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Sep 09, 2022 When shopping around for the savings accounts for you, it’s important to know what you want from it. It’s also important to learn how your options stack up against the competition. For instance, are you currently earning below the average savings account interest rate? You might be surprised at what kinds of rates are available out there, especially at newer, online-centric banks. If you have questions about how your savings account fits into your overall financial plan, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 05, 2022 Saving for retirement is important for people of all ages, with a 401(k) being a particularly popular option. However, this standard account type may not always be enough. That's where an individual retirement account, or IRA, comes in. IRAs let you save for retirement without going through your employer. Furthermore, an IRA CD lets you lock in a CD-style interest rate in the form of a term-based retirement account. IRAs, 401(k)s and IRA CDs are three options to save for retirement, but there are many other possibilities on the market. Speak with a financial advisor to learn more about how this investment could benefit your own retirement plan. Read More...

Aug 05, 2022 When it comes to saving your money, you have a number of account options. You might first think of a simple savings account that allows your money to grow according to a set interest rate. You also have the options of choosing a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). A money market account is like a mix of a savings account and a checking account. A CD on the other hand, doesn’t offer much flexibility in accessing your money with set term and withdrawal limits. Wondering how to best allocate your savings? Speak with a financial advisor today. Read More...

May 10, 2022 Private banks want the business of  high-net-worth individuals, so they often end up creating accounts and services that are specific to those who can afford them. However, the best private banks are typically large enough that anyone can benefit from some of this activity as well. We've compiled a list of the best private banks that you could use, regardless of your net worth. If you really want to bank like the wealthy, you should consider speaking with a financial advisor who can help navigate you to your best financial outcome.  Read More...

Mar 05, 2019 A college degree is pricey and getting increasingly expensive: From 2006 to 2016, the cost of college tuition and fees increased by 63%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That may leave would-be undergraduates with sticker shock that deters them from matriculating. But forgoing a college education can limit your earning potential. From 1979 to 2017, real incomes for men with just a high school degree dropped by 18% while incomes for women in the same group rose, but only by 5%. Your best bet is to find a college education that won’t break your savings account. Public schools typically offer some of the most bang for your buck. Below, we rank the best states for higher education. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 When browsing a bank’s account options, you’ve probably come across certificates of deposit, or CDs. These are time sensitive accounts that grow your initial deposit for a given amount of time, depending on your preferences. In these CDs, your money grows according to a set interest rate at the time of account opening. This rate is set by the issuing bank and can fluctuate with the interest rate economy. A market-linked CD, however, works a little differently. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 You've probably heard of an emergency fund, but do you have one?  Most of the financially savvy people in this world have gotten good at budgeting for the every day predictable expenses.  But what about the leaky roof that finally caves in and needs to be replaced?  Or the old car that completely dies on you? Read More...

Sep 23, 2022 There's good news for folks who want to park their money in cash amid market volatility: The best savings rates are now around of 2.25%. That's quadruple what they were just a year ago. And those rates may keep ticking upward: after a CPI report indicating inflation rose 8.3% in August compared to a year earlier, the Fed raised the federal funds rate, the central bank's short-term rate, a 75 basis points, up from 2.25% to 2.5%. Bank rates lag when it comes to the dynamics of the central bank, but those 2.25% savings rates should trend higher over time as a result. That's at least some tonic for those whose portfolios are in the gutter and whose passive cash holdings are losing precious value in light of inflation. If your savings account is delivering chump rates by comparison to those 2% rates, it might be high time to search for a more high-yield savings account to grow your hard-earned cash. For more help on which savings account might  be suit your overall financial plan, think about working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 23, 2022 Growing your retirement savings is an important goal for most investors. When you reach $250,000 in your account, it helps to understand how much income you can earn from your savings. While many people use the 4% Rule to determine a safe withdrawal rate, the answer really depends on how much you're earning from your investments. So, how much interest does $250,000 earn per year? Let's take a look at how much you can earn based on how it is saved or invested. A financial advisor can help you create a stream of income for your needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 22, 2022 Vacations can put a dent in your family's budget. Between airfare, accommodations, activities, food and souvenirs, the costs really add up. Rather than go into debt to pay for the trip, a better approach is to create a vacation savings account to set money aside and earn interest for your next trip. Here's how it works and some account options you can use. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 22, 2022 SoFi and Chime are two popular financial technology (fintech) companies. Both offer online banks, with depository accounts and some lending products, and neither has a brick and mortar presence. This means that customers of SoFi and Chime bank entirely through their apps and websites. However, they operate in importantly different ways. If you’re looking for an online bank, here’s how you can evaluate these two products. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your banking needs and goals. Read More...

Sep 16, 2022 Opening a savings account does not impact your credit score because you aren't borrowing money and the activity in your savings account isn't reported to a credit agency. Most financial institutions will run a soft credit inquiry when you open a savings account but it is only to check your identity. Not sure that opening a savings account is the right move?  Talk to a financial advisor to work through the details of your situation and to find the right account for your financial goals. Read More...

