The innate drive I have as a parent to teach, influence, and leave a legacy for my children was unexpected. It was sparked at the hospital when they were born and hasn’t stopped since then.
While I was growing up, I wasn’t taught much about money, investing, business, and entrepreneurship. I had to learn a lot of painful lessons. I have been fortunate to establish a financial system from which my kids are already benefiting.
My system runs contrary to the traditional financial system parents and grandparents used to save for their kids’ future in many ways.
But the only way to get uncommon results is through uncommon means. This is my system for establishing for your child’s future.
The 529 plan, also called a qualified tuition plan, is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. These plans are very popular and have become a sacred cow, even though they have only been around since 1996.
When my two girls were born, my dad was insistent on contributing to a 529 plan for college. At the time, I was barely into my first job out of college and hadn’t learned what I teach now, so I decided to open one up.
Today, millions of people have them, and your kids and grandkids are attached to them. In my experience, saying no to a 529 plan is like telling a mother her baby is ugly.
I don’t want to say what you’re doing is bad. You’re planning for your child or grandchild’s financial well-being, which is commendable. But if you look at the nature of a 529 plan, it’s not set up for your best interests or the best interests of the child or grandchild.
It’s pitched to you as a benefit, but it’s just another way for Wall Street to sell you mutual funds and make money off your desire to do well by your kids.
The objective of the 529 plan is to put money away and pay for future college expenses while getting a tax benefit for doing so. The catch is, if the money is not used for college or some other qualified higher education expense, you have to pay penalties for withdrawing it. What if you don’t need the account anymore—your kid decides to skip college, for instance—and you want to use that money for something else? Is the penalty you pay on the 529 plan worth it from the beginning?
Additionally, the burden on families to completely fund college has an opportunity cost that is difficult to quantify. Because of that, the financial future of the family may be put in jeopardy. I have seen it bankrupt a few.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Assume your child is five years old and you have committed to taking care of their educational costs for a four-year degree.
Right now, the average annual cost to attend a public university is $25,000, rising by 5 percent a year. That means that by the time a five-year-old today is 18 and ready to go to college, tuition would be almost $50,000. Over four years, factoring in tuition rises, that comes to a total cost of $213,344.
For a 529 account to pay out that much when it’s needed, it has to start with $100,000 and earn a net 5 percent every year through graduation.
Or, you could just save $8,147 a year for 18 years.
To really drive this point home, the opportunity cost for the family during their later years is really where the price is paid.
If you saved $8,147 a year for 18 years and then let it grow past that point until your future retirement, your balance at the end of 35 years would be $551,602.
If you spent that down through a 20-year retirement, the cash flow would be $42,154.24 per year, for a total lost opportunity cost of: $843,084.80.
The opportunity cost that comes with following the typical college path doesn’t simply disappear if funded through a WMA—it only gives you more options.
You’re trying to prepare for something in the future that may not happen the way you think or may not happen at all. Consider the opportunity cost of that money—what that money could do between now and the time your child goes to college.
When I learned about what I do today, I cancelled the 529 plans I had and opened Wealth Maximization Accounts on each of my kids. Today, I have multiple policies for each of them.
However, the idea isn’t simply to treat these as 529 comparisons. The money inside a WMA can be used now, without any restrictions. In my experience, that has been a most powerful tool to teach kids, including my own, about money.
Instead of saying no to things they want, I can say yes. The money is borrowed against their policies, however, so it becomes their responsibility to pay it back. We call it our family bank.
For example, my daughter Meghan has used her policies to buy numerous types of electronics and a $400 gymnastics mat, amounting to thousands of dollars cumulatively. She had to create a payback plan before she was given the money. She felt she could earn enough for the payments by increasing the amount of babysitting she did in the neighborhood.
She also researched ways to earn bigger tips by giving better service, such as making little videos of the kids, making sure the house was cleaner than when the parents left, and leaving a handwritten note. This experience has given Meghan an appreciation for where money comes from, what a loan is, and what interest is—both the interest you pay and the interest you earn. I know that will benefit her in the future.
Wealth Maximization Accounts for your kids are the ideal way to teach them about money and also to prepare for their future purchases, such as a car, college, and beyond. Properly structured plans are a superior alternative to a 529 college savings plan. For more resources take a look at Paradigm Life.
Which Clover Station To Use for Small Business?
Depending on what type of business you run, you may have been having a little trouble deciding what kind of payment processing system you should upgrade to. Figuring out exactly which one is best for your situation may seem a bit confusing since there are so many options available to replace the old stationary cash register model.
