I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, but every year, 5 and a half MILLION parents get ready to send their kids off to college.
And … most of them completely overpay for the privilege.
They simply don’t understand the FAFSA system, and what the universities are looking for in their aid.
And who can blame them? It’s a little like … the tax code. (Ahem.)
Or, they are one of the 78% of all parents that make one or more critical errors on their financial aid paperwork that costs them tens of thousands of dollars.
(Almost like … the self-prepared tax return crowd.)
Why is this important to you?
Because we recently hosted a webinar to show you exactly how to help these families AND make more money after tax busy season — without killing yourself.
And, it can set you up to create revenue year-round, not just during tax season.
This system works for families regardless of how much money they make, or how good of a student they have.
This is not a sales pitch, in fact this is a Q&A style training where the leading authority on this topic, Ron Caruthers, CPA (who is a longtime friend) answered questions regarding the college planning practice.
Ron started as a tax preparer, but years ago got involved in helping families plan and pay for college.
Not parents with babies, but parents of high school aged kids who were desperate to figure out how to afford college without going deeply into debt. And he knows exactly how to help families—no matter how much money they make, how much they have or haven’t saved for college, or even how good of a student they have—get grant money for college and pay their share in the least intrusive way possible.
He has previously helped several of my members get a college planning practice started in addition to their tax business; and in many cases, the income from the college business is more than what they make from compliance work. AND the income is year round, instead of just a few months out of the year.
On this call, he showed exactly how big the problem is that America faces, and several different ways to incorporate this into your existing business … from making it a source of a few thousand dollars a month of consulting income to using it to attract new clients to your office—to making it the primary income source for you. He’ll even show you how to get a junior partner in to bring in new business while you run the rest of your office.
This is NOT a sales pitch (I’m sooo tired of those), in fact, think of it as a training session.
This is a great way to help your existing clients as well as other families in the community while growing and stabilizing your own income.
You’ll really enjoy it (and the families in your community that are stressed out over how to pay for college will thank you).
You will NOT be disappointed. Ron is one of my favorite people in the financial world, and is super entertaining — and eye-opening.
- Helping college-bound families with financial aid planning
- Year-round, off-season income for tax pros & accountants
Connect with Nate Hagerty
This episode is brought to you by TaxProMarketer, a leading marketing agency serving CPA & tax firms. It was established in May of 2007 in response to increased demand for real-world, relationship-building (and profit-producing) marketing tools for use in the tax and accounting industry.
Currently, TaxProMarketer serves clients all across the United States and Canada who use their services to build relationships with their prospects & existing clients, as well as to grow the value of their business (for immediate cashflow and future sale-ability) by utilizing the following tools: a relational email marketing program, social media feed program, local listings management & optimization, and creating full “online marketing machines” for clients (which include SEO-optimized, conversion-centric custom websites).
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Full Transcript from the Podcast
Nate Hagerty 00:02
Go for it. Okay, everybody. Glad you are with us. People are still piling in. My name is Nate Hagerty, as you know. And the much more handsome participant on this webinar is Ron Caruthers. Ron and I have known each other for over a decade. It’s actually probably about 15 years that we’ve known each other and been to multiple meals together. Man, when I was a young punk working with a, you know, big shot guy. That’s how I met Ron. My big shot friend and Ron were buddies, and Ron treated me like I was the coolest guy in the room. And you’ll see that. He’s the kind of person that doesn’t care about the size of your audience. Before I was like leading a big agency or whatever, Ron treated me like I was a million bucks. And you’ll see that real soon. I just have always had a great affection for him. We’ve been at a ton of the same conferences and spent a lot of time together. I think this is like the fourth or maybe the fifth time I’ve had you speak to my audience over the years, because what you do is so unique and so different. And it’s not like a biz op type thing, which a lot of people come at tax pros now for like biz ops. Because we’re all burned out; we’re all tired of preparing taxes. It’s been like the 18-month-long tax season in particular this year. But I do want you to just open your eyes to the possibility in your mind of adding a different kind of revenue stream to your practice. And Ron’s gonna, kind of, like open the kimono, at least. Metaphorically, please.
Ron Caruthers 01:54
Right?! I’ve been working out.
Nate Hagerty 02:00
So Ron, I’ll let you tell your story. But look, guys, this is a different kind of presentation than he and I have ever done. Normally, I’ve said, “Hey, you know, you do this a few times a year? Why don’t you just teach, teach, teach. Tell, tell all my people about why they should be adding this to their practice.” And we’re going to do that. But I said, “Look, I really want a lot of value for my people on this webinar. And not that there wasn’t before (there was), but I just, I want to be as interactive as possible. I want it to be not at all like, you know, a structured thing. So, we’ve got some structure, but we’re also inviting an opening the floor for you to ask Ron anything basically. He’ll give you the the spiel on the story and what he’s doing and how you could add that to your existing practice. And then we’re gonna open the floor.
Ron Caruthers 02:56
Yeah, in fact, I’ll show you guys the big pitch at the end. I don’t want to ruin it for you guys.
Nate Hagerty 03:02
Oh, no, no, no. The offer, Ron, you have to, you have to this… like this offer’s too good.
