Category Archives: Retirement Planning

August 2022 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – YAY …. Holiday Party Location Revealed – 401k Run Rate – Wall Street Mistake to Our Advantage, Bloated Inventory – Slowdown Contra Bounces and Pivot Narrative Reminder – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our August 2022 … 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 audio format as well as Video!

Break In: Holiday Venue Announced –

Thanks for the tease jabs last week… deserved…haha

Dallas Museum of Art

Details to Come – Saturday Afternoon November 19th before Thanksgiving Weekend

Newbies –

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

Hope you enjoy!

August 2022 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Check that 401k Run Rate – Are we hitting our contribution goals?

Here in this post we remind everyone now is a good time to check the run rate for your 401k contributions….

The reason now is a good time is we have time to make up any shortcomings, should they be discovered…

Bloated Inventories – Wall Street Woes = Main Street Savings

With large public companies fessing up that they have accidentally over inventoried and will be slashing prices to move said bloats….

Now may be a good time for a MANDATORY purchase….

As we mentioned in our post here, we have done some spiffing up of the office in conjunction with our new lease signing… Maybe too many people took our post to heart…. options are greatly reduced on some of our updates…yikes

Capital Market Comments

Hill Street Blues Reminder – Let’s be Careful Out there

In our post here, we highlight as a reminder that slowing/recession markets can have interesting contra bounces… but as our Hill Street Blue’s Chief always stated….

Let’s be careful out there…

Jackson Hole – No Pivot

Along with contra bounces comes a narrative that usually gets some traction…

Sure enough, this bouncing narrative was the Jerome Powell was already Pivoting to a slower hand (Economically not important as the cards have been dealt- digressing) …

Jerome Powell announced in his last weekend speech …. not only NO PIVOT but get ready for some Pain….Wow….

Care to guess when the announcement occurred?

Not to worry we are most definitely …… Being Careful Out there!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of September!

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

Great Time of the Year to Check Run Rate of Contributions to Retirement Plans or the Like

With a pending holiday week coming up in the next several and as mentioned before many on Wall Street seem to be getting their kids back to school. We thought it a timely time to remind everyone to check those retirement contribution run rates….


Great time to review your contribution levels

Midway through the third-quarter, is a good time for all of us to review our retirement contribution levels. If our intent is to max out your 401(k), or other retirement plan, take a peek and see if you’re on track to achieve this goal.



If you have any questions certainly shoot us your latest paycheck and we can do the calculations, but here are roughly where we should be on our contributions to the regular and ketchup 401(k) levels.


Ideally your year to date (YTD) contribution levels for your 401(k) regular withholding by yourself should be about $13,500 in order to meet the $20,500 regular filing maximum by the end of the year and if our goal is to achieve the $27K catchup for those 50 and older we should be at about the $18,000 level today. Both of these should be our individual YTD withholding amounts. We know there are matching and employer contributions … but the rules are set for us as an individual at the $19,500 regular maximum and $27,000 catch-up maximum.

Two quick reminders… if you have changed employers it is our job to keep up with the maximum amounts as mentioned here because our new employer will not know our prior contributions… Lastly we like to max fund early our contributions if we know we are not going to be at our employer the full year…. Especially if we may be going to another place that may not have a plan or may have a mandatory waiting period..

There are variances in certain situations, most of which we have already discussed, but those that we have not recently …

  This is your friendly reminder!

Have a Great “Retirement Run Rate” 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.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

July 2022 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – Back to Basics Tax Return PLANNING – Legacy Health Coverage – Feds Pickle – Yield Curve Inverts – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our July 2022 … 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 audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

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

Hope you enjoy!

July 2022 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Back to Basics Series – Income Tax PLANNING

In our final fun “Back to Basics” review we discuss Tax PLANNING….

From the post:

Coincidentally, the most important part of Tax Planning is the second word in the subject, Planning!

As we individual or corporate tax payers traverse the tax year, it’s important to take note of unusual events that may be occurring. We’re certainly not saying you have to worry about this every minute of the day, but should you have an unusual increase in income, or decrease in income, this should be thought about before the end of the year for your tax planning.

Later in the post we discuss the key items in reviewing your return as well….. in step by step format!

Legacy Health Coverages

After running into several situations of legacy health care options for long time former employees… Here in this post we outline the possibilities of bridge Health Coverage from legacy companies and how fantastic of an option this can be…

In almost every situation, the key is these plans are not easily discovered. In order to find out if you have an option, it’s best to dig out contact information from HR of your old employer and reach out to them directly.

This is an expense to your former employer, so it would be expected not to receive multiple information regarding such a plan, but if available it could greatly help in bridging the gap for Medicare should we be in the situation of needing coverage before age 65. 

