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Old 01-29-2012, 11:02 PM   #41
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When my kids were in middle school I sat each of them down and provided a print out of each of the accounts we had established for their college expenses and a sheet showing what it cost to attend our state university. Then I gave them investment options for that money. Son, my risk taker, told me to put it all in the Magellan Fund; daughter said to split is between the Magellan Fund and CDs.

When they were in college my plan was to divide the account by 4 years and make up the difference. Party money they had to earn. Each worked the 'system' for their situation.

Son, who had out-of-state tuition, figured out what it took to be in-state and cut his costs significantly. His education investments had grown significantly. He also developed a little business on the side as working a job wasn't an option.

Daughter went to a private university, applied for scholarships, work-study jobs and worked in her campus community during the summer. She obtained a couple school loans which we paid off after she graduated. That was probably a 'mistake' on our part as she is earning more than enough to have done that herself. On the other hand we made only a modest contribution for her wedding expenses so, frankly we came out ahead.

Personally I am concerned about the cost of a university education for our grand children. Daughter should be able to fund her kids but her brother has a business and, who knows. We have pre-paid one year's tuition for each of his kids (2 and nearly 4 as I write).
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:19 AM   #42
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Have you mentioned this before and I forgot? (Gumby & M_Paquette are nukes too.) What boats/ships were you on?
Yeah in a thread where we listed our previous occupations. I was in for minimum obligation plus about 4 months. I went to OCS in Newport in 1977, Nuke school in Orlando in 77-78, prototype at Ballston Spa (S7G MARF), sub school in New London and one sea tour on USS Haddo SSN 604 out of San Diego then separated from service in 1982 to raise my children and to pursue a glorious career in commercial nuclear power.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:03 AM   #43
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I did not read the whole thread, but what I did read nobody posted about this...

To the OP... you have mixed things on your decision... you state that it will cost $200K in the future, but then compare it to a $40K or $50K job which is todays dollars... apples and oranges...

As someone did mention, what is the income if they do not... heck, it might be a LOT... I have a neice whos husband works in the oil field and is making about $150K per year... with NO college education... and he is in his early 30s...

Or, it could be $20K to $30K per year... who knows for sure...
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #44
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When my kids were in middle school I sat each of them down and provided a print out of each of the accounts we had established for their college expenses and a sheet showing what it cost to attend our state university.

....
Son, who had out-of-state tuition, figured out what it took to be in-state and cut his costs significantly.

....
Daughter went to a private university, applied for scholarships, work-study jobs and worked in her campus community during the summer. She obtained a couple school loans....
I love this post--the parents sat the kids down and told them exactly what they could expect (and it doesn't matter if it was 100, 50, or 0 percent--that is each family's own decision). The children then had several years to plan around that amount and each did it differently.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #45
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It makes no sense to hide the ball. For one thing they knew that there was an account for them for education beyond high school. No school, no money. It also was the start of an education about investing.

One of the more interesting parental lessons is that a child's attitude about investing reflect the way they approach life and the work world. As I mentioned one who went all equities has a business, what I didn't say is that the other who took a balanced approach is a CFO.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #46
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It makes no sense to hide the ball. For one thing they knew that there was an account for them for education beyond high school. No school, no money. It also was the start of an education about investing.

One of the more interesting parental lessons is that a child's attitude about investing reflect the way they approach life and the work world. As I mentioned one who went all equities has a business, what I didn't say is that the other who took a balanced approach is a CFO.
I like it and I'm glad it worked for you and your family.

That said, I'm not sure that all kids are ready to fully contemplate that financial decision. I think someone here posted a report about how many kids brains just aren't wired to think through these issues - for some it just comes with age, regardless of how intelligent/responsible they may be in other areas.

I've taken a more step-wise approach with our kids, building some responsibility step-by-step. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, just saying that some families may need to adjust based on just how ready their kids are. So far so good, maybe jumping in earlier would have worked as well or better for us? I'll never know!

