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Highlights from this episode include:

  • Choosing a school based on this can be the worst educational mistake you ever make (4:50)
  • This is when you can get the most free money for college (5:56)
  • Never forget that this is the most important (and ONLY) reason for going to college (6:42)
  • How making the right educational choices protects you from future disasters (10:01)
  • Why you shouldn’t worry about having a career that you love (10:57)
  • This is how you get the maximum amount of cash from your education (15:52)
  • A surefire sign that a school is the right one for you (18:09)
Read Full Transcript

Do you hate the thought of working past 55 or 60? Do you hate not being able to live the life you deserve today? Do you hate not knowing what your financial future looks like? It's time to stop doing what you hate, here's your host, Mr. Harold Green.

(00:19): Hello everybody. This is Harold Green of Brighttree financial and it is time to stop doing what you take. How's everybody doing today? I'm doing okay. This show is being recorded on April the third 2020 and right now we are in the middle of the lockdown, the shutdown or whatever you want to call it. We're two to three weeks in probably two weeks and at the most. And you know, a lot of different things are happening. And so for me as on a personal side, I had to bring my daughter back home from New York because it's just getting too bad up there. And I told her, I said, you know what? Let's, let's get you out of there. Let's get you back home, let's reassess what's going on. And then a recoup recital and then basically go from there. So right now, you know, we're going through some trying times and you know, we're going to get through it.

(01:11): I believe we're going to get through it. Everything is going to turn out to be fine. As far as getting back to normal, there's probably no getting back to normal. There's probably just some moving on and then dealing with the fallout and the damage that I'm, but this has done to our lives. But in order to get through it, we're gonna have to stay positive. We're going to have to keep our heads up and we're just going to have to keep moving. Keep moving no matter what. Just keep moving. And don't let this overcome you, but you overcome it and stead. Well, today's show career plus major equals college. How to pick some of the best colleges out there. And as you guys know, if you've been listening to me for any period of time, you know that I'm big on getting kids through college for the most amount of money, getting the modest school and four years and on into life becoming very productive citizens.

(02:05): That is what we do. That's what we love to do as a fiduciary advisor and a planner. Some years ago, like I said before, I saw so many people struggling, struggling, struggling, trying to get their kids through college. Also trying to save for retirement and also trying to have a decent lifestyle. We had to come up with a bed, figured out how to make it work for the families here in Hawaii. And we've been doing this now for about I think 1213 years, something like that. And so I do public events from time to time for the families here in the islands. And I want to talk to you about the career plus major equals college and you know where it all starts. It starts with positioning your family to get the most money from the colleges. In other words, there's a lot that's going to go into this type of situation.

(02:53): Okay. So there's three kinds of families that we typically work. We work with the families who make a lot of money. We work with the families who don't make a lot of money and we also work with the families that are in the middle class. And so in terms of award letters and who's getting the most money, who is getting accepted and so on and so forth. It got to understand that colleges are taking kids from each, the different levels of families, families that make too much, families that don't make enough and then families that are quote unquote and the so-called middle class. All right, so one of the biggest things that I'm going to start here, okay with the kids is this, right now a lot of people are afraid. And right now we are in the middle of what I call award season.

(03:40): So award season is when people have completed their financial aid forms and they applied for colleges and that stuff is, those letters are coming back in and now we have to review those award letters side by side and figure out which school is going to give your student the most amount of money. Okay. And also which one is the right fit. But before we get into that, what I normally see is I see people, I see kids, they're afraid right now. They're really afraid. Can mom and dad afford to send me to school? You know when you're, when you're a kid, sitting there and looking at you and you guys are all like right now, you know, we're quarantined at home so to speak, or you know, we have to kind of stay in place for, for most of us. And we see each other every single day and the kids see you oughta work, they hear the conversations with the workplace and, and how it is going on.

(04:28): So it's making it really hard for them to make a decision. And so in the past, even when this wasn't happening, I was seeing kids choosing schools based on price rather than choosing schools based on value. And that's a very, very, very scary thing because a lot of the times you'll see a school that's cheap, but it will also have a very low graduation rate. And sometimes you can end up paying an extra 10 20 $30,000 a year for that school when it's just not that necessary to do so. Okay, so another thing as I see it is I see even if the mom and dad can afford a syndicate to a school, there's over 6,700 colleges out there to choose from. How do you know which one's right for you? Now here's something I'm going to, I'm going to tell you guys in regards to how many schools you should apply for.

(05:14): Number one, when you applied to colleges, you know only applied to the schools that you are serious about schools that have your major. Also schools where if you decide to change your mind, they have other programs there that are of good quality. And here's the thing, some schools have great majors or great programs for certain majors, but then outside of that there's really not a whole lot there. So try to make sure you're not getting yourself pigeonholed into a college that only has about one or two good majors. Then if you change your mind, there's nothing else there. And then you have to transfer it. The problem with transferring is kids are getting the most free money in the very first year, not the second, not the third, not the fourth, not the fifth, not the sixth and so on and so on. They are getting the most money in the very first year and so you're going to have to get this right from the start.

