Category Archives: Medicare

Part 15 : Tom Clark, Medicare Expert, with Audio – Three Medicare Supplemental Options – FINAL PART – Thanks Tom for all your content!

This marks the last Part and as they say …  last but not least … Mr. Clark discusses the three options for Medicare Supplemental/Gap Policy. Let it be noted, you most certainly need these, but the good news is this is finally pretty straight forward.

 Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures as well as links to every full  post:

Once again, neatly there is a gold nugget of information in the audio, and a trick on where to find an easy phone number to call to get a referral for help – listen up and enjoy –

Medicare Supplement Explained Three Options 

  • Employer Offered Supplemental Private Insurance – this less often- likely best option if available – best coverage
  • Traditional Medicare – no network must buy a Medigap Policy A through F – Full comprehensive coverage- similar to full health coverage, but at the Medicare Level
  • Medicare Advantage – Like Medicare HMO – Network of People that must go through
  • 26 Medicare Advantage plans in DFW area-
  • Part D may or may not be available for Medicare Advantage
  • Do not try to do this all by yourself- see next
  • Local Non-Profit Agency – Dallas County would likely be the Dallas County Agency on Aging, Fort Worth would be the Tarrant County Agency on Aging
  • Dial – 211 – Phone Number for Social Service Referrals – NO kidding – Texas a state that this number works completely, may not be available in all states

Here is the audio…

Wave file format:

MP3 Format:

OGG File Format:

 

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

Have a Great “Medicare Supplement Options 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

Q 4 2019 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 4 2019 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click Here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

Q 4 2019 Newsletter

Click for PDF/printable version of Newsletter

 

And here is your review!

Is it Time to Refinance?

With Mortgage rates moving lower, we discuss the major items to think of when refinancing your Mortgage.

Our most clever point is we like to have an 18 month payback for the costs when refinancing… this serves as a good barometer on when to refinance, irrespective of the size of your Mortgage.

 

30 Year US Avg Mortgage Rate

 

Tariff Talk

It’s been going on for a long time

Trade Wars AKA Tariff talks have been around for a long time. This is not our first rodeo… notice how trade has been more efficient over time!

 

us-trade-wars-history Cropped

End of Year Tax Reminders

While there are a lot of reach back tax items i.e. Things we can do next year for this years taxes… there are many that have a firm year end deadline-

  • RMD – Required Minimum Distributions
  • Company Related Retirement plans i.e. 401k
  • Charitable Donations
  • 529 and other education programs

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in ….. 2020 WOOOW !!!

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

Part 14 : Tom Clark, Medicare Expert, with Audio – Medicare Part B Creation, Monthly Cost, IRMA Exclusions, IRMA Examples

The most complex part of Medicare decisions comes from folks that work past age 65. The most important point of this entire second half of Mr. Clark’s presentation is that to get the most exact details for your situation you should check with your health insurance carrier. Frequently employers’ HR departments are outsourced and a recurring theme is the HR department is not in sync with the health insurance carrier.

Bottom line your health insurance carrier is your go to point of contact if you continue to work past age 65 as you will most certainly need to find out how they want you to handle your Medicare decisions.

 Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures as well as links to every full  post:

Much like our Social Security Benefits discussions, there are certain parts of Medicare Benefits that have more decisions and techniques to choose – Medicare Part B is by far the most detailed, confusing and has the most options to choose – The audio is terrific and gives more details than the bullets below – take a listen!

Medicare Part B Creation, Cost, IRMA, Benefits Options

Medicare Part B:

  • Doctor Bills coverage and outpatient coverage
  • Part B has a cost of $135/Month –
  • You can turn Part B down, but not a good decision unless you have current health insurance coverage “Not taking could be the worst financial decision you make” According to Clark
  • The $135/Month is about 1/4th of the actual premium – Government Supplements the 3/4 – see next
  • Income over $85k Individual or $175k Couple, you will pay more as the Government supplement goes away – IRMA – Income Related Monthly Adjusted Amount – click link for recent detailed analysis and solutions
  • IRMA – Everything but Roth counts towards income, including tax free, interest and anything
  • Started in 2005 to pay Medicare Part D, Drugs and prescription-
  • Can refute IRMA as administration has three year old data
  • Example for IRMA premiums – Severance
  • Social Security Favors Individual

Here is the audio…

Wave file format:

MP3 Format:

OGG File Format:

 

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

Have a Great “Intro to Medicare Part B” 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 13 : Tom Clark, Medicare Expert, with Audio – Medicare Part A Explained

The most complex part of Medicare decisions comes from folks that work past age 65. The most important point of this entire second half of Mr. Clark’s presentation is that to get the most exact details for your situation you should check with your health insurance carrier. Frequently employers’ HR departments are outsourced and a recurring theme is the HR department is not in sync with the health insurance carrier.

