Category Archives: Retirement Planning

Part 8 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – Living, Married Spousal Benefits Explained

As we near the end of the Social Security Retirement Benefits portion (Medicare up next), the final/next Three Parts will be directly related to spousal benefits. Spousal benefits are EXACTLY the same no matter gender, so insert your preference for the easiest understanding.

The Next Three Parts (8-10) will deal with the status of the spouse and how it effects retirement benefits for the other spouse:

  1. Living
  2. Deceased
  3. Divorced

As just a heads up, each section will become more detailed and complicated – so let’s get started on the various spouse benefits depending on the other’s status!

In Part 8, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, continued with the specifics of Social Security, Retirement Benefits for living spouses …. that Social Security Provides. Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Retirement Benefits for Living Spouses

The following bullets and audio will expel many false items you may have heard …

  • Spouse (wife in Clark’s examples) CAN receive benefits based on her spouses benefits, ONLY if she will not receive more benefits by drawing her own benefits
  • If she were to receive a benefit check greater than one half of her spouses benefit, she MUST draw the higher amount due from her benefit
  • One time based exception to the above statements – this exception is quickly fading due to timing of the laws passed –
  • Spouse must be age 62
  • Other spouse MUST be drawing own benefits in order to have spousal benefit
  • All spousal benefits are based on one half the other spouse full retirement age benefit
  • Benefit is reduced for spouse based on early age i.e. Spouse is 62 benefit will be reduced – Read next -Important
  • If spouse is older than wage earning spouse, the benefit will NOT be discounted and will be half of the wage earnings spouses full benefit – in effect greater than one half the early retiring spouses benefit – Great Example at 2 minute mark of audio

Wow, there is so much clarity in the following 2+ minutes of audio, we hope you enjoy – feel free to listen more than once – it took at least a dozen times to get this edited …

Wave file format:

MP3 Format:

OGG File Format:

 

Click Here for Direct Link to All Parts Audio Posted on our Special Social Security Page

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.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Student Loans, History, Growth, and Interesting Facts….

With College Funding coming in at # 2, just behind retirement planning, as the most important Financial Planning topic … we watch the various statistics, public commentary and rules for trends, advanced planning techniques and rule changes that may be positive or negative in the coming years.

The History of Student Loans

The Federal Government began guaranteeing student loans in 1965. Here is our best found article on the complete history.

As a hot topic for any presidential administration, various laws have been passed since 1965, in most cases enhancing the ability for students/parents to obtain loans. Unfortunately, tuition costs have risen at a dramatic rate as well … a possible topic for another time.

Total Student Loan Statistics

The following chart from our friends at the St Louis Fed (FRED) shows the much spoken about total bulging student debt … often times called a crisis… yes, it is a large number and growing, but before you take a stance, we have more for you…

In our minds, student debt is one of the most acceptable debts from a Financial Planning perspective … yes we would prefer NOT to have any, and planning in advance helps this fact, but there are always situations where it is just not possible. Loans for higher education gives many the best opportunity for longevity of happiness in a career they may not otherwise had access…

Parents we would argue not sacrifice retirement for college funding, but we know there are many strong feelings on this topic…

Total Student Debt

9-10-19 Total Student Loan Debt

Total Burden Per Person By State

This chart from our friends at HowMuch.com started the wheels turning for this article…. and is a per person debt load in each of the 50 states.

9-10-19 america_student_debt_by_state-40fe

An Interesting and Important Statistical Chart

Student Debt is large, and clearly growing, however, much to our surprise, the growth rate of student debt has slowed dramatically in recent years….

9-10-19 Student Loan % change yr over yr

This chart is the percentage change year over year in student loans, note the super high mid teens growth during the great recession … not a surprise given the lack of job opportunities at the time.

Happily the growth rate has steadily declined post great recession.

Have a Great “Student Debt Update” 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

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

Hello and Welcome to our May 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!

May – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Why Reading the Fine Print is Still Important

img_2797

Here in this post we discussed the need to keep an eye out for tricksters as the still find their ways into our lives…. this post was created after stumbling on to an offer of 99% annul charges on what looked like a request for a donation to a charity… can’t make this up.. even took the blurry (bad photographer) picture for proof…

 

Sharpening the Saw – Personal Income Tax Bracket Review

In our Sharpening the Saw post here, we posted from a local conference we were attending and grabbed our favorite Tax Chart as a reminder of the new tax law changes.

This chart, which is also making an appearance in the Q 3 Newsletter is a great review/update on the new tax brackets, especially those who are retired:

Tax Bracket Chart

 

Capital Market Comments –

Yield Curve Inversion is back, as we had a brief few days in March, but as of the end of May we had a much more distinct inversion with the 10 year at 2.15% and the 90 day near 2.40%-

The following chart is from our own trading system and is the 10 year yield less the 19 week yield or the equivalent 90 day yield… the black line marks the zero point – anything below the zero is inversion !

6-2-19 10 year versus 13 weeks Rate - Thinkpipes

It’s inverted now for sure…. Again, LOT’s more to come!

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

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

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

Hello and Welcome to our April 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!

April – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Source of Funds Entrance Into Capital Markets

Here in this post we discussed the possible ways to most comfortably enter new capital into the Capital Markets.

Super Safe sources of capital may be best suited for an entrance over time, while funds coming from the Capital Markets, may go directly back into the Capital Markets, especially if risk reduction is also part of the allocation.

Over a 5 – 10 year time frame it does not matter, but why twist an ankle in the short term!

Social Security Event – Questions

Wow – all of these great questions were sent to us for our Event this month…. all were answered, if not directly, indirectly.  We look forward to sharing actual audio (Tom speaks very fast and covered a lot of ground) from the event in a multi-part post series over the summer months! DCIM100GOPRO

 

  1. Last time we spoke you were VERY certain Social Security would be there for all of us upon retirement – With all of the changes, do you still feel this way?
  2. Can you explain the divorced verses divorced and remarried benefits?
  3. Have you ever heard of someone being offered a lump sum of retroactive Social Security benefits?
  4. November of 2015 ushered in new laws and changes, are there any neat techniques that survived?
  5. Can you explain non US citizen spousal benefits?
  6. We have been told many of the benefit statements are not always accurate, understating the actual eventual benefit, has this been your experience?
  7. How much can I earn and not receive penalties if I retire before my full retirement age?
  8. The Full Retirement Age keeps being pushed out, will this continue? Is there a schedule?
  9. How long do I have to report my Social Security earnings if they were not reported by an employer?
  10. For many years I did not draw on an ex-spouses earnings by accident – using only my earnings benefit, can I request some sort of look back to get my full benefits?
  11. If want to change my Social Security election decision after I made it and have been drawing benefits, Can I do that?
  12. Do I have to take Social Security Benefits ? What if I do not want to?
  13. Is it better to sign up in person or use the website, or does it matter?
  14. My wife is not a US citizen, does that affect her spousal benefits?
  15. Will Social Security always be there in your opinion?
  16. What percent of people take benefits early, at full retirement age and as late as possible?
  17. I am 65 and working with a good healthcare plan. I wasn’t going to sign up for Medicare until after I retire. However I am told a Medicare Part F; a supplemental plan eliminating deductibles, will not be available after 2019; Should I enroll and sign up for Part F?
  18. I was married for more than 10 years to a high income earner, if I get remarried to my new spouse who is not a high income earner, will I give up benefits?
  19. Have you seen any of the on-line Social Security Optimization Programs? If so, any you like better than others? (From JK)
  20. What are your thoughts about an income based phase out of Social Security in the future? Much like the penalty for W-2 income and having started early Social Benefits ? (From JK)

Capital Market Comments –

Happy Again

After throwing a Hissy Fit near the end of 2018, “Everybody Is Happy” again !

This is a total index chart, note that it has not reached new highs yet, however many other indexes have.

Let’s not forget that we DID have an inverted yield curve which is a great predictor of a pending recession …. only the Shadow knows when! We have our eyes peeled!