Sep 16, 2022 Money market accounts are hybrid financial products that offer some of the advantages of a checking and a savings account. Specifically, money market accounts pay you an interest rate based on the money you hold on deposit, like a savings account. But they also allow you to write checks and withdraw money from ATMs like a checking account. While not without their drawbacks, money market accounts can be a good option for consumers who want to hold large amounts of cash on deposit. Here’s what you need to know. For more help with savings, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 15, 2022 With a limited purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) you can pay for dental and vision care expenses using pretax dollars. LPFSAs are usually paired with health savings accounts (HSAs), which require belonging to a high-deductible health plan. Like HSAs, LPFSAs have a cap on annual contributions and contributions can only be used for qualified healthcare expenses. Only some employers offer LPFSAs and, unlike HSAs, employees can’t set them up on their own. Also, unlike HSAs, LPFSA funds have to be used before the end of the year or they are lost. To find the most economical way to cover your healthcare costs, consider talking to a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 14, 2022 Savings accounts can help you to set aside money for short and long-term financial goals. One of the biggest questions you might have when deciding where to save centers on how much interest you can earn. Knowing how to calculate interest on savings account balances can help you choose the best savings option. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan to reach your savings goals. Read More...

Sep 14, 2022 Planning a wedding can be exciting but it can also turn up the pressure on your budget. Opening a wedding savings account is something you might consider if you’d like to set aside money for the big day. Choosing the right account to save for wedding expenses matters for ensuring that you have convenient access to your money while still earning a great rate. Let's break down how a wedding savings account works and what you should consider. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan to save enough money for your wedding and other financial milestones. Read More...

Sep 13, 2022 If you’re the proud grandparent of a new baby in the family, the thought of preparing for their financial future may have occurred. In between moments of joy, your mind may have been several steps down the road, thinking about college expenses, buying a new car and more. Fortunately, setting up a savings account is a straightforward process that can set your grandchild up for financial success. So whether you want an account strictly for education costs or have something more open-ended in mind, here’s how to set up savings accounts for grandchildren. A financial advisor can help you create a financial plan to help pay for future family expenses.  Read More...

Sep 12, 2022 Many investors use savings accounts to earn interest on money that they don't need right away. However, sometimes they want to use their money to make a payment. Unfortunately, you cannot write checks from a savings account. Here's what you can do instead. A financial advisor can help you figure out the best way for you to manage your money. Read More...

Sep 09, 2022 Direct deposit is a convenient way to receive paychecks, tax refunds and other payments. But can you direct deposit into a savings account or do you have to use a checking account? Banks often allow you to schedule direct deposit payments into a savings account and there are some good reasons to consider doing so. Setting up direct deposits to a savings account is easy to do and takes just a few minutes. You can work directly with a financial advisor who can help you create a financial plan and give you recommendations on where to put your money. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 Interest checking accounts, otherwise known as interest-bearing checking accounts, are checking accounts that pay an interest rate on the money held on deposit. There are key similarities and key differences between interest-bearing checking accounts and savings accounts. Here’s what you need to know. For more help with managing your money efficiently, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 Do you remember when you outgrew your piggy bank? It could have been because of a glut of birthday money or the unwieldy wad of cash after a summer of mowing lawns. No matter the case, children quickly grow to the point of needing a bank account. Besides providing a safe place to store and access money, bank accounts can teach healthy money habits and are straightforward to open. Since children cannot legally open a savings account, parents or guardians will need to open a custodial or joint savings account for them. For help saving for your children or with any other financial considerations, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 In 2021, Americans spent roughly $305 billion in interest and fees related to financial products like bank accounts, according to the  Financial Health Network’s FinHealth Spend Report 2022. While this dropped from the $319 billion spent in 2020, Americans still pay a hefty price to use financial products. However, whether you’ve been burned in the past or are new to banking, you can avoid or minimize bank fees through bank accounts that don’t charge customers. Such banks do not charge monthly maintenance fees, do not have minimum balance requirements and have low initial deposits. Here’s where to look for bank accounts with minimal fees and how to tell which suits you best.   For more help with banking and financial planning, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 30, 2022 Online banks, which offer online checking and savings accounts, have become increasingly popular among many consumers. As their name suggests, these are bank accounts that you access and operate entirely online, often making the banking process easier. The bank has no physical branches and you can’t access your account in person. Because of their reduced overhead, some can offer better interest rates than a traditional account, but they otherwise have the same rules and products as in-person banking. If you have money you need to save or invest, consider working with a financial advisor who can help you create an asset allocation plan.  Read More...

Aug 30, 2022 Offshore bank accounts are held outside of your home country and are an option to hold funds in a foreign currency. Offshore bank accounts can make sense in some situations, such as for those who have business in other countries or for those who live abroad. While these accounts aren't terribly difficult to open, there are some unique considerations to keep in mind before opening an offshore bank account. Any offshore bank account should probably be a part of a larger financial plan or strategy, which you can create with the help of a professional financial advisorRead More...

