The College Money Guys - June 2019

JUNE 2019

Award The


Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home



Father’s Day is right around the corner and, to tell you the truth, all I can think about are my children. Maybe I’ve just never gotten used to the idea of being celebrated. For me, the day has always been more about reflecting on my daughter and sons, and how proud they make me. After all, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be much of a father. So grant me this one article to just be a dad bragging about his kids. Actually, “kids” may not fit the bill anymore — our youngest just turned 18, so Mom and I are about to be empty nesters. While I’ve loved the experience of being a dad through every stage in their lives, I have to admit that now is one of the most exciting times. All three of them are doing amazing things, each in their own way. To see your kids shaping their own destinies is one of the greatest joys of parenting, however bittersweet. I’ll start with our oldest, Nick. As the first son of a college financial planner, you’d imagine Nick would feel pressure to do well in school, but that was never an issue. To this day he’s one of the most driven, self-motivated people I’ve ever met — he didn’t just do well in school. He did it because it was his passion. He took his love of science and ran with it, earning a $50,000 scholarship from Stevens Institute of Technology, the oldest mechanical engineering school in the country. Now Nick works as a contractor at the United States Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC). From the Aberdeen Proving

Ground in Maryland, he outfits Blackhawk and Apache helicopters (which date back to the 1980s) with the latest communications hardware, so pilots and troops can stay connected. The added bonus is I get to visit with Nick any time I’m in the DC area, something that makes those business trips really enjoyable. I get to sit and listen to my son’s stories of working in a field he loves. Next up is our middle child, Valerie. She is, in short, a force of nature. Growing up with Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease has made her no stranger to adversity. She’s grown used to her insulin pump and the constant self- monitoring that comes with Type 1. On top of that, celiac means she can’t have so much as a grain of gluten without getting sick. And yet, in spite of everything, Valerie has the most triumphant smile I’ve ever seen, and she wears it often. Valerie is scary good at mathematics. She can do advanced calculus in her head without batting an eye, a trait she certainly got from her accountant mother — I struggled with algebra at her age. Valerie’s talents certainly made getting into college a snap for her; she actually gets paid a stipend for attending the University of Houston! Some who know her have described her as “intimidating,” but I know the truth: She’s a driven woman who has made the absolute best of what life has given her. Last, but certainly not least, there’s our son Anthony. Of our three kids, he’s the one who most reminds me of myself. He has the

same academic interest as me, meaning less geared toward the STEM fields than his older siblings, and he shares my passion for service. Having just turned 18, I’m proud to say my son is joining the United States Marine Corps. Anthony has spent the last six months doing PT with the rest of the recruits, and he’s already been promoted to squad leader. He may not be the biggest, most muscle-bound guy in the unit, but his grit and heart have won him the respect of the men around him. I couldn’t be more proud. After his service, Anthony plans to attend college through the Hazelwood Act. Under this unique Texas law, he’ll be able to attend any state school he chooses for free. See, I managed to work in some college planning advice. He’s already proven a natural leader, and I can’t wait to see where this life takes him next. In short, I am a very lucky dad. Each of my kids has, in a very real way, made me a stronger person. Just last month it was pouring in Maryland, and rather than complain about it, I remembered how Anthony showed up for Marine training, rain or shine. That put things in perspective for me. Nick, Valerie, and Anthony have all shown me what integrity and strength look like, each in their own way. When you start looking up to your children, well, that’s the greatest Father’s Day present you could ever ask for.

–Bra nnon Lloyd

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