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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 Aug 02, 2018

The term “fiduciary” is a good thing to hear if you’re searching for a financial advisor. Perhaps you’ve heard it in the news in connection to the debate over the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, or maybe it cropped up as you were choosing a financial advisor. Financial advisors who are fiduciaries hold a relationship of trust with their clients and abide by fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty is the ethical obligation to act solely in someone else’s best interest. In theory, this should minimize conflicts of interest and make a financial advisor more trustworthy. Read on to learn more about what a fiduciary is and what fiduciary duty entails, as well as how to find a fiduciary financial advisor to work with. Read more

by Becca Stanek Oct 12, 2018

If you’re starting to think about getting ready for retirement or you’re approaching a major life transition, it might be the right time to hire a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you with everything from creating a financial plan to managing and building your wealth. Of course, finding a financial advisor is easier said than done. Not all financial advisors are alike, so you’ll want to be sure to do your homework to ensure you end up working with someone who is trustworthy and suits your needs. As you’re weighing your options, these are the 10 questions to ask a financial advisor to decide if this is the person you want to manage your money. Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 02, 2018

As you strive to reach your financial goals and prepare for retirement, you may consider turning to a financial advisor. But you may be wondering: How much does a financial advisor cost? Generally, financial advisors charge a flat fee of $1,500 to $2,500 for the one-time creation of a full financial plan, or 1% to 2% of assets under management for ongoing portfolio management. However, fee rates and compensation structures differ from advisor to advisor. That can make it challenging to figure out how much you’re paying and if you’re getting a fair deal when you’re trying to find a financial advisor. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you fully understand financial advisor fees before you hire one. Read more

by Becca Stanek Sep 05, 2018

For anyone trying to choose a financial advisor, Form ADV is an essential point of reference. Form ADV is paperwork that all financial advisor firms that manage more than $25 million must file with… Read more

by Becca Stanek Jul 10, 2018

A wealth manager is a subset of financial advisor that primarily serves high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals – in other words, people with wealth that needs managing. A wealth manager… Read more

by Becca Stanek Sep 25, 2018

Estate planning is the process of making a plan for how your assets will be distributed upon your death or incapacitation. Through estate planning, you can ensure your assets are given to the people… Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 20, 2018

Are your retirement savings on track? It can be hard to know exactly how much you should have tucked away and by what age. And how do you stack up compared to others? Taking a look at the average 401… Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 07, 2018

Take billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s advice for how to learn to make good money decisions, and pick up a book. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned investor in need of a refresher, reading… Read more

by Becca Stanek Sep 05, 2018

Figuring out how to buy bonds is a deceptively complicated process. Before you make your purchase, it’s important to understand what types of bonds there are, and how much risk and reward each bond… Read more

by Becca Stanek Sep 12, 2018

In short, yes, your inheritance is 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 depends on a variety… Read more

by Becca Stanek Nov 21, 2017

If you’re the victim of identity theft or you think you might be, you may want to consider a credit freeze. A credit freeze blocks new creditors from viewing your credit report. That makes it tougher… Read more

by Becca Stanek Aug 02, 2018

When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, you want to pick carefully. A financial advisor can be key to helping you determine and achieve your financial goals and get ready for retirement. But… Read more

by Becca Stanek Oct 17, 2018

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

by Becca Stanek Sep 26, 2018

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,… Read more