College Planning For Parents
Postsecondary education is an investment that has the potential to pay lifelong dividends. In many cases, it comes with costs that must also be considered over a long period of time. The typical four-year degree currently ranges in price from $40,000 to $100,000, depending on the type of school a student attends. Unfortunately, these costs continue to increase at a greater rate than inflation. This adds up to a significant expense, which is best managed well before a child heads to college, rather than relying on student loans which could saddle the student with debt long after they leave school.
Parents who wish to provide their children with a postsecondary education can best do this by starting to save for college or technical school years in advance. A couple who begins setting aside $80 a month when their child is born can accrue more than $30,000* by the time the child turns 18. By preparing for education expenses in this manner, parents can help ensure that their children will have resources needed for college when the time comes.
There are many ways to navigate the maze of college funding vehicles. There is no one single best way to save and pay for college. The best method is truly unique to each family – and based on many variables. It’s also important to know whether or not your current college savings plan will help or hurt your child’s ability to receive financial aid.
As a Parent, Are You Ready?
Here are Some Helpful Tips to Put You on the Right Track.
Money Saving Strategies
When should you start planning for your children's college education? Instinctively, parents know the correct answer. Unfortunately, while most parents know they should have started planning when their children were first born, few actually have. Since we can’t turn back the clock, now’s the time to get to work. It’s critical that you do all you can from this point forward – or you’ll pay more than you have to. That’s not only unpleasant, it could have serious long-term effects on your financial health. The following recommendations are strategies for helping reduce the high cost of college whether college is three years away – or 18. Both parents and students have responsibilities in their mutual quest for college grants and for free college scholarships.
Be Conscious of Cash Flow
Develop cash flow scenarios. Convert short-term debt into long-term debt and take full advantage of low-interest student loans. Take full advantage of strategies that allow you to deduct college costs from taxes. There are several creative strategies for tax-deducting college cost that work for nearly everyone over and above the Lifetime Learning Credit, American Opportunity Credit and student loan interest deduction.
Get The Right Help
The sooner you have a college-funding plan in place, the better off you will be. We all know the best time to start saving for college is the day our children are born. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s never too early, or too late, to start. The key is to not procrastinate any longer … and start now. The starting point is to project what your true college costs will be and have a college financial plan in place that will allow you to meet such expenses. If you would like further assistance in this area, we can help.
Get the College-Bound Facts
This is the best time to seek help from a college funding advisor like Maier & Associates College Planning. We can help assess the implications and ramifications paying for college may have on future finances – including your ability to retire or pay off your house. If you have more than one child, this is also the time to develop a game plan for sending all your children to college without going broke.
*In an account that earns 6% interest per year
There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss.