Category Archives: Retirement Planning

Time of the year to check your retirement contributions!

As we enter the home stretch of the year, we wanted to remind all to confirm the desired contribution level is being met for your company retirement plan.

Retirement Contribution Levels

401k and similar corporate plans – $18k + $6k if over age 50

Now is a good time to confirm our desired level of contribution is actually occurring. If not, this is the perfect time to adjust.401k-illustration-1637162

  • Bonus offset
  • Pay Raise
  • Company ownership change
  • 401lk/similar plan Provider change
  • Investment options adjustments

All of the above and others, are reasons contribution levels may vary from our desired level.

Take a few minutes to check your latest paycheck and confirm your YTD deferrals …. Contact us with any questions, we are glad to help !

Have a great “Confirmed Retirement Contribution” 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

 

January 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

How Many times have you entered something with the date of 2016 ? If you are like me, SEVERAL…

Here is your January 2017… yes, new Month and new Year, Monthly review!

As a reminder, last month we started with an Audio Podcast format for those that are unable to SEE the video or just prefer to listen to the audio… this makes the review slightly longer, but more descriptive.

Enjoy!

January 2017 Video

 

Financial Planning Tip –

Job Change/Retirement Checklist

Thanks to all of the fantastic comments, shares, views and thank you’s .. here is a brief summary of the actual super popular post:

  • Grab that Last paycheck– .
  • RSU -Options- Grants – Don’t let them expire
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Make sure you have control
  • Deferred Comp–May be a taxable event, find out when
  • Pension – Be Knowledgeable
  • Health Coverage– Don’t go a day without
  • 401k– Old take control
  • New 401k– Be aggressive
  • Severance– Understand it
  • Social Security Withholding – Watch the double withholding

The underlying theme is making sure you know where everything is and any time deadlines you may now have due to the change… Your Vault is a great place for all this information !

Capital Market Movement

Rate Watch Still

Interest Rates have moved smartly higher and seem to be holding… signaling higher growth? This is the 10 year treasury rate, the benchmark in many cases for length of rates.

1-30-17-0-year

Happy 2017!

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
JK Street Cents Logo

 

When to contribute to a Roth, when not to contribute to a Roth, benefits and limitations

Recently we have received several questions about the Roth IRA. While many studies show only about 1 in 4 would benefit from a Roth, there are times when a Roth is the best choice. There are distinct differences in Roth’s versus other pre-tax plans which make appropiate tax planning very important when implementing a Roth contribution.

Roth Versus 401k or other Pre-tax Plans

The most important factor in determining to contribute to a Roth or not is understanding one key component:

A Roth is a bet your tax rate will be higher at retirement or in the future rather than currently!

Due to the tax benefits, all other items being equal, a Roth is most beneficial when one expects to be in a higher tax rate later or at retirement. Under normal circustances most families are in a LOWER tax bracket at retirement than during their working years, making a pre-tax plan more appropriate.

As a refresher, a Roth is an after tax contribution that grows tax deferred until used. No tax deduction up front makes for less immediate tax benefits but greater benefits during retirement or later in life when draws are taken on a tax free basis, under current tax laws.

Roth plans have less stringent RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) requirements than many other IRA/401k type plans. Pre-tax plans have mandatory distribution requirements due to their “never taxed” status. Since the contributions to funds and growth in pre-tax plans are without taxes, the IRS wants to get their taxes. 70.5 is the latest age one can defer the distributions of a pre-tax plan in most cases. Contrasting that to a Roth; Since taxes were originally paid on the contributions, distributions are not mandatory in most cases as the IRS receives no benefit under current law and thereby deems no mandatory distributions unless a Roth has been received as a beneficiary in which is it subject to similar mandatory distributions of pre-tax plans.

When a Roth is correct? 

Since a Roth is a bet taxes will be higher in retirement or later in an earning career, lower income periods of employment/careers tend to be the most beneficial for making contributions. Think early in a career or on off years of regular work for most tax beneficial Roth contribution times.

In a year of negative or low income the conversion of IRA to Roth may be an optimal strategy. Under certain situations a regular IRA may be converted to a Roth showing the income from the IRA. This would essentially pull forward the taxes from the IRA to the current year, which may be beneficial during very low or even better during a negative earning year. There are very few limitations on converting a IRA to a Roth as the IRS is benefiting early from the pull forward to taxes. These conversions, done correctly are without the normal early IRA 10% penalty.

Since a Roth is after tax and growth is tax deferred, the earlier the better for maximizing a Roth’s full potential. Tax deferred growth over longer periods of time will have greater benefits than short periods of time. In fact, VERY short periods of tax deferred growth in a Roth make it MUCH less appealing, if even appropriate at all!

Roth contribution limits

Single filers cannot make a Roth contribution once their income is greater than $133k in 2017 and married filing joint cannot make a contributions with incomes greater than $196k.

Roth contribution limits in total are $5500 regular plus $1000 catch up for those greater than age 50. Some employers offer Roth 401k plans which allow higher contribution amounts similar to the $18k and $6k catch up of regular 401k plans, however mandatory RMD distributions do come with these types of plans.

