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Ben Geier

Savings, Retirement and Investing Expert

Ben Geier is an experienced financial writer currently serving as a retirement and investing expert at SmartAsset. His work has appeared on Fortune, and CNNMoney. Ben is a graduate of Northwestern University and a part-time student at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). When he isn’t helping people understand their finances, Ben likes watching hockey, listening to music and experimenting in the kitchen. Originally from Alexandria, VA, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife.

Posts by Ben Geier:

by Ben Geier Jun 09, 2022

Financial planning advice typically focuses on long-term goals like saving for your children’s education, building a retirement fund and estate planning. But depending on your financial situation, you may need to set short-term goals to reach those financial plan milestones. Here are four common short-term goals that you should keep in mind when putting your financial plan together in 2022. A financial advisor could help you put a financial plan together for your short-term and long-term financial needs and goals. Read more

by Ben Geier Jun 03, 2022

Setting up an investment portfolio requires clarity about what your goals are, what your risk tolerance is and what kind of investments you want. You also need to know what your time horizon is. Are you looking to make money quickly or are you in it for the long haul? This will impact whether your portfolio is focused on short-term investments, long-term investments or some mix of the two. Knowing the difference between short- and long-term investments and the pros and cons of each will help you make sure your investment portfolio is suited for exactly what you want to achieve. For help setting up a portfolio and finding the right mix of investments, consider finding a financial advisor using SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read more

by Ben Geier May 05, 2022

Annuities can be a useful part of a retirement plan. They provide guaranteed retirement income, effectively replicating the monthly checks that workers with a defined benefit plan like a traditional pension plan receive. Fewer workers than ever have defined benefit plans, meaning it’s up to each individual worker to create his or her own retirement plan. An annuity is especially useful, because even if your 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan runs dry, you still have income coming in for the life of the annuity. With interest rates rising and the markets especially volatile these days, now is an especially opportune time to buy an annuity — and the annuity market’s first quarter growth shows that Americans are seizing the moment. If you want help figuring out how an annuity could work into your retirement plan, consider working with a financial advisor. Don’t miss out on news that could impact your finances. Get news and tips to make smarter financial decisions with SmartAsset’s… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 27, 2022

For years, target-date funds have been one of the go-to options for retirement investors. The appeal is clear; when you invest in a target date fund, you put your money in the hands of a manager who… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 27, 2022

High-net-worth investors are those with at least $1 million in investable assets. While hard-and-fast investing rules like keeping tabs on asset allocation, holding a diversified set of assets and… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 22, 2022

As you get older, healthcare becomes increasingly important — between preventative care and trips to the doctor to fix the  aches and pains that come with age, having a good health insurance plan is… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 29, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world in more ways that most people can count, from the way kids go to school to how restaurants operate. One change that may not have been easy to predict — the… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 14, 2022

There are various strategies one can take when choosing which stocks to use in building an investment portfolio. One popular strategy is to pick firms that pay shareholders dividends. The logic is… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 12, 2022

Millions of older Americans live solely on a Social Security check. And while other Americans rely mostly on workplace retirement plans like a 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA), these… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 07, 2022

Most Americans have at least heard of a 401(k) plan, but there is another tax-advantaged workplace retirement plan out there — the 403(b). A 403(b) operates similarly to a 401(k), but is generally… Read more

by Ben Geier Apr 06, 2022

There are many financial products you can choose to invest in as a part of your retirement portfolio. One of the most complex is an annuity, which is a product that requires a premium payment up… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 30, 2022

The SECURE Act 2.0 — a follow up to the 2019 bill that made myriad changes to the way Americans save for retirement — passed in the House this week, meaning that if it gets approved by the Senate it… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 30, 2022

The great power Christopher Wallace – aka the Notorious B.I.G. – once opined, “mo’ money, mo’ problems.” While that may not be entirely true, it is a fact that having a high net worth does come with… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 30, 2022

A 2022 study from the Bank of America says that 30% of current women homeowners bought their home while single. And almost two-thirds of women surveyed said they would buy a home before getting… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 25, 2022

With tax season in full swing and the April 18 filing deadline rapidly approaching, many Americans are once again wondering whether they should take a standard deduction or consider itemizing their… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 24, 2022

Estate planning isn’t fun, but it is necessary if you want to make sure that your family is taken care of and your property is disbursed the way you want it to after you’ve died. Furthermore, estate… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 16, 2022

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of scary things going on in the world right now — the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine chief among them. These world events also have impacts on… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 08, 2022

When building a portfolio, it is important to look for balance in terms of the types of assets you purchase. While stocks are often viewed as more exciting, that doesn’t mean bonds can’t play an… Read more

by Ben Geier Mar 02, 2022

Pretty much everything in life costs money, including financial services. One mutual fund firm — Vanguard, already famous for its relatively low fees — is changing its expense ratios with the aim of… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 23, 2022

With average housing costs adding up to almost 35% of all household expenditures in 2020, many renters nationwide are looking for roommates so they can afford short-term financial obligations, save… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 16, 2022

The Great Resignation is having a huge impact on many parts of American life. One impact you might not think of immediately is the impact it has on the retirement savings space — fewer people working… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 15, 2022

A college degree is an important professional milestone that can boost your finances. According to data from, the average yearly earnings for someone with only a high school diploma is $37… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 10, 2022

Saving for retirement isn’t easy. How much cash will you need in your coffers once you exit the workforce? How much from each paycheck should you put toward retirement, and how aggressive should your… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 09, 2022

The IRS says that the number of million-dollar taxpayers has gone up in five years. In 2014, there were 410,110 taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $1 million or more, filing 0.28% of… Read more

by Ben Geier Feb 01, 2022

Social media has brought the world closer together in many ways, some of them wonderful. But there are many dark sides to out modern connectivity, and one that has reared its ugly head increasingly… Read more