How old will you be when you pay off your college debt? How old will your parents be when they pay off your college debt? Did you have to use your retirement savings to send your kid to college?
These are questions many people are facing these days as the cost of college increases and the need for higher education is essential to get and keep a good job. And, it’s no wonder. College tuition is increasing at a rate of 7% – 15%, and more but you need to get that degree to increase your lifetime earnings.
According to a Department of Commerce study, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $2.1 million over their work lives — about one third more than workers who did not finish college, and nearly twice as much as workers with only a high school diploma. A master’s degree holder tops a bachelor’s degree holder at $2.5 million. Doctoral ($3.4 million) and professional degree holders ($4.4 million) do even better.
Dollars and cents … college is essential. Dollars and cents … many can’t afford it.
Jeff Taylor, who heads Tuition Reduction Academy, has some answers. I met Jeff recently at a meeting at The Collaborative in Birmingham, which is a group of entrepreneurial thinkers from across southeast Michigan with the capacity and desire to improve greater Detroit.
Jeff’s is a Certified College Planning Specialist that has helped families reduce their cost of college by millions of dollars .With a passionate desire to help parents avoid costly mistakes such as paying retail price for college, being overly dependent upon student loan debt and raiding their college and retirement savings.
“You need an individual Tuition Reduction Plan,” he says. “You never pay retail price for college. Too often that leads to dropping out early due to huge debt or to parents sacrificing their retirement accounts. You can easily cut the cost of college by $5000 to $15000 per year depending on your student and family situation.”
Jeff suggests thinking holistically … know where gaps are in your college funding plans. “Don’t focus on how much college costs but focus on how much it is going to cost you.”
Here are some of his suggestions:
- Be strategic in your college selection. Line up a list of schools that want your child and then watch them fight over your kid.
- Do cash flow planning. Look for ways to find insurance policies that offer the same coverage for less money. Look at retirement accounts, but don’t penalized yourself by using an accessible asset or create additional income that can hurt funding. Do tax scholarship planning and coordinate with tax planning advisor. Jeff found a way to save one family $500 a month.
- Combine several programs – Financial aid, cash flow, tax planning (coordinate with tax advisor), college oriented financial planning, debt elimination, academic acceleration planning and admission strategies. The combined impact of these strategies can easily reduce the cost of colleges by tens of thousands regardless of the student’s GPA, says Jeff.
If you’re interested, Jeff does college tuition reduction webinars. The first one is free and you can sign up for more. Those seminars run $47 for each class or you can buy packages. For the free webinar go to www.tuitionreductionplan.com. You can reach Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Says Jeff, “I’m just trying to protect parents from hurting themselves.”