Connecting You and Your Wealth

 

Top Wealth Manager Award For SageVest’s Jennifer Myers (October 23, 2017)

At SageVest Wealth Management, we offer a highly personalized approach to wealth management, one where our focus is always on you. We get to know you and your family, and as a fee-only fiduciary, always place your best interests first. Furthermore, as a woman-owned investment management firm, we’re particularly attuned to the complexities of financial planning for women, families, and multiple generations.

We’re delighted that our dedication to exceptional personalized planning and investment advice has again been formally recognized.   Read More

What It Takes To Become A Successful Business Owner Or Consultant (October 12, 2017)

The allure of becoming your own boss, calling the shots, and growing your potential earnings as a business owner or consultant is a common dream. Starting and running your own business is a bold step that can equate to greatness in your financial and professional future – but it’s not without risks. There’s a lot to consider before taking the plunge. While every industry is different, there are several key elements to achieving success as a business owner or consultant.  Read More

What You Need To Know About Long-Term Care Insurance (October 10, 2017)

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Long-term care refers to specialized, ongoing services and support that help you live as independently as possible on a daily basis. With healthier lifestyles and longer lifespans, you’re likely to need some level of long-term care during your retirement years. However, long-term care may also be necessary at other times of life, following injury or illness.

A long-term care insurance policy can help cover the costs associated with long-term care. Increasing premiums and changing requirements – including upcoming changes that are of particular importance to women – mean that now might be the best time to incorporate a long-tem care policy into your wealth planning.   Read More

Headlines And Your Investments Before Year-End (October 5, 2017)

Our quarterly commentary for the third quarter of 2017 is now available. Highlights include:

— It was a summer of fast-flying headlines, tweets and, sadly missiles, raising tensions and controversy.

— Fortunately, investment markets remained relatively immune to the news cycle, continuing to set new highs, and rewarding stock investors in the process.

— While the world is not devoid of risk, there are plenty of positive market attributes to celebrate as we head into year-end.   Read More

A Quick Review Financial Planning Checklist (October 2, 2017)

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October is Financial Planning month, making now a great time to think about your financial preparedness and wellbeing.  Money isn’t everything in life, but it certainly helps to achieve security and to open opportunities for you and your family.

Personal finance can be complex, especially as your wealth grows. Each of your decisions must support the next, and align with your life goals. The following financial planning checklist will help you identify which financial topics you’ve got covered, and areas where we can help you to achieve your wealth and  life objectives.   Read More

How To Choose A Retirement Community (September 27, 2017)

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There are many housing choices available to today’s independent retiree. These include universal design adaptations and in-home services to help you stay in your own home, downsizing to a smaller place, or entering a retirement community.

Retirement communities vary widely in terms of cost and what they offer. Some are designed communities, offering independent living for those aged 50+. Others are organized campuses that accommodate every stage of your retirement care. How do you decide if you can afford a retirement community, and which one’s right for you? Read More

Your Life Insurance Options (September 13, 2017)

Life insurance can play an important part in your long term financial planning. It’s one of the simplest ways to protect your assets and transfer your wealth. More importantly, it supports the future financial wellbeing of those you care about, providing you with peace of mind.

However, calculating how much life insurance you need and knowing what type of life insurance policy is right for you can prove confusing. We offer insights about how to determine the best life insurance elections in support of both your lifetime goals and the future security of your loved ones.  Read More

Money & Millennials: The Most Important Financial Fundamental (September 8, 2017)

As a young adult, you’re just beginning your professional and life journey. You may be fresh out of college, perhaps carrying some student loan debt. Maybe you’ve already got a foot on the career ladder. Perhaps you’re renting an apartment on your own, sharing space with friends, still living at home, or already own your own home. The concept of financial planning may seem a long way off right now; something that your parents do, not you.

Financial planning, however, doesn’t need to be either daunting or stuffy. Understanding and implementing sound cash flow management is the cornerstone of financial planning – and you may already be doing it, in some form or another. Read More

Jennifer Myers – A NoVA Top Financial Professional (August 28, 2017)

Top Financial Professional in Northern Virginia

Jennifer Myers of SageVest Wealth Management is a Top Financial Professional in Northern Virginia

As our clients know, SageVest Wealth Management takes pride in connecting you with your wealth in impactful and meaningful ways. Our team of advisors provides personalized, comprehensive financial advisory and investment management services to individuals, families, and business owners across Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Greater Washington, DC area.

It’s fitting, therefore, that Jennifer Myers was again recognized this year as a Top Financial Professional in the Northern Virginia area. Read More

How To Teach Your Kids To Save Money (August 23, 2017)

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There are many aspects to financial learning and literacy, but a pinnacle objective is learning how to save money. Being able to save for your future is critical in supporting your ultimate financial well-being, security, and long-term happiness. It’s also personally rewarding, can build self-confidence, and enhance self-esteem.

