1. How America Pays for College in 2015

    How America pays for college infographicHow America pays for collegeIn July, financial services company Sallie Mae and the global independent market research company Ipsos released the eighth annual “How America Pays for College” study. The report focuses on how much money parents and students spend for a college education, where they obtain the funds to pay for the expenses associated with college, and their thoughts about the cost and value of higher education.

    Perhaps the most surprising finding is that parental income and savings surpassed scholarships and grants for the first time in five years, and is the number one source of paying for college.

    For more insights from the How America Pays for College study, check out our accompanying infographic:

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    Categories: College Planning
  2. 5 Reasons to Have Life Insurance (and Why It Can Cost More Not to Have It)

    life insurance reasons infographictop 5 reasons for having life insuranceAccording to the 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and the life insurance association LIMRA, more than 40 percent of Americans don’t have life insurance. That equates to more than 128 million people without coverage.

    Reasons that people give for not having life insurance vary, from “life insurance is too expensive” to “I still have time, I don’t need life insurance yet” to “I don’t know how to get coverage.” However, its purpose remains the same: Life insurance can provide loved ones with financial protection when they need it most, just like automobile insurance, health insurance and home insurance.

    If you don’t have life insurance, here are five reasons for life insurance that you may have not yet fully considered:

  3. Three Big Benefits of the Gerber Life College Plan

    3 steps to get started with the Gerber Life College PlanGerber Life College PlanAs a parent, you want your child to succeed in life. Although college might not be right for everyone, most parents will probably agree that giving their children the opportunity to attend college is a path for success.

    Unfortunately, providing a child with that opportunity comes at an expensive price, and so parents worry about how they’ll pay for college when the time comes. What might surprise you is how concerned they are about this dilemma. According to a recent Gallup poll that collected data from 2001 to 2015, having enough money to pay for college is the most common worry among parents who have children under age 18.

    Fortunately, there is a way to ease some of the concern: by starting to plan for future college expenses as early as possible.

    One excellent planning choice is to buy a Gerber Life College Plan¹. If you aren’t familiar yet with the Gerber Life College Plan, here are some of its benefits (be sure to view the accompanying image that explains how easy it is to apply for one):

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    Categories: College Planning
  4. Strategies for Choosing the Right College

    young woman in dorm roomIf you and your child are in the process of researching and selecting colleges, you know that it can be a long process. One of the things that can contribute to the length of the task is that you’ll want to find a happy medium between a college that your child wants to attend and one that is financially feasible for you.

    The rising cost of college makes the search all the more difficult. As the cost continues to rise, more and more students are becoming saddled with an excessive amount of debt.

    Two excellent solutions to the dilemma are public state universities and two-year community colleges, both of which you’ll want to consider when choosing the right college for your child. Here’s why:

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    Categories: College Planning
  5. “Pre-paid” College: Is it Worth the Investment?

    College Students Chatting in Hallway“Pre-paid” college usually takes the form of pre-paid 529 plans, which are tax-advantaged plans that enable families to lock-in the cost of college at the time that they purchase the plan. Considering that every year the cost of college rises about 2 percent to 3 percent, pre-paid college can be a worthwhile option to consider.

    Disadvantages to traditional pre-paid college plans include a lack of flexibility in the way the money can be used.

    Most 529 prepaid college plans are administered by individual states, and they differ somewhat from state-to-state. Although you can often transfer pre-paid tuition credits from state-to-state, fees do apply, and can add up. For this reason, the biggest saving is when your child attends college in the state where the plan was purchased and administered.