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Pay for College Without Sacrificing Your Retirement: A Guide to Your Financial Future Paperback – April 1, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

... an invaluable resource for families faced with the daunting prospect of handling the college expenses of their children. Tim Higgins brings his financial planning expertise to the discussion of whether or not students are likely to qualify for federal or private assistance, and offers families excellent suggestions for creating a financial plan that will best serve their needs, including making sure they are left with enough in retirement. This is a great book--a must-read for families with college-bound children. -- Sally Donahue, Director of Financial Aid and Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard College

This timely and topical book is filled with legitimate money-saving strategies and sound recommendations. -- Eric Goodhart, Director, SmartCollegePlanning.org

Tim Higgins gives excellent advice for how to most efficiently pay for college. -- Timothy B. Lee, Ed.M., Certified Educational Planner, AHP Educational Consulting, and President of the Independent Educational Consultants Association

Tim Higgins is unique in his field of college financial planning in that he truly understands the concerns families have about this huge investment, and he views the process holistically. -- Charlotte Klaar, Director, College Consulting Services

Tim Higgins' savings and cost-cutting options coupled with his ability to understand the total financial picture is extremely valuable. -- Gregg Cohen, President, CampusBound.com

“Tim Higgins gets to first base with admission advice, second with how the aid system works, third with general financial advice, and finally to home plate with the most important message in the book—don't commit yourself to paying a college bill without considering its effect on your income during retirement.” —Don Betterton, retired Director of Financial Aid at Princeton University

From the Back Cover

Every year the cost of college goes up, and every year families struggle harder to meet these rising costs. Pay for College without Sacrificing Your Retirement offers help for taking on the double challenge of paying for your children's college education and saving for your retirement. It shows how to maximize your resources, evaluate colleges and financial aid opportunities, avoid crushing student debt, make the tax system work for you, and save for retirement.

Offers essential information for families at all income levels: * financial aid and figuring your "expected family contribution" * academic, athletic, and need-based scholarships * tax-sheltered savings plans such as 529s * business assets, loans, home equity, and retirement savings * potential help from grandparents * how to choose the best college for the money

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bay Tree Publishing (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972002189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972002189
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book changed my approach to paying for college. We have been faithfully putting money into our children's college funds and funding our retirement, but this book really opened my eyes to the big picture by asking two important questions, "How close to retirement age will you be when your last child graduates? And when he or she does graduate, how financially ready will you be for retirement?"

This is not a last-minute, quick fix for scrounging up money when your child is a senior. But for those late in the game (a child in high school), it does do an excellent job of explaining how financial aid works, why you should fill out the application for aid even you're sure you won't get any, and what to do with your assets (and when) to increase the possibility that you will get aid. It also gives advice on working with colleges to see if your child can get a better aid package than the one he or she was initially awarded.

I also really liked the fact that the book isn't just about getting financial aid. Just because you don't qualify for federal aid doesn't mean that paying for college is easy. The author does a nice job giving examples of strategies for a variety of income levels. We won't qualify for need-based aid, but I learned that there is more I can do in terms of our savings and investments to help pay for college.

The book also isn't just about the money. I appreciated the discussion on the importance of selecting the right college, not just sending my child to what she thinks is her dream college. I have changed my mind about the importance of the college visit prior to making a decision. I didn't do this when I chose a college, but will now think of that as an investment rather than an optional, possibly unnecessary expense.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book both as a CPA who has many clients ask me about financial aid and as a father of 2 children. In both regards, this book was excellent. The author starts with a wise premise, that your retirement and putting your kids through college are linked together and any money paid to your child's college is money that you won't have in retirement. The book then strikes a great balance between overview and detail so that you can get the information you would need in your situation without sacrificing thoroughness. The tone is easy to read. There are sufficient examples and highlights of important points. And, the book seems very comprehensive, so after reading it, I felt I knew enough to intelligently begin to rework my savings for my children's education.

I will unhesitatingly recommend this book to clients and colleagues. In fact, I plan to purchase multiple copies to have on hand for my clients, many of whom have the same questions that I had and which the book answered.
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Format: Paperback
It has been reported that student loan dept has now surpassed credit card debt. After spending ten years as a Financial Aid Officer, this is no surprise to me. In my opinion this country is going to have round two of the sub-prime mortgage crisis with the pending student loan default decade. It's already starting. Tim is right on the mark with his book "Pay for College Without Sacrificing Your Retirement" If you believe that consumer debt is just debt but student loan debt is an investment, be careful. It is so important to know your financial limits when sending your student to a college. Yes, education is an investment, but it can be a bad investment if you set yourself and your child up to a life of payments that never seem to go away, or they do not have the earning power to meet these payments and still have discretionary spending money at the end of the day. This mistake parallels the mistakes of our society which has us all so indebted due to immediate gratification tendencies for years and years to come. I want to go THERE, I want to go NOW.

Tim paints pictures of wonderful options of various types of college choices, with the benefit of saving money that can accumulate in investments rather than in retirement depletion because of "payments". Why not go to a lesser school when you are unsure of your major? If you are going to college to "live the college experience out of state", why not stay with friends who are away when you are on break? Hey, when it's all over (and it goes by fast) you'll probably owe much less money and be saving for your home instead! More than likely, they'll be living home again and need to come visit you! Use your "leverage" as Tim suggests.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this book as soon as you can if you have kids you plan to ever send to college. At the latest, read it it early in your student's Sophomore or Junior year in high school. Even if you don't think you will qualify for aid.

I have done my own taxes and retirement accounts for decades and thought I knew everything and was doing everything right for college. Tim's book clearly explained how colleges calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and how they use that to determine financial aid. He lays out simple strategies for legally minimizing your EFC and increasing your chances for aid. Although I was doing things well, Tim lays out some even better strategies.

There was one small detail in the book I was unclear about, so I emailed the author. He replied the same day with a very clear explanation.
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