Don't Move the Money

Dave really doesn't like the advice that John's financial advisor gave him.

QUESTION: John in New York has two daughters that will be starting college next year, one of which will be starting Georgetown. His financial advisor said he should not keep money in their educational accounts because they will not be awarded as much scholarships or assistance. They each have $25,000 put away. What does Dave think?

Dave's ANSWER: I disagree. That's like saying you should quit your job to get food stamps. The only financial aid that comes to people that are broke is for poor people. You are not poor people. Any financial advisor who says you need to fake and act like poor people in order to get poor people money is not someone whose advice I want to follow.

When the kids start school and you apply for assistance, they are going to look at everything. They give more funding to poor families than they do rich ones, as it should be. You are probably somewhere between those two.

I think you really have to be careful with a place like Georgetown. It's a wonderful school, but you don't want to get these kids lined up where they have this $25,000 gone in 20 minutes. Then they'll have $200,000 in debt coming out with an undergrad degree because they got partial help from Georgetown. That can happen, so be very careful analyzing this stuff.

But no, I wouldn't move money and hide it and reconstitute it just to act like I'm poor when I'm not. I don't believe in that kind of stuff.