Archive for June 2015

Hiring Guru: Tim DeCapua – Wealth Building Real Estate

Tim DeCapua is President of Wealth Building Real Estate, helping create turnkey opportunities for the inexperienced investor, and we cut right to the chase. I asked:

How do you help clients build wealth with real estate?

Our team has been buying, fixing, and selling houses full time since 2006. We developed a system that allows us to buy at a low enough price to fix them, place turnkey tenants using professional property managers, and sell them at wholesale value to our clients around the world. As investors were very particular as to the properties that we select to purchase. Any property that does not meet our standards is not considered, meaning our clients receive only the best properties. We have a professional property management team in place that works to select trustworthy tenants, and manages the property for our clients.

Im a hiring guy, so know WHO your clients deal with is of great importance; does that factor in to your process of adding new personnel to your team?

Its extremely important for me to be personally connected to the process when it comes to adding new team members. Im very involved, and have my finger on the pulse of hiring for all of our ventures.

What about selection of the extended team like contractors?

Yes, definitely! If its a contractor that is working on one of our properties, they must do quality workmanship, and not cut corners with their repairs. If its one of our sales individuals, they must be a good listener, must be passionate, and a good communicator.

Do you have an anecdote or philosophy to share that comes to mind that would sum up your thoughts about hiring?

Yes! When were looking at hiring someone, its adamant that they be a diligent hard worker. They must be passionate, a good listener, good communicator, and have integrity.

Do you have Core Values your team follow?

Yes. The Wealth Building Real Estate Way: We strive to deliver fully renovated, income producing, and professionally managed property to investors all over the world. Customer service is extremely important in any business, but especially when dealing with someones home, or investment. We make it easy for investors to purchase the right property, at the right price, while protecting your capital, and providing exceptional customer service, and property management.

What has driven you in building such success?

For starters, I feel appreciative, and blessed that I have parents that instilled a strong worth ethic, and discipline. Being able to genuinely help others is the main driving factor on a daily basis.
And that closes the deal on this one!

Interview by David Jensen for The Huffington Post

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Financially Tuned with Tara Nolan

Tara Nolan is a High Net Worth Advisor who offers a unique and specialized approach to planning for her awesome clients.  Tara combines 15 years of strategic military planning with her knowledge of finance and investing to provide comprehensive, insightful and detailed personalized planning for her clients.  Tara specializes in helping smart people who have limited time to donate towards investment planning due to business and family demands on their time to achieve and retain the lifestyles they want.  

Tara graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and succeeded as a military officer meeting many challenges. She was an aircraft commander flying C-130 cargo aircraft in combat zones, managed logistical systems world-wide and taught biology to future Air Force leaders at the Air Force Academy. Tara’s problem solving, critical thinking and planning skills have been honed through real-world experiences and are now directly benefitting her clients with specially tailored portfolios. Tara understands the value of building a strong team of experts and knows how to lead the team to achieve success. 

Tara decided to focus on innovative methods to support people in a client focused manner. An educator at heart, Tara enjoys taking time with people to learn their needs and desires. Then, she likes to clearly present and explain the options open to them in their wealth building process.   

A life-long learner… Tara has a voracious appetite for knowledge that complements her real-world experience. She holds an MBA from the University of West Florida, an MS from Colorado State University, numerous financial series licenses, completed Undergraduate Pilot training, 2 senior level military leadership programs and locally is a Leadership Pikes Peak program graduate Class of 2011.  

Tara believes… knowing your options greatly reduces stress because you can take positive steps towards your goals. Your financial future should not be an unknown outcome or a surprise! 

