Students Turning to Grandparents to Help Pay for College

How are families paying for college? Grandparents. Or, at least, grandparents and other relatives are kicking in more for a student’s education. The amount of money from relatives — often grandparents — and friends rose to an average of $1,247 this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. That’s according to Sallie Mae’s annual report, “How America Pays for College,” which is based on a survey of 1,600 parents and students. Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. See …

The Cost of Perpetual Parenting of Adult Children

For many boomers, the empty nest seems more like the empty bank account. After college, kids boomerang home for a few months or years, driving up monthly household expenses. Even when they leave, they often return to the “Bank of Mom and Dad” for help with costs from new cars to camp for the grandkids. All those added outlays are impacting millions of boomers, causing many to delay or modify retirement plans, according to a new study by Hearts & …

Skipping Out on Student Loans? Check Your Wallet

So what can Uncle Sam do if you don’t repay your federal student loans?   Report you to credit reporting companies. Garnish your wages. Keep your tax refunds and Social Security payments until the debt is paid off.   That’s right, all of the above.  Only most people aren’t aware of it. Economists and researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked this of more than 1,000 consumers – only to discover that less than one-third of them correctly answered that the …

Why Your Children Should Help Pay for College

Spring means college admissions, and we still recall the agonizing wait for the mail carrier. A thin envelope brought bad news, a thick envelope acceptance. Today, though, the “envelope” arrives via email – and that’s not all that’s changed. These days, the sticker price for private colleges starts at about $40,000 a year, going much higher for a prestigious institution; in-state schools run about half that. Nearly as soon as the anxiety on the admissions front dissipates, it’s replaced by …

Why I Like 529 College Savings Plans

If you want to help pay for higher education for a child or grandchild, consider using a 529 college savings plan. These plans allow you to put money aside for tuition and other college-related expenses, while getting some nice tax advantages as well. Since I have a son who will be college bound in a couple of years, I’ve looked at all sorts of ways to pay for it and can say the 529 plan is by far the best …