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Matthew Illian

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Students

Matthew Illian, CFP®, AIF®, is a wealth manager for Marotta Wealth Management Inc. He is based in Richmond, Va., providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management at www.emarotta.com and blogging at www.marottaonmoney.com. When he’s not helping to save one financial life at a time, he thoroughly enjoys exploring new trails and other local destinations in Richmond, VA (RVA) on family bike rides with his wife and three young boys.

5 Ways Divorce Could Impact Your Social Security Benefits

Personal Finance

5 Ways Divorce Could Impact Your Social Security Benefits

5 Ways Divorce Could Impact Your Social Security Benefits

If you’re getting divorced or remarried, “for better or for worse” and “for richer or for poorer” can have real meaning for Social Security benefits. Most retirees are uninformed about how Social Security benefits are calculated, and often overlook how their change in marital status affects this critical retirement asset. 1. If you get a... Read More

Are You a Financial Adult or a Toddler?

Personal Finance

Are You a Financial Adult or a Toddler?

Are You a Financial Adult or a Toddler?

Where are you in the financial life cycle? Financial maturity is developed in stages. As with all skills, you must begin at the beginning. Skipping ahead before mastering fundamentals will lead to glaring deficiencies, like the time I tried snowboarding a black diamond trail before taking any lessons. A permanently damaged knee proves this strategy... Read More

How to Budget When You Hate Budgeting

Personal Finance

How to Budget When You Hate Budgeting

How to Budget When You Hate Budgeting

Budgeting doesn’t have to be so mind-numbingly tedious. It’s as if everything we now know about budgeting was written by accountants for people who think like accountants. The rest of us need intuitive tools fit for English majors. I must confess that I have never, not once, balanced my checkbook. A recent survey of Bogleheads... Read More

How Much Should I Save for College?

Personal Finance

How Much Should I Save for College?

How Much Should I Save for College?

With three young energetic boys, the growing costs of college education weigh heavily on my mind. As a financial adviser with a reputation to maintain, ignoring these pending expenses is not an option for our family. Each year, I share updated age-based benchmarks we use to ensure that our 529 college savings plan is on track... Read More

Can Giving Cause More Harm Than Good?

Personal Finance

Can Giving Cause More Harm Than Good?

Can Giving Cause More Harm Than Good?

The giving season is fast approaching, and many of us are making plans to donate our time, talents and treasure to help those in need. Helping others is an integral part of the American character. Compassion experts and fieldworkers argue that much of these good intentions fuel a toxic form of charity that fails to... Read More

5 Ways Planning for Retirement Is Like a Relay Race

Personal Finance

5 Ways Planning for Retirement Is Like a Relay Race

5 Ways Planning for Retirement Is Like a Relay Race

Since its beginnings in Portland, Ore., the concept of a long-distance relay race has jumped to many cities. Although Hood to Coast will always be the granddaddy, these other endurance events offer their own lessons to those who have made bold plans to prepare for a thriving financial future. This past weekend, I ran in... Read More

Can You Take an Emergency Loan From Your 401K in a Disaster?

Personal Finance

Can You Take an Emergency Loan From Your 401K in a Disaster?

Can You Take an Emergency Loan From Your 401K in a Disaster?

When your home sustains substantial damage from a natural disaster like a tornado, earthquake or hurricane, homeowner’s insurance rarely covers all the costs. Perhaps you have decided to use some of your retirement funds to help complete the necessary repairs. But how do you access the funds, and what are the implications? If you have... Read More

Is Your 401(k) Plan Secure?

Personal Finance

Is Your 401(k) Plan Secure?

Is Your 401(k) Plan Secure?

Money deducted from your paycheck for retirement typically gets deposited quickly into your 401(k) plan. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes this money ends up in another account. In most circumstances, the missing money is nothing more than an unintentional mistake; other times it is a case of embezzlement. Therefore, employees and executives need... Read More

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Tesla

Personal Finance

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Tesla

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Tesla

How do you respond when your friends ask you to join them for an outing that will stretch your budget? As I consider the impulses that cause a financial plan to go into the red, I find pressures are more typically social than simply selfish. There’s always going to be those who are in a... Read More

What Charles Dickens Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

Personal Finance

What Charles Dickens Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

What Charles Dickens Can Teach Us About Personal Finance

Financial planning focuses on setting and achieving financial goals and finding peace in the process. The first steps in this journey must begin with a commitment to the Micawber principle. Birthed during the Victorian era from the mouth of a Charles Dickens fictional character, the Micawber principle is a good reminder that your financial security,... Read More

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