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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 Jul 18, 2019

Though it’s uncomfortable to think about death, it’s crucial to take certain steps to protect your assets before that time comes. Living trusts and wills are two estate planning options designed specifically to help you prepare for the inevitable. While one focuses largely on the management of your assets during life and after death, the other focuses solely on the distribution of your assets after you’ve passed away. Read more

by Rickie Houston Mar 18, 2022

The first-time homebuyer tax credit emerged during the 2008 financial crisis to help make buying a home more affordable for Americans. Though various other mortgage programs and loans exist, the tax provision here was strictly for first-time homebuyers. Simply put, it offered homebuyers a significant tax credit for the year in which they purchased their home. Unfortunately, this credit no longer exists. However, legislation to create a new refundable tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers was introduced in April 2021. Below, we discuss what the tax credit program did, and explore additional mortgage programs that can still help you save on your first home. A financial advisor can help you plan for buying a home, as well as other financial goals. Read more

by Rickie Houston Jul 30, 2018

With homeownership comes home equity. Both home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) use the equity you’ve built up to help you pay off big expenses. You can use these loans to tackle credit card debt, tuition payments or a kitchen renovation. In addition, you can use these loans essentially as another mortgage to pay off debt you owe on your home. You just use your home as collateral and and pay monthly payments with different interest rates on the loan. So in the HELOC vs. home equity loan decision, which is best for you? We explain the nitty-gritty below and let you decide. Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 19, 2018

Betterment and FutureAdvisor both operate as two of the most popular robo-advisors in online investing. Each company offers similar products to help you reach your investment goals, but the costs and… Read more

by Rickie Houston Oct 06, 2021

Whether you’re investing in mutual funds or looking to transform your wealth with a financial plan, you may be considering working with a financial advisor. Investment advisors and financial planners… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 29, 2018

When you’re deciding whether to open a savings account with Chase or Capital One, you should look at the rates and perks each offers and whether they’ll meet your financial needs. Both Chase and… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jul 11, 2018

Both PNC and Chase Bank offer a long list of banking products that can be conveniently accessed across the nation. Whether it’s checking and savings accounts, or branches, ATMs and mobile apps, both… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jul 10, 2018

TD Bank and Chase are two large financial institutions that provide an extensive range of products both through online services and numerous branches. If you’re looking to put your hard-earned… Read more

by Rickie Houston May 20, 2022

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Whether you’ve just started working for a company or have been employed for a while, you should take advantage of retirement savings options as… Read more

by Rickie Houston Nov 05, 2021

For many expectant parents, one question looms above everything else: how much does it cost to have a baby? While you might be tempted to forget about this to focus on more exciting things like… Read more

by Rickie Houston Sep 05, 2018

Citibank and Chase Bank are two of the biggest names in the banking industry today. Both financial institutions provide easy access with online and mobile banking, plus thousands of branches and ATMs… Read more

by Rickie Houston Jan 19, 2022

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,… Read more