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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 19, 2022

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

by Javier Simon Nov 11, 2022

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

by Javier Simon Nov 16, 2022

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

by Javier Simon Mar 22, 2022

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 Aug 19, 2022

Reality shows have made flipping homes quite popular, and there appears to be some merit to it. In fact, according to New Silver, the average net profit for house flipping was $30,000 in March 2022.… Read more

by Javier Simon Oct 01, 2022

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 Apr 12, 2022

Finding an active retirement communities for adults age 55 years can be difficult, but once you find the right one, it can be a good place to spend your latter years. The best active retirement… Read more

by Javier Simon May 16, 2022

The cost of baby formula in the U.S. has skyrocketed – and that’s if you can find any. Whereas in 2019 name brand baby formula cost American parents anywhere from 9 cents per ounce to 32 cents per… 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 Oct 25, 2022

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 25, 2022

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

by Javier Simon Aug 15, 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 Sep 14, 2022

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 Nov 14, 2022

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 Sep 19, 2022

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 Dec 15, 2020

Unlike an employee, escapee or trainee, a mortgagee is not a person. Instead, a mortgagee is the bank or credit union that loans money for the purchase of a home or property and holds the property… 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 Jan 21, 2022

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 Aug 22, 2022

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 Aug 17, 2022

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

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 Oct 01, 2022

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 there are other options. In fact, you may be able to stretch your dollar a… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 12, 2022

The main benefit of 401(k) plans is that they allow retirement savings to grow tax deferred. But there are more advantages, especially in comparison to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Read on… Read more

by Javier Simon Sep 01, 2022

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