Aug 23, 2022 Online savings accounts can offer a convenient place to keep your money while potentially earning a great rate. Compared to traditional banks, online banks tend to have lower overhead costs. That enables them to pass savings on to their customers in the form of higher rates and lower fees. But is an online savings account FDIC insured? And how safe is your money? Those are important questions to ask if you’re considering moving your savings to an online bank. For more help with addressing your banking needs, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 How much money should I keep in my savings account? This is a valid question to ask if you’re interested in making the most of your money. Savings accounts can offer liquidity, so you have convenient access to your money. And you might be able to earn a decent interest rate on deposits, depending on where you choose to bank. There are several factors to keep in mind when deciding how much to keep in savings. For help with saving in the most efficient way, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 Most people use a bank as the main provider of financial services. Selecting the right bank can have a lot to do with how satisfied you are with the way your money is managed and, ultimately, with how well you attain your financial objectives. Picking a bank is a matter of evaluating your needs and choosing an institution that offers the best fit in terms of services, costs and other important features. Get your financial life on the right track with a solid financial plan. Talk to a financial advisor today. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 Should you invest money or save it? It’s an important question to ask if you’re trying to grow wealth. Investing can offer the potential for higher returns, but it can also mean taking more risks. Saving money tends to be safer, though it may limit growth. If you’re looking for an investment that’s also safe, you might consider bonds. But which is better: bonds vs. savings account? For more help, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 When creating a plan for saving, one of the most important things to decide is where to keep your money. Savings accounts are one option; a Roth individual retirement account is another. Whether it makes sense to open a savings account vs. Roth IRA (or one of each) can depend on your financial needs and goals. For help figuring out how you are going to save, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 18, 2022 Savings accounts are safe, easy to open and highly liquid, making them solid choices for emergency savings or accumulating funds for future purchases. However, they pay such low rates of interest that even modest inflation erodes the purchasing power of deposits over time. Fortunately, alternatives to bank savings accounts exist that can earn more interest without sacrificing too much safety and liquidity. Some also provide tax advantages that savings accounts lack. Talk to a financial advisor before you decide where to park your savings. Read More...

Aug 16, 2022 Savings accounts are safe places to store cash you may need on short notice. You can open one at nearly any bank or credit union, often entirely online and with only a small or even no initial deposit. These accounts reliably pay the stated rate of interest and most have modest fees while some charge no fees. However, the interest earned on savings accounts is too low to keep up with inflation, raising the question of whether savings accounts are worth having at all. Despite this, most Americans do use savings accounts and they offer important benefits. A financial advisor can help you set up budgeting and savings habits. Read More...

Aug 16, 2022 If you keep money in a regular savings account you will generally owe federal income taxes on the interest that is earned. You’ll pay taxes at your regular rate the year interest is earned, whether or not you withdraw from the account. You can avoid paying taxes on interest with the help of certain tax-advantaged accounts used to fund retirement, healthcare and education expenses. However, these accounts come with restrictions that make them unsuited to keeping emergency savings. To help you decide how to save for various purposes while minimizing your tax burden, talk to a financial advisor. Read More...

Jul 26, 2022 Rising interest rates can make acquiring a loan or a mortgage more challenging, but there are ways to take advantage of  them. Many financial institutions offer checking accounts that return better interest rates than traditional checking accounts, provided you meet specific requirements. Here are the best high-yield checking account options and what to look for in your new high-yield checking account. A financial advisor could help you put a financial plan together for high-yield investments. Read More...

Jul 19, 2022 If you’re a savvy investor, you’re likely looking for ways to diversify your investment portfolio. Callable certificates of deposit (CD) are a way to invest your money for several years with a guaranteed interest rate in an FDIC-insured account. However, the issuer of your callable CD has the option of closing the account before it matures, stunting the earnings you planned on receiving for a set amount of years. Like every other investment, a callable CD has advantages and disadvantages that determine how well it will fit into your financial plan. Working with a financial advisor can give you the guidance you may need to choose the right portfolio diversification. Read More...

Jul 18, 2022 As the Federal Reserve has raised its target federal funds borrowing rate during 2022, interest rates paid to savings account depositors have lagged behind. However, since the Fed’s 0.75% increase to a target rate of 1.5% to 1.75% at its June 2022 meeting, deposit institutions have caught up. The top savings account interest rate during the first week of July was 1.61%, in the middle of the fed fund target range. By yearend, the fed funds rate is anticipated to top 2% and savings accounts will likely keep pace. A financial advisor can help you make best use of interest-bearing accounts in your financial plan. Read More...

Jul 12, 2022 Certificate of deposit (CD) accounts and savings accounts can help you keep your money safe and secure while earning some interest on balances. While they’re both deposit accounts, they aren’t exactly the same when it comes to how much interest you can earn, the fees you might pay and how easily you can access your money. Deciding whether to open a CD vs. savings account can depend on your goals. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for your savings needs and goals. Read More...

Nov 16, 2021 These days, bank accounts can do a lot. They make it easy for you to track your spending and receive transaction alerts, often in real-time. They allow you to transfer between accounts and even send money to others in just seconds, even from a smartphone. And many of these accounts also help you reach your savings goals with budgeting tools, automation and competitive interest rates. However, odds are that you won’t be able to achieve all of this with just one bank account. Here’s a look at how many bank accounts you should realistically have and why you truly do need more than one. Read More...

Aug 29, 2022 If you have enough money, putting some kind of savings aside for both short- and long-term goals is important. After covering general expenses for your daily or monthly budget, an emergency fund could help you prepare for short-term costs such as unforeseen medical, auto, travel and other bills. Long-term savings can, of course, be used towards things that are less of an emergency, like planning for future vacations, buying a car or a home, and retirement. A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan for these goals. Read More...

Jul 30, 2021 Having a demand deposit account is the first step many people take when they embark on a saving and investing program. Most consumers begin with a checking account and add a savings account or a money market account as time passes. These accounts help you in many ways. They are a convenient way to pay your bills on time and get cash. They help you store money and earn a return on it. They are important to the economy at large since they are a part of the money supply. Here are the facts. Read More...

