Quarter 1 | March 31, 2021
1st Quarter Newsletter
Golf With My Brother and Missed Tee Shots; Lessons in Life
By Lance Gunkel, CFP®, CFA, Managing Director
As a kid growing up in Bismarck, my brother Jason (our Chief Investment Officer) and I were able to golf for free every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer so long as we teed off in the morning. At that age it was just the motivation I needed to get up and out of bed. For years we’d golf twice a week and I had become – at least in my own mind – a respectable golfer.
I decided to test my skills by entering a youth tournament when I was 12. I was in a group with three other kids my age, and at that time in my life it heightened my nerves. I desperately wanted to show off that I was good and could fit in with these other young golfers. I teed up my ball and prepared for my first shot: whiff. I completely missed it. I was rattled now, so I tried again. Whiff. I’m now on the tee box hitting 3: what a start!
I did eventually hit the ball, but I had a terrible round. I was rattled, and my nerves got to me for the entire 18 holes. I was mad and nobody in my group wanted to talk to me, and who could blame them?
After my terrible first tournament, I thought about all of those rounds I played with Jason. He had (and still has) such a nice, smooth stroke and plays very well. I’ve learned much from Jason over the years, but what he taught me on the course is that it doesn’t do any good to focus on all the mistakes, missed opportunities, or bad decisions of the past. Jason kept a calm demeanor, learning from his prior mishits, but not obsessing over them. Instead, Jason thought about and planned for the next shot, all while keeping a fun and happy mood.
I try to draw upon this lesson in other areas of my life today. Not every decision will be a good one, and we will miss opportunities. This is true in family life as well as money matters. 
How can I best approach this next opportunity?
  • If it doesn’t turn out perfectly, that’s okay – I'll have another shot, so I'll focus on improving.
  • No matter what, I won't obsess over past decisions.
  • I'll enjoy the time spent with others around me. Even if we're facing a struggle, we'll enjoy the moment we're sharing.

Here’s to hoping your next shot is your best shot! If it’s not, smile and remember that at least you’re not still standing on the tee box hitting three.
What You Need to Know About the American Rescue
Plan Act of 2021
By Matt Roberts, MFM, CFP®, CAP®, Chief Planning Officer
The third round of stimulus since the start of the pandemic was signed into law on Thursday, March 11 by President Biden. The $1.9 trillion relief bill, officially known as the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will again provide stimulus checks, along with some other familiar features as the two previous stimulus packages.
Here is a summary of the main provisions contained in the bill.
2021 Recovery Rebates
The Recovery Rebates, or stimulus checks, are the centerpiece of the bill, which account for $410 billion of the $1.9 trillion. The amount of the check is calculated by multiplying $1,400 by the number of qualifying individuals. This includes the taxpayer themselves along with any dependents. One key difference between the 2021 Recovery Rebates and the prior stimulus packages is that this relief bill allows you to count dependents, not just children under 17.
Like the prior two relief bills, there are income-based phaseouts. However, the stimulus checks under the American Rescue Plan have a much narrower phaseout (shown below).
Single and Married Filing Separate: $75,000 - $80,000
Head of Household: $112,500 - $120,000
Married Filling Joint: $150,000 - $160,000
The 2021 Recovery Rebate will be paid now based on the prior year’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI); however, it is still considered a 2021 credit. The tax return used to determine eligibility will be based on the most recent tax return filed (2019 or 2020). If you failed to qualify for the recovery rebate based on 2019’s or 2020’s AGI, you could still qualify if your income in 2021 has dropped below the phaseouts. Also, if you qualified based on 2019’s or 2020’s AGI, but your income increased above the phaseouts in 2021, the Recovery Rebate will not be clawed back when you file your 2021 tax return.
A dizzying array of scenarios is possible. If you have questions about whether you will qualify, please give your planning team at Syverson Strege a call.
Child Tax Credit Enhanced for 2021
The Child Tax Credit was temporarily increased for 2021. Since 2018, the Child Tax Credit is $2,000 per child with phaseouts beginning at $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples filing jointly. Under the American Rescue Plan, the credit was increased by $1,000 ($3,000 in total) for dependents under 18. For children under 6, the credit was increased by $1,600 ($3,600 in total). The phaseouts for the additional credits are slightly different. Here are the applicable thresholds:
Joint Filers: $150,000
Head of Household: $112,500
All other filers: $75,000
Other Notable Provisions
  • Enhancements to the Premium Assistance Tax Credit health insurance policies purchased through state-run health insurance exchanges for 2021 and 2022.
  • Student debt forgiveness from 2021 through 2025 will be income tax-free.
  • Enhancements to unemployment compensation.
What is not included?
  • Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) will not be suspended in 2021 like they were in 2020.
  • No further extension of PPP loans for small businesses (i.e., no PPP3).
  • No minimum wage increases to $15/hour (was removed from the Senate version during reconciliation).
If you have any questions about the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, please contact your planning team at Syverson Strege.
An Interview with Johnne Syverson
By Julie Summa, Director of Marketing & Communications
My husband and I have had the privilege of knowing Johnne for over 20 years, including an opportunity to spend time with him and his wife, Linda, on a Caribbean cruise/marriage conference. Our paths have crossed many times and I now work with him at Syverson Strege.
It was a blessing to conduct an in-depth interview with Johnne. I think you’ll find it quite interesting to read his answers to my questions. Enjoy getting to know Johnne Syverson, cofounder of Syverson Strege, in this up close and personal interview!
As a kid, what were you like?
Honestly, I was a good little boy and never caused trouble. I was very thin until age eight. I had my tonsils out and then was able to gain weight. I did OK at school and tried to do what they told me to.
What has been the most rewarding moment or time in your history with Syverson Strege?
My most rewarding time in Syverson Strege’s history has not been one moment, read more
Tax Announcement – New Deadline
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 17 that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.
Individuals will have until May 17 to file 2020 federal returns and pay taxes with no need to file for an extension. The extra month gives taxpayers and preparers more time to analyze the tax law changes and provides IRS with more time to process returns. However, the first-quarter estimated-tax-payment due date of April 15 is not delayed. The delay also doesn’t apply to business return filings, such as Form 1120.
Introducing…FIT Videos! 
Syverson Strege introduces the new FIT Video Series…Financial Instruction and Teaching designed to help provide peace of mind and clarity on a variety of financial planning and investment topics.
A total of ten educational videos on a wide variety of financial planning and investment topics will be rolled out over the next several months.
In the first FIT video, Financial Planner Wayne Johnson and Associate Financial Planner Jerin Young explain the benefits to farmers of donating grain, livestock, or other ag commodities in order to benefit their favorite charity and save taxes.
Be watching for more videos on our Facebook page and soon on our website.
Syverson Strege employees will be off for observance of Good Friday and Easter on Friday, April 2. They will resume work on Monday, April 5.
Philanthropy Highlight