It’s important to discuss the value of saving with your kids, but lectures aren’t the best method of teaching them successful saving habits. It’s far more effective to help your kids learn through hands-on experience. Here are eight tips to help your kids become savings-savvy. Read More

9 Ways To Know If You’re Saving Enough For Retirement (August 11, 2017)

Just about everyone thinks about retiring, from what we’ll spend our time doing, to where we’ll live, and more. However, only some of us adequately prepare and save for retirement.

Saving for retirement doesn’t happen overnight, and it can’t be achieved in just a few years beforehand. It typically takes years of focusing on your retirement objectives and capturing savings in support of those goals. If the following characteristics sound like you, congratulations! You’ve successfully embraced the immediate and long-term benefits of saving and are effectively focused on your long-term financial needs. Read More

Questions To Ask Before Buying A Vacation Home (August 3, 2017)

When you’re on vacation, the allure of securing a place in paradise year-round can be intoxicating. How can you bottle that vacation bliss? Buying a second home is the most commonly contemplated answer.

Vacation home ownership offers distinct perks. However, it also entails a significant investment of money, time, and other resources. Like any major financial decision, it’s worthy of careful consideration. Ask yourself the following questions before you purchase a vacation home. Read More

5 Reasons To Stay Invested In Stocks At Market Highs (July 26, 2017)

The stock market’s been on a tear recently, setting new all-time records, despite a plethora of unsettling headlines about the Donald Trump Presidency, global trade tensions, the North Korean crisis, and more. Like many people, you might be questioning whether to stay invested in the stock market, or sell in preparation for a market downturn.

Market anxiety can be universal at any age, but it often peaks if you’re nearing, or are already in, retirement, when the stakes are higher to protect your nest egg. Whether you’re approaching retirement, a retiree already, or are simply questioning your investment strategy, here are five reasons to stay invested in the stock market, even at market highs.  Read More

What To Consider Before You Retire Part-Time (July 19, 2017)

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The word ‘retirement’ often has the connotation of an immediate and complete transition out of the workforce and into an uninterrupted life of leisure. However, for many individuals, full-time retirement might seem too abrupt, particularly if your work represents a significant part of your identity and is fundamental to your financial well-being. If this rings true for you, you might consider transitioning into retirement. Working part-time as you approach retirement can help to reduce stress and free up personal resources, while offering professional and financial perks.

As with all major life, work and financial decisions, there are a number of important factors to evaluate. Our ‘top of the list’ questions to ask include the following recommendations.  Read More

Why You Should Have A HELOC (July 12, 2017)

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When it comes to your financial stability, planning ahead is essential. A Home Equity Line Of Credit (or HELOC) can gain you an added level of financial security for the future, and is best considered while you’re in a healthy financial position.

Having an open line of credit on your house can be a valuable tool. It serves as a cash insurance policy, giving you financial flexibility when and should you need it, at nominal costs of securing capital. A HELOC gives you the ability to draw upon the value of your home, but you’re never obligated to do so. You can simply pay an annual fee to know that you have access, if needed, without incurring debt. When might a HELOC be of use?  Read More

Preparing To Celebrate 100 Months Of A Bull Market (July 6, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for the second quarter of 2017. Highlights are as follows:

– The first half of the year marks one of the strongest upturns in stocks in recent history.

– Several market drivers are supporting returns, giving rise to optimism looking forward.

– Central bank actions are one notable cautionary point on the horizon, with little historical reference for consideration or predictions. Read More

How To Enjoy An Amazing Vacation And Save Money (June 23, 2017)

Whether you’re working or retired, if you’re like most people, one of your primary goals is to enjoy more vacation time and travel. Time away allows you to relax and recharge your batteries, as well as explore and expand your horizons.

We firmly believe that your wealth should be enjoyed, including the opportunities it provides to your and your family. Travel can be a big ticket item, so here are our top tips to help you maximize your enjoyment, without maxing out your credit cards. Read More

Teaching Your Kids About Money In A Digital Age (June 16, 2017)

Learning about money as a resource for life achievement is a critical aspect of your child’s development. You can encourage financially savvy kids through age-appropriate activities and responsibilities that focus on key financial principles like savings for kids, budgeting, and giving. Piggy banks, chores, and allowances are some of the traditional tools that can help support your child’s financial education.

What happens to financial literacy, though, in today’s digital age, when your kids are more likely to see you pay by swiping a credit card or phone, rather than with cash?  Read More

How The New DOL Fiduciary Rule Affects You (June 9, 2017)

There’s a lot in the news lately about the introduction of the US Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule for financial advisors who offer retirement planning and services. Originally slated for implementation in April of this year, the ruling was put on hold by President Trump back in January. It now takes effect on June 9, 2017.