May 04, 2021 The Federal Reserve says that revolving consumer credit debt - including debt from credit cards, home equity lines of credit and personal lines of credit - increased to $974.4 billion in February 2021, marking a 10.1% annual rate increase from the year prior. This is almost one-third of all consumer debt - which also includes student and car loans - and adds up to a grand total of $4.2 trillion. With so many people trying to pay off credit card debt, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the best cities where it's easiest to do so. Read More...

Apr 21, 2021 While there is still a long way to go, women have made significant strides over the last few decades to achieve greater equality in education,  earnings and business ownership. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 57.4% of adult women participated in the workforce, which is still much less than 69.2% of men, but a big jump nevertheless over the 51.5% of participating women workers in 1980. It's important to note that this rate has gone down since 2000, when women's workforce participation reached 59.9%. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset took a closer look at the U.S. cities where women are particularly successful in the workplace, and crunched the numbers to identify and rank them for the 2021 edition of this study. Read More...

Apr 21, 2021 IRS data shows that roughly 6% of American taxpayers earn $200,000 or more annually. While that figure includes income from investments, most reported income comes from salaries and wages. Across all occupations, the average worker earns $56,310 annually. In some of the highest-paying occupations, however, the average worker makes nearly three, four or even five times as much each year. These kinds of earnings in turn affect  adjusted gross income (AGI), taxes and potentially  savings. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at some of the highest-paying jobs in America. Read More...

Apr 15, 2021 Individuals with higher levels of financial literacy tend to adhere to better financial practices - such as having an  emergency fund and  planning for retirement - and are also more likely to  build wealth further by investing in the stock market. Many Americans, however, lack financial knowledge and do not follow financial best practices. Less than 50% of American adults have set aside three months’ worth of emergency funds, only 41% have tried to figure out retirement savings needs and just 32% have investments apart from retirement accounts. Read More...

Apr 08, 2021 It's no secret that the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 14.7% in April 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak -- up from a pre-pandemic rate of just 3.5% in February 2020. As the job market continues to rebound with the vaccine rollout and the recent wave of federal aid, which could help many Americans prepare for financial emergencies and boost their savings, Americans looking to be strategic about their job searches would do well to examine employment trends over the last few years to see where the most robust opportunities may exist. Given that some sectors have seen more expansion while others shrank -- with varied changes depending on location -- SmartAsset took a closer look at the fastest-growing jobs and the fastest-disappearing jobs in each state. Read More...

Mar 25, 2021 While many economists believe that the U.S. economy will return to pre-pandemic levels by late 2021, they are less confident that the job market will bounce back as quickly. According to February data from the National Association of Business Economics, 82% of economic forecasters surveyed expect real GDP to return to pre-COVID-19 recession levels sometime in 2021. By contrast, only 59% of respondents anticipate the total number of workers (excluding farm workers) will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 or later. As Americans scramble to boost their savings and map out their job prospects during the pandemic, SmartAsset analyzed data from 720 occupations to project the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the job market. Read More...

Apr 14, 2022 Almost one in two Americans (48%, to be exact) prefer to live in a town or rural area, according to a 2020 Gallup survey - up from 39% in 2018. And while 27% still say that they want to live in a city, almost two-thirds of that group (16%) prefer a small city to a big one. The  coronavirus crisis has also made places with low population densities more appealing, and small cities can offer the energy and creativity of urban life while  boosting your savings in an affordable community. SmartAsset compared almost 300 cities with populations between 65,000 and 100,000 to identify and rank the most livable small cities in our 2021 study.  Read More...

Mar 17, 2021 According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a household that spends more than 30% of its combined income on housing is considered "cost-burdened." And households spending over 50% are considered "severely cost-burdened." Many homeowners nationwide facing constraints based on their housing expense ratio may need to rethink their housing budget and move forward with a different personal finance plan. Some cities are more affected than others, however, which is why SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at the data to identify the cities with the most and fewest of these cost-burdened homeowners. Read More...

Mar 16, 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented job losses across many industries and occupations. However, STEM jobs have been less affected generally. The 2020 unemployment rates for all three STEM occupational categories were more than three percentage points lower than the overall rate (8.1%). Specifically, the average 2020 unemployment rates for computer & mathematical occupations, architecture & engineering occupations and life, physical & social science occupations were just 3.4%, 3.6% and 4.3%, respectively. Keeping in mind that these industries could offer more opportunities to find jobs and  save money, SmartAsset identified the fastest-growing STEM occupations in 2021. Read More...

Feb 25, 2021 While Baby Boomers and Generation X are now the bosses at many companies, more than 25% of the workforce is younger than 30. This means that Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are emerging as the generations to soon comprise the largest percentage of workers. Starting your career at a young age provides more time to build up your savings and create a retirement plan with a financial advisor. Some cities offer younger workers more opportunities for gainful employment and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out where younger employees make up the biggest percentage of the local workforce. Read More...

Feb 18, 2021 The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that computer and information technology jobs are expected to have grown by 11% from 2019 to 2029, adding 531,200 new jobs in cloud computing, big data storage and collection and information security. The median annual wage for those jobs in May 2019 was $88,240, which is $48,430 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Read More...

