If you’ve met with our team recently, you’re probably familiar with our “Risk Analysis Grid” that is used to guide financial planning meetings.
One area of the grid that I’ve spent time talking about lately is “Education Cash Flow Planning”. Fall semesters are right around the corner, and with many of our clients transitioning their youngsters towards college in the next few years, education (and how to pay for it!) is top-of-mind matter.
|Current and Future Income Protection||Year to year cash flow planning||Disability||Retirement & financial independence cash flow planning||Executive benefit planning|
|Education cash flow planning||Planning for special family situations||Income tax planning Retirement plan design|
It is rarely ever too early to start planning! But if you have a friend or family member (or perhaps even yourself!) who could benefit from planning ahead, where do you begin? Armor can help lead discussions and figure out what questions need to be asked in the following areas:
- Account and Loan Types: 529 Plans, ESA, UTMA and UGMA, pre-paid tuition, PLUS loans – what does this all mean, and where do we start?
- Financial Aid and Tax Credits: Are any tax credits available at our income or asset level? What types of savings will hurt our child’s chances of getting aid?
- Trade-Offs and Deliberate Decision Making: We’re saving a lot for college costs, but unsure of our ability to retire when we want to – can we talk through a few what-if scenarios?
- Goals for Grandparents: Can I further my grandchildren’s education and reduce my estate tax exposure at the same time? Is there a way to contribute, but maintain control of the funds in case I have unexpected expenses or wish to steer the money towards another child?
Whether you’re planning for college, private K-12 education, or some other big expense, Armor is here to help. We even have 3rd party experts on hand who would love to come in and talk college planning, at no cost to you!
If you haven’t looked at your financial plan lately, or if there are any specific issues you’d like to review with us, please let me know. Something as easy as letting Armor evaluate your tax return can help uncover opportunities or reduce stress. It’s easy to put off planning until “someday”, but the earlier we begin the process, the less stress and more freedom you can enjoy later!