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Data Studies

Oct 26, 2021 The first year of homeownership can often be the most expensive, especially when paying a sizable down payment and taking closing costs into account. More times than not, the most affordable places to buy homes are smaller and more rural. But how much does the first year of homeownership cost in America's largest cities? Read More...

Oct 22, 2021 According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, in January of 2021 the labor force participation rate for women dropped to 57%. This was the lowest it had been since 1988, when it fell to less than 58% (compared to when it reached above 60% in the late 90s and into the aughts). It is believed that the childcare crisis, driven by pandemic-related daycare and school closures, has caused many women with children to leave their jobs. Some jobs, though, are seeing an increase. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see which professions are gaining in their ranks of women workers. Read More...

Oct 20, 2021 Listen up, ladies and ghouls - it’s Spooky Season once again. Get out your favorite decorations, figure out your costume ideas and get ready to eat more candy than you should, because Halloween is upon us. While the COVID-19 pandemic may still put a bit of a damper on the holiday once again this year, hopefully many people, especially those with kids, will be able to celebrate. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the best cities in America for Halloween (though unfortunately, we couldn’t confirm how many houses hand out full-size candy bars vs. how many hand out raisins). Read More...

Oct 21, 2021 Nearly 400,000 people moved for retirement in 2020, a study conducted by HigherAHelper found. While the study's data showed that retirees are twice as likely to move to a new state than all other movers, more than a quarter of retirees who moved in 2020 chose to leave larger cities and metropolitan areas. Smaller cities often have lower costs of living than big cities, making them ideal for retirees on fixed incomes. Read More...

Oct 18, 2021 When you put 20% down on the purchase of a home, you don't have to borrow as much money as someone whose down payment is only 5% or 10%. And as a result, your monthly mortgage payment may be considerably lower. But 20% down payments, while common, are by no means mandatory or the norm. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says the median down payment in 2020 was just 12%. So if you are hoping to save for retirement in addition to buying a home, you could opt for a 10% down payment and invest the remaining cash. Your monthly payments and interest will be higher, but your invested assets will grow into a substantial nest egg over the next 30 years. Let's compare how a 10% and 20% down payments could affect your retirement. If you need to figure out how big your down payment should be, a financial advisor may be able to help you decide. Read More...

Oct 14, 2021 Divorce can be a pricey proposition - according to a 2019 survey by the legal website Nolo, the average cost of a divorce is around $12,900, including more than $11,000 in attorney’s fees. Divorce at ages 50 and older - often known as gray divorce - may especially lead to various levels of financial insecurity. Nationally, the divorce rate has remained flat over the past several years. This isn't the case in all cities, however, so with that in mind, SmartAsset set out to identify where divorce rates have been rising in recent years. Read More...

Oct 13, 2021 As the COVID-19 pandemic upended daily life and caused nationwide shutdowns, more people participated in outdoor recreation in 2020 than ever before. More than 50% of Americans ages 6 and older participated in outdoor recreation (like biking or hiking) at least once, according to the 2021 Outdoor Participation Trends Report commissioned by the Outdoor Foundation. The outdoor recreation boom resulted in 7.1 million more people getting outside in 2020 than in 2019. In light of this uptick, SmartAsset set out to find the places that are best for outdoor enthusiasts to live and work. Read More...

Oct 13, 2021 Socially responsible investing - commonly referred to as  environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing - is gaining traction among institutional investors as well as individuals. According to a recent Natixis report, the percentage of institutional investors that implement ESG approaches increased by 18% from 2019 to 2021. Similarly, Natixis reports that a growing number of individual investors are interested in ESG. Though the names of large institutional investors adopting ESG approaches are often widely publicized, there is less research surrounding the question of which individual investors are driving this interest (and therefore increase in assets). Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset took a closer look at the characteristics of individual investors who are interested in ESG. Read More...