Feb 09, 2021 Dating in the time of COVID-19 isn’t easy. The pandemic has impacted Americans and the economy unevenly. And cities have shutdown and reopened at different rates. So depending on where you live, it can be complicated for a couple to find a good restaurant, see a movie, visit a museum or enjoy any other romantic activity together. One small upside is that dates during COVID-19 may be cheaper than usual. Many COVID-friendly dates such as picnics and takeout are less expensive than typical activities, so wooers won't have to dig as deep into their savings accounts to make Cupid strike. Read More...

Jan 21, 2021 How far you live from work, school and other places you frequent can cost you time, money and health. The U.S. Census says that the average commute takes Americans 27.6 minutes each way. That’s more than 240 hours annually, if you commute twice every workday in 2021. And now that many people have cut back their commutes by working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be thinking about how to save money by carpooling or biking, or you might consider moving to shorten the commuter distance. In either case, SmartAsset examined the largest cities in America to uncover the worst commutes in 2021. Find out how your commute measures up against them. Read More...

Jan 13, 2021 For most people, working is inevitable: You need a job to  afford your lifestyle. The trick, of course, is to find a balance where you can earn the money you need without spending all of your time in the workplace. Some of that depends on what the work culture is like in your city, how much you need to earn to pay for housing and how long you have to spend getting to work. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed 100 of the biggest cities in the country to find the best cities for work-life balance for 2021. Read More...

Jan 12, 2021 According to the Census Bureau, almost 20 million renters allocate at least 30% of their household income towards rent, indicating that they are housing cost-burdened. This can be especially true in larger cities where the cost of living is higher. And if time is money, then many Americans will have to resort to working longer hours to make ends meet without having to use up any existing emergency funds. Read More...

Jan 07, 2021 Since the onset of COVID-19, remote work has become the norm for many Americans, allowing them to continue to meet some of their expenses while saving where possible. In the late spring of 2020, about half of American workers were working from home, according to two surveys conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Many researchers believe that increased work flexibility and work-from-home opportunities may continue even after the pandemic is over. With that in mind, SmartAsset looked at the best cities to work from home in 2021. Read More...

Jan 06, 2021 Jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education for entry are often more insulated from unemployment than others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, total unemployment for individuals 25 years and older spiked to 13.1% in April 2020. However, the highest unemployment rate over the past year for bachelor’s degree holders 25 and older was 8.4% in April 2020. As of November 2020, the national unemployment rate was 6.7% - 2.5 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders. Read More...

Jan 06, 2021 Women’s earnings in the U.S. make up about 81% of men’s, according to Census Bureau data from the past several years. Though this figure has steadily grown over the course of decades, researchers predict the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could set back pay for women. Bureau of Labor Statistics data unequivocally shows that the COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate impact on women’s participation in the labor force and unemployment, and many analysts theorize this will carry over to women’s earnings. Read More...

Nov 02, 2021 Though the COVID-19 crisis has resulted in widespread fitness center closures, many Americans still want to stay as healthy as possible. Depending on the level of services and equipment required, staying active can affect people's budgets in a variety of ways. For now, virtual exercise classes and home gyms are the route most people are taking. Eventually, though, gyms will reopen at full capacity, and everyone will be able to reestablish his or her normal workout routine. When that happens, some places will be more conducive to jumping into a full-on fitness frenzy, and SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find where they are. Read More...

Dec 09, 2020 A tall, frosty glass of beer has proven welcome succor during the distressing COVID-19 pandemic: Through the first half of 2020, beer sales in the U.S. rose about 16% compared to the same period in 2019, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Though lock-down orders and restrictions on bars and restaurants have changed the way Americans are drinking, they're still spending their money to quench their thirst for a frothy pint. But not all cities are equally equipped to provide access to the working man's amber nectar. So SmartAsset decided to find out which cities in America are best for those among us who consider themselves beer nerds. Read More...

Dec 01, 2020 While women have certainly made strides in many areas of the business world, when it comes to entrepreneurship, a significant gender gap remains. Around 10.2% of women between ages 18 and 64 are new entrepreneurs, a rate around three-quarters that of men, according to the 2018-2019 Women’s Report from The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Though there's clearly still room for growth, women who are starting their own businesses have the opportunity to take ownership of their long-term financial goals, including how much they sock away in a savings account. But not all locales are equally conducive to their success. As such, SmartAsset sought to uncover which metro areas are best for women entrepreneurs. Read More...

Nov 18, 2020 Perhaps counterintuitively, consumer credit card debt has fallen since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Federal reserve data shows that the total amount of revolving consumer credit, which primarily consists of credit cards charges, fell below one trillion in April 2020 for the first time in close to two years. Data from Experian tells a similar story. Between the end of Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, the average credit card balance of borrowers fell by about 11% from $6,629 to $5,897. Read More...

Nov 09, 2020 For Americans seeking a more affordable and less crowded alternative to the bustle of a big city but not interested in very small towns, a mid-sized city might be the best place to put down roots. But not all of them are equally suited to meet the needs of their inhabitants. That's why SmartAsset crunched the numbers on a variety of financial factors to find the mid-sized cities that are the most livable. Read More...

Oct 29, 2020 According to Census data, more than 17% of American households earn between $50,000 and $74,999, making it the income bracket comprising the highest number of people. This large cohort may not be among the most handsomely paid in the U.S., but strategically living in a place with robust employment opportunities and a lower cost of living can help Americans stretch their dollar further and enable them to sock away ample savings. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best cities in America for those with an annual income of $60,000, the sweet-spot of this range. Read More...