Conversion from IRA as mentioned above has no limits on income or earnings to qualify. Since the IRS is receiving tax dollar early, all other things considered, the rules are much more flexible for converting an IRA and creating a tax liability earlier than may otherwise have occurred (as mentioned above, carefully timed conversions may lead to very little tax liability if other outside factors have lowered the tax exposure.)

In closing, we agree with the studies that most do not need a Roth and many may never have the option for a Roth at all. This being the case, there are always certain circumstances that may make a Roth or a Roth conversion an ideal tax planning tool to offset unique income years as mentioned above.

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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Q1 2017 Newsletter Podcast and Audio Review By John Kvale

Here are just a few of the topics discussed in our new Podcast, Audio Video review. Due to the podcast format it is longer, but we think well worth the listen/view !

  • Taxes, Tax Deadlines, New Tax Dates, Tax Savings Ideas, Possible New Tax Rates
  • Economic Cycle Length
  • Interest Rates
  • Two cool Apps of the Quarter
  • 2016 Review
  • Managing your 401k, contribution reminders and matching stategies

Q1 2017 Newsletter Podcast and Video Review

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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

 

December 2016 Podcast Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

The year is over… Wow, was that fast or what? As regular readers know we do a monthly review. Starting with this video we are going to also have an emphasis on describing our updates for those Podcast listeners. So if you do not have the ability to watch the video, the Audio Podcast of this review will bring you up to date and fill you in well.

Let’s finish 2016 with our December Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review.. Here we go!

December 2016 Video

 

Financial Planning Tip –

Tax Tips and more

The best part of these tips are they can be done now in the year 2017 and help our 2016 tax pain….

  • SEP – Offsets 1099/Non W-2 Income
  • HSA – Deductions for high deductible Health plans
  • IRA – Oldie but a goodie-
  • Roth – Special purpose retirement vehicle
  • Itemize those Sales Taxes

Capital Market Movement

Everybody is happy?

We have spoken about the consumer and her role in pushing GDP (Gross Domestic Production) forward when happy… now take a look at investor confidence, again from our friends at Gallup…

12-28-16-gallup-investor-confidence

Triple digits here we come ?  Time will tell!

Have a Great start to 2017!

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
JK Street Cents Logo

 

New Retirement Limits – Same as before … well almost !

The IRS recently released the updates for the 2017 Limitations on retirement benefits.

It was pretty easy… THE SAME as 2016!

From the IRS Release:

Highlights of limitations that remain unchanged from 2016irs

  • The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.
  • The limit on annual contributions to an IRA remains unchanged at $5,500.  The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.

 

There were a few changes that were long on words, but short on substance… here they are.. again from the IRS release..  Print – Click this link to Print this page

Highlights of changes for 2017

The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), to contribute to Roth IRAs, and to claim the saver’s credit all increased for 2017.

Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA if they meet certain conditions.  If during the year either the taxpayer or their spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income. (If neither the taxpayer nor their spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-outs of the deduction do not apply.)    Here are the phase-out ranges for 2017:

  • For single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $62,000 to $72,000, up from $61,000 to $71,000.
  • For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $99,000 to $119,000, up from $98,000 to $118,000.
  • For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $186,000 and $196,000, up from $184,000 and $194,000.
  • For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $118,000 to $133,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $117,000 to $132,000.  For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $186,000 to $196,000, up from $184,000 to $194,000.  The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.

The income limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contributions credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $62,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $61,500; $46,500 for heads of household, up from $46,125; and $31,000 for singles and married individuals filing separately, up from $30,750.

 

Pat yourself on the back if you are still awake at this point… my apologies if you fell over… Bottom line, not a lot of changes!

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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

November 2016 Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

Here is our November 2016, Financial Planning Tip and Monthly Economic Review, along with a Video for your viewing and listening pleasure. Hope you enjoy!

November 2016 Video

 

Financial Planning Tip –

Check that 401k or other retirement plan for maximum contribution

  • $18k is the maximum deferral for most 401k and other similar plans, especially in the corporate arena
  • Those at age 50 or greater get another $6k- added to above is $24k total!
  • Without regard to the company match, max this total amount if possible
  • Taking a peek at your YTD paystub will confirm your deferral amount
  • If you are not there, turn the jets on and up your withholdings
  • When January comes, be sure to lower the deferral rate

Capital Market Movement

Stunning Move in Interest Rates

We have crowed for months (maybe longer) that too low of rates could be a hamper on the Economy, doing more harm than good. We are not changing our tune now!

This from our Mid-Year 2016 Newsletter and JPMorgan:

jpmorgan-rates-too-low-graph

Initial headwinds, may occur but eventual greater fixed income returns may be around the corner.

When rates first go up, bond prices drop…the longer the term (i.e. 30 year) the more they drop. Eventually as bonds mature and re-invest at higher rates, the net result is bigger income …. ignore the top line for a while, just enjoy soon higher income may be advisable.

5 Year (Shorter) Rates Move

 

11-29-16-5-year-treasury

This is the 5 year treasury…. yea the 5 year, that is a short time frame. It was under 1% just a bit back in our rear view mirror. Today, near 1.8%, which is where the 10 year was recently.

Barring some type of crisis, a rate increase in the super short fed funds rate (think checking accounts) should be on the docket for December. 

Oh, did we mention there was election this month?

Have a Great Day!

See you in 2017 !

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
JK Street Cents Logo