Send Your Kids to College, Keep Your Money at Home
A TIME OF THANKSGIVING DURING THIS CRAZY FAFSA SEASON, I’M GRATEFUL FOR MY TEAM
October 1 is a big day around here. FAFSA applications for the 2018–19 school year go online. The office gets pretty manic as we help all our clients with their paperwork. It also coincides with college admission season, so you can bet October and November are probably our busiest months. I bought fajitas for the whole team on October 1 just to show how grateful I am for their hard work during this season. It’s moments like this that I’m most grateful for our unstoppable staff. We had an awesome year, and it’s all thanks to their dedication. I couldn’t do this by myself. As we finish the last quarter, we’re looking ahead to an even better 2018. We have some big plans. It’s important to reflect from time to time about the ways we’ve been blessed, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to do it. On these holidays, we can step back and remember what’s most important. One of those things, for me, is how blessed we are to live in this country. How many other countries do you know that have an entire day devoted to gratitude? Sometimes I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to live somewhere else for a year. We don’t realize just how good we have it here. I lived in what was then the Soviet Union for two years when I was younger. I’ve also lived in South America and Spain. There were some beautiful things about each of those places, but no place is as good to live as the U.S., with our law enforcement, medicine, and free market. I’m so grateful to be here. I love holidays because they remind us that we have things to celebrate — and people to celebrate them with. My family’s Thanksgiving traditions are pretty basic, but it’s almost about the quantity of dinners as much as the quality. All told, we have four Thanksgiving dinners before the weekend is over: with my parents, with her parents, with her other relatives, and then our own family dinner.
It’s fun to see the contrast in families. My family is very prim and proper. We have special dinner sets where you have to pay attention to which glass you’re using for water and which for juice. Heaven forbid you mix them up! My wife’s family is much more laid-back. They have everybody at different card tables with tablecloths, with the football game on the TV screen. I’m on board for just about everything that’s served up on Thanksgiving — everything but the cranberry sauce. My mouth waters just thinking about the turkey, especially with giblet dressing. I wake up on Thanksgiving morning at about 3 a.m. to make fresh tamales to go with the rest of the meal. I hope you get to spend Thanksgiving with people who love and support you as much as my family and friends support me, both at home and at the office. We live in a crazy world, but holidays afford us the opportunity to escape into the warm arms of life’s greatest treasures.
“It’s almost about the quantity of dinners as much as the quality. All told, we have four Thanksgiving dinners before the weekend is over.”
–Bra nnon Lloyd
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SHOULD YOU PAY FOR YOUR KID’S WEDDING?
Jon S., HVAC Technician “My first child is going to Schreiner University. We had never even considered Schreiner before The College Money guys, but it turned out to be an absolute perfect fit for her. If it wasn’t for The College Money Guys, she would have had to go to a community college close to home.” Billy S., Financial VP “It’s been very enlightening. Having four very different kids, I was afraid I’d miss something in the process. I chose The College Money Guys because I wouldn’t know where to start by myself.” Laxman A., Engineer “We have constant communication. We can come and meet the counselor any time we need. I would definitely recommend The College Money Guys to parents to help them have some peace of mind and not have to go through the hassle alone.” Kristen T., Consultant “This is a really important part of your kids’ lives, and it is one of the biggest expenses you will ever have. The whole process kept me calm and kept me clued into the process. It saved me so much time. My oldest Weekends from mid-May to early October are the most popular time of the year to tie the knot, but couples say “I do” all year long. Getting married is a big step in life, and it can be as thrilling for parents as it is for the happy couple. But that thrill may be short-lived when you start to look at the price tag. The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study determined the average cost of an American wedding is over $35,000! Only 13 percent of couples can pay for their wedding themselves, and many parents might ask, “Do I have to foot the bill?” Historically, a bride’s family was expected to pay for everything, from the engagement party to the ceremony itself. This tradition developed from the concept of the dowry. Back when few women could provide for themselves economically, a bride’s family would pay the groom to become their daughter’s provider. Since women are no longer expected to be dependent on their husbands, the idea of asking the bride’s family to pay for everything today is outdated. Furthermore, not every wedding will have both a bride and a groom. It’s time to take a modern approach to the wedding bill. Today, parents should fully embrace their right to refuse to pay a dime for their child’s wedding. You might feel like the couple should take responsibility and plan a wedding they can afford, or maybe you can’t take on the financial burden yourself. Parents do not have to feel obligated to pay for a wedding. That said, if you want to help cover the costs, make sure you do only what you can afford. If you’re OUR CLIENTS SAY IT BEST
considering taking money from your retirement account to pay for a family wedding, stop right now. It’s wise to set a budget for yourself and the couple. Be clear and communicate how much you are willing to pay, whether that’s a percentage or a set dollar amount. If you want to pay for the honeymoon, that’s great! But if you can arrange to have your photographer friend donate their services, or if you only want to attend the wedding and show your support, that’s just as good. Weddings are wonderful events, but putting yourself in financial strain or stress to pay for the cost isn’t a good wedding gift to your child.
is at NYU, and the tuition is very expensive. However, it’s definitely worth more than what we paid.”