Ron Caruthers 03:09
Here’s our phone number. Call us if you want to ask more questions. Here’s the thing if you guys if you guys are not… How do I make it start from the current slide? Okay, there you go. We have like ten slides. Really my story is a little bit interesting because, um, I was my high school’s valedictorian 36 years ago, sadly. For you guys that are in Orange County, Sunny Hills High School. It’s up in Fullerton. It’s like the town directly north of Disneyland. It’s kind of a rich town where there’s a poor section, but most of it is the rich section where kids get like Porsches for their 16th birthdays. And, you know, my family was from the other town, which it was one town north and five tax brackets south. From Fullerton, I got bused over although it’s faster to walk. And the problem was like, there was nobody explaining to my family, who didn’t, you know, God knows I didn’t get a porsche for my 16th birthday… how the college rules work. And so later I was just like, whatever you know. And I’ll work. I’ll figure it out. And I remember telling my guidance counselor that. And so when I got myself in the CPA and CFP program with no undergraduate degree, I might add, I just kind of figured I’d weasel my way and get them both and then convince each organization to let the other’s certificate count to meet the bachelor’s degree requirement, which both have honestly. And, I never even made it that far. Because in my outside studies, not what I learned in class, I kind of learned these college rules. So, I’ve worked, these numbers aren’t even accurate. I’ve worked with closer to 5,000. And anyway. So, really like I said that there is like nine slides. And basically what I want to walk you guys through is the problem that not only still exists since Nate and I met 15 years ago, that Congress (bless their grubby little hearts) continuously makes worse. They every time, you know, I mean, Ronald Reagan nailed it, when he was like “The nine scariest words, you know, are I work for the government, and we’re here to help.” Because they just don’t get it. And you guys know that by like, look what happened with tax season or like “we’re gonna make it two months longer.” It just prolongs everybody’s misery. Or this year, “we’re gonna make it a month later.” It just drug it out. It’s the same in the college world where they just put 200-ish new pages of rules in the Cares doc that they passed in December, to make the whole freaking thing way more complicated than it already was. And that’s been everybody’s deal. Bush tried to simplify the process by adding a bunch more questions to the form. So, Obama tried to simplify it even more by adding a bunch more questions to it. So again, this isn’t meant to be a political rant. God knows, you know, it’s not. But really, there is a problem. And again, I’m going to go through the slides like in three minutes. And then just rant about what you can do and how you can add this to your to your practice. This is the number. It’s five years old, or six years old, actually. But trust me, it has not gotten better. The average family has saved enough to send one kid for college for half a year. College debt, if you zoom in on it, and you can tell this was a while ago, because if you go to usdebtclock.org, was actually established only like two and a half years ago. I think it just hit 29 trillion. But if you look down here, they used to keep the student loan debt, at least zoomed in… and hold on and I’ll save you guys from being like “the slides aren’t matching.” We took these at two different times. But they were only a few months apart. And if you zoom in and notice, and they don’t list it anymore, student loan debt in America is worse than credit card debt by almost 50%. And even though the US debt clock no longer puts that on their main page, they kind of cleaned it up a little bit. That ratio was student loan debt, even post-COVID, post-pandemic. It is still about 50% higher than all of the debt in America (credit card debt). It is probably sitting north of two, two and a half trillion right now. This is kind of hilarious. I like this. So we put it in here just for laughs. Senior citizens owe 18 billion. And again, this number’s a couple years old, and again, compared to 1.6 trillion, I realized that 18 billion is nothing. It’s like this portion of it. Not this portion. But here’s the thing to think about. You’ve got people that are… I like to, first of all, any excuse to have a picture of an old man laughing while smoking a cigar and drinking whiskey is awesome. But here’s the thing. Our system is so screwed up, senior citizens are using social security checks to pay off student loans. And this is a headline from two days ago. People weren’t even… the FAFSA is so intimidating to them, half the country’s not even bothering to file it, and the other half (80%), and I’m telling you that you’re not gonna… this isn’t an official government statistic from the government office of statistics. This is my numbers when I review these, and I review hundreds of these every year for clients, 80% of them are making one or more critical errors that screw up their chances of getting it… Nate’s face completely discombobulated…
Nate Hagerty 09:35
I didn’t realize that you could see me on the camera.
Ron Caruthers 09:39
Look man, I don’t care. We said it was gonna be casual in style.
Nate Hagerty 09:44
You know, I’m just puttin my feet up on my desk, sue me.
Ron Caruthers 09:48
Anyway, here’s what we’re here to talk about. That intro was to talk about how do you add this into your product and get testimonials, and thank yous, and bottles of whiskey and bottles of scotch and gift cards. The client, a single mom, just sent me $150 gift card. And this is how. This is what’s weighing on their minds, night and day. And it’s not that hard once you understand the formula in the system. So, what I thought we’d talk about.. there you go. I told you, that’s it for the slides. We’ll leave that up for a while. What I thought we’d really talk about is how do you add this to your practice?
Nate Hagerty 10:31
Well, can we also… so before we do that, Ron…
Ron Caruthers 10:35
Yeah, this is cute. This is like friendly chat. We told you guys.
Nate Hagerty 10:40
Like my you’ve blown my mind when you’ve gotten into some of the nitty gritty. And I know it changes on a kind of yearly basis, if not more often. Like what are some of the tactics and as much as you’re willing to share. Like, like, I remember that you shared the last time we did this, there might have been two times ago, about 529 plans. And like, these are obviously really popular from a tax standpoint. But there’s a big but attached, isn’t there?
Ron Caruthers 11:13
There is. Well, there is because the client of mine, or the groupie (technically wasn’t a client). I had two groupies back in the day, technically three if you count this one single mom who wouldn’t go away. But I had two and they were both over 70. And it was funny. They would just follow me around and show up at all of my workshops that I would teach around town. And one guy was friends with Lawrence Summers. If that name sounds familiar, he was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury. And then he went on to be the Dean of Harvard. And then, if I recall correctly, he had some scamp scandal.
Nate Hagerty 11:53
I think there was something was misogynistic that he did.
Ron Caruthers 11:55
Yeah, I think it was too, you know, which you can’t do in academia. Anyway, my groupie, Frank, was boys with Lawrence Summers. So, they would get together and have lunch whenever he was back in Boston, or DC when he was in DC. And when the 529s… it was just about 20 something years ago, when 529s really got the push for them. And my buddy was like, “Hey, man, what do you think these 529s? You know, like, you’re the dean of Harvard.” And he goes, “Are we on or off the record?” My buddy’s like, “Well, off the record. You know, like I’m your friend.” He goes, “They’re the greatest endowment gift that Harvard’s ever seen because they were originally designed as an estate planning tool, not necessarily a college planning tool. The whole thought behind this was… and if you remember, think back. Grandparents were allowed to violate the gift tax rules and put up to $50,000 per student per grandparent into these 529s. So 100,000, and again, this was 20 years ago… so 100,000 actually would carry you further than $100,000 does now. But the problem is the colleges ask, particularly the private colleges, and they earmark these as a resource so it can count much more heavily against the parent than just money in a bank or anything like that. And that’s really kind of where Congress, and the colleges love this, has really kind of set up this double jeopardy. Where a catch 22, where you’re penalized for trying to save ahead, particularly when it comes to 529s.
Nate Hagerty 13:45
So, in other words, like, if one of your clients (just speaking to everybody on the webinar), one of your clients is socking away $1,000 a month in a 529 plan, which is a lot. But it’s 500 you know, whatever. That looks different to the college than if they put that into a savings account or like pay for a whole life insurance or like some sort of other kind of vehicle.
Ron Caruthers 14:14
Less countable vehicle. I don’t know that that’s actually a word, but we’re gonna make it work for today. Yeah, so Nate, you nailed it. Now, here’s the thing. If you go and read the research, but you guys don’t know, research and real world aren’t always the same thing. You’ll read tons of papers like, “Now, the federal government during the Bush administration said that these 529s cannot be counted at any rate higher than you would count in normal parent’s asset,” which is 5.6 cents on the dollar. So, you look at that and you think “Well, wait. Ron’s telling me something different. And don’t forget, I’ve got about 5,000 students under my belt. So, I know whereof I speak. Here’s what those articles leave unspoken. They don’t say to whom is counted only as a parent’s asset here, I’ll throw that up. Because we’re gonna look at that for a while. But the answer is to colleges for federal money only. So, again, they’re not allowed to wait 529s any heavier when it comes to parent money, but they can do whatever they want when it comes to their own money. And the bulk of money that’s out there for the average family that anybody in this call is going to be dealing with, into the middle class families would be my guess, which is my entire client base. And I’ve got some some upper middle class and some way, upper middle class. And I’ve got like one dude, who I would officially categorize as rich. Rich in my definition, he’s got about a $25 million net worth and at 20 million and above, and my books are rich. Oh, by the way, we got 38,000 at SMU this year.
Nate Hagerty 16:02
Your guy who has 25 million in… maybe not liquid but like net worth, you got him 38k in aid per year?