4-29-19 Vanguard Total World Index Fund

 

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

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

Preview Post … Source of Money Determines How it gets Invested – Friday

For a short week, this seemed like a long one. There are still some tax piles/to do’s working their way down for sure …

Next week we will be doing a Post on the Source of Money and How it gets Invested – yea, this is definitely a bit of a tease, but the post is important and will help explain how to most safely invest different sources of funds…. keep holding your breath please…haha

Tomorrow is our Social Security Event and we are ready to listen, learn and discuss together.. can’t wait!!

Next week we say good bye to April….. WOW!

Ahhhh….but today is a Friday and we will let your eyes and brain rest with a short post! Enjoy your weekend, get ready for a big week next week and remember to spend time with those special in your life!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

JK Street Cents Logo

 

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

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

Break in Reminder for our Social Security Event

Saturday April 27th at 10 am and Dallas Athletic Club

 

Hello and Welcome to our March 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!

March – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

IRS Dirty Dozenburglar-308858__480

Each year the IRS publishes their top dozen tax scams, here in our post we cover all dirty dozen tax scams to be aware.

Our top three are their first three-

  • Phishing
  • Phone Scams
  • Identity Theft

Which are the ones we see most frequently!

For the record, we have seen way less this year than in years past!

Choose Beneficiaries Carefully Part IIbeneficiary - 42001392872_ddd235968d_m

Here in our Part II beneficiary post, we discuss the two most common types of designations you will likely see on Beneficiary paperwork, Per Stirpes (flows to heirs, irregardless of survivors) and ProRata (funds only to survivors) and once again as a reminder that Beneficiary language will over ride Wills and other types of Estate Planning documents – choose carefully!

Capital Market Comments –

Inverted Yield CurveFOMC Lowers Rates and buys longer to lower

Here we spoke of the three hour inverted yield curve in a Break In abbreviated post. As an update, the yield curve has been inverted most of this week, making is a TRUE inversion.

We will have a detailed review soon, but again the importance of this event is the recession signaling prowess.

All recessions are not equal, and we highly suspect the next one will be a shallow one, but our radars are up.

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

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

Calling all Questions for Our Social Security Specialist – Saturday April 27 at 10:00 am at Dallas Athletic Club – Friday

Here are our questions so far- but we want more – keep them coming!

  1. Last time we spoke you were VERY certain Social Security would be there for all of us upon retirement – With all of the changes, do you still feel this way?
  2. Can you explain the divorced verses divorced and remarried benefits?
  3. Have you ever heard of someone being offered a lump sum of retroactive Social Security benefits?
  4. November of 2015 ushered in new laws and changes, are there any neat techniques that survived?
  5. Can you explain non US citizen spousal benefits?
  6. We have been told many of the benefit statements are not always accurate, understating the actual eventual benefit, has this been your experience?
  7. How much can I earn and not receive penalties if I retire before my full retirement age?
  8. The Full Retirement Age keeps being pushed out, will this continue? Is there a schedule?
  9. How long do I have to report my Social Security earnings if they were not reported by an employer?
  10. For many years I did not draw on an ex spouses earnings by accident – using only my earnings benefit, can I request some sort of look back to get my full benefits?
  11. If want to change my Social Security election decision after I made it and have been drawing benefits, Can I do that?
  12. Do I have to take Social Security Benefits ? What if I do not want to?

Send questions to jen@jkfinancialinc.com – We welcome any and all!

Here is the invitation – We hope you can come !

 

3-20-19 - Invitatation to SS Info Event with Tom Clark_Page_1

 

Here is Tom Clark’s Bio and mug shot – SUPER nice guy!

 

3-20-19 - Invitatation to SS Info Event with Tom Clark_Page_2

Have a Great “Send us your Social Security Questions” 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

Save the Date – Back by Popular Demand – Tom Clark our Social Security Specialist – Saturday 10 am – April 27th at DAC Dallas Athletic Club – Personal Video Invitation

About four years ago, we had a fabulous speaker, Tom Clark who has multiple decades of experiences at the Social Security Administration as an expert lecturer….

In November of 2015 new laws dramatically changed (limited) many of the Social Security techniques and benefits.

With a few more years under our belts and the change of laws, we wanted to bring Tom back in for an update, refresher, complete analysis of what is happening now, and what may lie ahead for that ever so important benefit, Social Security!

