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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 Aug 16, 2019

If Social Security benefits figure into your retirement income plan, then reading your Social Security Statement is a must. This statement can help you estimate how much you’ll receive from Social Security once you retire. That can be useful when setting investing and savings goals. Knowing how to find your statement and decode it is a must for retirement planning. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 16, 2019

When someone passes away, their estate may have to go through the probate process. If they left a will, that document can be legally contested in probate court. There are several reasons why a will may be challenged. Understanding how the process works for contesting a will is important if you’ve been named as a beneficiary of someone’s estate or you’re concerned that your own will may someday become a subject of disagreement. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 15, 2019

Individual retirement accounts can offer a tax-advantaged way to save and grow your money for your later years. A traditional IRA offers the benefit of tax-deductible contributions, while a Roth IRA allows for tax-free withdrawals in retirement. When deciding which type of IRA to contribute to, one question you might have is: how many IRAs should I open? Technically, it’s possible to have multiple IRAs, but there are a few rules to know about using this strategy to save for retirement. If you think you might need more hands-on guidance as you navigate your IRA decisions, consider enlisting the help of a trusted financial advisor. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 15, 2019

Convertible bonds are just one way to expand your investment portfolio beyond the traditional stocks you may already be investing. This type of bond can offer the potential for higher returns to… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 14, 2019

Bond funds can diversify your portfolio, but it’s important to understand how they compare to other investments. Like stocks or exchange-traded funds, Like any other investment, bond funds have both… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 13, 2019

Creating an estate plan is an important step in managing wealth. This is especially true if you’re married and want to leave assets to your spouse. A bypass trust could help your estate planning,… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 09, 2019

Deciding whether to pay off debt or invest can be tough. They are two competing financial goals, and you may wonder which one takes precedence. Eliminating your debt as quickly as possible has its… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 30, 2019

Planning for retirement is largely a numbers game. Many experts recommend saving at least $1 million for retirement, but that doesn’t take your individual goals, needs or spending habits into account… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Sep 19, 2019

Day trading apps make buying and selling stocks, mutual funds or other securities easier than ever. These apps offer convenience and portability since you can manage your investment portfolio from… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 24, 2019

Estate planning can be a time-intensive process as you determine how to divide ownership of property and other assets. Joint tenancy may be a focal point of your estate planning discussions if you’re… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 19, 2019

Retiring at 45 might sound impossible, but it could be a realistic goal so long as you have the right plan in place. An early retirement means more time to pursue hobbies or passion projects, travel… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Sep 19, 2019

Investing in foreign currency can be a great way to diversify your portfolio. Foreign currency trading, or forex for short, is a little more complex than trading stocks or mutual funds, or shoring up… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Sep 19, 2019

Saving for your golden years may not seem like a priority compared to daily expenses, debt repayment and short-term savings goals. Yet the sooner you start, the better you can leverage compounding… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 15, 2019

Planning for retirement can be a lifelong process and the sooner you begin, the longer your savings and investments have to grow. But retirement is more than just a numbers game. While it’s important… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 25, 2019

When you need money to pay for college expenses, tapping your Roth IRA is one option you might consider. While a Roth IRA is designed to help you save for retirement on a tax-advantaged basis, it’s… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 09, 2019

Setting goals for your money is the first step in designing a sound financial plan. Whether you hope to save and invest enough to retire early or simply need to build up an emergency fund, the right… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 09, 2019

When filing taxes, it’s important to make sure you’re reporting all of your income correctly. That includes making note of early distributions from qualified retirement plans or other tax-favored… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 25, 2019

Unexpected expenses may compel you to tap your individual retirement account ahead of schedule. And with most plans, the government will impose a 10% penalty if you withdraw funds before you reach… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 02, 2019

A 401(k) is the most common type of employer-sponsored retirement plan but certain employees may have access to a 414(h) plan instead. A 414(h) plan, also called a pick-up plan, offers people who… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 15, 2019

A Roth IRA affords some key tax benefits for savers, chiefly the ability to make 100% tax-free withdrawals in retirement. Typically, the scope of investments available through an IRA is determined by… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 17, 2019

Mutual funds can simplify the diversification of your portfolio. Mutual fund share classes will determine just how much that diversification will cost. While mutual funds will let you invest in a… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jun 27, 2019

Tax benefits and automatic deductions make a 401(k) plan one of the most powerful tools for retirement savings. Between your regular contributions, matching contributions from your employer and the… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jun 27, 2019

If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, you likely get paid as an independent contractor rather than an employee. The IRS defines an independent contractor as someone who performs work for someone… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 09, 2019

Social Security benefits, when combined with savings from a 401(k) and individual retirement account, can help you retire the way you want. Of course, not everyone earns the same amount from Uncle… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 21, 2019

A Roth 403(b) plan is one type of tax-advantaged, employer-sponsored retirement savings account that combines elements of a Roth IRA and a traditional 403(b). While these plans share some… Read more