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Patrick Villanova

Personal Finance Expert

Patrick Villanova is a writer for SmartAsset, covering a variety of personal finance topics, including retirement and investing. Before joining SmartAsset, Patrick worked as an editor at The Jersey Journal. His work has also appeared on NJ.com and in The Star-Ledger. Patrick is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he studied English and developed his love of writing. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, trying out new recipes in the kitchen and watching his beloved New York sports teams. A New Jersey native, he currently lives in Jersey City.

Posts by Patrick Villanova:

by Patrick Villanova Jan 17, 2023

While there may not be a more common or consequential financial question then “how much money do I need to retire?,” there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. One person’s retirement income needs will be different from the next, depending on their circumstances and goals. Though, it’s worth noting that a Schwab survey found that on average, 401(k) participants believe they’ll need $1.9 million to retire. Whether you think that amount is too much or too little, this article will break down important factors to consider when determining the size of your retirement savings. A financial advisor can also help you answer this important question and guide you in a plan for retirement. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 17, 2023

An inter-vivos trust or living trust is a legal arrangement that allows a person to transfer ownership of assets to a trust while they are still alive. Inter-vivos trusts distribute property to beneficiaries when a person dies and helps an estate avoid probate. A financial advisor can guide you through the process of creating an inter-vivos trust and address other estate planning needs. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 12, 2023

Fixed-income securities play an important role within individual investment portfolios and the economy at large. But like other securities, fixed-income instruments come in a myriad of variations, from short-term Treasury bills that only pay interest when the bill matures, to long-term Treasury bonds, whose investors receive interest twice yearly. Below, we’ll specifically examine the similarities and differences between Treasury bills, Treasury bonds and other types of bonds. If you’re interested in investing in fixed-income securities, a financial advisor can help you build a balanced portfolio. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 18, 2023

Despite persistent inflation, the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour. More than 13 years have passed since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage in 2009, the longest such stretch in… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 10, 2023

How much cash do you have in your portfolio? While conventional wisdom suggests limiting the size of your cash position, a recent study from Dalbar calls for holding enough cash and cash equivalents… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 10, 2023

When a person uses a will to leave property to their family, friends or the causes they support, the act is known as a bequest. A bequest can be the cash, investments, jewelry or other items that a… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 09, 2023

The era of easy money is coming to a close and value investing may be due for a comeback. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced its plan to cool off red hot inflation by curtailing monthly bond… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 05, 2023

Social Security plays a critical role in the retirement plans of millions of Americans each year. Average annual Social Security benefits reached $21,152 in 2021, according to the Census Bureau.… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 06, 2023

The U.S. labor market remained strong in 2022, adding another 223,000 jobs in December. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job market may cool off in years to come, projecting that… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Dec 07, 2022

Make no bones about it: 2022 has not been kind to investors. Persistent inflation, rising interest rates and the Russia-Ukraine war have all driven major stock market indexes down throughout the year. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 29, 2022

Estate planning has become less of a priority for middle-aged adults, a new survey indicates. Americans between 35 and 54 years old are for the first time less likely to have a will than people ages… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 29, 2022

Historical returns and underlying investments aren’t the only metrics to consider when selecting mutual funds. A fund’s expense ratio, the internal operating costs paid by investors, is also an… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 29, 2022

Investors don’t understand the fees they pay for investment products and advice especially well, according to a recent State Street Global Advisors survey. State Street’s Low-Cost Investing Survey… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 29, 2022

Whether you’ve inherited stock, received equity in your company or simply own only a few holdings, a highly-concentrated portfolios may cause you to miss out on significant wealth by not diversifying… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 29, 2022

Between longer lifespans and a seemingly never-ending bull market, you might be tempted to invest heavier in equities during retirement than the “110 minus your age” rule dictates. But new research… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 23, 2022

The HEMS standard is used in estate planning to guide trustees in how and when they should release funds to a beneficiary. By including HEMS language in a trust, you can exert greater control over… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 23, 2022

An AB trust is a legal arrangement for married couples that can minimize estate taxes by splitting assets between two separate trusts when one spouse dies. While a federal provision that went into… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 23, 2022

2 Receiving an inheritance from a family member can create a large windfall of cash, and with it, new financial opportunities. What you do with the money will depend on the size of the inheritance,… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 16, 2022

Rampant inflation and rising consumer prices aren’t just impacting Americans’ finances today, it’s worrying them about tomorrow. Americans now view inflation as the biggest financial threat to their… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 16, 2022

If you’re already retired, it may be time to rethink the role that stocks and bonds play in your portfolio. While conventional wisdom suggests that investors should shift more assets to bonds as they… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 16, 2022

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors rethought their working or retirement arrangements, with some seniors opting to leave the workforce while other retirees chose to rejoin it. In… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 09, 2022

With $10 million to invest, you’re certainly part of an exclusive group, but with that kind of money comes significant responsibilities and opportunities. Not only can $10 million fund a wonderful… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Jan 05, 2023

Despite what the 2010s may have felt like, the stock market cannot go up forever. Corrections typically happen every few years when stocks decline 10% or more from their most recent peak. These can… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Nov 02, 2022

When you put 20% down on the purchase of a home, you don’t have to borrow as much money as someone whose down payment is only 5% or 10%. And as a result, your monthly mortgage payment may be… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 22, 2022

As of today, September 22, the average mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed hit 6.29%, the highest since October 2008, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s up 27 basis… Read more