5 Steps To Successfully Saving For College

With the cost of college increasing almost exponentially lately, I’ve had several requests for information on college planning, so I thought I’d put together some tips.

1. Start Early – Obviously the sooner you can start saving for college, the better.

2. Know How Much You Want To Pay – First decide if you are paying 100%, or less. I read a neat article on this decision that broke down college savings into 3rds. The parents pay a third. The children pay a third. A third is funded from grants, scholarships, loans, etc.

3. Estimate How Much You Are Expected To Pay – By answering some questions about your finances, you can get an idea of what you may be expected to pay. Revisit this calculation and make adjustments as your situation changes. You can find two EFC calculators at: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml


4. Choose Where to Save – Do you want to save in traditional college funding accounts like 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, UGMA (Uniform Gift To Minor) accounts, or Series I and EE Savings Bonds? Or would you prefer to save in non-traditional college savings accounts like taxable brokerage accounts, Roth IRAs, or others?

5. Calculate Your Monthly Saving Need – There are several online calculators that you can use to determine how much you need to save monthly in order to fund your child’s education.

About the author

Richard T. Feight, CFP®

Among independent financial advisors, Mr. Feight is one of the most well known and highly respected “Fee-Only” financial planners. Since 1997, Rich has dedicated his career to offering low cost “Fee-Only” comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. Rich assists his clients in organizing their finances so that they can retire on time.Rich is a graduate of Michigan State University where he received his degree in Finance. Rich has earned the Certificate of Financial Planning from The College for Financial Planning in Denver , Colorado that was comprised of intense graduate level classes grounding him in the various foundations of financial planning. He is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®) since 2001, meeting the experience, education requirements and passing the two-day, 10 hour exam, making him one of the few in the country who hold the designation. Since 2003, Rich has subscribed to the stringent and mandatory annual educational hours, experience, and code of ethics to meet the requirements to be a NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor. Out of the 800,000 individuals in the country who claim they are financial advisors/planners, fewer than 1,300 in the country qualify for the membership; Rich is one of them.

Rich is the President of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Michigan . The FPA of Michigan is one of largest and influential chapter in the country. Rich was recently named President for Transportation Toastmasters Club 4776 downtown Lansing . He has been quoted in both local and national media from Noise Magazine to CNBC, and Bloomberg, and industry news publications such as Investment News and Financial Advisor Magazine. Rich enjoys public speaking and has spoke at industry educational meeting, high schools, and executive investment clubs, AARP conferences, and business educational seminars for companies looking to educate their employees. Rich views his role as a Fiduciary for his clients as the single biggest key to any planning relationship and strives to provide the most competent, unbiased and objective advice in the financial planning profession today.

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