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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 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 real estate agent: There are other buyers interested in the property. Even worse, they’re offering the seller more money. Before you know it, you find yourself in the middle of a heated bidding war. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Aug 15, 2019

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 deductions can go a long way toward shrinking your income tax bill. But they work in very different ways. Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference between tax credits and deductions. 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’re concerned about leaving out a key piece of information. If you’re preparing to fill out your tax return, here’s a breakdown of the documents you’ll need to gather. 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 Jul 24, 2019

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

by Rebecca Lake Dec 28, 2016

The real estate market is constantly evolving and 2017 is shaping up to be another year of change. If you’re planning to buy a home in the new year (or you want to sell your existing home), it doesn… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Dec 27, 2016

If you only have stocks and bonds, you can diversify your portfolio by investing in real estate. Buying a rental property can provide you with a steady stream of income, especially in a market where… Read more

by Rebecca Lake May 21, 2018

After an extended period of record-low interest rates, the Federal Reserve decided to raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point. If you have your sights set on becoming a homeowner, you may have… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 02, 2018

Getting a professional to do your taxes doesn’t always come cheap. In 2014, the average tax prep fee for filing Form 1040, a state tax return and a Schedule A form was $273, according to the National… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Dec 29, 2016

Since the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates during its December meeting, mortgage rates may rise in 2017. Even if rates don’t increase substantially, taking on a home loan could become… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jan 12, 2018

The start of a new year is a great time to update your financial goals and give your budget a second look. If you didn’t save as much as you had hoped to in 2017 – or you’ve racked up holiday debt –… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 21, 2018

During the holidays, your tax bill is probably the last thing on your mind. But giving it some thought might be a good idea. The decisions you make now can determine how much you owe Uncle Sam in… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Nov 11, 2016

The holiday season is approaching and people are paying close attention to their bottom lines. Booking flights for holiday travel and buying gifts for all your friends and relatives can leave you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 14, 2017

You may be planning to spend your retirement playing golf or traveling the world. But if a financial disaster strikes, you’ll have to find a way to bounce back from it. While you can’t necessarily… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Jul 18, 2019

Paying off your mortgage ahead of schedule could be a good idea if you want to save money on interest. In the process of getting rid of your home loan just one or two years early, you could… Read more