Competition -- Yes!

A friend sent an email entitled "Your Competition."    Here's the way I feel about that:
<>Competition keeps me sharp
<>Competition keeps the market place honest for consumers
<>Competitors compete against me, too; and there's the difference! 

Frankly, others do not stand a chance if the consumer does due diligence. 
Boastful?  Perhaps. 
Confident?  Absolutely! 
Here's why:
1.) I've done what it is I offer to help do -- put kids through college.
2.) I work as hard as, or harder than anyone I know, in any profession.
3.) Integrity is not a marketing strategy.  It is a character trait.
4.)  I bring a pastor's heart to every family I meet.
Shall I continue . . . ? 

Prove it? 
Sure.  Here's my "competition." Check them out.  Then schedule your complimentary appointment with me.
In Huntersville, NC - http://www.ifcadvisors.com
In Davidson, NC - http://www.bookmanbright.com

When the Master Speaks . . .

Remember you only have so much time and can only see so many people. It is important that you do not squander the time you have on those who seek only to waste it.  It is important that very quickly you determine if the clients you are talking to are serious about their money or not.  -- From my mentor's lips to my ears. 

In my third year working with families on college & retirement planning nothing has surprised me more than the fact that some people seem determined to spend as much as possible on college, foregoing those savings for retirement.  How is, "We'll think about it." an appropriate response to, "Do this and you'll save thousands; or do that and it will cost you unnecessary thousands?"

The comfort I take is that, according to "Coach Don", it is a common phenomenon.  Some people are poor by circumstances, others by choice.

Trying to get with it!

I'm trying to get with it!  FInally got a surge in brain activity and will offer my very popular workshop (College Costs HOW MUCH?!) as a webinar.

Hey, what can I tell you?  When I was in college I wrote my papers on a Smith Corona electric, portable typewriter.  Carbon copies were not just a "cc" on an email template, and every typo had to be corrected on the original and on each copy, using an eraser or (later) "white out."  In those days we also had to calculate the space needed at the bottom of each page for footnotes.  A miscalculation and you had to re-type the entire page.  A missed footnote (or editing to add even one sentence) could force re-typing several pages.

I know, this falls under the category of "We walked to school 10 miles, uphill, through a foot of snow."   Only difference is, my story is true.

Anyway, hit the "Register" button on the home page.  See the webinars listed in August. 

Radio news reporter confused

It drives me crazy!  This BLOG is putting me behind schedule, but I feel compelled! 

The news report was about the surge in college loans coming through Credit Unions -- with rates anywhwere between 2.75% - 9%.  True -- credit unions should be considered as a source for loan money.  What was misleading was that the reporter said, "Currently the federal loan program interest is fixed at 3.4%."

Talk about comparing apples to oranges!  The federal loan program for students is fixed at 6.8% with a current reduction to 3.4%, which has to be renewed annually by Congress and the President.  To date the rate will revert to 6.8% beginning July 1 -- unless Congress acts.

The other problem with the report is that Credit Union loans are going to be credit-based.  That means an unemployed student will not qualify for a credit union loan.  The parents may, sure.  But the federal government loan program for parents is fixed at 7.9% (not 3.4%).  It is called PLUS (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students).

There are other options, and I invite you to contact me to learn about them all.

Community College

Just met with a terrific young woman who is enjoying a very successful career, and about to get married to her high school sweetheart.  Why is that on a college planning blog?  Because, after high school, instead of shouldering a huge debt trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life,  she went to the community college in her city.  There she completed the basic courses, discovered her career track, and then finished up her training.

College Planning Workshop: Reflections

3 families attended the June 4 workshop.  That made for a cozy and interactive hour of learning. I liked it! 

I should have kept an accurate count of attendance at this academic year's workshops
(June 25, 2012 through June 4, 2013), but I did not.  The number runs into a few dozen, for sure.  My resolve is strengthened to continue offering workshop and advocating for parents and students.  The consequences of poor planning are so severe; and the rewards of good planning so positive!  I am compelled.

Enthusiastic & promotional -- what I am concerning the College Costs HOW MUCH??!! workshops.  The information is of such practical value - compiled and organized in a way parents get nowhere else.  If only I could have every Lake Norman area parent attend at least once . . . (ahh, the dream of serving the public good).

Humble & grateful -- that's how I feel at the conclusion of every workshop.  The people attending are effusive in their gratitude for the value they receive, and generous in their compliments about both the content and delivery of the workshop.

August, September & October -- the next series of workshops will be offered then.  Register now on this website.

Serving Others -- A Little Something to Help Out

Friday I gave a day to assist the work of the Community Pregnancy Center of Lake Norman http://www.lakenormancpc.org.  If you are not familiar with the organization I invite you to click the link and check it out.  If you are in the vicinity of Mooresville, pay a visit.  It is a worthy cause and a dedicated, selfless group of folks staffing and supporting it.

The "CPC" was selected as the service project for MSI Chamber Leadership 2013 group (that would include me).  We helped them with a small remodeling project.  By doing so we have made the experience of their clients much more comfortable.  The young women who avail themselves of the CPC's services are (generally speaking) dealing with lots of stress.  The small project we were able to underwrite (dollars and labor) helps those women significantly.

Friday, another member of the MSI group and I gave a day at the MSI Annual Charity Golf Tournament to raise money for CPC.  We raised $145 towards completing the remodel.  A few hundred dollars more and we will be done.  I am committed to having it finished by (the symbolic) Labor Day weekend.