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Old 04-21-2009, 02:06 PM   #61
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In the paper here recently there was an article about attending the 'Right' college. It stated the purpose of college was to improve the value of human capital. In short it said that when someone goes to say an Ivy League school with massive debt to become an elementary school teacher, then there is a portion of that money that is wasted. That the same improvement could be made by going to a cheaper public school with an equal economic result. It does not really fit this op's question, but I thought it was an interesting look at a college education.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:50 PM   #62
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Speaking as someone who went to top-three public and private (Ivy League) schools, I can say that the public school was far more concerned about maximizing the value to society delivered per student than the private one was.

At the latter, collecting fees and not interfering with the Professor's golf practice or outside consulting gigs sometimes seemed to be the larger priorities. I'm glad I went to both, though.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:07 PM   #63
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As a Professor at a prominent research University, I'm bound to defend those who wish to study what society deems impractical from a monetary standpoint. There's a place for artists, musicians, poets and dreamers, and the world would be a poorer place without them and institutions that will allow them to flower.

In contrast, students in "practical" fields may often find that a dreary, repetitive, soulless life awaits them. That's what we are all here on this web-site to escape, after all!

In my students, I see the ones who "wanna good job" as putting in the minimum effort. The dreamers are the ones with fire in their bellies, and who will save the world if anyone does.

Cheers.
There is certainly no problem with the pursuit of art, music, poetry or dreams. The question is whether it is proper to spend four years doing solely that at a potentially very expensive institute of higher learning where the likely outcome of that effort will be a "dreary, repetitive, soulless" job as an insurance salesman, financial "planner", or administrative assistant. Or if you go back to school maybe you can get a teaching license and get a good solid job that pays enough to get by.

Art, music, poetry, literature, history, etc - all intrinsically valuable pursuits, no question from this Phi Beta Kappa key holder. But faced with the economic reality of needing a job that pays bills at some point, it doesn't necessarily pencil out to get a four year degree solely in one of these subjects. But to each their own I suppose!
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:19 PM   #64
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There is certainly no problem with the pursuit of art, music, poetry or dreams. The question is whether it is proper to spend four years doing solely that at a potentially very expensive institute of higher learning where the likely outcome of that effort will be a "dreary, repetitive, soulless" job as an insurance salesman, financial "planner", or administrative assistant. Or if you go back to school maybe you can get a teaching license and get a good solid job that pays enough to get by.
Or you can spend your youth trying to stay on the good side of some tyrannical professor to eventually get your own PhD- and then get a nice dreary repetitive soulless job teaching and "doing research" in philosophy or whatever. For the story from the horse's mouth:

My past is somewhat similar to yours. I have a Ph.D., worked in R&D for many years, and decided that being a Professor would be a "down-shifting" move. My thoughts on that life were similar to yours: work with bright students, teach a little, write a few papers, attend conferences, all in a relaxed and genial atmosphere.

WRONG! My life as a Professor has been far, far more stressful than ever before. The ticking tenure clock, much lower salary, working with surly, unprepared and entitled students, "publish or perish" pressures that lead to the temptations of quantity over quality, no time for relaxed travel, *unbelievable* political games...

Maybe it would be different in India, I don't know, but maybe not. I don't want to spoil your dream, but it's just something to think about.

-Grep




ha
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:42 PM   #65
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Or you can spend your youth trying to stay on the good side of some tyrannical professor to eventually get your own PhD- and then get a nice dreary repetitive soulless job teaching and "doing research" in philosophy or whatever. For the story from the horse's mouth:
Interesting you mention that. I'm at an age where most of my old friends from high school (that I found through facebook!) are either in the middle of their residencies or finishing up writing their dissertations. Most of the latter at Ivy league level schools. Finishing up that dissertation sounds more grueling than sawing your own leg off over the course of two years.

It is obvious that obtaining a PhD is difficult difficult stuff, and the job prospects aren't that great afterwards in non-technical fields. Luckily most of my friends are in the sciences, so needless to say they will be getting a job paying six figures or close to it straight away either in industry or as a professor somewhere. But where does the Yale PhD sociologist go if not academia? Good thing she has a rich husband and family!
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #66
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I'm a contrarian, I guess, I'd fund the kids school.


