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
The biggest consideration most planners use to determine how much risk to take is how long it will be before you need to use that pool of money. That is not necessarily your retirement age. In your case, if you plan to work another 6 years and your wife's income plus rental income will cover the household bills, your time horizon is 17 years. That is a long time and you can still have an aggressive portfolio (assuming you have the stomach for it during stock market declines).
Even an aggressive growth portfolio should have 15% bonds at a minimum to give you diversification and cushion during a recession.
Hope that helps!
Great question! I think the answer might be found in your question of "what is the advisor's job?" Ultimately, of course, financial advisors would like everyone to be investing for the future. But, financial advisory is a job. Jobs, for financial advisors (just like teachers and plumbers and nurses) need to be paid, and here is the rub with the 50% who aren't getting financial advice.
People can pay for financial advice in a variety of ways: Invest in products that pay a commission to the advisor, an annual fee based on the amount of investments managed by the advisor (here is where you often see the $100,000 number), or pay for advice by the hour (like and attorney or CPA). Any way you do it, there is an assumption that some amount of money has been saved and can be invested by the client. Sadly, many people either don't save (bad habits) or can't save (low income/high bills). This is where the disconnect between financial advice and who needs it often comes into play.
It would be so nice if there were FREE financial advice at the time when people really could use it to build their futures. Here, I'm referring required high school classes on personal finance. How lovely if our teenagers were all educated in a consistent manner before they get out into the working world about budgeting, saving, loans, etc. Then, more of our workforce would naturally have money to invest and engage professional advis
The good news is that many financial advisors do provide pro bono advice. This comes in the form of Financial Planning Days across the country sponsored by the Financial Planning Association, and other volunteer opportunities taken on by those in the industry. Unfortunately, that is just a drop in the bucket of need for financial education.
As you can see, I could go on and on about this. There are solutions, and I have hope. Many advisors are offering free classes on YouTube, so there is more opportunity for investment education for free.
I hope that helps.
I'm a fan of a paid-off mortgage. Many people will tell you not to give up the tax write off from mortgage interest. However, if you look at it as a whole part of your finances, that makes no sense. Say you are paying $10,000/year in mortgage interest and are in the 25% tax bracket. Your IRS write off will amount to about $2,500 back to you at tax time, but that's still $7,500 that just goes to interest to the bank. In other words, the write off still leaves you $7,500 in the hole for cash flow.
If you don't think you will be in the house for very long, don't pay off the mortgage and tie up the money in an illiquid asset (the house). If you do plan on staying in your house for 5 years or more, pay that debt off and enjoy mortgage-free living.
An IRA is a type of account that denotes certain tax benefits (tax-deferred growth, possibly a write-off on your taxes for the contribution) if you keep the money invested until retirement. A CD is a type of safe investment where you let a bank use your money for a set period of time and they will pay you a set interest rate. You can buy a CD within an IRA or non-IRA account. You can use the contribution to your IRA to buy a CD or other investments such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Hope that helps!
Great question! I wish there was less financial news in general, real or otherwise. My suggestion is to work with a financial advisor who has your best interest at heart (the word fiduciary is used here often) and create a low-cost, diversified portfolio of mutual funds and ETFs that makes sense for your time horizon and risk tolerance. Revisit the portfolio 2-3 times per year to make sure the percentages of investments are where you want them. Keep the investments no matter what is happening in the news. Remember, you have to suffer through the hard times to benefit from the economy's growth in good times.
After you have your portfolio set, turn off the financial news and watch HGTV, Walking Dead, or other entertainment of your choice.