SageVest has always proudly served as your fiduciary, putting your best interests central to each of our recommendations in support of your broader wealth objectives. Following is an overview of the DOL ruling’s current form, how it’ll help investors, and more.  Read More

Summer Fun – Free Activities For Kids, Families And Adults (June 2, 2017)

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As the long, hazy days of summer stretch ahead, it can prove challenging to find fun summer activities for your kids and yourself that keep everyone happy and occupied without breaking the bank.

SageVest’s extensive list of free activities offers interesting ideas everyone can enjoy, whatever your age. Enjoying free activities with your kids, partner, friends, or other family members is a great way to spend quality time together. Free activities not only save you money, but also demonstrate that fun doesn’t always have to come with a dollar sign attached.  Read More

New And Improved Washington DC College Savings Plan Options (May 24, 2017)

Washington DC residents have long been underserved and underrepresented. While we don’t have any updates on representation, we do have good news about college saving options for DC residents, and associated tax benefits.

Washington DC’s College 529 Plan recently introduced changes to add stronger investment choices and reduce fees.

This is a great saving recipe if you’re a DC resident saving for college and seeking to gain DC income tax deductions too. Read More

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

Jennifer 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

How To Invest During A Trump Presidency, Post 100 Days (May 10, 2017)

The stock market’s rally during President Trump’s first 100 days in office has been impressive, with post-election performance surpassed only by the stock market surge following President Kennedy’s election.

As President Trump enters the next phase of his presidency, however, questions abound about the future of investments, the economy, and the country under the not-so-new administration. We offer our thoughts on portfolio positioning under Trump, sector winners and losers, and how investors should expect the unexpected.  Read More

Graduation Gifts For Financial Success (May 3, 2017)

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Congratulations 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.  Read More

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

The 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

Why Your Company Insurance Isn’t Enough (April 27, 2017)

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Most employers offer group life and disability insurance coverage. While this is an important benefit for employees, it doesn’t mean that you’re adequately covered. In fact, if that’s all the coverage you have, you could be woefully under-insured.

It’s always best to evaluate insurance coverage earlier in life rather than later, as rates and terms are tied to your health and age. Here are some basic tips on evaluating your coverage and what to consider when purchasing additional insurance.  Read More

Managing Healthcare Costs In Retirement (April 21, 2017)

The 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)

For 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

Investment Outlook, Given Politics And Interest Rates (April 6, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for year-end 2016. Highlights are as follows:

– The first quarter set new market highs in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 indices.

– While the markets remain strong, warning signs could be emerging, including political discord, rising rates and high valuation levels.

– Investors are encouraged to be mindful of risk exposure in pursuit of their desires to both grow and preserve. Read More

The Pros And Cons Of Target-Date Funds (March 31, 2017)

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Target-date funds have made investing easier over the past few decades, offering investors a one-stop investment solution. Also known as life-cycle or age-based funds, they comprise of a mix of holdings that alter over time, based upon a specific target date.

Such funds have allowed many individuals to gain confidence investing beyond cash and CDs. This is a positive step forward, and there are certainly merits to using target-date funds in a number of situations. However, there are also indicators that a savvy investor should be cognizant of in advance.  Read More

Tips To Help You Raise Financially Wise Children (March 27, 2017)

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Money management skills lay the foundation for lifelong success, and the path to financial wisdom begins in childhood. In recognition of Financial Literacy month in April, we’re proud to announce the launch of SageVestKids, a website dedicated to helping you raise happy, financially wise children through developmentally appropriate activities and responsibilities.

Our new site has already been recognized by CNBC, Investment News, and Yahoo Finance as a rich resource for financial literacy, and we encourage you, your family, friends and others to visit SageVestKids for more information. Below are some of our top tips in brief to help you guide your kids towards financially rewarding lives. Read More

Decluttering Your Life (March 22, 2017)

Papers, 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

Six Reasons Why You Might Not Elect Joint Ownership (March 15, 2017)

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Joint ownership is one of the most common forms of asset titling. It offers numerous benefits centered on sharing use and control, it allows transparency of assets, and it helps with daily money management and bill paying.

While the decision to jointly title assets often seems straightforward, there are underlying considerations to be taken into account, particularly when it comes to non-spousal shared assets. For the following reasons, think carefully before you sign on the dotted line to initiate joint ownership with a significant other, family member or friend.  Read More

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

If 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)

For 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)

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An 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

A New Year, A New Tax Year (February 8, 2017)

The 2017 tax filing season began on January 23, 2017. That’s the day that the IRS began accepting electronic tax returns. Electronic filing is now the most popular method for preparing and submitting tax returns, accounting for more than 80% of total returns filed in the US. Altogether, an estimated 153 million individual returns will be submitted during the upcoming tax year.

