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Why Parents Need a College Planner Professional

Let’s face it.  We live in a complex world.   There are just so many ways to get tripped up in our daily lives and a helping hand goes a long way to lower the stress and the cost of most things.  This is especially true when it comes to matters of money and college.

While the internet is a fast and easy way to get answers, there’s an old saw that says there’s a fast solution to most things but they’re usually wrong.  Just like taxes, legal documents, insurance and investments, there are all sorts of resources online to help a family deal with college funding.  Yet families routinely hire other professionals to help with filing taxes, drafting wills and managing money. Why?  Because it saves them time and more importantly money.

So it’s not unusual to expect that there are now professionals available to help families navigate the confusing and enigmatic college admissions and financing process.  In much the same way as accountants and CPAs help taxpayers properly deal with the tax code, college financial planners help families properly navigate the college funding and financial aid process to avoid costly mistakes now which may impact family finances or individual retirement later.

 What is a College Financial Planner?

Over the past couple of decades, college costs have exploded.  Over the same time frame, family incomes have stagnated while wealth  in the form of home equity and investments have declined – often with unsettling and dramatic frequency.

Families attempting to deal with the daily challenges of balancing family budget priorities with the long term goals of funding retirement while adding the demands for college funding to the mix are just overwhelmed. With college costs consistently outpacing inflation, parents and grandparents should not feel bad about seeking the help of a qualified financial professional.

So a new discipline has developed among financial planners to provide a structured approach aimed at saving time, money, taxes and frustration.  College planners like those here at College Cash Pro work with families to provide a customized solution to their funding problems.  Some are professionally trained.  In my case I received training as part of the Certified Financial Planner program and later through continuing education offered by the Financial Planning Association and the National Institute of Certified College Planners.

How College Planners Add Value

We add value in various ways.  For each family, the value added is different.  We provide a thorough review of a family’s finances to identify financial aid and scholarship opportunities, tax saving strategies, cash flow improvement, ways to smartly use loans, and how to use the college selection process to find the best aid package possible.

Part of what we do is analyze and recommend ways to minimize the Expected Family Contribution so families can qualify for the maximum amount of aid. Part of what we do is help develop a sustainable family cash flow plan for the college funding years.  Part of what we do is help family’s through the college selection process from a financial perspective. And all of what we do is geared at protecting a client’s retirement nest egg.

College Financial Planners and Your Guidance or Financial Aid Officers

College planners can help a family in many ways.  What we don’t do is the very important job of your school’s guidance counselor or financial aid officer.   We are not in the business to perform their job.  We fully appreciate all that guidance and financial aid officers do to aid students.  College financial planners fit into the picture as financial specialists focused on your specific situation.

 A Better Way Starts with a College Plan

A better way to handle college funding and your other household priorities is to have a plan so that paying for college won’t put a hole in your budget or your retirement. And a better way to deal with this is with the help of a qualified financial planner.  And there’s no better person to start than with a CFP® professional who knows the ins and outs of the college funding process.  For more planning resources, check out the CFP Board’s website here at www.letsmakeaplan.org.