Oct 29, 2020 Older American workers have been disproportionately impacted by not only the health impacts of COVID-19, but also its corresponding economic shock, which has deeply affected their ability to budget and save for their retirement. In fact, workers 65 and older have seen some of the highest recent unemployment rates. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of April 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the unemployment rate was highest among workers in the youngest age cohort (ages 16 to 24) - at 27.4% - and next highest among workers in the oldest age cohort (ages 65 and older) - at 15.6%. Read More...

Oct 30, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has made many indoor activities difficult or impossible amid government ordinances. Since allocating some savings towards theater tickets and sporting events is now out of the question, a significant number of people are instead turning to the great outdoors for recreation. In fact, 43% of Americans 13 and older said they'd be committed to doing more outdoor activities like hiking, visiting parks and fishing as a result of coronavirus social distancing advisories, according to polling and consumer insights company CivicScience. With that in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the best places in America for outdoor enthusiasts to live and work. Read More...

Oct 19, 2020 The recent devastating U.S. unemployment rate, which shot up to 14.7% in April amid the coronavirus crisis, has highlighted the importance of achieving job security. In the short term, it means the ability to cover day-to-day expenses; in the long term, it means the ability to address both financial emergencies as well as save up for bigger goals. And while different places had varying levels of joblessness according to recent unemployment data, it’s equally important to consider more long-term trends to find the industries that might be growing the fastest. That’s why SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the fastest-growing jobs across the country. Read More...

Oct 30, 2020 Monthly electric bills vary with the seasons. They are typically lower during milder spring and fall months and higher in the summer and winter, when households are running air conditioners or heaters. Despite these monthly variations, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows that the average American household spends about $1,400 on electricity per year. With many Americans now working from home, households may spend more on electricity in 2020 than ever before and need to adjust their savings as a result. Clean energy technology company Arcadia found that one-third of U.S. households spent between 10% and 15% more on their summer electricity this year compared to last year. Read More...

Oct 02, 2020 Nationally, unemployment has slowly fallen since its initial record spike in April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported last month that the national August 2020 unemployment rate was 8.4%. More recently, on Wednesday, September 30, the BLS released metro area unemployment rates for August 2020. The data shows a wide range of unemployment rates across the U.S., suggesting that workers in some areas are struggling more than others - which in turn affects their ability to meet their expenses and save adequately for other financial goals. Read More...

Sep 28, 2020 Entering the workforce as a young person can be difficult. For many people who are fresh out of college, it's particularly challenging to determine exactly which industries are likely to hire someone so young and with such little professional experience. But securing gainful employment is the first step in building a savings and establishing a career. That’s why SmartAsset endeavored to find the fastest-growing jobs for young professionals. Read More...

Sep 16, 2020 Unions can be a great way for workers to gain power in the workplace and make sure they are treated and compensated fairly. Overall, union participation rates in the U.S. are down: In 2018 the rate was 10.5%, while in 1983 it was 20.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Still, there are some places where unions are stronger than others. That’s why SmartAsset decided to crunch the numbers and find the states with the strongest unions. Read More...

Sep 15, 2020 Between 2015 and 2019, the total American workforce grew by about 8.7 million workers, with 4.4. million women and 4.3 million men securing employment. Though female and male workers joined the workforce at almost equal rates, certain jobs have seen huge increases in female employment specifically, allowing for further opportunities for women to more easily cover their expenses and meet their savings goals. Read More...

Sep 10, 2020 In 2018, the median monthly rent for a studio was $891 while the median rent for a one-bedroom rental was $911. This means that the average renter living alone in America spends upwards of $10,600 every year on rent, even when living in a studio. While that annual rent is high and unaffordable for many individuals, rent prices and cost of living are lower in some cities than others, making living alone a more attainable reality. Read More...

Feb 24, 2021 The days of the strict 40-hour workweek, with weekends and evenings spent relaxing, are a distant memory for many people. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from 2019, more than 10 million Americans work at least 60 hours per week. And for those lucky enough to have a job amid the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place rules have kept many working from home, a fact that has reduced the separation between the office and home-life. In fact, recent data from NordVPN shows Americans are working three hours more per day during coronavirus lockdowns than before. Though the constant connectivity and persistent Zoom meetings may exacerbate exhaustion as workers grind to build up their savings, there are a whole host of factors that are fatiguing the workforce. With all that in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities where worker burnout is most likely. Read More...

Sep 01, 2020 If you’re able to do so, biking can be a great way to get around. Besides the physical benefits, this mode of transportation is great for the environment and generally requires you to have less of your money set aside for commuting costs. Some cities, though, are much better for biking than others in terms of safety, costs and accessibility. That’s why SmartAsset decided to switch gears and find out which cities are best for cyclists. Read More...

Aug 27, 2020 According to a recent poll from the National Endowment for Financial Education, nearly nine in 10 Americans say COVID-19 has triggered stress on their personal finances. Money - or lack thereof - creates anxiety-inducing burdens for individuals and families even in normal times. But this is especially true now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, whose attendant economic fallout has included soaring unemployment. Some cities, though, see their residents under more strain than others, so SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the cities under the most financial stress. Read More...