Capital Market Comments

Bond Market turns Upside Down – The R Word

After the second negative GDP print … see next note of Fed’s Pickle…. the bond market really began to price in the R Word…. Here in this post we discuss the inversion of long bonds to short and their meaning…

The Fed’s Pickle

In this post, BEFORE the actual GDP announcement, we discussed the Fed’s pickle, with a hot economy (CPI inflation holding tight) BUT an economy that is slowing …..even qualifying as the R Word now – Recession!

From the BLS release after our post :

Q2 2022 (Adv)-0.9%
Q1 2022 (3rd)-1.6%

Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022, following a decrease of 1.6 percent in the first quarter. The smaller decrease in the second quarter primarily reflected an upturn in exports and a smaller decrease in federal government spending.

The definition of recession is negative two quarters GDP….

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.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Have you worked at a legacy company for a number of years? You may be eligible for some type of legacy health insurance from them !

One of the challenges, and concerns of retirement or transitioning from permanent employment before age 65, the current Medicare age for health insurance.

 

Purchasing health insurance as an individual can be challenging, and can also create some angst in the decisions that we make.

 

Have you worked at a legacy company for an extended period of time, maybe 10 years or so?

 

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

We have continually run into situations where a former employee who has worked at a legacy company for an extended period of time, such as 10 years … may have an option for some sort of bridge or supplemental like health insurance coverage from the previous employer.

 

What is meant by legacy company, is a company that has been around for multiple decades …. a new startup tech company as an example, will not have such a benefit. Also, not to worry if your company has maybe changed an official name but has bones going back many decades, you still may have an option.

 

In almost every situation, the key is these plans are not easily discovered. In order to find out if you have an option, it’s best to dig out contact information from HR of your old employer and reach out to them directly.

 

This is an expense to your former employer, so it would be expected not to receive multiple information regarding such a plan, but if available it could greatly help in bridging the gap for Medicare should we be in the situation of needing coverage before age 65. 

 

Almost every situation that we know of … has a slightly different slant of how qualifications are determined, be sure to take copious notes on how and why you may have this offer, and make sure you keep whatever contact person you have  for future use.

 

Qualifications for such benefit can vary greatly, so again make sure that if you were being told something you again or actually able to get this coverage.

Maybe a bit of a hassle to determine if you have an option…. but if you do, will be VERY WELL WORTH the hassle!

Have a Great “Found Bridge Insurance Option” 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

Second Quarter 2022 Review, Half Way Point, All about the Fed

The Halfway Point 

While we have just reached the halfway point of 2022, for what it’s worth in seemingly much faster fashion than prior several years, likely due to the various lockdowns that we endured, even with such seemingly speed of time, there has been a tremendous amount of interesting events that have occurred so far this year! 

All about the FED, once again 

After multiple years of Federal Reserve stimulus both through lowering of interest rates and large asset purchases, as the calendar turned the federal reserve, FOMC, led by Jerome Powell pivoted and moved their foot from the accelerator to the brake. Not only has the FOMC pivoted to the brakes, but they have put both feet firmly on said pedal. First talking aggressively about rate increases leading up to the fastest interest rate increases on a percentage basis that have ever occurred, putting headwinds in safe assets also known as bonds or fixed income, but the other foot on the pedal included reversing asset purchases through balance sheet runoff. 

The first glimmer of easing of the brakes by the Federal Reserve occurred several weeks ago in a public testimony by Jerome Powell in which he stated the federal reserve cannot control oil and food prices. Capital Markets participants read that to be not as aggressive in posture, maybe one foot easing off the brake. 

Literally the last week of the quarter, the second major event occurred oddly enough from the research partner at the Atlanta Federal Reserve. The Atlanta Federal Reserve research department has a forward looking predictive model that attempts to predict GDP (gross domestic production), the most blunt instrument of economic activity. Just days ago, they updated their model from an expectation of 1% growth in Q2 2022 to -2.1% growth or an actual contraction. While seemingly unimportant, this estimate if true would mark the official R word for the economy – Recession. This second event was even more impactful as market participants began pricing in an even less firm brake pedal fed.

 

Persistent hot CPI Consumer Price Index reports present challenges 

Back to the Jerome Powell lead FOMC, one of their favorite inflation measuring sticks, the CPI or Consumer Price Index a very blunt measuring instrument of price increases and inflation measures, looks to remain high, mostly due to the severe lag effects of some of the input data. This puts the FOMC in a pickle, with the aforementioned possible R word and a slowing economy, but lagging blunt measurement showing high blood pressure in the economy a.k.a. the CPI . Not a fun time to be a member of the FOMC! 

How about some positives? 

In our latest newsletter, hopefully already on your reading table, we point out in multiple graph format tons of positives. While some may say were looking through rose colored glasses, we prefer to say the glass half full. Of course, these can change, but the pictures we pointed out at the time, were positives. 

