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Save Big, Save Little for College

For many of us, one of the biggest expenses that we’ll have is paying for our own or our child’s college education. Personally, I knew that I wasn’t going to have a “Free Ride” during college. Although I played Division III college basketball, I still maintained 4 jobs in college and used the tutoring services so that I could qualify for as many academic scholarships as possible and to pay down some of my student loans before I graduated.  According to the College Board, statistics show that over the past 30 years the average annual increase for college tuition has ranged from 3-5% above and beyond inflation(Consumer Price Index). I recently had the chance to interview Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Tutor.com/former CEO of Match.com, about the different ways to help students save and pay for college. Below are a few tips that Ginsberg shares with our readers. “Save Big” Ginsberg says. Many people transition from paying for day care to ...

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VIDEO | Teach Kids Financial Responsibility

Published on Oct 22, 2012 For many parents in their 40’s, a loud and disturbing wake-up call is beginning to happen. ( Full Article – http://bit.ly/QGha19 ) This wake-up call is the dilemma between figuring out how to catch up on the savings to be able to achieve a comfortable retirement and also ensuring you put enough money away to pay for your children’s college education costs. This quandary has put an extreme amount of pressure on mid 40’s parents on how they will come up with a solution on making both of these goals a reality. Since many parent’s will not be able to fully fund a children’s college education, it can be a great time as they go through middle school into the early years of high school to teach them financial responsibility as they will likely have to service their own college debt down the road.   ...

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College Education Or Entrepreneurship?

Generation X parents continue to face the challenging uphill climb of saving for their children’s college education.   For a Generation X couple that has their first child here in 2012, the cost for a private college at $50,000 a year will cost over $518,000 of total dollars at a 5% inflation rate.   As crazy as that sounds, a parent would have to save $1,085 per month in today’s dollars to be able to reach that goal.    For most parent’s the thought of saving this much money to pay for the cost of education for just ONE child can be downright daunting.  Many of us believe that the cost of college education cannot defy gravity forever, but to this point there has been no stopping the rising costs for a four year degree. During the formidable teenage years, many parents help guide their children toward getting excellent grades in school, playing some sort of athletic sports, and filling their resume with ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X Series – A Vacation Or College Education

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude.   Since I am 42 and have had a good deal of financial success, I’ve noticed some big mistakes that I see my generation making with their money and how they think about money.    This week I wanted to discuss the mistake of spending too much on vacations and not enough saving for college education. Where do you think we should take the kids away for spring break this year?      Should we go away for Thanksgiving or would it be better during the holiday season?    I know the children have sports and camps over the summer, but wouldn’t it ...

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Personal Finance 101 – College Education Planning – What kinds of money are available?

Last article we talked about FAFSA forms, federal student loans, and the process of when you should be filing for financial aid.   Many people get confused from the multitude of different loans that are available to them.   In my opinion, the massive federal deficit we are in now will only shrink the available amount of loans for students in the future.   It is important to understand how these loans work so you can set up the very best program for money that will need to be borrowed during your children’s college years. It is important to remember that this is a major difference between a grant and a loan.   A grant is something that does not have to be repaid whereas a loan is something that does have to be repaid.   Since there are a half dozen different types of grants and loans, do your own due diligence on how much free money you can get.    Here are some highlights ...

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Personal Finance – 101 – College Education Planning – The timer is winding down

A few weeks ago I wrote two articles outlining the types of assumptions you should consider for college education within your overall financial plan.   I also shared a number of different savings vehicles you could use to park away dollars for this goal.    As you get closer to this goal, remember it is important to pull back on the risk in the investments you take.   Several years ago in 2008, many parents got hurt because the funds they saved for college were nearly cut in half when the stock market dropped by 50%. Beyond your savings, your other consideration is to decide how you might fill the gap between what you saved for your kid’s college education, and what it will cost between tuition, room, board, fees, etc.   While all of us can only hope our child wins an academic or athletic scholarship, it is best to plan conservatively and assume you will have to design a strategy to save ...

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Personal Finance 101 – College Education Planning – What Types Of Savings Vehicles Can You Use? —

Last week I discussed some of the assumptions you should be thinking about when it comes to planning for the goal of paying for your children’s college education.    Once you figure out the important metrics for each child on how much money you need to save monthly, the next step is to determine which of the myriad savings vehicles out there will serve you best in reaching your goal.   Since the tax laws and legal laws are different from state to state, I highly recommend you consult a financial advisor and/or a CPA before you make any final decisions as each of vehicles have tax and/or control implications down the road.    Here are few types of options that you may consider when investing your lump sum or monthly savings. 529 Plan Or Prepaid Plan – 529 Plans are usually where I get the biggest questions when it pertains to college planning.   Essentially, 529 plans are a way to save after-tax ...

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Personal Finance 101 – College Education Planning – What Are Your Assumptions?

You get home from work one day and your child has the magical letter to open from that college or university that you both always dreamed they would attend.   It’s possible the school is your alma mater or perhaps it is the Ivy League university you always thought your child was possible of being a part of for the next four years.   As you open the letter, you read that your child has been ‘accepted’ into the new freshmen class.  You begin to realize that maybe you haven’t done your homework on how you are going to pay for the college education.  Over the next four weeks, I will examine some of key areas you need to be thinking about when you plan for this type of financial goal. Many financial plans that I see done on families often use blanket assumptions.   When you start thinking about college education planning, it is important to have lengthy discussion with your financial ...

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Do Kids Need The Brand Names?

It seems like every mall or suburb strip outlet you go into today has virtually all the same stores. What would a mall be without a GAP or an Abercrombie & Fitch? What amazes me the most is how we as parents can get caught up in making sure that our children have the very best in brand names without thinking about the price or whether it is affordable in our monthly budget. ...

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