Save the Date

April 27, 2019

Dallas Athletic Club

10:00 AM

MEET TOM CLARKTom Clark Pic

After 33 years of service at the Social Security administration, Mr. Clark now has a second career, spending time with groups like ours, helping them become educated in making the correct decisions and informing them on the intricacies of the Social Security and Medicare System.

Not to worry, Mr. Clark’s last years at the administration found him doing over 300 of these type of events per year.

Questions?

We will be doing a multi-part complete analysis of Tom’s discussion after the event here at street-cents.com, but please send us questions NOW to formulate a list for Mr. Clark to be asked at the event!  Send to jen@jkfinancialinc.com

Here are some questions we have already begun accumulating – just to give you ideas:

  1. Last time we spoke you were VERY certain Social Security would be there for all of us upon retirement – With all of the changes, do you still feel this way?
  2. Can you explain the divorced verses divorced and remarried benefits?
  3. Have you ever heard of someone being offered a lump sum of retroactive Social Security benefits?
  4. November of 2015 ushered in new laws and changes, are there any neat techniques that survived?
  5. Can you explain non US citizen spousal benefits?
  6. We have been told many of the benefit statements are not always accurate, understating the actual eventual benefit, has this been your experience?

That should give you some good ideas, but we want more – bring em on and we will get them to Mr. Clark in advance, post here as a summary – and after the event, give a detailed direct answer!

Have a Great “Soon to be informed Social Security” 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

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

Hello and Welcome to our February 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!

February – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Job Change or Retirement Checklist

In our updated post here, we discuss a few handy items to grab and remember when you retire or change jobs.

Here are the bullets-

  • Last Pay Check
  • RSU-Options
  • Employee Stock Purchase
  • Deferred Comp
  • Pension
  • Health Coverage
  • Long Term Health Coverage
  • 401k
  • New 401k
  • Severance
  • Social Security Withholding

Institutional Trustee photo-1528752477378-485b46bedcde

This post has turned into a full article in the coming Newsletter due to the great response and continued questions and ideas that were brought up-

Possible reasons for an IRON CLAD Institutional Trustee

  • No other comfortable option – Many times a friend/family member is preferred
  • Want an iron clad back up
  • Calming possible family feuds
  • Long lasting legacy desired
  • Desired attention to details such as monthly distributions, bill payments etc.

Choose Beneficiaries Carefullybeneficiary - 42001392872_ddd235968d_m

In this post, just earlier in the week, born from an in field experience – multiple questions in the office after – and the subject making its way into the Newsletter as well… just a great additional article to the Trust!

The most important item to remember in choosing a designated beneficiary on and account is it will over-rule your Will – choose carefully and review occasionally for safety of desired outcomes.

The Brain Shines at West Coast Event

 

 

Capital Market Comments –

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

Nothing to change from the prior month!

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 March!

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 when choosing your Beneficiaries

In a continuation of our Why series – if you want to see the entire series just scroll down to the right side of our blog site and change the category to “Why” – there are some neat ideas in our opinion….

And a topic that came up this week with much discussions, once again giving us a subject matter to share…

In a preview article to a more detailed Newsletter article that goes well with our Institutional Trustee article….

Why you should carefully choose your Beneficiariesbeneficiary - 42001392872_ddd235968d_m

The most important point to remember is that whatever your account title  (IRA, Trust, TOD – transfer on death) documentation has deemed a beneficiary, that is where the funds will go, without regard to what your Will or even what Trust documentation may say…

Making sure all of your title documents send fund to where/whom you currently desire….

Want some examples we have seen over the last three decades:

  • Currently married – maybe for a while – but a Parent is still your beneficiary (Easy fix, frequent occurrence)
  • Minor child is the beneficiary – this will not work- courts will end up deciding
  • Ex Spouse – yikes -there are some relief with divorce decrees, but sloppy
  • Sibling that for whatever reason you no longer desire to be a beneficiary
  • Two of your three grown children – by accident, forgetting the third

Don’t let an accidental oversight in your Beneficiary designation slip through the cracks – Review occasionally, and you will be in good shape!

Have a Great “NOT forgotten Beneficiary” 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