• Account Access
  • Contact Us

    Pre-Sales Support

    Mutual Funds and ETFs - 800-456-7526
    Monday-Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
    Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

    ETF Trading Support - 415-315-6600
    Monday-Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

    Post-Sales and Website Support
    Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET

  • Advisor Log In

Today's Lesson: How to Talk to Your Clients About Saving for Higher Education

August 2018 
by Michael Lynch

Many parents, with children of all ages, may be anxious about how to tackle the financials of higher education.

As the end of the summer rapidly approaches, many families are getting ready to send their kids back to school. For the younger ones, that preparation is as simple as new backpacks filled with school supplies and reinstating a bedtime. For the young adults heading off to college, however, it’s a bit more complicated and a bit more expensive.

Many parents, with children of all ages, may be anxious about how to tackle the financials of higher education. As an advisor, you have the opportunity to help ease these worries by discussing the costs of higher education, presenting them with options, and helping your clients create a plan, regardless of how old their kids are.

1. Your clients who just had or are thinking of having kids are well ahead of the curve for planning and saving for their children’s future, and are positioning themselves to be able to handle the rising costs of higher education. These preliminary conversations can revolve around the importance of investing early and often, as well as specific investment solutions beneficial for saving, such as 529 plans, after tax acts, or other investment vehicles.

2. For those with young teens who are getting a late start on saving for college, you should have a financial aid counselor from a local school on speed dial. An expert on college costs can help you better understand funding possibilities like scholarships or private and federal loans, as well as learn about the most cost-effective way for students to attend college. Some suggestions may include spending the first two years at a community college to save money, or living at home to offset the costs of dorms. You can present these different options to your clients, but also connect them directly to the counselor if they have more specific questions.

3. It’s not too late to talk to your clients with young adults just about to head off to college, either. You can work with the parents to create a specific plan for who is going to fund what during college. Is the student going to work while they are in school, receive a monthly stipend from their parents, or participate in a work-study program offered by their school? Between actually getting their kid out the door, picking out dorm room décor, and making sure they have everything they need, your clients could use a guiding hand on the financial side.

There is a conversation to be had with every client about how to handle sending a kid off to college. Watching their kids grow up and enter the world can be an emotional time, and as an advisor you can ensure they have the logistics squared away so they can focus on the sentimental.

Michael Lynch
Vice President, Strategic Markets

Michael Lynch is Vice President of Strategic Markets for Hartford Funds. In his current role, Mike is responsible for engaging and educating both financial advisors and their clients about current and emerging opportunities in the financial-services marketplace. These opportunities range from tactical strategies in areas such as retirement-income planning, investment planning, and charitable planning, to anticipating and preparing for long-term demographic and lifestyle changes.

Mike joined the organization in 1993 as an annuity client service specialist. In 1997, he joined the Advanced Product Marketing department, where he developed an extensive knowledge of estate and retirement planning. In 2004, Mike became a regional sales director. In 2006, he became Vice President and national director of The Hartford’s Retirement and Wealth Consulting Group, which provided thought leadership and financial education focused on retirement and small-business planning. In 2012, he joined The Hartford Mutual Funds.

Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Connecticut State University. Mike is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors. He is FINRA Series 6, 63, and 26 registered and holds a life, health and variable insurance license. He currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife, Kim, and their children, Josh, and Em.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal.

Michael Lynch is a registered representative of Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC.

Check the background of this firm/individual on FINRA's BrokerCheck.