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Rebecca Lake

Home Buying, Retirement and Investing Expert

Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.

Posts by Rebecca Lake:

by Rebecca Lake Nov 25, 2020

A qualified longevity annuity contract, or QLAC, is a type of annuity contract that you can use to create an additional stream of income in retirement. This type of annuity can offer guaranteed monthly payments beginning at a specific date and ending when you pass away. Like other annuities, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether it makes sense to include one in your financial plans. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 25, 2020

When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you should receive written notification from your school of choice explaining how much aid you qualify for and what type. A financial aid appeal letter is a written request asking your school to increase the size of your aid package when it’s not enough to cover your costs of attendance. Writing a letter to appeal your financial aid package doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your school will make more aid available to you. But it could help you secure more funding to help pay for higher education costs. Here’s how to approach this challenge. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 25, 2020

When working with a financial advisor, it’s important to understand what services they provide and how they’re compensated. Reviewing your advisor’s Form CRS, also known as a client or customer relationship summary, is a good place to start. This form offers an overview of what to expect when working with an advisor. Advisors and other financial professionals are required to provide clients with a copy of their Form CRS and update it regularly. If you’re working with a financial advisor or plan to, it helps to know what’s included in this form and how to read it. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 23, 2020

When opening a brokerage account, you may also be given the option of opening a cash management account. Cash management accounts share some of the same features as checking accounts but they’re not… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 23, 2020

Creating a will is one of the most basic elements of estate planning. There are different types of wills you can choose from, including a simple will. Simple or basic wills let you spell out how you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 20, 2020

A joint will is a will two people, typically spouses, create to handle the distribution of their assets once they pass away. Joint wills can simplify the will-making process to a degree, but they can… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 20, 2020

When planning a funeral for a loved one, or for yourself, cremation may be presented as an alternative to burial. In terms of the expense involved, the average cremation cost can range from $1,500 to… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 19, 2020

Retirement plan consulting services are used by companies to help oversee retirement savings options for employees. A retirement plan consultant can offer guidance on a variety of issues, from… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 18, 2020

Social Security benefits, including disability benefits, can help provide a supplemental source of income to people who are eligible to receive them. If you’re receiving disability benefits from… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 16, 2020

Deciding when to take Social Security retirement benefits is important because it can directly affect your benefit amount. While you can technically start taking benefits as early as 62, you’d… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 16, 2020

Planning a funeral can be an expensive prospect. The average funeral costs more than $7,000 and in many cases as much as $10,000 – or more, depending on the arrangements. Prepaid funeral plans offer… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 11, 2020

Saving for retirement is an important financial goal to have and the sooner you begin, the better. Finding the right asset allocation for your portfolio is important, but it’s also helpful to… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 11, 2020

Figuring out how to pay for college can be one of your biggest financial challenges, whether you’re a student or a parent who’s preparing to send one of your kids to school. According to CollegeBoard… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 09, 2020

The Railroad Retirement Program is a federal program that extends retirement benefits to railroad employees. The program was established in the 1930s and in addition to retirement benefits, it also… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 06, 2020

Mutual funds can offer a streamlined way to build an investment portfolio. Rather than purchasing individual stocks or bonds, you can buy mutual fund shares to gain exposure to multiple investments… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 06, 2020

When deciding where to invest your money, there are different ratios you can use to find the right companies to back. One of them is earnings per share (EPS), which is one way to measure a company’s… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 30, 2020

Gifting stocks is something you might consider if you want to help someone else build a portfolio. Or you could gift shares of stock you own to a charitable organization. There are different ways to… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 30, 2020

Running a small business can take up a significant amount of time and energy. You may be wondering if you should hire a business financial advisor to help stay on top of your business and personal… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 23, 2020

Trusts can be useful in estate planning for passing on assets to your heirs. A grantor retained income trust (GRIT) is a specific type of trust that allows you to transfer assets while still… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 15, 2020

A wealth tax is a type of tax that’s imposed on the net wealth of an individual. This is different from income tax, which is the type of tax you’re likely most used to paying. The U.S. currently… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 14, 2020

Getting a low interest rate on mortgage can make buying a home or refinancing an existing loan affordable. You could wait for mortgage rates to drop before applying for a loan but buying mortgage… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 14, 2020

If you own a home, passing that property on to someone else — whether it’s a spouse, your children or someone else — requires planning ahead. That’s where a life estate comes in. A life estate is a… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 14, 2020

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can make investing easier. Instead of buying individual stocks or bonds, you can buy a collection of them in a single fund. But all mutual funds aren’t the same… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 14, 2020

Choosing the right investment strategy matters when trying to build wealth in your portfolio. Some investors favor growth, for instance, while others look for value in the markets. If the latter… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Oct 14, 2020

Target-date funds can offer a streamlined solution for retirement investing. These mutual funds feature an asset allocation that automatically shifts over time as you get closer to your target… Read more