(06:07): So only two schools that you know you want to go to and that they have great programs. Choose schools that you know you want to go to that you have a good chance of getting in. Okay? If your grades aren't that great, don't even try to apply to Harvard, don't try to apply for Yale. You, you have to figure out, get in where you fit in type of thing and who's going to give your family the most money. And here's, here's one of the other things and career plus major equals college. We are sending our kids to college for a career number one and then after that you can fill in the blank. Well there, whatever you want, get them out of the house. Let them see the world, let them grow up, let them have the experiences that I had. You know, maybe they want to play sports and on and on and on and on and on.

(06:51): Okay. But the number one reason why you are sending them to college is so that they can become self-sufficient, get a great career, and then take care of themselves. Okay, so how do we go about doing that? How do we accomplish career plus major equals college? First of all is going to start, I believe when your kids are in ninth great. In ninth grade, you're going to have to sit them down and have a conversation with them. Okay? Actually it started sooner than that. It starts, you know when they're in seventh and eighth grade and terms of having a conversation with them in regards to understanding what their skills are, their gifts are, their talents are, and things like that, and then begin to push those kids in that direction. Now I'm going to say something here. Not everybody is meant to go to college.

(07:38): If you know your student is not meant to go to college, this conversation is not to be a little you or put you down or anything like that. This is about the parents who want to send their kids to a four year college and university or a professional degree, and I'm going to sidestep here and talk about something very important, okay? Gonna side step here and talk about kids graduating college with four year degrees and things that really don't make any sense or in things where the unemployment rate [inaudible] is the highest. Okay? Now I'm assuming most of my listeners are middle-class people and you don't have a check so right. For $40,000 a year for your kid to go to college, two graduate, and then figure out what they want to do where the rest of their life. Most of my listeners are middle class and they don't have that kind of money.

(08:33): Now, if you're rich and you're listening, by all means add. You can do whatever you want as your money. You can spend it any way you like, right? However, most people don't have that kind of money and right now in this country, we are in a situation where there's only so many career fields that are still active and that are still running. And one of the interesting things I found is that as landscapers, they're still busy. Okay. That job doesn't require a college degree, but I'm not sure if you know, if you want to go there, but just kind of sidestepping a little bit. But then, the careers that are in full force, you have the first responders that are out there, the firemen, the police, you have the military, they're still active. Some of the, some of the labor jobs, construction, construction, engineering, I have clients that are in construction engineering and they are slammed.

(09:27): They are busy. Some of these projects are very critical and they can't shut down just because the country has shut down. If there is a bridge that's out there is a bridge that needs to be fixed or whatever it might be that can't wait. That's a critical situation. And the healthcare field, there's a lot of clients that are still working that are super busy. So when you, when you look at choosing a career, you have to look at careers that also kind of insulates you from these types of situations, right? We can't predict these things, but if they do come up, you are insulated. Finance is still moving. I'm working like crazy right now. I'm busy. My clients are home unfortunately. And so now there's a time, there's a lot of time for us to catch up and go over things and to make sure their plan is moving.

(10:12): But right now there's a lot of careers that are, that are not at a standstill. The food business in regards to grocery stores, supply chain management, that's a huge one right now. Things still have to move logistics. So I want you to begin to think about these things because a lot of times kids are looking at, okay, I want a job that I, that I love and something I love to do. But that's great. But right now we have to kind of get back to some reality. And the reality is find a career, okay that it's insulated against these types of things, but then you can have your hobbies on the side and that's why I built the rapid retire program. If you're doing something that you don't like to do, we can figure out how to get you out of that. Make enough money in that career, get you out of that into something else that you love because now we have a nest egg big enough that will allow you to transition into something that you really love to do.

(11:06): But back to the kids and middle school. So I had a conversation with my kids when they're in middle school that look for me guys is mandatory that you have an idea of what you want to study and college, what you want to major in in college because when you get to high school that's going to determine the courses you take and so on and so forth. And the challenge I've seen is that a lot of parents don't force something like this on their kids out of fear that it's too much pressure. I'm going to tell you guys something about kids. Kids are phenomenal. I love kids. I love working with kids. I love talking to kids. I mean, because they come at it with a very different perspective. Once you, you know, you shave off all of that edge in as the [inaudible] that they have going on and the, you know, the maturation stuff they're going through.

(11:53): Once you shave that off and brush that all aside, I mean, and you get them down to their core. Kids are pretty amazing and they can handle some stuff, and get put up with a lot of stuff. They deal with a lot of stuff, bullying and so on and so forth. So sometimes people, you know, we got to stop selling our kids. Sure. Okay. And, and basically just come at it with a hint of realism and I guarantee you they're going to appreciate that later. But it's all about how you come at it. So basically I told my kids, all right, by the end of eighth grade you got to have an idea of what you want to study and then we're going to work with you to help you accomplish that. Now if you change your mind, that's fine, but we're going to have to make sure we're on the right path.

