Today’s post is written by a fellow fee-only advisor, Greg Phelps, CFP®, CLU®, AIF®, AAMS®, of Redrock Wealth Management.
Saving for a child’s college education is perhaps one of the most noble things a parent will ever do. It’s also one of the toughest financial goals to tackle, because similar to healthcare costs, college expenses have risen across the board at 5% per year. Continue reading Can You Use a Roth IRA for College? Should You?
This article in Forbes explains options the Department of Education is making available for FAFSA filers needing to get their income tax information in to schools or loan servicers.
I’m off to surgery tomorrow and wasn’t going to post anything until after that, but I thought you might need this info. See you in a week or two.
My apologies if this is a little down-to-the-wire. Then again, you might do better waiting until the last minute to negotiate an aid award. If you’re planning to do so, here are a few things you need to know.
The first step is to determine what type of aid is being offered, need or merit (or a Continue reading Negotiating an Aid Award
If you have not yet filed the FAFSA for the coming school year, you may be stuck entering your income data manually. The IRS last week said they do not expect the Data Retrieval Tool to be available until the next FAFSA cycle begins in October, due to security concerns. Continue reading Update on IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College report has some good news: In the 2015-2016 school year, the average amount families spent on college went down slightly, to $23,688. The biggest decline came on spending for 2-year colleges; families with students in 4-year schools reported spending about the same as in the previous year. In Continue reading How America Pays for College
If you tried to fill out the FAFSA this month, chances are it wasn’t easy. That’s because the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been disabled. The IRS and Department of Education said in a joint statement last week that it will be several weeks until the tool is back online. Continue reading FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Since taxes seem to be top-of-mind for everyone, here’s a quick tip for bringing your income down on the FAFSA or CSS PROFILE: Don’t get a state tax refund. If you do, you have to report it as income. Check with your tax preparer to determine the right amount of state withholding that avoids both a refund and a penalty for underpayment. If you use tax software like TurboTax, it can calculate correct state withholding as well.
While it’s true that there is an income protection allowance on the FAFSA, it’s extremely low– roughly the federal poverty line for a family of your size. The bigger issue is what is included in income and what is subtracted from it to arrive at “Available Income.” Why is Continue reading FAFSA Income
As many as 1/3 of college students don’t complete the FAFSA. There are a variety of reasons why not, ranging from fears about its complexity to the assumption that it’s not worth the time because the family is not eligible for aid and hundreds if not thousands of other reasons. The end result is that a lot of money is left on the table and many families Continue reading Why file the FAFSA
Just because the FAFSA is available earlier this year doesn’t mean you have to complete it now. Most school and state deadlines haven’t changed. For example, the Oregon schools still have their end of February/beginning of March deadlines. Why is that? The goal of making the FAFSA available earlier is enable families to understand their financial position in advance of (or alongside) the application process. Schools don’t generally need your FAFSA information until they get your application. But knowing your EFC in advance Continue reading FAFSA Deadlines