Another Reason to Open a Roth IRA: Paying for College

student-loan-debt

I was reading the business section of the LA Times when I came across this nugget:

Because you make Roth IRA contributions with after-tax dollars, you can withdraw them at any time without taxes or penalties, just like 529 plans.

I knew that. I’ve done that, but it never occurred to me to contribute with the intention of using that money for college costs. Do you know what that nugget means? It means that:

  • Instead of opening two accounts and having to schedule two contributions, you can open one.
  • You can take out the money you put in, not the interest that you’ve earned, to pay for college costs after letting it grow for years and years.
  • If you don’t end up using it for college expenses you can let it continue to grow until retirement.
  • If you do want to use the money for college costs, the money in your Roth IRA with not count against your child for financial aid like a 529 plan would.

That is revolutionary. You can contribute, let the money grow, it won’t count against your kid when you apply for financial aid (FAFSA, scholarships, loans, etc.), and you can leave it there to continue to grow until you need it for retirement. The absolute best part? You can leave the funds left in the account after you die to your spouse OR any beneficiary that you designate and that money can continue to grow.

There seems to be no downside to opening a Roth IRA.

 

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WEBINAR: Pay Off Holiday Debt

Webinar-Pay-Off-Holiday-Debt

In an effort to reach even more people, Bigger Than Your Block will be hosting a series of FREE financial education webinars. The first in the series is Pay Off Holiday Debt. In this informative webinar you’ll discover the two most important strategies to pay down debt, how the CARD Act helps you pay down debt faster than ever before and how to make your credit card work for you!

REGISTER HERE

The webinar is WEdnesday, January 19th 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Update:

In case you missed the live webinar, you can check out the replay at https://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference-beta/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EF51DB878048

Shay Olivarria Quoted in All The Money In The World by Laura Vanderkam

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria is quoted in this book!

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria is quoted in this book!

 

Financial Education Speaker & Author Shay Olivarria has been quoted in a new personal finance book by Laura Vanderkam, All The Money In The World: What The Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending. Have you read it yet?

Check out the quote heard ’round the world …. ’round the bookshelves?

Use TV as a teachable moment. “TV has some of the best teachable moments ever,” says Shay Olivarria, a financial education speaker and author. If kids are watching shows they shouldn’t be watching (like MTV’s Cribs), then “at least get something good out of it,” she says. Why do the characters think that a flashy house or car indicates success? Talk about why a lower interest rate on a mortgage matters in terms of monthly payments, and if you’re working extra hours to afford a particular vacation or to get out of debt, make sure they see the connection.

Keep in mind that in a cashless age, kids may have a harder time grasping what money really is. “A lot of children don’t understand how ATM cards work,” says Olivarria. “They think it’s magic. They don’t understand that money has to go in the bank for you to pull money out of the bank.” They may think that when you want something, you just swipe a card and get it, without understanding that a bank balance is debited somewhere, or that you’ll have to pay a credit card bill later. So it may be worth using cash on occasion to help them understand what’s going on.

Also, feel free to let them fail. Olivarria enjoys taking her nephews, nieces and cousins to the amusement parks near her California home. She gives them a set amount of cash (say, $20) and says they have to use it for food and any other desires. Inevitably, the first time a child has cash in hand, he blows it on a plush toy in the first 5 minutes, and then has to suffer through a long day of watching his siblings eat hamburgers and ice cream and buy other souvenirs with their carefully stewarded $20 allowances. “That is an awesome lesson,” says Olivarria. “I’d rather let an 8-year-old go hungry at Disneyland because he blew his money on a plush Mickey than have a 30-year-old blow money on something and now his kids are homeless.”

Tough love, right? Do you agree? Disagree? Check out the book and share your thoughts.

 

 

Student Loan Debt Infographic

In case everything we’ve been talking about isn’t clear …

 

It’s important to think about:

Order a copy from Amazon.com.

Choosing to attend college. (Look at the ROI)

Choosing which college to attend. (Look at the ROI)

Having a strategy for paying for that college.

Having a strategy for paying any loans taken out.

 

Baldwin Park Student Wins Scholarship He Didn’t Apply For

Raymond Tinajero just earned a $1,000 scholarship for being financially literate.

Raymond Tinajero just won a $1,000 scholarship that he didn’t apply for. When he scored in the top 10% in the nation on the National Financial Capabilities Challenge he was selected randomly by the Charles Schwab Foundation to get the $1,000 scholarship and a $1,000 grant for his school.

It all started with a financial education workshop from SCE Federal Credit Union in his Virtual Enterprise and Economics classes at his high school in Baldwin Park, CA facilitated by financial education speaker and author Shay Olivarria. According to SCE Federal Credit Union Foundation Manager Abby Ulm, “we facilitate between 40-50 financial education classes at BPHS each year”. SCE Federal Credit Union partners with schools in the community to help students become better acquainted with personal finance. “With an understanding of financial basics, such as budgeting, saving, investing and credit, these young people can avoid common money mistakes and experience financial success in their future”, says Ms. Ulm. Make no mistake about it, helping students helps us all.  Ulm is quick to add, “More financially savvy young people will result in a brighter financial future for all of us”.

