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Javier Simon

Banking, Retirement and Investing Expert

Javier Simon is a banking, investing and retirement expert for SmartAsset. The personal finance writer's work has been featured in Investopedia, PLANADVISER and iGrad. Javier is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. He has a degree in journalism from SUNY Plattsburgh. Javier is passionate about helping others beyond their personal finances. He has volunteered and raised funds for charities including Fight Cancer Together, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Posts by Javier Simon:

by Javier Simon Jan 09, 2019

California doesn’t enforce its own gift tax. However, the federal government does. That tax rate can climb to as high as 40%. Still, there are plenty of ways you can minimize the hit or avoid it all together. For the 2018 and 2019 tax years, you can give away up to $15,000 to any individual without triggering a gift tax. But even if you go over the limit, you may just need to file some extra paperwork come tax time. You won’t owe an actual tax until you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. We’ll explain how that works, and how you can give without ever setting off a gift tax. But first, let’s define what a gift really is in the eyes of the IRS. We can also help you find a financial advisor to develop a personalized gift-tax strategy. Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 03, 2019

North Carolina no longer enforces its own gift tax. However, you may trigger a gift tax at the federal level depending on the value of the gifts you provide.  But you won’t owe a gift tax until you breach your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Donald Trump recently raised that threshold dramatically to $11.18 million for 2018 and $11.40 million for 2019. Nonetheless, you may still have to report some gifts that fall far below that value in order to avoid trouble with the IRS. But don’t worry. We’ll explain exactly how the gift tax works. We’ll also cover steps you can take to steer clear of this tax you may unwittingly trigger. We can also help you find a financial advisor to help you navigate the IRS rules, so you can stay generous without letting the government get in your way. Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 03, 2019

There is no Florida gift tax, but the federal government enforces one. Nonetheless, you may just need to report a gift to an individual in a particular year that’s valued at more than $15,000. In most cases, you won’t pay an actual gift tax unless you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently raised that threshold significantly. We’ll explain how gift taxes work in detail, as well as ways you can legally avoid them or minimize the hit. We can also help you find a financial advisor to help you with all estate planning and tax-related matters. Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 30, 2019

New Jersey doesn’t have a gift tax. However, you may still owe a federal gift tax if the value of the gifts you provide exceed a certain amount. Following the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 02, 2019

Minnesota no longer enforces its own gift tax, but you may still owe one at the federal level if you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 19, 2018

Bond index funds invest in a selection of bonds intended to reflect the performance of a particular index. They can provide investors with a window to diversified, low-fee investing. However, bond… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 13, 2018

Connecticut recently increased its lifetime gift tax exemption to $2.6 million, and it will continue to climb in the coming years. This means you won’t owe a Connecticut gift tax unless the gifts you… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 07, 2019

The best Roth IRAs offer a range of funds, low fees and digital tools to help you plan for retirement. We gathered data on the entire Roth IRA universe and found the best ones. These can suit a range… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 07, 2019

The best IRAs offer robust investment menus, low fees and a wealth of tools to help you save for retirement. SmartAsset gathered data on the best IRA providers to help you find the one that’s right… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 05, 2018

Mobile banking apps have come a long way. Once upon a time, features like mobile check deposit were considered cutting edge. Now, consumers have come to expect that kind of functionality – along with… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 29, 2018

If you recently received a sizable gift from mom and dad, don’t fret. When it comes to gift tax, the IRS generally holds the giver liable. And unless the person is handing over a small fortune, he or… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 15, 2019

One of the best ways to save for future medical costs is to invest in a health savings account (HSA). It provides you with some great tax breaks while also helping you save for future healthcare… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 27, 2018

Most major banks will be open on Christmas Eve 2018, even though it’s a federal holiday and generally recognized as a bank holiday. Still, some banks do observe Christmas Eve. We’ll discuss which… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 26, 2018

Stock options are an increasingly popular form of employee compensation. They come in two flavors, which are treated differently for tax purposes: non-qualified stock options and incentive stock… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 20, 2018

Diversification is the process of investing in several different asset classes and sectors of the economy to reduce risk. The idea here is that if one particular asset class experiences a downturn,… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 03, 2018

If you work for a public school or some kind of non-profit organization, you may have access to a 401(a) or a 403(b) plan. Both are retirement savings vehicles that offer major tax breaks. However,… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 03, 2018

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences you’ll ever experience. But it doesn’t have to ruin your financial future. There are certain steps you can take to protect your… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 20, 2018

If you’re self-employed, you may be weighing the SEP IRA vs. Roth IRA decision. Both are tax-advantaged savings vehicles that provide particular benefits. But before we explore those and compare them… Read more

by Javier Simon Dec 03, 2018

Choosing a bank to work with is a very important step in your financial life. But with so many options out there, finding the right one can be overwhelming. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong when… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 19, 2018

In order to become an accredited investor, you must meet certain income or net worth requirements laid out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You must also demonstrate to investment… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 19, 2018

Even though credit unions are not FDIC-insured, they still enjoy strong protection from the federal government. In fact, a different entity essentially does for credit unions what the Federal Deposit… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 19, 2018

These days, more and more people are managing their entire financial lives online. As a result, online banks are competing to offer the best products. Two that stand out today are Axos Bank and Ally… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 16, 2018

The best places to retire in the U.S. are scattered across the country from coast to coast, and though they vary in climate and geography, they all tend to excel in particular areas. Cities with low… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 15, 2018

With student loan debt reach record levels, American families are seeking more ways to help their children save for higher education. One solid option is investing in a 529 college savings plan. Each… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 14, 2018

If you’re trying to send money to someone, you may consider just transferring funds to the person’s bank account. But many people don’t have bank accounts. In fact, a recent FDIC survey revealed more… Read more