Tag Archives: HSA

March 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our March 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.

March 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Final of FIVE Tax Savings Ideas you can do NOW for LAST Year’s (2017) TaxesUncle Sam

We completed the five part series … Three were let out of the box last month …. Let’s quickly review them and then the two final parts from this month!

HSA or Health Savings Account

Our post here, speaks of the terrific opportunity to set aside Pre-Tax dollars to use now or later for medical expenses.

SEP – Simplified Employee Pension

As mentioned in our Post Here, there are very high limits of contribution, and the SEP can be done during mandated RMD’s, as well as in tangent with a 401k program, as long as the upper limits collectively of contribution are not violated.

Pre-Tax Deductible IRA

As the one of the original retirement vehicles and so vintage many forget (We Don’t!) we want to remind here in our post about the IRA – Individual Retirement Account.

Tax Savings reach back reminders from THIS month/March

Maximizing the Sales Tax Deduction

Here in our post this month, we remind everyone to be sure and maximize your Sales Tax Deduction.

From the post …

Here are a few items that may make your standard sales tax deduction drastically inaccurate and woefully low- thereby costing you tax dollars:

  • Bought a large Asset – Think Car or other similar item
  • Had more then normal personal taxed expenses – for whatever reason
  • Large Taxable Asset of any kind purchased
  • Major expense where you paid sales tax – Think Wedding, Large Party

Be sure to maximize this deduction as it looks like the new tax rules will greatly mitigate it’s use moving forward.

Medical Expense Deduction

We all some type of medical expenses each year. What is a challenge if determining what is and is not deductible.

The IRS does a terrific job with their Publication 502 of reminding and outlining what may be a deduction. In our post here, we remind of a few favorites that we find are frequently missed …

  • Capital Expenses for home improvements
  • Transportation Cost
  • Television
  • Telephone

Are possible (check to make sure) deductions we find interesting and easily forgotten.

 

Capital Market Comments

Finding our Footing After Getting Ahead of Ourselves

 

Another month and our thoughts are the exact same…so much we did not even have to change the title of this part of the review from last month… the chart is updated … looks about the same…

We think patience is needed as this will take time to digest and again find our footing.

Patience will be needed!

Here is where we are now —

3-31-18 SPX w JK Trendline and 200 DMA

For those wondering …. for now, it looks like the 200 Day Moving Average (line below our trend line) is the lower level of support … It may break, which is fine, but for now, looks like someone wants it to hold.

We will keep watch and keep you updated!

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.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

February 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our February 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.

February 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Three Tax Savings Ideas you can do NOW for LAST Year’s (2017) TaxesUncle Sam

With the official kick off of Tax Season occurring some time in February … we are not sure what the “Official” start to Tax Season is, but we know it is sometime in February if not earlier .. haha

In an yet to be completed series – we still have two more parts, the first Three were let out of the box this month …. Let’s quickly review!

HSA or Health Savings Account

Our post here, speaks of the terrific opportunity to set aside Pre-Tax dollars to use now or later for medical expenses. In true Reach Back Tax Savings form, this contribution can be made now for last years taxes.

Be Careful though, you must make the contribution by the regular filing deadline i.e. No extensions to get the benefit applied to last year.

As mentioned above this account does not have to be used completely and can be delayed for highly likely future medical needs.

A handy trick we have used over the years when an employer makes some type of a contribution is to remind participants that in most cases you can make up the difference and get a tax savings.

Check with your Health Insurance Carrier to see if you qualify for an HSA contribution. If you do, we highly recommend you make the contribution.

SEP – Simplified Employee Pension

This beefed up IRA is another super Reach Back Tax Saver and the contribution can be made as late as your extended filing deadline.

The SEP offsets income that make come to you as non W-2. Think consulting, temporary work, as side business that generates income to you directly or any non W-2 regular pay.

As mentioned in our Post Here, there are very high limits of contribution, and the SEP can be done during mandated RMD’s, as well as in tangent with a 401k program, as long as the upper limits collectively of contribution are not violated.

Pre-Tax Deductible IRA

As the one of the original retirement vehicles and so vintage many forget (We Don’t!) we want to remind here in our post about the IRA – Individual Retirement Account.

Notice our careful heading of Pre-Tax Deductible IRA – We are not fans of the after tax IRA (contributing and not getting a write off) and in most case recommend you pass if you cannot deduct the contribution.

There are more limits to a Pre-Tax Deductible IRA under current tax laws, again be sure to see our post for limits and restrictions, but if you qualify, it is worth the savings as this is another “Reach Back Tax” saving idea.

