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5 Questions with Rus Hunt, CFP®, CPA

Published by: Rus Hunt, CFP® Date: September 06, 2019

Rus joined Rather & Kittrell in 2007 and works with individuals, families and retirement plan clients.  He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) professional as well as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Rus is a graduate of The University of Tennessee with a degree in Accounting.  After working in public accounting for two years, he spent the next six years in financial management with Phillips Electronics.  For the next twenty years he worked for Sea Ray Boats, first as a plant controller and then operations manager.  Rus is a long-time supporter of Crown Financial Ministries and traces his interest in financial planning to Larry Burkett’s books and radio ministry.  Rus and his wife, Amy, live on a small farm in Louisville, Tennessee.  They have a son and a daughter who are each married and live in Knoxville.  They also have five beautiful grandchildren.

You came to your financial planning career later in life. What led you to the profession?

There was both a negative and a positive reason that I made a career change later in life. The negative was that as I approached age 50 I could not see myself doing the same type of work for the rest of my career. The positive reason was that I saw financial planning as a profession that fit well with my experience and interests. I also believed that I could truly help people and make a positive impact on their financial decisions.

How does your accounting background help you in serving clients?

Nearly thirty years of varied accounting and business experience provided me with a foundation of understanding budgeting, taxes and planning. Beyond the knowledge gained I was able to observe in others and experience myself the benefits of wise financial decisions. More importantly, I experienced myself and observed in others the cost of poor financial decisions. Many times in serving clients I can speak from experience in giving them advice.

You are a UT grad. Favorite memory from your time there?

I was at UT from 1975 to 1978 in the same class as Bernard King and a year behind Ernie Grunfeld. Some of my favorite memories are of watching them play basketball at Stokely Athletic Center, especially games against Kentucky. UT won most of those while I was in college.

You live on a small farm. What drew you to the farm life?

Some of my best memories are of spending time with my maternal grandparents on their farm in Tellico Plains. Being out in the country on a farm was great fun for my brother, Phil, and I, but most special memories were because we were with Nannie and Granddaddy. My wife, Amy, and I hope to build some of those same types of memories for our grandchildren.

You’ve been blessed with multiple grandchildren. What is one piece of financial advice you want to pass down to them?

I want my grandchildren to understand that the most important thing about money is that it does not belong to them but to God. We are only stewards, not owners, so manage it well and hold it lightly.