Ron Caruthers 16:24
Did I do that?
Nate Hagerty 16:27
I mean, can we just dive in on that? Like, are you unable to? Because like this is the sort of stuff that we have room for now. Because, you know, in the previous presentations, like you’d share all these stories, but we couldn’t stop and have you, like, talk about it. As much as you’re able to share?
Ron Caruthers 16:45
That’s exactly what we did. Oh, first of all, he’s a savvy real estate investor. He is… so, it’s 25 million in real estate. Now, here’s why this is a big deal. The fact is that because he owns real estate, he… if you guys have real estate investors as clients and they get above, you know, a certain amount of real estate… if they’re smart, they’re not going to own that real estate in their name. So, he’s got corporations and trusts and things like that. By the way, that’s a really nice watch, Nate. I like that watch. So, number one is one of this money is in his name. Number two is because of the depreciation he’s not showing tons of income.
Nate Hagerty 17:36
Okay, so income. You shielded his income from, I mean, from a tax standpoint, he’s probably not paying a lot of taxes, either.
Ron Caruthers 17:44
He’s not, he’s not. But at the end of the day…
Nate Hagerty 17:47
He’s got properties and he’s gotten, like, like what Trump did?
Ron Caruthers 17:51
Yeah, he actually owes… the funniest thing is… he owes about five and a half or 6 million on his 25 million. So, he’s probably net worth 19 million. I still classified as rich. He came in one day. He’s like, “Dave Ramsey says I shouldn’t have any debt at all. I was wondering if you think I should pay my stuff off.” I’m like, “Todd you’re worth 25 million.”
Nate Hagerty 18:15
You’re not the Dave Ramsey type.
Ron Caruthers 18:19
No, no, Dave Ramsey’s, he’s not talking to you. So anyway, back to this.
Nate Hagerty 18:24
So, what you did to your guy is like you, you made it seem like on the applications… that seemed like… I mean, the reality.
Ron Caruthers 18:32
You know, ethically, we did not work any of the 25 million because he was already structured before he showed up. But let’s say he wasn’t structured that way, Nate. I could turn around and get him structured that way, given time exempt the 25 million, and I’ve done it before, not 25 million, but I’ve made 5, 7, 8 million dollars disappear legally. As far as the college is concerned. Just like with tax returns I have to sign, we sign our name to the FAFSA. You know, under penalty of perjury and fines and jail threats and all the same shenanigans that you guys go through. So, we are not playing shenanigans with the Department of Education.
Nate Hagerty 19:18
Okay, so let’s… okay, that was one story. Um, if you’ll forgive me, I’m just I’m like the guy who wants to get things my way. So, forgive me. Sure it’s your piece, man. We’ll do whatever you want. All right. Um, well, since we’re on the topic, what I want to do is backup some of the general principles that you use, like…
Ron Caruthers 19:41
To help everybody to get started.
Nate Hagerty 19:43
Ron Caruthers 19:44
So, let me tell you guys how to make money at this.
Nate Hagerty 19:46
Before we go there, though, an anonymous attendee wants to know, if he owes 25 million and it’s in a corporate LLC, doesn’t he still need to report that he owns the entities?
Ron Caruthers 19:54
No, because there was a trust in between. And there was, we actually… these guys were really saavy… and by the way, I’ve picked up their techniques where we can legitimately exempt it and not report it and not be violating any rules. When you start to play in the real estate world… and again, we can teach you all this for non real estate clients that have huge assets… but this is, I think, I dove in on, Nate, you know, on an anonymous attendee, on a very, you know, like one of my most extreme cases. But you get in with some of the real estate… if you guys are ever bored, attend a real estate investors association or Ria group meeting. I mean, these guys start picking up properties. They do not want anything in their name. The problem is guy gets hurt on one property and finds out that he’s got 20 others, now we’re in a multi million dollar lawsuit.
Nate Hagerty 20:48
Okay, but I’ve seen things work with people with regular incomes, too. Like people, like I mentioned, in my email that I sent out today, it wasn’t your student, or wasn’t you it wasn’t… remember Mark Majewski?
Ron Caruthers 21:03
I do. Yeah.
Nate Hagerty 21:05
He helped one of my neighbors, who was a surgeon, get tons of aid to Baylor for his kid.
Ron Caruthers 21:17
So, let me back up and just walk you guys through my thought process. So, when I get a new client, the very first thing and again, understand, most of my clients don’t have 25 million in the bank, you know, or in real estate or whatever. Most of my clients make between $80,000 and $180,000 a year. They own a home, they have a 401k. They have some college savings, they drive nice cars, they live in Southern California, although I have clients all over. But the majority of them are local. And, the one thing that they have in common is they didn’t save enough for college. So, the very first thing that we do is try to figure out according to the Department of Education’s rulebook, what… where can we do to lower what the government’s going to expect them to pay? This is step number one. Step number one is always what can we do to get their share as low as possible legally? So, one of the questions I saw here is “Does this work for stock portfolio?” Absolutely. We’ve used the, you know, advanced strategies on massive stock portfolios, business values. Remind me to tell you the story about the engineer in a second. But real estate portfolios, money in the bank, all sorts of things. And yes to the other question is, we sometimes use vehicles like anonymous cash value life insurance is an exempt asset. Now, calling me a life insurance guy, it’s fighting words, because we do so much more than that. But it is… the government has given special protections to it. So, sometimes we use that. Sometimes we make the business own the stock portfolio. There’s lots of things we can do. But step number one is always what can we do to get their share… their expected family contribution… that’s a number that when we go fill out the FAFSA, that number, what can we do to get that as low as possible? So, that’s consulting time, and I’m charging for that time. The second thing we do is we kind of can get a history of what schools have what money
Nate Hagerty 23:30
Backing up, the Department of Education rulebook? Is that like publicly available, or is that something?
Ron Caruthers 23:37
It’s not going to be a fun read. It’s 1000 pages-ish. They just added another couple 100 pages to it.
Nate Hagerty 23:44
All the other guidelines people could get from you.