Oct 07, 2021 While inflation continues to linger, the price of food is among the few commodities that hasn’t skyrocketed in the last year. According to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, which tracks the price of goods and services, food prices were just 3.7% higher in August than they were 12 months earlier. That may sound like a lot, but when compared to the 25% increase in the energy index, food prices have been far more stable. Read More...

Oct 12, 2021 Hispanic and Latino Americans have seen some of the highest unemployment rates during the COVID-19 pandemic of any race and ethnic group for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports data. In the second quarter of 2020, the Hispanic and Latino unemployment rate was 16.7%, the highest unemployment rate in that period compared to that of white, Black and Asian Americans. More recently, in the second quarter of 2021, the Hispanic and Latino unemployment rate was 7.2% - 2.1 and 1.6 percentage points higher than the white and Asian unemployment rates, respectively, and 2 percentage points lower than the Black unemployment rate. Read More...

Oct 05, 2021 Though the COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted Americans in many ways, the homeownership rate has risen and stayed elevated. Census Bureau data shows that the homeownership rate actually hit 67.9% in the second quarter of 2020, up from 64.1% from a year before. More recently, the national homeownership rate was 65.4% in the second quarter of 2021, which is slightly higher than pre-COVID-19 rates. Read More...

Oct 01, 2021 There are 218,100 personal financial advisors in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that there are 9.70 financial advisors for every 10,000 adults ages 25 and older. Of course, financial advisors are more concentrated in some areas than others. To find where Americans may have the largest selection of experts to guide them in their money matters, SmartAsset conducted a study to examine the states with the most and fewest financial advisors per capita. Read More...

Sep 28, 2021 An increasing number of nurses are trading in traditional hospital-staffing positions for higher-paying temporary jobs with traveling nurse agencies. The difference in pay is often significant. The Associated Press reported in September 2021 that nurses working for traveling nurse agencies make $70 to $90 per hour on average, which is two to three times higher than what most hospitals pay their staff nurses. Though looking into an agency may be a great opportunity for some nurses, not all may be willing to travel on a regular basis. For nurses that are looking to put down roots in one area and want to see where they can earn the most, SmartAsset identified the best-paying places for nurses.  Read More...

Sep 23, 2021 While the COVID-19 pandemic hit millions of Americans in their wallets, it also created a surge of new retail investors looking to capitalize on stock market volatility. A survey conducted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found that 57% of respondents opened a taxable investment account in 2020. Those who never had an investment account before were generally younger, earned lower incomes and were more racially or ethnically diverse than established investors. With retail investing becoming more popular, SmartAsset used the most recently available data to identify and rank the top places in the U.S. where people have been investing more. Read More...

Sep 23, 2021 Hispanics and Latinos make up almost 19% of the U.S. population (or 62.1 million out of more than 332 million), according to the 2020 Census. And according to data from the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, they are becoming an increasingly important economic force, with almost  9 million homeowners nationwide, after growing by more than 700,000 homeowner households in 2020. Furthermore, the Urban Institute says that the net growth of homeowners between 2020 and 2040 will be driven by people of color, and Hispanics are poised to take the lead with an expected growth of 4.8 million. Read More...

Sep 21, 2021 Homeownership is often viewed as a fundamental pillar of investing and building wealth. While real estate markets vary from city to city, home values have historically risen over the decades. In fact, home values across the U.S. have increased by nearly 17% over the last year, rising to $298,933 by the end of July 2021, according to Zillow. But appreciation is just one financial component of homeownership. Closing costs, property taxes and insurance also factor into whether homeownership is a good investment for a prospective buyer. Read More...

Sep 23, 2021 Business growth is often top-of-mind for financial advisors. Many financial advisory firms follow an "economies of scale" model - that is, larger advisory firms generally tend to be more cost-efficient as they attract and service larger clients. This was shown recently by  InvestmentNews’ 2020 Pricing and Profitability study, which found that firm revenue, average assets managed per client and average revenue per client are all positively correlated. Even financial advisors who are not actively interested in growing must pay some attention to prospecting new clients. An advisor’s book of business naturally ages as his or her clients grow older and shift their financial priorities from accumulation to distribution. In order to maintain a consistent income stream, advisors will eventually need to acquire new clients as their existing clients age. Read More...

