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

iStock-583979932 jacoblund

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

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

Four Friends Enjoying A Golf Game
iStock Monkeybusiness

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

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

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

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)

Pixabay Mhy

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

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

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

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

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

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

iStock DragonImages

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

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

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

iStock-monkeybusinessimages

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)

Read More

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

iStock-monkeybusinessimages

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)

iStock-monkeybusinessimages

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

7 Mortgage Tips For Retirement (December 13, 2016)

Pixabay

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

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

iStock Minerva Studio

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

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

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

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

Retirement Funds And Divorce (August 29, 2016)

iStock_6631957

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‘.

Reverse Mortgages In Retirement (June 28, 2016)

iStock_000008533204_Double

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

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

iStock Double

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.

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

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

An Open, Honest Discussion About Fees (April 2, 2015)

We recently came across an article in the New York Times that predominantly discussed mutual fund fees and alleged investment advisory conflicts. The public commentary in this and other similar pieces is well intentioned, with an objective of helping investors plan for retirement. However, we are concerned that some discussions lack clarification and that, worse, they could scare Americans away from saving for their futures.

It seems timely to offer a few words on the advantages of working with a Registered Investment Advisor and fiduciary like SageVest, as well as important information to give you peace of mind about our services and how we structure the investments in client portfolios.  Read More

There’s Still Time To Make A 2014 IRA Contribution (March 13, 2015)

Generally speaking, the IRS allows you to make your IRA contribution for a particular tax year up until April 15 of the following year.

This rule applies to both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, giving you some flexibility in terms of the timing of your annual IRA contribution.

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are each subject to different contribution rules.  Read More

Life Is Short – But Not That Short (March 5, 2015)

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

The Great Recall Debacle of 2014 wasn’t the only thing impacting General Motor Company’s fourth quarter earnings.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported that a revision of mortality assumptions – how long we’ll live – caused the company’s pension plan to be underfunded by more than $2 billion.

While this news might not impact you directly, longer life expectancies will. What does this mean for you?  Read More

Year End Tax Planning 2014 (November 7, 2014)

iStock ImageSource

Year-end is fast approaching, a time when tax planning should become a key consideration. Proactive tax planning could allow you to identify tax saving opportunities. Most opportunities must be implemented before year-end. One of our many wealth management objectives is to help you maximize such opportunities, and to implement decisions with ease.  Please take a moment to review the following planning techniques. We are happy to discuss opportunities with you and your tax advisor. We recommend action before December 10th. Read More

Protecting Your IRA Assets: A Recent Supreme Court Ruling (August 20, 2014)

Since enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have been protected under federal law if you declare bankruptcy.

Over the years, federal court decisions have been divided over whether or not inherited IRAs are protected under the Act.

To resolve this conflict, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Clark v. Rameker. Read More

The SageVest LifeList (March 14, 2014)

Whether 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.

Read More

IRA Contributions For Tax Year 2013 (February 14, 2014)

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

There’s still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2013!

You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 for 2013 ($6,500 if you were age 50 by December 31, 2013). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2013 is April 15, 2014.You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don’t exceed the annual limit.  You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2013, even if your spouse didn’t have any 2013 income.

Contributions are subject to income threshold limits, which are outlined below. Read More

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

Every 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

Year End Tax Planning 2013 (November 5, 2013)

A number of tax changes took effect in 2013, many of which could increase your potential tax liability. Proactive tax planning could allow you to identify tax saving opportunities. Most opportunities must be enacted before year-end. One of our many wealth management objectives is to help you maximize such opportunities, and to implement decisions with ease. Please take a moment to review the following summary of key tax changes, and potential actions that might apply to you. We are happy to discuss any of the following with you and your tax advisor. We recommend action before December 10th. Read More

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins October 1 (September 15, 2013)

Congress created Medicare in 1965. In 2010, Medicare provided health care to more than 48 million Americans. On average, Medicare coverage covers about half of health care costs for enrollees. The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people with Medicare can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year Medicare plans typically change what they cost and cover. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The open enrollment period is your opportunity to switch Medicare health and prescription drug plans to better suit your needs. Read More

Long-Term Care Insurance (March 27, 2013)

Long-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

The Roth 401(k) (August 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.  Read More

Social Security and Medicare – Looking Ahead (July 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.   Read More

The Transition Into Retirement (February 24, 2012)

© Royalty-Free/Corbis

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? Read More