The Roth 401(k) (Aug 28, 2012)

Some employers offer 401(k) plan participants the opportunity to make Roth 401(k) contributions.

A Roth 401(k) is simply a traditional 401(k) plan that accepts Roth 401(k) contributions.

If you’re lucky enough to work for an employer who offers this option, Roth contributions could play an important role in maximizing your retirement income.

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

The 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 long-term impacts could affect your future benefits.

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Elevated Investment Risks (Jul 9, 2012)

The opening quarter of 2012 was the finest quarter for U.S. stocks since the late 1990s; the second quarter was a markedly different story. After an all-but-flat April and an abysmal May, stocks finally managed to advance in June, much of which happened on the last trading day of the quarter when renewed hope emerged from Europe. The second quarter wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but institutional and individual investors contended with plenty of bumps in the road. These bumps reflect a continuing struggle to achieve recovery and growth against numerous headwinds.

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Approval of the Affordable Care Act (Jun 25, 2012)

By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law’s most controversial provision will stand – a mandate requiring every American citizen to buy individual health insurance coverage. The court made a key distinction, interpreting that mandate not as a directive but as a tax.  “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote in the majority opinion. “The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance.” The ruling carries profound implications for individuals, businesses and households.

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The Investment Tax Landscape (May 31, 2012)

In December 2010, Congress extended the so-called Bush-era tax cuts by passing the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

As a result, investors have been granted a reprieve while Congress wrestles with those issues.

That’s time you can use to think about how best to position your portfolio.

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Spring Growth Across World Markets (Apr 9, 2012)

Spring arrived early in 2012 with a remarkable surge among world stock markets. In fact, it was the best first quarter for the U.S. stock market since 1998. Bonds on the other hand, posted stagnant returns as interest rates inched higher. The resurgence in equities reflects a sharp change in investor sentiment and regained confidence that the economy might not fall into the dire state that people began to expect throughout 2011. The reality is that many of the significant challenges of 2011 persist today; however, monetary actions in Europe have likely averted the most worrisome of outcomes

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Wealth Transfer Planning Considerations (Mar 10, 2012)

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the 2010 Tax Act) included new gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax provisions. The Act provides that in 2012, the gift and estate tax exemption is $5,120,000, the GST tax exemption is also $5,120,000, and the maximum rate for both taxes is 35%. New to estate tax law under this Act is gift and estate tax exemption portability: generally, any gift and estate tax exemption left unused by a deceased spouse can be transferred to the surviving spouse. The GST tax exemption, however, is not portable. These major changes are temporary: absent further legislation, in 2013, the exemptions are generally scheduled to drop to $1 million, the maximum rate will jump to 55%, and portability will be repealed. You should understand how these temporary rules may affect your estate plan.

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The Transition Into Retirement (Feb 24, 2012)

Are 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?

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Resilience In US Markets Rounds Out A Rocky Year (Jan 10, 2012)

It was a frustrating year on Wall Street, but the fourth quarter of 2011 was a real turnaround from the third. However, the stock market still posted a subpar year due to incredible events including an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, riots throughout most of the oil-producing Arab world, the first ever downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, and spreading debt problems throughout the European Union. The resilience of our U.S. markets throughout this period is somewhat astounding. Following is SageVest Wealth Management’s look at significant developments of the quarter, including improved economic indicators, and thoughts moving into 2012.

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Greece Is The Word: The European Debt Crisis (Oct 10, 2011)

The third quarter was difficult for equity investors as stocks suffered the largest declines since the first quarter of 2009. Double digit losses occurred throughout worldwide stock markets.

What is notable is that these events did not mirror economic or corporate results. Rather, they were instigated by a lack of political decision making, with political divides leading to the first ever downgrade to our U.S. Treasuries and to a worsening debt crisis in Europe, namely in Greece.

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