Connecting You and Your Wealth

 

SageVest Wealth Management – 10 Years As A Fee-Only Financial Advisor (May 15, 2017)

SageVest - Top Fee-Only Financial AdvisorJennifer Myers, CFP ® established SageVest Wealth Management in May 2007, to provide high quality, customized, and comprehensive investment management and financial planning services to individuals, families and business owners in the Washington, DC area and beyond.

A decade later, and with twenty years of experience, Jennifer’s the recipient of multiple top advisor awards, including Washingtonian Top Financial Advisor, and SageVest is celebrating our tenth anniversary! This seems an ideal time to thank our clients, and to offer a quick reminder of our services, our fields of expertise, and the core principles that guide us in pursuit of your financial and life goals.  Read More

Graduation Gifts For Financial Success (May 3, 2017)

Hispanic Student And Family Celebrating GraduationCongratulations if your child, grandchild, or other family member is about to graduate from college! Attaining a degree is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. It’s also a time for your grad to transition into independence, learning financial and life responsibilities to achieve future success.

If you’re searching for a meaningful graduation gift to encourage lifelong wealth, SageVest advisors offer ten of our favorite financial gifts for college graduates.

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12 Tips For A Successful Retirement (May 2, 2017)

Retired couple on beachThe notion of retirement is both alluring and complex. It’s the period in your life when you want to enjoy yourself, in good health, with the resources available to fulfill a variety of life ambitions.

Today, your retirement may extend over several decades, offering incredible opportunities to enjoy, partake, and experience a host of life adventures. However, longer retirement periods also require greater resources, and planning ahead is essential. Here are twelve tips for enjoying a successful and rewarding retirement.  Read More

Managing Healthcare Costs In Retirement (April 21, 2017)

Healthcare CostsThe cost of healthcare is a common concern for most Americans. For retirees, it’s often their number one financial priority. A combination of quickly rising health insurance costs and the potential for increased medical needs as you age can make planning for healthcare in retirement complex, unpredictable, and therefore, worrisome.

However, there are actions you can take to mitigate your risks, minimize your healthcare costs, and help you enjoy a happy and healthy retirement.  Read More

Downsizing Your Home (April 11, 2017)

Downsizing Your HomeFor decades, home sizes have been increasing. The average American home today is about 1,000 square feet bigger than it was in the 1970s. Now, however, a competing trend is emerging. Led by the ‘Tiny House’ movement, there’s a shift towards enjoying a more minimalist lifestyle and downsizing to more sustainable living spaces.

There are a host of reasons why you might be considering downsizing your home. It may be in preparation for aging, to reduce living expenses, to simplify your lifestyle, for eco-friendly principles, or more. Whatever the reason, downsizing involves serious consideration. There are a lot of decisions to make as you embark on your downsizing journey.  Read More

Decluttering Your Life (March 22, 2017)

Sunny living roomPapers, mementos, clothes, and more: there are many reasons why we amass an abundance of things that can end up making our homes look and feel messy. Keeping clutter under control enhances your home’s attractiveness, function, and value, and numerous studies prove that it can improve your overall outlook on life.

Your desire to declutter may be a response to a life event, like inheriting belongings from a family member, deciding to downsize your home, the end of a relationship, or the start of a new one. Regardless of the impetus, there’s a process to calming your clutter.  Read More

Is Maxing Your 401(k) Enough? (March 6, 2017)

Reaching the topIf you’re like most Americans, a 401(k) or similar retirement plan represents the bulk of your long-term savings. Every year, the IRS places limits on the annual contributions you can complete to these and other qualified retirement plans. Too often, people mistakenly think that if they’re contributing these maximum annual amounts, they’re saving as much as they need. While these limits might be acceptable for some individuals, they may not be adequate for everyone. The reality is that the amount you need to save for retirement hinges upon the following five key factors.  Read More

Housing Choices In Retirement (February 17, 2017)

Preparing dinnerFor many of us, our home is our largest asset. It also represents one of the biggest decisions to be made in retirement. Choosing whether to stay in your home or to move is a common consideration, as you enter retirement or at a later date. There are a multitude of things to contemplate, including location, family and friends, memories, climate, home maintenance, finances, and your health, just to name a few.

