Tag Archives: Social Security

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.

October 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our October 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.


October 2017 Video

Break In – D Magazine Honors – Best Wealth Managers

We are super happy to be honored in D Magazines Best Financial Planner and Wealth Managers Award !!

Thanks so much and congratulations to our fellow recipients.

9-27-17 FINAL DMAG Spread

11th Consecutive Honor – John Kvale Best Individual Financial Planner

The 11th consecutive D Magazine best Financial Planner award was also in this edition and we are super happy to announce, John received his 11th consecutive nomination!DmagLogo

Wow and again thanks to our fellow recipients!

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

Social Security Increase

Don’t smirk at 2%, every penny counts! With a CPI (Consumer Price Index) increase of 2% year over year, the Social Security Administration passed the good news on earlier this month. Take that 2% increase and run!


Capital Market Comments

Rates are Slowly Ticking Up

After much silence on interest rates, we have taken notice of recent movement as the global economy begins to pick up steam … Overseas seems to really be getting their act together.

10-24-17 10 Year Treasury

Consumer Sentiment Also Higher

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment hit a post “Great Recession” high this month.

With two thirds of our US Economy being based on consumer consumption, this bodes well for the Economy.

10-13-17 Consumer Sentiment

See you at the end of November, which also features our very special Blooper Thanksgiving Video from a few years ago!

Happy Fall Season!

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.

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 www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount 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

JK Street Cents Logo



That’s a Wrap … After Fourteen Weeks, Social Security and Medicare Review Complete

My how time flies when you are having fun. Just after the Client Social Security and Medicare event was complete, happily we confirmed the audio did record.

The wish was to bring concise targeted ideas on each subject.

We were successful as there were a total of fourteen ideas that surfaced, seven from both Social Security and Medicare!

Favorite Social Security Finding

My personal favorite was the let it ride technique, but each post helped my knowledge about the possibilities and the endless multiple scenario options.

Best Medicare Finding

In listening to the audio over and over in order to cut it from fire hydrant to gushing garden hose, I was most pleasantly surprised on the very specific web directives on the Medicare Parts.

Social Security and Medicare

Must have been the speed of the event (Tom talks fast), I did not even remember the secret web sites mentioned during the actual event.

Tom  … Thanks so much, we look forward to having you again and thanks for the offer for help on specific complicated cases in the future, we will take you up on it!

Have a great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA CFP

PS: The Audio will remain for some time here for Social and here for Medicare
PSS: As promised in the most recent Newsletter, our NEXT newsletter will include a Social/Medicare review as well
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225  

Full Retirement Benefits and Delayed Social Security Benefits Explained … Widow and Spouse Benefit VERY IMPORTANT Note

In our continued discovery and education of the Social Security system and benefits from our Private Client Roundtable earlier this year, we are happy to bring you information about Full Retirement Benefits. Widow and Spousal only benefit receivers should take careful notes.

Full and Delayed Social Security Benefits Explained


  • Delayed retirement credits occur by delaying benefits past full retirement benefits (has increased recently)
  • 8% per year increase for delaying YOUR benefits until age 70
  • Spouses or Widow benefits DO NOT receive delayed retirement credits (Do not delay past full retirement age if you fall in this category)

Here are full retirement ages as of 2014, from Social Security Administration: (Caution, these may change in the future)

Social Full Retirment Beneifts Age as of 2014

Have A Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225