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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 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. It’s important to be informed so you can make intelligent decisions throughout the process. It may also be a good decision to find a financial advisor who can guide you through the entire refi journey. 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 for you. We also broke down our list based on which providers would be best for do-it-yourself investors or those who want some guidance. But first, we’ll give you a quick overview of IRAs and their benefits. A financial advisor can also help you invest in one like a pro. 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 rates and down payments than conventional options. Taking out a subprime mortgage is rarely a good idea. You may be better off working with a financial advisor to rebuild your credit before applying for a subprime mortgage. But if it’s your only option, there are some points you need to know. 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

by Javier Simon Mar 15, 2019

If your company offers a 401(k) plan, you’re in luck. These savings vehicles help you save for retirement as you enjoy some tax breaks. This article will explain how they work and all you need to… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 15, 2019

Once you reach age 59.5, you may withdraw money from your 401(k) penalty-free. If you tap into it beforehand, you may face a 10% penalty tax on the withdrawal in addition to income tax that you’d owe… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 14, 2019

Normally, you can’t withdraw money from your traditional individual retirement account (IRA) until you reach age 59.5 without facing a penalty tax. But you can avoid this sanction if you make an IRA… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 14, 2019

The Series 66 license is required to work as an investment advisor in the United States. To obtain it, you must pass a rigorous exam covering methods of delivering investment advice and other topics.… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 14, 2019

Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the market value of all goods and services a country produces in a specific time frame. It’s used to gauge a nation’s economic growth and its people’s standard… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 12, 2019

When you first embarked on your retirement planning journey, your goal was probably to save as much as possible and generate the biggest returns you could through a diversified portfolio. But as you… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 12, 2019

If you want to spend your retirement in year-round warmth with the backdrop of rain forests or beaches, the Philippines may be your ideal option. The cost of living in the Philippines dips… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 08, 2019

Passing the Series 7 exam registers you to sell and trade most securities as a financial services professional. The exam covers several topics including investment products and their potential risks,… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 08, 2019

A Series 57 license allows brokers to trade equities and convertible debt securities in the U.S. To obtain one, you must pass the Series 57 exam. This test covers topics like equity trading concepts… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 08, 2019

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a court-approved process that lets you create a repayment plan to cover most or all of your debt in the course of three to five years. Through this process, you can protect… Read more

by Javier Simon Mar 08, 2019

Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement driven mostly by optimistic millennials who pledge to cut back on expenses and boost savings in order to retire as comfortably and as early… Read more