Clover Station is one popular option available with credit card processing service from Merchant Account Solutions that offers you different configurations depending on what type of business you operate. Here is a quick rundown on the available systems.
For a traditional type store setting with a twist, you may find Clover Station best fits your needs. The Android tablet-based system is stationary but features a swiveling stand to allow customers interaction with the screen.
If you are tight on space, but you still the capabilities of a full-featured payment system, consider the Clover Mini. The Clover Mini has a small footprint but still sports a large screen and the same intuitive interface as the larger Clover Station system. It comes ready to accept all forms of payment types.
Clover Flex lets your POS move to serve your customer better. Give them the convenience of checking out anywhere in your store. You also have the freedom to take your POS with you as you perform residential services.
Take the Plunge
Regardless of size, all Clover Station systems from Merchant Account Solutions come ready to go to work taking payments and tracking your key metrics. The power of integrating Cloud-based software into your operation will revolutionize your business by letting you see your information anytime from anywhere. A plethora of apps from the Clover App Marketplace will help you effortlessly customize the service you provide.
Prefer the iOS Apple interface? Try the Revel POS System for the same functionality on a more familiar feeling device.
What Do I Need to File When Starting a Business?
Starting a new business can be an exciting time in someone’s life but it can be even
more stressful as you begin dealing with paperwork for things such as taxes. When
starting a new business there are several licenses that one must obtain but a very
important thing to get is an employer identification number or an EIN number. This is a
way for the Internal Revenue Services or IRS to keep track of your business for tax
purposes. It is how they can identify your business as a legal entity. When starting a
new business, you must first decide what entity you should file under such as:
Corporation, S-Corporation, and Personal Service Corporation
Limited Liability Company
Church Controlled Organization
After deciding which entity, you should file under, you can then apply for your employer
identification number, also referred to as a FEIN. To bypass dealing directly with the
IRS, you can use the website IRS-EIN-Tax-ID.com to file for your tax identification
number. They have broken the sometimes-confusing process into three simple steps.
1. Select Entity
2. Enter Information
3. Review and Submit
When you begin the filing process, they have agents that will help you with the filling
and processing. They have extensive knowledge that they will use to answer any
questions you may have. This ensures that all the information you are submitting is
correct and the application will not be denied. After applying, you will receive your EIN
number the same day, typically within an hour as long as it was filled during business
hours. It will come via email and will be formatted 12-3456789, which is similar to a
social security number. Filling through this website is much faster and helps you start
your business up sooner rather than later.
Back to school self-care tips for mom
Tell me it’s not true! School has already begun?
These are the thoughts of millions of moms around the world, as they enter into the first few weeks of the school year.
Are you prepared? Do you know what you need to do to stay at the top of your game as a mom with kids in school?
For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping millions upon millions of people every year get into the practice of self-care, and moms, you might need this more than anyone.
Below, David talks about the six key self care tips, they can help you keep sane, during the school year.
Almost 20 years ago, I worked with my first mom who was having a serious anxiety attack 30 days into the school year.
She was nervous and anxious, because one of her children was going into first grade, and the other child was going to high school… Two daunting experiences for most children in their lifetime.
And she was really feeling their anxiety, and her own.
So, we sat down, over the period of several months, and went over all the most important self care tips that she needed to be following in order to be at her best.
The problem is that she wasn’t doing any of them, and actually felt guilty and filled with shame that she was looking at taking time for herself when she really needed to be putting all of her free time into her children and family.
But she was wrong.
Many women, many moms are wrong when it comes to the amount of time they put into their own self-care versus that of their children and family.
Below, are the six most important key self care tips for all moms to follow, when you have children in school:
Number one. Exercise. I know, I know, I know. You have no time.
Everyone has time to exercise, it’s whether you want to make it a priority or not.
Exercise of any type releases endorphins in the brain, feel good chemicals, anti-depressant chemicals, that can keep your mood elevated even when you’re going through the stressful experiences that your children are.
What type of exercises is best? The answer to this question is really easy: the type of exercise you’ll do on a regular basis. That’s it. No secrets. That’s it.
So, if you’re into yoga, Pilates, running, weight training, Zumba classes… I could care less what you’re into, just get engaged in the activity 3 to 4 days a week at minimal.
Do you hate all of the above?
Then walk dammit. I’m laughing as I write that, don’t take it personally, it’s just the truth.
