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New Synergies: Financial & Education Planning

Bold New Synergies In Financial And Education Planning.

College Planning is for anyone of any age.  If you are "past a traditional college age person,"  your commitment to life-long college level studying will make you a better mentor for kids, grandkids or any young person aspiring for higher education, from age 0 onward!  When you have a great understanding of the most  important principles of governance in your family, community or nation, you can run for a school board position to greatly improve kids' education experience.  When you run a clean election, win or loose, you will be known and respected in the community.  Every household saw your page in the election guide which included your insightful solutions for improving education.  When you are known in the community, people will think of doing business with you or your employer regardless whether you are an engineer, accountant or janitor!   Thus, your superior civic literacy will help you be a better professional, not to mention a better asset to your family and community. 


Some financial products allow you to leverage their advantage towards college savings.  For example, some financial companies have 529 plans which offer tax free interest or permanent life insurance offers tax free borrowing towards college savings. In addition to tax advantaged interest, some financial and life insurance firms we represent are partners with an association of 240 private colleges at, where scholarship credits usable at these colleges accrue at no extra cost while your college savings builds.  Another advantage of a life insurance plan is that when college is finished, premiums can continue to be paid to accumulate tax deferred interest for post college goals like buying a business or for retirement, to compliment different types of tax advantages with 401(k) plans.  If an employer's 401(k) plan is a Sage Scholars partner, no change in investing or managing this plan is required, but similar scholarship credits can accrue merely based on the year by year balance in each employee's 401(k) account. Furthermore, money in life insurance or 401(k) plans are not counted as assets in qualifying for financial aid. (Ask us if any laws are set to change).  We can send you more information on these programs.


As part of an improved understanding of history, philosophy, governance, literature, etc. in the Liberal Arts, high school and college students, and parent mentors familiar with such highly consequential Liberal Arts topics will see weaknesses in textbook content that can be exploited by picking better report topics that highlight ways to mitigate these weaknesses. This process will deeply impress teachers, referral sources and maybe potential employers in order to get larger scholarships and better job offers.  Thus, with larger scholarships or better income from summer and eventually permanent jobs, parents can use some of their long term savings originally earmarked for college, for other purposes like retirement, etc.
A complete definition of financial and estate planning for many people would include the effective transferring of not just your assets, but also your family's values to the next generation. Full page ads starting in 2010 by Bank of America / U.S. Trust are titled "What Is passing down your values as well as your assets Worth?"  Earlier ads by Mellon Bank and Smith Barney were similar.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about Wells Fargo's Private Banking group in California hiring two genealogists to help create clients' family genealogy and ancestors' stories that have helped children appreciate family traditions.
When students know history they will see that even if they are merely "middle class in America" they are truly wealthy in the context of history.  They have freedoms, assets, health care access, etc. that the richest people in decades past could not have at any price.  The books written on how affluent families can raise kids to have good character apply, therefore, to even the middle class.  They include books like: The Golden Ghetto, Beating the Midas Curse, Children of Paradise, How Much is Enough, and The Ultimate Gift.  
Research by several organizations has shown that on average, students' very values and worldviews are affected with the college experience. With good advanced review of what coursework and professors you are working with in your studies you can know that college will not thwart your effort at this more complete definition of estate planning.
A quality education can, of course, help you save and invest more successfully by earning more in a good career, and having the analytical skills to apply good investment strategies.  But there is more.  Prof. Robert George, founder of the James Madison Center at Princeton, has written that if the classic liberal arts component of your college career is planned right it helps channel your passions in productive ways.  You will have the historical and ethical perspective to find satisfaction in overcoming the passion of wanting immediate baser pleasures by having to spend a lot of money.  You might find fulfillment in being "counter-cultural" and feeling wealthy in the mastery of your profession for its own sake, by excelling with simple hobbies, and experiencing vicarious world and time travel by reading the very best literary and historical works.  You will feel as wealthy and happy as the neighbor with the Aspen second home and private jet because you have knowledge of the world around us he may not have. Thus, the money you do not have to spend to seek fulfillment and peer approval can be invested all the more, and ironically this would enable you to gain more monetary wealth. You could even become more entrepreneurial because, even if you planned a new business venture as wisely as possible, worst case scenarios could take over. If they did and you lost all your money, you still have your wealth that cannot be lost, faith, family and a profound knowledge of the world around you.  You would thus have a perspective about life, that regardless of your disaster, others in history have faced far worse.  You will thus be able to have the moral and vision to rebound from disaster. The idea that your ultimate goal in life, enduring happiness, is possible amidst such disasters can be better understood by reading great works on happiness theory such as "Faust,"  "Happier," and "The Battle" by Arthur Brooks.  We also have essays on happiness themes that help you strengthen the above perspectives.


1. CONSEQUENTIAL: There is no time to study even 1% of important topics. How to use your valuable and limited time to study the best of the best?  CRITERIA to identify the best of the best: Would acting upon this knowledge bring a more enduringly better life for the most people? (See Emanuel Kant's Catagorical Imperative).

2. CONNECT: (A cousin of #1) Apply what you are studying, however ancient, to help bring better perspective or wisdom to today's most vexing problems. This truly can happen if you are studying the best of the best.

3. CHASMS: A timeless human weakness is to underestimate the wideness of the chasm between the first hand versus the vicarious, to society's detriment.  Focus on methods to bring a first hand character to the vicarious through poignant rhetoric, innovative analogies, coaching methods, etc. See also "proximity bias" and the "Curse of Knowledge."  This principle has profound implications in business and personal ethics.

4. CONTROVERSY: Fosters emotional engagement and enduring learning with the CONSEQUENTIAL topics.

5. CONTROL: Versus cynicism/Critical Race Theory/Determinism.  I control my success!  Don't blame others even if justified.  See the Paradoxical Commandments to dramatize this idea.

6. CITY versus COUNTRY: Virtue fostering intimacy of the country in stark contrast to the virtue-inhibiting anonymity, yet the wealth creating economies of scale of the big city. This contrast more accurately contrasts the conventional criteria of blue versus red state to define political divisions.

7. CRUELTY: Versus moral hazard is the rock-and-a-hard-place conundrum of welfare policy and other social challenges. We have the solution!!

8. CONTRARIAN: Voices must be heard - & corroborated or debunked - for best leadership & decision making.

9. COUNTERINTUITIVE: Follow your heart or historical evidence?  The utter catastrophe of platitudes.  Why would we need to study and research if everything was common sense?

10. COUNTERFACTUALS: Are to history as war-gaming is to the future. These mitigate hubris & improve critical thinking.  History study is NOT about "history." (See CONTRARIAN).

11. CONFIRMATION, Hindsight, and other biases impede truth seeking and must be rigorously exemplified in you own life to enable personal improvement.  Even the best tennis player in the world pays a coach to criticize him/her. What movie best dramatizes the difficulty of objectively critiquing yourself?

12. CORPORATIONS:, committees, co-ops, & other multi-member entities don't do anything!  You do!  This has vast implications in ethics and governance.

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