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Rickie Houston

Banking, Retirement and Investing Expert

Rickie Houston writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset. His expertise includes retirement and banking. Rickie is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®). He graduated from Boston University where he received a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He’s contributed to work published in the Boston Globe and has worked alongside award-winning faculty for the New England Center of Investigative Reporting at Boston University. Rickie also enjoys playing the guitar, traveling abroad and discovering new music. He is originally from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Posts by Rickie Houston:

by Rickie Houston Mar 26, 2020

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., numerous Americans are seeking paid sick leave benefits. While many are consulting financial advisors to brace for a looming recession and hoping to get their coronavirus stimulus checks soon, it’s equally crucial to stay up to date on current federal legislation offering financial support to those directly impacted by the virus. In this guide, we explore the First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other paid sick leave options available to U.S. employees.  Read more

by Rickie Houston Mar 28, 2020

With the onslaught of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are being forced to file jobless claims as the economy tanks. Data from Worldometers shows the number of COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed to some 552,000 worldwide. The U.S. currently has more than 68,440 total cases, according to the CDC. As national and global economies take a hit and layoffs increase, more Americans are seeking unemployment benefits. In fact, data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) shows that in the week ending March 21, the number of unemployment claims surged from 282,000 to 3,283,000. On March 12, the DOL released new guidelines allowing states to expand unemployment insurance flexibility for Americans affected by COVID-19. A financial advisor can help you build a financial plan that keeps you on track during turbulent times. Find an advisor today. Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 16, 2020

If you’re working with a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm or financial advisor, you’ll likely encounter some conflicts of interest that arise from your advisor’s compensation arrangements. Some advisors have legal obligations to disclose such conflicts, but others don’t. When researching a firm or an advisor you’re interested in, it’s useful to review legal documents that describe each advisor’s practices. These typically provide more information about the firm’s advisory services, fee structures, investment strategies and disclosures. If you’re still searching for an advisory firm or professional, our free financial advisor matching service can help. Below, we’ll explore common advisory conflicts of interest, as well as other factors that influence whether you’ll encounter any.  Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 16, 2020

As you build your wealth, it’s important to protect your assets against any unforeseen events. While not as direct a way of saving as investing, insurance planning can save you significant amounts of… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 07, 2019

Net worth is often used as a measurement of individual, or household, wealth. This value can give you a holistic perspective of your financial situation. In fact, the average American net worth is … Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 03, 2019

A living trust can help you establish a solid estate plan and protect your assets after death. Every state has different estate and inheritance laws, but this guide will take a closer look at how to… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 03, 2019

Estate planning allows you to take steps to ensure your assets are protected after your death or incapacitation. After you’ve accounted for any remaining taxes or bills, you can distribute property… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 02, 2019

Estate planning is one of the best ways to ensure your assets are protected after you’ve died. You’ll have a range of options for legally distributing your assets following death or incapacitation,… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 02, 2019

Estate planning is the part of financial planning that allows you to protect your assets after your death. You’ll have access to a range of options to ensure your assets are legally distributed to… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 30, 2019

Estate planning is a process that allows you to protect your assets in the event of your incapacitation or death. One way to do so is by forming a living trust. Living trusts are legal documents that… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 04, 2019

When you sell a depreciated capital asset, you may be able to earn “realized gain” if the asset’s sale price is higher than its value after deduction expenses. You’ll then be able to recapture the… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 03, 2019

While many Americans are exploring domestic retirement locations, others are also considering retiring abroad. Why? This is mainly because other countries, like Belize, often offer lower-cost living… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 08, 2020

When it comes to investing, there are generally two different approaches you can take if you’re looking to grow your wealth. You can practice either active investing or passive investing. Both styles… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 22, 2019

Both annual percentage rate (APR) and annual percentage yield (APY) describe the interest associated with either an investment or loan. Essentially, the difference boils down to this — APR is the… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 02, 2019

If you’re interested in retiring abroad, New Zealand could be a great option for you. Geographically, the country offers a wide selection of landscapes. Whether you’re into swimming, hiking or… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 02, 2019

With rising retirement costs in the U.S., many Americans are looking for alternatives to living out the post-employment life they’d always dreamed of. Retirees are turning to other countries that… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 15, 2019

It’s never too early to start investing. In fact, the earlier you begin, the bigger your potential for long-term financial growth. If you’re a college student and are wondering whether you can afford… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jul 19, 2019

As one of the largest multinational electronic manufacturers in the world, Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Industry Co.) offers a variety of consumer electronics, component and computer electronic… Read more

by Rickie Houston Mar 06, 2020

Despite the connotation attached to the word “marijuana,” stocks in marijuana companies are becoming more and more readily available for potential investors. In fact, you can even invest in marijuana… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 21, 2020

Tesla is one of the most popular American electric vehicle companies. Headed by CEO Elon Musk, the company designs, develops, manufacturers and distributes a variety of electric cars and vehicle… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 23, 2019

Apple Inc. is a technology company that specializes in computer software, electronics, media devices and online services. Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Cupertino, California, the… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 23, 2019

Amazon is not only one of the most successful online retailers, but also one of the few trillion-dollar U.S. companies to offer stocks. Founded in 1994 by CEO Jeff Bezos, the company offers an array… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 24, 2019

Scrounging up the money for a standard 20% down payment on a home can be a challenge for some. If you fall short of this prespecified amount, you will likely encounter private mortgage insurance, or… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 11, 2019

Buying a home can be both an amazing and stressful process at the same time. But tackling the huge expense of a home in one fell swoop is often difficult for an individual or family to handle. That’s… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 28, 2018

Established in 1957, the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) provides pension, retirement and disability benefits for employees who meet its eligibility requirements. While APERS… Read more