Category Archives: General Financial Planning

Wealthiest and Lowest Counties in Every State along with Greatest Differences – Check Your Own State – Friends at Visual Capitalist

We continue to be fascinated with these neat graphics from our friends at Visual Capitalist.

Something about putting the information in Graphic form that makes is easier to read and well…. just more interesting.

If your like us, we immediately go to our home area to see the results!

The very last graphic shows the greatest differences – big city versus a very rural area, usually!

Enjoy:

wealthiest-poorest-counties-us-1070

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

 

 

 

Job Change or Retirement? Here is a great reminder checklist – Updated

Books get updated and reprinted on a regular basis. This post is originally from several years back, but worthy of a re-post/update regularly!

So Important

Maybe you are about to Retire… CONGRATULATIONS ! ……Or maybe you are about to change jobs… exciting new times, just around the corner…

Here are a few handy reminders before/as you leave!

Job/Retirement Change ChecklistFinanicial Planning Doc

Grab that Last paycheck– Once you are gone, the internal system may be harder to access, be sure to get your last paycheck downloaded for your tax and personal recordkeeping.

RSU -Options- Grants -Make sure you are not leaving anything on the table via a vesting sunset or time line that can be associated with your departure.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Confirm you have control of your stock and transfer it to an easily controlled account-most ESPP plans are only holding tanks and cumbersome to make transactions.

Deferred Comp– Check on when your plan will be paying you your funds- i.e. tax year, time frame, and if all at once or over several series of payments- confirm the payments method and where they will be sent if mailed.

Pension – Get a copy of your latest balance or estimated amount, time frame of payment, if the projection is inclusive of your departure, if your spouse is included as beneficiary and his/her date of birth is correct and MOST IMPORTANTLY your correct address.

Health Coverage– You do not want to go a day without coverage, make sure you have some type of overlap such as Cobra, New company coverage, Medicare or outside personal coverage.

UPDATED NEW REMINDER – Long Term Health Coverage– If you have been at your employer some time (10+ Years usually), check to see if some type of retirement health coverage options are available. Frequently these have a one time option of opting in and if you leave, you will NEVER get another chance. We have found these to be very good options in certain cases.

401k– In most instances you want to take control of your old 401k by rolling into a self directed IRA. Make sure your final paycheck withholding has hit your 401k before you roll it over or there will be residual amount later.

New 401k– In most cases you want to allocate your new 401k aggressively- be careful NOT to overfund your old and new plan in the same year- most maximums are $18k (+$6k catch up) – If your two employers do not know about each other they may accidentally allow you to overfund the total afore mentioned amount

Severance– Be sure to get your arms around the type, amount, timing and pay and benefits.

Social Security Withholding – Withholdings may likely be over withheld since your two employers did not know about each other – keep good tax records- if they did, you get a refund.

While mentioned several times, once more due to just how important, be sure to keep your address up to date with your former employer !

Have a great ‘More Organized” Day!

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
www.street-cents.com

Why almost EVERYONE needs Bonds in their Portfolios

In true Tortoise and the Hare like fashion from the old school fable …..rabbit-2414356__480

There’s a tug-of-war that goes on between the turtle and the hare…..

We all know the ending, although some endings have changed over the years, but stay with us for just a second, as we bring a financial parallel to our fable.

In our interesting story, bonds are the Tortoise and the Hare are Equities/stocks.

Why most need Tortoise/Bonds in their portfoliosturtle-863336__480

Bonds are truly like the Tortoise as they’re more slow running, BUT also importantly, slow to lose value. 

Equities/stocks carry Hare like returns that generally, over the longer term are faster,  but in true Hare like fashion, can get really sidetracked at times (think October – December of 2018 Amateur hour time.)

Here is the Great News in our Story – You can do both!

The good news about investing, unlike the fable is that you don’t just have to be one or the other, but you can mix.

We would argue that mature (larger or for more mature folks) portfolios need a Tortoise for stability during bad times as well as the yummy income that bonds produce!

As the portfolio grows or the income needs rise, more Tortoise may be needed.

Early portfolios that have heavy contributions can frequently be all Hare/Equities/Stocks as the contributions making up a great percentage of the portfolio act like a stabilizing Tortoise.

Normal progressions may be 75% Hare, then 50% then 40% and 25% or less Hare are frequently ok …. with the remaining portions being Tortoise of course….

One of our favorites are 50/50 Hare to Tortoise ….

Another great part of having both in a portfolio is they tend to offset themselves naturally during bad times – when Hare/Equity/Stocks get smacked, almost inevitably Tortoise/Bonds have a field day – multiple reasons such as interest rates dropping when Equities rise and visa versa, as well as a Tortoise safe haven…

There are always unique situations such as all Tortoise due to immediate need or just dislike of volatility and all Hare when there are no needs for the future.

Look for a greater depth information in our coming Newsletter with possible follow up items and details here.

Needless to say we are fond of both the Hare and Tortoise.

Thanks for accommodating our juvenile humor!

Have a Great “Tortoise and the Hare” 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

 

January 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2019 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format as well as Video!

Newbies – We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

January – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Get and Earlier than normal start on those Taxestaxes control-1027103_1280

Here in this post, we remind everyone that due to the new tax laws, it will be a good idea to get your tax information to your professional as soon as possible.

If your using tax software, be sure to do the recommended updates as we feel certain there will be necessary updates to the tables along the way.

Corrected 1099’s are the usual, with only a few last year, we will give everyone the green light once we get our first round of corrected tax forms – but again go ahead and get started with your taxes!

