In Just 5 Minutes — Change Your Future Grandchildren’s Lives

grandchildren

Last year, I climbed a mountain in Zion National Park.

My husband, the avid hiker, gave me a set of hiking poles and these instructions: “When you start to feel exhausted,” he said, “just concentrate on your next step. Where’s the next, best place to put your foot? Carefully put your foot there, and before you know it you’ll be at the top.”

Many of us get through parenting in this exact same way.

Exhausted, we survive day-to-day by focusing on the bare minimum required next step in our parenting journey. Just getting through until bedtime, or until Saturday’s soccer game, or until the next school break. We limit our thinking to the immediate, the urgent, and the short-term—because that feels productive. It feels like we’re getting somewhere.

In truth, taking just 5 minutes to look at the long view can be exhilarating.

When I was climbing that mountain in Zion, the moments that took my breath away happened when I stopped, lifted my head, and looked out over miles of sheer cliffs and valleys, all the way to the misty distant horizon.

Taking 5 minutes to look toward the parenting horizon can be both exhilarating and transformative.

For 5 minutes right now, think, “What could we as a family do this year, that could impact our descendants 100 years from now?”

Is there something you could do now related to education, to money and debt, or to moral and spiritual development, that could pay off for generations to come?

Our culture is currently plagued and limited by a short-term thinking mindset. You don’t have to be.

Ari Wallach, in this powerful TED Talk, urges us all to transform our children’s and grandchildren’s futures by breaking free of the 3-5 year “short-termism” that, he says, “permeates every nook and cranny of our cultural reality.” Wallach calls us all to practice “longpath” thinking that asks this important question: “To what end?”

What is the purpose in what we’re doing? Where are we going with this?

How will these decisions we’re making today impact our family 100 years from now?

What could we do this year that could pay off in huge ways…for generations?

Carefully consider these words, which I consider to be the most important in Wallach’s TED Talk: 

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Two Extra Years in College Could Cost Your Kid $300,000

Here are 7 Proven Ways To Get Through College FAST

When you imagine your daughter’s future, you probably don’t envision her spending extra years in college.

Yet, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 40% of college students earn their bachelor’s degrees in four years. And only 60% of college students receive a degree in six years!

Yikes!

extra years in college

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“Can I Take a Full Load of College Classes in High School and Still Have a Full ‘High School Experience’?”

Yes.

A 10th grader contacted me recently and asked me this great question about taking college classes in high school.

“Jeannie, I know that you strongly recommend dual enrollment college classes in high school for kids who want to get through college debt-free. I want to do dual enrollment full time in 11th and 12th grades so that I’ll have two years of college done by the time I graduate from high school. But my parents are trying to steer me toward doing dual enrollment only just part time. They’re worried that if I take a full load of dual enrollment college classes in high school, I’ll miss out on ‘the full high school experience.’ What do you think?”

My answer is below. college classes in high school

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Must-Listen 9-Minute Dave Ramsey Rant Against Student Loan Debt

Caution, Though; Dave's Wrong About Two Things!

I love Dave Ramsey’s video rant about student loan debt, which you can watch at the link I’ve provided below.

(Listen for my favorite Dave line in this rant: “I missed where the lady got helped.”)

If you’ve got 9 minutes to listen to this while getting ready for work in the morning or while cooking dinner, please do!

As you listen, though, be aware that Dave Ramsey is wrong about two things:

1. Dave Ramsey’s wrong when he says that your in-state college or university is automatically your bargain choice.

microphone

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Can’t Save For College? It’s OK, Mommy. Try This

I’m excited to be guest posting on the blog of Mommy blogger Julie Hoag this week. Julie blogs about motherhood, family, and faith with a focus on moms raising kids ages birth-13. When Julie asked me what her moms need to know about setting kids up to graduate college debt-free, I immediately thought of today’s subject. Read on and I’ll give you an idea that works for any family with any age kids, but it works better the earlier you start it.

Be sure to stop by and visit Julie Hoag on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram, and on her website, JulieHoagWriter.com.

Here’s the guest post I wrote for Julie.

save for college

What happens in the minute after a toddler first builds a block tower, and then knocks it over?

Her mom starts thinking about college.

Will this one be an engineer? A construction manager? A real estate developer?

How will we pay for the education necessary to get there, especially when our current budget doesn’t allow us to save for college at all?

One brilliant answer is to start very early on with just one non-saving strategy.

In my work as an academic strategist, author, and speaker, one of the first debt-free college strategies I share with parents is the free college savings program at UPromise.com.

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Ordinary Students—Extraordinary Financial Aid

You’d love for your son to get loads of free money financial aid to help him pay for college, but you’re pretty sure he won’t qualify for much. Your family lives comfortably, after all. You aren’t poor.

