What’s your plan?

Scott Arens | for the Pioneer Review

I would like to make it clear that I believe in education; especially for the need to allow a person or family to be self-reliant. Therefore, a plan that creates increasing debt from loans defeats the purpose; it’s not much of a plan at all. I have been taking a soapbox stance in recent articles to avoid loans. And I will continue to do so; loans are bad. I think it important to let you know the foundation from which I build college funding plans. These are the attributes or characteristics that I believe to be important in this process. Safety is the first attribute and would certainly help me sleep better at night. Liquidity is the ability to have immediate access to my money for any reason with no restrictions or cost to access.

I want Guarantees on the Principal as well as on the Growth ; no chance to lose money and I know what the value will be at any given time in the future. Tax-Deferred Accumulation and Untaxed Distribution would allow my money to stay in my pocket and out of the governments’ Dole. I want No Contribution Limits and No Distribution Limitations. I should be able to put in as much as I like or take it out for that matter. I would like to be able to make changes when I desire, or when it is necessary: Flexibility. Colleges will look at my wealth to determine financial aid so I would like my money Exempt from Financial Aid Formulas. In the event I become disabled, I want a Funding Continuation. I’m not working so I need a way to see my plan succeed. Upon my death, I want my money to Avoid Probate and pass Income Tax Free to my heirs. These create a sure foundation for my plans.

I have adopted a 4-step approach to college planning. 1) Get your student to attend the best fit college for them. 2) Pay the least amount for college. 3) Not have to change your current lifestyle. 4) Increase your income at retirement time. Please continue to look for my contribution to the Pioneer Review in the future. Best Wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and Merry Christmas! If you have questions, comments, and/or input please contact me at Scott@ArensCP.com.■

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