Equipping your clients for education planning

August 26, 2019 by Ryan Dvornik

About the author

Ryan Dvornik

Business development representative

Ryan Dvornik is a business development representative at Advicent, the financial planning technology provider of choice for nearly 100,000 financial professionals.

Planning for one’s child’s educational future can be quite stressful for any parent. In Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College study, it was found that 92 percent of parents believe college is an investment in their child's future and 51 percent of parents plan on making college payment decisions together with their child. With student loan debt recently surpassing $1.5 trillion, financial advisors are in a unique position to help guide both parents and their child through the process of education planning by suggesting a strategy that best fits their needs.

Helping clients weigh all possibilities

When it comes to education planning, it is imperative that all possibilities be considered when making projections and delivering recommendations. Life is unpredictable by nature and weighing how different scenarios can impact the probability of success is paramount. Aside from helping create a more accurate and holistic plan, opening scenario discussions with your clients can also ensure that parents and their children are on the same page and are prepared for all possibilities down the road.

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By involving students in discussions about education planning, advisors have a prime opportunity to spark a trusting relationship with individuals who may become key clients down the road. According to a recent study conducted by ACT, the organization that runs the widely used standardized ACT test for college admissions, it was found that more than 70 percent of students did not know that loans from the government are subsidized. Further, one in three freshman year high schoolers underestimate the cost of tuition and fees at a public university in their home state.

As noted in our article from 2018 ‘How your clients are discussing money with their children,’ consumers see financial advisors as the third most responsible party for educating teens and young adults on financial topics, behind only parents and schools. While the low familiarity students have with the finances of higher education may seem alarming, this is where advisors can further establish themselves as a trusted, go-to financial resource for their clients.

Education planning with NaviPlan

Education planning strategies in NaviPlan allow for advisors to provide these “What If?” scenarios for their clients so that all possibilities can be considered. NaviPlan’s scenario manager can be extremely robust for real college decisions such as how choosing one college over another can impact goal coverage. NaviPlan also shows how retirement and other financial goals would be impacted by various education funding decisions.

Knowing how education planning decisions can be a personal choice to mull over, tools that increase client access to their financial plan can help increase peace of mind. Some clients may wish to play around with different situations in the comfort of their own home, which is made possible by the NaviPlan client portal. When it does come time for a client meeting, NaviPlan’s modern interface and Presentation Module will help engage clients and their children on the possibilities that lie ahead of them.

Education planning is essential when funding your child’s educational future. Though the importance of investing in their child’s education is clear, many clients find themselves looking for help in the area. With an advisor’s guidance and NaviPlan’s powerful tools for education planning, clients can sleep better at night knowing that their child’s educational future is on the right track.

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