Ron Caruthers 23:46
You can pick up books. You know, if you go to Amazon, like Kalman Chany does a book (he’s kind of a jerk in person), but he does the book, How to Pay for College Without Going Broke that he updates every couple of years that explains a lot of the rules. You know, you can go on to the CSS… call the people who do the SAT, Nate. They have a site called Big Future, which tracks a lot of the schools and what they give, which is kind of the second step is finding schools that have money and finding schools, you know, that don’t. But the biggest thing that everybody screws up is that third step, which is they either don’t file the paperwork at all because they make think they make too much money or their neighbors told them not to or they think it’s gonna be a waste of time or whatever. Or they file it incorrectly. So, for instance, give you a perfect example. We get a guy, Nate, that’s a Northrop Grumman engineer. Now, he runs his own firm that they’ve contracted with Northrop Grumman, and he does secret government stuff that he can’t tell me you’re gonna have to kill me. And his firm has 20 engineers that all make $240,000 dollars a year. Literally, everybody in the company gets paid $20,000 a month to do government stuff. There’s about 20 of them. So, his payroll a month is like $480,000. So… and his company’s been losing money for five or six years ever since some of the big boys like Qualcomm tried to jump into his space. And so we helped him, and he makes a little more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, in probably like $290,000-$300,000. His wife was working a little bit as well. So, we got the first kid Vasser, like $30,000 a year by explaining, “Yes, we’re showing all this income here, but we have these losses over the next year.” The next year he was like, “Oh, so it’s [?].” And Northrop Grumman was hiring him kind of as an outside firm. So, they just wrote him a check for like $4 million. And it was like three months later, so he’d spent a million and a half of it on his payroll and overhead. He’s like that. I just thought that for myself. And when it came to the question of what’s your business worth? He’s like, “When you check my bank statement, it’s got two and a half million in it. I’ll put down two and a half million.” Vasser, writes him back like, “Hey man, you’re not getting any money from us.” He’s like, “Wait, what happened to my $30,000, or $32,000 or whatever it was, again free money.” “Well, you just said your business is worth two and a half million. You can borrow against that. So, then he calls me like, “I screwed up. Don’t yell at me.” And I didn’t yell at him. I might have certainly spoken to him. And I’m like, “Look, man. You wouldn’t expect that I could come in and start tapping on your computer because you use a computer and it has a keyboard on it. Let me do this for you.” So I’d write them a big note. Be like, “Hey, man, you know, here’s what happened. We lost $800,000 last year. The businesses is not worth two and a half million. My bookkeeper helped fill it out. She doesn’t know what the heck she’s talking about.” And they were cool. And it was just like, “Oh, okay, yeah, right. We’ll, let you have the money back.” The younger kid went to Williamsburg or Williams Fern or something like that. Same thing, about $30,000. So again, there’s real money here. But that’s really kind of a process. Nate, what do we got going on in the questions here?
Nate Hagerty 26:57
Yeah, so um, I mean, I think this is fun… is just do some case studies. And maybe if some of you guys have particular clients that Ron can kind of break down how he might approach something. Yeah. Anonymous attendee is my favorite attendees.
Ron Caruthers 27:36
Is it anonymous attendees or is it one very, very busy one?
Nate Hagerty 27:41
I think it’s one very anonymous attendee. Because there’s other people with names. So, before, like, we’ll talk about the how. Let’s talk about the practice for you as an advisor and like my buddy Ed Beauvais that I introduced you to over a decade ago. I think he he’s still doing stuff for you. And he’s the one the New Jersey guy, right?
Ron Caruthers 28:06
Who is out in New Jersey?
Nate Hagerty 28:07
Yeah. And he’s got a full time income for this sort of thing. Now, on top of his tax stuff.
Ron Caruthers 28:14
Yet, he does a few 100 returns here, Nate. And he takes about 35 college clients a year. He told me he makes more from the college clients than he does from….
Nate Hagerty 28:25
Her client. It’s like maybe $10,000. Right?
Ron Caruthers 28:30
It depends on how deep you’re going with that. So, I have another buddy over at Long Island. Who I trained who only wanted to do… he started as a finance guy, Nate, but he only wanted to do admissions planning. So, he doesn’t do anything… he does a little bit with financial aid. But his main thrust is admissions planning. On Long Island, he charges $10,000 to $20,000 a client.
Nate Hagerty 28:57
Just to help them get into the schools.
Ron Caruthers 28:59
Yes. However, it’s a time intensive process. Yeah, it’s not something I’ve ever had the patience for. He’s still getting paid very good, you know, several $100 an hour rate. But he is devoting the majority of his time to admissions and spending lots of time with the kids. It’s a very elite practice. You know, he only takes, you know, 40 clients a year. And so you figure it out. I mean, he’s doing fine. A client, like someone like Ed Beauvais that you were mentioning, his price point is closer to $4,000 a client. He’s doing a little less student work just sticking a little more with financial planning. And that’s pretty average. Now, I do financial planning in addition for my clients….
Nate Hagerty 29:47
Right because you have your series seven and whatever. And so you’re able to offer different things, right?
Ron Caruthers 29:51
I am and frankly, I’d rather charge a little bit less for the clients, because I know they’ll be a long term client for the other stuff, and I’ll make more money for that anyways. So, I’m not going to give it away for free. I’m gonna charge a few $1,000. But if I chose to, Nate, I could easily charge 10, 15, 20 grand a pop, and no one would bat an eye. Particularly where I’m at in the country. You know, like Andy can do it Long Island. I’ve got La Hoya, right here. Rancho Santa Fe. I mean, it’s very high rent.
Nate Hagerty 30:20
But you got clients that are doing this in Iowa, like clients or people that you’ve trained.
Ron Caruthers 30:25
Yeah, you’d be crazy to think about what people will pay for their kids. So, again, I stick close to the 4, 5, $6,000 a client. Whereas, some guys charge more, some charge less.
Nate Hagerty 30:41
And for that you’re doing the analysis of the Department of Education, and then like moving assets around.
Ron Caruthers 30:49
If need be. Yeah, if need be.
Nate Hagerty 30:51
Finding out what’s required or like putting income into a different kind of category, basically, like tax planning, but it’s very specialized.
Ron Caruthers 30:59
It’s very specialized for college stuff. And the beauty is they can’t put it off. You know, that’s the beauty of being in the tax business: they can’t put off doing your taxes. Parents try to put it off. And they can’t. Either because they can’t, the kids couldn’t go to college. So, that’s kind of, yeah, you can charge a few $1000. If you want to do more student services a little bit or hire someone to do it, you can charge more than that. I mean, we’ve very successfully done this. And just so you know, as an aside, we’ve done it everywhere in the country, particularly with the… you know, the internet being… and everyone after COVID being used to Zoom. We were doing it… I actually pre COVID introduced many of my clients to Zoom who had never heard of it. Because you know, a client here has got a college roommate that lives in Boston, and she needs some help. So, it’s a very referrable business as well.
Nate Hagerty 31:55
And it’s also pretty templatable. So people are like multiple (including anonymous, attendee) are asking, like, “Do you have resources?” So, look, Ron is doing this as a favor to me. But he does have material that if you want to, like enroll as a student… Are you… I didn’t even check with you on this… are you taking on students that you would allow to like, get all your, like, swipe material, and they could just…
Ron Caruthers 32:17
We have everything? I could do it for a little while longer. I mean, I can do it. I can’t do it forever. Let me explain what I mean. Because we have… because I’m a co owner of a national franchise that does college planning on at some point, I won’t be able to offer this training anymore. That day hasn’t hit. There isn’t any conflict of interest yet, there may be down the future. And all that means is, if you are interested in looking at this and you want some help, just reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org. Nate’s threw it in the thing. We’ll chat. Tell me what’s going on. We have templates and forums and Q&A webinars. And we’ll actually help you with your first handful of clients to kind of walk you through it. And so, again, if you want to chat about it, happy to do it. I told Nate that we would make this as informal as possible.
Nate Hagerty 32:53
Yeah, I didn’t want to pitch.
