The College Money Guys Aug 2017

August 2017

Award The


Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home


From College to College Planning How I Began Helping Families Afford College

When I started college, I had no idea that I’d end up becoming a college financial planner years later. At the time, I didn’t take college seriously. My parents weren’t around, and I thought, “No parents? Let’s party!” Sounds familiar, right? By the end of the year, my parents rightfully said, “We’re not doing that again.” To finish school, I joined the Navy and ended up working for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for two years. My first taste of the financial planning business was working for my father. From prior experience, I knew how to run a small business and I had some financial acumen. But at 36, not a lot of multimillionaires were looking to me for financial advice, so my dad would get the older clients and I would get their kids. These “kids” would tell me, “My kid is going to college, and I want to pull money out of my 401(k) to pay for it.” After hearing this same story over and over again, I knew I had to find a better way. In earnest, I started looking into education tax codes and researching alternative ways for families to finance a college education that didn’t involve dipping into retirement accounts — or taking a yearly $40,000 hit to the finances. Eventually, I ran into a college financial planner and bought his half of a company that he ran with his brother. After the company moved to a different town, though, I sold my half to the brother and started College Money Guys. Like many of my clients, I have multiple kids going to school around the same time. My oldest son, Nicholas, is a junior at Stevens Institute of Technology. My daughter, Valerie, is a senior in high school who will be entering college in the fall, and my youngest, Anthony, is a sophomore in high school. “Stevens Institute of Technology is $64,000 a year, but by following the same steps we take with all of our clients at College Money Guys, my son and I ended up paying $18,000 a year instead — that’s a 60 percent discount!”

Stevens Institute of Technology is $64,000 a year, but by following the same steps we take with all of our clients at College Money Guys, my son and I ended up paying $18,000 a year instead — that’s a 60 percent discount! Stevens is a great fit for my son. He does well in a small-school environment and currently has a 3.9 GPA to show for it. Given that beginning mechanical engineers make around $70K, there was no way that either one of us could afford paying $64,000 a year for his degree!

There are so many families out there facing this same

sticker shock. One family that I work with has three daughters all going to college at the same

time. Let’s say that, hypothetically, they went to Texas A&M, which is $30,000 a year. That’s a $300,000 total over four years! That’s highway robbery.

It’s situations like these that we alleviate at College Money Guys every day. Our lobby

walls are covered with framed awards from our clients. Right now, we have two million dollars’ worth of free money on that wall alone.

If you have a son or daughter planning to attend college, it’s never too early to start planning. Just as my son and I made Stevens Institute of Technology affordable for our family, I look forward to helping you save as much money on your child’s college education as possible.

– Bra nnon Lloyd

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THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE The Best Amusement Parks in America (That Aren’t Disney)

Summertime means family vacations, and few places offer as much family fun as your classic amusement park. When it comes to amusement parks, a few big names come to mind, but many of us would rather avoid the high prices and long lines found at the home of a certain mouse. Luckily, there are countless amusement parks all across this great nation! Consider some of these for your family’s vacation destination: Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio Found on every thrill-seeker’s to-do list, Cedar Point has been dubbed the “roller coaster capital of the world.” Cedar Point is home to 17 current and former world record-holding roller coasters, including the Valravn, the world’s tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster. Even if roller coasters aren’t your thing, guests can enjoy other thrill rides, family rides, attractions, and several kid sections throughout the park.

“latest and greatest,” Knoebels prides itself on nostalgia, with bumper cars, wooden coasters, and a classic carousel among an array of other attractions. Schlitterbahn Water Park, New Braunfels, Texas In the heat of summer, sometimes we just want to take a swim. Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels, Texas, is the answer! Amusement Today’s “Best Water Park” for 15 years, Schlitterbahn encompasses 65 acres of amazing fun. Along with the classic waterslides, wave pools, and floating rivers, guest can also spend a long day surfing, enjoying refreshments in a heated pool, and riding an uphill water coaster. Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, California Don’t let its age fool you; one of America’s oldest amusement parks has no problem keeping up with the expectations of today’s guests. Packed full of thrill rides and roller coasters, family rides and 4-D experiences, live entertainment, a full ghost town, and some of the best dining you’ll find at any amusement park, Knott’s Berry Farm knows how to have fun. You can even grab a jar of famous Knott’s jam before you head out! If you’re ready for roller coasters, one-of-a-kind attractions, delicious food, or are just looking to create new memories with your family, you really can’t go wrong with an amusement park. Just hold tight and have fun!

