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Old 08-09-2009, 05:37 PM   #41
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I paid for DS's college while still working. But if I had saved that same amount while working and then paid it after RE, it would have worked about the same I guess. Slight advantage to RE'ing first as I would have had the use of the money longer before turning it over to the university.

As ERD50 said, it's a moot point as to whether you write the check before RE'ing or after. Bux gone is bux gone.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:39 PM   #42
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One potential difference is you can manage your income to be lower in ER, potentially anyway. If I were working, for example, I'd not be able to use the ibonds toward education without paying tax. In ER I should be able to manage my income to be below the threshold.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:43 PM   #43
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The other problem in retiring many years before your kid goes to college is in the estimates themselves. Its harder to predict what kind of student he'll be or what kind of school he might be interested in. University expenses are harder to predict a decade in advance too.

In my case I'm planning conservatively (assuming 7 years in Ivy or equivalent cost) and am using historical tuition inflation data to project future costs. I actually had a thread about this a year and a half ago.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:00 PM   #44
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In my case I'm planning conservatively (assuming 7 years in Ivy or equivalent cost) and am using historical tuition inflation data to project future costs.
My most significant lesson learned was to go at least 50% CDs when the kid's a high-school sophomore. And it's not really a lesson I learned until Laurence asked why we were taking so much risk at that point.

We managed to sell off Berkshire Hathaway within a few percent of its all-time high, but if we'd waited another few months we would've been very unhappy.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:12 PM   #45
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Its harder to predict what kind of student he'll be or what kind of school he might be interested in.
I had prepared to pay for my children's tuition at an Ivy League school, but as they progressed through high school, found out that they had no such aspiration to get admitted to those schools.

At the risk of sounding like sour grapes, I will say that I have had 2 coworkers graduating from THE engineering school with a 3-letter abbreviation. One was good, but then just as good as any other good engineers. The other couldn't do anything technical, and couldn't even write a coherent sentence. He was the joke of the department, and had to leave. We always asked ourselves how he could get through school. It was a miracle!

This being an R&D group of a megacorp (one of the Dow 30), we had people from all different schools. A prestigious degree might get one's foot in the door, but after a few years of work no one cared what school or degree you had. The question is what one can do, and how he did on his last assignment. People find that out pretty quick.

Still, if my kids had such aspirations, I would support them. As it turns out, they cost me less than I feared. They could still go to a more prestigious school for a graduate degree, which is more cost effective. I would support such efforts. So far, I have not seen any inclination there either.

They are my kids and I love them. As long as they can support themselves and are happy, that's all I wish for.
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Kids Might Feel Guilty, Later
Old 08-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #46
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Kids Might Feel Guilty, Later

If you delay your retirement dreams too much for your kids' college, they may feel guilty later.

My dad was born around WWI. Did not have children until he was in his 40's. Then, had a bunch of them.

He sent all of us to college on a modest salary. True, State college tuition was about $600 a year for us in the early 1970's. But, it was still a sacrifice.

Long story short. He died in the saddle at age 67 (terminal illness that went really fast).

I think he actually enjoyed his job about 50% of the time, and of course it's highly speculative (even unlikely) that the stress of working full-time as an older gent precipitated his illness.

Still, I wish he could have had a few years of leisure. If I could turn back the clock and say, "Dad, quit your job if you want. I'll happily take on a student loan." I would definitely do so.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:03 PM   #47
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Have them join the military....

Post 9/11 GI Bill is worth up to $90K

I retired from the Navy back in December and am less than 2 weeks from getting my Bachelor's Degree. I have only used less than 2 months of my GI Bill.

That means I will have about $45K or more to use for a Master's Degree.

I was only going to do 4 years and get my GI Bill and go to college. That was a long time ago..
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:14 AM   #48
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I was only going to do 4 years and get my GI Bill and go to college. That was a long time ago..
They call us "slow learners"...
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:29 AM   #49
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Well, OK. Call me cynical, but I read that "cooking for the block" comment and thought "Riiiiiight..." Can't imagine parenting where I got that cynicism from.
Yup I understand that...but his cooking parties are what shows up on facebook...lots of girls in the photos. We know some of them, and the guys too. We don't drink (religious) and all his friends are of the same persuasion, so I'm not too worried about that...and nothing boozy shows up in the pics either... But, I do understand the cynicism...

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Old 08-10-2009, 04:45 AM   #50
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I had prepared to pay for my children's tuition at an Ivy League school, but as they progressed through high school, found out that they had no such aspiration to get admitted to those schools.

At the risk of sounding like sour grapes, I will say that I have had 2 coworkers graduating from THE engineering school with a 3-letter abbreviation. One was good, but then just as good as any other good engineers. The other couldn't do anything technical, and couldn't even write a coherent sentence. He was the joke of the department, and had to leave. We always asked ourselves how he could get through school. It was a miracle!

This being an R&D group of a megacorp (one of the Dow 30), we had people from all different schools. A prestigious degree might get one's foot in the door, but after a few years of work no one cared what school or degree you had. The question is what one can do, and how he did on his last assignment. People find that out pretty quick.

Still, if my kids had such aspirations, I would support them. As it turns out, they cost me less than I feared. They could still go to a more prestigious school for a graduate degree, which is more cost effective. I would support such efforts. So far, I have not seen any inclination there either.

They are my kids and I love them. As long as they can support themselves and are happy, that's all I wish for.

My view and my experiences are not that different than yours, being a product of a state school myself. The 'foot in the door' is more important in some professions than others, though. Still, I'm fortunate enough to be in a position to pay so I'd happily do so if he had such an opportunity.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:41 AM   #51
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Send them to a public university in the EU. Most are either tuition free or have very low cost (ie. 500 per semester) even for international students. Only have to pay for food/housing/study materials. A Bachelor's degree in most of Europe is a 3 year program.

University of Helsinki for instance is world renowned for it's math and science programs. Tuition free for all students and an estimated total cost of 600 - 900 per month all inclusive (housing/food/books/etc). Taking the low number for a LBYM student and it'll cost ~ 21,600 or $30,640 to complete a 3 year Bachelor's degree. Pretty good deal. And Helsinki is an expensive city so if you choose a country or university (say Berlin for instance) with a lower cost of living, you'll drastically reduce that expense.

It's also a good excuse to take a yearly trip out of the country to visit your kid and they get a great cultural experience in addition to a degree as well as something that stands out on their CV when job seeking after graduation.

Not for everyone maybe, but something worth considering for some.
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