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Take control of your financial future.

Financial Advisor
Aug 07, 2020

As part of your company’s benefits package, you may have access to an Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP. These plans allow you to purchase shares in the company you work for, typically at a discount. An ESPP is separate from a 401(k) or similar workplace retirement plan, but both can be useful to growing wealth over the long term while enjoying some tax benefits. If you have access to an Employee Stock Purchase Plan at work, it’s helpful to know how to use it to your advantage. If you want hands-on guidance as you negotiate whether an ESPP is for you, consider enlisting the help of a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Financial Advisor
Aug 07, 2020

When buying life insurance, you may be asked whether you’d like to add on various riders. Riders enhance the policy’s benefits and there are a number you can choose from, including an accelerated death benefit. Adding on this benefit may be something you’re interested in if you’re concerned about being unable to meet medical expenses for end-of-life care in a terminal illness situation. If you’re thinking of buying life insurance to provide some financial peace of mind for your loved ones, it’s important to consider how an accelerated death benefit may fit into your plans. You may also want to enlist the help of an expert financial advisor to see if an accelerated death benefit fits into your entire financial strategy. Read More...

Financial Advisor
Aug 06, 2020

When choosing a financial professional to work with, it’s important to find someone who’s reputable and trustworthy. One thing to consider when vetting financial advisors or other professionals is whether they’ve ever been engaged in self-dealing. Self-dealing is a term you might be familiar with if you own a self-directed IRA. In that scenario, the IRS prohibits you from using a self-directed IRA in a way that generates some personal gain to you prior to drawing on those funds for retirement. But it’s also important to understand what self-dealing means in a financial advisory setting and how to spot it. Read More...

Checking Account
Aug 06, 2020

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has impacted nearly all facets of life, and one of the most difficult challenges for Americans to deal with has been the disruption to the job market, a fact that can jeopardize their hard-earned savings. While the national unemployment rate was still a substantial 11.1% in June 2020, this percentage marks a decline from previous months as people across the U.S. look for ways to adjust to the new normal and ways to stay employed. Some parts of the U.S., though, have a better chance of offering job prospects in this environment. SmartAsset analyzed data from various sources to find the metro areas in the country with the best career opportunities in the COVID-19 downturn. Read More...

Editor's Picks

Taxes

Jul 10, 2020 Coronavirus-related update: Like many of us, IRS employees have been working from home since spring. As a result, there is a backlog of…

Financial Advisor

Sep 10, 2019 "Chartered financial analyst" (CFA) and "certified financial planner" (CFP) are common certifications for individuals working in finance,…

Investing

May 01, 2020 Wealth management firms are all different. You need to make sure to do the work to pick the right one for you. Wealth managers work with…

Financial Advisor

Jun 12, 2020 If a financial planner or financial advisor is fee-only, that means they receive compensation solely from the fees clients pay from their…

Mortgage

Jul 23, 2019 If you’re young and you're looking to purchase a new home to live in, maybe you should consider turning your first home into an investment…

Data Articles and Studies

Checking Account
Mar 26, 2019

Tech jobs are particularly desirable, because they pay well, show long-term signs of growth and are less vulnerable to automation. But women have faced systemic difficulties in getting these jobs. And even when women do find jobs in the tech world, they earn 84% of what men in tech do, according to Census Bureau data, and thus have less opportunity to save. This is true at the national level, but there are some cities where parity between men and women in tech is less of a concern.  Read More...

Taxes
Mar 26, 2019

A large majority (75%) of taxpayers overpay on taxes and receive a tax refund, according to IRS data. A smaller proportion (19%) see the opposite: They will have overestimated their withholdings and learn they still owe the IRS some money. Apart from overpaying and underpaying, there is another small, exclusive group of savvy Americans who manage the Goldilocks fantasy: withholding just the right amount so, come tax time, the tax balance between them and the IRS reads an even zero. Read More...

Checking Account
Jan 14, 2020

Americans have greater than $800 billion in outstanding credit card debt, according to data from the New York Federal Reserve. What’s more, roughly 8% of credit card debt is delinquent by 90 days or more. If you’re someone saddled by debt and trying to avoid those lofty interest rates by paying it off, moving somewhere affordable with high-paying jobs is a great strategy. That allows you to accumulate money in your savings account so you can easily pay off any charges you rack up. Below, we rank the best places to get out of debt. Read More...

Videos

Personal Finance
Mar 14, 2019

Patrice Washington says she is an accidental personal finance blogger. Regardless, it’s a role she seems born to play, and one she’s certainly making the most of! Patrice is now much more than a personal finance blogger, she is a personal finance educator, author and advocate. You can see, hear and read Patrice pretty much everywhere from the Steve Harvey TV and radio show to her own books on personal finance. We caught up with Patrice in New Orleans for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...