Planning For Your Child’s College

College Savings

Starting a savings account in your child’s name can seem like a great idea when they are young. However, it could be a decision that you regret.

Choosing the wrong savings plan now could end up causing them to miss out on thousands of dollars in avoidable taxes and missed financial aid when it comes time to pay for college.

When it comes to determining financial aid, there is an asset protection allowance, or APA, that protects a portion of the parents’ assets. The students’ personal income and savings actually have a bigger and possibly more negative, impact on how much financial aid is available than parental assets and income.

Since the amount of financial aid is established based on the income and assets from the year just before applying for aid, a student with a large amount of savings in their name could end up forfeiting a sizeable sum of free college money.

Fortunately, quite a few ways exist for parents to save that will not put their children’s future financial aid at risk. Here are a couple of places to safely stockpile cash: Read More

Should I Buy an Investment Home?

Rental Home

Are you considering purchasing an investment home? This could be a good idea if you want to diversify your portfolio to hold more than simply stocks and bonds. There’s plenty of stories about quick flips—buying a property, doing some renovating, and then reselling at a much higher price—dominating TV reality shows, however, renting has always been the core of real estate investing. This is mainly because in the past homes and properties have appreciated at a much slower pace. Renting can generate steady monthly cashflow much like classic dividend-paying utility stocks. If you see any price appreciation it’s a nice bonus.

Investing in a rental property is much different than buying a low-cost index fund. It takes a lot of work to choose the right property, maintain it, plus deal with tenants. You should think long and hard and be comfortable that you are prepared to put in the time that is required. Are you able to handle after-hours phone calls? What if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? Read More