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Rebecca Lake

Home Buying, Retirement and Investing Expert

Rebecca Lake has been writing about the nuts and bolts of personal finance for nearly a decade. She is an expert in investing, retirement and home buying topics. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Business Insider, CBS News, U.S. News & World Report and Investopedia. As a homeschooling mom of two, she's always looking for ways to make the most of every dollar.

Posts by Rebecca Lake:

by Rebecca Lake Jan 23, 2019

Want to get a big tax refund come tax filing season? You can minimize your tax liability, and potentially snag a larger refund, by taking advantage of every possible tax break. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look to get the biggest refund you can. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 26, 2018

After filing your federal income taxes, the wait for your tax refund is on. But you might want to take a step back before you spend that “extra” money. It helps to have a plan for how you’ll spend. That way, you can avoid blowing the whole refund on things you don’t really need. There are ways to spend that cash to better your financial situation, especially in the long run. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 23, 2017

If buying a home is one of your resolutions for the new year, you’ll need to make sure that your credit is in good shape. Since the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more than once in 2017, mortgage rates may climb. Having an excellent credit score can work in your favor. But having a bad credit score could keep you from buying a house. As you navigate the home-buying process, here are some common credit mistakes you should avoid at all costs. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 23, 2017

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency has caused quite a stir. And so far, the new commander-in-chief has proposed quite a few changes. One centers on the federal estate tax, which up until… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 20, 2018

If you want to shrink your tax bill or beef up your refund, claiming all the deductions you’re eligible for can be a smart strategy. Deductions reduce your taxable income. That’s a plus if you want… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 20, 2017

Home sales tend to rise when the weather warms up. That’s good news for anyone who wants to sell a home. But before you put your house on the market, you may need to add some tasks to your to-do list… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Sep 14, 2018

Saving for retirement is something that everyone needs to think about at some point. The earlier you begin socking away money, the brighter your long-term financial outlook. Preparing for your… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Apr 12, 2018

Filing federal income taxes can be stressful. Making sure you plug in all the right numbers and snag every tax break you qualify for can make your head spin. If you’re relatively new to tax filing,… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 24, 2019

Under the tax reform bill that passed into law at the end of 2017, the personal exemption was eliminated. This means you cannot claim it on your 2018 taxes, which you file in early 2019. So the… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jun 28, 2017

One of the most challenging aspects of the home-buying process is getting access to financing. Securing a loan can be even more difficult when you’re planning to build a house from the ground up… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 16, 2017

You’ve spent months scouring real estate listings and you’ve finally found your dream home. You put in an offer and everything seems to be smooth sailing until you get that dreaded call from your… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 02, 2018

Scoring as many tax breaks as possible can make the filing process a little easier to bear, especially if you end up getting a big refund or owing less money to Uncle Sam. Claiming tax credits and… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 26, 2018

Filing taxes for the first time can be nerve-racking. But being organized can relieve some of your stress. Knowing what paperwork and materials you’ll need is a good place to start, especially if you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 10, 2017

The Affordable Care Act has drawn plenty of criticism since its inception and President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to eliminate it once he takes office. With the inauguration drawing closer,… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 26, 2018

It’s tax time and if you’re self-employed, you’ll need to plan ahead. What you do between now and the April tax filing deadline can have a significant impact on the amount of income tax you owe. If… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 09, 2017

Getting a credit card cash advance can put money in your pocket when you desperately need it. But you’ll need to be careful. If you don’t fully understand how a credit card cash advance works, it… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 09, 2018

An emergency fund can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in a tight spot. But the amount of savings you have may vary depending on where you park your rainy day fund. While a traditional savings… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 02, 2018

Your tax filing status helps determine how much tax you owe and what kinds of credits you’re eligible for. Experiencing certain changes in your life can have a significant impact on your tax… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 01, 2019

Claiming tax credits and deductions can reduce the size of your income tax bill or increase the size of your refund check. But not all tax breaks last forever. A few tax benefits were on the chopping… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 11, 2017

The holiday parties may be over but the financial hangover is just setting in. Holiday sales for 2016 were estimated to top $655 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. If you blew your… Read more

by Rebecca Lake May 31, 2018

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to finally start saving for retirement, an individual retirement account may be just what you need. IRAs offer a tax-advantaged way to save for the future but… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 03, 2017

When you buy an older home instead of a newly constructed home, you have the opportunity to choose a property that has its own unique personality. But it could turn out to be a money pit if you have… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 26, 2018

Tax season is right around the corner and if you’re filing taxes for the first time, it’s best to know what to expect. While you don’t have to memorize hundreds of pages of tax code, at the very… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jun 11, 2018

Getting an inspection is one of the most important steps of the home-buying process. The inspection is designed to assure homebuyers that a property has no major defects or issues that could delay a… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Dec 29, 2016

As you prepare for the new year, it doesn’t hurt to do some last-minute financial housekeeping. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, making certain tax moves before the end of 2016 could potentially lower… Read more