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Back to school and how to save for college

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We are talking about back to school this episode, especially about saving for college or post-secondary education. As I always say, financial planning is very personal and the decisions surrounding what and how we spend or save is based on our values, our upbringing, and our personal relationship with money.


Since we are all coming from different places in life, I’m going to be broad in this episode where I share information on how to plan financially for college or post-secondary education. I could spend hours breaking down what vehicles to use for college savings and it’s important to understand where these values align and what elements do you want to teach your children.


If you are starting to think about post-secondary education such as college plus the financial decisions surrounding getting there, I would ask your child (if they are in high school) and yourself the following:


•       What type of college / post-secondary education do they want to pursue?

•       How much responsibility do you want to have your kid have? Or as I say “skin the the game”


I’m a firm believer that the values and emotional conversations come first, then strategy. You don’t want to financially sacrifice for your children so they eventually have to take care of you later. Personal health and wealth means balance.


When discussing and approaching the idea of strategy there are various venues to fund college and all of these are very personal decisions. There are college savings plans, federal and private loans, and of course scholarships and grants. See the links below for additional information.


College Planning Resources

•       Types of Financial Aid

•       Federal vs. Private Loans

•       Scholarships Resources

•       www.fastweb.com

•       www.collegescholarships.org/financial-aid

•       ww2.salliemae.com/college-planning/college-scholarships


Always ensure there is flexibility in your plan and you are aligning to your financial life and picture. Think about what your priorities are for saving. How will your kids participate in this process?


 Eventually if you do take loans, you’ll want to have a plan to repay the loans.


Here are some tips:

•       Prioritize the debt with the highest interest

•       Consolidate where you can

•       Be aggressive with your payments


How to work with me…

When it comes to college planning, we would all love to begin the planning process as early as possible, and let’s be realistic that does not always happen. I work with clients to help them prioritize and plan.


Meeting you where you are in your financial life to best understand how much to save, where it should go, and how to have these conversations with your children. No matter where you are on your journey it’s important to consider what are the implications of education planning — as we know money touches every aspect of our lives. How we plan will impact other pieces of your life (i.e. retirement savings usually has the biggest impact) and we help you bring all of that together along with strategy. Considering the investment decisions to make, how that will impact your long-term and immediate goals, planning for tax efficiency – now and in the future, and anything else that is specific to your financial plan.


Remember, one financial decision isn’t linear, they are all woven together — have someone that guides you comprehensively.


Securities offered through LPL Financial, a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Advisors’ Pride, a SEC registered investment advisor. LPL Financial, Advisors’ Pride, Forethought Planning and the guests of Thrive For[e]ward podcast are separate and unaffiliated parties. Any of the parties listed above are not affiliated with Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL Financial. The views expressed here are those of the participants, and not those of Forethought Planning, Advisor’s Pride, or LPL financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. LPL Financial and Forethought Planning do not offer legal services.


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