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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 11, 2022

If you give someone cash or property valued at more than the 2021 annual exclusion limit of $15,000 ($30,000 for married joint filers), you’ll have to fill out Form 709 for gift tax purposes. But don’t fret. This doesn’t always mean you’ll owe an actual tax. The government requires this to keep track of your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. Only once you use up that large exemption would you owe an out-of-pocket tax. Still, filling out Form 709 can get complicated. This article will walk you through the process step-by step. It’ll also help you determine if you need to fill out a Form 709 in the first place. We can also help you work with a financial advisor who can guide you through the process so you won’t get in trouble with the IRS. Read more

by Javier Simon Oct 26, 2022

The allure of penny stocks isn’t surprising. The idea is to buy low-priced stocks with huge growth potential and then make a robust profit by selling if they go up substantially in value. The problem is that many people don’t understand how big of an “if” that is. Penny stocks are often subject to major manipulation because they exist in the wild west of the market with few rules. So when you invest in penny stocks, you’re taking on a lot of risks, but that’s not to say you can’t see decent returns. We’ll help you understand whether investing in penny stocks is right for you and how you can do so in a smart way. But because of the risk involved, you may want to work with a financial advisor who can advise you for your financial situation. Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 05, 2022

California does not levy a 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 2021 tax year, you can give up to $15,000 to any individual without triggering a gift tax, or up to $16,000 for the 2022 tax year. 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 Sep 28, 2022

North Carolina does not have a 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… Read more

by Javier Simon Sep 15, 2022

Florida does not have a 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… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 05, 2022

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 05, 2022

Minnesota no longer has its own gift tax but it does have an estate tax. You may still owe a gift tax at the federal level if you exceed your lifetime gift and estate tax exemption. The Tax Cuts and… Read more

by Javier Simon Aug 05, 2022

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 Oct 21, 2022

Connecticut increased its lifetime gift tax exemption to $9.1 million for the tax year 2022, with the plan to rise in subsequent years. This means you won’t owe a Connecticut gift tax unless the… Read more

by Javier Simon Jan 13, 2022

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 narrowed them down to the best eight. They… 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 May 02, 2022

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 Jan 18, 2022

If you recently received a sizable gift from Mom and Dad, don’t fret about the gift tax. The IRS generally holds the giver liable for taxes. And unless the person is handing over a small fortune, he… 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 Oct 15, 2021

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 Oct 14, 2021

Diversification is an investment strategy that aims to reduce risk while maximizing return. It does this by spreading exposure to several different asset classes and within each asset class. The… Read more

by Javier Simon Nov 14, 2022

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 Jan 12, 2022

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

by Javier Simon Sep 02, 2022

If you’re self-employed, you may be weighing the pros and cons of SEP IRAs and Roth IRAs. Both are tax-advantaged savings vehicles that provide particular benefits. But before we explore those and… 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 Aug 25, 2022

An “accredited investor” is a person or entity with exclusive access to complex, loosely regulated and often opaque investments like hedge funds, leveraged buyouts and startups. To become an… Read more

by Javier Simon Aug 21, 2019

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 Jul 23, 2019

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 Oct 21, 2022

With student loan debt at record levels, American families are seeking more ways to help their children save for higher education sooner rather than later. One solid option is investing in a 529… Read more