Robert Hernandez

Personal Finance, Taxes, Small Business
“Robert Hernandez, Founder and lead Certified Financial Planner professional at Main Street Associates, helps every day people to grow million dollar businesses.”

Main Street Associates

Job Title:



Robert Hernandez and his team at Main Street provides financial planning and CFO-style strategy services by CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Main Street makes small business finance accessible and as simple as possible for entrepreneurs, solo-preneurs, freelancers, side-hustlers, independent contractors, franchisors and small business owners of all types.

Robert and his team love small businesses, their owners and their families because after all - they are one too. Their small business focus gives them special insights into their challenges and needs, especially when the business provides primary income to the family. Their approach uses an integrated planning model to support small business owners and their families as they make important life decisions.

So if you find the idea of financial reporting, taxes, and bookkeeping a distraction and has your head spinning, leverage the expertise of Robert's CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to bring it all together and take the guesswork out of growing your business.


BA, Economics, Wesleyan University
MBA, Finance and Strategy, Fordham University

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    Small Business
September 2017
    Insurance, Small Business Insurance

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    Financial Planning, Retirement Savings, 401(k)
Should we use our 401K funds to pay off a home equity loan?
40% of people found this answer helpful

Hello, I am happy to provide a few points of guidance to your question.

I do not recommend using retirement account savings to pay off a home equity loan or to fund a college savings account, and here are the reasons why:

  • First, you have made great effort and progress to build a fantastic retirement nest egg and you should be commended for that. According to a June 2015 Government Accountability Office analysis, the GAO found that that average Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have accrued about $104,000 in retirement savings.
  • Second, money that you take out of retirment savings will lose another 6-10 years of compounding that you will need to support the cost of your retirement years, including health care and long term care. Also, the IRS will assess a tax penalty, which is like throwing money out the window.
  • Third, and most importantly, there could be an impact on your children's financial aid. Here's why:
    • When your first daughter applies to college, you will fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and/or the College Board's CSS Profile ( These financial aid applications look at the parents' income and assets in order to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for college. The more income and assets you have, the more you are expected to contribute.
      • Retirement Assets are excluded from the Expected Family Contribution (i.e., pay less).
      • If you access excluded retirement funds to pay down debt or invest in college savings account, you will increase the parents assets which will increase the expected family contribution (i.e, pay more).

Path Forward:

  1. Retirment savings should be used for retirement (full stop).
  2. When you pay off your primary mortgage, use those funds to pay off the home equity/second mortgage.
  3. A college savings account is best when you have many years to build the account balances because of the tax deferred growth and tax free payments toward education expenses.  As your daughter will enter college next year, investing in a college savings account now would not be helpful for her case. It may be more helpful for your younger daughter.
  4. You should fill out the FASFA and CSS forms to estimate your Expected Family Contribution as a starting point. This will give you an idea of the shortfall and to start thinking about other funding options.

Hope this helps!


August 2017
    Career / Compensation, 401(k)
As a first time 401(k) enrollee, which plan should I choose and why?
40% of people found this answer helpful
last month
    Taxes, Small Business, Small Business Taxes
How do I wind down my small business without actually shutting it down?
33% of people found this answer helpful
last month
    College Tuition, Debt
I made a mistake co-signing a private student loan for my nephew. What are my options moving forward?
33% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017
Do credit scores differ between credit unions and banks?
33% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017