This year sees a number of updates to tax return processing. In line with our commitment to facilitate client tax preparations, we offer an overview of the latest IRS updates.  Read More

A Potentially Inflationary Era Ahead (February 2, 2017)

President Trump has hit the ground running since his inauguration, with a flurry of executive activity on many different fronts. While it’s early in the new administration to start making forecasts, a number of key strategies aimed at boosting the economy also suggest that a potentially inflationary environment could be ahead.

A healthy growing economy would be a positive step forward for the US. Furthermore, some additional level of inflation could be a welcome event after years of relative stagnation. However, potential signs of inflation always deserve some advance consideration, both within your investments and within your personal finances. Read More

The Dow 20,000: Looking Past A Record High (February 1, 2017)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) recently topped 20,000, setting a new record high and achieving a symbolic moment in US investment history. Investor sentiment has been climbing for a number of months, and a recent post-election market rally energized the Dow to finally cross this much-anticipated market boundary. The last time the Dow crossed such an important threshold was in 1999, when it hit 10,000.

This recent market movement begs the question of what happens next. Could this latest defining moment in the Dow’s history echo the downturn that followed 1999’s high point, when it took 11 years to re-secure the Dow’s standing of 10,000? Alternatively, will the momentum continue, extending the second longest market rally in recent times, and providing investors with increased opportunities for financial advancement? Read More

Cash and Couples – The Six Cs of Success (January 26, 2017)

“Love and marriage, love and marriage, it goes together like a horse and carriage.” 

What Frank Sinatra didn’t mention in his famous song is who pays for the horse and who pays for the carriage. Opposites often do attract, and that includes opposing money styles.

To help ensure harmony at home, SageVest offers some guidance on how to improve your relationship with money and with your partner.  Read More

Ten Relationship Tips For Working Women (January 18, 2017)

More than half of today’s college enrollees are women, making it likely that the number of working women will continue to dramatically rise in the coming years. Despite these facts, social roles often remain rooted in the past. This can create challenges in your personal relationships, especially as you accumulate independent wealth and become more engaged in financial decision-making for yourself and loved ones.

Whether you’re a working woman yourself, a supportive relative, or a friend of a professional woman, here are some tips on how to achieve relationship, family, and financial harmony in today’s new reality.  Read More

2016: A Year Of Surprises (January 5, 2017)

We recently released our quarterly commentary for year-end 2016. Highlights are as follows:

– 2016 was a historic year in politics and the markets, with surprise reactions to populist movements.

– 2017 will undoubtedly bring changes with a pro-growth, pro-business administration, possibly fueling an extended bull market.

– Valuations are rich, potentially supported by rising earnings, but stand as a warning signal. Read More

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

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Is 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)

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Congratulations! 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)

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Congratulations!

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

New Year Resolutions For Financial Fulfilment (December 21, 2016)

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For many people, the New Year brings the promise of change and a fresh outlook on life. New Year resolutions can help you define and achieve personal goals, family initiatives, career ambitions, home projects, dream travel plans, and much more.

Including wealth planning in your New Year resolutions helps to ensure that your money works in support of your life objectives. It also defines a clear pathway toward your personal and family objectives. SageVest offers the following resolutions to encourage a fulfilling financial future for all. Read More

SageVest Season’s Greetings, Gratitude And Gifts (December 20, 2016)

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The holiday season brings a host of opportunities to use your wealth in meaningful ways, as you focus on loved ones, share festive wishes with those near and far, and consider year-end giving objectives.

SageVest chooses the holiday season to extend our best wishes for your health, wealth, and happiness throughout the festive season and into the New Year. We also choose this special time of year to direct our company’s philanthropic endeavors. This year, in addition to our traditional charitable partnership, SageVest asked for your input in selecting other deserving organizations in need of our support. The votes are in and the winners are … Read More

7 Mortgage Tips For Retirement (December 13, 2016)

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Entering 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

How To Be A Philanthropist (December 8, 2016)

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For many people, one of the greatest joys that wealth can bring is the opportunity to give to a charitable cause that reflects your personal values, individual beliefs, or life experiences.

In support of your giving goals, here’s a quick list of tips to enhance the value of your charitable gifts, both during the upcoming giving season and throughout the year.  Read More

Maximize Your Self-Employed Retirement Savings (November 29, 2016)

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If you’re self-employed, you could be facing deadlines for important decisions about establishing a retirement account before year-end.

One of the most valuable self-employed savings vehicles, whether you’re a sole proprietor or more formally established, is a solo 401(K), also known as an individual 401(K). This powerful retirement savings account allows flexibility and significant tax deferral opportunity, far greater than traditional 401(K) accounts. If this account is right for you, you can defer contributions until your tax filing, but the deadline to establish an account for the current tax year is December 31st.   Read More

How To Avoid Family Inheritance Squabbles (November 17, 2016)

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Discussing your wealth and your wishes with loved ones in advance is essential to safeguarding both your requests during your lifetime and your bequests in the future. Yet it’s typically the single most avoided conversation for most families.

