How Does a Late-Stage College Planning Niche Pay Off?
You’ll get in front of dozens of wealthy families a year—every year!
You’ll focus on the money in motion, not the assets accumulating
You’ll transition 50-75% of your college clients into your retirement business—with hardly any pitching!
Don’t believe the myths!
College planning is a money-maker once you tap the ‘sweet spot.’
Enroll today to get the technical knowledge, industry resources, expert coaching, and marketing materials you need to successfully launch a new service line in just weeks…and watch your entire business flourish!
If you’re like most advisors, you’ve looked at the college planning niche and wondered… how do I get paid?
How do I make a living on Coverdells, 529s, or any of the other college savings vehicles? Contributions are small. Assets take time to build. WHERE IS THE BUSINESS?!
The business you might have missed… a mistake many advisors make… is focusing on the wrong end of the college planning timeline.
It’s hard to make money encouraging young parents to save, but you can make money advising wealthy families how to help clients save thousands in tuition, get their kid a great education, and NOT BLOW UP their retirement savings.
And that’s the sweet spot… the late-stage college funding period where the assets are big, the bills are due, and prospects are wealthy and stressed.
It’s the essence of a money-in-motion niche… and one that will naturally grow your retirement business!
Because once you’ve helped parents finance their kids’ education, you’re the top contender for their retirement accounts. They’ve seen your work. You know their secrets. In 75% of the cases, they want to continue a relationship with you!
Why late-stage college funding is a game changer
Lynn O’Shaughnessy, creator of the Savvy College Planning program, travels all over the country talking to worried parents about higher education costs.
She’s in high demand. Affluent high schools contact her and ask her to come speak. She fills auditoriums with hundreds of wealthy parents who are eager to hear her talk.
Lynn has been working the college planning niche for years. She knows parents’ pain points and their needs. That’s why Lynn is actively recruiting advisors into the late-stage college funding niche –parents are desperate for good financial help.
The niche is a game changer for advisors, says Lynn. Here’s why:
Tuition costs are astronomical! Today many prestigious colleges are charging upwards of $70,000 a year for tuition alone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that tuition has increased 1375% since 1978! It’s a huge shock to parents who thought they were saving diligently. Who keeps up with that kind of inflation?
Paying for college is a rich people problem. Middle-class and low-income parents generally go to lower-cost state schools or community colleges. They can get need-based aid. Rich kids can’t, although they can sometimes qualify for merit-based aid with the right guidance.
College counselors can’t give financial advice. They want to. They see the need. Only they don’t have the training or skills needed to guide these families in making big financial decisions.
Rich people are freaking out! Lynn hears the panic in their voices every day. They want their kids to attend the best schools—maybe even their alma mater—but budgeting for $70,000+ a year—multiplied by two or more kids attending college for four or more years—and even large portfolios are going to take a hit.
There are few expert advisors working this space. Most advisors approach this niche by pitching 529s to young parents just starting out. Big mistake. The real money lies at the end of the college planning process when the kids hit their junior year in high school and parents are getting wise to what’s ahead.
Your financial skills are crucial. Wealthy families have assets, but will they be enough? They need a professional to run a gap analysis and fill any holes with loans, asset sales, gifts, grandparent contributions, inheritances, trusts, real estate, and more. They don’t see the big picture—they need an advisor who does.
As the college admissions scandal proved, parents are desperate about their kid’s education and they are willing to spend big, big money to fix any problems. They are looking for financial professionals with answers! That could be you as a graduate of the Savvy College Planning program.
How late-stage college funding grows your retirement business
In many ways, college planning is a prospecting approach. Once you’ve guided parents through the admissions process, met the kids, and helped the family achieve their dreams, you’re a natural shoo-in for their retirement business.
After all, you know everything. You’ve seen all of their assets. And there’s a very good chance that these families have never worked with an advisor before. You’re their first!
It’s a prospecting strategy that works for members of Savvy College Planning. They’ll tell you—straight from the horse’s mouth—that college planning brings in the business:
“It’s almost automatic that the parents who come to me for help with college planning become [retirement] clients. Very rarely do I get a ‘no’ when asking if I can help with other issues. I'm asking the same questions I would as a ‘regular’ financial advisor, but I'm asking as a ‘college coach,’ so they invite me in. I tell them I need to get a full look at the financial picture so I can figure out what the EFC is, and in that process other things fall out. It's like going through a tax return.”
