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.
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. Consider working with a financial advisor as you explore home ownership. Read more
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. However, your ability to take a tax deduction for your IRA may be limited, depending on factors like your income and whether your spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Let’s take a look at the rules for both plans so you can make the most out of your investments. A financial advisor can help you make the right retirement planning decisions utilizing both types of accounts. Read more
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 risks. Many times, you won’t actually get to step inside the home before bidding on it. You also may be hit with hidden auction fees that could throw off your budget. It’s important to understand how real estate auctions work, where to find them and what you need to know before putting in a bid. When you’re ready to buy, a financial advisor can help you determine how much house you can afford as well as help you plan for other big financial goals. Read more
A subprime mortgage is a type of home loan issued to borrowers with low credit scores (often below 640 or 600, depending on the lender). Because the borrower is a higher credit risk, a subprime… Read more
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
Before signing on with a broker or investment advisor, you should look them up in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) BrokerCheck. FINRA is authorized by Congress to oversee… Read more
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