Teaching Your Children About College Costs
A Scott White provides guidelines for a discussion about college costs with your teen.With college costs on the rise, many parents are concerned about their ability to pay for college for their children. Once children reach middle school, they are at an age where a discussion about paying for college is may be appropriate. Here are some general guidelines.
Assess what you can pay. Before sitting down for that discussion, it is important that you are as informed as possible. Whether you meet with a Certified Financial Planner? or avail yourself of the ample resources on the Internet, understanding your options gives you a foundation for your discussion. College savings plans (529s) and student loans are just two of the many options out there. When you do sit down together, you'll want to have all the facts.
Determine what you're willing to pay. After you've assessed what you can pay, you'll want to determine what you want to pay. Some parents believe in paying for their kids' entire college education, while others believe the kids should shoulder the burden. And some might be willing to pay for tuition, books, and room and board, but spending money would be up to the kids to earn.
Discuss options with the kids. When you sit down with your kids, be prepared to answer their questions and, if this is the first talk, calm their fears about paying for college. Your support, financial and emotional, is vital to their success and enthusiasm about attending college. If appropriate, use personal examples of part-time jobs or workstudy you did while attending college.
A few options are...
-- Work during school: A part-time job can be a great option for earning extra income and helping to pay for college. However, it shouldn't detract from schoolwork.
-- Workstudy: Part-time, on-campus work, usually based on need.
-- Student loans: Designed for attending college, these offer reduced interest rates and reasonable repayment options.
-- Free money: Whenever possible, scholarships and grants are great options since the money doesn't have to be paid back. Plus, there are thousands of organizations offering them.
When you have done your homework, you'll be ready to sit down with your kids and talk about college?and money.
A. Scott White specializes in meeting the comprehensive financial and estate needs of high net worth families, and he has been recognized as one of the top financial planners in the U.S. by the Consumers' Research Council of America for the past three years based on experience, education and training, financial certifications, and professional association affiliations. He is a Certified Financial Planner?, a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Chartered Life Underwriter, and holds a master's degree in business administration. He served on the National Committee on Planned Giving's Leave a Legacy committee. He is president of the Financial Planning Association Southwest Florida Chapter; past president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Society of Financial Service Professionals; past president of the Lee County Estate Planning Council; and founding president of the Planned Giving Council of Lee County. For more information, visit http://www.scottwhiteadvisors.com/ Scott White Advisors is an independent Registered Investment Advisor and is located at 1510 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; telephone (239) 936-6300. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member, FINRA/SIPC.