Wealth Tactic Rebels
WTR Discussion With Guest Robert Farrington: Negotiating Financial Aid For Parents And Students
Sep 5, 2019 · 46 min
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Navigating your way through how to pay for your financial aid can be stressful and confusing. But before you even get there, there’s who is going to pay for it and how much. Listen in as WTR and Robert Farrington, of The College Investor, as we discuss how to negotiate financial aid. You will hear us talk about whether the parent or student should pay for college, how to figure out your options after school ends, what’s holding graduates back from accumulating wealth and strategies to build wealth while paying off student loans.

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Robert Farrington




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  • Kevin: Paying for college tends to be a big problem in today’s world
  • Robert: The two main issues are paying for college and paying back student loans
  • Kevin: The increasing costs of college seems to be increasing more rapidly than the jobs that we’re producing from them
  • Robert: Yes, the cost of college is increasing, but on the flip side community colleges are becoming more affordable
  • Question of should you go to college? – currently the biggest shortage of trade workers in the U.S.
  • Implications of your choices that will affect you for the rest of your life (whether or not you go to college)
  • Went to college and received Masters’ Degree, but doesn’t use any of that today
  • Kevin: I went to college and got a Masters’ Degree in exercise science, but today I’m in the wealth field
  • Robert: Your college degree can be your ticket in the door to the work force, but it has a very short lifespan
  • About 3 years after you’re done with school, nobody cares about the degree
  • All about your experience and if you’re going to bring value to that company
  • Kevin: What got you into helping families pay for college?
  • Robert: Started writing about money and personal finance because I had an interest in it
  • Passionate about investing money (had a blog where I shared investing tips)
  • I had my own student loans that I was paying off, but my student loan servicer screwed up my monthly payments
  • Wrote about this experience and the article was one of the first that became popular
  • Found that many people had student loan servicers that screwed up their loans too (found that this was an issue and then started writing more about student loan debt)
  • My end goal is having people invest and build wealth earlier, rather than waiting until later to pay off student loans
  • Kevin: Makes sense, the power of money overtime
  • You founded thecollegeinvestor.com, where you are the host of the podcast The College Investor Audio Show
  • This is an issue for a lot of our clients
  • Robert: The podcast combines all of the things we hate about everything (the government, family dynamics, money conversations, and other psychological burdens) and gets intertwined with the college debate
  • Kevin: Millennials have a problem right now when it comes to building wealth. What’s the biggest problem they’re trying to overcome?
  • Robert: The student loan debt is the problem
  • Student loan debt bubble
  • Paying your student loans is a drag on your monthly income
  • You can’t deploy that money into buying a home or investing for retirement or maybe starting a business
  • Puts a delay on what past generations were able to start earlier
  • Kevin: Even if they earn more than past generations, it’s like their income is significantly less because they have to make that payment every month
  • Is it really worth it? How long would it take to pay these loans off?
  • Robert: What level is worth it?
  • Statistics say that going to college earns you about double over your life than not going to college
  • So, theoretically, it’s worth it
  • Have to know what the cost is (an average – half of the people it’s worth it and the other half of people it’s not worth it)
  • Varies by location, where you go to school, how much you pay, career, how you’re going to repay these loans after college
  • The average loan repayment in the U.S. takes about 17 years
  • Plan types that range from 10 years to 25 years, plans that come with loan forgiveness, plans that are based on your income, and so on
  • The problem with the student loan repayment issue is that there’s over 150 different ways to repay your student loans (very complex)
  • Kevin: Before picking a payment plan to pay back student loans, students first have to decide what college they’re going to
  • Look at college like a business with an ROI
  • Robert: Going to college has a lot of soft benefits, but at the end of the day you’re paying money for these benefits (buying these things to have a return on this investment – your return being your future earnings)
  • Helps you learn to be independent
  • Helps you communicate better
  • Helps you build new friends
  • Translating skills learned in college to make money
  • Have tool platforms on the internet that will let you know how much you’ll earn in any given field
  • Do a little research before going into a field to figure out what you’re going to make and then decide what’s reasonable to spend
  • Kevin: That can be trouble too. I went to college and I chose a college based on what I thought I wanted to do, but then I wanted to do something else and changed colleges (half of my credits didn’t transfer over and I had to go to college 5 years because I was struggling to get caught up)