Ron Caruthers 33:26
And yeah, and we’ve done the pitch before, and it’s great. And hell if you want to see the page, I’ll send you the link from the last time, Nate. But really just reach out. Definitely get you on the calendar. And once you’re in the club, you’re in the club. So, you’ll have lifetime access to the materials and the official definition of lifetime is two years after my dad.
Nate Hagerty 33:50
I got all kinds of emails from people like, “I’ve made so much money with Ron’s help.” Andrew Lock, Mary Anne, Ed… I have a bunch of emails that were sent to me this morning. “Oh my goodness, Nate, your kids have grown” because I sent out an email with my family picture I’ll say and I’ve got seven future college kids. And poor Ron, I didn’t tell people this. But yeah
Ron Caruthers 34:14
Go ahead. Tell them before what I offered.
Nate Hagerty 34:19
This was like when I had four kids. Ron said, “Hey, I’ll help all your kids.” And I’m like, “Okay.” But anyway, um, he said, she is introduced to you back in 2008 and has done really well with you. Which is crazy. 2008 I think was the first time we did this. But um, anyway, um, point is, I don’t remember what my point was. Oh, just that he does have like a whole series of like marketing material, a whole series of checklists and procedures to go through. Like how you can run the meeting, how you can do a seminar for your clients, how you can do a webinar for your clients. Any of our existing TaxProMarketer clients, by the way, I’ve said this before, like, if you want to add this onto your practice, you’ve got us in your corner as well to like, slap up a web page, create a webinar situation for you. I mean, that’s what we do for people. So if that’s something that you need help with, we’re here for you for that. But you can do a lot of this stuff on your own. Like you did your first marketing stuff just seminars that the library. Right?
Ron Caruthers 35:36
Yeah. So let me… actually Nate, can I answer some of these questions that are coming in that are joining a club related. Let me… some have a bunch of questions. Anonymous, I’m not ignoring you. But let me just kind of go through this. So, number one, Robert, we do have a checklist. And one of the questions is how far in advance do you need to start with a family? One of the first copywriting books that I ever read, the Robert Collier Letter, he talked about entering the conversation inside the client’s head. And what happens is, as humans, we are natural procrastinators, right? Look, I love putting stuff off to the last minute. I’m one of you. Your client, right, they’ll procrastinate on all their tax stuff. Oh, we got an extra two months. Great. We’ll call you in June. And I’ll call you on June 16. To get you to do my taxes. If the deadline is June 17. You guys just live with that. So, the best time to get clients is when they’re in high school. Because the parents are starting to feel the pressure. And you know, it’s said, “It’s way easier to sell cure than prevention,” right? You tell someone, “Listen, man. You probably need some life insurance to take care of your family. I’m just throwing this out in this example. Can just as easily be like, “Hey man. You need to lose like 40-50 pounds, fatty. Your heart’s really in trouble.” Well, no one’s gonna listen to you until they have that heart attack. And now all of a sudden, you know what, losing 50 pounds is a matter of life and death. And buying life insurance, now they would pay anything for it. The problem is, it’s too late. So, parents, once the kids are sophomore or junior, really begin to feel that pressure. So rather than fight human nature, my feeling is we just go and work with the parents that you know, are sophomores, juniors, and yeah, even seniors. And I’ll tell them like, “Look, man, I wish you would have showed up a year or two ago. And we’ve got a lot of work to do in a short period of time. But you know what, we’ll make it work. Let’s get started.” So, that should hopefully answer Jake’s questions. Robert, Robert… Oh no, Jake, you also asked, “What was the book that had the info?” if you want to learn, kind of like kind of the like, just how the formulas work. Kalman Cheny, it starts with a K and a C, has a book How to Pay for College Without Going Broke on Amazon. Like I said, as a person, kind of obnoxious. As an author, great author. I think even got slick Willy to do the introduction for one of his books. So Bill Clinton did the introduction. It took you through some of the basics. Mark Kantrowitz is kind of a weird dude, also. I don’t know what it is with my industry and weird dudes. But he runs some finaid.org, which I think sold out to one of the big student loan companies. So, now he’s kind of a kept man. But he’s got some okay information. For Anonymous, we just.. like I said, if we get time for it, but I want to make sure I answer the how-to questions today and not turn it into a big pitch fiesta.
Nate Hagerty 39:02
No, no, for sure. So, let’s talk about Jake’s question. Well, he had a couple. He put in the chat, “Can this be a starter? Is it fee only or can you move it into AUM?” And for sure, you can do AUM, right? If you’ve got a broker situation where you can do that.
Ron Caruthers 39:18
Yeah, I mean, the only thing funny about that… I run an AUM business as well. You know, the AUM managers, I don’t know how familiar you are with this with Nate. Nate, how familiar you are with SEC rules and stuff like that. You can charge fees for this. Now sometimes the broker dealers get kind of cranky, and they’ll go on, “No, you can’t do that.” But you can because it’s college advisory work, which is different from financial planning advisory board. And you can turn around and later manage assets for clients and do all the financial planning things. The only thing the SEC or FINRA gets the knickers in a bunch about is they just want you to tell the client, “Okay, I’m no longer acting as your college advisor. I am now acting as an advisor or representative of whatever your firm is.” And then sometimes, Nate, the firms get all crazy. And they’re like, “Well, you need to put disclosures on your marketing materials letting them know that you offer securities through us.” And I’ve successfully fought with them on that, because I’m just like, “No. Like, we’re doing it. We’re talking about college. We’re not going to talk about investing at all. It might come 10 steps down the road. You know, like, there’s no point on that.” So Jake, to answer your question, you absolutely can, you know, bury this… And the clients don’t care. That’s the thing. The SEC gets all wound up. Clients just don’t care. They want you to take care of it. And once you’ve helped them with this, most friends want you to help them with the other pieces of this. Alright, let’s go back to another question from Jake. That he’s confusing me because he’s putting between the Q&A and the chat. But it’s all cool.
Nate Hagerty 41:02
Put your real questions in the Q&A. The chat is for, “Nate, you are like really funny, and like, it’s…”
Ron Caruthers 41:09
“Very handsome.” And find you know, like, “Hey, man, if it gets boring, you can flash some more thigh if you want.” Alright, Jake asks, “What do you do with a client whose business generates about a million dollars profit for him annually or someone on a salary is 500k and the other kids start going to college.” So, check it out. First of all, back in 1997, we invented something… myself and another planner named Rick Jarvis, he’s a CPA out of Plenty Wood, Montana… We invented something called the tax scholarship. And it’s a way of positioning your clients from a tax standpoint, where they can basically write off the cost of college and recapture the American Opportunity Credit. Now, explaining to you how that works is outside of today’s conversation. However, you can go look it up. I’m sure one of us has written an article that’s posted somewhere on it. Plus, you got a client flashing a million dollars in net profit. He’s above the average. He’s in the 1%, or she’s in the 1%. Or someone making $500,000 annually, they’re right at that 1% threshold. So, we’re no longer trying to hide all their assets. We’re now flaunting them. And now what you will notice is in that situation, a lot of these schools will disproportionately give that family merit money. “Though your kid’s a very handsome kid, we just want to give him some merit money. Well, they’re not stupid. What they’re thinking is, “You got a million dollars. The kid’s going to inherit some of what you save. We’re going to get one of you down the road to donate a bunch of that money to us.”
