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AJ Smith

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Mortgages

AJ Smith is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online content. She currently serves as the managing editor for SmartAsset. AJ has a passion for meeting new people, sharing stories and helping others. She has degrees from Princeton University and Mississippi State University. AJ and her husband also write and illustrate educational children’s books.

5 Reasons You Can’t Retire Early

Personal Finance

5 Reasons You Can’t Retire Early

5 Reasons You Can’t Retire Early

Whether it’s friends, family members, old co-workers or even acquaintances, it can be baffling to watch young people (maybe even younger than you!) enjoying retirement. In addition to wondering how they did it, this scenario can also leave us wondering what is holding us back from living the good life. Since most of us won’t… Read More

6 Ways to Make Your Summer a Savings Success

Personal Finance

6 Ways to Make Your Summer a Savings Success

6 Ways to Make Your Summer a Savings Success

It’s usually in January when we check in on our finances, set some goals and move on with our lives. By the time summer rolls around, many of us have fallen off track or gotten too caught up in the nice weather to remember where our priorities lie. But it’s not too late for those… Read More

Why Lifestyle Inflation Is Killing Your Budget

Managing Debt

Why Lifestyle Inflation Is Killing Your Budget

Why Lifestyle Inflation Is Killing Your Budget

Congratulations! You got a raise, came into an inheritance or sold your home for a profit. No matter what has brought more money into your budget, it’s important to manage that money wisely. Just because you have greater access to money doesn’t mean you should increase your spending accordingly. The Basics of Lifestyle Inflation Think back to your… Read More

How Big Will Your Social Security Check Be?

Personal Finance

How Big Will Your Social Security Check Be?

How Big Will Your Social Security Check Be?

Social Security is probably one of those terms you have heard many times and know that you should understand, but might not. This is a government program established as a financial safety net for older Americans (as well as for other purposes). Based on contributions that you make while employed, this special fund pays you… Read More

5 Mortgage Myths That Won’t Die

Mortgages

5 Mortgage Myths That Won’t Die

5 Mortgage Myths That Won’t Die

Buying a home can be a big commitment — emotionally and financially. When picking a property, many of us hope that we will enjoy living there and comfortably afford it for years to come. For this reason, it’s a good idea to spend just as much time and energy finding the right mortgage as you do searching… Read More

The 8 Most Misunderstood Refinancing Terms

Mortgages

The 8 Most Misunderstood Refinancing Terms

The 8 Most Misunderstood Refinancing Terms

If you are having trouble keeping to your budget or at least making your monthly mortgage payments, you may have thought about (or been told to think about) refinancing. Homeowners often refinance their mortgage to secure a lower interest rate, shrink their monthly payments or change the length of the loan. But before you start… Read More

How Important Is Your Down Payment on a Home?

Mortgages

How Important Is Your Down Payment on a Home?

How Important Is Your Down Payment on a Home?

When buying a home, most people take on a mortgage. There are many things to consider when taking on a mortgage loan, including interest rate, closing costs and the down payment. Once you calculate how much house you can realistically afford, you can start looking at properties and considering how you will afford the house…. Read More

7 Deadly Student Loan Sins

Students

7 Deadly Student Loan Sins

7 Deadly Student Loan Sins

We all know that higher education is expensive, but we also know the professional and personal growth it can provide. For many people, going to college means taking out student loans, a serious credit product that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. It’s a good idea to calculate the monthly student loan payments you will owe before… Read More

Paying Off Debt? How to Avoid Burning Out

Managing Debt

Paying Off Debt? How to Avoid Burning Out

Paying Off Debt? How to Avoid Burning Out

When you have a large amount of debt, it can feel like you will never be free of it. Even if you get yourself motivated to pay it off, it can be hard to stay motivated. While living on a tight budget can seem doable in the short term, to succeed long term, it’s important… Read More

The 7 Biggest Threats to Your Retirement

Personal Finance

The 7 Biggest Threats to Your Retirement

The 7 Biggest Threats to Your Retirement

Saving for retirement can be intimidating and confusing. This leads many people to avoid thinking about it altogether and just hiding their heads in the sand. However, the ostrich approach won’t make it any easier to reach retirement with a comfortable savings. In fact, avoidance is only one threat to your future financial security. Check… Read More

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