Bottom line your health insurance carrier is your go to point of contact if you continue to work past age 65 as you will most certainly need to find out how they want you to handle your Medicare decisions.

 Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures as well as links to every full  post:

 

Medicare Part A Explained

During the meeting, there was a lot of jumping between Medicare Part A and B, with a ton of information on Part B coming in the next Part. Early in the audio, the most important item to note is re-iteration as above, for those many of us working beyond age 65, check with your Health Insurance Provider for the best source of accurate actions needed on your part – ok, here are the bullets from the Audio for Part A Medicare:

  • Medicare Part A only for Hospital care
  • Medicare Part A is funded via the 1.45% FICA Tax from your payroll during your working lifetime, as such no cost upon retirement/enrollment
  • Medicare Part A (B) starts at age 65 (Not age adjusted as Social Security)
  • Consult your Health Provider, not HR for best post 65 age Medicare Part A decisions and elections
  • Once on Medicare, cannot fund your HSA – a reason you may want to defer Part A if you have full other coverage options
  • If still employed and you do not take Medicare, you can still fund your HSA –
  • By deferring Medicare A you will have a small penalty on Medicare Part D – Drugs
  • Social Security . Gov website to start Medicare and can choose Part A and/or Part B
  • Careful when you file for Medicare Part A, normal look back of six months which may void your HSA – must sync this
  • If you are over 65 and drawing full retirement age, you automatically have Medicare Part A

This audio is a bit longer, but full of great examples for the bullets above …coming up the more complicated decisions of Medicare Part B –

Here is your audio…

Wave file format:

MP3 Format:

OGG File Format:

 

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

Have a Great “Medicare Part A 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 12 : Tom Clark, Medicare Expert, with Audio – An introduction to Medicare, Background, Stats, Part A and B Explained

What follows will be a multiple part series as we will attempt to explain the various parts of Medicare. In this first post, a high-level explanation of just Part A and B.

The most complex part of Medicare decisions comes from folks that work past age 65. The most important point of this entire second half of Mr. Clark’s presentation is that to get the most exact details for your situation you should check with your health insurance carrier. Frequently employers’ HR departments are outsourced and a recurring theme is the HR department is not in sync with the health insurance carrier.

Bottom line your health insurance carrier is your go to point of contact if you continue to work past age 65 as you will most certainly need to find out how they want you to handle your Medicare decisions.

 Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures as well as links to every full  post:

 

Medicare Statistics, Background and Part A and B Explained

OK here we go an introduction to stats and statistics and a high-level view of Medicare Part A and B:

  • Medicare is far more important than Social Security benefits as the government offset of Medical Costs are likely much greater than Social Security Benefits
  • Bet you didn’t know Medicare was started in 1965!
  • Medicare’s purpose is to provide substantial benefits at very reasonable costs for retired folks at age 65
  • Unlike Social Security Age 65 remains the age Medicare Benefits begin for retired people
  • Social Security Disability receivers are automatically enrolled into Medicare after two years of disability benefits
  • Part A is Hospital Insurance Benefits – Prepaid
  • 1.45% of FICA taxes used during work to prepay Part A
  • Part B Covers Doctor bills and out patient treatment
  • Part B has a cost- monthly starting premium of $135 month – there are means test that increase this cost
  • This cost is usually withheld from Social Security Benefit
  • If not taking Social Security, you will be billed directly

Here is the audio…

 

Wave file format:

MP3 Format:

OGG File Format:

 

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

Have a Great “Intro to Medicare” 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

Q 3 2019 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 3 2019 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click Here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

Q 3 2019 Newsletter

Click for PDF/printable version of Newsletter

And here is your review!

Why We Write!

Here we are again:20190630_133340742_iOS

We had planned on leaving this out due to repeated appearances here in our blog and in the Newsletter – but in true “Break In” like format, as this post is completed and the video – hopefully the local wifi is strong enough for uploading … the time is spent in Austin Texas at this moment in another rain delay- the same exact place the original article was written!

Tax Talk/Review

Change Likely the New Normal

After two decades of only minor changes in the Tax Law… it was overhauled and many changes were made that were reflected in our 2018 tax returns.

