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Help An SMI Member – How to Pay for College

We heard from some SMI members recently who asked for guidance on paying for college for their children. What follows is a brief description of their situation (some facts have been changed for confidentiality purposes)
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Giving Gifts to Your Grandkids That Will Be Long Remembered

Many grandparents revel in their unique role. They get all the enjoyment young children bring (trips to the zoo, birthday parties) without any of the messy responsibilities (changing diapers, staying up all night). No
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Growing Up by Giving Up

How would you define a successful college experience? For many, simply getting a bachelor's degree would be enough. After all, as Joseph reported in our cover article, 40% of those who enter college are still without
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Is a College Education Still Worth the Investment?

In recent decades, going off to college has become the de facto expectation for students graduating from high school. A college degree often is seen as the key to launching a successful career. But the exploding costs
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Education is Getting LESS Expensive

If you have a child in college, or one about to go, the headline on this article looks crazy. You know more than most about the fast-rising cost of education. But just as quickly as brick & mortar college costs are
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Section 529 Plans Continue to Pile Up Assets

Morningstar recently released a detailed report on the state of 529 college-savings plans. These plans now hold about $200 billion in assets, split roughly evenly between advisor-sold and direct-sold plans. While there's
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Do You Have in Place the One Financial Essential for the New Year?

A question we've heard countless times is "What are the most common mistakes people make when managing their finances?" One of our leading answers: making spending and investment decisions apart from a personalized
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Avoiding Student Loan Default

Many people are struggling under the weight of their student loans. But with numerous repayment options available, at least for those with federal student loans, there's no reason to default. This article offers guidance
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Feeling Good about Your Investing Decisions?

Ready to find out if you're committing "Five Really Dumb Money Moves You've Got to Avoid"? Let's take them from the top (excerpts in italics from the WSJ, May, 2013) 1. Reaching for yield. What this country needs is a
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College Financial Aid Options

Using debt to pay for college isn't ideal. But the realities of rising tuition prices and a challenging economy have many families choosing among less-than-ideal options. If you or your kids will need to borrow to help
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