—Jack Shinn, Montclair, NJ
“Roughly 15 to 20% of my clients now are coming in through college planning, whether that be workshops or referrals. And that’s not counting occasions where I might have had an initial conversation about college planning with an attorney or CPA who eventually refers me for another reason.”
—Michael Howell, Modesto, CA
“These meetings result in more AUM for me to manage at a much earlier phase than retirement planning brings in. It also leads to life insurance sales. I say, ‘How is college going to get paid for if you die?’
“It’s not at all unusual for a family to come in when the kid’s a junior in high school and they’re not working with a financial planner at all. Then they talk about college and end up saying, we want to talk about our estate planning too, because we think we need some help. That happened at the very first meeting I held after a presentation at a Girl Scout troop. It’s really natural, because as you do the college financial analysis, you’re going through all of their assets. If I see a family with multiple 401(k)s, I ask what’s going on. I tell them that they have better options to use those dollars. After chatting about their investment profile, I come up with portfolio recommendations.”
—Kevin Lynch, Hillsborough, NJ
“I see this as a wonderful tool and it's definitely proven itself. It’s a great door opener. There are a lot of families who have jeopardized retirement because of putting kids through college. It's almost like a placeholder. We've established our expertise and scope of competency for later down the road. If someone helps you with your children, you don't forget that.”
—Justin Peek, Carlsbad, CA
12 ways business will change with a late-stage college planning niche
As Jack Shinn and other successful college advisors tell us, your business will reinvent itself once you start working in this niche. There’s just something invigorating about working with families in these big life-changing moments.
Here’s how your life will change:
Wealthy people will call you. How would you like to get a call from a business owner with $6M in assets, two kids at Duke, the third starting Johns Hopkins medical school, and he’s worried about cash flow? Can he see you immediately?
Wealthy people will show up with their financial statements. Not only will they make the meeting, they will bring all their paperwork. You’ll see everything. Every single asset. Their cooperation will amaze you.
You’ll get in front of dozens of affluent families every year. We’re talking NEW prospects every year. You’ll see a whole new class of parents every September with similar problems and needs that you can solve.
You have a set-and-forget prospecting strategy for Q3 of every year. Because you’re seeing a new set of parents, your presentation and marketing plan can be repeated each year with just a little freshening up from the numbers and updates the Savvy College Planning program gives you.
You can hire a junior advisor. This niche could be a great training ground for a younger advisor. They give the presentations, you come in for the high-level conversations.
You get a lot more retirement business. Parents have seen your work handling their assets for college. You’re a shoo-in for their retirement accounts, maybe even their business assets.
Every year-end is good. All that work in September/October often hits the bottom line almost immediately. Plus, you can charge for your college consulting AND open new accounts.
People will talk about you. People will know you as the “college advisor.” Word-of-mouth will be working. Remember, those families are young, worried, and trapped in the hotbed we call high school. That all works to your advantage.
You’ll get a brand-new set of strategic allies. Speaking of people talking about you… Your name will be on the lips of college counselors and coaches at all the local high schools. And they see a whole lot of students and parents.
Your client list will begin to skew younger. You’ll no longer worry about losing assets as clients retire and grow older. You’ll now have a new niche of wealthy families ready to get real about retirement planning. It’s a natural progression.
You don’t worry about the competition. You haven’t seen one advisor yet working in this niche. Most think it’s all about 529 plans, so they avoid it. They fail to see the niche within a niche that runs on big money and short time horizons—the very definition of money-in-motion!
Eventually, you’ll get a lot of college football party invites. It’s only natural to host the person who made it all possible!
Your shortcut to launching a profitable college planning service!
As a member of the Savvy College Planning program, you’ll learn the secrets that other successful college advisors only discover by trial and error.
Under the guidance of subject-matter expert Lynn O’Shaughnessy, you’ll get the inside scoop on what’s working, new developments, parents’ pain points, and industry best practices.
