Byron Moore, CFP® and Mike Jones

Shreveport Times columns

Debt: count the cost, but don’t forget the benefits

By Byron Moore, posted September 14, 2015
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, September 13, 2015.
 

wallet in vice_0.jpgQuestion: I have used debt judiciously to buy investment properties and other income producing assets. Now I am very focused on paying the debt off with the income from the assets so we can be debt free. My wife sees that we have an extra source of income that she would like to use for things like vacations. Our kids will soon be grown and we’ll have a nice income and be financially free if we can just stay the course. Is there something I’m missing here?

Answer: Maybe so. Maybe things like your wife and your children.

Our decisions tend to compound – for better or for worse

By Byron Moore, posted September 8, 2015
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, September 6, 2015.
 
happy elderly_0_0.jpgQUESTION: My parents never had much and lived modestly all their lives. But they never lacked for anything. Mom died years ago. When it came time for Dad to retire, he just walked away from work and never gave it a second thought. He lived like he wanted to and I never once heard him complain about money. Then when he passed, we were frankly shocked to learn how much money he had just sitting in the bank. I don’t think I’m doing so well and I worry about leaving my kids a stack of IOUs. How does a simple man like my father do so well financially?
 

ANSWER: Your daddy had a habit of having good habits.

Is my ex-wife entitled to my Social Security benefits?

By Byron Moore, posted August 3, 2015
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, August 2, 2015.
 

Question: I have been married to my ex wife for 6 1/2 years. We still live together but we are not married. Is she entitled to survivor benefits? We are now 16+ years and we have had kids after our divorce. Please explain.

Answer: You’re telling me you are married to your ex-wife, and you want me to explain?

I’m going to have to make a few assumptions here: you were married for 6 ½ years. Then you got divorced. But you’re saying you’ve been together for a total of 16+ years. If so, you were married 6 ½ years, divorced, but stayed together another 10 years after that.

And, you had children together after your divorce.

I’ve heard people say they get along well with their ex, but that’s getting along pretty well.

Financial secrets never lead to financial solutions

By Byron Moore, posted July 27, 2015
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, July 26, 2015.
 
Question: Ever since we were married I have handled the finances in our marriage. We are in our 50s now and I’m sure my husband doesn’t know what shape we are in. He’s a great provider, but I got sick and things have just gotten out of hand. I’m juggling everything now, but I’m not sure I can keep doing that much longer. Is there any way to get this fixed without him having to know? 
 
Answer: No. 
 
And as much as you hate the thought, you don’t want to keep him in the dark any longer. It isn’t helping him and I’m sure it isn’t helping you. 
 
Reality can be painful. But the pain of dealing with today’s reality is almost always dwarfed by the pain of procrastination – the problem always gets larger. 

Is the IRS really suing me?

By Byron Moore, posted July 20, 2015
Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, July 19, 2015.
 

Question: I got a voicemail message from the IRS telling me that they are suing me and telling me to call a phone number. I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid it is a scam artist. But if it really is the IRS, I don’t want to get into trouble. Can you tell me what I should do?

Answer: Your instincts are correct. This is a scam.scam_0.jpg

First, I do not believe the IRS calls, tweets, texts or uses Facebook, Instagram, social media, instant messaging or smoke signals to communicate with a tax payer who owes money to the US Treasury. They send letters (remember those?) via the US postal service. And if the matter is weighty enough, the letter will come certified.

How long should I keep my term life insurance?

By Byron Moore, posted July 6, 2015

Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, July 5, 2015.

Question: I am in my early 30s and the sole breadwinner for my family. We both want her to be able to stay home with our children, so I need to get some life insurance on me. How much should I get and how long should the term be? And how does it work if something happens to me?

Answer: What’s the middle ground between “rich” and “wretched?” Maybe “just right?”

How do I know if I need long-term care insurance?

By Byron Moore, posted June 29, 2015

Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Question: How do I know if I need long-term care insurance? It’s so expensive.

Answer: What’s so expensive? Long-term care insurance…or long-term care? 

Fathers provide in many ways, not only financially

By Byron Moore, posted June 22, 2015

Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

Question: I am considering switching jobs, which would mean more money, but also more travel. My wife and I have three small children and she is concerned about how my traveling might affect our children. I would give us a “C+” on how we’ve managed our money so far, but we’re doing OK. Being a good father is very important to me, but I tend to think more money each month would make me more relaxed when I am with the kids. What do you think?

Answer: Quality time is a myth.

Should I have my variable annuity inside my IRA?

By Byron Moore, posted June 17, 2015

Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 14, 2015.

Question: I have an IRA with an insurance company. A man sold it to me years ago, but I haven’t heard from him in years. It has stocks and bonds in it but the papers also say something about an annuity. It’s actually done pretty good these last few years. What do I have and should I keep it? 

Answer: It sounds like you own something called a variable annuity. And it further sounds like your variable annuity has been put inside an IRA. Let’s examine this puzzle one piece at a time to see if you’ve got what you need.

Biggest 401K mistakes I see

By Byron Moore, posted June 8, 2015

Originally published in the News Star and the Shreveport Times on Sunday, June 7, 2015.

Question: I’m just about to start in my company’s 401k. I’m super excited, but I am also concerned. I don’t want to mess this up. So what are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen people make with their 401k and how can I not do that?

Answer: James Joyce called mistakes “the portals of discovery.”

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