Category Archives: Retirement Planning

July 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our July 2018 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.

July 2018 Video

 

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Social Security – Taking Early

The general rules of Social Security are to wait until as long as you can. In our post here, and the chart below, may give pause to that thinking.

Many situations are different, deeming great thought and analysis needed before commencing OR delaying your Social Security Benefits.

2018 Social Security Crossover

Favorite Pension Benefit Option

Joint Survivor – As mentioned above in our Social Security review, situations vary. While our favorite options for Pensions is the 100% joint survivor –

  • Less Changes in the future
  • Straight forward
  • Simple

As mentioned in greater detail, in our post here, consider all options before making your final decision as this one is irrevocable !

Capital Market Comments

Turns Out, Over the Long Term Earnings do Drive Markets

With earnings booming and Capital Markets treading water, this chart caught our eye and in this post we discussed in greater detail current earnings AND the fact that over the longer term (see chart below) markets do EVENTUALLY react to earnings.

7-13-18 EPS Growth and Mkt Growth 10 year avg

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

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

Taking Social Security Before Full Retirement

Occasionally in the past we have been guests on Wharton’s “Your Money” Sirius Satellite Radio show with Professor Kent Smetters.

Kent and many of his guests are stanch advocates of waiting to take Social Security until the VERY last possible minute.

Just like we believe there is not a product that is correct for everyone, there is also frequently not items that are incorrect for everyone!

Taking Social Security Before Full Retirement

Gasp… Kent and most of his guests not only would encourage many to wait until the maximum delayed time for Social, but certainly not advocate early commencement-

Before we begin, here is a MOST conservative chart of the 2018 Maximum Social Benefits cross over chart comparison of starting at age 62 versus age 66 – again maximum amounts at both ages-

2018 Social Security Crossover

At age 82 it was a bad decision to take Social Early, Or was it?

Here are our thoughts on the situation:

  • Single Folks – You have the most to think about as there is no spousal situation to concern you – Frequently early distributions make more sense especially to single folks
  • Health – If your health is suspect, it may make sense to take benefits early to get some benefits sooner rather than later
  • Quality of Life – Generally we move a little faster today than tomorrow – While we never know the decay of that speed, it is worth thinking about
  • Overall Financial Plan and Liquidity – If taking benefits early helps the liquidity of one’s plan and in many cases can help the long term overall asset growth, a consideration should be made

Things to Consider when taking Social Early

Remember you can’t go back to work until full retirement age. There is a penalty for earnings that kicks in at $17,040 – Translation – You can not EARN more than $17k from an employment type of situation (not including IRA distributions, pensions and the like) and not have a taxable penalty, basically nullifying the benefit to taking Social. This earnings penalty fades away once you hit full retirement age, which is 66 in most cases currently.

If you are married, and your spouse has little or no earnings credits, early Social commencement may limit your spouses eventual benefit, especially there is a large disparity of age – Translated – Upon death your spouse can receive your full benefit, prior to death 1/2 of your benefit – If one takes benefits early, it may reduce the benefits of a greatly younger spouse.

It is not an easy decision as the only way we know the best decision is to know the day we go room temperature! Otherwise it is somewhat a of a bet, but a bet with odds that we can ascertain in advance.

Bottom line, we just want to be clear, it is not ALWAYS the best “bet” to wait until the VERY last minute to take Social benefits.

Wash away the possible stigma that socially many have for taking Social early, it may be a good “Bet” many times!

Have a Great “Maximized Social Security 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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

Our Favorite Pension Plan Beneficiary Option Reminder – Survivor Option Review

For those that still have a pension plan, congratulations, you are lucky!

With longer living (thank goodness) becoming more frequent, many pensions are being withdrawn from the market, replaced by the fancy termed Defined Contribution Plan aka 401k –

If you have a Pension plan, at the time of commencement, you have an irrevocable choice to make – Make it carefully.

Our Favorite Pension Plan Commencement Distribution Option

This is by no means a cart blanch recommendation for EVERYONE to make this decision, however many may be best suited by one of our favorite options –

100% Joint Survivor-

We like this option for the following reasons:

  1. No change in cash flow for any parties not matter the mortality of each
  2. Statistically this is the may be the best option for getting the most money as this will pay until both participants are deceased
  3. Easy to understand – You get a monthly deposit that stays constant

Words of Caution

  • Do not take this decision lightly as it will be irrevocable
  • Careful on taking your pension as a lump sum, this may not always be the best decision
  • Keep your beneficiary paperwork safe – with mergers and changing of plans, you want to have proof of your decision in the future if ever called upon
  • Frequently we see a ton of options – don’t bite on a bad one – there are many that are better for the company than the participant, not surprisingly
  • If you are single, it may make sense to take your pension earlier – Only one beneficiary makes this decision more complicated and this is also the case for Social Security (our most famous public pension plan!)

This post is just a reminder as we have run into this a few times more frequently recently and wanted to get the word out there once again!

Reach out with ANY questions!

Have a Great “Pension Benefit Reminder” 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

Social Security Website and Recommended Review of Your Social Security Statement – Confirm those Credits

We wanted to give a shout out to the Social Security Website. Over the last few years we have continued to be impressed with their improvements.

Since we are here, it is a good time to remind everyone to go check your Social Security Records to make sure they have received proof of your income for the last few years. There is a 3 year window to get your credits added to your statement, otherwise they may be lost…

Social Security Web Page

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Use this link to find out the maximum full retirement age benefit – $2788/Month

How about find how remarrying will affect your benefits? Here is the answer!

If I retire early, will my benefits be reduced ? Just need 40 Credits! Here is the link to the calculator page to get a more precise estimate.

All answers were found on the site above… Well done guys !

Have a Great “Social Security Handy Website” 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

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

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.

img_0967

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