Nate Hagerty 42:54
That is so skeezy, man.
Ron Caruthers 42:56
By the way, if you guys doubt me on this name, remember, did you watch Sopranos all the way through?
Nate Hagerty 43:01
Ron Caruthers 43:02
Okay. Sopranos had an episode called “College.” No, that was the one that was a different one. It was a couple episodes after that, where the daughter of Tony Soprano, the mob boss, is off in college, and now the dean calls, I think they had her going to Columbia. And he’s like, “Oh, we’re very interested in meeting with you to discuss your your daughter’s progress.” And the wife is all like, “Oooohhh” you know. And the minute they get there, the guy is like, “Hey, we want you to give us $50,000 towards this wall.” And the mob boss, Tony, is like, “Man, how do you even know this money?” And he’s like, “Sir, it’s our job. We know you have the money.” And so anyway, there is some measure of the school’s willing to play ball. So, again, for those clients, Jake, we do not shy away from them. And frankly, a lot of them have the same problem that if a guy is making or gal is making $500,000 a year didn’t save for college, likely the kid’s gonna want to get a more expensive private school. Right? Because it kind of goes with lifestyle creep. And now, it’s not like the, you know, the other spouse can go get a job, and they can just give that money to college. Because now, the government’s taking 45 or 50, or 55% of what they make. So, to go pay college $70,000 a year, somebody’s got to go make 150 more on top of that. So now we not only get into, “Hey, if we can save, you know, $10,000 a year on your taxes, times four years, that’s 40,000. That’s one year of tuition. And if we can get another $10,000 a year of merit money, that’s two years of tuition. And if we can strategize and not have to take these higher interest student loans, but maybe use some home equity at 3% now and spread it out.” Now, that becomes just as important to that family as moving around the 100, you know, the 100 or $150,000 of assets that they might have in 529 plans that would have hurt them. Does that make sense, Nate? That makes sense to me, but I want to make sure it makes sense.
Nate Hagerty 45:21
I mean, I think the tweener families that are making like 200 to 400. Who? I mean, that’s, that’s probably a tough nut, right?
Ron Caruthers 45:31
Yeah, that’s really I mean, like… So again, we work with all kinds of families. You’re gonna get.. your average, if you decide to dive into this. By the way, where’s the best place to dive in? Well, couple ways. One is, if you’ve got an existing practice, and you just start mentioning to them that you do this, they’re going to be reaching out to you, or your neighbor will be because people love to chat about college. I think we threw up that slide earlier, Nate, you know, of me all chubby and stuff, which was… hold on, let me throw it back on the screen here.
Nate Hagerty 46:07
This is an amazing PR opportunity because media, they’re dying for content.
Ron Caruthers 46:13
The media loves it. I was on KUSI. At one point, which is our local, actually, it’s pretty funny. They’re a local kind of Independent news. And they kind of skew just middle of the road. But the funniest thing is CNN called them a while ago about border walls. You know, they’re like, “Oh, you guys are down in San Diego. How’s that border wall working?” And they’re like, “It’s working great.” And they’re like, “Okay, we’re not interested in you.” And they’re real nice. They do a lot of community stuff. That’s what they are. They’re a community news group. You know, so it’s pretty easy to get on there. But I was on there, like every other week at one point. Um, but of course, they always got to come in with the skinniest lady they got there… jerks. But they would, I mean, again, it’s very easy to get on major news channels. And so, going to your existing clients, because everybody loves to talk about this, turning around, and holding like, community events where you’re like, “Look, I’m just going to show you guys how to save money for college” is the easiest thing in the world to do. And when we try to do that, in the seminar world, like for retirement seminars, we don’t get near the attendance for those.
Nate Hagerty 47:25
Well, and on top of that is that your existing clients, like once you do it for a couple people, and if you… especially if you pick the right kind of people, they are going to want to tell their friends.
Ron Caruthers 47:36
Nate Hagerty 47:36
I mean, when you save and get like $30,000 a year of free money, and like that’s, that’s, that’s kind of a money. Like, that’s the sort of thing where they’re gonna tell their close friends.
Ron Caruthers 47:51
Absolutely. So, again, there’s a lot to this. Let’s see. Anonymous, I don’t know what you’re going on. I apologize, though, if we… there, we totally screwed up on our end. Because I’ve been running, so we had a couple of different times. So, I’m not sure what you missed. But Anonymous, if you reach out to me and shoot me an email, we’ll get you right on the calendar and answer all those questions for you about everything, and I’m assuming it’s the same person. And I feel like we’ve been pretty gracious about answering every question that’s come our way. And the only thing I’m trying to stay away from is I told Nate we weren’t going to make the sales pitch. And if I start explaining to you all that, we’re gonna we’re gonna use kind of the rest of our time to do that. So, just reach out if you’re interested. I’ll spend as much time as you want, Anonymous, to answer these questions for you. So, we’ll take care of you. Um, anyway. Let me tell you guys, Nate, what do you think would be the most beneficial for you guys to hear on this or guys gals? You know…
Nate Hagerty 49:00
What are the options? Where you gonna go next?
Ron Caruthers 49:02
Marketing? Strategies? You guys want to throw cases like, “Hey, I got a client who blank…” We can do that.
Nate Hagerty 49:09
I like that. So, if any of you guys want to throw up a client. All right. Well, Jake, Jake is our Huckleberry. Jake, you need to have a conversation with Ron seems like. The example you showed earlier, the bulk of the money you got for someone else. You can read it?
Ron Caruthers 49:26
Yeah, there’s no specific schools that people need to choose the school based on the financial part, can the student choose and then you go after the money? So, there’s a little bit of both. So, if you remember what I told you about the formula, number one was: we got to figure out where they stand. So, again, your million dollar guy is going to be a different boat than your $500,000 guy which is a different boat than your $150,000 guy.
Nate Hagerty 49:51
It’s just a different boat than like the $50,000 person.