Stunning Findings about your old employer 401kabonded dawn-3358468__480

We had long suspected as much, but in this post we review a Cerulli study that interviewed over 800 401k providers, only to find out that less than 30% really want your funds once you leave.

We have experienced less than stellar service over the years with former employees 401k plans – leading to our long suspicion of these findings.

Make Pension Changes/Decisions Carefullythumbs-up-2056022__480

While our favorite commencement benefit for pensions (100% jt survivor) is fairly straight forward, the simplicity ends there.

In this post, we review recent trends in buy outs and what to watch for, as well as the many scenarios we have experienced that are not always in our best interest.

Capital Market Comments –

Good News – Recovery without a Re-test – So far

What a different a month makes – WOW! We literally have gone from the sky is falling to sunshine!

In our summary post in December, we mentioned that fast moving slumps, such as the one we had, frequently do not last long….

Here, earlier in the month we also mentioned that we fully expected some type of retest of those lows before we gained our footing.

We still do expect some type of re-test, but as of this date we have had the following positives that have added to the markets better mood:

  1. Federal Reserve (FOMC) have turned very cautious about raising rates further (We are happily surprised at their yielding, and even more surprised at market participants joy)
  2. Tariff talks are making progress – Interestingly, China has seen a slow down in their economy making for slightly more urgent talks – with a little compromise and statesmanship a resolve looks more likely – again a positive for capital markets.
  3. Earnings are still cranking along – For the prior 4-6 quarters, earnings were red hot and hitting on all cylinders, so hot, they were not sustainable. Companies are still reporting good earnings, just not the Red Hot, overheated earnings from prior quarters – this is good news as it avails the FOMC to not have to raise rates to slow the economy –

All in all a Win- Win!

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of February!

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

Why you should Be Careful before taking that Lump Sum offer of your Pension, especially if your are receiving a monthly benefit already – Careful analysis is needed with ANY Pension decision

We have seen pensions that actually give you less money on a monthly basis if you wait longer! Not Kidding…

We have seen pensions dramatically lose money on their present value lump sum benefit over time (very short time in a few cases) monitoring is needed.

We have seen pensions that never break even, if you take them early versus waiting (similar to first point mentioned.)

We have seen offers to buy out monthly pension benefits in the form of a lump sum that are horrible.

We have seen lump sum offers that are too good to pass up (fewer times, but it happens)

We have run into pensions that if the participant passed away before the pension commenced, the spouse received NOTHING, but once the pension commenced the spouse was a full 100% beneficiary.

We have seen random offers from outside companies to buy pensions off – out of no where- usually not a good deal.

Be Careful with Pension DecisionsTrade - handshake-2056023_960_720

Most pension decisions are irrevocable, due to the actuary calculations that are put into place once a decision (contractually binding the company) is made.

While our favorite pension benefit decision (Jt survivor- as mentioned here) in great detail) is fairly straight forward, little else about pension decisions are easily understandable, compound that with the irrevocable nature of the decision, caution and analysis is warranted.

Recently we have run across a few buy out offers from different sources, reminding us of the complexity of pensions and bringing our thoughts to you in this post.

By reverse engineering these offers, a very complex situation can be turned into black and white.

Use caution when deciding on pension decisions as they are mostly irrevocable and frequently offers and changes, may not always be in the participants’ favor.

Have a Great “Clear Pension Benefit” 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

Something we have long suspected, Cerulli Report Confirms: They Don’t Want your 401k Money Once You Leave the Company – WOW!

Over the years we have noticed once an Employee leaves a company, certainly their status goes down, but often times they seem to have trouble getting answers, controlling their old plans, and in particular, working with their old 401k provider.

From our perspective, as you may imagine a latest Cerulli report not only clarifies why these experiences occur, but also confirm our suspicions!

Cerulli Report Confirms “They don’t want your old 401k Money!”

As of this post, we have requested a copy of the report that will certainly make a full appearance again here at street-cents and likely in our Newsletter – (This report is only a week old and privy to professional media members AT THIS TIME)abonded dawn-3358468__480

This Financial Advisor Article  caught our attention as in disbelief we read the abbreviated story on the Cerulli Report:

This from the article:

Overall, plan sponsors don’t seem especially interested in keeping their retired workers’ assets, according to Cerulli. A recent survey by the firm of 800 plan sponsors found that 59 percent preferred that workers take their assets and leave. About 27 percent of respondents said they preferred keeping such assets in their plan

The problem with this is that workers forced (or feeling forced/neglected) to take their funds, without direction – frequently tend to cash out their plans, sacrificing their future!

We look forward to expanding on this story as we receive more details. We will also give you the real life experiences we have come across along with the limitations many providers have.

For now, if you have left your company and are not feeling the love, so to speak… you know why!

Have a Great “Understanding of the Lost love 401k” 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

 

RMD Adjustment Season – Holiday Weekend – Friday

Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) are the mandated distributions of funds from Qualified plans such as IRA’s, 401k’s and the like.

Here, here and here we discuss RMD’s and differing techniques to appease Uncle Sam/IRS in great detail…Uncle Sam

Since RMD’s amounts are based on age and prior year ending account balance the mandatory amount changes year by year.

One option we like is spreading your RMD out over the year, creating your own “Person Pension” plan – of course as long as you take at least what Uncle Sam says, you are good…

Bottom Line – this is RMD adjustment season.

Monday is a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, and as such markets, banks and our office will be closed.

Ahhhh….. today is a Friday as we brace for the coldest front of the year – and of course an out-door tennis tournament is calling (the girls get warm in about 5 minutes – parents freeze! All good)

Have a Good Weekend!

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