Category Archives: General Financial Planning

Part 9 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – DECEASED – Options and Decisions, Married Spousal Benefits Explained

As we near the end of the Social Security Retirement Benefits portion (Medicare up next), the final Three Parts will be directly related to spousal benefits. Spousal benefits are EXACTLY the same no matter gender, so insert your preference for the easiest understanding.

Parts (8-10) will deal with the status of the spouse and how it effects retirement benefits for the other spouse:

  1. Living
  2. Deceased
  3. Divorced

As just a heads up, each section will become more detailed and complicated – so let’s get started on the various spouse benefits depending on the other’s status!

In Part 9, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, continued with the specifics of Social Security, Retirement Benefits for DECEASED spouses …. that Social Security Provides. As a refresher,  Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, Part 8 here  and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Retirement Benefits for DECEASED Spouses

The following bullets  will explain in type form the audio, please take a minute to listen as there is a ton of information in just 4 minutes:

  • Husband and Wife benefits same for deceased
  • Unlike living, a Widow Benefit based of FULL UN-REDUCED amount of Social Security Benefit
  • Example: Widow drawing own benefit spouse dies, the spouses benefit increased to the full amount
  • Widow can draw at age 60 unlike any other benefit
  • Widow DOES NOT have to take own benefit – can delay own OR draw deceased spouse – this gives various options and strategies
  • Cannot marry again before age 60 to have the prior example
  • So complicated, Mr. Clark suggests we go to Social Security options to make an informed decision
  • Bring Marriage Certificate – any proof of your benefit beneficiary
  •  Strategy available for Widows due to the options available- i.e. Draw your own, delay widow or visa versa – its complicated but there likely is a right and wrong answer
  • “If you were married to a high wage earner, might consider waiting until age 60 before getting remarried!” Says Clark – near end of the audio

Dealing with Deceased spousal benefits allows the most options of almost any Social Security Benefits, these options lead to complications, but also maximization strategies …

Be sure to listen to the audio below from the event, it is very informative

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Click Here for Direct Link to All Parts Audio Posted on our Special Social Security Page

Have a Great “Deceased Spousal Benefits Explained” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Part 8 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – Living, Married Spousal Benefits Explained

As we near the end of the Social Security Retirement Benefits portion (Medicare up next), the final/next Three Parts will be directly related to spousal benefits. Spousal benefits are EXACTLY the same no matter gender, so insert your preference for the easiest understanding.

The Next Three Parts (8-10) will deal with the status of the spouse and how it effects retirement benefits for the other spouse:

  1. Living
  2. Deceased
  3. Divorced

As just a heads up, each section will become more detailed and complicated – so let’s get started on the various spouse benefits depending on the other’s status!

In Part 8, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, continued with the specifics of Social Security, Retirement Benefits for living spouses …. that Social Security Provides. Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Retirement Benefits for Living Spouses

The following bullets and audio will expel many false items you may have heard …

  • Spouse (wife in Clark’s examples) CAN receive benefits based on her spouses benefits, ONLY if she will not receive more benefits by drawing her own benefits
  • If she were to receive a benefit check greater than one half of her spouses benefit, she MUST draw the higher amount due from her benefit
  • One time based exception to the above statements – this exception is quickly fading due to timing of the laws passed –
  • Spouse must be age 62
  • Other spouse MUST be drawing own benefits in order to have spousal benefit
  • All spousal benefits are based on one half the other spouse full retirement age benefit
  • Benefit is reduced for spouse based on early age i.e. Spouse is 62 benefit will be reduced – Read next -Important
  • If spouse is older than wage earning spouse, the benefit will NOT be discounted and will be half of the wage earnings spouses full benefit – in effect greater than one half the early retiring spouses benefit – Great Example at 2 minute mark of audio

Wow, there is so much clarity in the following 2+ minutes of audio, we hope you enjoy – feel free to listen more than once – it took at least a dozen times to get this edited …

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Click Here for Direct Link to All Parts Audio Posted on our Special Social Security Page

Have a Great “” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Student Loans, History, Growth, and Interesting Facts….

With College Funding coming in at # 2, just behind retirement planning, as the most important Financial Planning topic … we watch the various statistics, public commentary and rules for trends, advanced planning techniques and rule changes that may be positive or negative in the coming years.

The History of Student Loans

The Federal Government began guaranteeing student loans in 1965. Here is our best found article on the complete history.

As a hot topic for any presidential administration, various laws have been passed since 1965, in most cases enhancing the ability for students/parents to obtain loans. Unfortunately, tuition costs have risen at a dramatic rate as well … a possible topic for another time.

Total Student Loan Statistics

The following chart from our friends at the St Louis Fed (FRED) shows the much spoken about total bulging student debt … often times called a crisis… yes, it is a large number and growing, but before you take a stance, we have more for you…

In our minds, student debt is one of the most acceptable debts from a Financial Planning perspective … yes we would prefer NOT to have any, and planning in advance helps this fact, but there are always situations where it is just not possible. Loans for higher education gives many the best opportunity for longevity of happiness in a career they may not otherwise had access…

Parents we would argue not sacrifice retirement for college funding, but we know there are many strong feelings on this topic…

Total Student Debt

9-10-19 Total Student Loan Debt

Total Burden Per Person By State

This chart from our friends at HowMuch.com started the wheels turning for this article…. and is a per person debt load in each of the 50 states.

9-10-19 america_student_debt_by_state-40fe

An Interesting and Important Statistical Chart

Student Debt is large, and clearly growing, however, much to our surprise, the growth rate of student debt has slowed dramatically in recent years….

9-10-19 Student Loan % change yr over yr

This chart is the percentage change year over year in student loans, note the super high mid teens growth during the great recession … not a surprise given the lack of job opportunities at the time.

