it does progress. So realize you’ve got plenty of time if you’ll do the right things in the right order.

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