You wonder if filling out financial aid forms is even worth your time.

Seven Reasons Filling Out Financial Aid Forms Is Well Worth Your Time.

1. You can have a high income and still qualify for help.

You make over $200,000 per year and have significant assets? Your kid can still get free “gift aid” money to help pay for college. I’m talking about free money that need never be paid back.

Because this is true, plan to fill out the FAFSA form every October 1st that you’ll have a kid in college the following fall. Put this October date on your calendar now, so you can put your kid(s) first in line for all the financial aid money they have coming.

financial aid

2. The FAFSA isn’t just about getting PELL grants. 

Filling out the FAFSA puts your child in line for nine separate federal student aid programs, over 600 state aid programs, and most of the college-based (institutional) aid available in the US. Wow!

Every year, people who were sure they were too well-off to qualify for any kind of aid are stunned to see what kind of generous help they actually qualify for at some colleges.

3. The FAFSA considers many more factors than just your income.

Your household income may look high at first glance, but income is only one of several factors used to decide your child’s financial aid eligibility. Age of the older parent, household size, whether your family owns a small business, number of family members attending college simultaneously, and many other complex and interwoven factors figure in too. Any one of these factors could greatly increase your family’s eligibility for free money for college.

4. Parents can use multiple strategies to get extra free money for college from the FAFSA form.

I provide 10 (ten) safe, legal, ethical strategies that parents can use to get thousands extra in financial aid money out of the FAFSA form. They’re too numerous to list here, but they’re all carefully detailed in chapter 10 of my book, LAUNCH.

The best time to find out about these strategies and get all set to implement them? The winter and spring of your child’s 9th grade year. If your child is already further along in high school or even in college, though, it’s not too late.

5. If your fortunes happen to suddenly turn for the worse, you’ll want your kid to be in the pipeline to receive help.

Every year there are very wealthy families whose fortunes turn suddenly and unexpectedly for the worse. People lose businesses. They divorce, lose jobs, or suffer house fires. They may get devastating medical diagnoses. If this happens to you, you’ll want your college-age children to be in the financial aid system where they can walk into a college financial aid office and get the help they suddenly need.

6. At the very least, you’ll want to qualify for the very best student loans if those become necessary.

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Social Security Checks Garnished To Pay for College

Elderly Parents in Poverty, Still Paying for Their Kids' College

Could you one day have your social security checks garnished to pay for your kids’ college?

Yes.

You may be in danger of having your social security checks garnished and not even realize it.

Parents duped into taking out Parent PLUS loans to pay for their kids’ college can find themselves on the hook for hundreds or thousands of dollars each month, right at a time of life where they may be wanting to (or worse, needing to) retire.

social security checks garnished

The Danger of Parent PLUS Loans

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Hilarious Idea Makes Kids Eager To Apply For Scholarships

If you’ve got a child between the ages of 12 and 22, you know how difficult it can be to motivate him or her to want to apply for college scholarships.

Try this entertaining strategy, one that other parents are using with great success.

1. Give your son a meager allowance.

Make sure it’s just barely enough to cover his bare minimum life expenses. Set up an automatic bank transfer so that this amount goes into his bank account reliably, every two weeks.

2. List for your son all the purchases this money will have to cover.

“Son, we’ll expect you to use this allowance money to buy all your own school lunches, cell phone service, clothes, shoes, gas, football fees, school activities, and all your personal spending.” Add anything else to this list you can think of.

3. Then, wait for an emergency.

scholarships

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Top 9 Questions Parents Are Asking Me About LAUNCH!

launch

Purchase LAUNCH (or just look at its 100% 5-star reviews on Amazon.com) here.

 

There’s been an overwhelming, excited response to LAUNCH since it released on January 4th, 2017. Parent response to this book has already exceeded anything I ever thought possible. Whenever there’s a lot of excitement there are also a lot of questions, so here are the top 9 questions parents are asking me — along with my answers.

1. “Our son is only in middle school. Surely we don’t need to be thinking about college yet!”

Let me be blunt here. If you wait until your son’s in 11th grade to start thinking about college, 75% of the best ideas for getting him through college debt-free will be gone.

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TONIGHT! This Free Event Could Save You TONS on College Costs

Ideal for Families With MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

Your kid’s in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade?  It’s time to set him or her free to feel jazzed and excited about college. Plus — as a parent– learn 8 things you can do right now to keep that kid’s future college costs low.

live event in Minneapolis

 

I’ll be covering all this in this free live event in Minneapolis tonight, January 10th, 2017.

Give your middle schooler (or high schooler!) a huge jumpstart on college.  Bring the kids and join me tonight for a free live event sponsored by Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis.

I’ll be covering these important topics:

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