Saving on College: Debunking Financial Aid Myths
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Saving on College: Debunking Financial Aid Myths

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Paying for college is a retirement problem. But even late starters can use strategies to lower the cost of college through smart cash flow and tax tips. Saving on the cost of college is as important ...

Paying for college is a retirement problem. But even late starters can use strategies to lower the cost of college through smart cash flow and tax tips. Saving on the cost of college is as important as saving for college. Understanding the financial aid system and the way the Expected Family Contribution works are key to spending less, saving more and having a decent retirement.

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  • Three sources for paying college costs – free money, cheap money and resources of the family, including loans.
  • A good place to start is to provide some context:When a college-bound student reaches their junior year in high-school, the family begins to enter into the DAUNTING college selection and admissions process.This process consists of a myriad of actions to include:Identification of candidate collegesCollege application processApplication for Financial Aid - requisite forms completion and submittal. Even the Secretary of Education says “You basically need a PhD to figure the financial aid forms out”Financial Aid awardsEvaluation/Negotiation of Financial aid awardsFinal College selection and award acceptanceStrategies for covering any shortfallsEach step along the way is associated with its own complexity, stress, mystery and headaches for the family. Missteps or a lack of knowledge along the way can cost the family thousands of dollars on their out-pocket college costs.In order to maximize success at each step along the way requires time, effort, patience and expertise – all of which are generally in short supply for today’s busy parents of college bound children.To help the family maximize success at each step in the process and provide peace of mind for the family, our Client Care Center will provide hands-on support and coaching for the family as the student enters into and completes this process.Given the current economy and the competitive nature of college admissions and financial aid, parents can greatly-benefit from targeted, strategic and tactical guidance to achieve the best possible outcome throughout each stage of the process. Parents college bounds children can NOW benefit greatly from experience, expertise, coaching and hands-on support that our Client Care Center will provide in order to navigate the process successfully to achieve the best possible outcome for the student and family - with maximum PEACE OF MIND.
  • Parents today, regardless of income, are very concerned about their children’s college plans and how to pay for it. You may have had the experience of lying in bed at night worrying about your child’s future and how your going to pay for the education they’ll need to succeed. It isn’t pleasant. Having someone in your life who understands what you and your family are going through and can do something about it is something you can’t put a price on.

Saving on College: Debunking Financial Aid Myths Saving on College: Debunking Financial Aid Myths Presentation Transcript

  • Money Coach Road Map Series Paying Less for College: Debunking Financial Aid Myths and Saving Your Retirement Presented bySteve Stanganelli, CFP® CONGRATULATIONS! aka Spencer’s Dad You have at least one student going to college. You obviously have: a.) Smart Kids b.) Motivated Them c.) A Willingness to Invest in your kids d.) A Success ProblemThey Grow Up Fast! Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • There are two very different prices for college — one for the informed “buyer” and one for the uninformed “buyer.” Which price will you pay? Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC.TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Current ProblemTop PARENT CONCERNS in order of importance1. Fear parent death before children are grown2. Saving for retirement3. Job security4. Saving and paying for college College Costs Keep Going UP!! 2010 Annual Average Costs:* 1. Public University - $16,000 2. Private College - $37,000 *College Board – Trends in College Pricing 2010 Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • The College Funding / Retirement Savings DilemmaTwo VERY EMOTIONAL NEEDS competing for the same limited resources Will parents be able to accomplish BOTH? Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC.TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • The economic benefit of a college education Median Income by Educational Attainment of the Population 18 Years and Over •High School Graduate: $21,079 •Bachelor’s degree: $40,166 •Master’s degree: $51,509*U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Concept 1: College is a retirement problemConcept 2: Saving ON College is Different than Saving FOR College Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • The retirement problem – every dollar going toward college can’t go toward retirement How much can paying for college effect retirement savings? Years till Hypothetical Hypothetical Hypothetical retirement Four-year Four-year Four-year public college private elite private cost college cost college cost $55,000 $138,000 $207,000 15 $175,000* $438,000* $657,000* Too depressing! 