Successful college financial planning benefits parent and child alike
Certified Financial Planners™ are trained to think in terms of the larger financial picture. What are the client’s goals? What actions will maximize the ability of the client to achieve those goals?
We believe that too many parents (and even many college financial planners) take a short term tactical approach to paying for college rather than the more appropriate strategic approach which considers the impact of college decisions on more important long term goals.
For instance, many students hope to live independently after graduation, maybe start a family, or buy a home. Parents may be anticipating retirement, and so may place a high value on financial security and freedom from debt. By understanding the long term goals and priorities we can better help our clients and their children analyze how various college financial strategies may either help or hinder each of them from achieving those goals.
We send our children off to pursue their academic careers with the hope that help them build a brighter financial future for themselves. A few hours of careful planning can mean the difference between a future of financial independence and success, or a future burdened with excessive debt, financial struggle, and regrets.
Financial planning for college – How Financial Pathways can help
Source: Forbes, Feb. 21, 2014
We believe proper college financial planning should involve both the student and the parent. We often will meet together to discuss goals, resource constraints, and strategies. Most college planning sessions are handled under our hourly fee for advice program. The agenda is ultimately up to you, but here are just a few of the college related topics we may discuss:
- Savings strategies — Sooner is better, but it’s never too late to start! Every bit counts.
- Getting the best deal — Surprisingly not everyone pays the same price. You need to learn how to get the best deal by selecting the right college for you!
- What can you actually afford? — It’s important to be realistic, set limits and do not get in over your head. The goal here is 0% regrets!
- Where will the money come from? — Don’t wait until junior year to discover there isn’t enough money to pay for remaining tuition. A Certified College Planning Specialist will help you figure out in advance where the money will come from: parents’ cash flow, need-based and merit-based financial aid, student loans, part time work, parents and students savings, etc.
- Financial Aid 101 — Free money? Maybe not, especially if it sounds to good to be true. We work together to understand and make the most of financial aid that may be available, which includes exploring financial moves that may increase available aid.
- How to avoid becoming a slave to student loan debt — How much debt is too much? Good debt vs. bad debt. What will be the impact on your financial independence?
- Maintaining balance — With retirement looming, how does college fit into the parents’ overall financial plan.
- College as an investment — Understanding the cost of college as an investment in future earning power.
- Get the Student Involved! It can be hard for parents to have the discussion – in a joint session, we may be able to help the student understand how these decisions will impact their lives!
Unlike some college financial planners, we are not here to sell you insurance based schemes that dubiously purport to increase your financial aid eligibility. Since we are being paid for our time, our only mission is to help parent and student make sensible and prudent choices as they you navigate the often complex and challenging world of college finance.
Pick our brains, we’re here to help!
Don’t put off this important subject any longer. Give us a call at (866)-635-8518, or send us an email using the form on this page. Our Certified College Planning Specialist can answer your questions and develop a plan to meet your needs. We look forward to speaking with you.