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Scott Snider

Retirement, Investing, Lifestage Based Planning
“Scott Snider is a fee-only financial planner based in Jacksonville, FL, and is the owner and founder of Mellen Money Management.”

Mellen Money Management LLC

Job Title:

Principal, Financial Planner


After spending much of his 11-year career as an advisor for a large regional bank, Scott Snider decided it was time to break away from corporate America and start an independent financial planning firm -- Mellen Money Management. Scott's firm is based in Jacksonville, Florida with the ability to work with clients around the country via video conference. His company's offerings include full-service investment management and comprehensive financial planning. While their specialty is helping young professionals and families navigate past the confusing maze of college financial aid and student loans.

It is Scott's mission to end the student debt crisis one family at a time through proactive planning. In fact, Scott believes the cost of college cannot be solved in a vacuum. Financial trade-offs, like saving for retirement, must be prioritized and included with such large expenditures. In other words, Scott's company helps their clients plan for the financial impact of major life transitions so that they are prepared for life's biggest moments. Such an approach has helped Scott's client realize their dreams and live a more fulfilling life.

Please explore the Mellen Money Managment website, check out the FAQ page for answers to our most common questions, subscribe to The Money Blog to stay up to date with the latest content, or contact Scott to learn how we can help.


BS, Finance, Miami University

Assets Under Management:

$5 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


  • Who is Mellen Money Management
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September 2017
    Personal Finance
February 2018
    Debt, College Tuition, Personal Finance, Taxes
April 2018
    Financial Planning, Personal Finance
August 2017
    Retirement Plans, Retirement Savings
December 2017
    College Tuition, Debt

All Answers
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    Debt, Financial Planning, Retirement, IRAs, Income Tax
Should I use retirement money to pay for graduate school?
100% of people found this answer helpful

Probably not because while you might avoid the 10% IRS penalty, you still have to pay taxes on any earnings and likely some of the principal given that your employer match is pre-tax. Furthermore, the S&P 500 has averaged 10% annual returns since 1928, which is greater than the 6% - 7% interest rate you would pay on your Federal student loans. However, more details are necessary to make the right recommendation.

Here's a general rule of thumb with student debt, make sure that the total debt you graduate with does not exceed your expected salary in the field you are pursuing. For example, the average MBA graduate can expect to enter the workforce making $100,000, so anything less than $100,000 in student loans is manageable. Anything more, and careful planning is necessary.

If for some reason it is unavoidable that your student debt exceeds your expected income, then you should consider using a portion of your retirement funds. While I don't like my clients robbing their retirement to pay for their education, there are some instances where there is no other good choice. In that scenario, it is also wise to enroll in one of the income-driven repayment plans like PAYE, REPAYE, or IBR because the standard 10-year payment plan will likely exceed what you can afford. From there you need to project and compare if your student debt is eligible for forgiveness -- 2 types, public sector (PSLF, 10 years) and private sector (20-25 years), and compare to refinancing for a period of 10-15 years. At that point, you select from the lowest cost option that fits your budget.

I hope this helps. For more helpful tips about student loans, check out the content on my blog.

April 2018
What's the difference between an index fund and an ETF?
95% of people found this answer helpful
March 2018
    Mutual Funds
What is the difference between exchange-traded funds and mutual funds?
94% of people found this answer helpful
March 2018
    Investing, Mutual Funds
What is the average annual return for the S&P 500?
93% of people found this answer helpful
May 2017
How does a Roth IRA grow over time?
85% of people found this answer helpful
June 2017