If you, a family member or a friend are deliberating on this topic, we offer some insights into the most important aspects of this decision, to help you evaluate your housing options, now and longer-term.  Read More

Smart Ways To Save When Planning A Wedding (February 15, 2017)

wedding-pixabay-omarmedinafilms-1183271An important aspect of financial planning is not only balancing your expenses on a day-to-day basis, but also planning ahead for larger anticipated expenses. A wedding is a joyous celebration. Yet the big day can also come with a big price tag; the average American wedding in 2015 cost more than $30,000.

Whether you’re paying for your own wedding, or you’re a parent or grandparent footing the bill or sharing the costs, it’s important to set a realistic budget for the event and plan accordingly. Here are some subtle ways to save on costs, while still achieving a perfect day.  Read More

Milestone Birthdays – Age 62: Early Social Security (January 4, 2017)

MM 2017 Age 62 Birthday - iStock monkeybusinessimagesIs 62 your lucky number? If you’re eligible, that’s the earliest age you can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits.

If you decide to start collecting benefits before your full retirement age, you’ll be in good company. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), around half of all Americans elect to receive their Social Security benefits early. (Source: US Census Bureau)

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Milestone Birthdays – Age 66: Full Social Security (January 2, 2017)

MM 2017 Age 66 Birthday iStock monkeybusinessimagesCongratulations! You are (or soon will be) age 66, Social Security’s full retirement age for people born before 1960.

This is an important milestone for two reasons:

If you didn’t previously elect to receive early retirement benefits, you’re now eligible to receive 100% of your Social Security benefit, plus you’re no longer subject to the excess earnings limit, so if  you plan to continue working, your benefits will not be reduced. Read More

Milestone Birthdays – Age 70: RMDs & Maximum Social Security (January 1, 2017)

MM 2017 Age 70 iStock monkeybusinessimagesCongratulations!

You are (or soon will be) age 70. Maximum Social Security benefits begin at Age 70, and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) begin at Age 70 1/2.

SageVest offers a series of educational publications, designed to inform you about your retirement options, Social Security benefits, and Medicare elections as you transition out of the workforce. Please contact us for more information, or to discuss your broader retirement planning. Read More

7 Mortgage Tips For Retirement (December 13, 2016)

Fun coupleEntering retirement debt-free is psychologically and financially liberating. Yet for many individuals, enjoying lower expenses during retirement can turn out to be nothing more than a myth, in large part due to your mortgage.

Your mortgage payment is typically your largest monthly obligation. Today, people seldom stay in the same house long enough to pay off a 30-year mortgage. Even if they do, many people restart the payment clock by refinancing or by taking out a home equity loan. Here are seven tips to consider if you’re contemplating your mortgage as you enter retirement. Read More

Investing Your Inheritance (September 28, 2016)

Fortune cookieReceiving an inheritance is generally a time of mixed emotions. The potential of the financial legacy to improve your lifestyle is typically tempered by grief over the loss of someone near and dear.

You can honor your loved one through careful stewardship of the inheritance. There are multiple factors to consider when deciding how best to invest your windfall. Take your time to make reasoned and logical decisions that support your long-term life goals, including retirement. Jennifer Myers recently discussed how personal investment tolerance and the size and nature of the inheritance can impact these important decisions, in US News & World Report’s article: ‘How To Invest An Inheritance For A Comfortable Retirement‘. Read More

Retirement Funds And Divorce (August 29, 2016)

Divorce settlementWhen a couple divorces, the fall-out can affect your finances too. Retirement funds in particular can prove complex in how they’re divided during the divorce settlement and restructured for the future. Professional financial advice can help preserve your share if you’re the retirement fund owner, or ensure equitable distribution if you’re the other party.  Michael Fuhr recently highlighted the importance of retirement fund tax rates during divorce negotiations in US News & World Report’s Investment article: ‘12 Steps To Protect Your Money In Divorce‘. Read More

Budget Advice For Those In Their Thirties (May 16, 2016)

Young office workerAs you head into your thirties, you’re probably glad to put some of the uncertainties of the previous decade behind you. You may have finished studying by now and be working to strengthen your financial independence with a steady income or even a business of your own.

