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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.

3 Things to Do Before You Buy Life Insurance

Personal Finance

3 Things to Do Before You Buy Life Insurance

3 Things to Do Before You Buy Life Insurance

When it comes to making major purchases like a home, many people spend time beforehand preparing. It’s a good idea to think of life insurance the same way. A life insurance policy can help pay off a mortgage loan so beneficiaries can continue to live in the home or to remove the immediate need to… Read More

What You Need to Know About Buying a Vacation Home

Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Buying a Vacation Home

What You Need to Know About Buying a Vacation Home

Buying a home is a big decision that includes understanding how much house you can afford and working through the mortgage and purchase process. Some people will only do this once. Others will replace their main residence a few times – selling their home to buy another one. Still other people will keep their home and purchase… Read More

What to Look for When Searching for a New Home

Mortgages

What to Look for When Searching for a New Home

What to Look for When Searching for a New Home

The process of finding the perfect home usually has many steps. Once you’ve determined how much house you can afford, you can look seriously at the options. While some things may be obvious right away, such as a broken window, others require you to pay a little more attention. Here are four specifics to check… Read More

The Biggest Retirement Mistakes You’re Making

Personal Finance

The Biggest Retirement Mistakes You’re Making

The Biggest Retirement Mistakes You’re Making

We may love to dream and fantasize about our retirement, but we usually don’t look forward to the retirement planning. Thinking about a long-term goal like retirement can be overwhelming, but it can also be inspiring. Sometimes knowing what we are working toward can help motivate us to establish healthy financial habits and get there…. Read More

3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Financial Freedom

Personal Finance

3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Financial Freedom

3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Financial Freedom

Hitting big in Vegas, winning the lottery, inheriting a fortune and inventing the next billion-dollar idea can be paths to financial freedom. Unfortunately for most of us, our own path instead requires some smart decision-making, discipline, budgeting and real work. No matter the size of your paycheck, your financial moves can make a big impact… Read More

10 Terms You Need to Know If You Ever Plan to Retire

Personal Finance

10 Terms You Need to Know If You Ever Plan to Retire

10 Terms You Need to Know If You Ever Plan to Retire

In the modern economy, the responsibility for retirement largely falls to the individual. Being educated about this process can mean the difference between spending your retirement in vacation mode and working an additional decade. To secure the future you want, it’s important to plan. The earlier you start figuring it out (and saving!), the better…. Read More

6 Items You Should Consider Buying Used

Personal Finance

6 Items You Should Consider Buying Used

6 Items You Should Consider Buying Used

Tightening your budget doesn’t have to mean cutting out the things you need or even want. Thrift shops, garage or yard sales, online resources, flea markets and pawnshops are great sources of savings. Turning to these options can bring you the most value for your dollar because there are some things that most people simply… Read More

5 Kinds of Mortgages: What’s Right for You?

Mortgages

5 Kinds of Mortgages: What’s Right for You?

5 Kinds of Mortgages: What’s Right for You?

Home buying can be a whirlwind and, unless you are a lottery winner or heir to a fortune, likely includes taking out a mortgage. Choosing the right mortgage loan for your budget includes assessing your income, lifestyle, credit history and qualifications. But it’s not just a matter of finding an affordable option – it’s also… Read More

What Is a Short Sale?

Mortgages

What Is a Short Sale?

What Is a Short Sale?

The world of real estate can be confusing, and sometimes, even with careful planning, mortgage payments can be difficult to make. If you find yourself faced with options like foreclosure, bankruptcy or a short sale, it’s important to understand your choices. A short sale is for those who do not qualify or do not want… Read More

How Board Games Can Help You Manage Your Money

Personal Finance

How Board Games Can Help You Manage Your Money

How Board Games Can Help You Manage Your Money

Board games are not all fun and – well, games. It turns out this popular pastime can help teach valuable financial lessons. From dice and play money to credit cards and ledgers, board games can educate both kids and adults on basic personal finance in an easy and fun way. While many of the best money… Read More

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