Time is our friend on all of these matters, be sure to avoid the ugly headlines which most certainly will continue likely throughout the remainder of this year, we have your back and will talk to you at the end of the next quarter! 

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (2022 Report)

Update on Interest Rates … Have they Peaked? A Review of the 10 Year Treasury …

The extra speedy move of interest rates upward have put pressure on “Safe” assets, notably bonds or fixed income.

As reviewed here in great detail and with a special video on the subject, as rates rise, headwinds are created, BUT the opposite is true…. rates stabilize or even lower, big tailwinds…

Have Rates Peaked ?

Using the 10 year treasury as our marker for this review, after peaking 3.15% a few weeks ago, rates have come in and are now around 2.76% …. Progress and stability!

Here is a zoomed in chart….

Just like the change from Winter to Spring to Summer, it rarely occurs in a straight line…. remember also this longer term rate (10 years) is a measure of economic growth and will not be directly effected by the Federal Reserve overnight rate increases (thats our checking accounts)…

Have a Great “Interest Rate Watch” 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

Attention all Pension Lump Sum Buyout Offerees

Over the last three years we have experienced a multitude of pension buyout offers both from in-force pension payments and lump sum offers for pensions not yet started.

Recently we have just experienced another, and knowing these frequently come in waves, wanted to put this note out to anyone who may be in a position to receive a pension buyout offer.

Trust but Absolutely Verify

In every situation that we have experienced over the last three years, the processing of the lump sum pension is quite different.

Also, the paperwork originally sent with the offer tends to vary slightly to dramatically from the actual offer.

We of course do a detailed breakeven analysis in order to find out if the offer is good, but in order to calculate the offer correctly, the appropriate information is needed.

If you are in a situation of receiving a lump sum buyout offer for a pension or even a lump sum buyout offer for an in-force pension, please trust but absolutely verify all of the details. What we are finding that frequently the original offer may have inaccurate information making for an impossible correct decision of acceptance or decline.

This is another subject that we ask you may share with other individuals that we may not know that might greatly appreciate or need this knowledge. So please share at your leisure.

Have a great “Trust but Absolutely Verify that Pension” 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

Back to Basics Fun Educational Review – Part Five – Education Planning … The 529 – The Not to 529!

Welcome back to Part Five of our “Back to Basics” series .. we hope you’ve enjoyed the First Four which started with all about “The Emergency Fund” in Part 1 … with Part 2 being “Protection Planning” and Part 3 discussing All about Debt Planning or “The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Debt”, Part 4 Retirement Planning and now we happily bring you Part Five Back to Basics Education Planning!

As a reminder this is a high level Financial Planning Education like overview starting with the basics of and we will continue into advanced topics in order of Planning Importance.  

Did you notice we put Retirement Planning BEFORE Education planning? Do you recall in Part 3 in Debt Planning we said one of the few good debts are educational related debts ….We of course are not advocating Student debt/loans… but they are available in abundance and again not a bad debt. There are not retirement planning loans…. just saying!

Education Planning

Very similar to the most important parts of retirement planning, education planning carries many of the same qualities but with a few caveats:

  1. Start Early and if you do consider a 529 plan due to the tax free compounding features.
  2. With many states giving you a state income tax bracket break for your 529 contributions … making those states a green light to fund a 529 right up to the years a student is about to attend or is even attending –
    1. Planning Strategy– if you are very near the student using the 529, only fund the amount needed to get the deduction on the state level. Those residing in states where there is no state income tax deductions have far less benefits to the late funding/in and out of 529 state deductible contributions.
    2. Second Planning strategy– late funding plans of any type should be in VERY safe almost emergency funds like asset classes since their use will be so fast.
    3. Third Planning strategy– Do not overfund a 529 as if you do there can be stiff tax penalties for non-educational uses.
  3. Think of educational funds as fast use retirement funds, therefore make sure the allocations are very conservative as the child approaches use age.
  4. Make it easy for Grandparents and others to contribute to an Educational fund, we find other generations very frequently help with Educational Funding since they also know the importance, but may be more set in their retirement funds…

Education Costs are Increasing Fast

Not withstanding the above warning of overfunding a 529 plan, understand that higher education costs are rising very quickly as noted here in detail and be sure to plan accordingly … here is our favorite chart on the Growth of Student Loans:

Have a Great “Education Planning” 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

Interest Rates on the Rise, Bond Prices Versus Interest Rates, The Bigger Coupon, Possible Peak Rates … Special Video Analysis Refresher/Reminder …

With multiple comments over the last few weeks and a pick up in headlines concerning interest rates, we decided to do an analysis and review! We also have added a video to help explain some of the complexities associated with rates and bonds … as while at face value bonds are a simple animal, their movements can be puzzling.