Planning ahead can help define preferences, avoid hurt feelings and confusion, and ensure a smooth transition of wealth to later generations.  Read More

Top 12 Tax Planning Tips, With Possible Changes Ahead (November 16, 2016)

With year-end approaching, tax planning becomes a key factor, particularly considering possible tax changes following the recent election. It’s impossible to predict the full landscape of changes that might occur in 2017 or beyond. However, now’s the time to take stock of both current and potential future opportunities.

Here are our top recommendations and related potential tax changes based upon current tax reform plans under consideration. We encourage you to contact us to discuss these and other end-of-year strategies before December 15th. This ensures you have time to think, plan and act, as most tax planning must be implemented before December 31st.  Read More

Tax Opportunities For Military Members (November 11, 2016)

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Each Veterans Day, SageVest is proud to join the rest of our nation in offering thanks to the brave men and women who defend our everyday freedoms. We thank you for your service.

Gratitude for your dedication also comes from perhaps a more unexpected source: namely, the IRS and state tax agencies. There are a variety of special Federal and state tax breaks available only to members of the US Armed Forces; because the sacrifices that you and your family make should not extend to your finances.  Read More

Election Results Impact On Investment Portfolios (November 9, 2016)

Regardless of your political thinking, if you own investments, you likely find yourself now pondering the potential impacts of last night’s Presidential election results upon your holdings.

Up until last night, the polls and the markets had largely anticipated a Hillary Clinton win. Donald Trump’s victory has introduced an element of uncertainty, something that the markets typically don’t favor.

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Jennifer Myers – An Award-Winning Financial Professional (October 24, 2016)

The SageVest team provides comprehensive and customized investment management and financial planning services to individuals, families, business owners, and others throughout the Greater Washington, DC, area. While our services are broad in scope, our results are in-depth, coordinated, and tailored to your unique wealth management needs.

We are proud to announce that SageVest President, Jennifer Myers, was once again named as a Top Wealth Advisor for the Washington, DC Metro area.  Read More

Time For Your Medicare Check-Up (October 11, 2016)

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The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period starts on October 15 and runs through December 7. That makes now the perfect time for retirees to review and, if warranted, change your policy coverage.

Taking the time to examine your Medicare options each year is a wise move for both your health and your wealth. Evaluating your coverage can highlight policy and premium changes that may otherwise prove costly in relation to your current health needs. We offer some recommendations to help you minimize your healthcare costs during retirement.  Read More

Drifting Toward An Eventful Year-End (October 5, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

–  The third quarter was docile, allowing markets to advance and support modest, yet encouraging, year-to-date results.

–  US elections and a December meeting of the Federal Reserve could make the fourth quarter more volatile as the markets await and absorb results.

–  Absent a resurgence in corporate earnings, investors might need to gain comfort with more speculative momentum investing.   Read More

Hiring A Domestic Employee (September 30, 2016)

For many people, juggling family, work, and household priorities can be a daily challenge. If your finances allow, hiring some household help can streamline your schedule and free up precious time for you to spend enjoying what matters most, with the ones you love.

Whether you’re considering a part-time maid to help keep your home tidy, or someone for a more demanding role like a live-in caregiver or personal assistant, there are a number of factors to weigh carefully before you hire someone. Read More

Investing Your Inheritance (September 28, 2016)

Receiving 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‘.

Structured Or Market-Linked CDs (September 19, 2016)

For the past several years, many investors have been tempted by the too-good-to-be-true descriptions of structured CDs (also known as market-linked CDs). These instruments often claim to offer the upside of stock market or other investment exposure, with little-to-no downside risk.

Enough years have now passed since the inception of structured CDs to allow adequate evaluation of their investment results. A recent analysis reviewed their effectiveness, and the results support the age-old saying of, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Read More

Top Financial Professional Award For Jennifer Myers (September 9, 2016)

When it comes to wealth management, SageVest combines breadth of experience and depth of knowledge with principles like integrity, trust, and attention to detail.

It’s gratifying when these qualities are recognized by others.

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Myers is the recent recipient of the following award for the Northern Virginia region.  Read More

OPM Announces Life Insurance Enrollment For Federal Workers (September 6, 2016)

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Life insurance is an essential component of your wealth management strategy, helping to preserve your assets and providing you with peace of mind. Coverage is available individually or, if your employer offers it, as part of a group life policy.

If you’re a Federal government worker, you may be entitled to coverage under the Federal government’s group life policy, FEGLI (Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program). If so, this month is an important time to consider your options, as Open Season commences for the first time since 2004.  Read More

Retirement Funds And Divorce (August 29, 2016)

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When 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‘.