But I must say its hard to advise that because we don't know the impact of that decision based on the data you provided. Is the 31k you'd need to plop into the college funds one weeks income or 3 years?

Either way I'd plop away and take the retirement hit.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #67
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Perhaps you should try to refine your plan so that you know exactly when you will be FI. 45.98 is somewhat approximate, can't you get to five decimal places?
45.98494. However, don't mistake precision for accuracy!

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Good luck. Does this 153 day improvement in FIRE readiness include the two days between original and closing post?

You sound like you're at the top of your game, but it always helps to remember Burns:
Thank you. Yes it would. The number is continually updated, but it's just a target that I obsess overfocus on over time. I'll get there when I get there, and I fully expect that number to change over time with the vagaries of life, but it's helpful for me to have a ballpark estimate of when that might be.

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Old 04-21-2009, 08:25 PM   #68
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Second cor 521,
You are doing a great job taking care of your needs and your kids .Congratulations on a great job !
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:54 PM   #69
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In my case, I felt compelled to start funding 529 plans for my 3 grandkids
after my mother passed last August. She and Dad were firm believers
in higher education and she would like helping her great grandkids. My
brother and I had the benefit of having most of our college paid for, and
I considered it my duty to fund my 2 kids. However, this is a very personal issue and I understand the counter argument that your kids
will appreciate their education if they have to work for it. To each his own.

Cheers,

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Old 04-22-2009, 07:39 PM   #70
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I have something I feel really good about...my LH's sister and her DH have a 6 year old boy. The baby was born 2 years before my LH passed. The boy's parents are classic spendthrifts. Up to their eyeballs in debt.
For his 1st birthday, we decided to set up a "college fund" by opening a regular VG account in my name only, with the child as beneficiary. It is completely "family politics" proof.
The boy will never get to know his uncle, but my LH's legacy to his nephew is in my very capable hands. It is now invested in the VG Target retirement fund for the year he turns 18. My plan is to write checks to him for medium size college expenses. I have a provision in my trust to handle that money separately and with explicit instructions to keep it out of his parents' hands.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:50 PM   #71
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The boy will never get to know his uncle, but my LH's legacy to his nephew is in my very capable hands. It is now invested in the VG Target retirement fund for the year he turns 18. My plan is to write checks to him for medium size college expenses. I have a provision in my trust to handle that money separately and with explicit instructions to keep it out of his parents' hands.
We had a couple of close family relatives assure us more than once that our kid's college expenses were taken care of.

It's a good thing that we didn't take their word at face value.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:56 PM   #72
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I am a bit late to this party but will chime in. I paid for daughter 100% at State U's. Son dropped out for a couple of party years and will be a senior in tne the fall at State U 15 miles from home. He is doing the work, grant and loan thing since I am retired. There is no perfect fits all response.

If you save into an IRA, you can tap it without taxes for college bills. You might want to read up on that a bit.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:52 AM   #73
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We had a couple of close family relatives assure us more than once that our kid's college expenses were taken care of.

It's a good thing that we didn't take their word at face value.
I understand completely. That is exactly why I built a very specific clause into my revocable living trust. The parents know about the fund, of course.
I did a lot of research on 529 plans and any potential effects of gifts from aunts/uncles on financial aid. NY 529 plan expenses were too high for my taste. NY admins took an additional fee on top of the fund exp ratio back then. Ridiculous!
Gifts from me will have zero effect on aid as long as I keep the annual amounts under the IRS threshold and it is not used directly for tuition.
All of the provisions of the usual college savings vehicles were of no use for aunt/uncle contributions. No tax deduction allowed as it is for parents.
We chose the "rich aunt" path so that family politics and parents' financial habits were not an issue.
The only downfall is I have to pay the taxes on cap gains and divs. That seemed to be a better deal than the long term expenses drain with a 529 plan. And I have complete control over the AA, i.e. I can exchange to another fund easily if need be.
The plan has been greatly improved as of 2008 and is with Vanguard now. I may take another look. The boy is 6 years old now.
https://uii.nysaves.s.upromise.com/content/programfeatures.html
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:31 AM   #74
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This is kinda spooky - lookee at what was in my M* Morning Digest mailbox this AM
The Best and Worst 529 College-Savings Plans - Morningstar - Fund Spy
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