December 28, 2018
The new year is fast approaching which brings us to the point of making New Year's Resolutions. In my previous post, I hinted to the fact that I intended on concentrating on eating better and exercising to improve my health. In fact, those two things are among the top resolutions made. Others include improving family relationships and saving money. How could you go wrong with any of those four? By not doing them. So, I challenge you this year to make a resolution and keep it. I personally think I have it in the bag for eating, exercising and family relationships. Not so much in saving money. The fact is, I'm horrible at it just like more than 83 percent of the population.
I can't sit here and tell you how to save money, I just know we all should. Like I always do in any of my writing, I go the extra mile and ask the experts. Then, I received a phone call from the government concerning one of my daughter's student loans. Yikes! No, it's not my responsibility to pay it off, but it did make me wonder how many parents are faced with the same situation or how many parents have high school students who will one day go to college. Tragically there is an enormous amount of college tuition debt. This is something that is costly and parents should save for or find other means to pay for their children's college education. So, I did a little research and came across Daniel Evertsz, author of 20 Stupid Mistakes Parents Make When Applying for College Funding and decided to include his interview below. He makes some very good points and offers sage advice and here is his interview.
Tell your readers a little about yourself. Where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
So, I transferred to California State University at Northridge where I was able to continue my academic and athletic prowess. As a result of attending two colleges, I have many friends who I’m still in contact with to this day. College was the best time of my life.
What inspired you to write this book?
In 2005, I was a parent of a high school senior, I was totally uneducated about the college admission and college funding process. My daughter was constantly requesting more and more task I needed to be involved in this complicated process. My daughter got accepted to a couple of schools, but I wasn’t offered any financial help other than loans. That was September 2005. In October I attended a college planning workshop hosted by a CPA. He provided a ton of information that the high school guidance did not. I didn’t realize all the different strategies that parents can employ that would result in a ton of free money which would have lowered my out of pocket cost of college.
I was so taken by the information that I joined the coaching program that the CPA was offering. His story was like mine when he was trying to get funding for college. Fast forward 13 years later, I’ve been able to educate thousands of parents struggling and help them get all their children through college in a comfortable manner without pillaging their savings or retirement.
Your book talks about many things that impacts the future of college students and their ability to finance. What other types of topics do you discuss and why?
Strategies to lower a family’s out of pocket cost of college is number one. I also talk about choosing the correct major and career as well. Student & parent college loan debt is approaching a trillion dollars. By understanding how the process really works, a college student can substantially reduce the amount of debt they will incur after college. In addition, how choosing the wrong college can cost your family thousands of dollars.
Name at least two things readers will learn from reading your book or if it is a program what information it will provide?
As a parent and professional in this industry, the book will provide common mistakes parents make which in turn can cost the parents thousands of dollars. The cost of a college education can average $100,000.00 per kid. Many parents are sacrificing their retirement to pay for college. The average American family has less than $10,000.00 saved by the time their kid reaches high school. We borrow but we don’t save. If you start the process early enough (9th/10th grade), your kid may be able to go to college for free. You don’t know what you don’t know.
What barriers do your readers face in obtaining and financing their college education?
Knowledge is the key to lowering the cost of a college education. Annually there is over 1 Billion dollars of free money to pay for college. Most parents don’t have the slightest idea how to access their share. Loans should be the last option when paying for college. If you start early and position your students’ academic/SAT& ACT test prep, understand how to calculate Expected Family Contribution per the Dept. of Education guidelines, prior to applying to different schools that alone can save you thousands. Knowing the school’s history of helping families with free money will provide a constructive approach to paying for college. After these steps are exhausted, then look to parent loans to fund the balance of your student’s education.
Who is your target audience and why?
My target audience are parents with students in high school with kids that will be attend collegein the near future. The middle-class family is the families that makes just enough not to qualify for financial aid or have the resources to write a check to pay for college. The book can help families from all backgrounds, from low income to high six figure income. However, the middle-class families need the education the most.
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?
If you are the parent of a future college bound student, paying for college will be the largest financial output other than the purchase of their home. Knowing this information like having a flashlight in a dark cave while the other parents stumble around in the dark cave.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
My greatest success in life is being Blessed with a wonderful family. I have the support of my wife and have raised two wonderful kids. In the business world, operating my business with integrity and helping families with financial literacy has been my greatest success.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, what would you tell your younger self about obtaining a college or higher education?
This is an easy one, save a portion of the money I’ve earned in my lifetime. I’ve made many financial mistakes in my younger years due to lack of financial literacy. Fast forward 30 years later, I’ve done well but could have been positioned much better if I would have learned what I preach now.
What advice can you give about saving for financial success?
Start the process of saving early. Your first bucket should be an emergency fund of at least six months of all your monthly outlay. Then start using the rule of 72 to invest in different investment vehicles that will compound.
The "Rule of 72" is a simplified way to determine how long an investment will take to double, given a fixed annual rate of interest. By dividing 72 by the annual rate of return (8% into 72 + 9 years), investors can get a rough estimate of how many years it will take for the initial investment to double itself.
Everyone has life lessons to learn, tell your readers one or two of yours and how they make you the who you are today.
After years of working in two different industries (mortgage & college planning), working with integrity and maintaining relationships is more important than cashing a check. Our industry is now growing rapidly. More than 50% of newcomers (Financial Planners & Insurance Agents) enter the industry and see big dollar signs. They learn very quickly that people can sense very quickly your level of caring. When I was in my 30 and early 40’s, I was just like them.
Fast forward to college planning. My first five families that hired me became more than dollar signs. I was super surprised when a few of them sent notes or had conversations thanking me profusely with now a common phrase, “we don’t know how we could have done this without you”. In my 27 years in the mortgage business, I had good clients but never bonded like the relationships college planners develop with families once you help them get their kids into college at an affordable price. I still receive referrals from clients from over 10 years ago.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre? In other words, what makes you the expert?
What makes me unique from other experts in this arena is I provide insight from a parent and professional perspective. Although there are many excellent authors in this niche, most Americans are not aware that consultants such as myself exist. You have no idea how many times I hear “I wish I would have known you a couple of years ago”. I’ve been in the trenches working with families one on one. Most of the expert authors I’ve come across come from an academic background, admissions officer, counselor, etc. Relationships are everything in this business and I have tons of families that start off as clients but end up being friends long after their kids have gone to college.
You are also a consultant and speaker, tell us a little about that and how to reach you if they are interested.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have spoken to families across the country as well as being featured on many radio and television shows. Again, people with kids are in for a huge surprise when they go through this process. Many parents think the process is the same as when they went to college. Boy are they in for a rude awakening
I’ve prepared a link for parents to view a short 10-minute video that will lead to my contact information and a free 30 minuteonline assessment.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I have a friend who is a sales coach. He had been pushing me to write a book that can really help people comfortably get their kids through college. He was always pushing me to put it on paper and share my knowledge with others.
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
Please don’t wait until your kids reach their senior year in high school to start this process. Procrastination or simply ignoring this ticking time bomb is a huge mistake. Please reach out to a professional College Planner and have a conversation. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Year Published: 2018