Aug 25, 2020 Earlier this spring, SmartAsset decided to take a closer look at where people had responded to the 2020 Census the most. Since the publication of our original study in May, the Census Bureau moved up its extended deadline for completing the decennial count, causing some concern that many households could go uncounted. The 2020 Census was originally scheduled to end on October 31, 2020 - six months after the deadline in a typical Census year - to accommodate changes due to COVID-19. However, it will now conclude an entire month early, on September 30. Accurate counts are important to ensure proper representation in Congress and fair allocation of 1.50 trillion in federal money this year. Read More...

Aug 21, 2020 With many small businesses struggling to maintain their  financial reserves during COVID-19, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo were the U.S. lenders that originated the highest number of  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Between the first week of April and the end of June 2020, the three banks originated more than 789,600 PPP loans of the total 4.8 million that were distributed. Bank of America took the lead, originating almost 334,700 PPP loans in that time, or roughly 7% of the total number apportioned. Though those banks were the most popular according to the number of PPP loans originated nationally, other lenders took the top spot in different states around the country. Read More...

Aug 12, 2020 Given that so many Americans were stuck indoors and without access to gyms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, those looking to burn some of those quarantine calories and stay healthy may look to running as a premier way to get some exercise. Road races may be less abundant, but those hankering to pound the pavement can maintain social distance measures through distance running. Of course, runners can incur a range of expenses – from buying new shoes to signing up for gym memberships and even purchasing a treadmill. So even as you mind your fitness, it's important to watch your wallet too. But living in an area well-suited to running can help mitigate these costs and enable you to save more actively. To that end, SmartAsset analyzed factors such as the frequency of races, concentration of gyms, affordability and walkability to determine the best cities for runners nationwide. Read More...

Aug 11, 2020 As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have had trouble covering expenses - especially rent - in recent months. According to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council, less than 88% of apartment households made a full or partial July rent payment as of the 13 th of the month. Though this marks an increase relative to April 2020, it is roughly three percentage points lower than one year earlier. In July 2019, 90.1% of rent payments were made by the 13 th of the month. Read More...

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...

Jul 29, 2020 They say the good old hockey game is the best game you can name, and for some cities across the U.S., that is clearly true. Since the 2005-2006 National Hockey League (NHL) season - which came directly after a labor dispute cancelled an entire season for the league - revenue has more than doubled, from $2.27 billion to $5.09 billion for the 2018-19 season, according to Statista data. And though the current NHL season was postponed when the COVID-19 pandemic began, puck fans can look forward to an expanded postseason tournament currently set to begin within a quarantine bubble on August 1, 2020. But hockey is more than just the NHL. Fans in cities across the country have minor league and college teams that they support fervently, with enough diehards socking away their savings to buy tickets and fill home stadiums to the brim. Keeping in mind many levels of competitive hockey, in addition to a host of local lifestyle metrics, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the best hockey towns in America. Read More...

Jul 28, 2020 According to 2018 Census Bureau data, approximately two of every 10 owner-occupied housing units in the U.S. is a one-person household. That means more than 17 million units fall under this category. These are singles who have chosen to buy a house or apartment instead of renting. Covering initial expenses like closing costs and a down payment - not to mention saving up for future costs like mortgage payments and insurance - can be difficult for a multi-person household, let alone just an individual. But there are some cities in which single homeowners are increasingly choosing to buy. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find out where. Read More...

Jul 22, 2020 Community college is a great option for any number of high school graduates in America. Whether you require more experience to be accepted to a four-year college, want an associate’s degree in a specific skill or hope to save money on tuition, community college is a viable option for higher education. Not all community colleges are of equal quality, though, so SmartAsset decided to find the best community colleges in America. Read More...

Jul 17, 2020 Many economists have theorized about what the shape of the COVID-19 recession - in other words, the possibilities for recovery - will be. Some individuals are still holding out hope for a “V-shaped” recession where the economy will rebound as quickly as it declined, which would in turn allow many to begin to repair the dents suffered to their reserves. Given the current circumstances, however, the odds that such an optimistic forecast will become reality have decreased. As infection rates spike throughout the country, local governments may decide to reimplement business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. One way to visualize the recession’s shape thus far is to examine consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for roughly 68% of U.S. GDP, and thus drastically impacts the length and severity of a recession. In this study, SmartAsset took a closer look at consumer spending in the U.S. during COVID-19. Read More...

Jul 16, 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that there are about 33.6 million families in the U.S. with children under the age of 18. In 2018, at least one parent was employed in almost 91% of those family households. Among the smaller subset of married-couple families with children, about 97% had at least one working parent and 63% had two working parents. Although job insecurity and shifting ways of life and work are a new reality for many households across America due to the spread of COVID-19, there are essential workers and others whose offices have opened up who must report to work and also make sure their children are taken care of.  Read More...

Jul 22, 2020 Though efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus across the U.S. have squeezed many local economies and the bank accounts of their residents, college towns are among the most vulnerable. They are confronting potentially major losses in population and revenue if students do not return to campus. Even in towns where schools have decided to allow students back in the fall, there may continue to be dampened demand for typical collegiate expenditures such as eating out and attending sports games. Read More...

