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Amelia Josephson

Mortgage, Home Buying and Credit Card Expert

Amelia Josephson is a writer passionate about covering financial literacy topics. Her areas of expertise include retirement and home buying. Amelia's work has appeared across the web, including on AOL, CBS News and The Simple Dollar. She holds degrees from Columbia and Oxford. Originally from Alaska, Amelia now calls Brooklyn home.

Posts by Amelia Josephson:

by Amelia Josephson Mar 09, 2020

A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored, tax-deferred retirement savings account. Contributing money to your 401(k) reduces your taxable income – effectively giving you an instant tax deduction – though you can’t take money from your account until you reach age 59.5. But what happens if a life event occurs sooner than that, and you need access to those funds? In this case, a 401(k) hardship withdrawal, or hardship distribution, could help you get around some IRS penalties. These withdrawals are subject to strict conditions, however, and there are still some tax implications. If you’re thinking of taking a hardship distribution, or just want help putting together a retirement plan, consider finding a financial advisor. Read more

by Amelia Josephson Aug 06, 2019

We all know that saving for retirement is a good thing. We often think of retirement savings in terms of a percentage of our paychecks, but what about when someone doesn’t work? The IRS has a solution that allows a non-working member of a married couple to save for retirement in an IRA. It’s called, appropriately enough, a spousal IRA. Here’s how it works. Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 09, 2019

Taking on debt is a thorny subject. Signing on an affordable mortgage is one thing. Racking up credit card debt on unnecessary purchases? Quite another. Any time you borrow money, you put your finances at risk. That’s why it’s important to do your research before committing to new debt. If you’re not sure whether to borrow money, read our list of dos and don’ts. And if you need hands-on help managing your financial life, consider linking up with a financial advisor. Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 12, 2019

A clawback is the legally required return of incentive compensation such as a bonus or stock grant. Once applicable only to top company officers, clawback provisions are appearing in more employment… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Mar 19, 2020

A commercial real estate loan, also known as a business mortgage, is a loan for property used for commercial purposes. The collateral for the mortgage can partially be the building itself, whether… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 11, 2019

A 457(b) plan (also referred to as a 457 plan) is a retirement savings vehicle available to some state and local government employees. It works like a 401(k) in that employees can divert a portion of… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Apr 24, 2019

Low- and middle-income families who want to buy homes may be able to get a bond loan. State and local authorities issue bond loans to subsidize the cost of becoming a homeowner for those who meet… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 14, 2020

Saving is the first step to building wealth. But you’ll likely never get rich just from saving. You also need to put your savings to work, which is to say you need to invest. Stocks are usually what… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 09, 2019

To get preapproved for a mortgage, you’ll need a few documents detailing your income, assets and debt obligations. This helps banks and other mortgagees determine exactly how much they’re willing to… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Aug 15, 2019

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are popular investment securities that track stock market indexes, a particular commodity, bonds, or a particular category of assets like tech stocks.  A leveraged ETF… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 25, 2019

When you’re ready to take withdrawals from your IRA, you’ll find there are plenty of rules to follow. Failure to stick to these guidelines could have serious ramifications. The most notable among… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 06, 2020

Typically, people who want to know about 401(k) withdrawals are considering tapping their tax-deferred retirement savings early. When folks are retirees and live off their savings, they usually refer… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 11, 2019

A non-deductible IRA is a retirement plan you fund with after-tax dollars. So you can’t deduct contributions from your income taxes as you would with a traditional IRA. However, your non-deductible… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Apr 09, 2019

So you took the plunge and bought a house, with a mortgage to match. You may be wondering if you need life insurance to cover the mortgage in case something happens to you before it’s paid off.… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 11, 2019

If you’re considering buying a new home, a tax abatement may provide an incentive that’s hard to pass up. These beneficial tax programs allow for a long-term break on your property tax bill. Savings… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jan 15, 2020

Think you want to help people manage their money and meet their ultimate financial goals? If so, you may be wondering how to become a financial planner. The process for becoming a financial planner… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 13, 2020

To people unsure about investing, a variable annuity may sound like the solution. You make payments to an insurance company, and it will invest your money for you. When you retire, you can turn your… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Mar 18, 2020

For many older Americans, their Social Security check is their only source of income. Without it, nearly 15 million retirees would be below the poverty level, according to the Center on Budget and… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Apr 05, 2019

A Roth 401(k) brings many of the benefits of a traditional employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement savings vehicle. But with a traditional 401(k), you save for retirement with pre-tax dollars and write… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 09, 2019

If you own an investment property and collect rent from your tenants, it’s important to declare that rental income on your taxes. You can, however, deduct expenses you incur to maintain your rental… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Mar 24, 2020

The federal income tax rates remain unchanged for the 2019 and 2020 tax years, with the income brackets adjusted slightly for inflation. The 2017 Trump Tax Plan changed these income tax rates… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Aug 08, 2018

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 since 2009. In many states, it’s the federal minimum wage that holds sway. However, some states, counties and cities have enacted their own laws establishing a… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 09, 2018

Military veterans with disabilities have access to special government grants. One such grant is the HISA grant, which veterans with disabilities can use to make their homes accessible. Read on to… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 07, 2017

SAH grants are flexible grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA offers SAH grants to veterans and servicemembers with certain service-related disabilities. Qualifying veterans can use… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 03, 2017

SHA grants are grants available to servicemembers and veterans with certain kinds of service-connected disabilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers SHA grants to help veterans adapt… Read more