This neat chart is a nice reminder of the current brackets and can be helpful in income distribution tax bracket management.
Tax Bracket Graph

Inverted Yield Curve Update

This chart featured in our Newsletter is a slightly different term comparison of the 2 year (we like the 90 day) versus the 10 year, but a wonderful historical view of inversions and recessions. We have fully inverted for over a month now and if we use this historic guide as our yardstick a recession would be in the cards mid year 2020!

JPMorgan Inverted Yield Curve History

Social Security Update3-20-19 - Invitatation to SS Info Event with Tom Clark_Page_2

We have begun a detailed review of the late spring event and it is going great. Weekly we dissect a section of Social Security Expert, Tom Clark’s presentation and give handy links to greater details and explain in bullet fashion the main points. Here is a link to the Audio on a special page here at our blog and you can also click here for a link that will pull up each complete post!

There are tons of nuances regarding Social Security, Disability, Death Benefit and Medicare decisions…we look forward to discussing many more with you as the summer weeks occur!

We hope you enjoy … talk to you near the end of Summer!

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

Twenty Social Security Questions From the Field – Pat yourselves on the back, you did well!

So we prodded a bit …

But you guys responded …

We asked and you sent …

Thank You!

GREAT Social Security Questions for our Event this weekend3-20-19 - Invitatation to SS Info Event with Tom Clark_Page_1

Without further ado … here is the final list.. WOW!

  1. Last time we spoke you were VERY certain Social Security would be there for all of us upon retirement – With all of the changes, do you still feel this way?
  2. Can you explain the divorced verses divorced and remarried benefits?
  3. Have you ever heard of someone being offered a lump sum of retroactive Social Security benefits?
  4. November of 2015 ushered in new laws and changes, are there any neat techniques that survived?
  5. Can you explain non US citizen spousal benefits?
  6. We have been told many of the benefit statements are not always accurate, understating the actual eventual benefit, has this been your experience?
  7. How much can I earn and not receive penalties if I retire before my full retirement age?
  8. The Full Retirement Age keeps being pushed out, will this continue? Is there a schedule?
  9. How long do I have to report my Social Security earnings if they were not reported by an employer?
  10. For many years I did not draw on an ex-spouses earnings by accident – using only my earnings benefit, can I request some sort of look back to get my full benefits?
  11. If want to change my Social Security election decision after I made it and have been drawing benefits, Can I do that?
  12. Do I have to take Social Security Benefits ? What if I do not want to?
  13. Is it better to sign up in person or use the website, or does it matter?
  14. My wife is not a US citizen, does that affect her spousal benefits?
  15. Will Social Security always be there in your opinion?
  16. What percent of people take benefits early, at full retirement age and as late as possible?
  17. I am 65 and working with a good healthcare plan. I wasn’t going to sign up for Medicare until after I retire. However I am told a Medicare Part F; a supplemental plan eliminating deductibles, will not be available after 2019; Should I enroll and sign up for Part F?
  18. I was married for more than 10 years to a high income earner, if I get remarried to my new spouse who is not a high income earner, will I give up benefits?
  19. Have you seen any of the on-line Social Security Optimization Programs? If so, any you like better than others? (From JK)
  20. What are your thoughts about an income based phase out of Social Security in the future? Much like the penalty for W-2 income and having started early Social Benefits ? (From JK)

We will be forwarding this to Tom Clark shortly….

Great Work Guys!

Have a Great “Social Security Questions” 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

Save the Date – Back by Popular Demand – Tom Clark our Social Security Specialist – Saturday 10 am – April 27th at DAC Dallas Athletic Club – Personal Video Invitation

About four years ago, we had a fabulous speaker, Tom Clark who has multiple decades of experiences at the Social Security Administration as an expert lecturer….

In November of 2015 new laws dramatically changed (limited) many of the Social Security techniques and benefits.

With a few more years under our belts and the change of laws, we wanted to bring Tom back in for an update, refresher, complete analysis of what is happening now, and what may lie ahead for that ever so important benefit, Social Security!

Save the Date

April 27, 2019

Dallas Athletic Club

10:00 AM

MEET TOM CLARKTom Clark Pic

After 33 years of service at the Social Security administration, Mr. Clark now has a second career, spending time with groups like ours, helping them become educated in making the correct decisions and informing them on the intricacies of the Social Security and Medicare System.

Not to worry, Mr. Clark’s last years at the administration found him doing over 300 of these type of events per year.

Questions?

