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Derek Silva, CEPF®

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 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, CEPF®

SmartAsset: All About Self-Employment Tax

All About Self-Employment Tax

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… Read more…

SmartAsset: How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax Refund?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Tax Refund?

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… Read more…

Itemize Deductions

Who Should Itemize Deductions Under the Trump Tax Plan

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… Read more…

Stock Options

How Do Employee Stock Options Work?

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 startups, offer as part of their package… Read more…

SmartAsset: How to Invest $100,000

How to Invest $100,000

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 money… Read more…

SmartAsset: Single vs. Married Tax Filers

Taxes: Single vs. Married

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 widow/er with dependent child. Most people are only eligible for one… Read more…

filing taxes after divorce

Filing Taxes After Divorce: A Practical Guide

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 make a big difference when it… Read more…

SmartAsset: Where Can I Get a Tax Refund Loan?

Where Can I Get a Tax Refund Loan?

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 money to boost their retirement savings or… Read more…

SmartAsset: How to Start Planning for Retirement

How to Start Planning for Retirement

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 seven in 10 workers remain confident in their ability to live comfortably.… Read more…

contribute to your 401(k)

How Much Should You Contribute to Your 401(k)?

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 extra $7,500). Consider working with… Read more…