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Eric Reed

Retirement and Investing Expert

Eric Reed is a freelance journalist who specializes in economics, policy and global issues, with substantial coverage of finance and personal finance. He has contributed to outlets including The Street, CNBC, Glassdoor and Consumer Reports. Eric’s work focuses on the human impact of abstract issues, emphasizing analytical journalism that helps readers more fully understand their world and their money. He has reported from more than a dozen countries, with datelines that include Sao Paolo, Brazil; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Athens, Greece. A former attorney, before becoming a journalist Eric worked in securities litigation and white collar criminal defense with a pro bono specialty in human trafficking issues. He graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and can be found any given Saturday in the fall cheering on his Wolverines.

Posts by Eric Reed:

by Eric Reed Feb 28, 2022

Current tax law does not allow you to take a capital gains tax break based on age. Once, the IRS allowed people over the age of 55 a tax exemption for home sales. However, this exclusion was closed in 1997 in favor of the expanded exemption for all homeowners. Beyond this, only retirement accounts allow for tax breaks related to age. Consider working with a financial advisor as you do tax planning. Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 23, 2022

So you have $3 million to invest. Maybe you saved up meticulously and well. Maybe you sold your company or wrote a best-selling novel. Maybe you simply won the lottery (fun in theory, but not a financial plan we recommend). First thing’s first: congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment. Now, what should you do with it? Leaving all of that money in a checking account isn’t a particularly good plan. Current interest rates pay so close to zero as to be nearly the same thing. Instead, consider a few of these strong investment options. A financial advisor can help you allocate your assets in a way that fits your goals, timeline and risk profile. Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 23, 2022

The IRS established the 401(k) as a tax-advantaged plan for employees, rather than the self-employed. This works fine most of the time, but in an era when people change jobs far more often than they used to it also has created some confusion. What do you do with this account, that’s supposed to grow over decades, when you change employers? There are a few common options. A financial advisor can offer you valuable insight and guidance on handling tax-advantaged accounts. Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 16, 2022

The IRS treats cryptocurrency as a standard type of property, the same as receiving comic books or a car. The government taxes this asset as either ordinary income or capital gains. This means that… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 16, 2022

An inter vivos gift occurs when you give someone assets without receiving anything in return. To be considered an inter vivos gift, you must give them this property while alive. If you give them this… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 16, 2022

When you sell your home, the IRS allows one major form of capital gains break. It’s called the home sale exclusion, and it allows you to deduct a significant amount of the profit from your home sale… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 16, 2022

If you own a home, you have paid an ad valorem tax. If you own a car, same thing. In fact, if you’ve ever bought anything in the United States, you have paid an ad valorem tax. These taxes are based… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 15, 2022

In financial law, an “estate” refers to all of the assets and property owned by someone who has died. However, this definition can have a few different applications depending on where in the estate… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 14, 2022

An IRA (and its corollary, the Roth IRA) is a form of tax-advantaged retirement account that lets you save money during your working years so you can withdraw it during retirement. There is no age… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 14, 2022

A health savings account (an HSA) is a form of tax-advantaged retirement account designed for healthcare spending. You can make contributions to your account at any time so long as you aren’t… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 14, 2022

From time to time an employer will have to make structural changes to their 401(k) plan. When that happens, they might need to freeze changes to the plan overall. This is called a “blackout period.”… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 10, 2022

A Social Security Administration (SSA) award letter confirms that you have been approved for benefits. Unsurprisingly, these letters are sometimes also referred to as benefit letters. These are… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 10, 2022

A limited liability company, or LLC, is one of the most common corporate forms in American business. It is relatively easy to establish and allows individuals or small groups to do business under a… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 11, 2022

Risk and return are, effectively, two sides of the same coin. In an efficient market, higher risks correlate with stronger potential returns. At the same time, lower returns correlate with safer … Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 04, 2022

An illegitimate child, one whose parents were not legally married, usually has the same claims as any other child under statutory inheritance. Nowadays legitimacy rarely affects an individual’s… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 03, 2022

Home prices have nearly doubled in the last 10 years – and that could mean you owe some serious taxes if you are selling your home. After bottoming out around $259,000 in 2011, the average sale price… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 03, 2022

The 28/36 rule is a rule of thumb for managing your finances and a valuable tool in determining how much house you can afford. The rule says that you should dedicate no more than 28% of your pretax,… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 02, 2022

The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are both programs designed to help alleviate poverty, but there are key differences. The EITC is a credit available to employed, low-income… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 01, 2022

To take out a home equity line of credit (a HELOC), you need to have at least 15% to 20% equity in your home. The exact amount depends on your lender and your financial details, such as credit score,… Read more

by Eric Reed Feb 01, 2022

A no closing mortgage, sometimes called a zero closing cost mortgage, is one in which your lender provides the money to pay for the closing costs on your house. In exchange, you typically pay a… Read more

by Eric Reed Jan 31, 2022

A warranty deed, as its name suggests, comes with warranties. The person or persons transferring the property, whether it’s being bought as a residence or as an investment guarantee they own it and… Read more

by Eric Reed Jan 26, 2022

Elder law refers to legal issues that concern older adults, generally defined as people above the age of 65. It is often understood as an extension of traditional trust and estate law, but overlaps… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 30, 2021

Marital property, also known as marital assets, spousal assets or community property, matters when it comes to taxes, estate law and divorce. In most cases, separate property applies to the assets… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 28, 2021

When you need someone to make legally binding decisions on your behalf, you grant them that authority with a power of attorney form. There are many titles for the person who exercises this authority… Read more

by Eric Reed Dec 27, 2021

A charitable lead trust is a form of charitable trust that first distributes assets to the named charities. Once the assets have been distributed to the charities as specified in the trust, the named… Read more