Living her lifelong dream , Tara now actively competes her horses, Donzer and Ava in Dressage. Tara competes in the United States Dressage Federation, the Rocky Mountain Dressage Association and the United States Equestrian Federation. Tara is a Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center board member and has donated a horse to the program. Tara lives with her husband, three horses and many barn cats on their 13 acre farm. In addition to being a superb horse husband, Kris, is a successful local businessman in Colorado Springs

In order for my clients to achieve the lifestyle of their dreams, I offer a comprehensive range of retirement planning services, savings options that permit both tax-deductible contributions and tax-deferred earnings, and a dedicated and knowledgeable staff to help with planning your retirement. In addition, I can assist you in developing your overall financial plan to achieve specific goals through targeted tools including 401(k) plans, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. I support businesses in their development of employee pension plans and educate plan manager and employees alike. Personal services adapted to individual needs. My services start with a Comprehensive Planning Review. My process has 5 steps to capture, analyze amp; update your financial plan as your life progresses.

What to Expect at Our First Meeting

1.  At the first meeting new clients typically like to discuss one of the following 4 topics:

How do I raise my kids with wealth?  

I am interested in creating my personal philanthropic philosophy?  

How do I do this?

What are my option? 

What are my 4 Estate Planning Must Do Now Issues? 

I need help structuring my tax planning but don’t even know where to begin or what CPA to hire?

 2. In addition to this discussion, you will receive a goal setting workbook to keep. What is the purpose of this workbook?    It is an effectivecommunication tool to make sure you’re on the same page with your partner and yourself.  It is surprising how revealing it can be to write your goals down on paper.  To create an effective plan it is critical to uncover hidden goals and discuss obvious goals.  The true alignment of purpose with yourself and your loved ones is the very first step of creating a successful wealth management plan.  There is a summary page that consolidates your identified goals and we will use this list as the foundation for planning.  Math is a simple, black and white tool to implement your investment plan.

3.  Plan for 30 minutes for this first meeting.   


List of Available Services 

Businesses Services
o Individual 401(k) Accounts
o Business 401 (k) Plans
o Plan evaluations
o Plan manager education
o Employee education

 Individual Planning Services
o Financial Planning
o Comprehensive Planning Review
o College Planning
o Estate Planning
o Trust Services
o Transfers to Beneficiaries
o Annuities
o Charitable Endowment Fund
o Charitable Partners Program
o Retirement Planning
o Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
o Individual 401(k) Accounts
o Managed Accounts
o Asset Management Services
o Wealth Management Solutions
o Asset Allocation

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Begins Coverage on Discover Financial Services (DFS)

began coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) in a research note issued to investors on Saturday. The firm issued a buy rating and a $70.00 price target on the financial services providers stock.

Shares of Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) opened at 58.75 on Friday. Discover Financial Services has a one year low of $54.02 and a one year high of $66.75. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $58. and a 200-day moving average of $59.. The company has a market cap of $26.00 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.07.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, April 21st. The financial services provider reported $1.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $2.17 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.31 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Discover Financial Services will post $5.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

DFS has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Vetr upgraded shares of Discover Financial Services from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $68.50 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Thursday. They set a buy rating and a $70.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a hold rating and set a $69.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Saturday, May 23rd. Finally, analysts at Nomura reiterated a buy rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of Discover Financial Services in a research note on Wednesday, May 6th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Discover Financial Services presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $70.45.

Discover Financial Services is a direct banking and payment services company. The Company is a bank holding company as well as a financial holding company. The Company’s products include Direct Banking, Credit Cards, Student Loans, Personal Loans, Home Loans and Home Equity Loans and Deposits. The Company manages business activities in Direct Banking segment and Payment Services segment.

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Can Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) Surprise Analysts this Quarter?

In the most recent quarter, Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) reported an earnings surprise of 0% when the firm last announced their results for the period ending on 2015-03-31. The actual earnings per share number of $0.12 was $0 away from the consensus analyst number.

Investors Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISBC) will next issue their quarterly earnings announcement on 2015-07-23. Brokerage firm analysts surveyed by Zacks research are estimating earnings of $0.12 per share. This is the consensus number calculated from the 6 polled analysts taken into consideration by Zacks. Institutions and investors alike will be closely monitoring estimate revisions of the EPS numbers leading up to the expected results date.

Stock Price Target

Sell-side firms covering the equity are estimating that the stock will reach $13 on a short-term basis. This is the mean estimate based on the 6 brokerage analysts surveyed by Zacks. The most bullish analyst sees the stock reaching 14 while the most conservative target is set at $11.75.