Even with this increasing stability, though, it’s important to avoid budgetary temptations. SageVest advisor Michael Fuhr was recently quoted in US News And World Report’s ‘Top Budget Busters for 30-Somethings’, discussing how to evaluate a home purchase while remaining focused on your overall wealth objectives. Read More

Pension Options – Payout Or Payments (April 22, 2016)

Pension payoutRetirement is an exciting time, full of choices to make and plans for the future.  If you’re entitled to a pension, you’re fortunate.  You also have more financial decisions to navigate.  It’s time to decide if you should take your pension as a monthly payment, as a lump sum rollover, to elect survivor benefits, and more. These are irrevocable decisions, so it’s important to make the right one for you and your loved ones.  While everyone’s retirement circumstances and objectives are unique, there are some common considerations that can help you to evaluate what’s the best option for you.  Read More

Time Runs Out For Popular Social Security Strategies (November 6, 2015)

Couple on Park BenchDramatic changes were recently announced to Social Security benefit provisions.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law on November 2nd, effectively eliminated the Restricted Application and the File-and-Suspend strategies. Those already utilizing these options will be grandfathered in; some will have a short six-month window in which to act; and, others need to be aware of how future benefits will be more limited. The media has focused on how the termination of these unintended, but popular, strategies will impact married couples. The truth is that the changes will impact single individuals as well. If your retirement plan included anticipated Social Security benefits, please take the time to  Read More

Consider Before You Co-Habit (October 21, 2015)

Dream houseLiving together without the union of marriage is increasingly common, among both younger and older couples. For many, living blissfully without the complications of marriage, tax penalties and more is ideal. It certainly reduces life complexities in many ways. However, as with just about everything in life, there are pros and cons to consider.

Before you and your loved one decide to take the plunge and move in together, it’s important to discuss the financial fundamentals of cohabiting. Jennifer Myers was recently quoted in an article from US News and World Report, addressing some of the money issues that non-married couples should consider: ‘Financial Mistakes Couples Make When They Move In Together‘. Read More

A Quick And Easy Look At How Much You Need For Retirement (September 15, 2015)

Couple on bench with dog - Pixabay 843489Without doubt, the most common question we’re asked is “How much do I need to retire?” While there’s no universal answer, there is a universal objective to be financially comfortable. Retirement dreams are different for everyone, and change as life constantly evolves. That said, the amount you need today can offer you an insight into what you’ll need to replicate tomorrow. If you or your loved ones haven’t already explored retirement planning, we offer a quick and easy chart as an initial gauge of your preparedness.  Read More

Death Of A Family Member Checklist (September 10, 2015)

CloudsLosing a loved one is a difficult experience.

Yet, during this time, you must complete a variety of tasks and make important financial decisions. You may need to make final arrangements, notify various businesses and government agencies, settle the individual’s estate, and provide for your own financial security.

The following checklist is offered as a guide. Note: Some of the following tasks may have to be completed by the estate’s executor.  Read More

Top Ten Financial Tips For Teens Heading To College (August 21, 2015)

College Student Waving GoodbyeAcross the nation, parents are bidding a tearful goodbye as their excited teenagers head to college for the first time … or bidding on that home fitness center on eBay, as they turn their son or daughter’s room into an in-home gym before the car’s even left the driveway.