FAFSA Application Changes (August 24, 2016)

SageVest is committed to providing you with timely and appropriate information and updates that encourage smarter financial planning decisions and help translate your wealth potential into real life solutions of benefit to you and your loved ones.

To that end, we wanted to let you know about upcoming changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process that may be of interest to you or those you know.   Read More

New Campus Banking Rules Benefit Students (August 10, 2016)

If you’re college-bound this Fall, you’ll benefit from a recent Department of Education ruling that governs certain campus debit and prepaid cards.

These cards are often marketed by colleges as an easy way for you to receive and use remaining Federal aid funds, once your tuition and other fees have been disbursed.

The new ruling, which took effect July 1, is designed to provide broader options regarding how you receive your student aid, aims to limit excessive fees, and much more. Read More

Eight Common Estate Planning Mistakes (August 5, 2016)

Your estate planning documents express your wishes for your own care and wellbeing during your lifetime. They also guide care for your dependents, define legacies, and provide instructions about other matters in the future.

We recommend that you review these important documents every two to three years; sooner, if you experience a significant life event e.g., marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.  If it’s time to refresh your estate planning documents, consider addressing these sometimes overlooked items as part of your updates. Read More

College Funding Decisions (July 29, 2016)

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Helping your teen embark on their college experience entails a host of decisions more important than which mini fridge to purchase or what color shower caddy to choose.  For parents, one of the primary decisions is how to fund the tuition bills.

Hopefully you’ve been diligent in preparing for the costs of college. There are several types of accounts you might have contributed to over the years in order to accumulate college savings. If you have balances in both custodial accounts (UGMA and UTMA) and Section 529 Plans, which should you draw upon first to begin funding your child’s higher education?  Read More

Taxable Pay For Business Owners (July 18, 2016)

If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that running a business requires ongoing work and planning. For your business to succeed, the most fundamental elements are to grow revenues and maximize profits.

One of the most tempting ways to keep your company expenses low is to pay yourself very little, or even nothing, in the form of W-2 income. While this strategy will definitely lower your payroll expenses and some tax liabilities, there may be potential personal and business costs in the long-run.   Read More

The World Post-Brexit (July 7, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

– The Brexit vote stunned the world, raising economic, political, central bank and currency uncertainties.

– Bond investors benefited handsomely post the Brexit vote, and interest rates are now expected to remain low as central banks consider necessary stimulus efforts.

– The US economy remains fairly steady, offering encouragement for a possible resumption in growth. Read More

Reverse Mortgages In Retirement (June 28, 2016)

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Home equity is one of the largest assets for many Americans. This may be especially true if you’re a retiree living in the DC Metropolitan area; the family home that you bought years ago is likely to be worth many times what you originally paid for it.

Besides selling your home and downsizing, a reverse mortgage may be an option to access the equity in your home. Financial professionals are increasingly recognizing the potential role that reverse mortgages can play in retirement planning. We offer a brief summary of the program, its withdrawal methods, and how it compares to the more traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).  Read More

Keep Calm And Carry On: Brexit (June 24, 2016)

Following news from London overnight that Britain has voted to leave the European Union, global financial markets this morning have responded swiftly and sharply. While it’s unclear how the referendum result will ultimately play out, the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s decision to leave the EU has led to widespread market volatility.

As with any sudden market movements, SageVest cautions investors to avoid emotional reactions and to instead remain focused on longer-term portfolio objectives whenever possible. Jennifer Myers provided some solid and timely advice on weathering market instability early this morning, to NPR’s Marketplace edition: ‘What You Should Do When The Markets Go Crazy’.

Ten Top Travel Apps To Take You Places (June 16, 2016)

SageVest recognizes the potential that’s inherent in careful investment and financial management. Wealth provides opportunities, one of which is the chance to experience the world through travel.

As summer approaches and holiday plans pick up pace, SageVest offers an overview of some popular travel apps that can help you get where you want to go and help you enjoy your vacation once you get there.  Read More

Money And Millennials: Setting Financial Goals (June 9, 2016)

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As a young adult, it’s important to learn the best strategies and habits to manage your finances, both now and in the future. The earlier you understand and utilize these practices, the better. But where should you begin?

Like any journey, the road to financial success needs a destination. The first step is to define financial goals that support your personal ambitions and life objectives. These decisions will form the foundation of your broader financial plans.  Read More

The Importance Of Life Insurance For Women (June 1, 2016)

There are many reasons why life insurance should play an important part in every person’s financial planning. Yet women often overlook this key asset protection strategy, and are far more likely than men to be underinsured or have no coverage at all.

