Archive for Kristi’s Quotes

Debt-free would be nice. But SHOULD you pay off your mortgage?

pay off

The payoff?

 

Wondering if you should pay off your mortgage early or stick with those monthly payments? You’re not alone. In this article from dynamicnsurance.com, I’m asked whether getting rid of your mortgage is actually a good idea.

I advise….

 

“If a client thinks they’ll be in a house for 10 years after the mortgage payoff, I encourage them to do it,” said Kristi C. Sullivan, CFP and owner of Sullivan Financial Planning. “But if they want to move soon after they are able to pay off the mortgage, I don’t.”

 

Click here for more expert advice….

 

Cost of Living: How much should you be spending on rent?

Kristi's Quotes

If you’re paying more than 28% of your salary on rent…

 

…you’re paying too much. In this article from Credit.com, I detail how your monthly expenses should be allotted.

 

Let’s take a look

 

If you’re like many Americans, you have debt. This is especially prevalent among young college grads. That has to be a factor in deciding what you can afford in housing costs.

“The conventional statistic is that no more than 28% of gross salary be spent on housing and no more than 36% on consumer debt. However, that does not at all take into account other obligations in people’s budgets,” said Kristi C. Sullivan, a CFP in Denver, in an email. “Student loans are a large bill for many and if that’s the case, you can’t afford to spend 28% on housing because then you’ll have nothing left for food. Rent is not the fixed expense people think it is. You can lower this cost by living in a less desirable area of town, having roommates, or living in a smaller place.”

Roberge said a common mindset he sees is that people will find a place, decide to move in and figure they’ll make everything else work afterward. To improve your chances at financial success and stability, you need to plan more carefully.

 

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Reverse Mortgages: How do you know if it’s right for you?

Kristi's Quotes

Let’s get detailed about reverse mortgages.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tackled this subject. But Investopedia recently published a more detailed article (written by yours truly) that provides more information about reverse mortgages and whether or not they’re right for you.

Take a look.

 

Chances are high that when I mention the idea of a reverse mortgage to clients, I’ll be met with a very sour expression. I think this is because of the impression that these instruments are expensive and that you give up ownership of your home to use them.

Now I am no expert in these products, but for clients who have most of their net worth tied up in their homes, finding a way to use that equity to pay bills is a must.

Reverse Mortgage Basics

Here are some reverse mortgage basics:

  • Reverse mortgages are also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM) and are administered by the FHA.
  • You enter an arrangement with the lender to take money out of your home based on the amount of equity you have and your age.
  • You don’t have to have earned income to qualify.
  • You keep the ownership of your house until the last occupant dies or moves out.
  • You can receive the income from home equity in a variety of ways: For a specific time period, as a credit line to use as needed, or for your lifetime or the time that you or your spouse occupy the home.
  • When you pass away or move from the home, whatever equity is left after the debt and fees are paid will pass back to you (if living) or to your estate. (For related reading, see: How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?)

Your Financial Goals: Are you keeping your New Year’s resolution?

Kristi's Quotes

Yes, I know that New Year’s was a few months ago, but I just thought I’d check in and see how you’re doing with all of those financial goals you made at the beginning of the year.

 

Here’s an article that might get you back on track: Jean Chatzky, one of my favorite personal financial authors, included me in this piece that helps people achieve the monetary goals that they set way back in January.

Achieving your financial goals.

 

Only 8 percent of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving them.

That sounds like a challenge to me. Nothing gets me motivated like someone thinking I won’t succeed. So let’s make this the year we successfully keep our resolutions. And while I can’t help you lose weight or get organized, I can certainly help with the financial piece of the puzzle.

Here are five steps you can take to help stick to your resolution.

Build in rewards. You don’t want to sabotage your efforts, but much like cheat days help you diet — if you know there’s cake on Saturday, you’re more likely to eat clean on Tuesday — a small reward can give you the motivation you need to keep moving when the urge to spend strikes. “Reward yourself for small victories along the way to stay motivated,” says Kristi Sullivan, a Denver-based CFP professional. “For example, if your goal is to save $2,000, treat yourself to a movie, facial or drink with a friend for every $500 saved.”