Ron Caruthers 49:54
Yeah, totally. So, again, college is going to attract a lot of people. What you would be surprised on is people think they’re going to get broke people as clients, and nothing could be further from the truth. You’re going to get an upper middle class audience. You know, my clientele for college is made up of engineers, chiropractors, dentists, middle management, teachers, lawyers. Yeah, we even let lawyers in. Tax professionals, you’d be surprised how many tax professionals I’ve gotten on a personal basis, that are like, “I don’t have the time. They didn’t teach me this. You just take it over.” So, you’re going to get a lot of this. So, step number one is where are they at. We’re going to, obviously handle the million dollar guy a little bit differently than the, you know, $150,000 than the $50,000. But then the question becomes… so in this guy’s case, the $25 million guy, he didn’t get to $25 million by throwing his money around. I mean, he lives in a $2 million house himself, he bought another $2 million house right down by the Hotel Del Coronado. Like right around the corner from it. Then he’s gonna move in and rent this other place now. But I mean, he’s not frivolous with his money. So, he’s like, “Whoa. This is a money decision. We are going to pick schools that our daughter wants to go to, but that also have resources for her.” So, we generally try not to have a student fall in love with one school. And we try to turn around and give them options. And in step two, give them a realistic expectation of what they can… What they’re going to get. Which schools have more money, which schools have less. And we’re going to help massage that list a little bit for these guys. So, we’re going to turn around and tell them, “Look, you can turn around, and, um, you know, this school is going to have more money, and she really likes the school. This school is going to have a little bit less. But here’s three schools that have similar fields and similar student bodies and similar majors that tend to have more money.” So, we’re going to try and help with that list as well. We’re also going to step something like who’s going to help them figure out how to pay their share. So again, one of the biggest things that we provide for clients is peace of mind. And peace of mind is not laying awake at night worrying where next semester’s tuition is going to come from even if you’re getting 25 or $30,000, a year. At a $70,000 year school, hey, that’s good. It beats getting poked in the eye. But what it also means is you’ve still got 30, or 35, or $40,000 that you need to worry about. So, you know, we work to develop a full plan for these guys. That’s what we’re charging the fees for. And fill out the forms for us so they don’t get screwed up and also the appeal that you’ll work. Because if school A gives them a bunch of money a school B doesn’t, we ask, you’d be surprised how much of the time, Nate, where school B will turn around and give them some more money and be like, “Alright, alright. Well, we’ll match school A.” So, hopefully that gave you some idea of an overview of what’s going on.
Nate Hagerty 53:22
Michael put a really good juicy question in there. It’s a very… I imagine there’s a lot of clients like this. W-2 folks who are, you know, 300k or so annually. They’ve got stocks, and they’ve got a good net worth.
Ron Caruthers 53:41
Nate Hagerty 53:42
What’s the sort of process… can you get aid for someone like that?
Ron Caruthers 53:46
Yeah, I do it all the time. Now Michael, it doesn’t mean that every school that they’re going to is going to offer them money. So, the first question is… let’s say they’ve got two kids. And again, we gave you the example my goal of business owners and real estate investors just because they came up and we kind of started riffing on that. Most of my clients don’t have businesses. Most are… you know, like, I you guys all know Qualcomm. I mean, at one point, you know, half of Qualcomm were clients of mine when they were a lot smaller. And you know, they had a lot of young engineers that were 40 with kids that were 18 you know…15. So, if we turn around and looked at that. First of all, never forget that there’s merit money that’s available, but there’s a very specific way to go about getting it. That will blow your mind for all of the talk about SATs being outdated and possibly racist, although I’ve never figured that one out. Or whatever. Schools may or may not be using SATS or ACTS for admissions, but they’re almost 100% of consideration for merit aid. So anyway. Merit aid, 100% of the consideration is SAT or ACT unless the kid is like star athlete or musician or something like that. Merit aid is… Jake is simply money, like, “Hey, we don’t care about your need. We’re just gonna throw money at you to come here.” So, scholarships if you want to think of are merit based, grants are need based, but you know, some schools kind of interchange those words. So that’s what I’m referring to with merit aid. So back to Michael’s question. First of all, is we would take that client, and number one…
Nate Hagerty 55:48
Let me read it to everybody who is maybe just listening or doesn’t see the Q&A.
Ron Caruthers 55:52
Perfect, go for it.
Nate Hagerty 55:53
This is for business owners and real estate investors. How about a client?
Ron Caruthers 55:59
I screwed it up by answering it live? Sorry about that.
Nate Hagerty 56:02
How about the client with the husband and wife’s W-2s at 300-250k annually, a million dollars in stocks and retirement accounts, 2.5 million overall net worth. Can’t imagine that client is getting any aid. Alright.
Ron Caruthers 56:14
Yeah. So number one, we’re going to work to figure out which schools have money and which schools don’t. And I have clients, depending on how many students are in school, we have clients where they actually in that income bracket, if we’ve got a couple of them going to school at once… I’ve got a rocket scientist right now. Okay, he’s W-2 all the way. He is literally 76 years old. He worked for NASA. I should have put this in the promotional material name because I didn’t think of it because he was just dead last week.
Nate Hagerty 56:43
A 76 year old as a father of a college kid?
Ron Caruthers 56:45
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. His story is creepy. And finally, at one point, here’s a look at it all. I just asked them like, “How old are you?” Because you’re telling me his career is like, “Yes, I worked for NASA. I sent six shuttle space shuttle to Space Station.” He’s from Poland, originally. He goes, “I am literal rocket scientist and I cannot figure out stupid FAFSA. It make no sense to me.” So, he’s a new client. And so we got him. And he’s just like, “I can figure out how to send something to the moon and back. I can’t figure this out.” So, he’s got $260,000 of income. He’s got all the assets, Michael, that you just described in your client. Now, we do have the advantage that he is 76. But he’s got two kids going to $75,000 a year private schools. And you would be surprised because the only thing that sucks is we are playing late. But he’s got a kid at Yale, and a kid at Claremont McKenna out here. And I imagine that we will get significant money, I’ll call significant anything over five figures. So $10,000 and above. Because that means it’s 15 or $18,000 that doesn’t come out of this guy’s pocket taxable. And I will bet we get it, even though we’re filing late. So, it absolutely does work. Now, they’ve talked… Congress supposedly made a change to no longer take into a fact account that you have more than one student going to school. But again, that’s for federal aid. The colleges will still be… we can still appeal this and explain to them, “Look, I got two kids.”
Nate Hagerty 58:24
“Look, I got seven kids.”
Ron Caruthers 58:25
Yeah, you got seven kids. But for my guy, the rocket scientist who’s again, in a very similar situation, my explanation is gonna be, “Look, I make $260,000. Yes, but you want 75 and they want 75. And the government wants 50. That leaves nothing for me and my wife to live on. Come on, please work with us.” And I’ve got one of them, that at least will. And I’m ready. If we’d just gotten started earlier, both of them might have worked with us. So, I mean, both of the colleges might have worked.
Nate Hagerty 58:56
Right, right, right.
Ron Caruthers 58:57
So, I warned him. I didn’t charge him a lot for that. I charged him like 1500 bucks to file the forms and write a couple letters for him. And so again, it’ll probably take a couple hours of my time, and a couple hours of my assistant’s time. And I probably couldn’t charge them more. I’m just like, “Oh, let’s see what happens. You know, and I want you to get a good result. But I can’t promise anything.” So I’m not, you know, this…
Nate Hagerty 59:19
But if you had started with him earlier, you would have appealed to the schools, not from the federal standpoint, but from their own, kind of like…
Ron Caruthers 59:26
Because Yale has a ton of money. Claremont McKenna has a ton of money. So Michael to answer your question. There is a lot of money available even at that level. And again, even the quote unquote, the formula is supposedly changing, and by the way, we’re lobbying very hard to change it because again, it’s Congress. It didn’t make any sense. But yeah, that’s really kind of to answer your question. That is my bread and butter. I would have no hesitation taking them as a client and no concern that I would be delivering anything less than an excellent result for them.
Nate Hagerty 1:00:02
So, um, I want to honor your time. You are weirdly available to people as a very, like, sought after 20,000 plus followers on Twitter guy.