Whether you’re a single woman, half of a couple, or a member of a more extended family network; whether you work at home, in the workforce, or as the leader of your own business; life insurance is essential to protect the transfer of your wealth, and more importantly, to protect your loved ones in the future.  Read More

Cash Flow For Your Small Business (May 26, 2016)

While it’s the key to your success, managing the finances for your small business can be challenging. SageVest is an experienced and knowledgeable partner when it comes to advising you about wealth strategies that support your needs as an individual and as an entrepreneur.

Jennifer Myers was recently quoted in online source, NCR Silver – Small Business Smarts, discussing the importance of understanding and balancing business cash flow so that your enterprise is well positioned to weather tough times and, more importantly, take advantage of opportunities.

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

As 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.

Personalized Health And Wellness (May 10, 2016)

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To learn about revolutionary advancements in the health and medical research fields, SageVest recently hosted Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of Inova’s groundbreaking Center For Personalized Health (ICPH). Todd offered insights on topics including:
– Prediction and Prevention
– Personalized Medicine
– Individualized Wellness
– Research and Population Health

This exciting wave of health care changes is aimed at helping you to enjoy your health and your wealth well into the future.  Read More

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

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Retirement 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

Your Best Interests: The Fiduciary Rule (April 14, 2016)

At SageVest, we believe that integrity is a fundamental requirement for wealth management. We have always proudly served as your fiduciary, in the purest form of the definition, which requires us to act in your best interests at all times.

A recent Department of Labor ruling will soon impose a modified fiduciary standard on all advisors who provide retirement account advice. While these new regulations are a step in the right direction toward protecting investors, they are sadly less stringent than the standards to which we proudly adhere.  We caution readers and investors to understand the difference.

A Roller Coaster First Quarter To 2016 (April 8, 2016)

We recently released our quarterly commentary. Highlights are as follows:

– Following steep declines, stocks rebounded and left investors fairly flat for the first quarter.

– Recent reports show signs of economic growth here and abroad, a positive indicator looking forward.

– After seven years, the efficacy of central bank actions, which have supported market rallies, is being drawn into question.   Read More

Jennifer Myers – A Washingtonian Magazine Top Money Advisor (April 6, 2016)

When it comes to investment management and financial planning, SageVest shares our clients’ values of integrity, diligence, and trust. As an independent, fee-only, fiduciary advisor, we accept no commissions or incentives: our clients are secure in the knowledge that their best interests are firmly at the center of any recommendations that we make.

It’s always an honor to be recognized for our commitment to exceptional wealth and investment management and to the highest caliber of customized, comprehensive financial planning services. Read More

It Might Be Time To Refinance. Again. (April 2, 2016)

Mortgage rates have recently fallen under 4% again. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or simply considering your options in terms of a current loan, this could be a great time to evaluate opportunities for refinancing or purchase.

We offer the following advice to help you determine whether the new rates offer you the potential for savings, and if it’s time to make a move.  Read More

Automated Investment Tools: No Match For Human Advisors (March 22, 2016)

Our lives are increasingly governed by technology. Its reach spans every aspect of our daily lives, both professional and personal. This includes our finances.

For young adults, adept with technology, with often simplistic financial planning requirements, and generally without the assets to meet financial advisor minimums, online investment tools may fulfill their needs – at least for the present. For many other people, however, these so-called ‘robo-advisors’ have considerable limitations. SageVest’s Jennifer Myers was recently featured on NPR’s Marketplace, discussing the importance of the human aspect of financial and investment advice as part of a true wealth management approach.

Home Expense Records: What You Need To Keep (February 24, 2016)

If you’re like most people, you’d love to reduce the clutter in your life. This includes paperwork, particularly the volumes of home expense receipts.

We’re often asked what you need to keep versus what you can toss. Here’s a quick overview on how to make sure you have what you need to reduce any taxable gain exposure on your house when it’s sold, while opening up some valuable living space in the meantime.  Read More

2016: China, The Markets and More (January 8, 2016)

Last year started fairly steady and strong, but lingering risks from the summer caused 2015 to fall flat, with broad-based negative stock market returns.  Most economists predicted a healthy 2015, and it should have been by a number of historical standards.  Unfortunately, not even the beloved Santa Claus Rally came to fruition.  On the heels of such a year, and a rocky start to 2016, investors are left questioning the outlook for the markets.  Last year proved that forecasts can easily go awry.  That said, we offer our insights for the year ahead.   Read More

Gifting Money To Loved Ones (December 16, 2015)

The holidays are traditionally a time of gathering together and giving, sharing good times and good fortune with family, friends and those we care about. What happens, though, when the gifting is financial in nature and substantial in size?

Michael Fuhr was recently quoted in a CNBC article that looks at the impact of large monetary gifts on the lives of the recipients, and discusses the taxable, financial, and long-term planning implications for those generous individuals who make sizeable gifts to their loved ones: ‘Smart Ways To Gift Money During The Holidays‘.