Knoebels, Elysburg, Pennsylvania Knoebels is the park for families on a budget, offering free parking and admittance — guests just pay for any food or rides they enjoy during their stay. While everyone

else is busy scrambling for the

Frugality might seem like a death sentence for fun, but if you’re creative, it’s more than doable to have a great time and still live well within your means. Stay In Usually, activities you do “out” will cost significantly more than the same thing done at home (such as watching a movie on your couch instead of at the theater or cooking a great dinner instead of going out to eat). It’s always more fun if you can turn home cooking into a game, like starting with a few leftover ingredients and seeing what amazing new dish you can come up with. And here’s a bonus — if you do date night at home, 90 percent of the time, you’ll still be able to splurge on the occasional night out. Check Out the Library If you’re not in the habit of using the library for recreation, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Check out entire seasons of popular TV shows and cut cable and TV streaming packages from the budget. The library also has a great selection of movies, books, audiobooks, video games, and CDs. Best of all, everything’s free! Rent, Don’t Own What about owning cool stuff? Well, even if you can’t afford to buy everything you want brand-new, it’s easier than ever to borrow and share. Treat Yourself on the Cheap Frugality Doesn’t Have to Mean Deprivation

There’s a totally free online platform called Peerby that connects people who want to borrow and lend items, including everything from power tools to folding chairs. Want to throw a party but can’t afford all the decor and seating? Someone on Peerby has you covered. Never again let a lack of ownership keep you from doing the things that make you happy!

The point is, you really can have an amazing life without spending a ton of money. So get out there, save, and have fun!

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The Early Bird Gets the Worm

College Planning

Given the chance, most people wait until the last minute to do everything. Procrastination can leave you financially unprepared to handle life’s big expenses, including weddings, homes, retirement, and your child’s college education. When it comes to funding for college, starting sooner, rather than later, is always the best option. First, money saved in the wrong places can cost you a fortune in financial aid. Money in one account can count seven times more heavily than money saved a different way. Saving it in the wrong place will cause you to receive less aid. By planning ahead, you can gift, transfer, or reposition your assets before you apply for financial aid. Waiting until the last minute — say, your child’s senior year — makes it too late to change your financial picture, and can cost you thousands of dollars in aid when your child applies for college. Second, the government will expect you to pay your fair share of your child’s college education. Your Expected Family Contribution is the minimum amount that any school will expect you to pay. Knowing this number early can help you save for it. If you wait until your child’s senior year, you won’t have time to save, and will have to borrow money to cover the cost of your child’s education!

Third, by planning ahead, you can choose schools based on their ability to give you money. Most students and parents pick schools whimsically, without giving consideration to the schools that best fit their financial needs. By choosing schools that have a history of giving good financial aid packages, you can get more free money and take out fewer loans. The bottom line is this: More time spent planning ahead will allow you to optimize your finances, increase your financial aid, and navigate the college selection process in a financially sound way.




Dressing •

Salad •

1 cup mayonnaise

½ pound macaroni, cooked, drained, and cooled

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2 tablespoons vinegar 1 tablespoon mustard 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper

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1 cup sliced celery ½ cup chopped green pepper

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½ cup chopped red pepper ½ cup chopped green onion


1. Mix together dressing ingredients. 2. Mix together salad ingredients. 3. Mix dressing and salad together. Chill before serving. 4. Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by

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2000 North Loop West Suite 200 Houston, TX 77018 713.422.2720



How I Began Helping Families Afford College America’s Best Amusement Parks Treat Yourself on the Cheap Why You Should Plan for College Early Marvelous Macaroni Salad The Great Inca Citadel BONUS MONEY SAVING CONTENT INSIDE!

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The Great Inca Citadel Visit Machu Picchu This May

Before Columbus landed on what he thought was India in 1492, and before Pizarro later wiped them out, the Incas controlled the largest empire on the North American continent — and maybe the biggest in the entire world. The religiously and culturally diverse civilization spanned a huge portion of western South America, comparable to the most robust territories of Eurasia. Nowadays, not much remains of the Inca Empire, save for some ruins and the otherworldly constructions of Machu Picchu. The Inca citadel, probably built as an estate for the Inca Emperor Pachacuti, still stands after over 500 years, and the blocks of polished stone overlook intense, vertigo-inducing views, considered by some to be among the most beautiful in the world. If you’re thinking of visiting the enormous agricultural terraces and fantastic stone constructions of Machu Picchu, it’s best to go in May, right as the rainy season ends. That way, you won’t have to deal with the battering rain that could potentially muddy the experience of such a historical location. Fly into Cusco, then immediately take the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo, colloquially known as Aguas Calientes. It’s a scenic 3.5-hour trip running along the Urubamba River, through the fabled hills of the Inca, with breathtaking canyon walls rising above on either side. Spend a night or

two in the town getting acclimated to the 6,700- foot elevation, then head

to Machu Picchu for some exploring before you return to Cusco. This way, you’ll be able to minimize the unpleasant — and sometimes dangerous — effects of altitude sickness that such heights can bring. You might find yourself dizzy from more than the altitude, though. The views are world class, and the feeling of being in such an ancient place imbued with cultural importance is electrifying.

Thank you for your referrals!

A special thanks to the Hastreiter Family, the Wolff Family, the Wilson Family , the Durrance Family , the Schaberg Family and the Wright Family for sending us referrals! It’s the nicest compliment you could give us! Published byThe Newsletter Pro •

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