John Hamel

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“With over 17 years of experience in the financial world, John Hamel provides financial planning services and portfolio management to individuals (business owners, retiree’s) and business entities.”

Austec Wealth Management, LLC

Job Title:

Managing Member


John Hamel is the Managing Member at Austec Wealth Management, LLC in Highlands Ranch, CO and has over 17 years of experience in the finance industry. John and his team do their best work with business owners approximately ages 54-67+, still wearing multiple hats of the company, with 10-35+ million in revenue develop an written exit option strategy plan to fix business value gaps that would either prevent the business from selling, prevent a successful family succession or leave millions of dollars on the table at the time of sale.

Austec WM was founded on the concept that most investors’ investment experience does not follow perfectly a A-Z initial progress plan. Their mission is to coach and create harmonious relationships for their clients with specialists and experts to facilitate solutions to clients’ complex financial situations in the present and for their future financial unpredictability as it develops.

John and his team know planning early increases the probability of the business continuing as a "going concern" as the owner moves beyond the company. Often this is one of the biggest concerns of a family business succession and one of the most complicated.


BA, Finance, California State University-San Bernardino

CRD Number:


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    Debt, Retirement, Real Estate
Should we sell our house or pay off our mortgage using our 401(k) savings?
57% of people found this answer helpful

The difficulty with making these choices often backed by a fear...the unknown.  I say this because its important that you understand the numbers choice vs. the emotions choice are often in conflict with each other.  I've only bumped into a couple of people in 18 years that drive everything they do by numbers alone.  And quite a number of people only decide by emotions most all the time.  So those who sway more to the numbers usually have more money to work with and those who sway more with emotions usually have less.   But if it’s all about numbers then you probably should not get married, have kids or any kind of relationships because they all cost.  But if you spend on everything when the emotion tells you to buy then you probably may have experienced divorce, your kids will be upset with you and your so-called friends only hang out with you when you have money to spend.   Yes, the extremes and there are a lot of variations.  But you have to find your own balance. 

So what does this have to do with your question?  Simply when clients ask me similar questions it means there is an emotional component that needs to be resolved first.  In your case, I would assume that because you are asking about paying off the mortgage because you would rather stay there for a reason more than moving into a cheaper house.  But you are concerned that you might be rather tight financially in doing so?   Maybe you want to figure out why you want to keep your present house or why you would want a cheaper house?    Don't just think it about it....write the reasons down. 

I'm a big fan of clients paying off their homes because it provides an emotional security that often produces a lot of benefits being able to growth that garden you always wanted to do because you know you will be there a while or provides opportunity for travel.  But sometimes it doesn't make sense to pay off a mortgage either.  

If it was all about numbers I would say personally, with no emotional attachments to the present house, sell the house, use the equity from the house sale to buy the cheaper house/condo for cash with no mortgage and keep the 401k intact for cushion.  $5,200 per month goes a lot further without a mortgage, plus a smaller house (assuming cheaper means smaller) has less expenses…ie heat, water, electricity bills.  Also selling the house would negate the question of who is on title as next house would have both of you on the title.  It’s the easiest financially by numbers but probably not so much with emotions and attachments.

Best of luck going forward!

July 2017
    Investing, Mutual Funds, Peri-Retirement
Where should I invest my extra cash in order to maximize returns in such a strong market?
50% of people found this answer helpful
August 2017
    Social Security, Investing, Asset Allocation
How should I be using my dividends?
50% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017
    Financial Planning, Asset Allocation, IRAs
How can I recover from losses in my IRA?
50% of people found this answer helpful
August 2017
    Investing, Stocks, Starting Out
What advice do you have to better invest and time my capital?
50% of people found this answer helpful
July 2017