Sullivan Financial Planning, LLC
Kristi Sullivan has been helping people achieve financial security since 1996.
After graduating with a B.S. in Business from Colorado State University, Kristi worked for Great-West Life in the employee benefits department for three years. This experience gave her a strong background in employer retirement plans, Flexible Benefit Accounts, and group medical plans.
Departing for Fidelity Investments in 1998 gave Kristi the chance to learn more about financial planning on a personal level. In her nine years at Fidelity, my duties included operations, compliance, financial planning, and teaching investment classes.
Sullivan Financial Planning, LLC was formed in 2007 with the goal of providing clients exactly the type of help they needed, without the pressure of corporate quotas or sales numbers directing the recommendations.
Kristi holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation and the Series 65 and Colorado Life & Health Insurance Licenses. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association, The Alliance of Professional Women, The Women’s Estate Planning Council, and the Denver Alumnae of Chi Omega.
She is proud to have been a volunteer speaker for the non-profit Evelyn Brust Foundation. As a speaker for the Brust Foundation, she presented on achieving financial security at public libraries for the purpose of providing the general public an education without a sales pitch.
In Kristi's down time is spent with her husband and two sons. She is always up for a ski day, travel, seeing plays, and reading a good book.
BS, Business, Colorado State University
Congratulations on your graduation and $1,000 savings! I recommend you keep that $1,000 in a bank account for now. You may need it for rent, college expenses, or other short-term needs. Stock index funds go up and down unpredictably. That is not a great place to have short term savings. Also, most non-retirement accounts have a $2,500 minimum to open.
Keep saving and set asice 3 months worth of expenses in a savings account. Then, start working toward that first index fund.
First of all, congratulations on your great savings habits! In answer to your question, the advice about only saving for retirement can often come from people who work for your 401(k) company or something similarly focused. More broad based financial advisers will acknowledge the need for mid-term savings, debt reduction and simple balance in spending for now and the future.
That said, saving for retirement is something you only have one shot at doing. Someone your age may think it's a risk not to enjoy your earnings now since tomorrow is uncertain. However, it's more of a risk that you will live into your 90s without enough money saved.
What's the compromise? First, save into an emergency fund so you have a buffer against job loss. 3 month's essential expenses is a good goal. Save at least enough in your retirement account to get your employer match if there is one. If not, start at 5% of income and work your way up to 10% over the next 3-4 years. When you get to your higher earning years, strive to max out (currently $18,000/year) your employer plan, but don't worry about that just yet. After your emergency fund is set, set aside money for vacations and fun stuff each year.
Hope that helps!
You shouldn't have to pay taxes on money being returned to you. They may be asking for a W9 as part of their regular process. Check with your accountant to be sure.
If you roll the 401(k) to an IRA before age 59 1/2, you will lose the loophole that allows you to take money out and avoid the penalty for early withdrawal. I recommend you stay in the 401(k) unless you have plenty of non-retirement money elsewhere to bridge the income gap until age 59 1/2.
Putting $320 back into the loan will not change your payment or loan terms by more than a few pennies at most. If you have credit card debt, start there. If the credit card is good, but you don't have an emergency fund, put it there.