Guest Post: The Savings for College Challenge: Part Two – Choosing a 529 Plan

About the authors: For over 25 years, Cynthia S. Meyers, CFP®, MBA, has assisted people with their Lifetime Financial Planning–helping to build and preserve wealth in every area of life.  Jenny Hood, CFP® has been a paraplanner with Cynthia S. Meyers for five years and enjoys being a part of the financial planning process.  They offer their expertise for families working…

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California’s Prop 30 and Possible CSU Tuition Increase

If Proposition 30, a tax increase initiative on the November ballot, doesn’t pass, CSU students and their families could be faced with an additional 5% tuition increase mid-school year, on top of the 5% increase that was instituted for before the Fall 2012 school year started. Similarly, UC students and their families are facing a possible 20% tuition increase or…

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What?!? Colleges Possibly Going Bankrupt?

The changes to higher education and its price in California are partially in response to the recent state funding cuts.   Students (and their families) are being asked to shoulder more of the costs of their education–in the form of increased tuition and fees, parking costs, per campus student activity fees etc.  At the same time, decreased numbers of classes, support…

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Student Debt = Future Income Spent Today

Know the terms (i.e. repayment, interest rates) and possible consequences of taking student loans for college–essentially bringing future income into the present. (FYI: colleges are not obligated to disclose the terms of the loan BEFORE accepting them as part of a student aid package.  Students MUST ASK.  Also, students are not forced to accept student loans; each item on a…

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“Why Do You Want to Go To College?” Has New Meaning

“How do employers look at college names?”  is a typical question parents ask us, when trying to narrow their senior’s choices for application.   Two meanings emerge from this question: What’s the value of a college degree? How, if at all, is value different for different colleges? The value in college question will be answered differently by parent than by student. …

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Changes to Subsidized Direct Student Loans for Fall 2012

For Fall 2012 and future Fall 2013 Subsidized Direct Loan Borrowers: The Federal Government will no longer withhold interest during the six-month grace period before loans go into repayment.   According to Federal Student Aid, “the interest will be capitalized (added to the principal amount of your loan) when the grace period ends.”  Borrowers do not need to make payments during the…

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Guilt? I Didn’t See that On My College Bill

Without understanding the value of a college degree, students can sense, what they often term, “guilt.”  They may not confidently understand why their families, and increasingly themselves (in the form of student loans), are paying the thousands of dollars (and rising each year) that a college degree costs. Listen to the following podcast, featuring Julie Nguyen CFO & Managing Partner…

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Prudent Fiscal Planning (Part 5): What I Am Worth

Now that we understand income,  expense and net income–which we arrive at by subtracting expenses from income in any given period–we are now ready to look at the balance sheet, which few understand, but is essential when trying to get a truer understanding of one’s net worth. Everyone’s fiscal interactions with others, which happens everyday of one’s life, can be…

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“Hidden in Plain Sight” Costs of College

Healthcare is one of those “in plain sight, but not at the top of the list of expenses, yet can be significant in the college budget.”  Many colleges require students to be covered by health insurance–either their parents’ policy or an individual policy bought through the university. The recent confirmation of the Healthcare Law by the U.S. Supreme Court may…

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CA Budget Affects Cal Grants for Private, Non Profit Colleges

Proposed reductions in funding for the Cal Grant program, in the current 2013 Fiscal budget plan, would reduce private, non-profit university student’s grants by 17% by 2014 to $8,056 per year.    (Examples of  private non-profit colleges are the University of Pacific or University of Southern California.)    Current Cal Grants for private, non-profit university students are $9708 per school year. Families…

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Prudent Fiscal Planning (Part 3):You can’t always get what you want

In the third part of my ongoing series on Prudent Fiscal Planning, let’s discuss the often bugaboo topic of expenses. After following the suggestions from the last article in the series,  you should now have drafted at least your income scenarios for the short, immediate, and long term. Now, you are ready to look at the other side of the Profit and…

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