Ron Caruthers 1:00:17
Yeah, occasionally, occasionally I regret it. I won’t lie to you. Occasionally.
Nate Hagerty 1:00:21
Yeah. Yeah. But you are weirdly available. And so, I put your email address… I’m sure your assistant gets that. But
Ron Caruthers 1:00:31
She does. But she’ll schedule a time. And look, yeah, I book up a couple of weeks in… a week and a half in advance, I’m usually booked. But if you guys want to reach out and chat more, talk about your own clients, chat about, you know, “Hey, I want some help on this.” We’ll walk you through what we do. It’s not outrageous. I just didn’t want to invest the time in it today. You know, I promised Nate I wouldn’t. And, and again, but I’m happy to chat about it. And it’s a great way. Again, I’ll just summarize for you guys. Ed Beauvais is a perfect example. 35 clients yielded more for him a year than his entire tax practice, which he’s been doing forever. And it’s, you know, he does both cuz he’s, he’s crazy, you know. And I’m not greedy. And but you know what I mean. But anyway. It is something to add. And really what’s great about this is you really do feel good about what you’re doing because we are solving a problem that you have clients right now, every single one of you still on this call, have clients that are chain smoking at night and downing martinis and facing the hallway trying to figure out how in the heck they’re going to take care of this. This is where we can step in and do this.
Nate Hagerty 1:01:52
Craig has good question in the chat. I think what he means is, he wants to know, he said, “I’ve gotten aid merit for my children. I’ve done you know, but you mentioned that you can file FAFSA on behalf of other people.” He did not realize that could be done. That is a fee based service that you can provide to your clients, all of you who are listening to this.
Ron Caruthers 1:02:15
And let me just correct this name, just so you don’t get any trouble. Congress tried to outlaw the file the charging of fees for filing of FAFSA.
Nate Hagerty 1:02:23
Yeah, thank you. I don’t know this stuff.
Ron Caruthers 1:02:24
So hold on. However, what they were really trying to do, Craig, was put… there was an organization called fafsa.com that people would log on to, they’d be like, “Hey, we’ll file your FAFSA for two hundred dollars. And so it wasn’t really a scam, per se. But the Congress was like, “Hey, people can do this for free.” And so we don’t want them to feel that the only way that they can get this done is by filing, you know, and paying you guys. So, they really they put this language in there, Craig, to put them out of business. And they did, by the way. They’re gone. And so none of my colleagues or myself are actually worried about it. Because we’re like, “Really, you’re paying for the consulting. You’re paying for the other pieces, which does not violate their rules.” And by the way, legally, there’s even ways that I’ve read it, where I’m like, “That’s not really what they’re saying. What they’re saying is you can’t charge someone access to have a FAFSA.” And again, FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student. So even when I teach my classes, I’m like, “Look, you guys can all do this yourself. Just like you can do your own plumbing, and write your own will, file your own taxes.” Yes, Stephanie’s showing up like a vision with my coffee. Thank you so much. Anyway, so yeah, we just go like, “Look, you can do it all yourself. Here’s where you go.” But statistically, about four to five parents screw this step up, and it costs some money. And again, Congress wrote these explanations and rules so they don’t really make sense the way like sane people would think it would make sense. Anyway, there you go. So Craig, again, if you want to chat about it individually, and for Ron Caruthers, the bringer of coffee, goddess of all things appointment related, will reach back out to you. It’ll probably be in 10 days before we can get you in. But happy to answer questions, talk about specifics.
Nate Hagerty 1:04:36
And I want everyone who’s still listening to understand. I mean, I like… I don’t want to flex, but I’ll flex a little bit. Ron is an extremely sought after speaker and thought leader in a variety of different contexts. He doesn’t do a lot of these kinds of sessions. It’s because 15 years ago, you know, he took me under his wing, so to speak. And believed in little old me, that he’s willing to do this sort of thing. And now here we are later. And there’s a lot of people here, but I just want you guys to know, like, I hope you appreciate the time that he’s put in. Because he’s not, we don’t have any kind of business deal associated with this, like, he’s just, he’s just doing this and is willing to, to help my people. So, I know that like, if you want to invest and like buy all his material, he’ll do that. And it’s not like expensive. Right. Right. Um, I would highly recommend you do that. I mean, golly. There’s… I’ve seen so many stories from a lot of our clients over the years who’ve bought from Ron, like, just the shortcuts, and taken and just done it. Now, there’s some people who just take, like, go hog wild, and go into research mode, and figure it out, and they do it, and they don’t need Ron’s help and awesome. Good job. But I like shortcuts. I mean, I love that kind of thing. So, I don’t think it’s… Jake, to answer your question, it doesn’t take you a lot of time. Or you can provide the services. I like, honestly, especially with the shortcuts that you could get access to with Ron if you wanted, but if you don’t want to put in that… it’s gonna cost either money or time. I mean, to get to do this well. And I prefer, like, you can always get back money in lots of ways. I prefer to save time with money whenever possible. And so I highly recommend you make that choice as well.
Ron Caruthers 1:05:33
Not cheap. Not expensive. It’s reasonable. If I may say something. Look again, we’ll chat. I’ll walk you through. We have a couple different options. But what I think Nate and I were really trying to bring to you guys was after what it may call the 18 month tax season, right? This is an alternative, we’re off a small number of clients, without tons of… we’re not completely retraining you, because you already understand the reason we charged significantly more for a franchise is because we’re turning around… Oh, and you’re very welcome, Craig… is we have turned around a lot of times we’re getting butcher, baker, candlestick makers in, and we got to train them on everything. How to read a tax return and all kinds of things. With you guys, we can shorten a lot of that because now we’re just expanding on an existing knowledge base. So…
Nate Hagerty 1:07:24
And you’ve got an existing client base.
Ron Caruthers 1:07:39
Oh, yeah, Nate’s right. We really don’t speak, I don’t speak on this a whole lot more. I prefer to fight with randos on Twitter. It’s fun. So um, yeah, if you want to reach out. If there’s any other questions before we cut everybody loose. I know we went a little bit over and…
Nate Hagerty 1:07:58
I think you’ve covered it, brother. I mean, I, again, I am so grateful, Ron, for your friendship and for just all the ways that you’ve served my people.
Ron Caruthers 1:08:09
My pleasure. Text me what type of watch you go when we’re all done? And don’t forget to let me know when we need to start planning for your kids because I know, just let me know whenever. I tend to honor my word.
Nate Hagerty 1:08:19
You might be soon.
Ron Caruthers 1:08:21
So alright. No other questions. Nate, are we good for today?
Nate Hagerty 1:08:23
I think we’re good. Thanks, everybody.
Ron Caruthers 1:08:26
Yeah, my pleasure. I hope you guys learned a ton.
Nate Hagerty 1:08:28
Get me the recording. Give me the recording because I’m going to blast it.
Ron Caruthers 1:08:31
I’ll send it over to you. It should be ready in the next hour or so. I’ll send it out to you. Alright. Take care, everybody. We’ll chat with you soon. Bye, bye. Nate, good seeing you man. Bye bye.