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Elizabeth Smith

Credit Card, Savings and Retirement Expert

Liz Smith is a graduate of New York University and has been passionate about helping people make better financial decisions since her college days. Liz has been writing for SmartAsset for more than four years. Her areas of expertise include retirement, credit cards and savings. She also focuses on all money issues for millennials. Liz's articles have been featured across the web, including on AOL Finance, Business Insider and WNBC. The biggest personal finance mistake she sees people making: not contributing to retirement early in their careers.

Posts by Elizabeth Smith:

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 24, 2023

A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged retirement plan. You fund this account by contributing a set percentage of your paycheck into the account. One of the biggest perks of a 401(k) plan is that employers have the option to match your contributions to your account up to a certain point. While the IRS places annual contribution limits on 401(k) contributions, employer matches do not count towards that limit. However, there is a higher annual limit for overall contributions, which does include employer matching. A financial advisor can help you work through any and all questions about how your 401(k) works. Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 09, 2023

Taking money out of a 401(k) is a big decision. The specifics of how to take money out of a 401(k) plan depend on your age, employer plan, whether you’re still working for the company that sponsors your 401(k) plan and the type of withdrawal you’re making. If you’ve reached retirement age and are no longer working, it will be very a different process than if you’re still with a company, are taking money out early or need a loan. You’ll likely have to check your plan’s fine print to see which types of withdrawals are allowed. A financial advisor could help you put a financial plan together for your retirement needs and goals.  Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 13, 2023

Any money that you put into your 401(k) is yours. But when it comes to employer match contributions, things work a little differently. To own any portion of your employer’s contributions, you’ll need to vest in your employer’s match contributions. Only once you’re fully vested in your employer’s retirement plan will you have full ownership of your company’s match. Here’s what you need to know about 401(k) vesting, and what it means for your retirement saving. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your retirement needs and goals. Match with one for free now. Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 15, 2023

Since pensions have become less common, many Americans now rely on employer-sponsored, defined contribution plans like 401(k)s or 403(b)s to cover much of their retirement needs. In fact, the… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Apr 24, 2023

For 2023, the annual gift tax exemption is $17,000, up from $16,000 in 2022. This means you can give up to $17,000 to as many people as you want in 2023 without any of it being subject to the federal… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Jun 02, 2023

As you get older, there are two major things that you should consider. One is retirement. Having the necessary retirement savings and a financial plan will allow you to live the kind of life you want… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 27, 2023

If a financial planner, financial advisor or another type of financial professional is fee-only, that means they receive compensation solely from the fees clients pay for their services. They do not… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 20, 2023

For most of us, sending bills and receiving paychecks by mail are things of the past. We shop online, enroll in direct deposit, pay our bills, and file taxes online. If you have ever wondered what… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Feb 03, 2023

Catch-up contributions allow people age 50 or older to save more in their 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) than the usual annual contribution limits set by the IRS. The idea is to… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 31, 2023

Investment banking is a sect of the banking industry focused on raising capital for companies, governments and other entities. Investment banks are typically private companies, and they may… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 08, 2023

It might seem easier to find a partner and plan a proposal than it is to buy the perfect engagement ring. In addition to being expensive, rings are seen as a symbol of love for your significant other… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Feb 09, 2023

Unlike investing, trading requires a very active approach within the investment market. Rather than buying and holding assets to build wealth over the course of many years, a trader frequently buys… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Apr 19, 2023

Setting up a trust fund is one of many ways you can transfer money, property, and other assets to your loved ones or worthwhile causes. Like a will, it’s an estate planning tool that outlines how… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 18, 2023

Nearly every business and organization has a website. Many individuals also choose to claim their own space on the internet. But before you build a website, you’ll need a domain name – a unique… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Nov 29, 2021

It’s no secret: investing can be intimidating, and many people just don’t like the idea of “gambling” with their hard-earned savings. Luckily, there are some simple investment strategies that provide… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Apr 21, 2023

Being a landlord can significantly bolster your savings, but it’s also a lot of work. On top of the finances and responsibilities of your own living space, you have to find tenants, secure insurance… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 18, 2023

Most of us know that a savings account is a smart place to store money. Savings accounts have higher interest rates than checking accounts and, as such, help us earn more without sacrificing… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 30, 2023

Between vibrant cities like Nashville and quiet towns deep in the Appalachians, Tennessee might have something for everyone. Life in the Volunteer State means steeping yourself in history, culture… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 09, 2023

No matter where you hope to live in Louisiana, you’ll never be far from great music, delicious food and other exciting activities. Unfortunately, picking a mortgage is much harder than picking a… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 30, 2023

With expansive plains, bustling river towns and below-average mortgage rates, we don’t blame you for wanting to plant your own roots in Missouri. The purchase of buying your first home can be… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 30, 2023

Nevada has been of the fastest-growing states in the country over the past several years, which means a good amount of homebuyers looking to buy. But if getting a mortgage or paying a down payment is… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 30, 2023

Thanks to beautiful scenery, relatively affordable mortgage rates and robust economy, Idaho is an great destination for new homeowners. If you’re thinking about settling in the Gem State, check out… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 20, 2023

No matter where you hope to settle in Georgia, housing costs usually will be relatively affordable compared to many other states. Buying your first home can still be intimidating, of course. Georgia… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith May 09, 2023

First-time homebuyers in Indiana can access a number of programs designed to help them buy a house. Some cater to low-income individuals with less-than-ideal credit scores. Others are designed… Read more

by Elizabeth Smith Mar 30, 2023

Purchasing your first home in the Hawkeye State can be intimidating and expensive. It will likely include financial situations and conversations you’ve never encountered before. Luckily, the federal… Read more