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Becca Stanek

Retirement and Investing Expert

Becca Stanek is a graduate of DePauw University. Becca is an experienced writer/editor who serves as a retirement expert for SmartAsset. She's passionate about helping people understand the sometimes daunting ins and outs of personal finance. Becca is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Her work has also appeared at Time, The Week, Mic and The Washington Monthly. Becca grew up in the Midwest and now lives in New York City.

Posts by Becca Stanek:

by Becca Stanek Mar 13, 2023

Self-directed 401(k) plans let savers decide how to invest their pre-tax retirement contributions. Rather than being limited to the pre-approved funds typically offered by traditional 401(k) plans, self-directed 401(k) plans allow you to choose exactly where you’ll invest your money. Here’s a full rundown on self-directed 401(k)s so you can decide if it’s the right option for your retirement savings. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your retirement needs and goals. Match with one for free right now.  Read more

by Becca Stanek Mar 13, 2023

It can be hard to know if your retirement savings are on track, but comparing your balance to where others similar in age are can help. In particular, taking a look at the average 401(k) balance by age is a good place to start because an employer retirement account is an even playing field that gives most the best chance for retirement savings. Since an employer-sponsored 401(k) retirement account allows you to grow your assets tax-deferred, their long-term savings potential is quite high. While you should take full advantage of your 401(k), you’ll also need a retirement plan beyond it. If you’re unsure of where to start, try working with a financial advisor. Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

In legal terms, a fiduciary is an individual or organization that has taken on the responsibility of acting on behalf of another person or entity with honesty and integrity. For example, bankers, attorneys and officers of public companies are all fiduciaries, meaning they must act in the best interest of their customers, clients or shareholders. If they don’t, they are legally liable. Similarly in the investment world, fiduciary financial advisors manage client assets with their best interests in mind. To find a fiduciary financial advisor who serves your area, try using SmartAsset’s free tool. Read more

by Becca Stanek Jul 25, 2019

Making a decision to move to a particular place involves taking into account many factors, including career opportunities and what mortgage payments might look like. But does the choice of a… Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 21, 2019

A number of factors can influence your decision to move to a new place, including where your peers are headed. While some older generations like rich retirees and rich Gen Xers are moving to Florida,… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 21, 2019

The U.S. is the 19th-happiest country in the world, according to the 2019 World Happiness Report that the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN released. Though this is a one-spot drop… Read more

by Becca Stanek Jul 31, 2019

Moving to a new home can be a difficult undertaking, even though it might bring your life a much-needed change, especially when you have significant financial costs to consider. As you look to make… Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 21, 2019

Ken Fisher, an investment analyst and self-made billionaire, is perhaps best known for founding Fisher Investments. The financial advisor firm based in Camas, Washington manages more than $96 billion… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

The aid of a financial advisor can be helpful regardless of whether you’re young, retired or somewhere in between. There is a wide range of financial advisors you can work with, as they can… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

As you strive to reach your financial goals and prepare for retirement, you may consider turning to a financial advisor. In this case, knowing how much a financial advisor’s services normally cost is… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

If you’re looking for a financial advisor, the Form ADV is an essential point of reference. In fact, this publicly available paperwork must be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission … Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

A wealth manager is a subset of financial advisor that primarily offers high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients wealth management services. But a wealth manager’s role is far more… Read more

by Becca Stanek Feb 28, 2022

Estate planning is the process of setting up how your assets and property will be distributed upon your death. Through these plans, you can ensure your assets are given to the people and… Read more

by Becca Stanek Jan 25, 2023

Warren Buffett said it best: “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”… Read more

by Becca Stanek Apr 14, 2023

There are a number of ways to buy bonds: directly from the U.S. Government, via a bond fund or with the help of a broker. Before you make your purchase, it’s important to understand what types of… Read more

by Becca Stanek Apr 21, 2023

Generally speaking, your inheritance is or could be taxable. However, the full story is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. Whether you’ll pay inheritance tax and how much you’ll pay… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 16, 2023

You can freeze your credit report by contacting a credit bureau like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Then you’ll fill out some paper work and pay a fee. Freezing your credit report is a good idea… Read more

by Becca Stanek May 15, 2023

Finding a financial advisor is easier than ever. In addition to traditional methods like word-of-mouth recommendations, you can also use a financial advisor matching tool or an advisor network’s… Read more

by Becca Stanek Nov 18, 2022

Private wealth management is an investment advisory practice focused on serving the unique needs of wealthy individuals. The practice incorporates a wide range of services, including financial… Read more