Email FacebookTwitterMenu burgerClose thin

Rickie Houston CEPF®

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 North Carolina.

Posts by Rickie Houston CEPF®

Here's everything you need to know about depreciation recapture on your taxes.

How Depreciation Recapture Works on Your Taxes

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

401(a) vs. 401(k)

401(a) vs. 401(k): What’s the Difference?

Interested in investing in your retirement? You know you should be socking money away for your golden years, but you need to understand the savings vehicle your employer offers. The 401(k) plan, which for-profit employers offer, is a popular way… Read more…

liquid net worth
Financial Advisor

Liquid Net Worth: Definition and Calculation

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… Read more…

What is term life insurance?
Life Insurance

What Is Term Life Insurance?

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… Read more…

Should you assign a contingent beneficiary?
Life Insurance

What Is a Contingent Beneficiary in Life Insurance?

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… Read more…

SmartAsset: Effective Federal Funds Rate Since 1954

Federal Funds Rate: Definition and Use

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 inflation, short-term borrowing and even investing. In this… Read more…

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Trust
Estate Planning

How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Trust?

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. You can generally assign beneficiaries and make adjustments, unless your… Read more…

SmartAsset: Can You Collect Social Security and Disability?

Can You Collect Social Security and Disability?

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 Security and SSDI serve similar purposes, but the requirements vary for each. Social Security is for those who’ve reached early or full retirement age, while… Read more…

What Is a Lump Sum Payment?

What Is a Lump Sum Payment?

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 method you select should consider… Read more…

SmartAsset: What Is Purchase APR?
Financial Advisor

What Is Purchase APR?

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 on your provider. In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about purchase APRs. A financial advisor can help you manage… Read more…