 

Baldwin Park Students Score in Top 20% on National Financial Capabilities Challenge

 

After participating in classes on budgeting, credit, investing, insurance, and other personal finance topics Raymond took the National Financial Capabilities Challenge at school. His teacher, Mr. Craig Peacock, made sure that all of the students in his Virtual Enterprise class took the online test during class. Ulm thinks that high school is a great time to teach financial education, “By high school, most students have begun to experience what it’s like to have and spend their own money. Yet they are still sheltered from the aggressive credit solicitations and advertising gimmicks that become financial pitfalls for college students and young adults. In a sense, high school students are “clean slates,” financially speaking. It is the perfect time for them to learn the right way to manage money, how to build and protect their credit, and how to develop smart money habits”.

According to the Charles Schwab Foundation’s website, “ Scholarships of $1,000 each to 20 students selected by lottery from among the top 10 percent highest-scoring students nationally. In addition, five $1,000 scholarships will go to students who score in the top 10 percent among all participating students who attend low-income public schools. The Charles Schwab Foundation also gives grants of $1,000 to the school or organization that contributed to the student’s financial education, in this case Baldwin Park High School.

Raymond will use his $1,000 scholarship to attend Mt. San Antonio College in the fall. He says, “I want to achieve a master’s degree in Kinesiology and I want to be able to give my athletic trainer skills back to the world of sports”.

When asked if he has any tips for next year’s graduating Seniors he says, “All I want to say is that always keep track on all assignments, make sure all deadlines are meet, aim for improvement, and never lose focus of the goal to graduate”.

 

3 Reasons to Buy Money Matters

Order Money Matters on Amazon.com

If you are looking to make some changes and get on track financially, Money Matters by Shay Olivarria is the book for you. There is a check-up for where you are with your financial goals. The book addresses savings; short term and long term. It tells you how to set up retirement accounts, investments, and how NOT to get into deep debt. This is great for those beginning their journey into the real world. Also, for those that have already messed up, Olivarria has steps on how to get back on track.

Olivarria creates a great guide for you to create your own individual plan to get out of debt and on the track to financial freedom. She states that you have to be patient and consistent. It is never too late to turn it around. I suggest you gift this book to college graduates. It is straight to the point and interactive.

This book was provided courtesy of the author for review.

DCSquared

 

#1 You want to know more about personal finance, but you’re not sure where or how to begin.

We all want to make better financial decisions. The challenge is that sometimes we’re not sure what to do or we have hard decisions to make where both options seem like bad ideas. We get so caught up in running from day to day that we forget that we can make changes if we take a moment to plan instead of react. Money Matters was written with that in mind. The very first worksheet is one page long and helps you see the bigger picture by asking a few simple questions.

#2 You are intimidated by personal finance jargon.

Have you ever tried to read a personal finance book or spoke with someone in the financial services industry and you didn’t understand what they were saying? Me too! Personal finance is not complicated, but it’s easy to make it seem complicated by using industry jargon. Money Matters is written clearly. I don’t try to confuse the reader by making things sound harder than they are. That’s why media outlets across the country have quoted me and asked me to write for them. I make money management simple.


#3 You want to know what you need to know to make things change.

Take a look at the Table of Contents from Money Matters in the image above. This book covers “just the facts ma’am”. There are tons of books that do into depth about any area of personal finance that you might be interested in. This is not that book. Money Matters is a bare-bones, simple read with worksheets to help you make good decisions about money. The book covers net worth, retirement planning, paying off debt, managing your credit score, payday loans, rapid tax refunds, and even saving money on your groceries.

 

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

It’s Hard Out Here for a …. Woman?

... because women are still being charged extra for being female.

It’s funny how you can know something, but it doesn’t really set in until you read about it in numerical form. The Nation’s article “The High Cost of Being a Woman” by Bryce Covert was that moment for me. Not only did she mention the same things I already knew (women are charged more for everything, we make less than males, blah, blah, blah ..) but she was able to bring them to a level that’s easy to understand. Her article got some help from a Jezebel article and a Marie Claire article.

From Jezebel

When it comes to home loans, the Consumer Federation of America found in 2006 that women were 32 perecnt more likely to end up with high-interest subprime loans, even if when they had better credit ratings than the men. This may not be a case of discrimination, but rather the result of the way women tend to shop for things. Economists theorize that we rely on word-of-mouth rather than just taking the lowest rate from whomever is offering it. We aren’t as likely to negotiate either, which puts us at a disadvantage when buying cars, homes, or other big items like appliances.

Some other interesting points from both articles include:

  • On average, women now pay $200 more for a car than a white man would, and black women pay a whopping $400 more.
  • The gender wage gap stood at 82 cents on the dollar for the same work men do. That gap ends up costing women $431,000 in pay over a 40-year career.
  • Women pay more just to get their shirts dry cleaned (even though a “blouse” and a man’s dress shirt is basically the same thing).

As we are all becoming more savvy about personal finance, it’s important to remember that we all have agency. It’s up to each of us to know the P.I.L. of every loan and stand up for ourselves. We don’t have to beg for anything. We know what our assets are, we know what we need/want, and we’re going to find professionals that bring value to our financial lives.

PEACE,

Shay