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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 May 20, 2022

A defined benefit plan is a retirement plan in which employers provide guaranteed retirement benefits to employees based on a set formula. These plans, often referred to as pension plans, have become less and less common over the last few decades. This decline is especially pronounced in the private sector, where more and more employers have shifted to defined contribution plans, like a 401(k). There are still employers offering defined benefit plans, though they mostly exist in the public sector. Do you have retirement planning questions? Speak with a local financial advisor today. Read more

by Amelia Josephson Aug 15, 2019

Bonds can help your investments maintain value in a financial downturn, but they likely won’t make you rich. Think about dipping your toe into bond investing? Or wondering what the point of the bonds in your portfolio is? Not worry. We’ve got you covered with our guide to the basics of bonds – and some of the many bond types out there. Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 11, 2018

Is having multiple credit cards a sign of financial savvy or impending financial doom? That’s a tough one to answer, since there are pros and cons to toting more than one card. Let’s review: Read more

by Amelia Josephson Apr 06, 2015

Communal living may sound like something that went out of favor when the 70’s ended. In fact, it’s a movement that’s still going strong. If you’re open to it, communal living could save you money –… Read more

by Amelia Josephson May 02, 2022

On March 15, 2018, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the fiduciary rule. Former President Barrack Obama had initially called on the Department of Labor three years earlier to revise… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 13, 2017

If you hold a VA loan and you’ve been avoiding a refinance out of fear of paperwork and hassle, think again. The VA offers a Streamline Refinance program to borrowers in good standing who originally… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jan 20, 2017

Debit cards feel like a safer choice than credit cards. You won’t rack up interest with a debit card, and the money comes out of your account right away. We love these debit card features, but we… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Oct 30, 2019

Update: The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is no longer in operation, according to the official website of the United States Treasury. However, you can still access several other… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Mar 25, 2017

When you refinance, you replace your current mortgage with a new one that has more favorable terms. Most people refinance to reduce their monthly payments, either by securing a lower interest rate or… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 11, 2019

Property taxes got you down? It’s worth investigating exemptions, deductions and credits in your area. Even if you don’t live in a property that came with a tax abatement, you might qualify for a… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 10, 2017

Are you underwater on your mortgage? Hey, it happens. But before you panic, know that there are some refinance options out there for underwater homeowners. The trick is knowing which one is best for… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 11, 2018

Considering a private arrangement to secure a home mortgage for yourself or a loved one? Following a few simple rules will help your financial arrangement go smoothly for both parties – the borrower… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Oct 01, 2022

A Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) gives you early access to a sum roughly equivalent to your IRS tax refund. Sounds great, right? Well, the problem with these loans is that they come with significant… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Aug 20, 2018

It’s easy to get lost in the midst of complications surrounding inherited IRAs. Unfortunately, the decisions beneficiaries make in the months after inheriting retirement accounts can mean the… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 08, 2015

Have you ever heard the phrase “using your house like a piggy bank” and wondered how exactly that works? The answer: a cash out refinance. A cash out refinance lets you pocket some of the value of… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 10, 2017

When you refinance, you replace your current mortgage with shiny new one. Your new mortgage could have a longer or shorter term, be adjustable-rate or fixed-rate. The refinance decision will likely… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 28, 2018

Loss aversion is the name for the human tendency to care more about losses than wins. In other words, the pain of losing outweighs the pleasure of winning. This can have a big impact on your… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 19, 2016

Considering a home refinance? You’ll want to make sure your credit is as good as it can be. That’s because refinancing with poor credit will not get you the lowest interest rates. You’ll pay more to… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 26, 2017

The “AD&D” in AD&D Insurance stands for “Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance.” Nice, right? AD&D insurance is like a combination of life insurance and disability insurance…except that it… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jun 28, 2017

The idea of guaranteed life insurance is an appealing one. Who doesn’t like the sound of a guarantee? Plus, guaranteed life insurance doesn’t require a medical exam during the underwriting process,… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Sep 17, 2018

Credit life insurance pays a policyholder’s debts when the policyholder dies. Unlike term or universal life insurance, it doesn’t pay out to the policyholder’s chosen beneficiaries. Instead, the… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 28, 2018

A life expectancy table offers a rough guide to the number of years a person has left to live. It sounds morbid, but it can be a useful tool for retirement planning and estate planning. When we think… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Dec 28, 2016

As long as you don’t carry an unpaid balance, keeping a credit card you don’t use won’t hurt your credit. In fact, it’s actually closing a neglected card that dings your credit score. But while… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Jul 05, 2017

Group life insurance lets you join forces with others rather than shopping for individual life insurance on the open market. Many of us get group life insurance through work. It’s an automatic box… Read more

by Amelia Josephson Feb 28, 2018

It turns out there’s a correlation between how much you pay for your wedding and how likely you are to divorce. That’s right, the more expensive the wedding, the higher the probability that the… Read more