Author - Matthew J. Illian, CFP®, AIF®

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The Ideal Retirement Plan Advisor
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Social Security to Resume Some Paper Statements
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Social Security Optimization: Case Study
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Who are the Bogleheads?
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Recent Market Advances Fail To Overcome Mental Accounting

The Ideal Retirement Plan Advisor

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When looking to hire an adviser to manage a company retirement plan, it's important to know what you are looking for. A well managed plan will enhance employee morale and increase financial security for the entire staff.

The demands of a busy work schedule too often crowd out the time and attention required to ensure that retirement plan providers are working as efficiently as possible. Rather than taking time and care to identify the best partner to implement a retirement plan, the responsibility is often entrusted to someone with a long-standing personal relationship to the executive team without an objective …

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Social Security to Resume Some Paper Statements

A tight budget in 2011 forced the Social Security Administration (SSA) into a lengthy hiatus from mailing annual benefit statements. However, this year some workers will begin receiving statements again.

Beginning in September 2014, SSA will resume mailing paper statements to workers every five years. Unless you have created an online account, SSA will mail you benefit statements at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and then each year beginning at age 60.

But you don’t need to wait for these paper statements. You can access your Social Security records anytime online by creating a “My Social Security” …

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Social Security Optimization: Case Study

Choosing the best time to begin claiming Social Security is one of the most significant decisions a retiree will make. When you consider that this income represents an asset typically valued between $500,000 and $1.2 million, you begin to understand its importance to a retiree’s retirement portfolio. There are no one-size-fits-all answers to identify when to start.

Social Security is also extremely complex. Aside from a basic age analysis, Social Security’s loophole strategies, including “File and Suspend” and “File as a Spouse First,” open the door to hundreds of combinations that should be assessed when picking the optimal filing dates.…

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Who are the Bogleheads?

Last week, I joined a group of 200 John Bogle groupies at the 12th Bogleheads Reunion outside of Philadelphia. Long travels from the West Coast, Canada, and the Netherlands did not stop my fellow fanatics. No matter where they hailed from, all shared an admiration for the legendary Vanguard founder.

At age 84, Bogle arrived a bit banged up in body but not in spirit. His arm was in a sling, and he told us he was nursing a broken bone that wasn’t healing well. When asked what happened, Bogle quipped, “Stupidity.” He went on to share that he’s writing …

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Recent Market Advances Fail To Overcome Mental Accounting

The S&P 500 has nearly doubled in the last four years. Yet many investors are left feeling more disillusioned with their investments than ever before. Some of this discontent can be combated by understanding the psychological effects of market volatility.

At the intersection of economics and psychology lies the exploding research on behavioral finance. This field of study often focuses on so-called heuristic biases that are observed when humans consistently make different decisions than a robot.

People strongly prefer avoiding losses to seeking potential gains. This preference is called loss aversion. Psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Arnos Tversky tested this behavioral …

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