-ERD50
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:43 AM   #47
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I doubt that the price of tuition will go up as fast as it used to be. Going forward there will be fewer university aspirants. And after current prolonged moderate stock market, no pay raises, high unemployment especially for new graduate and older people, and education loan horror stories.



As far as I am concerned, I have a dilemma, as I am living overseas my kids are not classified as in-state in any state. Most of countries are not generous to foreign students, foreign students tuition is much higher than for local candidates. And I am not earning in $s anymore.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #48
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ERD50, I had concerns about my son in high school but thankfully he didn't step off the edge.

One of the advantages of most education savings plans is that you can transfer the $ to another student or pull it out. Sometimes finding their currency is currency you control.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:22 PM   #49
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Yeah in a thread where we listed our previous occupations. I was in for minimum obligation plus about 4 months. I went to OCS in Newport in 1977, Nuke school in Orlando in 77-78, prototype at Ballston Spa (S7G MARF), sub school in New London and one sea tour on USS Haddo SSN 604 out of San Diego then separated from service in 1982 to raise my children and to pursue a glorious career in commercial nuclear power.
Thanks! I'd forgotten.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #50
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My Vietnam era VA benefit totally paid for my college education. DW had already completed college when we met. DD earned a full academic scholarship that paid for her college education. DS also had an academic scholarship, but flunked out of college after a year or so. He was suspended from college for a year. During that year he held some pretty awful temporary jobs. He is large and strong, which is a major asset on many temporary jobs. When he re-entered college, he paid his own way by working temporary jobs while going to school. If he borrowed money, he did not tell me. He graduated from college and has been gainfully employed for several years.

So, I suppose I lucked out and have not had to pay any college tuition.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:19 PM   #51
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Couple thoughts

- My youngest is doing 2 yrs at local community college. This allows a time to work on studies without all the distractions; It is somewhat cheaper than 4yr college for tuition and they can live at home for 2yrs saving on the room and board (although mine eats so dang much).
- There are jobs they can get where they learn on the job. Although I would say the degree may not payoff like you would want from investment angle it CAN open options not available without one. So there are payoffs that don't hit the bottom line. Also can introduce them to fields they may not consider otherwise.
- Finally, there are options to help pay the costs, such as military service and others that can either provide $$ help or can provide experience that can be used for college credits. I was given about 40 credits when my service experience was evaluated. My son has been working and schooling, and his employer paid for most of first 2yrs before they had to close the shop. My employer also provides tuition assistance as do many.

Just my thoughts...
+1 Also, at least in our state, it becomes much easier to get into the big state schools if you have a year at an extension school. For instance, UW-Madison is insanely hard to get into. However, if you go to a UW- extension school, and have get a B average, it's almost a shoo-in.......
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #52
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College tuition inflation is typically 7-8%. In other words tuition doubles every ten years. If you have a child when you are 30, his college degree is going to cost about eight times what yours cost.

Grants are getting harder to come by every year.

Salaries aren't increasing by 7-8% a year in most jobs.

I don't think ANY 529 plans are returning 7-8% a year.

Those of you talking about paying your own tuition in the 70s/80s experienced very different college costs than are likely to exist 15 years from now.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #53
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I am entirely grateful and always feel indebted (and b/c they are nice parents and raised me) to my parents their support to put me through college. Even when my father lost his job after my first semester, he still encouraged me to stay and finish out school, claiming he would find way. I felt I was entirely capable of making $30k or so a year, so I thought I should help at home and transfer back to a state school where my parents lived and eventually finish out college. While I had to take out some loans, I was encouraged to remain where I was.

Since I have been very fortunate in my career (still under 30 and not able to contribute to a Roth IRA b/c of income) and b/c of what my parents did for me, I feel it is a responsibility to help our child (and hopefully more to come) through college. DW and I have discussed what this will look like, but it still looks like an ameoba. We contribute to UT's 529 plan so far for the max income deduction (~$3500/yr) and we will see where that gets us, deciding then what we will do for DD. I personally think supplying 4 years in state tuition is plenty, and helping out with bills here and there. We have also discussed having DD pay for the first semester and somehow reimbursing her if her grades (and I plan to somewhat guide her choice of major) are statisfactory. Nothing wrong with her putting some skin in the game....

We shall see how things unfold, but for right now, saving some money for college at least puts us in a position to decide to help.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:37 PM   #54
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We are dumping the max into 529's to take advantage of a state tax deduction. That is $5k a year (total for our family) and will probably fully fund in state tuition for 3 kids given historical investment returns and higher education cost growth rates (7-8% for each).

We have a couple great in state schools and if tuition itself is covered, we or the kids can probably swing room and board, books, incidentals, etc. Where we live is only 5 miles or so from a great state U, so living at home for the kids is an option if money is really tight. There are summers and breaks where the kids can get jobs and there is time during high school to work if they want money. And in my experience, I received a bunch of money from academic merit scholarships that more than paid for my undergrad tuition. All in all, I don't think we will have a hard time paying for college. But I don't expect to fund 100% of all costs. I hope to at least have enough for the 4 years of in state tuition and fees for each kid though. If they have skin in the game, they should be more focused on getting something out of college.

My parents were prepared to pay for mine, even though I didn't need much help after the first semester (and in hindsight I had plenty of money to cover the first semester).

Will saving money to pay for their tuition delay our FIRE? Sure. By six months or so given our current net worth accumulation rate. Pretty minor sacrifice to get all 3 of them launched with sufficient velocity to make it into orbit.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:27 PM   #55
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College tuition inflation is typically 7-8%. In other words tuition doubles every ten years.
Grants are getting harder to come by every year.
Salaries aren't increasing by 7-8% a year in most jobs.
I don't think ANY 529 plans are returning 7-8% a year.
Those of you talking about paying your own tuition in the 70s/80s experienced very different college costs than are likely to exist 15 years from now.
You mention inflation of 7-8%, and then you list three more reasons that it can't continue to be 7-8%.

I think college is getting to be like a car dealership: there's list price, and then there's what you actually pay.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:40 PM   #56
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I think giving a child a free ride to college is like everything else in life.
If you get something for free, you won't appreciate it as much.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:56 PM   #57
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I think giving a child a free ride to college is like everything else in life.
If you get something for free, you won't appreciate it as much.
Nothing personal, I don't totally agree with this. I've received a few things in life for "free" but I still know the value of them and try/want to pay it forward one day.

I agree some don't appreciate things regardless of being given or working/paying for it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:44 PM   #58
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I think giving a child a free ride to college is like everything else in life.
If you get something for free, you won't appreciate it as much.
College was "free" for me and, damn, I can still taste the freedom. It was a great 5 6 7 years. *


*Grad school was paid for with a research grant and lab work.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:35 PM   #59
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I want the best for my kids and my youngest is bright and capable of getting his PHD. So, I have 7 to 9 years of private education and I'll spend a bunch putting him through school. I don't have to sacrifice my retirement so I'm happy to do it. On the other hand, one of my older kids wanted a VERY expensive wedding and I said no. I gave the couple my wedding allowance, told them they could elope and keep the cash or go into debt if they spend over my contribution. They were upset for a short time, went into debt and that's life. I guess everybody has their sense of values but I do value education, not just for a job but for personal growth, networking for the future and becoming a well rounded person. I'm lucky......I don't have a college degree but I've been successful financially and my most important goal is taking care of my family, without spoiling them or making life so easy they become lazy. Maybe I'd feel differently if paying for their education represented a true financial sacrifice of lifestyle or postponing retirement.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:30 PM   #60
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We put three thru college. No student debt. No regrets so far. I suppose it was because that is what our parents did for us. That said, they all worked either during the summers or all year round on week-ends and took every scholarship available to them, academic and otherwise. We didn't have to delay retirement plans because of it as their college tuition was a factor in saving and planning from early ages.
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