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Old 10-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #81
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We had our assets mainly in FAFSA exempt classes and kept our retirement taxable income under the state grant cut off limits so our kids went to in state, public schools for free. They had paid internships and tutor jobs for spending money. We only had to pay for books and housing / living expenses. The oldest has now graduated in a high demand major, had multiple job offers, accepted a good job and doesn't have any school loans. We gave him a car as a graduation gift so he doesn't have any car loans, either.

Our kids pushed a lot to get us to pay for out of state or private schools. When they did that I'd print out the starting salaries on the Payscale reports on their desired school vs. their public school options in California. Usually they had more than a few public school choices they could get accepted at with higher starting salaries and free tuition than some of their more expensive choices, so they understood our reasonings for limiting their choice to in state and public.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:19 PM   #82
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Did you get this option for your first year?

This is what we'll do for DS, but we've told him the first year he needs to live in the dorm.
Well... my first year was a few years after graduating from HS, moving out, and working McJobs. I wasn't ready for college at 17 - and moved out 2 weeks after I turned 18... It took 2 years of working crappy jobs and being broke to realize that I wanted to/needed to go to college. My parents were relieved when I asked if they would still help me. I'm convinced the 2 year gap was the right choice for me - I would have flunked out of UC Berkeley (where I was suppose to go, and accepted to) if I'd gone straight out of HS... I had no direction or goals yet.

I'm going to offer my kids the same deals my parents offered me.
- All school expenses (tuition, books, fees) covered for public university. 4 years... No stretching it out.
- living expenses equivalent to low-end dorm option.
- if they live at home they either go to school full time or work & pay rent.
- Grades count and will be checked. Failure to produce the report card on their end will result in my failure to find the checkbook when tuition is due.

I will encourage dorm for the first year *if* they go to college straight from HS. If they take a path like mine, then they will already have the life experience of living on their own, paying their own bills and I'll let it be their choice.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:20 PM   #83
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I'm going to offer my kids the same deals my parents offered me.
- All school expenses (tuition, books, fees) covered for public university. 4 years... No stretching it out.
- living expenses equivalent to low-end dorm option.
- if they live at home they either go to school full time or work & pay rent.
- Grades count and will be checked. Failure to produce the report card on their end will result in my failure to find the checkbook when tuition is due.

I will encourage dorm for the first year *if* they go to college straight from HS. If they take a path like mine, then they will already have the life experience of living on their own, paying their own bills and I'll let it be their choice.
Similar to our plan. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:43 AM   #84
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I think parents shouldn't pay college expenses that impact their own financial health. We have a DD who would have been lost at a large state school and desired to pursue a science degree that would have placed her in classes with intense premed classmates. I think she would have been lost there. Instead she went to a small private school that gave her a scholarship as she had decent SAT scores. She chose a match school instead of a reach. While she was not the academic star, same as high school, by being in small classes and labs with her professors, they saw that she was a creative thinker, which led to a summer research job at her school during the summer after sophomore year, and that resulted in a research job at a large university during her Summer after her junior year. She is now thriving in a PH.D. Program at a large name university. I think the right fit made all the difference for her. College choices are tough, I wish you luck in the process!



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Old 10-14-2016, 09:03 AM   #85
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I ER'd a little over 3 years ago with 3 children, the oldest which was about to start HS. They are now in 8th, 9th, and 12th grade and they are all doing very well academically. We always imparted on our children that they would be going to college and now we are stepping on that bridge and are about to begin this journey for our oldest.

I recently completed the FAFSA and our EFC is a little over 37K (ouch). This is great, but my ER plan only allotted for 20K/child/year leaving a 17K shortfall between what we can pay and any potential financial aid. I thought 20K was gracious and would be enough. Fast forward three years and I realize I may have been a little too optimistic in my assumptions. Even our second-tier state university has a 27K cost of attendance so we would be full pay.

We recently informed DD how much we could contribute and that we would not take out any Parent Plus loans in our name. This means she will have to take loans and work during her college career to make it affordable. I know this is the typical experience today, but here is where the guilt and regret are creeping in to my psyche. Guilt that I should get a job so she doesn't have to take loans and restrict the schools she can consider; and regret that I left a great career which would make college costs a mute point.

My other struggle is with college costs in general. A couple of the colleges she would like to attend have sticker prices of 60K plus. One is 66K for an Art and Design school. It may be the number one rated, but still. 66K really! :face palm: I understand it's flooded with mostly very well to do kids (think Saudi prince) that have lots of extra spending money. My kid would not fit in very well.

We'll get through this, but right now it's a pretty low point in my ER journey. This may be a word of caution for those in a similar situation and thinking of ER.
I have a couple of things to add.

1. almost no 18 year old high school seniors have any idea of what $200,000, or $300,000 is, in terms of how much Mom and Dad had to work to get it, or how much they will have to work to pay it off with interest, or how it will effect other important dynamics of the family, like paying for the OTHER children's educations, or Mom and Dad's retirement

2. This is a parenting moment. You DO know what those numbers mean. Step up to the plate, be a parent. Be the one who brings some common sense into the situation. Sometimes, oftentimes, this role makes us feel less like Santa Claus than we want, but it's what we have to do. You'll get over feeling "Guilt and Regret" a lot sooner if you do that now, than if you mortgage your future, her future, and her siblings' futures by overspending for her college.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:48 AM   #86
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The government has a site called College Scorecard that is a good resource for figuring out which schools have affordable costs and high future salaries, with some good example schools outlined in this article:

Affordable Four Year Schools with Good Outcomes

Also see:

Money's Best Value Colleges

Kiplinger's Best Value Colleges
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:39 PM   #87
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My parents paid for my full ride to a private university and I ended up with a relatively unemployable degree (at least directly out of undergrad) and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was pretty naive about careers, the purpose of college or the finances, I just went with the flow. After taking a few years to figure things out and go back to school, I was able to get on track with my career. Ever since college though, I've felt an enormous guilt for putting that financial burden on my parents, even though they were happy to pay for it. Knowing what I know now, I would do things differently and I plan to do things differently for our kids.

