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Don’t Let College Costs Destroy Your Retirement

I know this is the time of year when many of you are considering using some of your hard-earned retirement funds to pay for college and avoid student debt.  After all, the market has done quite well over the last three years, so why not? While it is true that most of what you read on this subject will agree that it is not a good idea to use retirement funds to cover college costs, these articles are not “ringing the…

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College Admissions: Looking Behind The Curtain

A blog by Rachael Fishman on the New American Foundation’s website entitled “The Dark Side of Enrollment Management" has created quite a storm in higher education. It has also angered a lot of parents. The article reported that George Washington University has been lying about its admissions practices for years. They have actually even admitted it. To make matters worse, other reporters on higher education are discovering that GWU’s deceptive practices are being emulated by many other private colleges across…

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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 Ken Johnson

Ken Johnson is an attorney with a varied legal and business background. He received his J.D. from The John Marshall School of Law and also earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Ken was also an adjunct professor at IIT Kent College of Law in the LLM program and taught such courses as Finance, Broker Dealer Regulation, Venture Capital for Lawyers, Investment Banking, Electronic Markets and Exchanges and Mergers and Acquisitions. Ken has gained extensive experience…

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Meet Bob Proctor

Bob is the owner of Shamrock Financial Planning located in Naperville, IL. Shamrock offers comprehensive financial planning along with securities and advisory services. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) with over 25 years in the financial services business. Bob is a member of numerous industry organizations and has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Bob has been an attender, teacher (grades 3 through…

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Meet Jim Novak

Jim has been in the financial services business for over 25 years, helping families and returning veterans with retirement planning.  He understands college funding and has helped many clients reduce their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and increase their financial awards.  Jim is also a Certified Senior Advisor, helping the “sandwich generation” (those who have children at home and also need to take care of their elderly parents) manage their resources. Jim studied at the University of St. Thomas and 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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Meet Jack Schacht

Jack has over 40 years in marketing, management, career development and business leadership.  His first business, Career Counselors, launched the careers of hundreds of college graduate at major companies throughout the Chicago area. In 2006, Jack sold his most recent business (The Illinois Trade Association) which became the largest commercial barter exchange in the United States.  While at Illinois Trade Associate he and his team mentored hundreds of business owners on creative financial strategies to reduce expenses, improve cash flow…

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Meet Ginger Koontz

Ginger is passionate about leadership development and creating a workplace environment where employees can thrive. She brings 12 years of administrative experience, including 6 years of management experience and 4 years of event planning. During her most recent role with a local produce market, she was responsible for handling all aspects of the company’s finances and human resources, as well as the oversight of store operations. Ginger also has 16 years of ministry experience, during which she has mentored young…

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Meet Lisa Czarnecki

Lisa has spent 25 years in insurance and financial services, specializing in college planning, retirement, investment planning, employee benefits, and life, disability and long term care insurance. As an independent broker, she is able to live out her philosophy of focusing on each client's specific situation, customizing a personal plan that matches them with the best products to address their needs and providing ongoing monitoring and support. Lisa is a Certified Funds Specialist® (CFS®) and has completed three courses toward…

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