Dangoule A., Manager “Learning the process and having someone as a resource has been invaluable. It’s easy to run ideas by them, and they have so much experience, so they can tell you what works and what doesn’t. From the parent’s side, there are always questions that come up on the financial aid forms and assets, and I think that The College Money Guys is a very good value because it does pay for itself.” C, Store Manager “From a monetary perspective, the scholarships that my son received basically paid for the entire program, so I’m already in the positive side of this thing. Everything that I’m getting for my two kids is basically gravy from a value perspective, and the service is much more valuable to me now. The other, more subjective things that they are helping the kids find who they are, and those types of things are more important. To me, that’s a different value, and it has been very good, because my wife and I have been a little frustrated, but having a teammate to kind of motivate us and our kids and help us stay on track has been very helpful.”
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A NEW CHAPTER HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR COLLEGE FRESHMAN’S FIRST HOLIDAY VISIT
HAVE A LAUGH Prior to the conversation, it would be wise to let your child know that you’d like to talk about their time at home and their plans. If you give them an opportunity to think about their plans, the discussion will be more productive and they won’t feel ambushed. Also, it will give you an idea of how much time they plan on spending with the family versus how much time they’ll be out with their friends. The goal is to tackle this new territory together, with open lines of communication. Your college freshman is coming home for the holidays, and you are beyond excited to see them. However, don’t let your excitement make you forget that your child has been on their own the past few months with no curfews and no one to report to. They’ve been enjoying total freedom. It may be hard to admit, but the parenting dynamics have changed. So, how do we navigate this new twist to the relationship? Respect is key. Once your child has returned and settled in, ask your child if you can discuss the parameters of this new phase of your relationship. By discussing expectations at the beginning of the visit, you can set the tone for an enjoyable, relaxing break. Keep in mind that the discussion is a two-way chat, and your child will also have expectations and requests that need to be heard and honored.
It’s a weird sensation when your parenting role shifts, and it can be a difficult adjustment. But don’t leave this visit to chance. Don’t wait until you are disappointed to talk with your child. With open communication, honesty, and respect, you and your child can determine a level of understanding that will allow both of you to enjoy the holiday season.
SLOW COOKER SWEET POTATO SOUP
3 pounds sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 cup coconut milk
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1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, chopped 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1. Place all the ingredients except for the coconut milk in a slow cooker. 2. Season everything to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. 4. Puree everything until smooth, using a blender or an immersion blender. 5. Add the coconut milk, give everything a good stir, and cook for another 30 minutes. 6. Adjust the seasonings and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of PaeloLeap.com
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2000 North Loop West Suite 200 Houston, TX 77018 713.422.2720
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What I’m Grateful for This Season Will You Pay for Your Kid’sWedding? Our Clients Say It Best Prepare for Your College Freshman’s Return Home Thanksgiving at America’s Resort
BONUS MONEY-SAVING CONTENT INSIDE!
This Thanksgiving, many Americans plan to go over the river and through the woods to sleep on the air mattress at grandmother’s house. But your family Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be crowded and uncomfortable. For generations, The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has brought families together for a weekend of true American elegance. The local hot springs have been popular with travelers since 1778, but The Greenbrier didn’t come to life until 1913. The sprawling 710-room national landmark sits on 11,000 acres of rolling hills and has been described as “‘Monte Carlo’ meets ‘Gone With the Wind.’” The blend of Colonial decor and Hollywood Regency flourishes make guests feel as if they have stepped back in time, while still offering all the modern amenities. Mom and Grandma relax in the spa, Grandpa enjoys a round of golf, the siblings all go off- roading in a Jeep, and later, the whole family will face off in a game of laser tag. With 55 leisure activities offered at the resort, make every day as busy or as relaxing as you want before enjoying a gourmet dinner at one of the resort’s six full-time restaurants. The Greenbrier is a dream getaway anytime of the year, but America’s resort really goes all-out for the traditional American holiday, Thanksgiving. Family members from every generation can find something fun to do before the family gathers together for the massive Thanksgiving brunch in The THANKSGIVING AT AMERICA’S RESORT
Greenbrier’s Colonial Hall. The award-winning culinary brigade serves up Thanksgiving classics, like soft rolls and roasted turkey, alongside marinated mussels and ricotta tortellini. Make time for the horse-drawn carriage ride and evening gala, and you have the perfect Thanksgiving.
Thank you for your referrals!
Ted Nininger Liana Gasparini Neil McGlone
Wanda Anglin Scott Talley
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