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
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.
ETFs are fairly liquid. You can sell them as a market order and generally they will be sold right away. It then takes three business days for the cash to settle in your account from the transaction. That is much faster than selling a house, car, or Fabrege Egg (not so liquid investments).
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!
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.
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.