Parents concerned about providing their children an opportunity to receive a quality college education without placing their own financial future at risk will greatly increase their odds of success by working with a professional college financial planner. Not to be confused with a traditional financial planner, a college planner is well-versed in helping families navigate their way through the college years without tripping the financial land mines that so many families trip on a routine basis, causing them to unnecessarily over-spend by tens of thousands of dollars.
College financial planners operate from a perspective of taking care of Mom and Dad’s finances first, ensuring that they are not going to over-spend nor over-obligate themselves to too many college loans. The last thing that Mom and Dad need as they get though the college years and start looking for the light at the end of the tunnel leading to retirement is a mountain of debt standing in their way. It’s a simple question but it’s very important that you determine the answer before you start planning for college: How much of your income and how many of your assets can you afford to use to pay for college?
Families will go through the college experience once, twice, maybe a few times in their lives. However by working with a professional college planner you benefit from the experience they have had with sometimes hundreds of families. This experience will provide you valuable information that will allow you to make more informed decisions.
A family with a high income and/or net worth may benefit from a college planner’s expertise in the area of tax-advantaged college planning. The IRS provides certain tax relief opportunities when sending a child off to college. By using these strategies, families reduce their tax exposure thus giving them more money to pay for college.
Low-income and high-income families alike will absolutely benefit from working with a college financial planner. The cost of not approaching the college years the right way is just too high to risk.
This post was provided by Scott Moffitt, Co-founder, President and CEO of Summit Financial Group, Inc., the lead planner in the field of short-term college planning and author of “College and Retirement – You CAN Do Both!” He was a guest on College Smart Radio on October 20th, 2012.
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