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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 Jun 12, 2019

SEP IRAs and solo 401(k)s are tax-deferred retirement savings vehicles for small business owners. They’re similar to each other but with one big difference. With a solo 401(k), a self-employed business owner can make contributions as both the employee and the employer.  We’ll explain everything you need to know to make the call between a SEP IRA and solo 401(k). If you don’t know where to begin to set up the plan the best fits your needs, a financial advisor can help. Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

If you want to move your individual retirement account (IRA) balance from one provider to another, simply call the current provider and request a “trustee-to-trustee” transfer. This moves money directly from one financial institution to another, and it won’t trigger taxes. However, you must follow some rules in order to do it right. We’ll walk you through the direct IRA transfer process. To make sure you’re moving your savings to the right place, consult a financial advisor who can carefully analyze your individual situation. Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

The IRS allows you to withdraw contributions from your Roth IRA penalty-free to buy your first home, plus up to $10,000 of earnings. But most financial advisors would recommend tapping into your retirement savings only as a last resort. Luckily, you have plenty of alternatives. Here’s what you need to know to determine whether using your Roth IRA as a first-time homebuyer is the right move for you. Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

You can have a 401(k) plan and an individual retirement account (IRA) at the same time. In fact, you can contribute up to the annual limit to each account, thereby maximizing your retirement savings.… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

House auctions generally involve the sale of foreclosed homes at possibly below market value. They can serve as a low-cost gateway to homeownership. But home auctions also involve plenty of risk.… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

For a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan to be approved, the home must pass an FHA inspection and appraisal. That means it must be worth the purchase price and have such basics as electricity,… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

Renting out your house can open up a new stream of income and tax breaks. But it also adds another layer of responsibility. You’ll need to stay on top of repairs, maintenance and rent collection. But… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

Last year, the average gross profit for house flipping was $65,000, according to property research firm ATTOM Data Solutions. This translates to an average 44.8% return on investment (ROI), which has… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

Default risk in bond investing refers to the chance that a bond-issuing company or government would fail to make its debt and interest payments. As a bond investor, you can lose 100% of your… Read more

by Javier Simon Jun 12, 2019

The best active retirement communities for adults age 55 years or older offer world-class amenities like luxury golf courses and indoor pools, along with plenty of opportunities to socialize with… Read more

by Javier Simon May 07, 2019

The cost of baby formula across popular brands can average between $1,200 and $1,500 during a baby’s first year, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. But it’s possible to save on baby formula… Read more

by Javier Simon Apr 24, 2019

When you refinance a mortgage, you take out a new loan to pay off the old one. This time, you aim for a lower interest rate and better terms. However, refinancing a mortgage can be a risky process.… Read more

by Javier Simon Apr 24, 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 Apr 16, 2019

A subprime mortgage is a type of home loan issued to borrowers with low credit scores (often below 600) who wouldn’t qualify for conventional mortgages. They usually come with much higher interest… Read more

by Javier Simon Apr 10, 2019

Bonds and certificates of deposit (CD) are generally safe investments with little to no risk of reducing your principal. However, they have particular features that may suit different kinds of… Read more

by Javier Simon Apr 08, 2019

A marital trust is a type of irrevocable trust that allows you to transfer assets to a surviving spouse tax free. It can also shield the estate of the surviving spouse before the remaining assets… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 26, 2019

Your employer may allow you to make after-tax 401(k) contributions. These are not tax deductible like your regular 401(k) contributions. But you can make after-tax deferrals beyond the annual 401(k)… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 27, 2019

If you picture living in a planned community full of amenities and happy neighbors, you’re probably asking yourself: How much are homeowners association fee (HOA fee)? Some studies suggest that you… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 27, 2019

A mortgagee is a lending institution that issues mortgages. In most cases, the mortgagee is a bank or credit union. The mortgagee has special legal rights on the real estate that mortgages are tied… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 21, 2019

To qualify for Medicaid, you have to meet certain income requirements. This is a federally-run health insurance program designed to help the needy access quality healthcare. Eligibility varies by… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 21, 2019

If you’re thinking about opening a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA, you have some major tax benefits to look forward too. However, these aren’t one-size-fits-all accounts.… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2019

Many retirement planners suggest the typical 401(k) portfolio generates an average annual return of 5% to 8% based on market conditions. But your 401(k) return depends on different factors like your… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2019

FINRA BrokerCheck is a free, online research tool providing information about individual brokers, investment advisors and the firms that employ them. The database contains details like registrations,… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 18, 2019

If you’re trapped under a pile of debt, bankruptcy may be your last resort. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form. It can wipe out your debt and give you a fresh start. This article will… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 15, 2019

After working hard and saving diligently for retirement, you may find that your nest egg won’t take you far in the U.S. But don’t fret. You may be able to stretch your dollar further outside the… Read more