Financial Wellness @ Work

A Major Decision

It seems that lately my personal life has been dominated by questions about “next year,” “next phase of life,” “what do you plan to do after….”  Actually, not so much my life, but my kids. All 3 are in the last year of their respective schools right now.  Read more

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The College Fund You Don’t Know You Have

I talk to many parents of students approaching college age who fret about having little or nothing saved for college. They know how important a college education is and want their children to be able to go to the school of their choice while graduating with as little debt as possible but at best, they only have a few thousand dollars set aside for college expenses, barely enough for one semester’s worth of meals. The rest of their money is tied up in emergency savings, retirement accounts, and a home with little or no equity. Yet, there is one potential bright spot… Read more

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Talking to a Teenager Now May Save Them Tens of Thousands of Dollars Later

I like to write about the things I see in my daily life as well as some of the things going on in my family, and right now the family conversations have a very common theme.  My daughter is a senior in high school and recently was accepted to all of the colleges to which she applied.  Now, it becomes a matter of preference, location, and atmosphere and of course, the financial aid packages offered will factor into the decision as well.  She has known since she was 4 years old that she wants to be a teacher, so paying $60,000/year to go to an elite private school was not going to be an option for her.   Read more

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What Tootsie Rolls and Financial Aid Have in Common

Much to the chagrin of dentists everywhere, Tootsie Roll has been a staple of the candy business for a very long time.  This article talks about the Tootsie Roll Company being a very secretive organization.  And we thought it was just the CIA that operates in relative secrecy!  Tootsie Roll doesn’t give tours, they don’t give interviews to analysts and they don’t operate with much transparency.  It’s as if they have some magical mystery formulas that they don’t want the rest of us to know.  That reminds of an email that I saw from a friend at work this week… Read more

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How Can You Avoid Being a Slave to Your Mortgage?

Lately I have talked to a lot of people who are interested in buying their first home and with a combination of today’s low interest rates and a housing market that does not have prices appreciating rapidly, this might just be a great time to be in the market to buy a house.  They understand that part of it but then don’t know how much house they can afford.  They are getting different opinions from different people in their lives.  So, are there any objective measures by which we can figure out how much house someone might want to consider buying?  Sure… Read more

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How Risky are Prepaid College Plans?

With soaring tuition rates and the increasing importance of a college degree in our economy, prepaid college plans have become popular over the last two decades.  However,  declining returns from the stock market, compounded by the recent financial crisis, have caused a large gap between the funds in these state-administered programs and the escalating costs of state schools.  So what exactly are prepaid college plans and how risky are they? Read more

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I Don’t Want My Kids to be Crushed by Student Loans. Do You?

I read this article titled “This Bright-Eyed Young Man Was Utterly Demolished by Student Loans” about (can you guess?) a guy who has experienced significant financial, personal and emotional hardship because of the financial responsibility that he took on with significant student loan debt.  I wish this were an isolated incident, but based on some meetings I’ve had with young people recently, I’d be lying if I said this isn’t becoming increasingly more common.  Maybe not to the extreme that Nick is experiencing, but there is a growing number of young people who may not be finished with paying off student loans until they are closer to Social Security than college. Read more

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How to Get Tax Relief for College Expenses

We’ve been talking for the last few months about the challenges of sending a child to college. First comes the choice of savings vehicles from the hundreds of options: state-sponsored 529s, private plans, Coverdell accounts, and self-managed investments. Then comes the crash course in financial aid, where parents and students have to figure out their eligibility for grants, scholarships, and government and private loans.    Read more

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Why It’s Not Too Early For High School Students to Intern

Hello, Rachel? This is your wake-up call. Read more

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Pros & Cons of a 529 College Savings Plan for Your Kids

Figuring out how to pay for your child’s college education can be overwhelming. The cost for one year of school at a public university is over $17,000 and is nearly $40,000 at a private school – and that doesn’t even include the price of room and board. Counting on scholarships to cover college costs is foolhardy and the availability of student loans (especially a loan with a good rate) is not guaranteed. Read more

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