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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 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 Oct 14, 2021

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 considerably lower. But 20% down payments, while common, are by no means mandatory or the norm. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says the median down payment in 2020 was just 12%. So if you are hoping to save for retirement in addition to buying a home, you could opt for a 10% down payment and invest the remaining cash. Your monthly payments and interest will be higher, but your invested assets will grow into a substantial nest egg over the next 30 years. Let’s compare how a 10% and 20% down payments could affect your retirement. If you need to figure out how big your down payment should be, a financial advisor may be able to help you decide. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 13, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic upended daily life and caused nationwide shutdowns, more people participated in outdoor recreation in 2020 than ever before. More than 50% of Americans ages 6 and older participated in outdoor recreation (like biking or hiking) at least once, according to the 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report commissioned by the Outdoor Foundation. The outdoor recreation boom resulted in 7.1 million more people getting outside in 2020 than in 2019. In light of this uptick, SmartAsset set out to find the places that are best for outdoor enthusiasts to live and work. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 12, 2021

Has Washington State found the solution to the difficulty retirees face in covering their long-term care costs? Starting Jan. 1, 2022, most employees in the state will begin paying a mandatory payroll tax to fund a statewide long-term care insurance program similar to Social Security. Known as the WA Cares Fund, the plan will begin paying out benefits of up to $36,500 per year for long-term care by 2025. This is the first plan of this kind in the U.S. As the cost of care rises throughout the U.S., the program in Washington is designed to help the state’s aging population pay for specific services, like home health aides and assisted living. Whether you live in Washington or elsewhere, a financial advisor can help you plan for your long-term care needs. Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 12, 2021

Investors holding cash and waiting for interest rates to rise before buying bonds may be making a significant mistake. With the Federal Reserve poised to keep interest rates near zero for at least… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 07, 2021

While inflation continues to linger, the price of food is among the few commodities that hasn’t skyrocketed in the last year. According to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, which… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 05, 2021

American members of the armed forces are set to battle a sneaky new enemy: rising healthcare costs. Health insurance premiums and prescription drug copays are set to jump for some members of the U.S.… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Oct 04, 2021

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 Oct 14, 2021

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 Sep 30, 2021

If you own a home, chances are your net worth has shot up in the last year. Skyrocketing  home prices caused by a pandemic-fueled real estate frenzy have led to a scenario where homeowners in the U.S… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 23, 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic hit millions of Americans in their wallets, it also created a surge of new retail investors looking to capitalize on stock market volatility. A survey conducted by the… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 22, 2021

The U.S. has plenty to improve upon when it comes retirement. While Iceland is rated as the top country for retirement security for the third year in a row, the U.S. dropped to No. 17 in the 2021… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 21, 2021

Homeownership is often viewed as a fundamental pillar of investing and building wealth. While real estate markets vary from city to city, home values have historically risen over the decades. In fact… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 20, 2021

Baby boomers seem to be overestimating how long their retirement savings will last — or maybe underestimating how long they’ll live. New research from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 17, 2021

When it comes to retirement savings, American workers have a lot of work to do. A recent Insured Retirement Institute survey found that workers between ages of 40 and 73 have insufficient retirement… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 14, 2021

Congressional Democrats want to slam shut a tax loophole known as the “backdoor” Roth IRA. In one of several proposed changes that target the retirement accounts of wealthy Americans, Democrats on… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 14, 2021

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, a majority of Americans reported feeling anxiety and stress surrounding their finances. Researchers at the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 14, 2021

Investors taking the easy road may be shooting themselves in the foot — and in droves. Conventional wisdom dictates that as investors get closer to retirement, they should periodically rebalance… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 10, 2021

A provision of the $3.5 trillion Democratic budget may boost the retirement savings of moderate- and low-income workers. A proposal advanced  by the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday would… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 09, 2021

The Social Security Board of Trustees announced last month the trust fund partially responsible for paying out benefits is set to run out of money by 2033, likely leading some retirees to worry that… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 09, 2021

Nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries don’t have any dental coverage, but that could change under a proposed expansion of the safety net program. As millions of beneficiaries spend hundreds – or… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 02, 2021

When Social Security benefits increase by an estimated 6% next year to keep pace with rampant inflation, the larger payments may come with a significant caveat for some beneficiaries. The historic… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Aug 30, 2021

Financial services giant Fidelity has a rule for retirement savings you may have heard of: Have 10 times your annual salary saved for retirement by age 67. This oft-cited guideline can help you… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Sep 23, 2021

Young and middle aged adults are particularly pessimistic about the future of Social Security, but their greatest fears will likely never come to fruition. The Nationwide Retirement Institute’s 2021… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Aug 26, 2021

Though retirees are only required to take a certain portion of their retirement savings out as distributions each year, a study from JPMorgan Chase shows that there is likely good reason to take out… Read more

by Patrick Villanova Aug 26, 2021

A 2021 survey from the staffing and recruitment firm Robert Half says that 44% of professionals reported feeling burnt out at their jobs. That’s a 10% jump from one year ago, when the COVID-19… Read more