Another $6000 in my pocket – Negotiated Aid

An extra $6000 saved – There is the hard way .......... or the other way How long would it take the average person to save up an EXTRA $6000 above what they are saving now? How long would it take the average student starting out to save up an EXTRA $6000? I often tell clients that there are 3 types of Financial Aid: Merit based Financial Aid – this is … [Read more...]

I’m no fool, no sir-ee

Jiminy Cricket was not far off in those days. I was in boarding school in high school because we grew up on a farm that was pretty far from the town where the school was, and if I wanted to do all the sports and after-school activities that I loved, my (single) Mom could not afford to drive me back and forth – especially seeing that I was one of six … [Read more...]

Important recommendations about the FAFSA form

FAFSA season – read this first! As someone who is often asked for advice and information on completing the FAFSA form, I thought I would just weigh in on some of the problem areas that we might come across that might influence our perspective on the FAFSA form. Often I come across the standard industry replies of “The first ones in get most of the money” but … [Read more...]

Why should my kid have an Estate pLan?

A client was shocked the other day when I suggested that his student, recently out of college, should have an Estate Plan. As our children get older, our conversations with them get more meaningful and the subjects take on increased value. I often have discussions with my clients about their Estate Planning, but they were shocked when I suggested that estate … [Read more...]

Dr. Livingston I presume?

I was reminded this week of the time when we visited the Victoria Falls in Africa. Also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that Thunders), the Falls emanate out of the Zambezi river in Zambia and are one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Vic Falls (as it is known locally in Africa) are roughly twice as high as the Niagara Falls and twice as wide as … [Read more...]

Both sides now

Joni Mitchell wrote the famous song “Both Sides Now” after being inspired by a passage from the novel “Henderson the Rain King” about being on a plane looking down on the clouds. There are so many examples in life where we see things from our perspective and yet others see the same things from a different perspective. I have just returned from Africa on a trip … [Read more...]

Stupid things we do

We have all done stupid things in our lives which we regret. I know that personally I have lost count over my lifetime of the number of times I have had to apologize for things I have done or said. The worst was as a kid when my mother made me go and apologize to another adult for saying stupid things or throwing a rock on their roof or jumping through the … [Read more...]

Life from both sides now

Joni Mitchell wrote the famous song "Both Sides Now" after being inspired by a passage from the novel Henderson the Rain King" about being on a plane looking down on the clouds. There are so many examples in life where we see things from our perspective and yet others see the same things from a different perspective. I have just returned from Africa on a … [Read more...]

Federal Loan rates for College going up

The federal student loan rates change each year on July 1st. For any student considering taking Federal Direct Student Loans for the coming academic year, your rates are about to go up to 4.45% for any new disbursements after July 1st  (Current rate is 3.81%) These rates encompass various loans from the Fed Direct unsubsidized loans (interest accrues … [Read more...]

Vital lessons for our kids about money

"Kids who have the freedom to manage their own money seem to have better money behaviors and are more truthful with their parents about how their money was spent." Being a parent is tough in many senses. Things that our kids learn early are often the things that influence them the most. When to be tough, when to be soft. When to help and when to let … [Read more...]