By simplifying the analyst ratings into a 1 to 5 scale where 1 represents a Strong Buy and 5 a Strong Sell, Investors Bancorp, Inc. has a rating of 2.29 . This is the arithmetic mean of all the analyst estimates taken into consideration by Zacks. When the same analysts were polled three months ago, the rating was at 2.29.

Investors Bancorp, Inc. is a holding company for Investors Bank (the Bank). The Bank is a chartered savings bank.The Company is in the business of attracting deposits from the public through its branch network and borrowing funds in the wholesale markets to originate loans and to invest in securities. It originates mortgage loans secured by one-to four-family residential real estate loans, multi-family loans, commercial real estate loans, construction loans, commercial and industrial loans and consumer loans, the majority of which are home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. On January 6, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of Brooklyn Federal Bancorp, Inc. On October 15, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of Marathon Banking Corporation. In December 2013, Investors Bancorp Inc competed its acquisition of Roma Financial Corp, and its subsidiary banks, Roma Bank and RomAsia Bank.

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Company Shares of Talmer Bancorp, Inc. Drops by -1.41%

Talmer Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company. The Company owns three subsidiary banks, Talmer Bank and Trust and Talmer West Bank, which are Michigan state chartered banks, and First Place Bank, which is a federal savings association. Its product line includes loans to small and medium-sized businesses, residential mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans, residential and commercial construction and development loans, farmland and agricultural production loans, home equity loans, consumer loans and a variety of commercial and consumer demand, savings and time deposit products. The Company offers a full range of deposit services that are available from most banks and savings institutions, including checking accounts, commercial accounts, savings accounts and other time deposits of various types, ranging from daily money market accounts to longer-term certificates of deposit.

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#BlackMoneyMatters: Is There a New Housing Crisis Threatening Black …

The fact remains, many large cities are pricing out average incomes. Widespread unaffordability is mostly attributed to a lack of new rental development when compared with the number of new residents in that region.

MC, quoting the Wall Street Journal, added that the economic downturn is the notorious culprit behind the gloomy future of Black homeownership:

Last decade’s housing crisis could give way to a new one in which many families lack the incomes or savings needed to buy homes, creating a surge of renters and a shortage of affordable housing This will have a major impact on wealth building in minority communities where Blacks and Hispanics are being forced into renting as opposed to having the option of becoming an owner of a property.

To put it simply, minorities are on track to be renters, not homeowners, which will chip away at Black American wealth building. Martin points out that Blacks were particularly hurt by the housing crisis because African Americans do not diversify their investment portfolio.

Between 2010 and 2013, because Whites typically diversify, [their wealth] went up 2.4 percent, Martin said, citing a 2014 Pew Research Center. African Americans went down 33.7 percent.

Marcia Griffin, founder and president of HomeFree-USA, said there is hope if African Americans become better informed in wealth-building. We have to really focus on our credit, we have to get a little bit of money saved, she said.

Just like Black lives matter, Griffin said, Black money matters.

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Four ways to use leverage to build your wealth

Have you ever wondered why its easier for people who have money to make more of it?

I mean, why is it that the second and the third million are so much easier to earn than the first million?

Do you want to know what the biggest difference is between how the wealthy people build wealth and how the poor and middle income people do it?

It’s how they use leverage and I’m not just talking about borrowing money.

There are at least four ways successful investors use leverage.

Let’s look at them…


1. Money


Firstly there is the leverage that you probably first thought of.

One of the biggest differences between how wealthy people and the average Australian go about building wealth isnt how they invest the money that they have… its how they leverage and use the money they don’t have that makes them wealthy.

You see, the average Australian rarely uses leverage in any focused or strategic way, partly because they are afraid of taking on debt.

If they do build any wealth, they do it mostly by scrimping and saving the money they have, and using any left over income to slowly build their nest egg.

On the other hand, the wealthy investor has mastered the art of using money that they dont have, to build their wealth.

