The Personal Education Scholarship
A revolutionary approach to designing a college plan for your unique needs
A Comprehensive PLAN…NOT a product!!
Thinking out of the box!
In today’s college cost environment, a family must be willing to explore all alternatives to traditional college savings plans. You doubt this? How’s your college savings plan doing so far? Do you have any idea of how you are going to pay the possible $200k plus price tag? How many of your friends, neighbors and acquaintances have adequate college savings in place? I bet you can count them on one hand...not needing all fingers! If you want to end up like the rest of America, with huge college debt and no retirement, keep using the “traditional” approaches that don’t work. If you want to end up differently, minimal college debt and a plush retirement, use a different approach, think out of the box.
We are a revolutionary financial planning firm in that it uses innovative approaches rather than what is considered normal. After all, it is now proven that normal doesn’t work. If it did, we would all have college savings plans that were ample enough to pay for college.
For families with young children, saving for college shouldn't be an option. It is a must if you want to avoid large college debt that will eat into your retirement. With the cost of college growing larger and larger each year, parents need to build a savings plan that can keep pace with these costs. One of the ways to do this is to make their money work harder, not only in terms of return but also in terms of taxes. Taxes will eat into your account faster than any return can build it! Another way is to avoid the market ups and downs that cost families not only money but valuable time as well. If your investment loses 10%, it needs to gain 20% JUST TO BREAK EVEN! You absolutely must avoid the turbulent casino that is the stock market! You only have a certain amount of time to save. Every day, week, month year counts! Not only that but you need to take into account retirement. Every dollar you spend on college is a dollar plus interest you lose for your retirement! Choosing the best savings tool or tools, as well as the most competent advisor will allow you not only to keep your college costs to a minimum but will also not interfere but perhaps even enhance your retirement savings.
How can a family know what is the best tool? The first step is to understand that each tool provides certain benefits, but no one tool provides all benefits. Therefore, all college savings tools are not suitable for every family. The key, then, is to identify which benefits will best meet a particular family’s needs.
For example, everybody would like tax deferred or better yet tax free growth and distributions, it’s one way to make the savings account grow faster. By the same token, who wouldn’t want financial aid? Most parents hold a secret hope that their child will qualify for a scholarship for some sort of financial aid. But what happens if they don’t?
Some of the features you might wish to build into your savings plan include:
Control of investment decisions
Control of distribution decisions
Preservation of potential financial aid
Estate tax reduction
Private elementary and high school options
Students with special needs
Problems arise because some benefits may interfere or work in opposition to other benefits, or other financial planning goals. For example, tax savings and potential future financial aid may work in opposition when it comes to college savings tools. A tool that can protect potential future financial aid may not provide tax savings, and vice versa. Saving for college may impact Retirement planning or Estate Planning etc…
This is where you really need an advisor who is an expert in college financial planning. Or as we refer to it as “The Full Spectrum of College Financial Planning.” This is because College Financial Planning is a multi-pronged process and approach. Planning on just one prong may not only interfere with the other prongs but may cause you to inadvertently leave money on the table. Most advisors will just talk to you about “saving” for college yet have no idea about how any savings vehicle interacts with financial aid, taxes or other. When you plan for college you have to plan for all aspects or “prongs.” This includes: Saving, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Education tax breaks or Tax Aid, Education Loans, and Admissions as well. If ALL of these factors are not taken into consideration you are not planning effectively and will undoubtedly leave money on the table. You need, it is not an option, you need an advisor who is an expert in “The Full Spectrum of College Financial Planning.”
If you are planning to send a child to college, you’ll need to know…
What you can expect to pay for the desired college education
How to save in the most appropriate way for your family
How to build in the best benefits possible for your family
The impact your college plans may have on your retirement
How to monitor your plan regularly for performance and appropriateness
The Personal College Savings Plan in 4 Steps:
Step 1: The College Plan Review
A college plan can go in one of several directions depending upon your circumstances. Both time horizon (how many years you have until college money is needed) and potential financial aid eligibility are critical factors in developing a plan. Diagnostics include:
A detailed evaluation of your current college plan,
A forecast of expected college costs for your family,
A Financial Aid Review to determine whether or not you are likely to qualify for financial aid, under what circumstances and when in your plan this might occur,
A review of potential college funding sources,
An evaluation of specific college funding attributes that may offer unique benefits to your family that should be targeted in your college savings plan. Examples include: o control over plan distributions (in case children don’t go to college)
tax favored accumulation
tax favored withdrawals
Protection in case of serious medical illness and/or incapacitation
Step 2: The College Action Plan
You will receive a professionally designed plan for college savings that also helps preserve your retirement goals. It will identify the types of funding vehicles that will provide your family’s desired benefits. And your Action Plan will give you the ability to implement it on your own or with our assistance.
Step 3: The College Investment Plan
An effective plan must be well implemented. You will receive recommendations on specific investment alternatives that fit your College Action Plan. An asset allocation model will be designed to set performance expectations for your timeline and risk tolerance.
Step 4: The College Money Monitor
Your annual update adjusts for changing family needs and evaluates performance. Your plan may be updated and necessary changes are made to The College Investment Plan.
We Can Help!
We use the proprietary, innovative tools that we have developed through 18 years of experience to help clients create each step of The Personal Education Scholarship Savings Plan. IF done early enough, the correct way, our approach will be like giving your child or children a scholarship from yourself! Call it the Mom Scholarship or Dad Scholarship or even the Smith Family Scholarship. You get the idea!
Contact us to learn more.