Happily the growth rate has steadily declined post great recession.

Have a Great “Student Debt Update” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Part 7 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – Clarity on Final Years Earnings and any Effects on Retirement Benefits

In Part 7, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, continued with the meat of Social Security, Retirement Benefits …. that Social Security Provides. Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Effects of Lower Social Security Earnings Near Full Retirement Age

Very frequently our Financial Planning discussions include early retirement or halting of the big weekly grind/travels to do something always desired but may result in a reduction in income… all very near Full Retirement Age/Last Years of Social Security Credits.

Will a few missed or greatly lowered earnings years near Social Security Full Retirement Age knock your benefit down? Likely Not

  • Since Social Benefit first part of earnings may count more than last
  • A few missed years likely will not hurt your retirement benefit
  • Recall from earlier discussion that Retirement Benefits are based on your highest Wage (not Inflation) adjusted 35 years
  • Per question/statement from audience in audio – very possible first 10 years count much more than final 3- 5 years
  • Likely not working last few years or taking a greatly reduced but desired occupation could result in NO DIFFERENCE in Social Security Retirement Benefit

There are always exceptions to the norm, but with repeat occurrences of desired life style change near Full Retirement Age, we feel more comfortable knowing it just likely will not make a big difference… one can infer this will hold true for early retirement as well…. Thanks Tom!

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Click Here for Direct Link to All Parts Audio Posted on our Special Social Security Page

Have a Great “Late Career Dream Job or Early Retirement No Benefit Change” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Scammer, Spammer and Down Right Crooks Update – Funny Personal Experience

With last Friday’s promised preview of updated scammers/bad guy techniques, the collection of examples for this post was well underway…

When doing a post such as this, in order to get the images for the example, many devices are often used. Literally as an upload of a screen shot text was being readied for this article from my cell … (while in the back of a large auditorium that housed 100’s that were supposed to be listening to the format and rules of the National Tennis Tournament being attended – let’s call it multitasking rather than lack of attention – digressing) … the upload was interrupted by the following call, fortunately the quick screen shot worked …

There was a number that followed the call, but in the unlikely event it WAS NOT a scam/spammer the number was left out for privacy…

Very coincidental timing at best….

Break In-

As mentioned also late in Friday’s post a new cell data service was ordered last week to include free unlimited data – with a little research it was discovered this new service has an free Spam Risk incoming call notification – still coincidental but partial mystery solved- Digressing again….

Social Security Scam

This is a carefully cropped letter (to protect identity from the field) of a very concerning letter that was allegedly sent from the Social Security Administration…

In the body of the letter there was information concerning a pension that was inaccurate, and seven years old…

Trust us that the letter looked VERY real at first… upon further review, here is what we found:

  • Request for phone number was on the letter from recipeint
  • Request for multiple years of income confirmation and pension information
  • No phone number to call for further information * This is what really led us to believe it was fraud
  • Return address for information was much different from mailing address

The letter was four pages long and very believable even frightening! Doing a search on the address, there was a Social Security Office near the address, but NOT AT the actual address of the letter – WOW very cleaver!

It sounds obvious after reviewing the facts, but at initial glance one could have easily entered information which would have certainly been followed by a phone call asking for more information-

If you have ANY doubts, send us a copy for review, just as our long time client did- do not take ANY chances – Hat tip JH!

Institutions Text Scams

The following texts have been collected over the last few months sent to my family and seem to be accelerating in frequency… Don’t Bite

Fake from Chase:

Fake from Amex – we do not even have an Amex Card

Fake from Microsoft:

Fake from Hotmail :

Lastly, a deleted example to the 11 year old, who certainly does not have a Capital One Account that would be at issue – although he questioned if he did- and wanted balances… not kidding..

Upon discussion if he clicked the link in the text, a straight answer was never received- hopefully there will not be a follow up post to this one, on what exactly happens to your phone if you click on the link –

Needless to say, there is are new form of spams, scammers, and phishing going on out there.. these are all text examples just from our family over the last few months!

DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINK THAT YOU ARE NOT 100% CERTAIN IS LEGIT!

Not trying to be a downer on a Monday, just a protector of our data, and keeping our technology clean and virus free!

Have a Great “Be Careful Out There” (showing age here – anyone remember the show?) Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Fed Walked the Tight Rope Perfectly – Preview of New Scammers You Need to be Aware – Friday

On Wednesday July 31, 2019 the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell and attended by our own Dallas based Robert Kaplan, did something they have not done in over 10 years…. LOWER RATES.

8-1-19 FOMC FED funds rate

While we crowed ‘Not Necessary” they walked a great tight rope…

In this post announcement article…. and  somewhat funny CNBC article, over a dozen … so called “Expert” firms completely disagree in all directions on what the Fed will do next!

PERFECT!

With disagreement on what they will do next, no expectation will be ….. well … EXPECTED!

If I were a Fed official, that is exactly the way you want it … freedom to stay put, lower or raise without fussy Market Participants all weighing in on the same side of the fence.

They also stopped the winding down (selling reserves back to the market) of balance sheet reduction, which was a net tightening.

8-1-19 Total Bank Assets

So let’s say they are in neutral now and have created the freedom to drive wherever they want! Nice..

Sorry we got a bit deep on this, this week, but we felt it important and wanted to keep you in the know!

Speaking of in the know – We have collected a few new examples of scamming that we will bring to your attention next week – One so clever it’s hard to believe!

Ahhh…but it is a Friday….

Care to guess what today and next week brings?

tennis-2042723__340

Last looong, big tournament of the summer…..

Thanks goodness for a new unlimited Cell plan and neat technology … Will be in touch!

Have a GREAT Friday/Weekend Summer day(s)!

John A. Kvale, CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
street-cents