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Can You Afford That Student Loan?

Most parents want their children to achieve at least a four-year bachelor’s degree from college. Partly it’s emotional: “My kid graduated from Stanford. What about yours?” But the bigger driver is more commonly the fear that without a college degree, their son or daughter will simply be unable to...



OK To Tap Your 401(k) For College Expenses?

When it comes to their children, many parents take the view that supporting their kids is first priority.  That’s admirable from a family standpoint, but may not be optimal from a financial one.  And nowhere does this have bigger consequences than with college expenses.  A common question I encounter is...



Dealing With Student Debt

As of the third quarter of 2015, student debt in the U.S. has soared to nearly $1.25 trillion. That’s trillion with a “t.”  As little as ten years ago it was only $350 billion, less than half the amount of credit card debt held by consumers.  Today it’s 70%...



How to Maximize College Financial Aid With 529s

Last year I wrote about a strategy involving 529 plans designed to maximize the financial aid a college student could receive (see http://www.cognizantwealth.com/2014/03/10/best-place-to-hold-your-529-plan/).   To summarize the original strategy: if you split your savings into two 529 plans, 75% in one owned by the student’s parent and 25% in one...



Use Retirement Accounts To Pay For College?

When it comes to saving for college, most people think about setting up a 529 College Savings Account.  However, you can also use individual retirement accounts (traditional IRA or Roth IRA) as well as 401(k) plans to pay for most college expenses.  But you have to make sure to...



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