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Nina Semczuk, CEPF®

Nina Semczuk makes personal finance accessible. A former Writer/Editor and homebuying expert for SmartAsset, she started her path toward financial literacy at fourteen after filling out her first W-4 and earning her first paycheck. Since then, she's navigated the world of mortgages, VA loans, Roth IRAs and the tax consequences of changing states or countries at least once a year. Nina specializes in mortgage, savings and retirement education. She is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Nina is a graduate of Boston University and served as an officer in the military for five years. Find her work on The Muse, Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes and around the web.

Posts by Nina Semczuk, CEPF®

401(k) Withdrawal Taxes
Retirement

What Is the 401(k) Tax Rate for Withdrawals?

One of the most attractive features of a 401(k) plan is that you can contribute pretax dollars throughout your career. This reduces your taxable income and allows you to contribute more to your retirement with each paycheck. That said, you’re… read more…

SmartAsset: How to Invest $50,000
Retirement

How to Invest $50,000

Start with giving yourself a pat on the back. Whether you saved $50,000 by diligently setting aside a portion of your paycheck or you came into money through an inheritance, you now have a tidy sum to grow. Investing is one… read more…

Inherited IRA Rules for Traditional and Roth IRAs
Retirement

Inheritance Rules for Traditional and Roth IRAs

Inheriting an IRA, whether a traditional or Roth account, comes with certain responsibilities. The rules for an inherited IRA depend on the specifics of your situation, as well as the deceased’s age and other circumstances. Unfortunately, you might have to… read more…

Best Online Tax Software - 2018
Taxes

Best Online Tax Software – 2023

Filing taxes yourself has never been easier. As long as you have internet access, you can submit your tax return from the comfort of your couch. Before you get started, however, you’ll have to choose which online tax software to… read more…

Best Free Online Tax Software
Taxes

Best Free Online Tax Software – 2023

There are three main ways to maximize your tax return. You can file your taxes on your own to save on tax preparation fees. You can work with a financial advisor to develop a tax strategy for your financial goals. Lastly,… read more…

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home
Mortgage

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Buying a foreclosed home is one-way potential homeowners can save a bit of money. This is because a foreclosed home is likely to be selling for cheaper than other homes on the market, so you may be able to get… read more…

How to Choose a Mortgage Broker
Mortgage

How to Choose a Mortgage Broker

A mortgage broker is a third party who helps potential homebuyers get the best possible rate when securing a loan to buy a home. Instead of going to each lender for a rate quote yourself, a mortgage broker does the… read more…

SmartAsset: 5 Retirement Mistakes You've Already Made in 2022
Retirement

5 Retirement Mistakes You May Have Already Made

When you’re counting down to retirement, it’s easy to get caught up in fantasies of your future work-free life. Maybe it’s RV trips to Florida, days on the golf course or quality time spent with family. Whatever your dream retirement… read more…

All About Prepaying Your Property Taxes
Taxes

Should You Prepay Your Property Taxes Before January 1?

President Trump signed sweeping tax legislation in 2017 that capped property taxes and other state and local taxes (SALT) deductions at $10,000. This change went into effect in January 2018, which impacted 2018 taxes that were filed in April 2019, and… read more…

SmartAsset: Top 10 Money Management Tips
Checking Account

Top 10 Money Management Tips

Money management is a tricky subject. For many, the topic’s accompanied with a feeling of apprehension. Maybe you’ve put off saving for retirement for a bit too long. Or, perhaps you’re worried about not having an emergency savings cushion. Whatever… read more…

All About College Savings Plans
Checking Account

All About College Savings Plans

Starting early with college savings is a smart choice. With the price of higher education rising each year, the sooner you start, the better chance you’ll have of helping make a dent in those costs. The average private college charged… read more…

The 50/30/20 Budget Plan and How to Use It
Checking Account

How the 50/30/20 Budget Rule Works

There are many different strategies for approaching building a budget. In fact, there are a number of budgeting apps and programs available that can do much of the work for you. Understanding how to build a budget on your own,… read more…

SmartAsset: What Is a Deed of Trust?
Mortgage

What Is a Deed of Trust?

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you may have heard the term “deed of trust.” Depending on what state you live in, this may have come up more frequently than it would in other places. But what… read more…

The Best Housing Markets for Growth and Stability
Mortgage

The Best Housing Markets for Growth and Stability in 2017

Editor’s Note: This study was originally published in June 2017. Whether you’re buying a house for yourself or as an investment, one factor to consider is the long-term value of the home. Housing market growth is a way to determine… read more…

America's Best State Fairs 2017
Mortgage

America’s Best State Fairs – 2017 Edition

Summer memories wouldn’t be complete for many Americans without tractor pulls, fried dough and live music with friends and family. Each year millions of attendees celebrate the end of summer and the start of fall with a trip to a state fair. Agriculture displays, horsemanship and classic car shows are just a few of the… read more…