They use borrowed money to magnify their investment activities and enjoy enhanced, accelerated returns. They take on more debt and borrow, gear or leverage their assets to own even more assets.

Yet the average Australian is frightened of taking on more debt.

In fact, many believe they must reduce their debt and pay off their home before they start looking at investing.

This is a huge difference in mindset.

When you have a more sophisticated understanding of the rules of using leverage, you are able to literally use it to take your wealth building to the next level.

When I look at an investment, I dont ask myself, Can I afford this property? Instead I ask myself, How can I strategically use leverage to help pay for this investment in a way that enhances my overall return without taking on more risk?

Leverage, the ability to generate a magnified result from a specific asset, is normally thought of as borrowing money. 

Yet this is only one of the ways you can use leverage to build your wealth.


2. Relationships


You can also leverage your relationships or your network.

Successful investors build a great team around them.

They realise they don’t have to be an expert in every field if they develop a good network.

This network includes a good finance broker, a smart solicitor, a property savvy accountant and a knowledgeable property strategist.

Successful investors also have one or two mentors and they belong to a mastermind group.

This is a group of like-minded people who encourage each other and act as “unreasonable friends” helping each other push forward towards their individual goals.

Having a great network around you enables you to leverage off other people’s expertise. I often say “if you are the smartest person in your tem you are in trouble.”

How can you leverage your relationships?

In this world its not what you know and its not even who you know… its who who you know knows.

That wasnt a typo.

Your network of relationships is critical to growing your wealth, not just for what they themselves know, but often for the people they know who could also help you.


3. Time


Also, successful investors have learned how to leverage their time.

Many beginner investors waste so much time trying to do everything themselves. You will find them chasing late rental payments, doing minor maintenance and negotiating rent reviews with their tenants.

Successful investors value their time and have learned to leverage their time putting it to its highest and best use.

 They do this by outsourcing these minor tasks to their property manager and to other contractors.

Instead they use their time to find learn more, develop their relationships or find more deals.

One of the greatest points of leverage is leveraging your “mind.” Successful property investors just think differently to the average person.

The not so rich have a different way of thinking – a different “reality”. To put it simply your reality is what you think is real in other words your perception is your reality.

What stops many people becoming successful investors isn’t what they know or don’t know.

It’s what they think they know that isn’t so that stops them moving forward.

They say things like:

  • I can’t afford that
  • I can’t do that
  • I already know that
  • That’s wrong
  • I tried it once and it didn’t work
  • That’s impossible – you can’t do that.

If you want to become truly wealthy you will need to open your mind to new ideas and develop the skills to take on the possibilities greater than your current abilities.

It’s just too hard to become wealthy from a perception or reality (because your thoughts – your perceptions become your reality) of lack and limitation.

I remember Robert Kiyosaki saying in one of his Rich Dad Poor Dad books that a cynic’s reality does not let anything new in, while a fool’s reality does not have the ability to keep foolish ideas out. 

While these four main leverage points can help make you a successful property investor, when you think about it, you have so much more you can leverage.

You can also leverage your skills, your creativity, your intellectual property, your net worth, and your reputation to build wealth.

The list goes on and on. Stretch your mind to look for opportunities to leverage in new ways.

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property. Subscribe to his Property Update blog.

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Building the climate movement: is another world possible?

Can we bring diverse strands together? Flickr/DB Young. Some rights reserved.

Humanity is on a collision course with climatic disaster, whilst the vast majority of people are suffering unprecedented inequality and political disempowerment due to the same capitalist system that is causing climate change.

Above, the graph shows income inequality. The red line of best fit tells how 6 billion people (85%) are in what is considered the global working or precariatclass, with assets below $5,000, many nearersevere poverty; the quick steepening to the right shows how a few do okay and even fewer do extremely well from the system; there are12 millionmillionaires (1.7%) and85are predicted to soon collectively have more than the poorest 3.5 billion.

But what is the relevance of this for climate change?

Studies show a person’s carbon footprintriseswith their wealth. If we think of the very richest, these people own themeans of climate change; their investments are in big oil and the military industrial complex, extractive industries like mining and so on. I have explored the link between wealth and climate in more depth recently, suggestingto tackle climate change we need to challenge the power of billionaires. The global 1% push money into political lobbying, academia, corporate news, advertising and other means; all to maintain their position at the top, make them even richer by ensure that all their carbon assets are sold.

The extremely rich’s plan, known as free market capitalism, is in full swing. On every indicator the gap between rich and poor is widening. So the rich get richer, more powerful and this makes it more likely that they will make use all their carbon assets (that are in the ground) – leaving the earth’s climate, clean water supplies and other ecological commons in such a bad state that survival will only be guaranteed for them, the very richest.

The challenge for the global climate movement is immense. On the positive side, it can draw upon an overwhelming majority of people, who could gain from decisive action. There are numerousmodelsandmeansto tackle climate change. Transforming to a renewable energy future could make things far better for the majority, for instance with community-owned renewables, insulated homes and good mass transport systems. Broadly speaking, remove fossil fuels and billionaires’ asset bases would crumble, along with their wasteful levels of consumption and political power.

Of course change is being resisted by the extremely rich and powerful people. With them, many others act to maintain the status quo, even if it is not in their interests. The system manufactures consent, for instance through thebillionaires’ grip on mediaand the neoliberal dogma that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA).

Around the world, movements are developed further, the inspiringPeople’s Agreement on Climate Changewritten in Bolivia is one example. But how can the climate movement in Britain escalate, broaden and join in with making another world possible?

Lessons from Scotland

Scotland’s indyref created space for progressive ideas to flourish, beyond the straitjacket that has constrained mainstream political imagination since Thatcher. TINA instead becomes TAPAS: there are plenty of alternative systems. A participatory movement of hope lifted the Yes vote in Scotland to 45%, far beyond the expected outcome.

Real sustainability was central in the dialogue from the movement energised by the Radical Independence Campaign, Green Yes and Women For Independence and (although less radical) the SNP. The conversation considered a fairer, more inclusive, more egalitarian and ecologically in tune society from mass canvassing, street stalls, meetings and books like theWee Blue BookandCommon Weal. Indyref reached society, for instance with the progressive discussion coming from and held in the schemes (working class areas).

In reaction, the establishment turned the fear taps to maximum, orchestrated by corporate media and a political Project Fear campaign. Although the No narrowly won the day, most believe Independence isinevitable. The momentum continues, with non-corporate news flourishing and growing. If you imagine a similar broadly progressive participatory dialogue happening across the rest of the UK, it makes tackling climate change seem a lot more realistic.

Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine called it aButterfly Rebellion, explaining how people using DIY diverse and creative tactics can undermine the establishment. The enduring march or flutter of Scots is shown in the way it has shifted the SNP national government to reject Westminster to new ideological levels, epitomised by the moratorium onfrackingand completerejectionof austerity.

In the rest of the UK alternative progressive movements are less cohesive and broad. Yet the parts are there. The alternative media is ever growing to create a non-corporate narrative; divestment movements and share activism are encouraging people to stop sponsoring the carbon intense system, with many groups targeting corporate sponsorship – to remove their social licence. There are growing street demonstrations for climate and many planned against austerity, plus there are new alternative co-op models of energy production and visionary ideas such as creatingone million climate jobs, powerful as it has connected unions with climate campaigners.

Signs of hope

Arguably, one of the strongest movements is the anti-fracking and climate change direct activism. In the areas under threat from fracking, protection camps have galvanised communities, cutting across the social spectrum and through generations. Overall, you can see the anti-fracking movement’s success as it has all but halted the government’s plans for its fracking revolution.

Like the anti-frackers, the London housing movement is also surging, engaging working class and minorities communities in ways the climate movement needs to.

