Getting prepared for college can be both exciting and overwhelming for a high school senior. What might your goal-oriented peers do that will help them succeed as they set out on a new path?
The key to successful college preparation is to establish an efficient and structured plan.
Having a clear roadmap to guide your planning can make the process smoother and ease any worries that you might have as you move on to the next phase of your life.
Let’s look at some important steps that can ease the stress and uncertainty that often accompanies the transition to college life.
7 boxes to check
According to Sallie Mae’s Higher Ambitions: How America Plans for Post-Secondary Education 2020, 94% of high school students are likely to continue their education after high school.
Although not everyone will attend college or obtain a two- or four-year degree, developing a plan and establishing goals can increase the likelihood of making the right choices. If you can check off these seven boxes, you will be well on your way.
1. Research the schools that capture your attention
While many find it anxiety-provoking to think about, creating a legally binding plan to distribute your assets after your death ultimately provides you with peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing that your wishes will be carried out as you have requested.
Some folks prefer a DIY, or do-it-yourself approach, but this may not be the best option for everyone. One reason is because each state has its own set of laws and requirements. You can find various templates online, but some of the documents may fall short of their claim to meet your state’s requirements.
It is crucial that your estate plan meets your state’s legal requirements to ensure your final wishes are honored, so expert help is recommended. Consult with an estate planning attorney to ensure that documents are correctly prepared, avoiding costly and time-consuming missteps.
While I encourage you to sit down with a legal professional, I also want to provide some general guidelines you can think through independently. Estate planning is a complex field, but a general outline can clear up some of the mystery.
Estate planning 101
We plan for retirement because we know that we may not want to work forever. An artificial retirement age set by our employer may limit our options. Health issues may also dictate when we decide to retire.
With your input, I can help devise a plan that puts you on the road to financial security. The result is designed to leave you with sufficient assets so you can maintain your current lifestyle or pursue new interests that you may develop in retirement.
The IRS announced that January 23 was the start of the 2023 tax season—or the date the IRS began accepting 2022 tax year returns.
If you have yet to file, most taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 18, 2023, to submit their tax return or request an extension. Taxpayers requesting an extension have until October 16, 2023, to file.
Even if you file for an extension, you are still required to pay the taxes you owe by April 18.
Is your business organized as a partnership, are you a part of a multi-member LLC, or do you own an S-Corporation? If so, you must file the appropriate business form by March 15, 2023. C-Corps abide by the traditional April 18 deadline.
For most deductions, deadlines to minimize taxes have already passed. For example, you can no longer take a tax loss on the sale of an asset for tax year 2022. The same holds true for charitable contributions.
But as you prepare to file, I want to remind you that opportunities to harvest tax savings are still available.