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Mark Henricks

Mortgage, Retirement and Investing Expert

Mark Henricks has reported on personal finance, investing, retirement, entrepreneurship and other topics for more than 30 years. His freelance byline has appeared on CNBC.com and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and other leading publications. Mark has written books including, “Not Just A Living: The Complete Guide to Creating a Business That Gives You A Life.” His favorite reporting is the kind that helps ordinary people increase their personal wealth and life satisfaction. A graduate of the University of Texas journalism program, he lives in Austin, Texas. In his spare time he enjoys reading, volunteering, performing in an acoustic music duo, whitewater kayaking, wilderness backpacking and competing in triathlons.

Posts by Mark Henricks:

by Mark Henricks Oct 26, 2022

California allows a person with a claim to assets in the estate of someone who has died to collect them without going through formal probate by using an affidavit for collection of personal property, elsewhere called a small estate affidavit. This tool can only be used if the estate is worth less than $166,250. And it can only transfer certain assets and requires agreement from everyone else who might have a claim to the assets. However, with its help, an heir can collect bank accounts, stocks and other personal property from an estate much faster and at far less cost than probate. Talk to a financial advisor to help you plan your estate. Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 26, 2022

A small estate affidavit is a sworn legal document that may allow an estate to avoid going through probate. Small estate affidavits are permitted in many states, as long as the value of the estate is small enough. Using one can let an heir claim assets of the deceased in days or weeks instead of the months or years it can take for an estate to go through the probate process. Using a small estate affidavit also cost very little or even nothing, while the probate fees can eat up sizable portions of estate’s value. A financial advisor can help you create an estate plan for your family’s needs and goals. Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 20, 2022

Closing a savings account can have a negative effect on your credit if the account has a negative balance when closed. Credit bureaus don’t consider savings and checking activity, including account closings, when compiling credit scores. But if you don’t pay off a negative balance on a closed account, the bank eventually may turn it over to a collection agency. This likely will be reported to a credit bureau, which may result in a large and lasting downgrade of your credit score. You can avoid problems by closing savings accounts correctly and making sure there are no outstanding balances. Talk to a financial advisor before making major moves that could affect your personal finances. Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 20, 2022

The traditional vision of retirement as a time when people stop working completely has expanded in recent years to include the concept of semi-retirement. This is a transition stage to full… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 19, 2022

You may be able to deduct costs for a nursing home from your taxes under certain circumstances. The expenses have to be for you, your spouse or a dependent. If this person is in a nursing home… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 19, 2022

Investing as little as $200 a month can, if you do it consistently and invest wisely, turn into more than $150,000 in as soon as 20 years. If you keep contributing the same amount for another 20… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 14, 2022

Retail banking involves providing individuals and sometimes small businesses with financial services such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, insurance and… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 12, 2022

A bank guarantee is a pledge by a bank to assume liability for a sale or contract between a buyer and seller. The buyer applies to the bank, which assesses the buyer’s ability to fulfill the contract… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 11, 2022

Winning a substantial sum in a state lottery unquestionably can increase a person’s independence, financially and otherwise. However, going it completely alone is rarely the wisest move after drawing… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 07, 2022

Health insurance premiums can be tax-deductible under some circumstances. Taxpayers who itemize may be able to use this deduction to the extent that their total medical and dental expenses, including… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 07, 2022

Investing $1,000 per month for 30 years at a 6% rate of return hypothetically will give you an investment portfolio worth more than $1 million. This result is hypothetical because it doesn’t take… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 07, 2022

Your investment horizon is the time you expect to hold investments in your portfolio. Along with risk tolerance, expected rate of return, starting balance and anticipated future contributions,… Read more

by Mark Henricks Oct 07, 2022

Paying off debts can make it difficult to save and there’s no one-size-fits-all best way to accomplish both goals. Some advice calls for paying off all debts as soon as possible and waiting until you… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 30, 2022

Life insurance helps protects family members and others against the financial impact of the policyholder’s death. While many people don’t have life insurance, it can be a good idea for many others… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 30, 2022

Impact investing is a strategy that aims to create a positive social or environmental impact while also providing competitive financial returns. Impact investors may buy shares of a company that… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 30, 2022

A co-op, or cooperative, is a housing arrangement in which residents of a building with multiple apartment-style units own the building jointly. Residents don’t actually own the specific individual… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 23, 2022

Using Social Security’s Self Lock feature keeps anyone from using your Social Security number for credit or employment-related fraud. This prevents someone else’s wages from being reported to the… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 23, 2022

Passive income and residual income are two types of personal revenue that separately or together can have a sizable effect on an individual’s financial comfort and ability to reach financial goals.… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 23, 2022

A sum of $50,000 in cash can earn about $65 a year in an average bank savings account or as much as $2,250 if you put it into a high-quality corporate bond fund. Other options include money market… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 16, 2022

Betterment and Charles Schwab are two of investing’s best-known names and their robo-advisor offerings closely resemble each other. Betterment pioneered automated investing technology when it began… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 15, 2022

Investors use automatic trading systems to buy and sell securities without human intervention by following specific trading strategies using algorithms programmed into computer software. Automatic… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 15, 2022

A sole proprietor or self-employed person can receive some of the dependent-care benefits available to employees through cafeteria plans by setting up a Dependent Care Assistance Program. These are… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 15, 2022

With a limited purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) you can pay for dental and vision care expenses using pretax dollars. LPFSAs are usually paired with health savings accounts (HSAs), which… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 12, 2022

Disinflation occurs when the rate of inflation decelerates. During disinflation, wages and prices continue to increase, but the speed of the increase is slower than it was previously. Disinflation is… Read more

by Mark Henricks Sep 12, 2022

Usury laws protect borrowers in many states and some borrowers nationwide from being charged excessively high interest rates. However, state standards for excessive interest vary widely, and federal… Read more