We can’t help with the emotional aspects, or with putting the workout equipment together. But when it comes to nurturing financial skills and wisdom, SageVest and SageVest Kids are valuable resources for you and your family. Following are a number of points we recommend discussing with your teenager, or in collaboration with one of our advisors, with a goal of launching your young adult on the road to life success as well as the road to college. Read More

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren With College Costs (September 5, 2014)

Grandparent and Grandchild Holding HandsAs the cost of a college education continues to climb, many grandparents are stepping in to help. This trend is expected to accelerate as baby boomers, many of whom went to college, become grandparents and start gifting what’s predicted to be trillions of dollars over the coming decades.

Helping to pay for a grandchild’s college education can bring great personal satisfaction and is a smart way for grandparents to pass on wealth without having to pay gift and estate taxes.

So what are some ways to accomplish this goal? Read More

Summer Jobs For Students – Tax Tips (June 24, 2014)

Girl serving in coffee shopMany students take a job in the summer after school lets out. If it’s your first job it gives you a chance to learn about the working world. That includes taxes we pay to support the place where we live, our state and our nation. Here are eight things that students who take a summer job should know about taxes.

This information regarding tax tips for students who take a summer job was recently released by the IRS. Please feel free to pass it on to anyone who may benefit from this useful advice. Please visit www.IRS.gov for more about tax rules for students, or click on the links below. Read More

The SageVest LifeList (March 14, 2014)

FilingWhether you’re buying a home, starting your own business, or retiring, life’s major events can be a challenge.

So can finding the documents you need.

The SageVest LifeList is designed to help you organize the important paperwork and information associated with key aspects of your life. It serves as a reference list of where each document or piece of information can be found.

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Latest College Costs And Social Security & Medicare Figures (December 15, 2013)

Hand With DollarsEvery October, the College Board releases its Trends in College Pricing report, highlighting college cost increases for the current academic year, and trends in the world of higher education. While costs can vary significantly depending on the region and individual college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, based on its survey of nearly 4,000 colleges across the country.

In addition, Social Security and Medicare figures are announced for calendar year 2014. Read More

IRS And Treasury Department Provide Guidance On Same-Sex Marriage (August 31, 2013)

Same-sex coupleThe U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced that same-sex couples who are legally married in jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes. Guidance has been provided in the form of a Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul. 2013-17) and associated Frequently Asked Questions. The Treasury Department and IRS guidance was issued in response to the recent Supreme Court case striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Read More

Long-Term Care Insurance (March 27, 2013)

Doctor Examining an Elderly PatientLong-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. Understandably, many people put off planning for long-term care. But although it’s hard to face the fact that health problems may someday result in a loss of independence, if you begin planning now, you’ll have more options open to you in the future.

Here we consider the answers to five frequently-asked questions about long-term care insurance. Read More

College Financial Aid 101 (February 25, 2013)

College studentMany parents pay for college with a combination of savings and financial aid. Financial aid is money distributed primarily by the Federal government and colleges in the form of student loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study jobs. Loans and work-study must be repaid (through monetary or work obligations), while grants and scholarships do not. A student can receive both Federal and college aid. By learning the basics, you’ll be able to understand how the financial aid process works, properly fill out aid applications, and compare the aid awards your child receives. Read More

Social Security and Medicare – Looking Ahead (July 26, 2012)

Keeping FitThe outlook for Social Security and Medicare are of growing importance for our economy.

The first baby boomers became eligible for Social Security in 2008 (at age 62) and for Medicare just last year. Costs of these programs currently represent approximately 8.7% of GDP and 56% of IRS tax receipts. By 2033, those figures are projected to climb to 12.5% of GDP and 81% of current tax receipts.

The following Barron’s reprint discusses a number of considerations, including how longterm impacts could affect your future benefits.

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The Transition Into Retirement (February 24, 2012)

Couple On MountainAre you ready to retire? The question is actually more complicated than it first appears, because it demands consideration on two levels. First, there’s the emotional component: Are you ready to enter a new phase of life? Do you have a plan for what you would like to accomplish or do in retirement? Have you thought through both the good and bad aspects of transitioning into retirement? Second, there’s the financial component: Can you afford to retire? Will your finances support the retirement lifestyle that you want? Do you have a retirement income plan in place? Read More