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

October 3, 2017

Tax Tip: Check Out College Tax Benefits

Reminder for Parents, Students: Check Out College Tax Benefits With back-to-school season in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service reminds parents and students about tax benefits that can help with the expense of higher education. Two college tax credits apply to students enrolled in an eligible college, university or vocational school. Eligible students include the taxpayer, their spouse, and dependents. American Opportunity Tax Credit The American Opportunity Tax Credit, (AOTC) can be worth a maximum annual benefit of $2,500 per eligible student. The credit is only available for the first four years at an eligible college or vocational school for students pursuing a degree or another recognized education credential. Taxpayers can claim the AOTC for a student enrolled in the first three months of 2018 as long as they paid qualified expenses in 2017. Lifetime Learning Credit The Lifetime Learning Credit, (LLC) can have a maximum benefit of up to $2,000 […]
September 13, 2017
wedding budget tips to keep expenses under control

12 Wedding Cost-Cutting Ideas from a Certified Financial Advisor

Move over summer; there’s a new wedding guest in town. According to a recent survey, wedding bells are now ringing more in the fall than the summer. September and October come in tops for most weddings. I can certainly vouch for the vivid array of colors and cool temps that the Smoky Mountains offer as an ideal wedding backdrop during this time. 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 on a budget in both summer or fall or any time of year. Here is my list, as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, of wedding budget tips to keep your expenses under control.
April 26, 2017
alternative approach to saving for college

Alternative Approach To Saving for College Education

The birth, or even adoption, of a child, is an exciting event in the life of any couple. Excitement can quickly turn to panic when you start thinking about the future though. Most parents automatically assume their child is heading off to college at some point in the future. It’s just the mindset our society ascribes to today. We tell them in order to be successful they should ultimately seek a college education, leaving little room that there is any other option in life. We’re basically telling them everything they do from Kindergarten on is to get them to college. Then life is planned according to what they do once they get to university.  So what’s the problem with this? There’s a few actually.
October 10, 2016
should I go to college?

Should I Go to College?

One of the biggest decision we face in life is, “will I be going to college,” Not only is it a weighty decision that may control many outcomes in our life, but we often make the choice at an extremely young age. Most just ask, “Should I go to college?” For the most part, we’ve touted going to college as the greatest necessity to be successful in our country. However, with recent changes to the economy and the rapid growth of technology, views are evolving as fast as the next generation of iPhones. According to recent reports, college is no longer a ‘prerequisite’ to success that it once was.
August 26, 2016
Childrens College Education

4 Ways of Funding Childrens College Education

Funding your children’s college education is among the popular financial goals that parents set for themselves. Since this can be a huge investment, it is worth the time to carefully plan so that you can ensure that whatever method is chosen, it will be useful. The best way to prepare for a child’s college education is to start planning early – as soon as the child is born if possible. However, not all parents have the desire or the discipline to begin planning at birth. Whatever method is chosen, the aim should be to set aside enough funds to ensure that your children can attend college when the time arises without having any significant disruptions in your financial life. 4 Ways of Funding Children’s College Education The most common methods of funding children’s college education include savings, scholarships and grants, financial aid and student loans or mortgages. Savings Financial institutions […]
June 20, 2016

Retirement, College, Weddings: Can I Save/Pay for it All?

“If I only had more money then I’d be able to do this”. That’s a misnomer. The truth is you’ll never have enough money, and that’s on all income levels, if you don’t have a plan. Perhaps you went online and used a retirement calculator and now you’re thinking, “I need to save this much for retirement and I need to save this much for my kids college and my daughter’s going to get married and I have to put some money away for that and I need to put some money back for insurance and forget going on vacation!” You’re basically just overwhelmed like most people are. They ask, “How in the world can I save enough money for everything all at once?” My answer is simply this…the same way you would eat an elephant…one bite at a time. The problem when it comes to saving for all the various […]