Sep 15, 2021 Tax filers with higher adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) tend to move less than filers with lower AGIs. This may be due to various reasons, including that taxpayers in higher income brackets often skew older or are more established in their careers. Regardless of the cause, IRS migration data shows that roughly 3% of filers with AGIs between $10,000 and $50,000 moved to a different state from 2018 to 2019. By comparison, 2.26% of tax filers with AGIs between $100,000 and $200,000 moved across state lines during the same years. Though higher earners may be less likely to move states overall, some states have still seen relatively large influxes of this demographic.  Read More...

Sep 14, 2021 Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, a majority of Americans reported feeling anxiety and stress surrounding their finances. Researchers at the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation found that  60% of Americans in 2018 indicated feeling anxious when thinking about their personal finances, while half said money causes them outright stress. Read More...

Sep 09, 2021 Beyond acting as headquarters for the state’s high court, the state legislature and the governor’s office, state capitals can also be ideal places to live. Some state capitals are more populous, bustling metropolitan areas while others are sleepy towns where the government is the biggest industry. SmartAsset crunched the numbers on all 50 to identify the state capitals that are the best to live in. Read More...

Sep 08, 2021 Housing insecurity and lack of protection from evictions have become even more pressing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a March 2021 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an estimated 8.8 million renter households were behind on their rental payments as of December 2020. Staying ahead of and completing rental payments can be particularly difficult in areas where the rent-to-income ratio is high. Read More...

Aug 31, 2021 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that roughly one out of 10 workers in 2020 were union members (10.8%). Membership has gone up 0.5% since 2019, but has decreased by more than half since 1983, when approximately one out of five workers were union members (20.1%). Historically, organized labor has played an influential role in the U.S. workforce, establishing and defending employee rights since the first union was founded by Philadelphia shoemakers in 1794. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to see where unions are strongest nationwide. Read More...

Aug 26, 2021 A 2021 survey from the staffing and recruitment firm Robert Half says that 44% of professionals reported feeling burnt out at their jobs. That’s a 10% jump from one year ago, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the economy. This year, a record 3.8 million U.S. employees quit their private-sector jobs in April 2021 - and are still leaving their jobs at a breakneck pace. The national quit rate, or percentage of workers quitting their jobs each month, crested at an all-time high of 3.1% in April and remained at 3% in June. For perspective, roughly an average of 2.5 million left their jobs every month between January 2001 and December 2020, well below the 3.7 million who gave their two weeks' notice in June 2021 alone. Read More...

Sep 02, 2021 Financial advisor firms are on the move. That's in part because the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity for firms to pull up stakes and relocate their headquarters to new areas that better suit their needs. Some firms had already planned to do so in 2020 prior to the pandemic, but changing preferences as a result of the pandemic - such as more affordable office spaces and increased remote work options - may have spurred more registered investment advisor (RIA) firms to relocate their headquarters. No matter the reason, a mini exodus from New York City is part of this trend, as is increased migration to Florida. Read More...

Aug 25, 2021 The COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the U.S. job market, and its impact will likely be felt for some time. After publishing 2019-2029 job projections in the fall of 2020 that did not capture the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued alternate scenarios that model how jobs might be impacted if COVID-19 continues to have a moderate impact on the economy vs. a strong one. Across all occupations, job growth is expected to be almost one percentage point lower in the moderate impact scenario (2.9% vs. 3.7%) and close to two percentage points lower in the strong impact scenario (1.9% vs. 3.7%). Read More...

Aug 20, 2021 The closure of college campuses in 2020 stoked fears about whether college towns around the country could endure the economic instability wrought by COVID-19. The smaller the town, the more precarious the economic situation. A SmartAsset study from 2020 found that the 11 most vulnerable college towns all had populations of 125,000 or less. But despite the recent challenges, college towns have forged ahead and remain viable places to live and work. Read More...

