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Generation after generation, parents have taught their children to prepare for college now, which often means in elementary school or even earlier.
These days, financial experts like John McDonough are giving parents the same advice.
"Can you afford the college that will give them the best chance in life? Will paying for their education force you to have to work well into your golden years? These are the questions I ask parents every day," says McDonough, CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, CollegeFundingFreedom.com, which offers advice for parents worrying about how to pay for their child's education.
"Many parents really don't know how to begin answering these questions; they are afraid of walking into a financial situation that they won't be able to safely walk out of. But the alternative – saddling their children with debt well into their 30s and 40s – is not an appealing alternative."
McDonough reviews four disturbing trends in the challenge of paying for a college education:
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