No excuses when it comes to exercise. If you want to walk, or that’s the only thing you’ll do, 30 minutes a day minimal, seven days a week is what you need to try to say sane in this world.
Number two. Stay in close touch with your children’s teachers. Don’t be a nag, but I recommend at least every two weeks to touch base and ask their teachers about your children’s behavior, performance, effort and the end result of their work.
Now for the millions of teachers out there that are also moms that are reading this, you’re probably going to be pissed off at me right now because I’m recommending parents to stay close in touch with you.
It’s OK that you’re irritated with me, but I can tell you from experience, that the very best thing a parent can do is to be in close contact with the only other person that has her children more than she does on a daily basis: teachers.
Number three. Eat every 3 to 4 hours. Your energy levels, which is tied 100% into your blood sugar levels, need to be elevated throughout the day in order to reduce the chances of irritability, impatience, yelling… At the simplest thing that your children do.
We have found with all of our clients, when they eat every 3 to 4 hours a combination of protein and vegetables or a small amount of fruit, that they dramatically decrease their irrational reactions to the children’s behavior before and or after school. Never, ever, ever skip meals. Every 3 to 4 hours, eat something healthy.
Number four. Remember, your children are children. I don’t care if they’re six, or 16, they’re kids.
Recently, one of my clients with a 14-year-old child, a young girl, snuck out of the house when she had a sleepover, got in a car full of boys, and they went on a joy ride at midnight.
Everyone was safe, no one got hurt, and when her daughter came back to the house she was filled with guilt and shame for breaking the rule surrounding not leaving the house during a sleepover.
Many parents would absolutely flip out, ground their children for six months or do some other outrageous rages disciplinary action… Because they’re being freaking children.
The role of the child, as they age, is to learn to become independent. To live on their own. To make their own decisions. And guess what mom and dad? They’re going to make mistakes.
If you were the perfect child, good for you, but that’s not normal. Most children will try to push boundaries and territories and we must be firm, without being ridiculous.
My client, recommended when she talked to her former husband, that they take away her privilege for sleepovers for several weeks, and get her involved in community action, whether it’s picking up trash on the side of the road or some kind of service… Which I told her was a brilliant move.
Her husband? He didn’t see it that way. He wanted to be the big bad Wolf. He wanted to go after and beat the hell out of the boys in the car. He wanted to take away her phone and ground her for months. He was being a bully, I’m sorry I’m just gonna call it the way it is.
If you can’t sit down and talk with your children, with a consequence yes, and not bully them and berate them and beat them down, you suck as a parent.
Please get into counseling with someone who can teach you How to be a reasonable adult. If this irritates you, you need a lot of counseling.
And if you really think I’m wrong? Hire me for eight weeks, I’ll work with you one on one and teach you how to be a phenomenal, loving, boundary setting parent… Something this world needs more of.
Number five. relaxation techniques. Get involved with meditation, deep breathing, you can go and google my relaxation video on YouTube, a brief meditation, and do it every day.
It doesn’t matter if it’s four minutes a day or 30 minutes a day, get into the habit of doing breathing or meditation exercises. I recommend guided breathing or guided meditation, so you don’t have to try to do something that is so foreign for most of us.
This will lower your anxiety, decrease a percentage of depression, boost immune system functioning and much more.
Number six. Journal every day. Right about the great things your kids are doing, and the challenges they’re offering you. Balance your writing. But get it out of your head on paper, and then you can actually share that with a counselor, minister, priest or life coach if you run into serious parenting issues.
Over the last almost 30 years, I’ve worked with children as low as 10 years of age who are filled with either anxiety or anger all the way up to 18 years of age as they were preparing to leave high school and go on their own… Struggling with alcohol, drugs, peer pressure and more.
There’s a darn good chance as a parent you’re going to need a support system outside of friends and family, once again a counselor, therapist or a life coach could be a saving adjunct, or tool, to your parenting experiences.
Over the last 40 years, I have had the greatest opportunity in the world, to learn how to be a parent to four different children.
A role model. At first, I was overly demanding, yes, I was a bully, and that was in 1980.
Recently, three years ago, I became the male role model for a beautiful 10-year-old little girl who now is 13 1/2, who never had a consistent, loving, caring, male role model… And it is been the most incredible experience for both of us.
But hold on Sally! That doesn’t mean it’s been easy. I’ve had to use incredible patience, outrageous communication skills, and allow her to grow at her rate… Not my rate.
Think about that as a parent. I know, by following the above six tips, you can rock your own world, and become the parent that maybe you’ve always wanted to have in life.