Category Archives: Social Security

Social Secuirty COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment – Look Out Above – 5-6% COLA ?? Maybe … WOW … Pension Recipients You May Receive a Similar Increase …

With a few of our industry rags shouting look out above for the Social Security COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) we took a deep dive into the SSA (Social Security Administration) methodology for the adjustment.

Pension Recipients with COLA adjustments you likely will be in the same boat of increases, depending on the index the COLA adjustment is marked against….ok digressing a bit, but wanted to get that thought out !

Social Security COLA Methodology

Basically the SSSA looks at the CPI – W in the third quarter of the year and compares it to the prior year and marks the new COLA Accordingly….

The fuss or cheer, is due to the dramatic increase in the CPI – W …that most recent print is 6.1% WOW!

The CPI – W

“The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is based on the expenditures of households included in the CPI-U definition that meet two requirements: more than one-half of the household’s income must come from clerical or wage occupations, and at least one of the household’s earners must have been employed for at least 37 weeks during the previous 12 months. The CPI-W population represents about 29 percent of the total U.S. population and is a subset of the CPI-U population!”

From the latest BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Here

SSA Methodology

Here is the SSA Methodology from their calculation pamphlet last year here https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10526.pdf

To determine the COLA, the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the most recent year a COLA was determined is compared to the average CPI-W for the third calendar quarter of the current year. The resulting percentage increase, if any, represents the percentage that will be used to increase Social Security benefits beginning for December of the current year. SSI benefits increase by the same percentage the following month (January). If the increase in the CPI-W is at least one-tenth of one percent (0.1 percent), there will be a COLA. However, if the CPI-W increases by less than 0.05 percent, or if the CPI-W decreases, there won’t be a COLA.

Have a Great “COLA Adjustment Heads Up” 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

Another Week, Another Private Space Launch…. Our Vote For Best Space Craft Style … Social Security COLA Preview … Friday

Just a week or so ago, we noted here when Richard Branson hit the skies making history with a personal space craft and safely returned to Earth….

Thankfully another launch went without a hitch earlier this week…. again, these things do not always go well and when they go bad, they really go bad big!

With two successful private flights and one more coming soon… we feel ok being a little critical or some may say tacky…

Which Craft Do You Think is Cooler

Link Below each picture is to YouTube full launch of each, Blue Origin (Bezos) and Unity 22 (Branson)

We favor the Second…. should be interesting to compare Elon Musk’s …. which we will do post launch…

Social Security COLA Preview – Coming In Hot

With the drop and rebound of the Economy, much of the Inflation numbers that the Social Security uses to do Cost of Living Adjustments or COLA are also running hot… possibly hotter than we have seen in some time…

More on this next week in greater detail, even some details we have recently discovered…

Ahhhh….but that is next week, today is a Friday… have a good Day and Weekend- Talk Next Week!

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

Q3 2021 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter … Video Audio Podcast Review ! By John Kvale – New Post Format

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q3 2021 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 the Download button below, for a 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

BREAK IN – Below is a new format for our Newsletter, hoping this pulls through on your Cell Email!

Let’s get going! We hope you enjoy!

Q 3 2021 Newsletter

(YouTube)

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in the Fall !

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

Q2 2021 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter … Video Audio Podcast Review – Reminders ! By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q2 2021 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 the Download button below, for a 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! We hope you enjoy!

Q 2 2021 Newsletter

(YouTube)

Social Security Earnings Record Check Reminder

In our lead article of the Q 2 2021 Newsletter, we remind all of the importance of checking your Social Security Record, no matter your thoughts on the longevity of Social Security….

Additionally we walk you through step by step on how to do this and also how to set up your SSA on line account!

Secure Act – Possibly Forgotten But Important Changes

With the passing of the SECURE act, the old age of 70.5 mandatory RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) was pushed to age 72.

Many times, it is not appropriate to wait until this age, depending on the location of some assets. EX Large IRA compared to other non iRA investment, Tax Brackets, One Off income Years

For those where it is appropriate to wait until the latest possible date, you can actually wait until the year AFTER you turn 72 as long at you take the distribution before April 1 of the year AFTER turning 72.

Warning, in almost all cases we discourage this last maximum delayed technique as it ends up forcing two RMD’s in the same tax year of your 73 birthday.

Buffet Valuation Indicator

Warren Buffett, the usually closed lip investor, years ago mentioned his macro Valuation indicator which is shown below.

It has never flashed “Over Valuation” as much as it is now!

Expecting tremendous Earnings Growth to help turn this indicator around and head the other direction!

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in the Summer!

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

March 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our March 2021 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 and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

March 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tips

Two Handy Reminder Posts – Credit Report and Social Security Earnings Credits

We had not one but two really good reminder posts over the last four weeks, on which is featured in the Newsletter in great detail and one that is a handy annual reminder – hat tip DK!

