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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 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 your desired heirs, but one of the best ways to do so is through a living trust. With a living trust you’ll be able to control how your assets are managed and distributed of as soon as you create it, not after you die. This article will take a closer look at the process of forming a living trust in Alaska and whether it’s right for you. If you’d like professional assistance in your estate planning process, you may want to consider hiring a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service pairs you with up to three local advisors within five minutes. 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 ensure your assets are given to any beneficiaries you select. This article explores the process of forming a living trust in Montana and whether you should create one. If you’d like expert guidance with estate planning, SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool pairs you with up to three local advisors suitable to your financial needs. Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 11, 2022

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 difference between the two figures after you report it as income. Depreciation recapture is popular among taxpayers because it allows them to save when it comes to taxes. Instead of accounting for your asset’s entire value at the date of your purchase, you can spread out its cost over time, allowing you to earn tax deductions for its duration. But this process varies for different types of assets. Below, we explore how depreciation recapture works on your taxes. And if you want hands-on guidance when it comes to lowering your tax liability on your investments, consider enlisting the help of a trusted financial advisor in your area. Read more

by Rickie Houston May 17, 2021

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 Aug 12, 2021

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 Mar 08, 2022

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 May 03, 2022

Marijuana stocks are becoming more popular as more states legalize the medical and recreational use of the drug. In fact, you can now even invest in marijuana stocks through a normal brokerage… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 29, 2022

There are a number of ways to buy Tesla stock, but the simplest are to do it either through a brokerage account or with the help of a financial advisor. Tesla is one of the most popular and… 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 Apr 29, 2022

Amazon (AMZN) is not only one of the most successful online retailers, but it’s also one of the few trillion-dollar U.S. companies that offers stocks. Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the company… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 14, 2021

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

by Rickie Houston Aug 29, 2018

The Employees Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA) provides a range of pension plans that mostly come with lengthy eligibility requirements. While each of its systems and plans serve different… Read more

by Rickie Houston Mar 19, 2020

Though Michigan’s pension fund is only the 18th-largest in U.S., that doesn’t stop it from offering its employees an array of retirement plans from which to select. The state of Michigan’s Office of… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 28, 2018

Under its Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), Teachers Retirement Association and Public Employees Retirement Association, Minnesota offers retirement benefits through several different pension… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 02, 2022

Betterment is a robo-advisor that allows investors to create and manage their investment portfolios online. Whether you’re building wealth for retirement or other financial reasons, Betterment… Read more

by Rickie Houston Aug 15, 2018

Making a down payment for a new home can be expensive, even for those with decent income. If you’re eyeing a particular home but don’t know whether you can afford to make a down payment to secure a… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 29, 2021

When it comes to robo-advisors, both SigFig and Betterment offer a range of products and features to help you build your investment portfolio. The company you choose should ultimately align with your… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 10, 2019

A mortgage interest rate is the cost of borrowing money. It’s given as a percentage. A mortgage annual percentage rate (APR) is the interest rate plus other costs associated with a mortgage,… Read more

by Rickie Houston Apr 09, 2021

A tax consultant can help you minimize your tax liability, capitalize on tax deductions and manage your tax situation. With more expertise than standard tax preparers, tax consultants can help with… Read more