We are so fortunate in the San Francisco Bay area to have many wonderful colleges and universities. For example, we have both the University of California at Berkeley, and at Stanford university. In addition, we have the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State university, San Jose State university, and California State University East Bay in Hayward. In addition, our families are generally very motivated towards education for all, and many families come to us at Safe Harbor LLP, looking to plan for their children’s college education. Financial planning – not only tax, but also tax – is of course our specialty!

San Francisco Bay Area - Planning for CollegeIn this month’s tax tips newsletter, we dive into the issue of how best to plan for college tuition. For example, you may not know that it is advantageous to hold assets in the name of the parent rather than the child. There are governments sponsored savings programs, called 529 plans, which can generate wonderful return on investments and have tax savings, especially if  held in the name of the parents. Another issue to plan for is the applications for financial aid. If you own your own business, or if you have the ability to defer or move income from one year to the other, you may be able to do better in the applications for financial aid, either to a state or to a private institution.

Another option is to apply to some of the military academies, such as West Point. If your child is interested in the military, there are other types of scholarships available, that can be used at regular universities as well. Finally, if you and your child are planning for college, use the process as a wonderful teaching opportunity! We encourage a frank discussion between you and your child, not only of the cultural reasons to pursue a college education, but also the financial planning of a college education as an investment. It is, of course, a financial investments not only in one’s career, but also in one’s non-financial outlook on life as well. Plus, it’s really exciting to go to college!

San Francisco Bay Area Resident? Give us a Call

If you or your family are planning for college, be sure to read our August newsletter, and even better, give us a call to discuss the ways that we can help you plan for college, to minimize tax issues and to maximize your ability to secure a financial aid.