Tag 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

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

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

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

Q 4 2019 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 4 2019 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 Here for 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!

Q 4 2019 Newsletter

Click for PDF/printable version of Newsletter

 

And here is your review!

Is it Time to Refinance?

With Mortgage rates moving lower, we discuss the major items to think of when refinancing your Mortgage.

Our most clever point is we like to have an 18 month payback for the costs when refinancing… this serves as a good barometer on when to refinance, irrespective of the size of your Mortgage.

 

30 Year US Avg Mortgage Rate

 

Tariff Talk

It’s been going on for a long time

Trade Wars AKA Tariff talks have been around for a long time. This is not our first rodeo… notice how trade has been more efficient over time!

 

us-trade-wars-history Cropped

End of Year Tax Reminders

While there are a lot of reach back tax items i.e. Things we can do next year for this years taxes… there are many that have a firm year end deadline-

  • RMD – Required Minimum Distributions
  • Company Related Retirement plans i.e. 401k
  • Charitable Donations
  • 529 and other education programs

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in ….. 2020 WOOOW !!!

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

Part 11 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – GRANDFATHERED BENEFITS – Decisions for Restricted Application Spousal Benefits Explained

This is the final review of Social Security Benefits and actually a very unique one as this portion speaks to a VERY small group of people who are luckily grandfathered in under old laws and due to that fact have one additional option/decision/possible technique.

In Part 11, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, concludes the specifics of Social Security, Retirement Benefits for one age based spousal Decision …. that Social Security Provides. As a refresher,  Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, Part 8 here , Part 9 here, Part 10 here, and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Restricted Application Technique Benefit Option for Married Couples Meeting Grandfathered Age Criteria

While for a small and quickly shrinking group of folks due to the law change, the Grandfathering of a loophole technique/option makes this worth review :

  • Most applicable when two wage earners
  • Age 62 or older by end of 2015
  • Must not have filed Social Security yet
  • Restricted application for spouses only
  • This age group has the option to file on their spouse – as a reminder all others must always file on their own benefit first
  • Must be full retirement age before able to use technique
  • One member of couple is drawing social security already
  • Can file on spouses benefit and delay his/her own benefit to let benefit grow
  • Nice money based example near end of audio

 

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 “Restricted Application Spousal Benefit Explained” 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

August 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale (With Blooper at end of Video)

Hello and Welcome to our August 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!

August – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Three Most Important Social Security Posts SO FAR

As of this review we have one more unique age related Social Security Post to come, but the three most important posts so far are as follows:

Living Spousal Benefits

Deceased Spousal Benefits

Divorced Spousal Benefits 

Click each link for the actual post…. each post has a couple of minute discussion from Social Security Expert Tom Clark — THESE ARE IMPORTANT AND COMPLICATED-  so take your time!

Call Spam Protection Update

In this second follow up post due to demand, comments and questions we further discuss options for additional protection, depending on the major service provider….

Capital Market Comments –

Tariff Talk Jitters

Depending on the day and the headline, Capital Market Participants in true bipolar fashion seem to either cheer with reckless abandonment and buy buy buy or head for the exits and sell sell sell….

Just by chance it was nice to run across a wonderful historical chart, here in this post, showing this Tariff talk is far from the first time…. maybe for some of us, but in reality we have been dealing with this for decades….(Century)

us-trade-wars-history Cropped

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

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

Part 10 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – DIVORCED – Options, Obligations for Maximization, and Decisions for Ex Spousal Benefits Explained

As we near the end of the Social Security Retirement Benefits portion (Medicare up next), the final 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.

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 10, from our  Social Security Event earlier this year, Expert, Mr. Tom Clark, continued with the specifics of Social Security, Retirement Benefits for DIVORCED spouses …. that Social Security Provides. As a refresher,  Part 1 Here , Part 2 Here , Part 3 Here, Part 4 HerePart 5 Here, Part 6 here, Part 7 here, Part 8 here , Part 9 here,  and Direct Audio Here on our site for your viewing/listening pleasures:

Retirement Benefits for DIVORCED Spouses

In this clip, it becomes very apparent that Divorce and Deceased Ex Spouses carry burdens by us the consumer to check with Social Security for possible increased benefits – also of note there IS a disadvantage to remarrying a lower income spouse :

  • Divorced Spouse must have been married 10 years, unmarried and meets all the benefits of current/regular Spouse to draw benefits – and is still unmarried.
  • Ex Spouses DO NOT effect in any way other benefits for others – Ex Spouse or new spouse’s benefits – Technically someone could be married and divorced as many times as longevity would allow, and as long as each time they were married 10 years all would receive benefits and NOT effect any others benefits!
  • If get remarried, cannot draw benefits on a living Ex husbands benefits.
  • Example:  Married to high income earner and get divorced,  remarry to a low income earner, likely will reduce benefits spousal benefits if yours are not greater on your own.
  • Near end of audio – important statement – If you are divorced, especially if your former spouse has remarried and the current spouse is drawing a spousal benefit, Social Security likely has no record of your marriage to that spouse – see next point
  • Should your EX spouse pass away, you may be entitled to and increase in benefits if you meet the requirements of current wife of widow.
  • Because of the first two points, you may consider calling Social Security to confirm your Ex is still living, if this is not the case, you may be entitled to an increase in benefits- again, something Social Security would have no idea due to remarriage of your Ex

Dealing with Divorced  Spousal benefits carriers obligations in order to maximize Social Security Benefits …

Be sure to listen to the audio below from the event, it is very informative!

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 “DIVORCED Spousal Benefits and Obligations Explained” 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

Part 9 : Tom Clark, Social Security Expert, with Audio – DECEASED – Options and Decisions, Married Spousal Benefits Explained

As we near the end of the Social Security Retirement Benefits portion (Medicare up next), the final 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.

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

Retirement Benefits for DECEASED Spouses

The following bullets  will explain in type form the audio, please take a minute to listen as there is a ton of information in just 4 minutes:

  • Husband and Wife benefits same for deceased
  • Unlike living, a Widow Benefit based of FULL UN-REDUCED amount of Social Security Benefit
  • Example: Widow drawing own benefit spouse dies, the spouses benefit increased to the full amount
  • Widow can draw at age 60 unlike any other benefit
  • Widow DOES NOT have to take own benefit – can delay own OR draw deceased spouse – this gives various options and strategies
  • Cannot marry again before age 60 to have the prior example
  • So complicated, Mr. Clark suggests we go to Social Security options to make an informed decision
  • Bring Marriage Certificate – any proof of your benefit beneficiary
  •  Strategy available for Widows due to the options available- i.e. Draw your own, delay widow or visa versa – its complicated but there likely is a right and wrong answer
  • “If you were married to a high wage earner, might consider waiting until age 60 before getting remarried!” Says Clark – near end of the audio

Dealing with Deceased spousal benefits allows the most options of almost any Social Security Benefits, these options lead to complications, but also maximization strategies …

Be sure to listen to the audio below from the event, it is very informative

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 “Deceased Spousal Benefits Explained” 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