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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 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 Mar 21, 2022

The Hope Credit, which is the previous and perhaps better known name of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, is a federal tax break that can help people pay for college or trade school. This credit offers up to $10,000 in tax credits per student over four years to cover qualifying educational expenses. Students pursuing degrees at accredited institutions may be eligible for the tax break, subject to income restrictions and other qualifications. To find ways to pay for education and get help with tax questions, consider working with a financial advisor. Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 15, 2022

Investing in royalty income can provide long-term returns to investors seeking to fund retirement or diversify a portfolio beyond stocks and fixed-income securities. Owning rights to royalties provides a steady income that tends to be insulated from fluctuations in the equity and bond markets. Investors can acquire rights to royalty income by purchasing shares of royalty trusts or bidding on royalty auction exchanges. If you’re thinking about investing in royalty income, you may want to speak with a financial advisor first. SmartAsset’s free tool can match you with advisors that serve your area. Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 30, 2022

A plan to retire at age 55 and live off the income from stock dividends will let an early retiree refrain from tapping the principal in his or her investment portfolio while also avoiding the need to earn income by earning an income. Due to currently low yields on dividend-paying shares, though, it’s particularly challenging to accumulate enough capital to generate income strictly from dividends. Therefore, a successful strategy leading to retirement at 55 will likely call for radical cuts in living expenses. For help planning a strategy to retire at 55 and live off of dividends, consider working with a financial advisor. Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 10, 2022

A home equity loan is a loan using your house as collateral — a somewhat risky move, but useful in some circumstances. Furthermore, you may be able to deduct the interest you pay on a home equity… Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 10, 2022

Savings bonds offer a way to start investing in a particularly low-risk, low-cost fashion — making them the favorite investment vehicle of grandparents and grandchildren everywhere. Savings bonds are… Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 10, 2022

Buying a second home can be significantly easier and less costly to finance than buying an investment property. Investment properties can offer you tax deductions by claiming operating expenses and… Read more

by Mark Henricks Aug 12, 2022

With the consumer price index increasing during 2021 and 2022, at a rate not seen for nearly 40 years, the investing challenge for the coming year is finding ways to generate real returns during… Read more

by Mark Henricks Mar 04, 2022

Variable annuities offer retirement savers a chance for higher returns than they are likely to get from fixed annuities. But, because variable annuity returns are based on underlying investments in… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 28, 2022

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) protects lenders against risk of default on loans to homebuyers. Reducing risk to lenders can mean lower interest rates and better access to credit for borrowers, but… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 25, 2022

A 401(k) plan is a powerful tax-advantaged tool for retirement savers. Employer matches offered by some plans make them even more potent. However, except in special cases you can’t withdraw from your… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 25, 2022

Tax rules on individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are different for inherited IRAs. Some differences are positive. For instance, someone who inherits an IRA doesn’t pay a penalty for early… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 23, 2022

Retirement savers fund Roth IRAs with after-tax dollars but can later withdraw earnings free from income taxes. One Roth IRA benefit compared to other retirement accounts is that savers don’t have to… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 23, 2022

The value of your 401(k) or other retirement accounts is one of the biggest components of your net worth. And net worth is one of the most important benchmarks for appraising your financial health.… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 23, 2022

The traditional age of retirement is 65, but it’s possible to retire at age 60 with planning. Obstacles to early retirement include lack of access to Social Security benefits and Medicare. However,… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 17, 2022

Taxpayers preparing their federal returns for 2021 will be able to reduce what they owe by taking advantage of some significant credits, deductions and other tax breaks. Here are some of the most… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 17, 2022

When prices are rising and nearly everyone who wants a job can find one, the Federal Reserve slows down economic stimulus to boost the economy after the government’s goals have been met. This is… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 15, 2022

Financial literacy consists of having the knowledge and skills to effectively manage your personal finances. It’s a basic requirement for success in today’s world, and yet one of the least-addressed… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 15, 2022

Real estate advisors provide research, analysis, planning, strategy and management input when evaluating, acquiring, selling, developing, improving and financing the real estate portion of an… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 14, 2022

An estate plan is a set of documents describing the way you want your assets to be distributed when you die or become incapacitated. Along with retirement planning, managing risk and investments, an… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 14, 2022

The 60s are probably the most common age that Americans retire during. Retiring at age 59 is a possibility, though, with some proper planning. For most people, once they’ve turned 59.5, they can… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 10, 2022

The age of 65 is the traditional time when people stop working and retire to live off the fruits of their labor. That doesn’t mean 65 is the ideal age for everyone to retire, though. In order to… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 09, 2022

Since the first robo-advisor launched in 2008, these automated investment management services have grown enormously. Thanks to low cost, low minimums and always-on convenience, robo-advisors have… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 09, 2022

Robo-advisors cost less than traditional financial advisors. These electronic advisors typically impose annual fees of around 0.5% of assets under management, compared with 1% to 2% charged by many… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 08, 2022

Family members of someone who gets benefits from Social Security may be able to claim their own monthly checks based on that person’s earnings record. But the government limits the amount of benefits… Read more

by Mark Henricks Feb 07, 2022

A surrender charge is a penalty an insurance company charges when an annuity owner cancels or withdraws too much from the annuity before an agreed period of time called the surrender period has… Read more