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August 22, 2020

Get it Together Before You Go
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When your time comes to leave everything behind, will you also leave your loved ones a mess on unorganized papers? A consultant says now is the time to organize your records. Then, financing a college education for your kids can be a real challenge. But not if you plan ahead.
Episode Segments:
InfoTrak: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To
Melanie Cullen, management and technology consultant, author of Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To said disorganization can be a nightmare for those who need to step in to help an elderly person as a caregiver or estate executor. She offered simple ways to organize important records like passwords, financial records, insurance policies, funeral arrangements, and other personal information.
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Financial Planning for College
Peter Mazareas, PhD, worked with the U.S. Congress on legislation to create 529 savings plans. He is co-author of Plan and Finance Your Family's College Dreams: A Parent's Step-By-Step Guide from Pre-K to Senior Year Planning and paying for a college education is a daunting task for most parents. Dr. Mazareas discussed the merits and complexities of 529 savings plans, which allow parents to save tax-free for higher education expenses. He said that there are numerous free and easy-to-access tools for parents to plan for the costs of college.
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Selfies and Self Esteem
Pamela Rutledge, PhD, is Director of the Media Psychology Research Center, Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, and author the “Positively Media” column for, Dr. Rutledge talked about the effect of selfies, Instagram and other social media phenomenon on girls’ self-esteem. She believes that parents should not be overly concerned, that selfies are just the latest form of exploration and identity experimentation in teenagers’ formative years.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Melanie Cullen
Melanie Cullen is an avid planner and a blue-chip organizer. She got these traits from her mother - whose death inspired Get It Together. "Even though she was very organized, winding up my mother's affairs required extraordinary effort, significant research, and some guesswork on my part. I vowed then to make the process easier for my daughters."

With this goal in mind, she developed her own planner, organizing all of her important records into a road map for her loved ones. A peace descended - from the comforting organization, but also from the experience of facing her eventual demise. These are several of the benefits in creating a personal planner, both to the person getting organized, as well as to the survivors.

Melanie's publications represent a broad range of interests and include Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To; various articles appearing on the LegacyConnect, Projects@Work, Nolo, and other websites; The 1-2-3 Macro Library; and B2C Internet Practices. She has been interviewed on live radio and for articles relating to project management, making final arrangements, and selecting financial and legal professionals. She has been a featured speaker at conferences sponsored by IBM Corporation and Food Marketing Institute.

Learn More About Melanie

Peter Mazareas
Dr. Peter Mazareas is considered one of the nation's foremost experts on college finances and a committed advocate for the national college savings movement. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation, the leading Trade Association for the 529 college savings movement, and the former Executive Director of The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), where he implemented some of the nation's first 529 college savings Plans (UFund) and pre-paid college tuition programs (UPlan). He has served as Deputy Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as a full-time Visiting Professor of Business at Boston College's Carroll Graduate School of Management. Dr. Mazareas received a B.A. from Harvard College, and both a M.B.A and Ph.D from The University of Chicago.

Plan and Finance Your Family's College Dreams