How to get in front of hundreds of prospects every fall with minimal marketing
Strategic allies to cultivate
How to structure your workshop presentations for maximum appointment setting
Where to give workshops to get the best attendance
How to transition college clients to retirement clients
The nice thing about Lynn’s program is that you already have many of the financial skills needed. By enrolling in the Savvy College Planning program (where we focus exclusively on late-stage college funding), you will get the training, tools, and resources you need to authoritatively answer clients’ questions and manage their issues.
Here’s what other advisors say about working in college planning:
It’s a Nourishing Niche!
“I do this because I love it. I do it because we deal with families and you see immediately the impact you’re having. The bottom line is, they pay me to do this stuff, but you don’t have to pay me to do this, because you can actually see the goodness of what we’re doing. I spent a long time wondering about whether or not I should do this, and now that I’ve done it, I’m wondering why it took me so long.”
—Jack Shinn, Montclair, NJ
Bringing in the Next Generation
“Another reason for my involvement in college planning is that I'm 39 years old, 15 years in, and I want to attract a client base that is not just the traditional baby boomer crowd or just my small business owners. I have a lot of folks in the distribution phase. So how do you bring in that next generation who maybe don't have an ideal asset size? I see this as a wonderful tool and a way to be important to those families, and it's definitely proven itself.”
—Justin Peek, Carlsbad, CA
Helping Families Pay Less
“Once they start getting awards, I analyze them with the family. You have to compare the award to what the college is giving other students. If Lehigh gives a child $21,000, but a similar student got $27,000, that doesn’t look so good. I tell parents to go back to the school and see if they can get more money. If they’re successful and get, say, $25,000 per year, my advice saved them roughly $16,000. That’s a chunk of money! That makes this fun.”
—Kevin Lynch, Hillsborough, NJ
Building Your Confidence
“I think advisors hold back because they feel like they don’t have a good enough grasp of the information. I’m telling you, if you spend any time at all looking into this, you’re going to know more than your audience does. That’s the key. As long as they can look at you and feel like you know more than they know, they’re going to lean on you for your opinion. I didn’t know much when I got into this and now I’m shocked at the things that come out of my mouth.”
—Jack Shinn, Montclair, NJ
5 Reasons to Build a Late-Stage College Planning Niche:
Forward-thinking advisors who learn the basics can plant the flag in their communities and be the go-to person in this fledging and incredibly important field.
This is a deserted field that the financial industry continues to ignore —what other major life expense isn’t addressed by advisors?
You can partner with educational consultants, who are often intimidated by the financial side of college funding.
College conversations give you an opening to talk about other financial concerns and potentially bring in more assets. You just need to know the answer to the magic question.
This is a time-pressured problem with frazzled parents desperate for your solid advice and solutions for getting the best price for their kid’s education.
Boost your value proposition, launch a college niche, and drive new client growth with Horsesmouth's Savvy College Planning client education program featuring Lynn O'Shaughnessy.
Enroll in Savvy College Planning® Today and Launch a Niche That Connects You to Wealthy Families Grows All Your Lines of Business…
YES! want to launch a new niche in college planning AND grow my retirement business at the same time! Enroll me today in the Savvy College Planning® program featuring Lynn O’Shaughnessy.
Your Savvy College Planning® program includes:
2 comprehensive guides that step you through all the technical knowledge you need to know to succeed in late-stage college funding:
The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Savvy College Planning: This guide (300+ pages), written by Lynn O’Shaughnessy, walks you through all the major aspects of smart college planning. It equips you with the technical knowledge and insights you’ll need to educate clients and prospects—be they parents or grandparents—about sensible and cost-effective approaches to finding the right college for their family. ($199 value)
150 College Planning Questions Answered: What Savvy Advisors Need to Know: This report (65+ pages) gives you specific answers to real-life, difficult college planning questions your clients will face. Lynn O’Shaughnessy spends every day researching, writing, and training parents and other professionals about the tricky world of college planning. Now you’ll have easy access to a body of questions you’ll likely face as you educate clients and prospects about college planning. ($199 value)
4 Webinar training sessions, introducing you to all the materials in the Savvy College Planning program. ($499 value)
All sessions are recorded for on-demand viewing so you can watch at your convenience. Here’s what you’ll learn:
Session 1: Main Sources of College Money
Many families end up searching for college money in all the wrong places. In this webinar, you will discover how to improve clients’ ability to save money, capture merit awards, and negotiate a better price.
Topics covered include:
Session 2: Pinpointing Your Clients’ Chances for Financial Aid
Affluent parents want financial aid, they just don’t always qualify for it. Learn how to improve their chances by correctly answering critical financial aid questions. You will also discover how factors such as assets, home equity and marital status can impact aid.
Topics covered include:
Session 3: How to Find Generous Colleges
College pricing is almost transparent, but families often don’t know how to take advantage of it. Learn how to evaluate school offers and customize them to your clients. Knowing how to pull this off (and it’s simple) can ultimately save your clients tens of thousands of dollars or more per child. Just sharing an easy way to predict merit awards can make you a rock star.
Topics covered include:
Session 4: Ways to Maximize Financial Aid
Discover effective ways to boost financial aid for those who qualify. And for clients who won’t, discover some great ways to capture merit aid as well as improve their chance of admission.
Topics explored include:
The four main sources of college money
Types of colleges that love high-income applicants
Who gets awards from prestigious private universities
The latest trend in scholarships at state universities
What kind of federal and state aid your clients may qualify for
What you need to know about private scholarships
How to cement client relationships and attract prospects with a simple financial aid tool
How parent and child investments impact financial aid
What parents can do when assets are in a child’s name
What kind of colleges care about home equity
How divorced and separated couples can enjoy a financial aid advantage
How grandparents can safely help with college costs
Discover how a federally mandated college pricing tool can be a game changer for your clients and prospects
Assess the odds of a client’s teenager receiving a merit award or financial aid at a specific school
Discover how families can make better decisions when using valuable tools from sources like the College Board and The Chronicle of Higher Education
Effective strategies for maximizing financial aid chances
Affirmative action for high-income students (Yes, this exists!)
Why school selection is key when seeking financial aid or merit scholarships
Why your clients shouldn’t assume the first award letter is the final (best) one
Each month you’ll receive an e-newsletter about college planning, including important news, updates to the program, and insights and tips, plus answers to select member questions on finding the right college, discovering its true cost, locating scholarships, understanding financial aid, and crafting smart and cost-saving ways to pay for higher education.
LIVE UPDATE WEBINARS
Twice a year Lynn O’Shaughnessy will conduct live webinars aimed at answering questions and updating members about new developments in the field and the Savvy College Planning® program. Webinars will be available for on-demand viewing later.
THREE CLIENT PRESENTATIONS
These FINRA-reviewed PowerPoint presentations step Gen X and Boomer parents through the college application and funding process, showing them how to overcome the burden of paying for their kids’ higher-ed, while also staying focused on larger saving and retirement planning goals.
Four Ways to Cut College Costs:You get a 54 PowerPoint slide deck with 20+ pages of speaker notes for about a 45-minute presentation. Ideal for large groups or one-on-one presentations. ($299 value)
An Inside Look at Qualifying for Financial Aid: You get a 50+ PowerPoint slide deck with 20+ pages of speaker notes (45 minute presentation). Ideal for large groups or one-on-one presentations. ($299 value)
NEW! College Admissions in the Era of COVID-19. This timely presentation allows you to share with clients and prospects some of the possible effects of COVID-19 on college admissions and the 2020-2021 school year. ($299 value)
You’ll get a 75-page how-to guide for organizing, presenting, and following up with workshop attendees. Also includes PDF templates: FINRA-reviewed posters, postcards and press release. ($299 value)
Give your prospects materials they will reference, share and talk about. And customize the handouts with your picture and contact information so you’re building your brand while you educate your clients. Here’s what you’ll get:
The Savvy Parents’ Guide to Cutting College Costs. You’ll get 50 copies of a 3-panel, 6-sided, 8.5" x 11" laminated reference to distribute to clients and prospects. It explains key concepts necessary to understanding college planning decisions. ($299 value)
10+ Article Reprints (PDF): Brand these FINRA-reviewed article reprints with your contact information, photo, and logo to create a client touch that is both instructive and memorable. You can use them as handouts, drips or even as website content. ($776 value)
7 Ways to Help You Cut College Costs
How Parent & Child Assets Impact Financial Aid Packages
Roth IRAs…The Ultimate College Savings Vehicle?
