Tag Archives: IRA

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

Why not to add AFTER tax funds to your IRA!

Every penny we save is great. On a daily basis we are bombarded with buy now pay later, so while it may sound contradicting, there are less complicated ways to save and more difficult ways in the end to save.

Perils of After Tax Dollars in an IRA

After tax dollars as opposed to PRE-TAX (deductible from your income taxes) funds in and IRA are not your friend.

  • Upon eventual distribution you must calculate a distribution basis which will be different from your actual distribution – Easy for the IRS to confuse
  • You must carry the basis on your tax return- forever- IRS Form 8606 must be filed to keep up with your basis
  • Your heirs may also have to deal with this basis upon your death
  • From a really high level, it is confusing

How Do After Tax Funds get into an IRA?

There are two basis ways after tax funds enter or get added to an IRA:

  • After-Tax – Non-Deductible IRA contribution: (Very popular about 15 years ago)- Please save the money, but look for a better way to save it and avoid this method
  • 401k or other Corporate Pre-Tax retirement plan is rolled into an IRA along with the after tax funds- Easy fix- Look to take the after tax distribution directly thereby separating the PRE and AFTER tax funds-
  • Watch rollovers that contain a Roth contributions as these are after tax and may be directed to their own separate account, once again simplifying the process

It’s not the end of the world if you have after tax funds in your IRA, great work for saving the funds … But if you have the choice, avoiding comingling after and pre-tax funds in your IRA or other similar retirement account may save complications later!

Have a Great “KISS- keep it simple” 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

 

 

When to contribute to a Roth, when not to contribute to a Roth, benefits and limitations

Recently we have received several questions about the Roth IRA. While many studies show only about 1 in 4 would benefit from a Roth, there are times when a Roth is the best choice. There are distinct differences in Roth’s versus other pre-tax plans which make appropiate tax planning very important when implementing a Roth contribution.

Roth Versus 401k or other Pre-tax Plans

The most important factor in determining to contribute to a Roth or not is understanding one key component:

A Roth is a bet your tax rate will be higher at retirement or in the future rather than currently!

Due to the tax benefits, all other items being equal, a Roth is most beneficial when one expects to be in a higher tax rate later or at retirement. Under normal circustances most families are in a LOWER tax bracket at retirement than during their working years, making a pre-tax plan more appropriate.

As a refresher, a Roth is an after tax contribution that grows tax deferred until used. No tax deduction up front makes for less immediate tax benefits but greater benefits during retirement or later in life when draws are taken on a tax free basis, under current tax laws.

Roth plans have less stringent RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) requirements than many other IRA/401k type plans. Pre-tax plans have mandatory distribution requirements due to their “never taxed” status. Since the contributions to funds and growth in pre-tax plans are without taxes, the IRS wants to get their taxes. 70.5 is the latest age one can defer the distributions of a pre-tax plan in most cases. Contrasting that to a Roth; Since taxes were originally paid on the contributions, distributions are not mandatory in most cases as the IRS receives no benefit under current law and thereby deems no mandatory distributions unless a Roth has been received as a beneficiary in which is it subject to similar mandatory distributions of pre-tax plans.

When a Roth is correct? 

Since a Roth is a bet taxes will be higher in retirement or later in an earning career, lower income periods of employment/careers tend to be the most beneficial for making contributions. Think early in a career or on off years of regular work for most tax beneficial Roth contribution times.

In a year of negative or low income the conversion of IRA to Roth may be an optimal strategy. Under certain situations a regular IRA may be converted to a Roth showing the income from the IRA. This would essentially pull forward the taxes from the IRA to the current year, which may be beneficial during very low or even better during a negative earning year. There are very few limitations on converting a IRA to a Roth as the IRS is benefiting early from the pull forward to taxes. These conversions, done correctly are without the normal early IRA 10% penalty.

Since a Roth is after tax and growth is tax deferred, the earlier the better for maximizing a Roth’s full potential. Tax deferred growth over longer periods of time will have greater benefits than short periods of time. In fact, VERY short periods of tax deferred growth in a Roth make it MUCH less appealing, if even appropriate at all!

Roth contribution limits

Single filers cannot make a Roth contribution once their income is greater than $133k in 2017 and married filing joint cannot make a contributions with incomes greater than $196k.

Roth contribution limits in total are $5500 regular plus $1000 catch up for those greater than age 50. Some employers offer Roth 401k plans which allow higher contribution amounts similar to the $18k and $6k catch up of regular 401k plans, however mandatory RMD distributions do come with these types of plans.

Conversion from IRA as mentioned above has no limits on income or earnings to qualify. Since the IRS is receiving tax dollar early, all other things considered, the rules are much more flexible for converting an IRA and creating a tax liability earlier than may otherwise have occurred (as mentioned above, carefully timed conversions may lead to very little tax liability if other outside factors have lowered the tax exposure.)

In closing, we agree with the studies that most do not need a Roth and many may never have the option for a Roth at all. This being the case, there are always certain circumstances that may make a Roth or a Roth conversion an ideal tax planning tool to offset unique income years as mentioned above.

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

Fund a Roth? … Versus Deductible IRA … Might be surprised!

Knee deep in the middle of tax season we are reminded of the puzzling Roth. First rolled out as the best thing since sliced bread, after careful review … maybe not!

The Main Reason to fund a Roth

If you believe your taxes will be higher in retirement than now, you are a strong candidate for a Roth. Our experiences, and the vast studies show lower effective tax rates after retirement than while working. See below, but all other items being equal, deductions now are better. Roth V IRA

Roth V Deductible IRA

A Roth is the opposite of a regular deducible IRA. A Roth is funded with after tax dollar and grows tax deferred. Distributions are made at retirement without taxes. An IRA is funded with pre-tax dollars, grows tax deferred and is taxable upon distribution.

We will spare you the calculations, but if your tax rates are exactly the same in pre and post retirement, a Roth and an IRA have exactly the same end result!

In closing, if you can do both, certainly do so, but if it is either or, in most cases a deductible IRA is better.

Lastly be sure you qualify for any of these as the rules have changed and continue, via income and other plan participation.

Have an Awesome Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP
http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

Late Arriving Form 5498 On the Way

Just when you thought it was safe to put your tax stuff down, lick the wounds, and forget about it for another nine months, a pesky form may be headed your way.

Form 5498 Mailed End Of May5498 blank

Form 5498 reports all contributions and rollovers to all IRA’s and SEPS. If you fall into one of these situations … it’s in the mail.

DO NOT WORRY ! This form is for reconciliation on a delayed year basis. Toss it into your tax files and you are done.

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225