Category Archives: Social Security

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.

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.


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.

Medicare Part B Means Testing New Thresholds/ Surcharges for 2018

In our coming Q1 Newsletter we have a terrific detailed review of the background of Medicare, the newer means testing and what to expect in 2018.

In timely fashion, thanks to the nice work of a noted studious professional in our industry, Michael Kitces … the following chart shows the income thresholds and surcharges to take effect in 2018.



These resource thresholds have been lowered dramatically, scooping in more families than in past years. Again, full discussion coming in our Q1 Newsletter.

If you are on Medicare, take a moment to scan these numbers, it worth our time!

Bottom line, a higher income year for a joint couple could result in a $503 (A means surcharge of $369) monthly Part B premium EACH … eeek !

We will discuss planning ideas to help alleviate this and also what to do if you incorrectly may have been targeted for this type of surcharge premium!

All about timing and control of income!

Have a great “Medicare Controlled Surcharge” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

Social Security Raise in 2018 is 2% NICE!

The Social Security Administration announced late last week the COLA (Cost of living adjustment) based not he CPI, Consumer Price Index (see graph below) would be a 2% increase.

Here is a great fact sheet link

Three Important Numbers

2% – The increase in ALL Social Security benefits for 2018

$128,700 – The phase out level of Social Security withholdings – Medicare 3% does not phase out anymore

$17,040 – The maximum amount of employment related income you can earn AND draw Social Security early without facing a dollar for dollar tax above this amount

The CPI – Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) (to be exact, it is the CPI-W for clerical workers and wage earners- it looks exactly the same) is the basic index living adjustments for Social Security (and many other instruments) are used.


As you can see the line is generally up, but there are years that no adjustment is made!

Happy 2% raise next year!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

January 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning Tip and Economic Review- By John Kvale

How Many times have you entered something with the date of 2016 ? If you are like me, SEVERAL…

Here is your January 2017… yes, new Month and new Year, Monthly review!

As a reminder, last month we started with an Audio Podcast format for those that are unable to SEE the video or just prefer to listen to the audio… this makes the review slightly longer, but more descriptive.


January 2017 Video


Financial Planning Tip –

Job Change/Retirement Checklist

Thanks to all of the fantastic comments, shares, views and thank you’s .. here is a brief summary of the actual super popular post:

  • Grab that Last paycheck– .
  • RSU -Options- Grants – Don’t let them expire
  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan-Make sure you have control
  • Deferred Comp–May be a taxable event, find out when
  • Pension – Be Knowledgeable
  • Health Coverage– Don’t go a day without
  • 401k– Old take control
  • New 401k– Be aggressive
  • Severance– Understand it
  • Social Security Withholding – Watch the double withholding

The underlying theme is making sure you know where everything is and any time deadlines you may now have due to the change… Your Vault is a great place for all this information !

Capital Market Movement

Rate Watch Still

Interest Rates have moved smartly higher and seem to be holding… signaling higher growth? This is the 10 year treasury rate, the benchmark in many cases for length of rates.


Happy 2017!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
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No Social Security/Pension Cost of Living Adjustment Increase for 2016

On October 15, 2015 the Social Security administration formally announced that there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment for 2016.

No Cost of Living Adjustment

The Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security and most other pension plans is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Recall this is part of what Janet Yellen and her friends at the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said was too low for their comfort and was used as one reason they did not increase rates.


CPI 1 year trailing 9-2015


Here is a good graph of the components of CPI, by Bonddad


CPI Components CO bonddad 2012


Believe it or not, the long term average of CPI is 2.75% – We are no where near that today !

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225


Social Security Week … Are you in the know?

July 19-25th is Social Security week.  Right in the middle of the second annual Social Security week, here are the details.

Social Security Week


If you have not already, go to to establish an on-line account with the Social Security administration.

  • Review Credits
  • Confirm benefit estimates
  • Payment information
  • Address updates
  • Direct Deposit information
  • SSA 1099 information
  • Medicare information and cards

The are just a few of the benefits.

Go ahead, it’s painless and gets you into the loop for an eventual benefit.

Have a Great “Social Security” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590

Dallas, TX 75225

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