Like the HSA, contributions must be made by the regular filing date- extensions do not  help you. So do not wait until the last minute.

Capital Market Comments

Finding our Footing After Getting Ahead of Ourselves

In a coincidental oddity, we had been putting the finishing touches on a post prior to the ugly 10% FAST FAST correction that occurred in late January and February.

In our post here, we spoke on where we may get back on trend- No one knows, of course, but simple logic of an unsustainable path was our analysis.

We think patience is needed as this will take time to digest and again find our footing.

Patience will be needed!

Here is where we are now — Our Trend line is looking pretty good – So Far.

3-1-18 SPX W JK trendline

 

We will keep watch and keep you updated!

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
www.street-cents.com

Taxes are Done… Finally … A Few Tips to Remember Before Sticking that Information Back into the Files

After each tax season we always feel relieved, as the pressure builds slowly but surely, much like the frog in the boiling water. This story has a better ending.

Taxes are done!

Here are a few tips that are hot of the presses and good reminders for NEXT years taxes!

HSA’s are Great, as is all pre-tax medical savings plansUncle Sam

If you can do an HSA, do one. If you are not sure, reach out to your employer and find out if you qualify, they will know in very short order. Don’t worry about using all of your HSA during the year, you will eventually need the funds for medical expenses.

We prefer HSA to the FSA’s or other plans that may expire annually. However, all pre-tax plans for medical expenses are great. When using the FSA or other “use it or lose it” type of plan, just make sure you do use it and do not let those hard earned dollars expire as the calendar turns to a new year.

Max that 401k

Now is a great time to make sure you are maxing your retirement plan. Do it evenly if possible! In a perfect scenario you likely want to run out of contributions in late November or early December. There are situations such as retirement, job change or other that may make it more appealing to fund early.

Do not overfund your 401k. This can be done via a job change or plan change. We have a more comprehensive article coming soon, but be reminded we do not want to over fund our 401k plans.

New plans can be aggressively invested. As the amount grows, the portfolio should be slowed down and be better diversified for the long term.

You Owed a bunch

If you owed a large amount of money and this is occurring repeatedly, it may be time to adjust your exemptions on for your employers W-4 records of your personal exemptions. Determine what your exemptions are currently and make an adjustment down in number. After your next paycheck, extrapolate the adjustment and see if that will cover your liability. Reach out to us if you need help!

Extension Filers

If you filed and extension, keep your feet moving, especially if you had large transactions or other items that may throw you into an “owed” mode. The longer you wait the more the penalties will be if you are caught by surprise.

Relax and enjoy the rest of the week and the full speed ahead into Summer !

You deserve it!

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

Should I spend my HSA Account ? (Part 2)

As a reminder, we like the HSA ALOT. If you have a high deductible health plan, funding the HSA is a good idea.medical

While you can fund an HSA next year (2017) for this year’s taxes (2016) we would recommend you not, as the recordkeeping is not always great and can cause tax return issues.

Should I spend my HSA?

So you put your HSA funds in pre-tax, they grow tax deferred and you draw them out without taxes as long as you use them for medical expenses.

We like deferring some of the HSA for later use. If you are in a bind and have a large medical expense, certainly use it. DO NOT feel bad for not using the funds as it is a very good bet you will need them for medical expenses in the future and the tax deferred growth is a big advantage.

Many plans, including our favorite the HSA Bank, allows you to invest the funds easily. Let us know if you have any questions !

Have a Great “Pre-tax Medical Savings” 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

Why we like HSA accounts? (Part 1)

There are fewer tax favorable investments and write-offs/pre-tax investments today as the tax code has become stricter and some of the favorable stimulus tax savings have sunset.

One of our favorites tax savers DOES still exist!

HSA Accounts

A Health Saving Account (HSA) is available to individuals and families who have a high-deductible health insurance plan. Not sure if you do, the safest, easiest way to find out is to make a call to your Health Insurance provider as they will know instantly.

Contributions to a HSA are pre-tax and grow tax deferred until use. Best of all, no matter your income, HSA contributions are not phased out or lost at higher income levels.

This from HSA Bank, one of our favorite providers (more on this in Part 2)

hsa-bank-2016-limits

You can even make a 2016 contribution in year 2017, similar to an IRA, however the record keeping is challenging and we prefer correct year/non-delayed HSA funding.

In addition to these limitations, you cannot fund an HSA account once you have Medicare coverage! But you can still use these pre-tax funded dollars for qualified medical expenses ….
OR save them for future use ….To be continued….

Have a Great TAX SAVINGS day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com

http://www.street-cents.com