20 Assumes: 5% annual college inflation *8% return on investments on lump sum amount For one child!This is a hypothetical situation and not representative of any specific situation. Yourresults will vary Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Secrets to reducing the high cost of college THE GOOD NEWS: •College planning is NOT just saving FOR college•College planning includes saving ON the cost of college. When it comes to college planning there is no one size fits all solution. Its all about knowing the ins and outs of a very complex topic and how to apply the secrets of college planning and funding to your circumstances so that you dont pay one dollar more for college than absolutely necessary. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Saving ON the cost of college Balancing College Planning Periods: Saving, Spending & Recovery College financial College admissions and planning financial aid process Begins at birth and continues Begins junior year in high school through senior year in high and extends throughout college school years Strategic College Planning Tactical Planning Timeline l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l lAge of child 0 1 2… 17 18 Birth >>> Middle School >>> High School >>> College By becoming informed at each step along the way, you’ll have the potential to achieve a much better outcome.. Kudos to You for Taking the First Steps Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Foundation for effective college planningExpected Family Contribution (EFC) – The portion of your income and assets thatyou will be expected to contribute toward college costs.How is EFC determined? – FAFSA (most public) / Profile (many private). Based ontime period from January of the students junior year in high school to December of theirsenior year. This is known as the Base Year.Financial Need = Cost of Attendance – Expected Family Contribution EFC FAFSA / PROFILE Leverage financial aid enhancing strategies Leverage other strategies Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Understanding Financial Aid – BasicsFederal Methodology (FM) Institutional Methodology (IM)Uses FAFSA Uses FAFSA & CSS ProfileStudent Assets Assessed @ 20% Student Assets Assessed @ 25%Student Income Assessed @ 50% Student Income Assessed @ 50%with $3,000 Allowance with No AllowanceParent Assets Assessed at 5.6% Parent Assets Assessed at 5% withwith Exemption Allowance Lower Exemption Allowance BasedDepending on Age on Family SizeParent Income Assessed Between Parent Income Assessed Between22% to 47% 22% and 47%Does NOT Assess Family-Owned Assesses Farm and BusinessFarms or Businesses with < 100 FT EquityEmployeesDoes NOT Assess Home Equity DOES Assess Home Equity Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Understanding Financial AidFinancial Aid Formulas are INCOME Driven and Not Asset Driven It’s Key To Understand the Financial Aid Strength & History of Each School Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Example of financial aid eligibilityEFC = $15,000Formula:Financial Need = Cost of Attendance - EFCCollege Cost of Attendance EFC Financial Need1. James Madison $21,000* $15,000 $3,9882. Georgetown $54,000* $15,000 $38,880*Source – College Board 2011 For financial aid candidates: Your EFC is the primary determinant for your out-of-pocket college costs, NOT the cost of the college! Don’t eliminate consideration of schools with higher “sticker prices!” Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • For the “Do it Yourselfer”Sources for:• Estimating EFC before hand. How much will you be expected to pay? a. Finaid.org b. CollegeBoard.org • Strategies for increasing financial aid eligibility a. Book: ―Paying for College Without Going Broke‖ b. Website: Finaid.org • Resources for Finding Scholarships a. Websites: FastWeb.com, CollegeBoard.com, Petersons.com, ScholarshipCoach.com, ScholarshipExperts.com, CollegeCashPros.com Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Planning for financial aid Source Options • School merit-based scholarships Strategies that increase Free • School need-based financial aid financial aid eligibility will • Grants - Pellreduce out-of-pocket college costs, the gap and need for Cheap • Subsidized loans – Stafford, Perkins debt financing • College Savings Gap • Other loans: Private/PLUS/Home Equity • Third party – grandparents, relatives Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Planning for Financial AidEffective planning for financial aid occurs before filing FAFSA/Profile – NOT AFTER!Don’t enter into the process BLINDLY!Analogy – Effective tax planning occurs before tax forms are filed, not after. Requires an understanding of: 1. Forms required by the school (FAFSA, Profile) and the information required 2. How the EFC is determined 3. Prudent planning strategies to increase financial aid eligibility Need to know: • What TO DO – can save you $$ • What NOT TO DO – can cost you $$ Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • What NOT TO DO: The less you know, the more you pay Fact: Gifting money to financial aid candidate will reduce financial aid eligibility Result: Save the family $$$ in financial aid lost! Example: Grandparents gift $10,000 to grandchild for college, may cost the family as much as $7,000 in financial aid! Lack of knowledge results in lost financial aidStrategy:Wait until after college to gift – help pay off student loans. No lost financial aid. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Knowing WHAT TO DO – the more you know, the less you pay Facts: Family income of $57,000. Assessable assets of $200,000 Strategy - Reduce AGI below $50,000 by contributing to retirement accounts Result - Family qualifies for ―Simplified EFC.‖* Assets of $200,000 are not included in financial aid formula and family qualifies for significantly more financial aid. * Note: Assumes filing a 1040EZ or 1040AMay save parents $$ over four years!What will savings on college costs AND increased retirement accountcontributions mean for retirement income and quality of life? Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Knowing WHAT TO DO – the more you know, the less you pay13 Strategies for Increasing Need-Based Aid: Controlling or Changing the Position of AssetsSome Examples: -• Don’t Hold Assets in Your Child’s Name• Maximize Non-Assessable Assets: IRAs, SEP IRAs, Roth IRAs, 403bs, 401ks, Annuities, Cash Value Life Insurance• Don’t Overestimate the Value or Your Home, Other Real Estate or Business• Restructure Your Debts (Ex. Refinance Credit Cards to Lower Home Equity)• Pay Off Debts or Make Needed Purchases = Show Less Cash Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Knowing WHAT TO DO – the more you know, the less you pay12 Cost-Cutting Strategies for Every Family Regardless of Financial Need StatusSome Examples: -• Take Tests for College Credit • Advanced Placement (AP) Tests (see www.CollegeBoard.com) • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) • Proprietary Self-Study Option: DSST (see www.getcollegecredit.com) • International Baccalaureate (IB) (see www.ibo.org)• Go to a Local State School for A Degree or Transfer Credits• Use the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits (see www.IRS.gov )• Pursue Private Scholarships like Kiwanis, Rotary or Free Resources• Pursue Merit Scholarships (see www.Petersons,com) • NOTE: Private schools offer more than public (Ivies do not offer) Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Planning for high income late starters Source Options The cumulative effect of Free • School merit-based scholarships implementing and coordinating the right strategies can be significant savings on out-of- • • Savings strategies Cash flow strategies pocket college costs • • Income and asset planning strategies Strategies for business owners Gap • Strategies for grandparents • Tax credit strategies • Gifting strategies • Loan strategies Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • ExampleFacts: Parents income too high to qualify for education tax credit. Limited benefit frompersonal exemption. Plan to liquidate appreciated assets to pay for college OR ―write acheck.‖Effect: Parents will pay capital gains (can increase real cost of college), no benefitfrom tax credit. If paid with after tax income, the real cost of college is twice the ―stickerprice‖.Better Strategy: Gift appreciated assets to child to help pay college costs. Childfulfills requirement for tax independence during college years and qualifies foreducation credits. Child pays NO tax due to deductionsBetter Results:•Parents maintain control of asset until senior year of H.S.•Increased cash flow – don’t use after-tax income•Student qualifies for education tax credit•Tax savings •Parents – on capital gains = $$$ •Student - education tax credits – as much as $2,500/year based on 2010 maximum credit. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Savings and Funding StrategiesConsider savings and funding vehicles that meet the following objectives.1. Funds for college2. Savings for retirement3. Minimal impact on monthly cash-flow4. Appropriate for college AND retirement - flexibility Goals: 1. Return exceeds college inflation 2. Tax-deferred growth 3. Tax-favored access for college 4. Favorable for financial aid 5. Can be used for college AND retirement 6. Tax-favored access for retirement Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Comparison of Options – how do they rate? Rate of Tax Deferred Tax Favored Favorable for Use for Tax Favored Return Growh Access for financial Aid College AND Access for VEHICLE College Retirement RetirementCoverdell Education Savings 3 Cash 529 Savings Plan Wow, So many Roth IRA options, but Traditional IRA which is the right one for my Retirement Accounts family? EE Bonds Zero Coupon Bonds Municipal Bonds Grow th Stocks 529 Fixed Annuities Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Comparison of Options – how do they rate? 9 Ways to Save FOR College – Systematic Savings Options to Use Some Examples: - Each has advantages and disadvantagesOption Pros ConsRoth IRA Accessed Penalty Free Earnings May Be Counted as Income for EFC529 College Savings Growth Tax-Deferred & Assessable Asset forPlan Withdrawals