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Ashley Kilroy

Ashley Kilroy is an experienced financial writer currently serving as an investment and insurance expert at SmartAsset. In addition to being a contributing writer at SmartAsset, she writes for solo entrepreneurs as well as for Fortune 500 companies. Ashley is a finance graduate of the University of Cincinnati. When she isn’t helping people understand their finances, you may find Ashley cage diving with great whites or on safari in South Africa.

Posts by Ashley Kilroy

A senior couple reviewing estate planning strategies to avoid probate in Washington state.
Estate Planning

How to Avoid Probate in Washington State

Probate is a legal process that validates the will of a deceased person. It makes an inventory of assets, settles debts and distributes property under court supervision. Understanding how this process works in Washington state can help you navigate through potential challenges that can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive. Fortunately, you can use different strategies… Read more…

A woman receives a check for a personal grant that she may have to pay taxes on.

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Grant Money?

Dreams come in all shapes and sizes – and price tags. From getting a degree to launching your own business, accomplishing your goals sometimes takes more than a leap of faith. Fortunately, grants are available to financially fuel your path to achieving your dreams. However, the grant money can be taxable depending on the grant’s… Read more…

A financial advisor explaining estate planning options to avoid probate.
Estate Planning

How to Avoid Probate in Illinois

The loss of a family member is a deeply personal and challenging experience. And the probate process can create further emotional turmoil, not to mention additional financial costs. Understanding how probate works in Illinois and the potential challenges that could arise is crucial for individuals who want to create a straightforward estate plan for their… Read more…

A senior couple dealing with unexpected Social Security taxes, commonly referred to as the Social Security tax torpedo.

How to Avoid the Social Security Tax Torpedo

While retirees may be chagrined to discover that taxes don’t end when they leave the workforce, an unseen threat looms behind the U.S. tax code. The Social Security tax torpedo is as destructive as it sounds, blowing up the budgets of unsuspecting retired folks eagerly awaiting their first Social Security check. Having a clear understanding… Read more…

A senior woman comparing how much she has saved for retirement against other savers in her age group.

How Much High-Income Earners Have Saved for Retirement

If you’ve got more money, you’ve got more retirement options. High-income earners have substantial resources at their disposal, presenting the potential for massive gains and crushing losses. However, practical strategies and careful financial decisions can help you retire as a multi-millionaire. High-income earners often have different retirement needs than others. Here’s how much high-income earners… Read more…

A financial advisor working with a senior couple to create an estate plan.
Estate Planning

How to Avoid Probate in Texas

Having a probate court wade through your estate can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. It can also be a public spectacle if disputes develop. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies to sidestep probate, preserve assets and ensure a smooth transfer to loved ones. If you live in Texas, you can implement five key tools to avoid… Read more…

A father going over the details of his estate plan with his son.
Estate Planning

How to Avoid Probate in Ohio

Probate is a critical legal process for handling someone’s assets when they pass away. The court oversees the allocation of assets, consuming time and resources. While this process serves as a vital framework for estate management, alternative estate planning options enable your estate to bypass probate. Doing so is advantageous because probate can experience delays… Read more…

A woman reviewing the terms of her annuity.

8 Reasons Annuities Might Be a Bad Investment for You

You pay $1 million upfront and receive $5,000 a month after retiring. Simple, right? Unfortunately, annuities are rife with complexities that can prevent a clear understanding of their benefits and potential pitfalls. This insurance product is often considered a safe investment, but annuities have their own risks. Here’s why they might be a bad investment… Read more…

A financial advisor meets with a couple to explain how to convert a rental property to a primary residence.

How to Convert Rental Property to a Primary Residence

Converting a rental property into a primary residence is a significant financial move with potential tax implications that necessitate careful planning. By leveraging tools like Section 121 of the IRS code and 1031 exchanges, homeowners can navigate the complexities of this process. However, understanding the intricacies of these laws is crucial. Here’s how to convert… Read more…

A retiree counting change while contemplating whether he should unretire.

How Unretiring and Going Back to Work Impacts Your Retirement

For many retirees, reentering the workforce can provide relief from inflation and structure the week in a productive way. However, doing so presents a host of considerations, particularly concerning their Social Security benefits. Understanding the intricacies of this process is crucial to make informed decisions. Here are the key aspects of unretiring, including the impact… Read more…