Financial Planning for College – What is a 529 Plan and How Does it Work‏?

529 PlansIn 1996 the Internal Revenue Code was modified to include Section 529, creating an education savings benefit for higher education. While contributions to the Plan are not tax deductible, the earnings on the Plan are; making the 529 College Savings Plan an excellent saving tool when you are doing your financial planning for college for your children. With changes to tax code going into effect this year, the Plan becomes even more attractive.

A financial planner can help you enroll in a 529 College Savings Plan

In 2013, couples earning over $450,000, and singles earning over $400,000, will face higher taxes and lower deductions; while all Americans will see greater withholding from their paychecks. In addition, it is highly likely that we will see significant cuts to Federal Financial Aid even as colleges and universities continue to increase tuition and fees. By beginning to save for college now, your financial planning for college will be much more likely to be successful in covering your child’s tuition and expenses later. (more…)

7 Strategies to Lower Private College Costs

If given the choice, many students would love to have the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s reputable private schools. In general they offer smaller student to teacher ratios, a more intimate learning experience and the ability to graduate within four years, as opposed to the average of five or six years at a public college.

Private colleges continue to provide considerable institutional aid for good students. Since private colleges receive little or no support from state tax dollars, many private colleges must offer institutional aid to stay competitive with the lower priced state colleges. (more…)

Does Goal-Setting Give You Stress?

This piece on goal-setting (reprinted with permission from Money Quotient) is one that I share with my clients during the initial stages of our Financial Life Planning ® goal-setting process. The article offers “7 Tips” for setting effective goals – insights that can help you laser-focus on the right goals for you.

Goals

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin Roosevelt

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Full-time Work to Full-time Mom and Back to Work Again – My Story

When my first child was born in 1999, I returned to my career as if nothing had changed. I continued to excel in my career for nearly six years, through the birth of our second child, by outsourcing my Mom Job to a nanny during the week. At the time, there were just two choices available to me: to continue working full-time outside the house, or to quit working altogether. I mean, what else was there, right?

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned about returning to work after an extended absence…

“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.” ~ Anna Quindlen (more…)

Financial Life Planning – That’s Right, Another Plan for a Better Life

Family PlanningI already know exactly what you’re thinking as you read the title of this piece, “Oh no, not another plan to make my life better! I’m all planned out!” I understand; I really do. The good news is, this type of planning is not another plan, it’s more like a merging of plans; the merging of your finance planning goals with your goals for life.

What is Financial Life Planning®?

Financial Life Planning is a holistic process that puts your interests first and focuses on increasing your sense of financial well-being and life satisfaction. Initially, this process will help you to clarify your values, priorities, circumstances, and aspirations; and then guide you in defining and designing your unique version of the “rich life.” In addition, Financial Life Planning will increase your understanding of the habits and attitudes that will facilitate your financial and life goals and support successful life transitions. (more…)