  • Robert: I think college isn’t the time to find yourself (it’s too expensive)
  • If you don’t know what you want to do, maybe start with community college
  • Get your general education credits
  • Can balance a job/internship along with that (part-time student) to see what you’d be interested in
  • We have options, we just don’t necessarily know these options exist (not exposed to them)
  • Kevin: The system now is you go to grade school and then high school, and when you’re a junior you pick your college based on what you want to study when you’re 16/17 years old
  • I had no idea what I wanted to do at 16, and the things I thought I wanted to do were dreams (ex: an astronaut)
  • Maybe don’t go straight into college
  • Maybe take a couple of classes, get a job, and take some time to figure yourself out
  • Robert: Society scares kids into believing if you don’t go to college right after high school you’re never going to get to go (a big myth)
  • Colleges will always take your money, so they will not tell you no
  • Community college transfer students that graduate from a 4-year college have the highest graduation rate from college
  • Have time to figure themselves out and have a purpose for going
  • High school students who go directly into college have the lowest graduation rate from college (67%)
  • People don’t know what they want to do
  • We don’t have enough high school students out working getting exposure to careers and choices
  • In about half of the states in our country, community college is free
  • We’re asking kids to make $100,000 decisions with incomplete information
  • Student loans are the last choice when paying for college (many other options that we default with)
  • Can make sense though if you’re borrowing responsibly, not overleveraging yourself
  • The first message to parents is that you don’t have to pay for your children’s college education (pressure is usually put on the parents to pay)
  • Parents shouldn’t pay unless they’re 100% set on life (debt free, retirement fully funded, etc.)
  • Walk your child through the multiple choices of paying for college
  • Kevin: How do you pay for some of the options for college?
  • Robert: Things that can help pay for school
  1. Take advantage of the free money (scholarships and grants)
  • Merit-based scholarships that many students don’t even apply for (don’t put in the work)
  • If you apply to 100 scholarships (which you can start applying for when you’re a sophomore in high school), you will pay for college (higher probability of getting said scholarship than applying to only 4 – follow the directions and there won’t be as much competition)
  1. Work and save in high school
  2. Parents could contribute money out of their current earnings toward their child (that wouldn’t negatively impact your life)
  3. Loans (federal and private loans)
  4. Work studies
  • The number one thing that employers look for in college graduates is business communication skills
  • Communication skills during interview
  • Problem solving skills
  • The degree is more of a can you do it rather than what did you learn
  • Kevin: A lot of what you’re going to learn in college is not just material, but also the ability to do the work (researching and applying information)
  • I like the idea of having my son pay for college because he will be much more serious about it when he gets there
  • Robert: I believe that parents shouldn’t borrow money to pay for their child’s college education (that’s where they get into real trouble)
  • Education is a good thing, but college is expensive
  • 43 million Americans have student loans right now
  • Kevin: What kinds of strategies for people who have college loans have to start building some wealth?
  • Robert: The average graduate has 5 loans
  • Strategies for building wealth
  1. Get organized (have to know what you have and what you’re paying)
  2. Get on a repayment plan that you can afford
  • Income driven repayment plans based on your income (solid plans if you’re struggling to make your monthly payment)
  1. Take advantage of employer matches (free money)
  2. Be knowledgeable about the student loan forgiveness programs
  • 50% of borrowers today qualify for something (maybe not total loan forgiveness)
  • Most people are getting rejected because they’re not filling out the application properly
  • Personal accountability (can be accountable to your own money and life)
  • It is easier than ever to earn money today
  • $100-$200 a month can be game-changing for a budget, for saving, for paying off debt, etc.
  • Kevin: Today’s technological development makes the information more readily available to be able to make more money
  • Robert: Rules of a set schedule and job requirements are gone with internet jobs
  • Earnings aren’t as glamorous with internet jobs
  • Time freedom and flexibility freedom to put some extra money where it’s needed
  • I paid off my $43,000 student loans in two years by working my day job and side hustling to about $2500 per month
  • If you want to put your time into something valuable (ex: earning more), put the time in
  • Kevin: People are monetizing their hobbies (ex: fitness) and making extra income off of it
  • What can our listeners avoid doing?
  • Robert: Stop buying things (some people have so much junk and they continue to buy unnecessary things)
  • Re-direct your money into building your assets
  • Kevin: By not buying stuff, you’re buying your future

The post WTR Discussion With Guest Robert Farrington: Negotiating Financial Aid For Parents And Students appeared first on WTR Podcast Website.

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