Aug 18, 2021 It's no secret that the U.S. is absolutely dog crazy. According to an American Pet Products Association survey of pet owners from 2019-2020, more than half of all American households, or 63.4 million homes, had dogs. When it comes to taking care of their pooches, Americans spend an average of $1,200 per year on Fido, a recent survey found. While the expenses can certainly add up, where you live can make your canine's companionship that much more enjoyable - not to mention easier. With that in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank the most dog-friendly cities in the country. Read More...

Aug 17, 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from the second quarter of 2021 shows that female, full-time wage and salary workers earn 82% of what their male counterparts do on average. This pay gap has remained relatively constant over the past decade, but it varies even further among women and men when comparing different racial and ethnic demographics. For instance, Black women’s median weekly earnings ($746) make up only about 67% of white men’s median weekly earnings ($1,115). However, median weekly earnings for white and Asian women ($921 and $1,037, respectively) exceed those of Hispanic men ($825). Read More...

Aug 17, 2021 By the end of July 2021, the price of gasoline had surged almost 42% over the previous 12 months and the price of used vehicles spiked at nearly the same rate. While skyrocketing prices of these two commodities are the most dramatic examples of rising prices in today’s economic environment, they illustrate a simple truth: inflation is soaring. Read More...

Aug 16, 2021 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost one in 10 personal financial advisors are based in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area. While the Big Apple may be a hot spot for financial advisors looking to start their career, there are many other places where financial advisors are in high demand and have great job opportunities. Read More...

Aug 11, 2021 Looking to boost your savings? Forget about cutting out those morning lattes, and instead consider your biggest monthly expense: housing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing costs represented nearly 33% of all household expenditures in 2019 - almost double the next category, transportation. Making adjustments to your housing budget - like renting a cheaper apartment or living with a roommate - can quickly add up to big savings. With this in mind, SmartAsset set out to determine how much you can save by living with a roommate in 50 of the largest U.S. cities. Read More...

Aug 10, 2021 Over the past year and a half, in-person conferences have been put on pause. However, as vaccination rates increase and businesses reopen, many conferences across a variety of industries are returning to in-person formats in fall 2021. Within the financial advisory industry more specifically, Orion Advisor Services’ Ascent conference, Riskalyze’s Fearless conference and the T3 Advisor/Enterprise Conference are all scheduled to take place in person over the next few months. Read More...

Aug 05, 2021 Owning real estate has traditionally been viewed as an effective way to hedge against inflation. The logic is simple: as the price of goods and services increases, so does property value. Like other types of real estate, rental properties stand to appreciate in value, but that's hardly the only benefit of this asset class. Landlords earn passive income or cash flow from their properties, benefit from certain tax breaks and build equity while paying down loans (if they're using  mortgages). With inflation on the rise in the U.S. in 2021, investors may be searching for new real estate markets to invest their money. With that in mind, SmartAsset set out to find the places that are best for buying and owning long-term rental properties. Read More...

Aug 04, 2021 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than six million people reported not working at all or working fewer hours in June 2021 because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. While the record high unemployment rate of 14.7% in April 2020 compelled many to  budget carefully and remain cautious about changing jobs, the much lower June 2021 rate of 5.9% is leading some workers to reexamine their careers. SmartAsset analyzed data from various sources to identify and rank the metro areas with the best career opportunities in 2021. Read More...

Jul 28, 2021 The leisure and hospitality industry was one of the hardest hit following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in America. Social distancing rules and health concerns about travel and gathering in large groups kept hotels empty and reduced restaurants to outdoor dining and takeout. Though the pandemic certainly isn’t over, there are signs of the economy rebounding. SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank which states are seeing the fastest recovery in leisure and hospitality. Read More...

Jul 27, 2021 The Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that Americans spent $1.4 trillion on transportation costs in 2019. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey for the same year, transportation is the second-highest  household spending category after housing. In some parts of the country, households spend a larger portion of their income on transportation than in others. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the metro areas where people are spending the highest percentage of their income on transportation costs. Read More...

Jul 22, 2021 In April 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate increased by 10.3 percentage points to 14.7%, the highest rate and largest month-to-month increase in the history of this data since the Bureau of Labor Statistics first recorded it in January 1948. A year later, in April 2021, 3.8 million workers quit their jobs, a record-high for a single month. Data shows a resurgence in the number of workers who are resigning for better jobs or exploring other opportunities - which could be the result of seeking better pay and benefits, improved working conditions, the ability to continue working from home and personal fulfillment. During the first five months of 2021, a total of almost 17 million private sector workers (or an average of 3.4 million workers per month) decided to quit. By comparison, an average of roughly 2.5 million workers quit per month between January 2001 and December 2020. Read More...

Jul 21, 2021 In a 2021 report, the National Association of Realtors says that Gen Xers make up 24% of  homebuyers from the past year, the highest of any generation in that time frame. The report also ranks the age group as the highest-earning generation out of all other homebuyers, with a median income of $113,300 in 2019. Having a higher income allows for the potential to invest more money and be better prepared for retirement. Some states have attracted more high-earning Gen Xers in recent years and a new study by SmartAsset analyzed data to identify the top states to which Gen Xers who make at least $100,000 per year are moving. Read More...

Jul 20, 2021 The nationwide median monthly rent in 2019 was $934 for a studio apartment and $953 for a one-bedroom, according to Census Bureau data. This can add up to anywhere between about $11,200 and $11,400 per year for solo renters. Living with a roommate is a common alternative to  save money, but some residents may prefer to live alone. The good news is that depending on the city, living alone won't break your budget. With this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the top cities where renters can afford to live alone in 2021. Read More...

Jul 16, 2021 The median household income is about $65,700, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. However, the top 20% of earners nationwide makes about twice this amount, potentially increasing their ability to save and invest for bigger financial goals like retirement. In 2019, the threshold to be in the 80th percentile of households according to annual income was $131,349. Read More...

Jul 15, 2021 On June 24, 2021, President Joe Biden reached an agreement with a group of bipartisan Senators for an infrastructure plan that will invest over $1.2 trillion in eight years on roads, water, electricity, broadband internet and other projects. Aimed at revitalizing the American economy, the bill, if passed, would be the largest long-term investment in infrastructure in nearly a century. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the states with the best infrastructure in 2021. Read More...

Jul 13, 2021 Over the past several years new tech hubs have emerged across the U.S., with hotspots such as San Francisco and New York City losing some ground. The COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated this trend. According to LinkedIn data compiled by Axios, many more workers in the software and IT services sectors left the greater metro areas of those two cities between March 2020 and February 2021 than during the previous year. Read More...

Jul 12, 2021 Community colleges are an important first step in the higher education of a diverse range of students. They can offer quality education at relatively low costs, potentially allowing students and families to budget better and ultimately save more. According to data from the Census Bureau, although attendance at two-year institutions has declined slightly in recent years, approximately one-third of all college students in America between 1980 and 2015 attended a community college. In 2021, President Biden proposed boosting community colleges by making them free for 5.5 million students. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset has examined data to identify and rank the best community colleges in America. Read More...

Jul 07, 2021 Though they comprise a relatively small fraction of total homes, the number of million-dollar homes in the U.S. is growing. In 2016, about 2.3 million homes were worth $1 million or more. Meanwhile, in 2019, that figure was roughly 3.1 million. However, compared to the total 78.7 million owner-occupied homes, less than 4% of homes are worth $1 million or more. Million-dollar homes are highly concentrated in some states and cities more than others - and for homeowners who may potentially be seeking to upgrade, it could be worth it to seek the services of a financial advisor. In this study, SmartAsset investigated the cities with the most million-dollar homes. Read More...

Jun 30, 2021 The past year has been a difficult time for many working parents who have had to balance remote work, potential job losses, school closings and limited access to childcare. A February 2021 survey by Joblist says that 47% of parents are working more hours per week on average than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, making their work-life balance even more challenging. Additionally, many working parents report financial stress. Since the onset of COVID-19, the percentage of parents who are moderately or extremely concerned about their family’s financial outlook jumped by about 12 percentage points, from 27.3% to 39%. Read More...

Jun 30, 2021 The number of people who move each year within the U.S. has been steadily decreasing for years. The U.S. Census Bureau says that while more than 42.6 million people moved within the country in 1999, that number fell to 31.4 million by 2019. Despite this trend, younger people are more likely to move than those in other generations and some states are particularly attractive for wealthy young professionals. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset examined data to identify and rank the states where rich young professionals are moving. Read More...

Jun 24, 2021 With higher housing costs and smaller living spaces, many large cities are less conducive to families. According to Census Bureau data, average monthly housing costs for homeowners across the 100 largest U.S. cities are more than 23% higher than the national average. Read More...

Jun 23, 2021 Whether you were once cut off by a car with Florida license plates or mercilessly tailgated by a driver in New York, we’ve all had bad experiences with drivers from other states (or our own) at some point. Besides the road rage, these situations can give us a lot of grief when it comes to managing expenses, but it often varies by location. Which states truly have the worst drivers? Read More...

Jul 29, 2021 With more than 40% of the U.S. population fully vaccinated (according to New York Times data as of June 15), the economies of many cities have started rebounding at a faster pace. However, the rebound has not occurred at the same rate nationwide. Factors like vaccination rates, public spending, poverty rates, tax revenue and politics have contributed to varying rates of recovery. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset has identified and ranked the cities with the strongest economic recoveries in 2021 from the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More...

Jun 17, 2021 The average 401(k) balance in the U.S. hit $123,900 in the first quarter of 2021, according to a recent report by Fidelity Investments. This marks more than a 70% increase from the average 401(k) balance a decade before ($72,800). But while balances are increasing among individuals with 401(k)s, a significant number of workers in the U.S. - close to 47 million, according to our estimates using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data - do not have access to either a 401(k) or any other employer-sponsored retirement plan. Read More...

Jun 16, 2021 Less than three in 10 six-figure earners in the U.S. are women, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. Though far from equitable, the percentage of women who are breaking the six-figure threshold is increasing, along with the gender distribution of six-figure earners - empowering them to potentially budget, spend, save and invest more wisely. From 2014 to 2019, the percentage of full-time working women earning $100,000 or more increased by almost four percentage points, from 8.34% to 12.11%. Over the same time, the percentage of six-figure earners who are women grew from 26.08% to 29.52%. Read More...

Jun 15, 2021 Buying a home is an important financial milestone. Many homebuyers have to save up for years, even decades, to buy a dream home. For them, this is a long-term investment that can also help them build home equity with each mortgage payment. This is why it's ideal to buy in a housing market where the value of their property can grow steadily over time. To this end, SmartAsset analyzed data from metropolitan areas nationwide to identify and rank the top and bottom markets for growth and stability in 2021. Read More...

Jul 20, 2021 Experienced scratch golfers and duffers alike can agree on one thing: the cost of the game can break the bank over time. According to a 2018 Golfweek article, the median cost for an 18-hole round at a public golf course is $36 (including the cart). Equipment obviously adds some expenses, making accessibility to sporting goods stores and golf courses, as well as the ability to save income, important factors too when watching your budget. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the best cities for golfers in this study. Read More...

Jun 10, 2021 Estimates on the return on investment from having a financial advisor vary. In a 2019 whitepaper, Vanguard assessed an “Advisor’s Alpha,” or the value that a financial advisor adds to a client’s portfolio, to be about a 3% net return per year, depending on a client’s circumstances and investments. Separately, Morningstar researchers calculated how much better off clients are after engaging in optimal financial planning strategies. They found a 1.82% annual net difference between a typical baseline investment portfolio and an advisor-optimized portfolio. Read More...

Jun 08, 2021 When planning a wedding, the costs can add up pretty quickly. There’s the venue, the music, the photographer, the catering and the outfits and adornments, among other common expenses. While the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. fell to $19,000 in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Knot says that American couples spent on average $28,000 on weddings just one year earlier. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset examined data to identify and rank the best U.S. cities to host a wedding. Read More...

Jun 02, 2021 Biking is an eco-friendly, cheap, fun and healthy way to commute in the city. But not all cities are equally accessible for riders - some cities have designated bike lanes, while others simply lack the infrastructure. Nor are all cities the most affordable for the more savings-savvy cyclist.  Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the most bike-friendly cities in America for 2021. Read More...

Jun 02, 2021 Historically, first-time homebuyers have made up about 40% of all homebuyers in the U.S. However, over the past decade, the share of first-time homebuyers has fallen below that norm, hovering around in the mid-thirties according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In fact, it dipped still further over the past year - falling two percentage points from 33% in 2019 to 31% in 2020 - with many researchers attributing the drop to tightening inventory and rising prices. Read More...

May 25, 2021 Depending on your circumstances, renting or buying a home can be a smart financial decision. Homeownership can help you build equity and lower taxes, while renting offers greater flexibility and convenient services. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset ranked the 50 largest U.S. cities according to price-to-rent ratio. Read More...

May 24, 2021 Over the past decade, the cost of a college education in the U.S. has increased significantly. Accounting for inflation, data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) shows that prices for undergraduate four-year public and private institutions rose respectively by 22.84% and 21.20% between school years 2008-2009 and 2018-2019. Notably, however, public universities remain distinctly more affordable. In 2018-2019, the average net price of attendance (i.e. total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) among four-year public universities was $12,607. Four-year private universities by comparison cost almost twice as much, roughly $23,000. Read More...

May 20, 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic has made road races less frequent and temporarily closed down many indoor workout facilities. Now, as restrictions ease amid the increased percentage of vaccinated Americans, many may be poised to reclaim their exercise routines. In light of these dynamics, SmartAsset has identified and ranked the best cities for runners. Read More...

May 19, 2021 Buying a home has become increasingly difficult during COVID-19. Though low mortgage rates mean that many purchasers will spend less in interest over the course of their mortgage, home prices have risen and housing inventory has dropped. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-home price rose by 17.2% from March 2020 to March 2021. Over the same time, the number of units available for purchase decreased by 28.2%. SmartAsset has identified and ranked the hardest places to buy a home. Read More...

May 18, 2021 Remote work has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering many young professionals greater flexibility to live farther away from their jobs. But it is unclear whether this employment trend will become permanent. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey shows that more than two-thirds of executives think that employees should be in the office at least three days a week to maintain a strong company culture. This suggests that while remote work options may be more available in the future, professionals might still need to live near the office. With all this in mind, SmartAsset identified and ranked the best cities where young professionals are living in 2021. Read More...

May 12, 2021 A 2019 report from the Federal Reserve on the economic well-being of U.S. households says that only 37% of Americans think that their savings are on track for retirement. The rising costs of living, medical expenses and long-term care can make it difficult to save enough for  annual retirement expenses. With this context in mind, SmartAsset compared data from 100 cities nationwide to identify and rank the places where seniors are the most and least financially secure. Read More...

May 11, 2021 While  saving up for a down payment and closing costs can be difficult, the U.S. Census Bureau says that individuals in some cities are increasingly buying over renting. According to a recent report, almost three out of 10 owner-occupied homes are one-person households, which means that 36.2 million homes in 2020 were owned by single homeowners. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the cities where single homeowners are buying the most. Read More...