10 Tips for Maximizing Financial Aid
(CPA) College Planning: Know the Rules for Education Funding
Paying for College Is a Family Affair
Planning a Debt-Free College Education
Key College Funding Data Card (PDF): Help families save thousands on tuition and protect their retirement savings from bad college funding decisions with this handy resource. More than 60 critical data points for college-bound families. Brand with your photo and logo. FINRA-reviewed. ($97 value)
FULL ACCESS TO THE SAVVY COLLEGE PLANNING WEBSITE
You’ll get instant access to key elements of the program, including presentations, marketing toolkits, article reprints, newsletter archives, webinars, CE exams, updates, and more.
Deliver Savvy College Planning® workshop presentations to clients and prospects for 12 months. After your first year, renew your Savvy College Planning® license and get your annual program update: new college planning developments, new slides for your presentations, and updated client reference materials. ($497 value)
4 Reference Lists
CLIENT REFERENCE GUIDES
Savvy College Planning Lists: Here are four college planning reference lists to give to families and boost your expertise in their eyes.
The Ultimate College List Builder
The Ultimate List of the Nation’s Most Generous Colleges
The Schools That Don’t Provide Merit Scholarships
State-by-State Full Scholarship List
Take our 90-question online exam and answer 60 correctly to qualify for 9 CFP Continuing Education Credits. Certificate of Completion included. CFP Board notified within two weeks of passing exam. ($120 value.)
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is a nationally recognized college expert, consultant, and speaker.
As program director of Savvy College Planning, her chief goal is to help you and your clients become smart college shoppers. After buying a home, college is often the second biggest expense in a family’s life, and few financial advisors understand how to make it more affordable.
Lynn is the author of the Amazon bestseller: The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price. She is a contributor to CBS MoneyWatch and she writes about college at her popular blog The College Solution.
Prior to focusing on college issues, she wrote three financial books, The Unofficial Guide to Investing (MacMillan), as well as Retirement Bible and Investing Bible (John Wiley & Sons). She’s also ghost-written two other financial books, one a New York Times bestseller.
A former Los Angeles Times reporter, she has written and/or been interviewed about college issues for such national outlets as The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Consumer Reports, USA Today, Money Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Associated Press, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Fox Business News, Smart Money, Reuters and The Early Show on CBS.
Risk-Free GUARANTEE for Savvy College Planning® with Lynn O’Shaughnessy
We think educating clients and prospects about college planning issues is so important to your community, your clients and their children, that we’re trying to make it as easy for you as possible to gain this important expertise. So here’s our promise:
Make Savvy College Planning® a key client-education offering for your clients and their friends and families. College planning is a high-interest topic right now to several generations: boomers, Gen Xers, and upcoming Millennials. This topic presents a fantastic opportunity to reach new people in your community and bring in younger families to your practice.
By helping parents better understand the opportunities and pitfalls of college planning, you’ll enter a new field of expertise that will engender trust and “peace of mind” among clients and prospects. They’ll be thankful for your guidance putting together the college-planning puzzle.
That’s why I can make the following guarantee when I urge you to join Savvy College Planning® with Lynn O’Shaughnessy:
Learn the program. Present it to your clients and parents in your community. Use it one-on-one and in group settings—as a client education workshop. Do that for 12 months.
If you’re not finding that parents are extremely grateful to have a competent, confident and knowledgeable advisor guide them through the ins and outs of college planning, we’ll completely refund 100% of your purchase price—guaranteed, no questions asked.
Since 1997, Horsesmouth has been helping financial advisors succeed by providing timely guidance on key topics such as business development, practice management, financial planning and investment strategies.
Enroll Today! Build a Profitable College Planning Niche That Gets You in Front of Affluent Families Ready to Hire You
Developing your technical skills around late-stage college planning can be a primary driver of your business. Learn the strategies and skills you need to become an expert on late-stage college planning.
Master the college funding niche that targets wealthy prospects, advises them on major time-sensitive spending decisions and feeds your retirement business.
Learn more at horsesmouth.com/savvycollege or call (888) 336-6884, ext. 1.
FOR INSTANT SERVICE Call Toll Free: 1-888-336-6884 ext 1 (Outside U.S.: 1-212-343-8760)