Category Archives: Medicare

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.

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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

Top 10 Posts You May Have Missed in 2017

This is our 148th … all original, all in-house, post of the year … we will have one more on Friday!

With over 3200 different visitors, one of you MAY have missed something good.

Not to worry, we scrolled back through 2017 and are happy to announce the following … Drum Roll please …….

 “Top 10 Posts of 2017” by Popularity and Pertinence- Enjoy

Job Change and Retirement Checklist – January 2017^D930EF057D0BC16336F1561C33AD98DBA5725D9F6C77E7D905^pimgpsh_thumbnail_win_distr

In this post we discuss 10 important, handy and often forgotten items to grab at retirement or job change.

Will the European Union Survive – February 2017

Recounting thoughts from a few terrific speakers at a national convention in the late Winter, we posted their comments and our thoughts, only to be totally lit up from both positive, and negative thoughts of the EU Survival.

What to do if you overfunded your 401k? – April 2017

In this article, fresh off tax season we recount how you can accidentally overfund your 401k, what to do to fix it, and the end result if a fix is not possible (hint, not the end of the world!)

Why you need to know your credit Score – May 2017

In an updated post from several years prior, we discuss the trends in technology being used to cross reference high risks from a company standpoint – In English, your credit report is being used more often for risk analysis. Keep it clean, and here is how to check it, and protest.

How to share your Financial Life without Giving up control –  May 2017

Sometimes it may be a desire to let your children or other family member know your situation, other times it may be just plan necessity .. either way it can be uncomfortable opening up your financial life. In this article we discuss how you can open as little, or as much, in a professional, comfortable, soft way.

Equifax Breach and What to Do about it – September 2017

Stay calm! It may seem like a distant memory, but when news broke of the large Equifax data breach, many were tip toeing to the edge of the window seal.  In this timely post, we discuss the breach, staying calm, and what to watch for moving forward!

Found Money – Log into that Old 401k Account – October 2017

With multiple parties having “Found” money in old accounts, especially former 401k accounts, we remind to take a moment and check out an old account, it might just make your day!

Social Security Increase for 2018 – October 2017

Upon the announcement of an increase in Social Security, we shared the news, and the background, along with the calculations and index for those skeptics.

Medicare Part B Means Testing – December of 2017

In this post we discuss the Means testing of Part B Medicare background, thresholds, and coming changes in 2018.

IRMMA Letter, and Solutions – December 2017

In a follow up to our Medicare Part B discussion and a preview to our coming Newsletter we take a deep dive into an  IRMAA (Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) our new term of IRMMAtized and more importantly, what to do about it, and helpful hints on lowering your future premiums, along with the links to forms you will need.

Have a Happy “Cliff Notes Posts” 2017 Review 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

IRMAA Letter, Worse than a “Dear John”, but WE have Solutions!

Last week we discussed the coming big article in our Q1 2018 Newsletter concerning the new Medicare Tiers and Means Testing. In that article we discuss the income levels that will trigger higher premiums.

If you have been targeted of higher means, you will receive an IRMAA letter! You have been IRMAATized

IRMAA Letter

Short for Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount –

Definition – You have been Mean’s Tested and the Social Security Administration (SSA) is asking you to pay more for Medicare Premiums.

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The SSA is likely looking at your income from two years ago.

Good News- There is a solution if this is an unusual income amount or you have had a life changing event. This SSA Form 44 from the SSA is what you will need.

Life Changing Events According to SSA:

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

There are literally check boxes with these subjects in it. Of course life has curve balls that may not allow you to “Check the Box” … We have had continued success with folks going to the SSA office and presenting their case directly to the agent.

We would suggest the timely but productive visit if there is anything out of the ordinary with your proving of “Life Changing Event”!

Bring Proof

“ I understand that signing this form does not constitute a request for SSA to use a more recent tax year information unless it is accompanied by:

  • Evidence that I have had the life-changing event indicated on this form;
  • A copy of my Federal tax return; or
  • Other evidence of the more recent tax year’s modified adjusted gross income”

This information is stated just before a signature section on the SSA Form. Heed the warning and bring whatever proof in order to speed processing.

There you have it … many more options to correct the situation than a “Dear John” letter!

Have a Great “Non IRMAATized” 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

Medicare Part B Means Testing New Thresholds/ Surcharges for 2018

In our coming Q1 Newsletter we have a terrific detailed review of the background of Medicare, the newer means testing and what to expect in 2018.

In timely fashion, thanks to the nice work of a noted studious professional in our industry, Michael Kitces … the following chart shows the income thresholds and surcharges to take effect in 2018.

 

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These resource thresholds have been lowered dramatically, scooping in more families than in past years. Again, full discussion coming in our Q1 Newsletter.

If you are on Medicare, take a moment to scan these numbers, it worth our time!

Bottom line, a higher income year for a joint couple could result in a $503 (A means surcharge of $369) monthly Part B premium EACH … eeek !

We will discuss planning ideas to help alleviate this and also what to do if you incorrectly may have been targeted for this type of surcharge premium!

All about timing and control of income!

Have a great “Medicare Controlled Surcharge” 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

Tax Talk – Newsletter Medicare Article Preview – ITF Orange Bowl Tennis!

So we had a pretty busy week of tax talk.

As mentioned in our posts this week as we near the end of the year, we focused heavily on taxes because the path is short for our April of next year settle up of 2017 taxes.

Expect more tax time, reminders, and tax planning posts as we finish 2017 out. We are still held hostage by the possible changes of tax system, but we have hope since Congress is out of session in a week or so, we will have a plan that we can begin scrutinizing.

In all likelihood any plan will likely begin at the earliest in January of next year making this year end tax planning the same as the last few years.

Medicare preview Article

We are beginning our Q1 2018 Newsletter and will have a detailed Medicare article as it relates to income limitations and the premium adjustments along with super neat ideas to help you save money. We hope you will find it very interesting as we have had continuous questions and confusion over the last several years. We plan on bringing a few small condensed nuggets of information over the next few weeks as we close out the year since Medicare costs and reform, relate to our tax planning for next year.

ITF Orange Bowl TournamentOrange Bowl Logo

Sophia has been accepted to  her first ITF (International Tennis Federation) Orange Bowl tennis Tournament which starts play on Sunday. In true Pro format, one loss and you are outta there!

This will leave me out of town the first couple days of next week at least … hopefully longer. Fingers crossed and thank goodness for our best friend “Technology” !

Have a Great Friday!

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

 

Medicare Drug Plans and Healthcare costs – Still on the Road – Bday Boy

While not experts in the Medicare world, we are very familiar, and the costs associated with paying for healthcare can greatly affect a financial plan.

Over the weekend a good Dallas Texas based Medicare article concerning open enrollment from our friends at the Dallas, Morning News:

…Medicare’s website — http://www.medicare.gov — has the best tool for helping you narrow your search for a new health or drug plan. Just click on “Review your health and prescription coverage options.” You’ll then be able to compare your coverage and out-of-pocket costs under different plans…..

Providers for those in the Dallas area:

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the reason we watch these costs closely:

Kaiser/Mauldin

Kaiser Infation of healthcare cost

Still on the road !

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Donald “The Brain”Brain

Have a great day!

John A. Kvale

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225