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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 Jul 23, 2019

Most retirement experts recommend you contribute 10% to 15% of your income toward your 401(k) each year. The most you can contribute in 2019 is $19,000. If you’re age 50 or older, you can contribute an extra $5,000. However, you can use our 401(k) calculator to figure out how much you can expect to earn based on any contribution amount you choose. Read more

by Derek Silva Sep 10, 2019

The median financial advisor pay in 2018 was $88,890 – well above the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (DOL). However, pay can vary widely by state, city and level of experience. The profile of your clientele can have an effect as well. We’ll cover all you need to know about financial advisor compensation as well as job requirements and career outlook. 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 based on your savings at the same time that it meets your other lifestyle needs. First-time homebuyers might find the home-buying process especially daunting, but there are many programs out there to help make it easier. And location, of course, is a crucial factor. Local market conditions, such as how stable the housing market is, can sometimes make all the difference. To help you get a better sense of where to start looking, SmartAsset created this list of the best cities for first-time homebuyers. 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 Aug 15, 2019

An investment portfolio is a basket of assets that can hold stocks, bonds, cash and more. Investors aim for a return by mixing these securities in a way that reflects their risk tolerance and… 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

by Derek Silva Mar 13, 2019

Hockey may not be the most popular sport in America, but it enjoys a strong fan base. Its following is also growing: Since we last did this study, the National Hockey League has even added a new team… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 21, 2019

If you find yourself with some extra money – let’s say you got a big tax refund, or received a nice inheritance – then you’ll need to decide what to do with it. If you have a mortgage worth hundreds… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 25, 2019

Investing comes with risk, so it’s necessary to thoroughly research investments before you make them. One popular metric that analysts and other financial advisors use for determining the success of… Read more

by Derek Silva Feb 19, 2019

If you’re building your retirement saving, 401(k) plans are a great option. These employer-sponsored plans allow you to contribute up to $19,000 in pre-tax money per year. Some employers will also… Read more

by Derek Silva Feb 19, 2019

As an investor, it’s important for you to choose the right stocks and funds for your portfolio. If you’re picking your own investments instead of working with an advisor, then you may want to… Read more

by Derek Silva Jul 29, 2019

A balance sheet is one of three financial documents that every investor should check when researching a company to invest in. The other two are an income statement, which looks at a company’s profits… Read more

by Derek Silva Feb 12, 2019

If you have $30,000 to invest, you have many options. Some things, like making the down payment on a house, might be a bit out of reach, but you can still invest in securities ranging from stocks to… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 21, 2019

The U.S. experienced a partial government shutdown from Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019. This 35-day shutdown was the longest in U.S. history and disrupted the service of multiple federal agencies,… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 13, 2019

So you’ve got $100,000, and you’re ready to invest it. Maybe a relative has passed away and left you money in a will. Maybe you’ve been building up savings in a retirement account and you’re finally… Read more