From Money.com: 3 Tips for Seniors Looking to Make Extra Income

Kristi's Quotes

I was thrilled to be included in this article from Money.com about seniors who are ready to retire from a full-time job…but who might want to keep working a job that will allow them to stay active. I talk about how your age can affect your income tax while Karen Van Cleve, a fabulous Lakewood, CO personal and business coach, offers suggestions for part-time work.

 

Eight percent of U.S. adults earned money from an online work platform in the past year, while 2% sold handmade goods online and 1% had income from home-sharing sites, according to the Pew Research Center. Seniors are less likely than younger generations to participate; for example, about 2% went online for gig work. But older people who venture there typically earn a bigger share of their income online, as the graphic below shows.

Sharing-economy work can add more social interaction and challenges to your day, as well as make your savings last longer. Here are three pointers to find your way.

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Kristi’s Quotes: Do you know what a FED rate hike means?

Kristi's Quotes

Kristi was asked by KHOU News in Houston…what does a FED hike mean to the average American?

Here’s what you should know.

Consumers should be aware of the rate hike for a simple reason: Lenders and banks base their interest rates on the federal funds rate, so when the benchmark increases or decreases, it can impact rates on products like credit cards, auto loans, mortgage rates, and more.

So, what could change for you?

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Kristi’s Quotes: How much rent can you afford?

Kristi's Quotes

When Credit.com asked Kristi her advice on how to determine how much rent someone can afford, she offered this advice:

Consider your expenses.

If you’re like many Americans, you have debt. This is especially prevalent among young college grads. That has to be a factor in deciding what you can afford in housing costs.

“The conventional statistic is that no more than 28% of gross salary be spent on housing and no more than 36% on consumer debt. However, that does not at all take into account other obligations in people’s budgets,” said Kristi C. Sullivan, a CFP in Denver….

 

Click here for more….

Kristi’s Quotes: When do you need a financial planner?

Kristi's Quotes

Kristi helps the Financial Planning Association figure out when it’s the right time to hire a professional financial planner.

15 Signs You Need a Financial Planner

 

You wouldn’t depart for an important trip without a clear idea of how to get to your destination — or at least without a GPS or map to show you how to get there. The same logic applies to your journey through life. You’re likely to get lost without a clear financial plan to get where you want to go, now and well into the future.

Financial planning is the process by which a person or family works with a financial professional to set goals, financial and otherwise, and to develop a plan for meeting them. A Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) is trained to develop a plan to serve as that map or GPS. And the CFP designation means they must adhere to a code of ethics and a fiduciary standard that require them to put their clients’ best interests first. To find a CFP® in your area, visit the Financial Planning Association’s national database at www.PlannerSearch.org.

Whatever you’re financial circumstances, it’s probably a good idea for you to consider working with a financial planner if…

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Kristi’s Quotes: Financial Decoding with U.S. News & World Report

Kristi's Quotes

Do you find it hard to understand financial experts? I don’t blame you! That’s why I helped U.S. News and World Report decode the terms you might hear.

Say what?

 

“Meeting with a financial professional can be key to getting your finances on track. But one thing that doesn’t make it easier: When your financial advisor seems to be speaking an entirely different language.

“Deleverage” … “Fixed income” … “Tax-loss harvesting.” What the heck is your advisor even talking about when he uses these terms? U.S. News tapped certified financial planners to round up their least favorite financial jargon – and to translate what your financial professional is actually saying. Their top 10 peeves are below.”

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Kristi’s Quotes: Giving the Gift of Financial Well-Being

Financial Planner

This one came out around Christmas from Fox Business, but it’s a concept worth thinking about whenever gift-giving opportunities arise.

 

While it’s long been possible to hand out cash, buy stock or contribute to college savings plans, financial institutions and retailers are making it easier to bestow a gift with lasting value.

Among them is Stockpile, a company that sells gift cards that can be redeemed for stock, which is rolling its products out to more than 14,000 stores this holiday season after seeing success at other retailers. College savings plan administrators, which see contributions peak at the holidays, have been adding new ways to donate. And Gift of College, which helps people to contribute to college savings plans or pay down student loans, began selling gift cards at Toys R Us and Babies R Us nationally this month.

 

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