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Derek Silva

Credit Card and Retirement Expert

Derek Silva is determined to make personal finance accessible to everyone. He writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, serving as a retirement and credit card expert. Derek is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®). He has a degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has spent time as an English language teacher in the Portuguese autonomous region of the Azores. The message Derek hopes people take away from his writing is, “Don’t forget that money is just a tool to help you reach your goals and live the lifestyle you want.”

Posts by Derek Silva:

by Derek Silva Mar 13, 2023

As an employee, you may have noticed that your paycheck never matches your full salary. This is because your employer has to withhold certain payroll taxes. You might think that you don’t have to worry about those payroll taxes if you work for yourself. But that’s not the case – you’d still have to pay a 15.3% self-employment tax. Below, we’ll explore this tax and why you have to pay it. If you need help with this or any other tax issue, consider working with a financial advisor. Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 13, 2023

Once you’ve gone through the burdensome process of filing your taxes, your sigh of relief might be short-lived. That’s because you’ll likely be wondering, “How long does it take to get a tax refund?” But as excited as you may be to get that refund check from your federal income tax return, you may be disappointed with IRS processing times. So as you plan your budget for the year, you should know how long it will take to get your federal tax refund. If you want to go beyond taxes and build a comprehensive financial plan for your future, a financial advisor can help you put a financial plan together. Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 13, 2023

When you file a federal income tax return, you have the choice between taking the standard deduction or itemizing your deductions. The option that you pick should depend on which strategy will maximize your tax benefits. Your calculations may also have changed in recent years following the passage of President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Here’s a look at who should itemize under the new tax plan. Working with a financial advisor can help you optimize a tax strategy for your financial goals and needs. Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 29, 2023

Stock options are something most people have heard of, but you might not know exactly how they work. In brief, stock options are a type of alternative compensation that some companies, including many… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 19, 2023

If you’re looking to invest $100,000, you have a lot of options, and what you decide to go with can affect what kinds of returns you earn. You could also invest in real estate, or put some of the… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 10, 2023

When filing federal income taxes, everyone has to choose a filing status. There are five filing statuses: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household and qualifying… Read more

by Derek Silva May 22, 2023

If you’re getting a divorce, the tax implications probably are not the most pressing issue on your mind. The specifics of filing taxes after divorce and how you draw up your divorce agreement could… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 20, 2023

For many Americans, filing federal income taxes means getting a refund. The IRS says that the average tax refund in 2022 was $3,039, a 7.5% uptick from the previous year. Taxpayers often rely on this… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 13, 2023

According to a 2022 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Retirement Confidence Survey, many people think they’re doing a good job financially preparing for retirement. EBRI found that over… Read more

by Derek Silva May 16, 2023

Most retirement experts recommend you contribute 10% to 15% of your income toward your 401(k) each year. The most you can contribute in 2023 is $22,500 or $30,000 if you are 50 or older (that’s an… Read more

by Derek Silva May 13, 2023

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that the median salary for a financial advisor in 2021 is $94,170, which is well above the national average. However, pay can vary widely by state, city and… Read more

by Derek Silva Jul 31, 2019

Buying a home requires just as much care as any other significant investment. If being a first-time homebuyer is a part of your American dream, it’s important to choose a home that fits your budget… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 30, 2019

Small towns have their charm and big cities offer great opportunities, but what if you’re looking for something in between? Unlike a large metropolis, a small city tends to have a more affordable… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 25, 2019

According to Census Bureau data from 2017, there are more than 71 million people in the U.S. aged 60 and older. Each year more people reach retirement age and decide to make some changes as they… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 24, 2019

If you’re looking to raise a family, the city you call home can affect many parts of your life. It potentially impacts the jobs available to you, how much you earn, how much it costs to live… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 23, 2019

In about 62% of two-parent households, both parents work, according to 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up about 1% from the previous year. Not only are more parents working, but… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 17, 2019

Once you’ve put in the work to get a degree, you’ve got a big decision ahead of you: Where to start your career? For those who have the ability to relocate, choosing the right city can make a big… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 23, 2019

Saving for a home can take years, which sometimes makes the idea of switching from renting to buying a daunting one even if you have some help. But if you’re on your own, buying a home can be even… Read more

by Derek Silva May 15, 2023

An investment portfolio is a basket of asset classes that typically include stocks, bonds, cash, real estate and more. Investors generally aim for a return by diversifying these securities in a way… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 10, 2019

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that women earn approximately 80% of what men do. Though the work to achieve pay gap equity is far from finished, it’s important to recognize the… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 09, 2019

Owning a home is an important financial goal for many Americans. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that at the end of 2018, approximately 64% of people owned their homes. Whether homeownership… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 03, 2019

Running is an accessible sport that allows you stay active while saving some money. Of course, one of the biggest requirements for runners is the space to run. That could mean open space, like parks… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 02, 2019

Different places attract particular residents due to a variety of factors such as job opportunities, climate or lifestyle. Though an ultimate constraint is the cost of a home, some markets seem to… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 28, 2019

Selling a house is a major decision that demands careful consideration. After all, securing more money from selling your home gives you more capital to invest with your financial advisor. Your… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 21, 2019

It costs more than $233,000 to raise a child through age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given that high cost, you want to know that you’re living in a place that is conducive to… Read more