“London’s housing crisis is affecting a broad range of people, in the last 9 months you have seen particularly working class communities take militant direct action”, Katya Nasim from the Radical Housing Network tells me. She explains how the housing movement surged since the Focus E15 mother’s occupation, then Sweets Way Estate and Guinness Estate, with support from Aylesbury Tenants. She also tells me how it has combined with anti-gentrification and anti-racism struggles like #ReclaimBrixton.

She adds “Themilitant action has had a galvanising role: for example on the March for Homes demo earlier this year brought people out across tenure. E15 Mums led a march, with many young people challenging London’s high rents to others angry at the injustice of the system.”

Nasim explains how the movement is developing a shared critique. “From the network working closely together it is now articulating clearly that the housing crisis is a problem of capitalism.”

She tells me how the shared work is about practical and emotional solidarity, say in resisting evictions and is connecting online and in occupied spaces.

Like the indyref, the housing movement is also pushing a vision of the future. The Radical Housing Network has called a housing assembly, looking at how we can take back our cities. Nasim and I discuss how this is an obvious connection to the climate movement, to call for properly insulated affordable homes.

The call to reclaim the city connects with the recent election of Ada Colau, a leading housing activist and now the new Mayor of Barcelona, who won leading thedemocratic citizen platform Barcelona en Comú(Barcelona in Common).

“Ada Colau has been an example for the last 5 years as leader of PAH, the platform for people affected by mortgages. She is well respected for fighting very hard and is about creating real change”, Tina Caballero tells me.

We speak on the day before the Spanish elections in late May, and Cabellero is hopeful about a potential Ada Colau victory. Caballero is a member of the new progressive Spanish party Podemos, one of the groups that support Barcelona en Comú and runs on a new participatory model. Podemos will look to build on its platform of popular support to win Spain’s General Elections later this year.

“In 2011 there were unprecedented protests in Spain’s streets, millions of people. But all these movements without political representation cannot bring any lasting or significant change,” Caballero says.

Later the same year, Spaniards went to the polls.

“The same thing happened as here recently, the right wing party won with a majority and that is why Podemos was born. We need a political representation, as this is the only thing we have to influence the 1% – the only thing between the markets and the people.”

Building alliances

Returning focus back to Scotland, it is worth noting that RIC has just joined calls for a new Scottish ‘Syriza style’left allianceparty. For the rest of the UK, Caballero predicts the Conservatives will replicate what the 2011 Spanish government did, attacking rights, attempting to outlaw protests and continue to attack migrants.

Caballero thinks the climate movement should integrate with the other movements for global justice. She gives me the example of how climate and feminism could connect, she is a spokesperson for the Feminist circle of Podemos.

“The feminist notion of sustainability and placing care at the centre of the economy fits perfectly with climate. It means advocating for care for life, and a life worth living is at the centre of the agenda.”

I ask Caballero about the direct democracy processes within Podemos and used in the Squares in 2011. I’m surprised to hear: “We totally borrowed those ideas from the UK, from climate camp.”

If the British climate movement is to succeed, it must draw upon an abundance of ideas, a diversity of tactics and start articulating more clearly a progressive climate future.

This article was originally published here,
by Contributoria.

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Saving for college: You probably don’t know as much as you think you do about …

LEAWOOD, Kan. – Friday, May 29 is 529 day (5-29, get it?), which means financial institutions and higher learning establishments are working to educate parents and students alike on the benefits of saving for college.

Every state in the union has its own version of the 529 college saving plan , and Kansas and Missouri are no different.

The ins and outs:

  • Parents and grandparents can start saving for their childs or grandchilds college tuition as soon or as late as they see fit.
  • It only takes $25 to open a 529.
  • Experts recommend that you start a 529 early and contribute often so you can get the most out of your investment.
  • Many states allow parents to use contributions as tax deductions. In Kansas, each parent can deduct up to $3,000 each per child. If a family has two parents and two kids, each parent could file a tax claim of up to $6,000, for a total of $12,000.
  • 529s can be used for trade school, a two-year community college, and a four-year college or university. They can be used across state lines at public or private schools so long as they are accredited and are FAFSA qualifying.
  • If your child forgoes college, the funds are fully transferable to another family member.


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