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Ben Geier, CEPF®

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 Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. 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, CEPF®

biden stock buyback pushback

Stock Buyback Clash: Biden’s Plan Faces Resistance From Critics and Investors

President Joe Biden has championed a substantial financial proposal in the latter half of his term: increasing taxes on businesses engaging in stock buybacks. This initiative aims to redirect corporate funds toward business expansion and job creation, instead of primarily… read more…

edward jones survey
Financial Advisor

Edward Jones: Millennials Are the Most Likely to Experience Financial Hardship

While no one is immune to financial hardships, new research from financial services firm Edward Jones suggests that perhaps those in the millennial generation are particularly vulnerable. In a survey of financial advisors, 43% of the experts polled said that… read more…

morningstar inflation history

Morningstar Reveals 2 Key History Lessons to Protect Your Portfolio Against Inflation

It’s no secret at this point — inflation continues to be a big issue for American consumers. The inflation rate year-over-year for March 2023 was 5% — and this is actually a bit of a dip, with inflation rates for… read more…

vanguard IRA tips

Three Tips to Make the Most of Your IRA

An individual retirement account (IRA) is a very popular way to save for retirement — especially if you don’t have access to a workplace retirement account like a 401(k). While there are several important decisions to make when saving with… read more…

SmartAsset: Webull vs. Charles Schwab

Webull vs. Charles Schwab

Finding an online brokerage firm to use for your personal investment can be intimidating. There are many options out there, and it isn’t all about picking the option with the most bells and whistles — you have to choose the… read more…

SmartAsset: How to Invest in CDs
Financial Advisor

How to Invest in CDs

While other investment and savings vehicles may get higher returns, few are as reliable as the certificate of deposit. CDs are traditionally safe, solid investments. Let’s take a look at common ways to invest in them and add them to… read more…

debt ceiling 2023
Financial Advisor

Here’s What the Debt Ceiling Question Could Mean for You

As seems to happen every couple of years at this point, Capital Hill is abuzz with discussions of whether the U.S. will default on its debt. In fact, if the debt ceiling isn’t raised this summer — potentially as early… read more…

SmartAsset: Too Many People Are Cashing Out Their 401(k) Plans

Too Many People Are Cashing Out Their 401(k) Plans

When leaving a job, there are a lot of things you have to remember to do when you leave – clean out your desk, say goodbye to your coworkers and pack up your secret stash of candy, for instance. Another… read more…

SmartAsset: Morningstar Says to Look for Durable Dividends

Morningstar Says to Look for Durable Dividends

Dividend stocks are the primary building blocks of income portfolios – that is, investment portfolios that aim to generate cash flow instead of simply growing in value. Picking which dividend stocks to buy, though, isn’t always easy. While the “instant… read more…

SmartAsset: Survey Shows Plan Sponsors Are Looking at 401(k) Fees

Survey Shows Plan Sponsors Are Looking at 401(k) Fees

Saving for retirement is a key part of financial planning for most people. Unless you have a vast inheritance coming your way or you’re OK working until your very last day, you’ll need to start squirreling away money so you… read more…

cits over funds

Target-Date Investors Have a New Favorite Vehicle

A volatile market is worrisome for many Americans, including — and maybe especially — those saving for retirement. Most retirement savers aren’t looking to make the huge gains professional investors are, just to grow their money slowly and steadily so… read more…

housing survey mortgage rates
Financial Advisor

Mortgage Rates Could Hit 8.8% – Is Now a Good Time to Buy?

Buying a home is always nerve-racking, but those looking purchase right now have even more reasons to fret: the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates steadily for more than a year, meaning that those looking to get a mortgage… read more…

high dividend stocks

Obsessed With High-Dividend Stocks? Here’s Why This Major Firm Says That’s a Mistake

In recent years, high-dividend stocks have become especially popular among investors looking for income in their portfolios. A new article from asset management firm AllianceBernstein, though, posits that these shares are not enough for building an effective portfolio. Rather, the… read more…

SmartAsset: Is $5 Million Enough to Retire at 65?

Is $5 Million Enough to Retire at 65?

Retirement planning has many elements, but there are two questions that must be answered before anything else can be addressed: What age do you plan on retiring? And, how much money do you need saved to retire at that age?… read more…

i bonds tips morningstar

Morningstar Says These Two Assets Can Protect Your Portfolio From Inflation

Let’s face it: the past few years have been pretty scary for investors. From the pandemic to the bear market and inflation, it seems like most people aren’t as concerned with making huge gains as they are with simply protecting… read more…

vanguard 60/40 portfolio

Vanguard Says Don’t Give Up on the 60/40 Portfolio

Of all the choices an investor has to make, asset allocation could be the most important. Deciding how to split up the money you invest among different asset classes requires clarity of purpose and an understanding of each category’s advantages… read more…

Dodd-Frank Act

The Dodd-Frank Act Explained (and How It’s Changed)

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as Dodd-Frank, was passed in 2010 in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The Obama-era law aimed to prevent another financial meltdown. It increased regulation of the financial industry… read more…

biden new taxes
Financial Advisor

Are You Rich? Biden Wants to Double Your Capital Gains Taxes and Implement a Wealth Tax

While social issues have dominated news coverage recently, one of the most contentious and important issues in Washington never changes — tax policy. One of former President Donald Trump’s biggest victories was his 2017 tax plan that drastically reduced taxes… read more…

403(b) vs. 401(k)

403(b) vs. 401(k): Comparing Retirement Plans

If you’re starting a new job, there’s a good chance you’re going to have the option to join an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and it’ll probably be one of two types of plans: a 403(b) or a 401(k). Both are defined… read more…

what is a 401(a)

What Are 401(a) Plans?

Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial steps you can take. If you don’t, you could end up entering what should be your golden years struggling to make ends meet. One of the most common ways to… read more…

What You Need to Know About Florida Estate Tax
Estate Planning

Florida Estate Tax

There is no Florida estate tax, though you may still be subject to the federal estate tax. It’s one of 38 states in the country that doesn’t levy a tax on estates, regardless of size. If you’re concerned about estate… read more…

SmartAsset: IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Table for 2022

IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Table for 2024

An individual retirement account, more commonly referred to as an IRA, is a good place to save for your retirement. Once you reach a certain age, though, you’ll have to start taking a minimum amount out of your account each… read more…

Pros and Cons of Indexed Annuities

The Pros and Cons of Indexed Annuities

Annuities are a popular option for people planning for retirement, but there are many different types of annuities that you can choose from. One popular option is an indexed annuity, a hybrid type of annuity that tracks a stock market… read more…

biden medicare
Financial Advisor

Biden Wants to Close Tax Loopholes and Raise Taxes on Rich People to Protect Medicare

When he was running for president, Joe Biden was very clear that he was not Bernie Sanders — he wasn’t a socialist, and he didn’t believe the American economy and political system did not need to be completely torn down.… read more…

cramer etf

You Can Now Make Money Making Fun of Jim Cramer

In the world of television commentators, few inspire more venom among certain portions of the internet as CNBC’s Jim Cramer. He was harshly criticized in the aftermath of the 2009 credit crisis, and he’s still frequently called out for his… read more…