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Case Study

Robert & Ellen

Make too much. Worth too much.

Main objective:

Get all three kids through college without sacrificing their retirement or long-term financial peace of mind.

key issues:

Robert and Ellen are doing very well. They make a decent six-figure income, own a $2mil home in an affluent neighborhood, and own a $2mil beach front rental property free and clear. They were doing a good job of saving. They also have three great kids, all headed off to college.

The problem is they fell into “the high earner, high asset (HEHA) zone” where it appeared they would not qualify for any financial aid, however the cost of college for three students was still a huge financial hurdle. Robert is an engineer with a steady salary, while Ellen is a realtor with income that fluctuates from year to year. When colleges looked at their prior-prior years’ tax returns, their story varied greatly from year to year. The challenges were making the colleges aware of their fluctuating annual income, understanding which financial aid rules applied to their situation, controlling their evolving EFC, and how to properly position their family assets.

solution:

Their situation required careful management of their EFC as it evolved through varying annual income levels, having multiple kids in college at the same time, and properly positioning their assets to get them through their college years while keeping their retirement intact. They needed careful attention to detail for their official financial aid awards as well as ongoing renewals every year for each of their three kids.

We helped clarify which of the 101 financial aid criteria applied to their situation. We showed them how to control their evolving EFC as each student started college. We guided their careful choice of schools that were a good academic, financial and social fit for each student while also having a good track record for giving financial aid. They then repositioned assets with a careful balance between college costs and retirement needs. It was also important to maintain consistent communication with each school to ensure optimal access to financial aid as Ellen’s income levels continued to fluctuate.

outcome:

Despite being in the “HEHA Zone,” each student was able to attend top-ranked private schools, while averaging $36,000 per year in free money. The total financial benefit to the family after all three students had successfully graduated was $432,000 in free financial aid money! This was a huge factor in protecting their retirement and long term peace of mind. It also played a huge factor in minimizing the need for student loans. After the kids were out of the house and on the road to financial independence, Robert and Ellen were able to keep their retirement planning on track and to maintain their peace of mind.

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Case Study 2: inaccurate forms. understanding assets.

Families are often tripped up by the overwhelming process of planning for college. Check out this case study to avoid some common mistakes!

Ian Maxwell

Ian Maxwell

Founder, Reviresco College Planning

I take pride in finding solutions for my clients that reduce stress and save them tens of thousands of dollars. I am in the business of providing value, and I hope to hear from you soon! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about planning for college and paying for college. I wish you all the best!

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