DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

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Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Monday Morning Money Minute

Baby Step 5 – College Savings, Part Two. 529 Plan or Education Savings Account (ESA). I am using Paul Hogan’s pros and cons tonight for a quick overview.  529 Plans: No age limit for using the money, Only for college expenses, No income restrictions, Annual contributions limited to $14,000, Withdrawals tax free when used for college expenses, Non-qualified withdrawals taxed, Fewer investment options than ESA.  ESA: Must use the money by age 30, Can be used for primary and secondary education in addition to college expenses, Income restrictions apply, Annual contributions limited to $2,000 per year, Tax free withdrawals for education expenses, Non-qualified withdrawals taxed, Can invest in individual stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Financial Peace University teaches that steps 4, 5 and 6 take place at the same time. Step 4: Invest 15% for retirement, Step 5: Save for College, Step 6: Pay off your house early. Today we look at Step 5, saving for college. The two best tools for college savings are 529 plans and Education Savings Accounts. However, there are also other good options to pay for college. The first decision is whether college is even necessary. Many careers today rely on experience and skill instead of degrees. To control the cost, consider Virginia’s option of two years at a community college followed by two years at a state university. A greatly reduced total cost, combined with a bachelor’s degree from the 4-year college, make this a very attractive option. Of course, don’t neglect applying for scholarships and grants, military service and working your way through school.

DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

We Welcome Your Comments

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Investing Part Two. Timing the stock market is tricky. It is very hard to predict shifts in the market and to determine the high or the low of a cycle. The remedy is dollar cost averaging. By investing a consistent amount on a monthly basis, you buy more shares when the market is low and fewer shares when the market is high. Over time you will obtain more shares at a lower average price per share than if you just make one large purchase. There are no guarantees when investing in the stock market, but there are strategies that permit you to maximize your returns while minimizing your risks.

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Financial Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income for retirement. As investment coach Paul Hogan says, “Investing now will replace your paycheck later.” 15% may seem unreachable today, but you will have more money available as you pay off your debt. The earlier you start, the better. For example, if you save $200 per month (about $50 per week) at a 9% return beginning at age 25 and retire at age 60 (35 years), then you would have $592,770. However, if you wait until age 40 and invest for only 20 years, then you would have $134,579. The moral: start as soon as possible. It is never too late to begin. It is also never too early.

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Moving on to financial baby step #3: Expand your initial emergency fund until it covers 3-6 months of expenses. Note the focus is covering your expenses, not necessarily covering your monthly income. Use your budget to determine what it would take to pay all monthly bills for 3-6 months. This would certainly prepare you for a major expense. The focus, though, is to protect against more serious setbacks, such as illness or job loss. This money is designed as savings instead of investment, so it belongs in a money market account instead of the stock market.

DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

We Welcome Your Comments

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

You must be intentional about getting out of debt. Achieving freedom from debt does not just happen. Some steps to help: Stop borrowing money, Establish savings to avoid new debt, Sell something, Cut your expenses, Take a second job or pick up extra hours, Turn a hobby into a second source of income, Pray. It is also important to reward yourself as you reach your goals. Do something special, but within the budget, each time you pay off a creditor. You earned it!

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Charged with Reckless Driving?

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Charged with Reckless Driving?

I understand what it means to be charged with the misdemeanor of reckless driving. I was driving toward a tunnel in light traffic that was flowing smoothly when suddenly I realized that the car in front of me had made a complete stop. I applied the brakes, but had a rear end collision with the stopped car. The force of the impact caused my airbags to deploy, bruising my chest. The other driver was also injured. Police and emergency personnel arrived so quickly that I did not speak with the other driver, but I saw him with blood on his face as he went to the ambulance. When I spoke with the trooper I was crying, between the shock of the accident, the appearance of the injured driver and the pain in my own chest. The trooper was kind as he helped me handle the paperwork, arrange for the removal of my vehicle and alert my wife. Ultimately, the trooper gave me a summons for reckless driving with an accident.


Initially, I was concerned about the injury to the other driver and my own chest pain. After the shock subsided and the reassurance that my chest was only bruised, I started to worry about other things. How serious was the injury to the other driver? Did I have enough insurance for a major injury? (I learned that the blood that looked so bad at the accident scene was just a bloody nose and the personal injury claim was resolved before my court date). Would a misdemeanor conviction affect my license to practice law? (Not reckless driving).

