Financial Planning Education Planning

Big Choices Have a Big Impact A Brighter Future Starts Here

You've saved, you've studied, and now you're ready to take the next big step into higher education. But big decisions come with a lot of big questions: What's the best way to pay for it? Should you opt for a year or two of community college, or spring for the pricier private university? What opportunities for scholarships and financial aid are there? We help you make sense of all these options, so you can make the most of the resources you've set aside for college or vocational school.

We help you create a comprehensive plan for choosing the right college and paying for it.

  • Estimate the total costs for attending college, considering your GPA, test scores, and family resources

  • Analyze the costs and benefits of different types of schools

  • Review tuition rates of your top contenders and discuss how the numbers would change

  • Determine if you quality for financial aid, or if there's anything we can do to increase your chances of qualifying

  • Evaluate your test scores to help identify any merit-based scholarships

  • Create a plan to make the most of your cash flow, 529 plan investments, and student loans

Maximizing Your Resources Planning for a Brighter Future

It's a good idea to start talking about education planning with your financial advisor when your child is about two years from beginning college. High school sophomores still have plenty of time to work on their test scores, apply for scholarships, and decide what skills they'd like to enhance with higher education. 

I'm already saving into a college fund, is there anything else I can do?

Saving for college is about more than a college fund. It starts with a conversation with your spouse to set expectations for your children. If you are planning for an in-state school, it is crucial to set the expectation that anything more expensive than a state school would be covered through scholarships.

Will I qualify for financial aid?

You will complete a FAFSA before receiving an award offer from any colleges. The FAFSA requires financial disclosure and links to your tax return for income verification. However, the FAFSA doesn’t treat all accounts the same. It may be possible to organize your financial plan to increase your chances of qualifying for financial aid.

I was just planning on taking out loans. What are my options?

Loans are an option. There are subsidized loans where the interest is deferred until graduation, but you will need to qualify for financial aid to be eligible for these loans. The most children can borrow in their name can be as low as $5,500 for their first year. Additional loans need to be guaranteed by the parents.

Learn more about the different types of student loans.

Does it matter what 529 plan I use?

Some states offer a credit against state income tax for residents contributions. If you reside in one of those states, it is best to start by comparing the 529 options in your state. If you state doesn’t offer credits or you live in a state without income taxes, it is important to consider the investments and the cost of the 529 accounts. Every year Morningstar ranks 529 accounts. The list for 2020 can be found here.

I have a college fund, what happens if my child doesn't go to college?

That depends on the type of fund. It is a UTMA or UGMA account, it will become the child's account once they hit the age of majority. If it is a 529 account, the owner could change the beneficiary to a relative or remove the fund for an unqualified expense and pay the income and penalty tax at the beneficiaries bracket. We would encourage you to discuss distribution strategies and options with your advisor or tax professional.

Our Process Getting Started with Education Planning


We want to know you— your goals, concerns, dreams and values. During your initial meeting, we’ll spend time finding out who you are and what you want your money to do for you. We'll answer any questions you have and let you decide if we're the right firm for you.

Collaborative Review

We'll get to work creating a plan, and when it's finished, we'll schedule a follow up appointment where we will present the recommendations. We really value your input and will be happy to implement any changes you would like to see. 

Implementation Meeting

Once you are completely comfortable with the plan as presented, we’ll have you fill out paperwork to open any necessary accounts and assist in any transfers from other financial institutions. Over time, we'll stay as involved as you'd like us to be.

Working with Us Transparent, Upfront Pricing

Unlike most financial advisors, we believe in complete and total transparency when it comes to pricing. We also believe that you should only have to pay for the services you need. That's why we work hourly—no hidden fees or unexpected costs here. Plus, we're able to offer special pricing for families and non-profits.

How Much Does it Cost? Financial Planning Fees

LRIA typically charges a fixed fee and/or hourly fee for financial planning services. These fees are negotiable, but generally range from $250 to $2,000 on a fixed fee basis or from $50 to $300 on an hourly rate basis, depending upon the level and scope of the services and the professional rendering the services. If the client engages LRIA for additional investment advisory services, LRIA may offset all or a portion of its fees for those services based upon the amount paid for the financial planning and/or consulting services.

Administrative $50 / Hour
Para Planner $250 / Hour
Junior Advisor $250 / Hour
Senior Advisor $300 / Hour

All accounts require a $500 down payment.

These services may be included in our ongoing wealth management services. Click here for pricing.