Category Archives: Retirement Planning

January 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2019 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 as well as Video!

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

January – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Get and Earlier than normal start on those Taxestaxes control-1027103_1280

Here in this post, we remind everyone that due to the new tax laws, it will be a good idea to get your tax information to your professional as soon as possible.

If your using tax software, be sure to do the recommended updates as we feel certain there will be necessary updates to the tables along the way.

Corrected 1099’s are the usual, with only a few last year, we will give everyone the green light once we get our first round of corrected tax forms – but again go ahead and get started with your taxes!

Stunning Findings about your old employer 401kabonded dawn-3358468__480

We had long suspected as much, but in this post we review a Cerulli study that interviewed over 800 401k providers, only to find out that less than 30% really want your funds once you leave.

We have experienced less than stellar service over the years with former employees 401k plans – leading to our long suspicion of these findings.

Make Pension Changes/Decisions Carefullythumbs-up-2056022__480

While our favorite commencement benefit for pensions (100% jt survivor) is fairly straight forward, the simplicity ends there.

In this post, we review recent trends in buy outs and what to watch for, as well as the many scenarios we have experienced that are not always in our best interest.

Capital Market Comments –

Good News – Recovery without a Re-test – So far

What a different a month makes – WOW! We literally have gone from the sky is falling to sunshine!

In our summary post in December, we mentioned that fast moving slumps, such as the one we had, frequently do not last long….

Here, earlier in the month we also mentioned that we fully expected some type of retest of those lows before we gained our footing.

We still do expect some type of re-test, but as of this date we have had the following positives that have added to the markets better mood:

  1. Federal Reserve (FOMC) have turned very cautious about raising rates further (We are happily surprised at their yielding, and even more surprised at market participants joy)
  2. Tariff talks are making progress – Interestingly, China has seen a slow down in their economy making for slightly more urgent talks – with a little compromise and statesmanship a resolve looks more likely – again a positive for capital markets.
  3. Earnings are still cranking along – For the prior 4-6 quarters, earnings were red hot and hitting on all cylinders, so hot, they were not sustainable. Companies are still reporting good earnings, just not the Red Hot, overheated earnings from prior quarters – this is good news as it avails the FOMC to not have to raise rates to slow the economy –

All in all a Win- Win!

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

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
street-cents

Why you should Be Careful before taking that Lump Sum offer of your Pension, especially if your are receiving a monthly benefit already – Careful analysis is needed with ANY Pension decision

We have seen pensions that actually give you less money on a monthly basis if you wait longer! Not Kidding…

We have seen pensions dramatically lose money on their present value lump sum benefit over time (very short time in a few cases) monitoring is needed.

We have seen pensions that never break even, if you take them early versus waiting (similar to first point mentioned.)

We have seen offers to buy out monthly pension benefits in the form of a lump sum that are horrible.

We have seen lump sum offers that are too good to pass up (fewer times, but it happens)

We have run into pensions that if the participant passed away before the pension commenced, the spouse received NOTHING, but once the pension commenced the spouse was a full 100% beneficiary.

We have seen random offers from outside companies to buy pensions off – out of no where- usually not a good deal.

Be Careful with Pension DecisionsTrade - handshake-2056023_960_720

Most pension decisions are irrevocable, due to the actuary calculations that are put into place once a decision (contractually binding the company) is made.

While our favorite pension benefit decision (Jt survivor- as mentioned here) in great detail) is fairly straight forward, little else about pension decisions are easily understandable, compound that with the irrevocable nature of the decision, caution and analysis is warranted.

Recently we have run across a few buy out offers from different sources, reminding us of the complexity of pensions and bringing our thoughts to you in this post.

By reverse engineering these offers, a very complex situation can be turned into black and white.

Use caution when deciding on pension decisions as they are mostly irrevocable and frequently offers and changes, may not always be in the participants’ favor.

Have a Great “Clear Pension 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.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Something we have long suspected, Cerulli Report Confirms: They Don’t Want your 401k Money Once You Leave the Company – WOW!

Over the years we have noticed once an Employee leaves a company, certainly their status goes down, but often times they seem to have trouble getting answers, controlling their old plans, and in particular, working with their old 401k provider.

From our perspective, as you may imagine a latest Cerulli report not only clarifies why these experiences occur, but also confirm our suspicions!

Cerulli Report Confirms “They don’t want your old 401k Money!”

As of this post, we have requested a copy of the report that will certainly make a full appearance again here at street-cents and likely in our Newsletter – (This report is only a week old and privy to professional media members AT THIS TIME)abonded dawn-3358468__480

This Financial Advisor Article  caught our attention as in disbelief we read the abbreviated story on the Cerulli Report:

This from the article:

Overall, plan sponsors don’t seem especially interested in keeping their retired workers’ assets, according to Cerulli. A recent survey by the firm of 800 plan sponsors found that 59 percent preferred that workers take their assets and leave. About 27 percent of respondents said they preferred keeping such assets in their plan

The problem with this is that workers forced (or feeling forced/neglected) to take their funds, without direction – frequently tend to cash out their plans, sacrificing their future!

We look forward to expanding on this story as we receive more details. We will also give you the real life experiences we have come across along with the limitations many providers have.

For now, if you have left your company and are not feeling the love, so to speak… you know why!

Have a Great “Understanding of the Lost love 401k” 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

 

RMD Season is here – Is your DOB between 7-1-47 to 6-30-48 ? You have a decision!

RMD – AKA Required Minimum Distributions – the Governments’ mandate of distribution from our IRA (Pre-Tax) funds in order to finally occur taxes is upon us…..

RMD Season Uncle Sam

In the coming weeks we will begin transferring mandated funds from our IRA/Qualified/Pre-Tax accounts to their directed destinations….

As a reminder this is so the US Government gets to take the taxes due …

IMPORTANT (Neat) Facts –

  1. RMD $$ mandated amounts are determined by the value of applicable accounts on the last day of the prior year
  2. Current year age is a necessary factor included in calculating the RMD – see below next, first time exception – each year of seasoning (getting older) we are forced to take more out of the applicable accounts – hey the IRS has never taxed us on these in many cases – it’s their time!
  3. After tax contributions to a qualified account MUST be accounted for in order to avoid taxes – here are greater details and our taxpayer obligations on this –  don’t overpay – the IRS is not tracking this and will not come to the rescue and lower your taxes
  4. All of an individual’s accounts must be included/totaled/value (certain exceptions are made to those continuing to work) to ascertain the needed distribution
  5. Any one account can be used to satisfy the needed distribution (you do not have to take a little from each account, making it easier from an organization standpoint) BUT you must take at least the minimum distribution
  6. Failure to take the mandated distribution amount COULD result in a 100% tax – Break in – our experience has been the IRS is nice about this, but let’s not test them

Here is a neat three part series from a while back that is worth a review!

70.5 is the key starting age

The mandatory commencement date of RMD’s is the year AFTER you turn 70.5 years young, under current tax law…

If you accept this first year deferral, you will incur two RMD’s in the year you commence your first RMD…

Depending on the situation, it may be advisable to distribute your first year RMD a year early so as not to clump your taxable distribution….

Is your DOB between 7-1-47 to 6-30-48?

Then you turn 70.5 in 2018 and you CAN defer your RMD until 2019, however you will have two RMD’s next year — be careful, large distributions could toss you into an extra tax bracket.

Reach out if you have ANY questions, we have plenty of time, BUT the clock is ticking…

Have a great ‘RMD Efficient Distribution” 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 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