Jul 10, 2020 The job market is constantly changing. Jobs in a certain field and geographic area may be abundant one decade only to experience a sharp decline the next. This can be because of many factors, including migration patterns and technological advances, that eliminate positions and industries from parts of the country. That can make it more difficult for workers to earn and save money. With those shifts in mind, SmartAsset decided to find the fastest-disappearing job in each state. Read More...

Jul 13, 2020 According to Census Bureau data from 2018, there are approximately 5.43 million full-time working women in the U.S. earning at least $100,000. The opportunity to attain higher salaries affects not only their ability to spend and budget in the short term, but also achieve other financial goals like investing in property and saving for retirement. That’s why SmartAsset wanted to find out where in the country the most women are earning six figures. Read More...

Jun 29, 2020 According to wedding-focused website The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $33,900. There are some cities, though, where you still can have the wedding of your dreams for much less, which might free up funds towards other financial goals, like a new home or retirement savings. Read More...

Jun 29, 2020 Only 55% of non-retired American adults have money in a defined contribution plan such as an IRA or 401(k), according to 2019 data collected by the Federal Reserve. With the coronavirus pandemic upending many aspects of Americans’ lives, saving for retirement may have taken a backseat, even for those individuals who were previously saving. Job losses and unforeseen expenses may lead to the reshuffling of financial priorities - with individuals prioritizing short-term needs over long-term financial goals. Read More...

Jun 26, 2020 Many states and localities that enacted shelter-in-place orders with the onset of the coronavirus crisis are now carefully implementing phased plans to reopen. With air travel not as available or carefree an option as before the pandemic, Americans are looking for safety on the road as their summer plans take shape. But staying safe while roadtripping, which can prevent significant dents in your savings, also depends on where you're driving. That’s why SmartAsset decided to analyze the data to find the states with the worst drivers. Read More...

Jun 24, 2020 While women in the U.S. seeking financial and social equality still face many challenges, certain conditions have improved in recent years. That’s why SmartAsset wanted to take a look at where U.S. women are the most successful, considering factors including education, earnings and business ownership. Read More...

Jun 18, 2020 The gender unemployment gap is defined as the difference between female and male unemployment rates. A “positive” gap indicates that female unemployment is higher than male unemployment while a “negative” gap indicates the opposite. Though the gender unemployment gap was positive for much of the 20 th century, the gap closed as employment opportunities for women expanded in the second half, in turn allowing for more opportunities to spend and save. Since the 1980s, the gap has been virtually nonexistent, with the exception of recessions. Read More...

Jun 16, 2020 Coronavirus has hit America’s senior population especially hard in terms of health, but the pandemic has also highlighted issues that some people 65-and-older already face with regard to their finances. Balancing medical bills on top of basic expenses for food and shelter - in addition to making sure one has enough retirement savings - can be a challenge. That’s why SmartAsset decided to take a look at where in the U.S. seniors are most and least financially secure. Read More...

Jun 23, 2020 According to a 2018 Gallup report, approximately four in 10 Americans would choose to live in a town, a small city or a suburb of a small city as opposed to big cities and rural areas. As Americans look for places that fit their lifestyle while allowing them to sock away savings, some small cities - defined as having at least 65,000 residents but fewer than 100,000 - have similar amenities to bigger cities while still offering the community feel that small towns do. Small cities may be additionally appealing in light of the coronavirus crisis, as there may be more access to parks and outdoor spaces in places with lower population densities. Read More...

Jun 05, 2020 The U.S. unemployment rate rose nationally by 11.2 percentage points between February 2020 and April 2020, from 3.5% to 14.7%. While unemployment has risen throughout the country, compromising job security and savings for so many, some places have seen much larger spikes over that two-months period. SmartAsset looked at the metro areas where unemployment has increased the most during COVID-19. Read More...

May 28, 2020 The tech industry is one of the most lucrative in the U.S. Though the COVID-19 crisis has cost the industry jobs just like virtually every industry, going into tech remains the goal of many young people, especially those with degrees in hard sciences. Though many people associate tech work with Silicon Valley, there are actually copious jobs in tech throughout the country that can help workers build up their emergency and retirement savings. SmartAsset analyzed the data to uncover the metro areas in America that are the best places to work in tech. Read More...

May 21, 2020 May 21, 2020 – The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that this week they would begin sending roughly 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) - otherwise known as stimulus checks - via a prepaid debit card instead of a paper check. This money is part of the Coronavirus Relief, Aid and Economic Security ( CARES Act) to help Americans weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More...

May 19, 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted the budgets of not only individuals, but also states. State revenues have declined due to delays in income tax collections along with decreases in revenue brought in from sales tax. Meanwhile, state expenses are rising as unemployment claims have spiked. Because of these changes and the growing mismatch between revenues and expenses, many states have revised their 2020 fiscal projections to reflect potential budget shortfalls. Though some states may receive aid from the federal government to cover deficits, many may still need to dip into reserve accounts, commonly referred to as rainy day funds. Read More...

May 13, 2020 April 1, 2020 marked the original self-response deadline of the 24 th Census in the U.S. As mandated by the constitution, the decennial count determines how many congressional seats each state gets, and this year will help inform the distribution of $1.50 trillion in federal funding. Beyond this, data collected by the Census is used regularly within public and private sectors. For instance, Medicare and Medicaid programs rely on the data to allocate funds across communities, while here at SmartAsset we use Census data to provide many free calculators to Americans and help them make smart financial decisions. Read More...

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