Menu burger Close thin Facebook Twitter Google plus Linked in Reddit Email arrow-right-sm arrow-right
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

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 Sep 02, 2022

As you assess your short- and long-term financial goals, it may be helpful to compare the value of your assets to that of your liabilities. That’s where net worth comes in; this value can ultimately help you determine whether you should reduce monthly spending, set up a retirement savings account or adjust your tax withholdings. The two primary types of net worth are total net worth and liquid net worth. If you’re looking to grow your wealth then a financial advisor is the best professional to help you do just that by creating a financial plan and helping you manage your investments. Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 13, 2021

Life insurance offers your family and loved ones protection against any of your financial obligations after you’ve passed away. Though there are multiple forms of life insurance, term life policies provide your beneficiaries with a death benefit if you die during the policy’s term. But these policies vary in price due to factors such as age, health, insurance company, policy size, policy length and more. If you’d like professional assistance with your insurance, consider using our free financial advisor matching tool. Below, we tell you everything you need to know about term life insurance.  Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 13, 2021

It’s wise to select multiple beneficiaries when purchasing life insurance policies. This ensures that your family or loved ones can cover any financial obligations after you’ve passed away. The death proceeds from life insurance policies can have multiple uses, such as paying funeral costs, paying off debt, completing mortgage payments and more. But there’s no guarantee that your primary beneficiaries will be able to claim your policy’s benefit. This is where contingent beneficiaries come in. Functioning as secondary options, these beneficiaries can use the death benefit to pay any of your remaining debts, and by receiving the benefit they keep your assets from going through probate. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about the role of a contingent beneficiary. A financial professional can help you protect your assets while meeting long-term savings goals. Find a financial advisor today. Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 19, 2020

Set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the federal funds rate directly controls whether banks will lend any excess reserves to meet federal requirements. This rate has a huge impact on… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 31, 2022

A living trust is an estate planning vehicle that protects your assets against taxes and probate after you die. There are multiple types of trusts, like marital, bypass, generation-skipping and more.… Read more

by Rickie Houston Feb 28, 2022

Wondering whether you can collect Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time? The short answer is probably not. The long answer, however, is maybe. Social… Read more

by Rickie Houston Dec 06, 2022

If you’ve got a pension plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA, and you’d like to access the vehicle’s funds, you can typically choose between monthly distributions, a lump sum payment or an annuity. The… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 04, 2022

Credit card issuers can charge you additional interest for making purchases while carrying balances on your credit card. This fee is known as purchase annual percentage rate, and it varies depending… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 19, 2020

Medicare is a federal health insurance program widely used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents age 65 and older. The program also applies to those younger than age 65 who have disabilities, end… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 19, 2020

Independent contractors are professionals hired by individuals (or companies) to perform a service. Each one has different classifications under the IRS, which also means different tax obligations.… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 13, 2022

Several reasons play a role in when and why the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) might temporarily close its markets, but the primary “culprit” behind the closings is national holidays. There are 10… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 12, 2022

Just as there are several states with no income taxes, there are also multiple states forgoing sales taxes. These states don’t impose state-level sales taxes, meaning you won’t be assessed an… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 01, 2020

Social Security benefits can be garnished depending on the type of payments and debt you owe. These deductions are usually carried out for financial liabilities such as back taxes, student loans,… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 01, 2020

If you’re paying less in taxes as your taxable income increases, you’re likely following a regressive tax system. Regressive taxes offer an inverse relationship between income levels and tax rates;… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 31, 2020

Small business investment companies (SBICs) are Small Business Administration-licensed and regulated companies that provide funding to small businesses in certain sectors. These companies rely on… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 01, 2020

You’re probably adhering to a progressive tax system if you’re paying more in taxes as your taxable income increases. With progressive taxes, there’s a direct correlation between income level and tax… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 04, 2022

If you’re planning on financing a home through a mortgage, you’ll have to go through the underwriting process. The underwriting process helps mortgage lenders and loan officers review your credit and… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 25, 2022

Open enrollment represents the yearly period where employees enroll in employer-sponsored insurance and healthcare plans. During this period, employees typically have the power to select new coverage… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 28, 2020

Operating income is a value that is used to demonstrate a company’s profitability after it has deducted other costs such as cost of goods sold (COGS), employee wages and other operating expenses.… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 09, 2022

If you’re traveling for business reasons, you’ll probably incur lodging, meal and incidental expenses. This is where per diem payments come in. Your employer provides these as reimbursement for such… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 28, 2020

If you meet a lender’s credit and income requirements, you’ll normally have free rein to take out loans on your own. But in circumstances where your credit levels aren’t high enough, or if you have… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 28, 2020

Any child support payments you’ve received won’t be counted as taxable income. And if you’re the one making the child support payments, the income you used to do so won’t be tax deductible. But there… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 15, 2020

Several insurance companies have created relief programs to support their car insurance customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of these insurers are providing premium refunds, pausing policy… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 01, 2020

Like most states, South Dakota has taken multiple steps to recover its economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state currently has more than 2,200 cases with 11 deaths, according to the South… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 01, 2020

As Delaware’s coronavirus cases approaches 3,000, the state has introduced many measures to keep its residents safe and to protect any individuals or small businesses adversely impacted by the… Read more