Offsetting the Pain

Matt Trogdon

Matt is a financial planner with Craftwork Capital, LLC. He's based in Washington, D.C., and has a special interest in helping Gen X and Gen Y families. He also serves as a workshop instructor for the Babson College Financial Literacy Project. 

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Offsetting the Pain

Matt Trogdon  |  Feb 21, 2023

IT’S ONE THING TO talk to folks about the power of saving regularly. It’s much more profound to see it in action. I was reminded just how powerful saving can be during two recent meetings with financial-planning clients. In both cases, we looked back at 2022 and calculated how much the clients had saved.
In the first case, the clients had saved diligently throughout the year. They increased their 401(k) and 403(b) contributions, they opened and funded 529 plans,

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Roth to the Max

Matt Trogdon  |  Oct 24, 2022

WITH THE FINANCIAL markets down sharply, this is a great time to fund a Roth IRA, with its promise of tax-free growth. But the rules can be tricky.
The basics: You place part of your after-tax earned income in a Roth, invest it and—ideally—just leave it to grow. As long as the money stays there until you reach age 59½, and you wait at least five years, you can tap the account without owing a dime in taxes.

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Couples Counseling

Matt Trogdon  |  Aug 17, 2022

SARAH AND I GOT married earlier this summer. We’ve always been on similar pages when it comes to money. We both track our finances with gusto. She’s one of the few people I know whose budgeting spreadsheets are more intricate than mine.
We both try to spend reasonably and save consistently. We’d rather devote money to a vacation or an occasional late-night pizza than to fancy things or swanky surroundings. One indication: During the pandemic’s initial lockdown,

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Treasure in the Trash

Matt Trogdon  |  Apr 22, 2022

MY MOST SUCCESSFUL investment is one that I tried to throw in the trash.
I own 126 shares of Anthem, a large health insurance company. I believe I got my shares on April 30, 2002. That’s when Anthem bought Trigon, a small insurer based in Virginia that my family used for health insurance.
In 1996, Trigon began the process of converting from a policyholder-owned company into a stockholder-owned company. It went public in 1997.

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The Last Taboo

Matt Trogdon  |  Feb 28, 2022

WE ALL HAVE microphones—be it our social media accounts, our podcast or our blog posts. We all have something we want to say, and we want the world to hear it.
Our venting can be shrill and insufferable at times. Who among us hasn’t grown tired of never-ending political arguments and culture wars? Other times our sharing is just inane: If you’ve ever posted a selfie while looking in a bathroom mirror, you’re guilty.

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Answers About Life

Matt Trogdon  |  Jan 27, 2022

I REALIZE MOST FOLKS don’t find personal finance as enthralling as I do, so I apologize in advance—this article’s topic is the least thrilling of all. It’s time to talk about life insurance.
I’ve been trying to come up with a good analogy for life insurance. The best I can think of: Life insurance is like the airbags in your car. No one ever gets excited about airbags. No one ever shows off the airbags in their new car.

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Preservation Mode

Matt Trogdon  |  Nov 4, 2021

I RECENTLY LEFT MY job without having another lined up. Upon quitting, I noticed an immediate mindset shift: I went from thinking about how to grow my money to, instead, thinking about how to preserve it.
As a trained financial planner, I know that many workers will face a similar mental transition as they begin to wind down their careers. But I was surprised at how quickly it happened to me. After all, I’m only age 39,

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What It Really Costs

Matt Trogdon  |  Oct 12, 2021

A LOT OF INK HAS been spilled over young people’s spending decisions and the impact on retirement savings. Whether it’s a latte or a lunch out, the thinking goes, we all spend money on daily trifles that rob us of a much greater sum in the future. Back in 2019, Suze Orman made headlines when she likened a daily takeout coffee habit to “peeing $1 million down the drain.”
I’m sympathetic to this line of thinking,

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