Tax Free Financial AidCollegeSure CDs Low Risk / FDIC Insured Assessable Asset for Financial AidUTMA / UGMA Taxed at Child’s Rate for Subject to ―Kiddie Tax‖ if first $1800 generated account generate > $1800/yearRetirement Plan at Work Tax-deferred / Loan Distributions fully possible taxable Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Tactical Planning - college admissions and financial aid process The Process and the Challenges Identify prospective schools and apply Apply for financial aid Receive and analyze financial aid awards Choose school and accept award Strategies for covering shortfalls The process is overwhelming for many familiesLack of knowledge or mistakes may cost your family thousands of dollars:•Choosing the wrong school or curriculum•Financial aid•Loan strategies Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • The Solution – College Cash Pros A hands on college admissions and financial aid serviceOffers parents with college-bound juniors or seniors:• Personal coaching• Hands-on support• Targeted, strategic and tactical guidance throughout the college admissions and financial aid process Goals: Best college fit for student Save money on college costs A plan for the family that yields confidence Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Families have two choices:1. Go it alone – To achieve a best outcome requires • Time • Effort • Expertise • Patience2. Help and support from qualified experts Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • How we help you and the results How College Cash Pros from Clear View can help Diagnose your specific situation Prescribe appropriate remedies – college planning and funding strategies Find the Best College at the Right PriceThe Results: An action plan that helps you to better accomplish your goals:1) Help pay for your child’s education2) Reduce the cost of college3) Save more for your retirement Expertise + Experience + Personal Help can yield a better outcome for family Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Achieving the best outcome College admissions and financial aid process Begins junior year in high school College financial planning – newborn through senior year in high school and extends throughout college years College Planning Client Care CenterTimeline l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l lAge of child 0 1 2… 17 18 Help you work toward a best outcome 1. Lowest out-of-pocket costs for family 2. Best college fit for student BEST COLLEGE at the RIGHT PRICE … without you going broke or busting your retirement nest egg Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Whether you “do it yourself” or team up with experts ―You can pay me now, or pay me later” Legendary marketing sloganThe COSTS of waiting - procrastination:1. Available cost reducing strategies decrease over time2. Available savings and funding strategies decrease over time3. Cost of borrowing may increase – increased debt and interest rates4. Reduced parent resources5. Less available for retirement savings6. Increased stress and frustration7. Procrastination and a lack of knowledge can cost you significantly more on your college costs Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Review of Key ConceptsThe KEY CONCEPTS Cheat Sheet:1. Paying for college is as much a retirement problem as anything else.2. There are 3 college planning time periods: Saving, Spending & Recovery. Without balance among all three, there will be pressure in one or more of the other two periods.3. College is expensive but still worth it – especially if you can lower your out of pocket cost or reduce your cash flow pressure4. College inflation is running about twice the level of regular CPI5. There are only 4 ways to effectively pay for college: Save, Pay-As-You- Go, Borrow or Let Someone Else Pay6. Four types of Financial Aid Available: Need-Based, Merit-Based, Discounted Tuition and/or Negotiated Rate7. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determines what you need to pay. Knowing how to calculate this number is KEY to Financing. BEWARE the College & Parent Financial Aid GAP!8. Procrastination and a lack of knowledge can cost you significantly more on your college costs Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Informed or Uninformed __ You Have a Choice __ Which type of buyer of a college education will you choose to be?Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC, A registered investment advisor. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Informed or Uninformed – Which buyer of a college education will you choose to be? Uninformed buyer!ABC Company TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, A registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR
  • Next Steps – CLICK & CALL 1. Visit www.ClearViewWealthAdvisors.com 2. Select 3. Complete “Data Form” • You’ll receive an initial assessment • Arrange for your free assessment phone call – 978-388-0020 We’ll Help Show You The Money More Info at the Clear View website or blog: www.MoneyLinkPro.Wordpress.com Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC. TO BE USED SOLELY IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND COUNSEL OF A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISOR