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Old 11-11-2013, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paying for kids college, which way to go?

My wife and I spent 3 hours with our friend who is a financial advisor and started us on our Life insurance policies. While we are comfortable with life insurance portion, we started talking about our 11 month old's college tuition. I've been exploring different options 529s, pre-paid state plans, Roth IRAs, etc.

I don't want him knowing that we have a majority of it covered in hopes to keep him grounded and strive for scholarships and grants. Oh I don't have to try hard, mom and dad have it covered. My parents did not pay a dime for me to go.

Is there any option more beneficial than the other in your opinion?

While this is our first child, we hope to have a little bigger family in the future, we want to get a jump on it now. College tuition is getting in the way of my retirement.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good luck with whatever route you go. My parents used the, your a big boy and didn't take a athletic scholarship so now you can pay for your own haha.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Worry about normal bills next ten years or so. Start worrying about college when junior high hits
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Worry about normal bills next ten years or so. Start worrying about college when junior high hits
While its good to actually save a bit, the above is what you should do first. Youre doing good by planning on not letting them know.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I plan on not letting my kid(s) know they will have assistance. I too went to college practically on my own. I say practically as I did live at home 5 of the 6 years. But, I got scholarships, lived at home to save on room and board, and racked up loans. I had a plan, and I want my kid(s) to have a plan. I believe kids that have a plan and the urgency to "get it right" are better prepared to succeed.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My wife and I are probably 2-3 years behind your family. (no kid yet, but probably soon.) I just got my M.A. in August and I have zero student debt. I worked for a year saving to pay for college and covered the first two years of undergrad with that, then my parents helped cover the last two years. When I made it to grad school, we paid for my first semester and then I got picked up as a teaching assistant and the university covered everything after that. So I worked, got help, and got lucky along my way to a degree. It really takes a village to get someone through college and to those who've done it on their own - I sincerely tip my hat to you!

However, having said all of that, there are two things to remember:

1. The Bachelor's is now the new High School diploma. This is an incredibly sad fact of life these days. It's ridiculous the kinds of places you need a B.A. to work for now.

2. Not everyone needs to go to college. Most great careers happen because of who you know, not the letters behind your name. If you or your kid are great at networking and can get an offer at a young age, there really is no reason to try to foot the university bill on your own. If an employer really likes and wants to keep you, a lot of the time they will pick up the bill and make sure you get your degree.

As for what you and your wife are doing, I think it's great. Nothing can ruin a young life like crushing school debt and having just a little parental support can make all the difference. (But not telling them the support is there and making them exert themselves studying is also a good idea)
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good for you to be planning ahead....my parents gave me some spending money for college, but everthing else was paid for through loans, work study programs, grants, etc...

Anyway, back to your original question...

Everything obviously has its pros and cons, depends on your tax situation, how strict any of the prepaid plans are, the state you would get a 529 in (ie do you get a tax break)...I've kept wavering between 529 and Roth...figured I could do the Roth as a just in case the kid doesn;t go to college, but now I have 3, so I figure if I fund 2 529 plans, its still not going to be enough but at least will help them out a bit.

I've been saving into the 529 since they were 3, not alot into it, but better than nothing...as for the Roth IRA route....just remember, they can always borrow money for school, you can't really borrow money for your retirement.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I joined the military and made the taxpayers foot the bill. My parents laughed when i.asked if i.was getting any assistance.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think that it's a great idea to start saving for your kid's tuition. In order for one to pay for their own tuition, they are either going to have to work a lot of hours at part time job during high school (where their marks will suffer) or they will have to take out student loans and be in debt while they start their career. Education is one of the best things to invest in, especially for your children.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Worry about normal bills next ten years or so. Start worrying about college when junior high hits
This is what poor people say. Or people who don't plan well.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We just got done paying for my daughters first year of college. When they said the down payment alone was $17,000 and the rest due after all admission requirements were done I knew we were in trouble. $42,000 total but that does include everything. Dorm,meals,transportation, the whole 9 yards. We have already started saving for next year.

I also have a 15 yr. old who will be going in a few years. We have two very good incomes in our house and it is still not gonna be enough. They are gonna have to cover some of it at some point themselves.

A degree does help thats for sure but its not always guaranteed.

I have a sister who has a B.A and she earns around $45,000

I have another sister with a Masters and she pulls in around $58,000

I have a brother who barely graduated high school and cannot spell worth a crap. He pulls in $125,000 a year and gets 3 months off a year with full pay.

Not quite sure who I should call the smart one? My Sisters or my Brother.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We just got done paying for my daughters first year of college. When they said the down payment alone was $17,000 and the rest due after all admission requirements were done I knew we were in trouble. $42,000 total but that does include everything. Dorm,meals,transportation, the whole 9 yards. We have already started saving for next year.

I also have a 15 yr. old who will be going in a few years. We have two very good incomes in our house and it is still not gonna be enough. They are gonna have to cover some of it at some point themselves.

A degree does help thats for sure but its not always guaranteed.

I have a sister who has a B.A and she earns around $45,000

I have another sister with a Masters and she pulls in around $58,000

I have a brother who barely graduated high school and cannot spell worth a crap. He pulls in $125,000 a year and gets 3 months off a year with full pay.


Not quite sure who I should call the smart one? My Sisters or my Brother.
Depends on what your sisters majored in - not necessarily whether they went to college.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think that it's a great idea to start saving for your kid's tuition. In order for one to pay for their own tuition, they are either going to have to work a lot of hours at part time job during high school (where their marks will suffer) or they will have to take out student loans and be in debt while they start their career. Education is one of the best things to invest in, especially for your children.
When I was getting ready to go to college the plan I came up with with my parents was that they would pay for it initially and then I would pay them back a portion of the amount over time. It meant I'd still have to pay for a good portion of it but I wouldn't have to worry about getting killed by interest on a loan.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Unless my kids want to be Doctors, Lawyers or Engineers (and maybe not even), I am going to recommend they get into a good trade.

I was a high school drop out myself, and made a pretty good life without college. My brother was a 7 year Mechanical Engineering Degree'd individual who never once used his degree for work. He's now a Oracle Programmer PM making very good money -not at all related to his degree(s).

Some would say he was a fool for going through all of that college, only to make the same as his high school dropout IT Director brother who partied for 10 years after high school.

I definitely had more fun, and love the fact that I saved my parents many thousands of dollars opting out of school.

I still wish I had become a mechanic instead, and will encourage my kids if they choose that path.

IMO college is a joke unless you are going to be a rocket scientist, Dr. or Lawyer. Most people do not need it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Great that you are planning ahead and looking to help your child through college. The first thing I would do would be not to let the child know that you are saving in order to keep them motivated into saving for themselves. At this point you have no idea if they will be interested in going to college or whatever may happen in the next 15+ years in your own life. Two of my kids are in college now and will be graduating next April. Both have used scholarships, grants and a very small amount in loans to put themselves through college. I pay for their apartment, gas and help them in whatever they need that may come up. This has work for all of us and has allowed them to learn that it take effort and some sacrifice to get what they want.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Unless my kids want to be Doctors, Lawyers or Engineers (and maybe not even), I am going to recommend they get into a good trade.

I was a high school drop out myself, and made a pretty good life without college. My brother was a 7 year Mechanical Engineering Degree'd individual who never once used his degree for work. He's now a Oracle Programmer PM making very good money -not at all related to his degree(s).

Some would say he was a fool for going through all of that college, only to make the same as his high school dropout IT Director brother who partied for 10 years after high school.

I definitely had more fun, and love the fact that I saved my parents many thousands of dollars opting out of school.

I still wish I had become a mechanic instead, and will encourage my kids if they choose that path.

IMO college is a joke unless you are going to be a rocket scientist, Dr. or Lawyer. Most people do not need it.
That's a pretty ridiculous statement.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Careful when stating _______ has a college degree and only makes ________ while this other person doesn't have degree and makes more.

The college degree has a better chance at stability in the long run.
Also, it's important to keep in mind what the degree is in when comparing salaries. If a person with a degree only makes (insert somewhat low salary) it might be because they chose a profession that although noble might not be one that society dictates as a high paying job (ie teacher, social worker)


Also, having connections /networking is HUGE but hate hearing young adults / teenagers talk about no need for college because their relative will hook them up



As far as my previous statement and advice about worrying about current bills first instead of putting decent sum of money towards a newborn's college fund ---
I stand by it. If you have ANY credit card debt, side loans, stress over ,monthly bills, and so on take care of those bills first.

My sister in law and her husband are constantly fighting over monthly bills and are slowly but surely racking up the credit cards bills...yet they are about a year into putting funds into college nest egg for their 2 year old.
Those credit card bills and the stress over monthly bills should not exist. They both have decent paying jobs but are destroying their relationship / worrying about making sure they have $150-200K saved up for college payments in 16-18 years.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That's a pretty ridiculous statement.
That it was. People take that one person they know and think it means that you never need college because that ONE person makes good money. Good luck getting into A LOT of jobs without a college degree. Granted, studying hip hop entertainment, or going to school to major in athletic business to be an agent, those are useless degrees, but getting a business degree, math, chemistry, physics, Criminal Justice, a lot of degrees are helpful. It is also foolish to get a degree at an extrememly expensive school without assistance, when you can get the same degree at a pretty decent school for way less money. It just all depends on what you are studying and where you are studying, but college is FAR from useless.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Good for you to be planning ahead....my parents gave me some spending money for college, but everthing else was paid for through loans, work study programs, grants, etc...

Anyway, back to your original question...

Everything obviously has its pros and cons, depends on your tax situation, how strict any of the prepaid plans are, the state you would get a 529 in (ie do you get a tax break)...I've kept wavering between 529 and Roth...figured I could do the Roth as a just in case the kid doesn;t go to college, but now I have 3, so I figure if I fund 2 529 plans, its still not going to be enough but at least will help them out a bit.

I've been saving into the 529 since they were 3, not alot into it, but better than nothing...as for the Roth IRA route....just remember, they can always borrow money for school, you can't really borrow money for your retirement.
529s are transferrable. They can transfer within the family, including to cousins, in-laws, and parents. The latter being pretty important. If a kid doesn't go to college or better yet, gets a full ride, you can roll the 529 over to yourself and pay for PGA school or cooking school with the wife or whatever.

You can also roll one over into another. So if you did set up 3 accounts and a kid doesn't go to college, you can roll it into one who does.

I wouldn't look at a Roth as a replacement for a 529 but then everyone's situation is different.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #21 (permalink)
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That it was. People take that one person they know and think it means that you never need college because that ONE person makes good money. Good luck getting into A LOT of jobs without a college degree. Granted, studying hip hop entertainment, or going to school to major in athletic business to be an agent, those are useless degrees, but getting a business degree, math, chemistry, physics, Criminal Justice, a lot of degrees are helpful. It is also foolish to get a degree at an extrememly expensive school without assistance, when you can get the same degree at a pretty decent school for way less money. It just all depends on what you are studying and where you are studying, but college is FAR from useless.
Agree with most of the above.
I have to go back to my original statement: there needs to be a plan for the degree. I went to a small private school and tuition was $18k my freshman year (2000). For the life of me, I can't imagine going to that school to get a business or teaching degree WITHOUT a SIGNIFICANT scholarship, and I mean scholarship. It's simple math: look at what the earning potential that degree will provide and compare that to what you're going to rack up in debt. I really don't get these idiots that whine about their college debt when they were paying more per year in tuition than the average salary of that degree. Hell, just look at what the monthly payment for those loans are going to be and what the paycheck is going to be. You've got to think about what is left over. Sallie Mae doesn't give back $#!+, and she can find you when the FBI, CIA and NSA can't... You're not getting out of those payments.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:20 AM   #22 (permalink)
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That's a pretty ridiculous statement.
That's your opinion, just as I stated mine.

IMO school is a waste of time and money, and I had the opportunity to have a FREE RIDE AS A DROPOUT to any MD State College. STILL DO have that option as well. I have no desire to use it.

Don't hate
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Parents can help pay for college? Dang it my parents lied to me! :turkey:
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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That's your opinion, just as I stated mine.

IMO school is a waste of time and money, and I had the opportunity to have a FREE RIDE AS A DROPOUT to any MD State College. STILL DO have that option as well. I have no desire to use it.

Don't hate
I'll hate all I want when a ridiculous blanket statement is put out there. It's awful advice and people need to know that.

It doesn't have to be "love or hate" for college as there are plenty of varying ways to handle it - but saying you have to be a Doctor or Lawyer to get any use out of college is flat out asinine.

So I'll hate on that.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I did not go to business school. You know who else didn’t go to business school? LeBron James, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant. They went right from high school to the NBA so… So, it’s not the same thing at all.
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