This category addresses various matters dealing with planning, funding, and surviving college.

December 7, 2017

Should You Use a ROTH IRA to Fund Your Child’s College Education?

Today’s question of the day is: “Justin, I read your blog post about options of where to fund your child’s college education for maximum savings. You mentioned a Roth IRA, so how exactly do I do that?”
December 4, 2017
Financial Games for Kids

9 Financial Games for Kids to Learn Monetary Principles

Teenagers and kids face are swarmed with learning experiences these days! So much so that it is hard to believe one of the most important aspects pertaining to their future is often overlooked! Learning about finances!  Since it’s not adequately covered in school, that job falls on you the parent! In today’s world of supercharged video games and smartphones galore, it’s difficult to get your kids’ attention or to even clean their room! So the chances of slowing them down to teach them financial principles may be slim to none—that is unless you utilize these fun family night games! 
September 17, 2017
student loan debt

529 Savings Plans for College: What You Need to Know

According to the College Board (2016) study,  called The Trends In College Pricing, by the year 2024, the average sticker price on a public in State College is expected to move up to $34,000 per year. For private schools that number is estimated to be around $76,000 a year. Let’s face it, college is getting ridiculously expensive and if you have little ones at home that you expect to help pay for their college, then you need to know how to set aside money for that. In our intro post –  an alternative to saving for college, we explored we looked at some out of the box ideas. Today we’re going to look at a more traditional route: 529 savings plans. This particular investment vehicle allows you to save or put away money specifically for education. Parents or grandparents contributing to a 529 savings plan get to invest that money and […]
September 13, 2017
tips to keep your wedding expenses under control

12 Wedding Budget Tips from a Real Financial Advisor

Move over summer; there’s a new wedding guest in town. According to a 2015 survey, wedding bells are now ringing more in the fall than the summer. With the newly crowned wedding season king upon us, this CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can certainly vouch for the vivid array of colors the Smoky Mountains offer as a wedding backdrop. While the autumn equinox lends a picturesque setting, it may not be any kinder to your wallet than a summer wedding. Nevertheless, there are ways to actually have the wedding of your dreams (whether your Team Fall or Team Summer or anything in between) on a budget. Here are 12 wedding budget tips to keep your expenses under control. 
March 3, 2017

Balancing Retirement Planning and College Savings Simultaneously

Balancing retirement planning and college savings simultaneously can be a daunting task. Many Americans struggle with this very thing. They want to know: How do you pursue both goals? How do you determine which is more important or are they equal? If this dilemma sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The struggle to balance your retirement while preparing for children’s success is something even I strive to manage. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I often help parents evaluate options, guiding them to choose the best path that works for them. Planning If you find yourself asking how, here’s a few questions to help you determine what may work for you. Keep in mind; there are no simple answers. Saving for both isn’t a one size fits all: • How long until you retire? • How much Social Security do you expect to receive? • What is your income goal for retirement? • Will you send multiple children to college? • […]
September 30, 2016
March 7, 2016 ~ Weekly Update

Stock Market Highs: What you can do to keep your portfolio on track

Historical stock market highs are prompting investors to take a close look at their portfolio to maximize returns. According to CNBC through the end of July, the major averages staged a remarkable rally since the March lows. U.S. markets surpassed the highest levels of 2009 with the Dow boasting the best July returns since 1989 and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ in 1997. With the stock market up, July was the best monthly performance for the Dow since October 2002 and April 2009 for the S&P and NASDAQ. Since March the S&P turned in a performance that is up 45.96%; meanwhile, the Dow shot up 40.09%, and the NASDAQ 55.96%. So what does that mean when for your portfolio? Even though the major averages are up this year, your portfolio is still likely down. You could be showing lower return than 3-5 years ago. If that sounds like you, it may […]