Here in this post we highlight why and how you can check your credit report. This is a really good thing to do at least annually to see if there are any barnacles attached to your credit, thereby lowering it and possibly causing other costs in your life to increase i.e. as mentioned in the insurance.

Here in this second post and again also featured in the Newsletter, why you should check to make sure you are getting credit for those hard earned tax dollars being sent to the Social Security Administration AND very importantly a reminder to look for missing credits in your history!

Stimulus Check Update

In this post, we detailed the planning techniques associated with the third round of $1400 stimulus checks and what to watch out for as well as the new cliff thresholds of phase outs… further detailed with the following chart:

March 2020 Review, Annual Reminders Credit Report and Social Security Eearn

Capital Market Comments

Maximum Macro Economics Coming Soon

Not every trying to be a trend setter or first into the pool – we accidentally beat most of the regular commentators here in this post to the fact that there are likely some VERY HOT ECONOMIC numbers coming our way.

These will occur due to easy comparisons associated with the drop in Economic activity about a year ago as well as continued lift off as we open up for business once again.

There will be interesting dialogue in the Headlines – Be for warned much of this may be skewed by the afore mentioned!

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

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

Why You Should Check Your Social Security Earnings Credits No Matter Your Age

While many may argue contrary to our fantastic Social Security speaker whom we have had twice now Mr. Tom Clark who assures us that Social Security will always be there, many do not believe this for various reasons. 

No matter your beliefs or age we highly encourage you to check your Social Security Statement and most importantly your Social Security Earnings Record.  

Earnings Benefit Credit Statement

Do not be concerned if just as this example, does not show your 2020 earnings posted as of yet there have been some delays and normally this is not posted at an early time in the year anyway . 

What we want to be concerned about is if there are gaps in our earnings history or a partial credit (change of employers) that should have been credited. there are many reasons that this can occur such as just a lost document in the Mail or an employer was bought out or closed and did not report your hard earned earnings period. 

How Do I Find This Statement? 

In 1999, the Social Security Administration mailed a paper copy to everyone every year. Budget cuts a dozen years later stopped this handy paper copy, leaving all of us to easily forget to double check our statement annually. 

For the record according to the Administration folks at age 60 are supposed to receive a paper copy, but our informal poll shows a low hit ratio. 

Not to worry, it is not that hard set up an account, ESPECIALLY if it is your first time. 

Go to www.ssa.gov and either log into your account or create an account and pull down your statement…

Oh, keep your credentials safe … lost mine and was a huge pain getting logged back into the site!

Have a Great “Social Security Earnings History Check 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

Break In: Spring Spotted … Spring Break Next Week … Newsletter Completion … Time Change Weekend YAY! … Friday …

With an unused make up snow day today (not sure how that happened but oh well) – kiddos out today – and next week being Spring Break an attempt personally to take some R & R time next week, I am out today and next week….

Always tethered, this time lightly as Jen and Donald are very capable of covering !

BREAK IN – Spring has sprung… each year the family watches for the early budding Tree in the back yard… Great News, the deep freeze of just a few weeks ago did not do our early budding tree in AND in the last 24 hours the blooms have started…

Who needs the Groundhog… kidding-

Well done Pierce for spotting !

Newsletter Update

While gone, the finishing touches will be put on the Newsletter, AND next week we will do a shortened version of one of the main articles – Why You Should Check Your Social Security Earnings Record Now!

Time Change Weekend – YAY

In addition to a little R and R, next week, we get my favorite time change! YAY

Sure we lose an hour of sleep…

Sure it seems to take a bit longer to adjust as the years go by…

But the Suns stays up LATE in the evenings…

Friday and Next Weeks Posts

If I can stay away from the keyboard – no promises…haha

In addition to the Newsletter Preview Post mentioned above, a re-run of another reminder post will occur as well.. hat tip DK from the field as a neat reminder!

Ahhhh…. but today is a Friday and I am away, but tethered lightly… enjoy your weekend and your Friday!

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

Q1 2021 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter … Video Audio Podcast Review – Reminders, Updates, New Tax Rates, By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q1 2021 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.

In this start to a new year, we update the pictures on the Video and also the entry and exit music. Our editor actually greatly adjusted the colors and fonts of the Newsletter this year, which we really liked as well.

Click the Download button below, for a 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

This Newsletter is chocked full of reminders from events and experiences we had with you in the field last year the would be helpful looking forward into 2021!

J.K. Financial q 1 2021 newsletter

Let’s get going! We hope you enjoy!

Q 1 2021 Newsletter

(YouTube)

The Homestead Reminder

With a very large number of moves in 2020 …. much greater than we can ever recall, in this Article we remind of the Homestead.