The main reason for the increased headlines and comments are when rates go up, the value of bonds goes down initially, and rates have really jumped dramatically for various reasons.

YouTube

Briefly as a reminder, Bond aka Fixed Income aka corporates aka treasuries aka high yield aka Fixed Income instruments are nothing more than a note with an income stream to the purchaser of the bond! There is a saying the bond market is “Smart” because you only have to worry about the ability and willingness of the lender to pay… nothing else…

Rates and Bonds – I Go Up, You Go Down

The Green line is the yield on the 10 year treasury… The red is a huge bond fund from Vanguard called the BND….

No doubt that this is an almost perfect inverse relationship.

One detail worth mentioning, longer term bonds are more volatile, both up and down than shorter term i.e. A one year bond will not move near as much as a 30 year. This makes sense because the longer the term, the more payments that are owed and the more change in the prevailing rate effects the bond.

Fast Fast Fast Movement

In true, be careful what you ask for fashion, (we have long been positive towards higher interest rates) rates have moved incredibly fast, especially Mortgage Back Securities which are pools of mortgages used for determining current new rates…

This is the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage…. as of yesterday, this rate was well over 5%…this rate is almost double the rate just a few quarters ago…. With eventual supply, our home asset is facing some headwinds !

Much of this rate movement is coming from Federal Reserve Bank Presidents public comments…..

Why would they do this? To slow the economy… if they can get the market to move rates up, their job is easier ….heck if they can get market participants to do all the work, the Fed would hardly need to do anything… plus markets are much faster to react than the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee)

Bigger Coupon

Once interest rates move, a new bigger income stream is the net effect… New purchases or re-investments are met with bigger income payments…

This continued higher income payment begins paying back the headwind of the drop in value as shown in the first chart…

Clipping that coupon will be nicer as rates increase!

How Far Can they Go? Rates and the FOMC?

Here comes is the sizzle…. be careful on extrapolating higher rates into the future… this extrapolation has garnered a lot of headlines as of late …. Whoaaaa

This is about a 35 year chart… go back farther, to a much younger demographic, there was a time when the FOMC raised interest rates to the roof… think 15-18% to tamp out inflation….

With an economy today of much more debt to service and older (more savers, less spender) demographics the last four decades have been a slow but continued lower longer term rate….

Note the top of the prior interest rate cycle looks like the top of the FOMC rate hike…again the last four decades….

Stall Speed

With the afore mentioned cycle high repeating as the following cap on rates, looks like, although very fast rate movement recently, the majority of the move is likely over….and therefore less headwind for the value of bonds and bigger coupons….

Lastly… a slowdown in economic times or a rush for the safety of our simple friends usually leads to a reversal in rates and a repeat of the afore mentioned process…but in reverse… lower rates, higher prices!

Have a Great “Bonds and Interest Rate Analysis” 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

First Quarter 2022 Review, Fast Quarter

Remember when we were kids and it seem like the birthday would never come? Now they seem to come on almost a quarterly basis!

Speaking of a quarter, as we look back over the first quarter of this year, 2022, Wow, we had a lot of things occur.

Interest Rates

As the calendar turned, the FOMC, led by chair Jerome Powell, reading very rearview mirror inflation data points, began verbally discussing aggressive rate hikes.  Right on cue fixed income participants front ran the Fed and raised interest rate across the board.

Mortgage rates, specifically 30 year fixed mortgage rates have risen in percentage terms faster than any time in history.  This is likely a product of the stopping of monthly FOMC purchases of mortgage back securities. It would not be unreasonable to think that current levels could be an overshoot from the artificial downward pressure the federal reserve had been creating.

As of late, several Federal Reserve Presidents have publicly doubled down on even more aggressive rate increases, pushing rates even higher.

Longer-term, recall increasing interest rates are headwinds to fixed income instruments initially, but higher interest rates mean greater income longer term.

Fiscal Stimulus Comparables

As we exit this quarter, and enter the next, we begin a journey over one of the most interesting comparable times in history. As noted in our Q1 and Q2 newsletter, tough comparables will likely make for a natural slowing of the economy. Recall last year at this time over $1 trillion of stimulus was pushed into the economy. As mentioned once again in our newsletter, this is a natural slowing and will be a tail wind to the federal reserve as they raise short term interest rates in an attempt to slow the economy.

And did we mention there was major Geopolitical conflict?

There is a saying that conflict is the great geography educator. Certainly it was a surprise to see the amount of resources that come from the two countries in conflict. The lack of resources on the natural market may be a headwind to lower prices of certain commodities..

In closing, the really good news is that much of what we have experienced in this past quarter, and the coming next quarter, in birthday like format may likely come and pass much faster than previously experienced.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (2022 Report)