(12:32): Okay. So my son’s engineering, my daughter at the time, wanted to be a vet. That kind of fell through when she realized that the volunteering programs for veterinarians, it's really tough, very competitive. So many people want to be a vet and so those types of programs are full of other kids who want to do the same thing and it's hard to talk to, to find that in order to make sure it's what you want to do. So my son, he went all the way through, went to MIT, graduated with his degree in nuclear engineering, but when he was at MIT, he changed his mind from electrical engineering to nuclear engineering. And I was okay with that because it was a lateral move type of deal or an upgrade. I told them, if you change a major, there was no downgrading because if you downgrade your major to something else, you are coming out of that college and you are going somewhere else way cheaper than that.

(13:18): That has a program for you for that particular major. If you're going to downgrade, and the problem with downgrading is this. If you're downgrading to a career, a major with a potential career that you know, it's just kind of suspect. I'm going to caution you on that. For example, if you're an engineer, you realize, Hey, engineering is too hard. The question is, is it really too hard or is it you're just not giving it everything you've got? That's a whole different ball game. Okay? If you're given it everything you got and then you realize that, Hey, this is not for me, that's okay, but then we're going to have to find another area for you that you can give it all you got that's going to deuce some phenomenal results, so just giving up and quitting, that's not a good thing. Okay. I have a bookmark on my wall that I posted from a seminar that I went to over 20 something years ago when I was on the verge of being homeless and not having anywhere to go.

(14:13): A friend of mine paid for me to go to a seminar. Well, this guy, he used to be the chaplain for the Chicago bears. His name was William V crouch, William van crouch. And he said something in that seminar that really lit a match under my butt. And it goes something like this. You're not finished when you're defeated, you're finished when you quit. And when I say that again, you're not finished. When you're defeated, you're finished. When you quit. Changing gears is one thing. Okay, maybe you got to slow down. Maybe you got take a break, but quit altogether. I don't want you to subscribe to that kind of thought process. Again. Career plus major equals college. So again, with my kids, we went through this whole program with them. My daughter ended up changing her mind and looking at architecture. And so that's her field of study right now and architecture.

(15:10): And I've shared with her that she has a very high unemployment rate. And so if you're going to be an architect, man, you're going to have to give it everything you got every single day. You're going to have to bring it and you're gonna have to bring it hard because architecture is a very hard feel. Okay. So let's go back to some of the other things about choosing the schools that give you the most amount of money. Okay? So you go back to your sat scores, you go back to your building of your resumes and you go back to your GPA and so on and so forth. Okay. And this is a no brainer. In order to get the most money, you're going to have to have the best grades. Okay. I'm going to say that again. In order to get the most money, you're going to have to have the best great and scores.

(15:57): Okay. So I'm going to go through an award letter that just came across my desk today. And these schools range from about $60,000 on up to about 65,000 or so. Okay. And basically you have a family's EFC of about $20,000 or so, and so they're going to need about $40,000 or so from these particular schools. Okay. And one of the things that's interesting to me is that some of the lesser schools and this time are giving away more money by percentage than some of the better schools. Why? I believe because we're in a crunch and these schools realize that they're competing with some of these larger schools for the students. And right now they really just want to fill their seats. So now, now may be a good time to look at these award letters and then say, Hey, maybe we're going to have to go in here and then ask for more money or do an appeal letter so you can appeal your financial aid award letter.

(17:00): Some schools tell you you cannot. But in this situation, when they're looking at income, that was two years ago, and now you're out of a job and now you know your incomes have been slashed and salary slashed and things like that. And maybe you're collecting unemployment. They can't tell you. You can't appeal their awards because they're basing your numbers on income that you are no longer earning in some cases. And so you have a right to go and appeal those award letters. And if, and if they're telling you that more than likely you are applying at the wrong college for your student. Okay? That's number one. That's very important. You're not going to get the most free money from the wrong school. You're going to get the most free money from the school that wants your student, okay? And your student is going to have to have displayed again the grades, the GPA, and then they're going to have to have something to show that school in other, why should I choose you over all these other students?

(17:51): Okay, why should I give you this big financial aid package over all these other kids? What do you have to offer us? And if you can prove to that school while you're going to be a really good fit, more times than not, you will see the money in your award letter because you filled out your application correctly and you put something in there that makes you stand out to them. All right, so in wrapping up in the career plus major equals college, you have to have the best grades in order to get the most money. Number two, you're going to have to have something to show to the school that makes them want you over all the other students. And then number three, it is your major that you are choosing. You're going to have to be looking at schools that have the best programs for your particular major and they have to be a right fit for you.

(18:47): So if you're listening right now and you got those award letters in your hand and you're not sure what to do with your award letters, I want you to go to my website, retire now, retire while.com do me a favor. Click on the rapid retire program. Scroll down to the bottom, download the rapid retire brochure, read through that to the left of that, there's a button I believe that you can click on for the game changer form. I want you to complete that as best you can. Submit that, and then my team and I, we're going to get in contact with you to help you sort through these award letters and figure out if there's something we can do to help you stop doing what you hate or to prevent you from making the biggest financial mistake of your life. All right. That's it for today. I want to thank you guys for joining in and joining in, and until next time, one, two, three. Let's get it.

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