Choosing Wisely, Giving Sagely (December 8, 2015)

With the holidays approaching, we give thanks for our blessings and our thoughts turn to helping the individuals and causes we care most about.

SageVest can be an active partner in helping you define thoughtful giving strategies. To strengthen this objective, we recently hosted Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. Eileen discussed the benefits of giving, common questions to consider when choosing a charitable organization, and she offered some useful insights on how to enhance your giving experience and the impact your gifts can make.  Read More

Smart Money Choices (December 1, 2015)

They say it’s a smart idea to learn from your mistakes. It’s smarter still to learn from the mistakes that others make.

The adage applies to financial decisions too. Recently published on The Motley Fool, SageVest advisor Michael Fuhr offered  guidance on how to avoid the dangers of relying upon an inheritance to secure your financial future and make smarter financial decisions about your retirement savings, in  GoBankingRates article: ‘10 Infamous ‘Last Words’ Of Personal Finance‘.

Top 10 Year-End Tax Planning Tips for 2015 (November 30, 2015)

With year-end approaching, tax planning becomes a key consideration. Now is the time to take stock of opportunities available, to ensure you have time to think, plan and act, particularly as most tax planning must be done before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

Here are our top recommendations for identifying and implementing a variety of potential tax-saving opportunities.

We encourage you to contact us to discuss these and other end-of-year tax planning techniques before December 15thRead More

Building Financial Confidence (November 27, 2015)

Achieving financial stability for you and your loved ones involves careful planning, wise choices, and perseverance. You want to know that your financial plan supports your personal goals, and you need to have confidence in the investment decisions you make.

Working with a registered advisor, educating yourself, and avoiding emotionally-charged decisions are all excellent ways of becoming more assured about the financial decisions you make. Michael Fuhr was recently featured discussing these and other topics, in an article by GoBankingRates, entitled ‘10 Insecurities That Make You Poor‘.

Invest Like A Woman – It’s Better (November 17, 2015)

In today’s world, women are increasingly accumulating significant assets, whether as a result of increased participation in the workforce, successful entrepreneurship, or a life-changing transition. We’re also becoming more aware, engaged and active in the control of our own finances, and those of our families. Research suggests that, despite traditional stereotypes, it’s a role for which we’re well suited.

Jennifer Myers was recently featured in an article from Investor’s Business Daily, highlighting investment strategies that can benefit us all: ‘Invest Like Women, They’re Better – Here’s How‘.

Lifestyle Creep And How To Avoid It (November 16, 2015)

Tracking your spending, developing a flexible budget, and accumulating savings: whatever your age, income, or lifestyle, these are the fundamental elements of successful financial planning.

For millennials, facing a myriad of important decisions, these aren’t the only considerations when establishing a solid financial foundation for your future. Ryan Phillips was recently quoted in an article in SelfLender, discussing the importance of avoiding ‘lifestyle creep’. This spending behavior can be the number one obstacle to achieving your long-term financial objectives: ‘11 Things To Do Now That You’re Not 22 Years Old‘.

A Salute To Our Heroes (November 11, 2015)

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Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Veterans Day and throughout the year, SageVest Wealth Management proudly salutes those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country. We recognize and honor the many challenges and sacrifices you and your family make to support our freedom. These inevitably include a financial component.

On this Veterans Day, we encourage you to reach out to current and former forces personnel you know to extend a thank you, and to share a few financial insights that might benefit them and their families for the service they have provided. Read More

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

Dramatic 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

Jennifer Myers – Recipient of Two Wealth Professional Awards, 2015 (October 26, 2015)

SageVest Wealth Management understands the importance of working with a trusted advisor; someone with a wealth of experience and knowledge who can help guide your important financial decisions in support of your broader life objectives.

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Myers was recently recognized by two publications for her contribution to investment and financial planning services in the Washington, DC Metro area.  Read More

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

Living 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‘.

Family Gifting Considerations (October 16, 2015)

A common objective within families is sharing wealth with family members and loved ones. Sometimes it’s a desire to do so, carefully planned and executed. Sometimes, it’s an unexpected need.

Whatever the circumstances, there are many ways to maximize your giving potential. Jennifer presented a recent session at McLean Community Center on how to balance family priorities and values, tax strategies, estate provisions, and other considerations, to help create financial security for you and subsequent generations, both now and in the future.  Read More

A Healthy Perspective On Market Concerns (October 8, 2015)

The third quarter was hopefully a time of enjoyable vacations, but it was also a time of tumult in the markets.

Performance among stocks was ugly, bringing the first correction since the autumn of 2011.  Broad US stock markets were down 7% to 9% for the quarter and international stocks ended down more than 12%.

The only asset class that was positive was bonds.   Read More

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

Without 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