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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 21, 2020

Managing your finances can be difficult on your own. Particularly when it comes to complex matters like investing and building a retirement plan, it’s nice to have the guidance of an expert. That’s exactly what a financial advisor is: A financial expert who can help you plan your finances, invest your money and achieve your financial goals. While any advisor will have a good general working knowledge of financial planning, many advisors also specialize in certain topics, from investing to retirement income to estate planning. So when you’re looking for a financial advisor, it’s important to find one who can help with your particular needs. Read more

by Derek Silva Dec 03, 2019

Whether you take an aggressive or conservative approach to investing, your asset allocation is likely to include some bonds. When reading about or researching bonds, you’ll hear about duration, an important metric that measures the time it will take for you to receive back a bond’s price from the cash flows it produces. Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 24, 2021

Stock options are a type of alternative compensation that some companies, including many startups, offer as part of their package for employees. Employees come on board at perhaps a lower-than-normal salary in exchange for the possibility of a big payday later on. If you’ve been offered options as part of a compensation package, or if you’re considering exercising and selling those options, be sure you know how they work. Talk to a financial advisor if you have questions about your stock options or any other investments. Read more

by Derek Silva Jun 26, 2020

When it comes to your finances, going at it alone can sometimes be intimidating as you try to come up with a game plan. But if you want professional help, make sure you’re consulting the right expert… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 24, 2021

Thailand receives a lot of attention as a retirement destination — and for good reason. The cost of living is low, which means you can stretch your retirement savings further. The country has a rich… Read more

by Derek Silva Feb 11, 2021

If you dream of retiring in Europe, Portugal should be on your list of possible new homes. It’s one of the most affordable European countries and many people speak English, especially in the main… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 21, 2019

When choosing a place to retire, you may want to look for an affordable locale that’s full of things to do and sights to enjoy. If you’re interested in retiring abroad, Argentina is an attractive… Read more

by Derek Silva Nov 14, 2019

If you have a traditional IRA, you will need to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) when you reach age 70.5. As traditional IRAs are tax-deferred, you will need to pay federal income… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 24, 2021

If you dream of retiring on a sunny island with delicious food and a thriving local culture, it may be time to look at Greece. The country offers hot summers and mild winters. You can live in a… Read more

by Derek Silva Jul 23, 2019

Sometimes you’ll need to transfer money from one bank account to another. Perhaps you’re paying some for the monthly rent or maybe you want to move your money from an old account into a high-interest… Read more

by Derek Silva Sep 20, 2018

If you want to open a bank account, you no longer need to visit a branch in person. With digital banking becoming more common, you can open and manage everything from saving accounts to mortgages,… Read more

by Derek Silva Sep 25, 2019

The federal government and the state of Montana run several programs for first-time homebuyers in Big Sky Country. Depending on your exact needs and circumstances, there are multiple types of loans… Read more

by Derek Silva Sep 04, 2018

A retirement system is a network of pension plans that states use to help public employees save for retirement. Each state has at least one retirement system and an organization that administers the… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 31, 2018

A retirement system is a pension plan that a state or other local government uses to help its public employees save for retirement. The systems requires members to contribute during their careers so… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 31, 2018

Illinois state employees may be eligible to take part in the state’s retirement system. A retirement system is a pension plan that a state uses to help public employees save for retirement. Public… Read more

by Derek Silva Aug 31, 2018

Each state has its own retirement system. This is an organization that helps state and local employees save for retirement. The individual pension plans that these organizations administer (also… Read more

by Derek Silva Nov 28, 2018

A retirement system is an organization that helps government workers save for retirement. It then helps distribute the money, in the form of a pension, to retirees. Each state has a retirement system… Read more

by Derek Silva Mar 18, 2021

IRS Form W-4 tells your employer how much federal income tax to withhold from your paycheck. You’ll be asked to fill one out when you start a new job. You can also submit a new W-4 to your HR or… Read more

by Derek Silva Jan 22, 2021

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 Oct 18, 2018

Investing isn’t always easy. The decision to buy or sell a specific security requires research, time and the knowledge on how to make a trade. That’s why some people are happy to pass off the work to… Read more

by Derek Silva Jul 09, 2019

When you work with a financial advisor, advanced certifications tell you that he or she has put in the work and has the qualifications to do advisory work. Two common certifications are the certified… Read more

by Derek Silva Jan 20, 2021

Earning dividends is a great incentive for investing in certain companies or mutual funds. Dividends are particularly useful for people who need to supplement their retirement income. However, you… Read more

by Derek Silva Jan 22, 2021

For many Americans, filing federal income taxes means getting a refund. The average tax refund, according to the IRS, was $2,535 as of November 2020. Taxpayers often rely on this money to boost their… Read more

by Derek Silva Jan 20, 2021

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?”… Read more

by Derek Silva Apr 15, 2021

Investing is never easy, and trying to figure everything out on your own can be incredibly stressful. That’s why many people hire a professional financial advisor who understands the market and can… Read more