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Lauren Perez

Credit Card, Banking and Savings Expert

Lauren Perez writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, with a special expertise in savings, banking and credit cards. She is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Lauren has a degree in English from the University of Rochester where she focused on Language, Media and Communications. She is originally from Los Angeles. While prone to the occasional shopping spree, Lauren has been aware of the importance of money management and savings since she was young. Lauren loves being able to make credit card and retirement account recommendations to friends and family based on the hours of research she completes at SmartAsset.

Posts by Lauren Perez:

by Lauren Perez Mar 15, 2023

Certificates of deposit (CDs) offer a great, more structured way to save. CDs have specific time terms that typically vary from a few months to a decade. After you make your initial deposit, you can’t access your funds until the term ends. In exchange for this lack of access to your funds, you get a higher interest rate, and CD rates tend to outpace those on savings accounts. Some savers might wonder, though, if the differing nature of these deposit accounts makes CDs less safe than savings accounts. Consider working with a financial advisor as you work to build your savings. Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 13, 2023

One of the easiest ways to save for retirement is to contribute to your 401(k). Set up through your employer, a 401(k) allows you to set aside a certain amount of each paycheck before income taxes apply. Sometimes, your employer can also contribute to your 401(k) through an employer match program. This program can significantly boost your retirement savings, and if your employer offers matching, there’s very little extra work you need to do to snag this perk. Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 21, 2023

If you’re like most people, you dread tax season. But if you’re expecting a tax refund, you may have something to look forward to. Most people will get their tax refund within three weeks of filing, but it varies based on how you file and how you get your refund. If there’s extra money coming your way from the IRS, you may be able to pay off some debt, build an emergency fund using a high-interest savings account or work with a financial advisor to set investing and retirement goals. Here’s when you can expect to get your possible refund. Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 07, 2023

Investing provides a great opportunity to grow your money for future goals, like retirement. But getting into the stock market isn’t a one-and-done deal. It requires research and upkeep to make sure… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 17, 2023

The IRS uses your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) to determine whether you qualify for important tax benefits like deducting contributions from your individual retirement account (IRA) and… Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 22, 2023

A VA loan could be a great financing option for a veteran looking to become a homeowner. These loans often give active and former service members the opportunity to buy homes without making a down… Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 14, 2023

A gold IRA is one way to save for retirement. As its name suggests, instead of stocks or bonds, it holds gold in the form of bars, coins and bullion. It can also hold other precious metals like… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 21, 2023

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, offer a reliable and structured approach to savings. A CD has a set term length. Once you make your initial deposit, you can’t touch that money until the term ends.… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 03, 2020

Perhaps the generic portrait of a retiree lounging on a beach isn’t quite your thing. Instead, you might be considering going in the opposite direction and living in Alaska for retirement. In… Read more

by Lauren Perez Dec 11, 2018

Thinking of retiring in Ohio? Many cities in the Buckeye State are ideal for retirees, with low tax burdens, a high percentage of senior residents and plenty of access to recreation and a healthcare.… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 10, 2023

A retirement in the Empire State doesn’t have to mean shelling out all your retirement savings for a tiny apartment. You’ll find all the best places to retire in New York in Long Island, north of the… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 21, 2019

Thinking of retiring in Maryland? You’ll find plenty of company in the following cities and towns, which generally have large populations of senior citizens living there. You’ll also have the peace… Read more

by Lauren Perez Aug 05, 2022

If you’re looking for a tax-friendly retirement, Nevada is one of the places to be. In fact, the state has no taxes on income or Social Security benefits. Withdrawals from retirement accounts and… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 16, 2023

Money market accounts work like a blend of a savings and a checking account. They come with the potential to earn higher interest rates, but may also let you write checks. Luckily, these accounts are… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 14, 2023

eOption is an easy-to-use online brokerage that is designed to offer affordable trading options. The brokerage can be a good option for those wanting frequent but affordable trading options for… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 14, 2023

Vanguard is one of the leading brokerage firms in the United States, with about $7.2 trillion in global assets under management from over 30+ million investors in 200+ markets. The brokerage firm has… Read more

by Lauren Perez Feb 16, 2023

Charitable donations often take the form of food drives, clothing donations and giving cash to a nonprofit. But did you know you could also donate stocks directly to charity? While you could always… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 14, 2023

A big name in the investment and day-trading worlds, E*TRADE offers a wide variety of investments and platforms to trade them. Originally founded in 1982 as TradePlus, the company made its first… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 29, 2023

When you hit your 30s, it’s time to start building wealth and getting serious about money, which may have been an afterthought last decade. Getting your finances in order can include everything from… Read more

by Lauren Perez Jun 05, 2023

When shopping around for the savings accounts for you, it’s important to know what you want from it. It’s also important to learn how your options stack up against the competition. For instance, are… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 19, 2023

If you’re looking for the highest savings interest rates the industry can offer, you’ll want to turn to an online bank. Without the maintenance costs of physical branches, online banks can offer the… Read more

by Lauren Perez Apr 20, 2023

If you’ve decided you have no need for physical bank branches, an online bank could be just the thing. With many online banks offering significantly higher interest rates than their bricks-and-mortar… Read more

by Lauren Perez Nov 29, 2022

A big part of your financial health relies on saving enough for retirement, from maximizing your 401(k) contributions to growing your other investment portfolios. But what happens to your investments… Read more

by Lauren Perez May 15, 2023

It isn’t always entirely clear when we’re supposed to retire. The reality is that everyone’s situation is different. Some people have the means to retire early while others have to work their whole… Read more

by Lauren Perez Mar 08, 2022

Retiring in Idaho is a great option for those seeking an active retirement. Because many of the cities given below lie along the Snake River or rest near a National Park, they offer plenty of… Read more