Broker Check

September Newsletter

September 3, 2019

“You Have Your Whole Lives Ahead of You…”

It’s senior year of high school and both, students and parents are excited about the upcoming new challenge and rite of passage - COLLEGE!  The past 18 years or so, grandparents, parents and students alike have been planning, saving and studying for this transition.  Or have they?  Following is a summary of programs and services that can help pave the way for this journey, four to six years of training, in order to start that promising career and pursue all the options the world has to offer.

 With the steady increases seen in the cost of college the last three decades, a combination approach to paying the “tab” might be a necessary strategy.  Students and parents will need to save more in the preparation years while keeping “Plan B” in mind; which could include, paying off some debt later.   Focus and strategically pick education in a field that will pay you a handsome salary.  Currently, the most advised areas of study include the STEM studies.  STEM is a curriculum based in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  With continuing technological advances and rote tasks being performed by machine, skills in software engineering, science and math, project management and logical thinking, are where it is at in terms of getting hired.   


There are many ways to manage the cost and to save for the transition to higher education.  One such method is, the 529 Savings Plan; Intelligent Investment Management, LLP can help families establish an account and grow it for future education needs.  Parents, relatives and friends alike can make contributions and all earnings are exempt from federal income tax, provided the distributions are used for qualified expenses.  Larger contributions (say over $15,000) can avoid gift taxes with appropriate handling and can
make a real difference in a child’s life.  Prepaid tuition plans are also an option in some states and for some institutions.  They work well provided the student knows where they will attend school.

Other considerations and by no means less important, include attending trade or vocational school.  For many students this is a better fit than a four-year college or university.   Attending school close to home can decrease and eliminate some expenses.  An Associate degree from a junior college can accomplish the basics.  Another advantage, the student has two years in a “close-to-home” environment in which to pick the career and training that fits his or her skills and the predefined budget.  In doing this the student may have the added opportunity to later enroll in a graduate program which will impact that chosen career path in a positive way.  Let’s not leave off the list; entering the military and using the GI Bill for higher education.  The point is to start with what is ultimately affordable including the repayment of any debt. 

There are loan and grant programs available such as Federal student aid, Pell grants and scholarships and these should all be considered and researched.  To apply for these programs, the student will need to complete a FAFSA® form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), each year they plan to enroll in school and use a loan or a grant.  This form is easily found online.  Some programs also give special consideration to veterans and the children of veterans.

Intelligent Investment Management, LLP can certainly help families begin saving for this life event and many other lifetime goals.  Please hand this letter to someone you know who is preparing for their education or someone who is just beginning to grow their family.  We would be happy to talk to them to see if our services can help them.  We specialize in planning and consistent saving habits to meet those special goals.

Please contact James or Steve with any questions or referrals you might have.  With the beginning of the school year also comes the changes in color in beautiful southwest Colorado.  We hope you are getting out and enjoying the change of seasons.



Intelligent Investment Management, LLP


Laura Vaughan, FPQP™