In the year 2020 we have had more change of residences than we can ever recall over the past three decades. As a reminder, and using Texas as a template, if you live in your home on January 1 you can do what is called a homestead tax exemption. Once again through the lens of Texas, this is a particularly good tax savings exemption that everyone should do if you live in Texas. 

Q 1 2021 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter Lead Financial Planning Article

And just a bit more description from the same Article …

From TexasLawhelp.org – a fantastic non-profit resource we use frequently – again only for Texas residences, those living in other states may want to check for a similar organization. 

What property qualifies as a “homestead?” 

A “homestead” is a house or other residential structure that you own, together with up to 20 acres where the structure sits if the land is used for residential purposes. A manufactured home on a rented lot qualifies as long as you own the home. Manufactured homes must meet additional requirements for a “Statement of Ownership and Location,” but if you did not receive the paperwork from the prior owner and cannot locate the seller after making a good faith effort, you can submit the affidavit in Form 114-A. 

Estate Planning Tops Our Minds

It was literally a race for the greatest increase over normal years, for folks moving to a new residence (per above) or reviewing and updating their Estate Plans.

Has Anything Changed Since My Documents Were Written? 

Just because five, seven or even ten years have transpired does not mean that you automatically need to update your documents.  If everything looks right, and things have not changed then those documents are likely just fine. 

On the other side of the equation if things have changed in the past twelve months (or even less) that would make your documents incorrect, you likely need to do an update so your directives are appropriate. 

Q 1 2021 J.K. Financial, Inc. Newsletter Second Lead Financial Planning Article

If we are not in possession of a copy, please send to us or upload to your Vault as we keep things safe and most importantly FOREVER!

Q 4 2020 ES Reminder – The Safe Harbor

Mid-month, January 15, 2022 to be exact is the final due date for Quarterly Tax Payments ( Q 4 2020 ES Tax Payments.) With a pushed out ordinary filing date due, it seems like to many we just filed last year’s taxes (2019), and here we are already rushed to complete 2020. Hence the reminder. 

Here is what is looks like

Table

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Here is the link to Publication 505 for 2020 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p505.pdf) which gives you full instructions on how to file. Here is the link to Form 1040 ES Publication for 2020 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf) which contains the final voucher. 

The Safe Harbor

Lastly, if you are in a situation where you tax bill may be dramatically different from the prior year, in this case 2019, consider trueing up your 2020 taxes to at least 110% of year 2019 total Federal tax withholding.  To help avert any penalties or interest.

Retirement Contribution Levels and Medicare IRMA Amounts

While we have posted these levels earlier here, and we know the formatting was a bit wonky, we wanted to review them again directly from the Newsletter.

Here are last years most common levels along with whats up for 2021 – mostly unchanged

IRMA – Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – Medicare Part B Surcharge 

 If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount, you may pay an Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Medicare uses the modified adjusted gross income reported on your IRS tax return from 2 years ago. This is the most recent tax return information provided to Social Security by the IRS. “ 

Here are the 2021 limits and adjustments: 

We hope you enjoy … talk to you Next Quarter – Happy 2021 !!!

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

October 2020 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale …

Hello and Welcome to our October 2020 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 and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

October Video

(YouTube)

Financial Planning Tip (s)  –

Social Security COLA Increase 1.3%

Social Security, one of the few Pension Like Benefits that has a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) announced an annual increase – there is not always an increase … which we discussed here in this post with links to the announcement for those wanting more detail!

Possible Realizing of Capital Gains

With year end tax planning in mind, here in this post we discuss the possibility of realizing Capital Gains if your are on the fence and may be thinking of pushing gains out to next year…. this with approval and knowledge of your tax professional – let’s not get reckless!

Capital Market Comments

Election Outcomes and Market Reactions

Here in this post we carefully tip toe into the Election outcomes and possible market outcomes ….

Hanging Chads – No one is elected and a lengthy battle ensues – In our minds, most Market disruptive – Participants dislike uncertainty

Clean Sweep Either Direction – This may surprise you, but participants generally favor a partial party political holding

Partial Party Holding = Inferred from the points above – Partial party holding in either direction is likely least market disruptive

Have a Great October Update!

Talk to you at the end of November!

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

Social Security COLA 1.3% Increase … Better than NO Increase!

Ok, so everyone maybe wanted more…. but given the circumstances any increase is likely a gift!

About one week ago the news broke from the Social Security Administration….

Social Security COLA Increase Announcement

Here at this link, the Social Security Administration announced a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) of 1.3% for 2021!

Approximately 70 million Americans will see a 1.3 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2021. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost-of-living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).

They go on to explain the increase in more detail!

The CPI-W rises when inflation increases, leading to a higher cost-of-living. This change means prices for goods and services, on average, are a little more expensive, so the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) helps to offset these costs.

There you have it, an increase of 1.3% for 2021! Much better than nothing!

Have a Great “Social Security COLA Increase” 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