We will be doing a multi-part complete analysis of Tom’s discussion after the event here at street-cents.com, but please send us questions NOW to formulate a list for Mr. Clark to be asked at the event!  Send to jen@jkfinancialinc.com

Here are some questions we have already begun accumulating – just to give you ideas:

  1. Last time we spoke you were VERY certain Social Security would be there for all of us upon retirement – With all of the changes, do you still feel this way?
  2. Can you explain the divorced verses divorced and remarried benefits?
  3. Have you ever heard of someone being offered a lump sum of retroactive Social Security benefits?
  4. November of 2015 ushered in new laws and changes, are there any neat techniques that survived?
  5. Can you explain non US citizen spousal benefits?
  6. We have been told many of the benefit statements are not always accurate, understating the actual eventual benefit, has this been your experience?

That should give you some good ideas, but we want more – bring em on and we will get them to Mr. Clark in advance, post here as a summary – and after the event, give a detailed direct answer!

Have a Great “Soon to be informed Social Security” 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

Q 1 2018 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 1 2018 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

 

Q 1 2018 Newsletter

 

Medicare – IRMAA – Means testing

In this long overdue article we dig deep into the background of Medicare and the means testing of recent years. IRMAA, Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – AKA higher premiums thresh holds are analyzed and presented for 2018.

In the best part of this article we discuss what to do in order to lower your higher means testing Medicare Premiums.

Have We Already Had a Bear Market?

A Bear Market is generally defined as a drop of 20% or greater. In late 2015 – 2016 almost every asset category except the most popular dropped by 20%. In this article we discuss why this may be good news for the future of the current market.

VIX – A Fear Gauge Goes to Sleep

VIX a volatility (fear measure) rises when fear is rampant and slowly drifts lower when fear is absent. Over the last 26 years the VIX index has closed below 10 a total of 9 times. In 2017 this fear index closed below this level 52 times. We warn not to take these placid seas for granted.

First Time Personal Reflections

In this off the cuff article, we give thanks for all the wonderful things we have, what good things have come during the year and a general Thanks To All of YOU our clients and friends.

THANK YOU!

Ready or not … 2018 here we come!

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

December 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our December 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

So Long 2017 … Hello 2018 .. Nice to see you!

December 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

You have been IRMMAAtized – Options for Relief

In our post, here and here we discuss the Medicare Means testing levels, both historic and what we are faced with in 2018.

Due to the faster lower Tiers of income, the Social Security Administration has casted a wider net for all of us.

Here are the new levels, again from our post AND in even GREATER details in our Q1 2018 Newsletter.

2017 V 2018 Medicare IRMAA levels

A life event change may create relief – Life events not limited to the following-

  • Marriage
  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Death of Your Spouse
  • Work Stoppage
  • Work Reduction
  • Loss of Income-Producing Property
  • Loss of Pension Income
  • Employer Settlement Payment

Please see our Q1 2018 Newsletter for detailed instructions on how to get relief from these faster grabbing surcharges.

Personal Spring Cleaning in the WinterUnsubscribe monitor-608241__340

Personal Reminder Email Tip

In our post mid-month here we discussed cleaning your emails to lower the Tidal Wave of daily emails.

After almost four weeks we are down to a trickle.

What was most interesting were the different experiences of who was up front and nice about the “Unsubscribe” request and who was down right dirty about letting us off their list. Surprised and disappointed with some companies.

Capital Market Comments

VIX – Fear Index Goes into Hibernation

We initially wrote in our Newsletter article and Blog post here, the VIX went to sleep … after another few closes below 10, we are coining it “Hibernation”

VIX as of 12-15-17

From 1990 to 2016 this Fear index closed below 10 a total of 9 times. During the year 2017, it has closed below that level 52 times and counting !!

Wow … Hibernation!

Interest Rate Increases

Just few years ago, with former FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chair Ben Bernanke running the show, a miscalculated mention of a pending interest rate increase threw the Capital Markets into a tail spin – and that was just a mention of one small .25% increase. WOW-

When the history books are written on this period of time, FOMC members “Listening” to markets may be prominent, and possible reason for success.

In 2017, the FOMC raised rates 3 times with very little market disruption. They are on record for 3 more in 2018. The best part of this, market participants are not throwing a hissy fit and seem to be welcoming the increases.

Today, we think NOT increasing the rates as forecasted would cause more harm than increasing – exactly the opposite of just a few years ago. Way to pivot FOMC officials.

2017 Fed Funds Rate Bar Graph

 

Happy New Year!

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