Later, I had to face the court date. As I considered the approaching day, I felt both a sense of dread about the possibility of a bad outcome and a longing to have the whole incident behind me. On the court date, as I waited for my case to be called, I worried about how the judge would handle my case. When I was finally summoned to present my case, it felt uncomfortable telling my own story to the judge instead of being there to help someone else. The trooper in my case described the incident in a manner that led the judge to declare, “Mr. Matney, it seems the trooper does not think that I should find you guilty of reckless driving.” I replied, “I concur with the trooper your honor.” Ultimately, the judge dismissed the charge based on the combination of the trooper’s testimony, the driver improvement course and my clear driving record.

I understand the anxiety that comes with receiving a summons for reckless driving. That is why my staff and I come alongside our clients to help make the process as simple as possible. We assist our clients by rescheduling court dates, gathering documents and videos necessary for understanding and defending the charges, keeping them informed and ensuring that they know what to expect on their court dates. 

DUI Attorney Mark Matney - Matney Law PLLC - Newport News - Williamsburg

We Welcome Your Comments

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Today we move from Baby Step 1, setting up an emergency fund, to Baby Step 2: Pay off all non-mortgage debt as fast as possible. One of the fastest ways to do this is to pay off the smallest debt and then add the money you were paying to the next smallest debt. This is often referred to as the debt snowball. If you continue this process, then you will have more and more money going to the successive debts. I also use software that factors in interest rates and minimum payments and would be glad to share that with you. Dave Ramsey teaches that getting out of debt should be done with gazelle intensity. “Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler” (Proverbs 4:6).

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Monday Morning Money Minute

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
__________________________________

Monday Morning Money Minute

Budget is not a 4 letter word! Maybe 10% of us are so disciplined that we don’t need a budget and perhaps 10% have enough income to spend what they want. Everyone else needs a budget. It doesn’t seem like it at first, but a budget frees you to spend money. What?! Once you know your income and expenses, you can allocate money for recreation without worrying. In a nutshell, the steps for a budget are: Determine your total monthly income and expenses, subtract your expenses from your income, assign your income dollars to your expenses, and keep track. You may find that you need to increase your income or cut your expenses to achieve a balanced budget. A book like Your Money or Your Life can help you focus your money on what is really important to you.

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Lawyer Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC - Newport News Virginia - DUI and Traffic Court Lawyer

Mark Matney

DUI - DWI Lawyer

Call Matney Law at
757-784-3507

Successfully Challenging Radar Certificates

Posted by Mark Matney of Matney Law PLLC Newport News, VA
www.matneylawpllc.com
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Successfully Challenging Radar Certificates

In the past week, I have had two cases where the police officer was unable to show accuracy of his radar. So they were both dismissed, right? Wrong. Sometimes, even when the officer cannot prove accuracy of the equipment, the case is not dismissed.


In the first case, my client was charged with reckless driving by speed, 81/55 (26 mph over the limit). In that case the officer seemed upset when I asked him for his calibration record and then provided a certificate for a calibration that was performed after my client was stopped. To demonstrate accuracy at the time of the stop, the certificate must be dated during the six-month period before the stop. When I told the judge that I challenged the calibration certificate and explained the reason, the judge granted my motion to dismiss.


For the second case, with a different judge, my client’s summons was for reckless driving by speed, 97/65 (32 mph over the limit). This case involved a cordial trooper who shared all of his documents and discussed them with me. We found that he had certificates that were too recent and a certificate that was too old, but he did not have one for the six-month period before the date he stopped my client. The judge agreed with my challenge to the certificate, but said that he would not dismiss the case since the speed was so high. I argued that without the certificate the trooper could only establish speeding and not reckless driving by speed since he could not show that my client was driving more than 20 mph over the limit or over 85 mph (the two grounds for reckless by speed). The judge told me I could appeal and ruled reckless driving. The sentence was more lenient and did not include the jail time he was giving to drivers with similar speeds, but it was not the result I wanted after successfully challenging the radar.


Although I believe that the second judge was incorrect in finding my client guilty of reckless driving, he was right about her right to appeal. She now has a second opportunity to avoid the criminal misdemeanor.