Something New…Charity Discovery
Some of our clients have previously participated in the Syverson Strege Giving Club. Their donations have truly made a difference for each of the organizations that have received the Giving Club’s quarterly meeting proceeds.
Due to the pandemic, our Giving Club meetings were suspended in 2020. We missed getting together and listening to presentations of new charities. One of the main benefits of attending a meeting was to learn about charities they didn’t know much, if anything, about. In some cases, attendees ended up not only financially supporting the charity, but also getting involved as a volunteer.
As a result of this input and the inability to safely resume gathering at this time, we are revamping the Giving Club and introducing Charity Discovery.
Here’s how Charity Discovery will work:
  1. We will highlight a charity in our monthly client News & Views email publication.
  2. Clients will have the opportunity to watch a short video presentation by the charity to learn more about its mission.
  3. News & Views will include a link to donate to the featured charity if you so desire. 
Click here to check our latest podcasts!

Client Orientation Workshop
Syverson Strege is offering a virtual Client Orientation Workshop for clients, whether new or established, who want to learn more about being a Syverson Strege client. The workshop will be held virtually on Thursday, April 15 at 1:30 PM.
The workshop will cover the following areas:
  • How to read statements
  • Tax forms
  • Client portal/online access
  • APS (Annual Planning Session) process
  • Recordkeeping/shredding documents
  • Handling charitable gifts from your IRA
You’ll be joining the workshop virtually, but you will have ample opportunity to ask questions and interact with the financial planners.
Click here to register for the Thursday, April 15 workshop at 1:30 PM. 
Welcome Ryan Simpson
Our team is growing! Syverson Strege welcomes our newest employee, Ryan Simpson! As Client Service Associate, Ryan will provide support to Financial Planners and Associate Financial Planners in the development of comprehensive financial plans and service to our clients.
Ryan was born and raised in the Des Moines area. He attended South Dakota State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. After graduation, he worked as a Research Associate at Iowa State University participating in water quality studies throughout the Des Moines River. Since graduating from college, he also worked for Simpson Design Group, a family-owned graphic design business.

In January of 2020, Ryan received a certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University. This program provided him with the education requirement to sit for the CFP® exam, which he was fortunate enough to pass in September of 2020! Ryan is passionate about helping individuals navigate complex financial issues for the betterment of them and their families. The success of our clients is his ultimate goal and reward. To learn more about Ryan, click here.
Market Update

Quarterly Market Update Video
Be watching for Syverson Strege’s 1st Quarter Market Update video that will be coming out in a few days from Chief Investment Officer Jason Gunkel. To watch all other quarterly market update videos for 2020, click here.
Happy Spring to you and your family!
Syverson Strege
4125 Westown Parkway, Suite 104
West Des Moines, IA 50266