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Financial Advisors Need to Go Back to School!

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This article is slated to be updated with the latest FAFSA, Scholarship, and Financial Information. For more updated information, please refer to our 2023 and 2024 articles.

Investment News recently ran an article with the above title.  The point of their article was to tell financial advisors that there is an urgent need for them to learn. They need to learn all of the financial strategies available to help their clients survive the ever-rising cost of college and be productive in their financial planning for college—in essence, go back to school!  More importantly, the article is also a “wake-up call” for families who may be using an advisor who lacks this expertise.

In his book, Paying For College Without Going Broke, Kalman Chany says that using an advisor who does not have this knowledge “can cost families thousands of dollars in lost financial aid.”  As a financial advisor with My College Planning Team, I know how important it is to integrate college cost-cutting strategies into the financial plans I do for my clients. Indeed, college costs represent an expense that is now almost as large as their family home.

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Financial Planning For College: What You Need to Know

1. College costs are now reaching an absurd level

Since 1978, the CPI increased 279%.  College costs, however, in the same period, increased 1,225%.

The average annual cost of attendance at a top-tier private college is now $54,900.

Endowments to private colleges are still down 20%, which means less financial aid is going out to middle-income families.

Thirty-six states cut funding to their state universities last year.  The response of these universities was to not cut costs but to raise prices.

Colleges are replacing full-time professors for cheaper part-time adjunct instructors and with less-experienced teaching assistants while increasing spending more on amenities.  They also continue to hire more administrators than they need.

Just last year it was reported that it was taking 5.7 years for the average student to graduate. The stats were just updated.  It is now taking 6.2 years for the average student to get a four-year degree!

2. Call Upon Informed Professionals

When financial planning for college, more than ever parents need an unemotional third-party expert to help them through this overwhelming process—a financial advisor who can help them decide the best possible way to pay for all of this.  As a consumer, be sure to do your research and find an advisor who knows the field.

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 the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification. Lisa holds her FINRA Series 6 and 63 registrations with LPL Financial, as well as state Life & Health Insurance and Property & Casualty insurance licenses. She is a member of the Agency Management Resource Group (AMTC), GAMA International and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Lisa lives in Hoffman Estates, IL with her son Brett. She enjoys golf, wine and physical fitness, especially running for a cause. Lisa has completed several half marathons, the Chicago Marathon and a 3-day breast cancer walk.

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