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Grandma’s Help Paying for College Could Cost You!

  It’s only natural for family members to want to help to alleviate the financial burden of paying for college. Conventional wisdom dictates that every little bit helps. However, when it comes to paying for college and applying for financial aid, conventional wisdom does not always win the day. Here's some advice to navigate high income families paying for college.  « Learn more about paying for college How High Income Families Paying for College Can Actually Hurt I’m sure it feels…

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Balancing Student Loan Debt with Retirement Savings

Welcome to post-graduate life and, with any luck, professional success. Once you’ve bridged the chasm between what you want to do with your new disposable income and what you think you should do, you will find yourself with some life-impacting decisions. Should you put your efforts towards saving for retirement or would they be better allocated to the expedient repayment of student loans? Wanting to make smart decisions with your money is only the first step. A decision made with the most prudent of intentions…

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What the New Fiduciary Responsibility Law Means

When you meet with a financial advisor, you hope that you have found someone you can trust. There is a new fiduciary responsibility law on the table in Washington, because some advisors are, unfortunately, not trustworthy. They may not have your best interest in mind when recommending certain financial products and that may affect your family's college savings. Are you wondering what this new law means for you? It will affect how financial advisors recommend different investments and how they charge their…

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5 Questions to Ask Your College Funding Adviser

According to Kalman Chany, author of Paying for College Without Going Broke, using an accountant to do your college financial plan can actually cost you thousands of dollars in potential financial aid.  Here are 5 questions to ask before you make a decision to retain anyone as your college funding adviser: 1. Should I increase my retirement contributions to lower my adjusted gross income during my child’s college years? If the accountant says yes to this question, you definitely have the wrong person…

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Why Your Financial Advisor Must Be a Fiduciary

Many clients have asked me why My College Planning Team (MCPT) requires me to approve the financial plans provided to them by our other financial advisors. After all, these advisors have often had as much experience as I and have worked as trusted advisors to hundreds of clients throughout their careers. MCPT implemented this policy to make sure all of our college and financial plans have been reviewed by someone with fiduciary responsibility. This means that the person reviewing their…

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IRS Code Sec 529 Plans Can Shrink Your Education Savings

Since many of you currently own or are planning to purchase an IRS Code Sec 529 plan, here are some important ownership, tax, distribution, ownership and investment issues which you need to be aware of: 1. Tax Issues Parents with sizable balances in their 529 Plans often make the serious mistake of paying the full amount of their qualified education expenses out of it. This could cause you to lose valuable tax deductions and/or tax credits. To qualify for the…

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Meet Jim Kraiss

Jim Kraiss has been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for over 29 years. He has taught financial planning at several area colleges, written multiple financial planning articles, and authored five books on the subject. His latest book, Living the Tax Free Life, has received rave reviews from readers and other financial advisors. With his expertise in designing non-assessable financial instruments for college funding and his previous long-term experience as a Series 7 and Series 63 securities advisor, he has been able…

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