Investing Advice

Financing a College Education

It is natural that we want the best education for our children. The cost of college, even public state colleges, is higher than you might realize. According to the College Board, if your child is 10 years old in 2002, you can expect the cost of four years of a public college to be about $145,000, or $260,000 at a good private school.

If you have more than one child, the potential costs are truly staggering. Sure, grants, scholarships, and student loans help, but if you plan carefully and start a sensible investment plan early, you and your children will enjoy the benefits of tax-free earnings covering most of their education costs.

We'll cover traditional college financial aid (and there is a lot to be taken advantage of) in a few moments.

Children sure are expensive. Here we are talking about zillions of dollars for college, and we are already spending a bundle for the children's every day expenses. How much does it cost to raise a child?

According to a federal government study, the average middle income family will spend $128,000 to raise a child born in 2000. And this does not include any college expense. According to this study, this breaks down to $53,000 for housing, $28,000 for food, $23,000 for transportation (really?), $12,000 for clothes, and $12,000 for miscellaneous. What about the big one - diapers?

And keep in mind that this 128 grand is only for the kid that leaves home at 18. My younger brother lived at home until he was 35 (they finally sold the house to get him to move out).

I know several 30-something boomerang children who've moved back in with their parents when things got rough. You need a big calculator to add up what these kids have cost their parents to raise. And here's a thought. How can anyone afford more than one child?

Fortunately, there are some wonderful ways to help pay for your children's education.

Other Financing a College Education Topics:

  1. Financing a College Education
  2. Coverdell Education Savings Account
  3. Section 529 Plans
  4. Scholarships
  5. Help from your college's financial aid office

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Who's Not Investing?

Millions marry and start families each year without taking basic steps to make sure their future, as well as their children's, is financially secure.

According to a recent survey by Princeton University and the Consumer Federation of America, 70% of households with incomes under $50,000 a year have retirement savings of less than $5,000. This same report said "most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck".

Learn more about how you can plan, save and invest smart for your family's future.

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