I think it would be great to have a discussion with your kids about careers, college and finances. I never received this discussion. I attended private and public universities, small and large campuses, and for me and my spouses fields (engineering and medical) I don't think an expensive school is necessary. Community college, whether for a degree or to fulfill prerequisites, is an option also.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:12 PM   #88
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.....When my professional society celebrated its 100-year anniversary, they had a big, splashy celebration and the music was by an orchestra and chorus made up of members. Here's the result. Pretty good turnout for a bunch of insurance geeks. ....
No disrespect... but "The Voice" contestants don't need to sweat at all.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:59 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by NanoSour View Post
I ER'd a little over 3 years ago with 3 children, the oldest which was about to start HS. They are now in 8th, 9th, and 12th grade and they are all doing very well academically. We always imparted on our children that they would be going to college and now we are stepping on that bridge and are about to begin this journey for our oldest.

I recently completed the FAFSA and our EFC is a little over 37K (ouch). This is great, but my ER plan only allotted for 20K/child/year leaving a 17K shortfall between what we can pay and any potential financial aid. I thought 20K was gracious and would be enough. Fast forward three years and I realize I may have been a little too optimistic in my assumptions. Even our second-tier state university has a 27K cost of attendance so we would be full pay.

We recently informed DD how much we could contribute and that we would not take out any Parent Plus loans in our name. This means she will have to take loans and work during her college career to make it affordable. I know this is the typical experience today, but here is where the guilt and regret are creeping in to my psyche. Guilt that I should get a job so she doesn't have to take loans and restrict the schools she can consider; and regret that I left a great career which would make college costs a mute point.

My other struggle is with college costs in general. A couple of the colleges she would like to attend have sticker prices of 60K plus. One is 66K for an Art and Design school. It may be the number one rated, but still. 66K really! :face palm: I understand it's flooded with mostly very well to do kids (think Saudi prince) that have lots of extra spending money. My kid would not fit in very well.

We'll get through this, but right now it's a pretty low point in my ER journey. This may be a word of caution for those in a similar situation and thinking of ER.
No offense. But it sounds like you put yourself first before your children.

So you left a great career that pays well to do what?

You could've worked five years longer and blessed your kids with a debt free college experience and still retired very early.

Not to mention the whole work ethic thing. Yes your three children can work summers and also work at the University while they go to college but then again you did stop working before age 50 so how does that look for your kids.

No offense.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:12 PM   #90
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No offense. But it sounds like you put yourself first before your children.



So you left a great career that pays well to do what?



You could've worked five years longer and blessed your kids with a debt free college experience and still retired very early.



Not to mention the whole work ethic thing. Yes your three children can work summers and also work at the University while they go to college but then again you did stop working before age 50 so how does that look for your kids.



No offense.

Well, there's a nice little how do you do!


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Old 10-15-2016, 02:52 PM   #91
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No offense. But it sounds like you put yourself first before your children.

So you left a great career that pays well to do what?

You could've worked five years longer and blessed your kids with a debt free college experience and still retired very early.

Not to mention the whole work ethic thing. Yes your three children can work summers and also work at the University while they go to college but then again you did stop working before age 50 so how does that look for your kids.

No offense.
That's a boatload did you read the part where he put 80k away for each child.....let the kids get a work ethic they need one anyway
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:10 PM   #92
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That's a boatload did you read the part where he put 80k away for each child.....let the kids get a work ethic they need one anyway
What I'm getting from the OP's situation is that he's feeling guilty because he realizes that he should've worked longer to take care of his kids.

So the OP has issued a warning for those considering the early retirement journey.

Make sure you truly have enough money to take care of your family if you are going to retire early.

What kind of example is the 0P setting for his children by retiring early without enough money to get them through college without taking on student loan debt and changing the course of their young millennial careers. Especially in this crap economy.

I am just agreeing with the OP. I would also feel guilty and I would warn other people about the early retirement journey and the ramifications of not having enough money to take care of your children before they reach adulthood.

The issue is that the OP actually did have the ability to provide a debt free education for his children but for whatever reason decided to stop working.

So yes it's kind of a head scratcher situation.
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Old 10-15-2016, 03:48 PM   #93
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Are you serious where is it written that you have to provide a debt free education to whatever college your child chooses. I'm scratching my head over your take on this.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:00 PM   #94
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The tradition in my family -- followed by my parents, my siblings and me, and my siblings' children -- is that once you are out of high school, you are on your own, which means actually moving out of the house and going to work, the military or whatever. The parental responsibilities have always stopped at that point and if you want to go to college, that is on you to figure out. So far, it's been just me and one nephew to make it to college.

I realize that others may believe they have an obligation to put their children through college, and there is nothing wrong with thinking that for you and your children. But that attitude is far from universal, as you can see from my family, and I think it wrong to scold someone else because they don't.
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Old 10-15-2016, 04:20 PM   #95
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I realize that others may believe they have an obligation to put their children through college, and there is nothing wrong with thinking that for you and your children. But that attitude is far from universal, as you can see from my family, and I think it wrong to scold someone else because they don't.
Amen.

Although I was fortunate enough to have parents who could afford two years of community college for me, a four-year degree was out of reach financially even if I commuted to the state school. That was doable but it would have been a brutal commute. And frankly I didn't want it then anyway, I wanted to stop sitting on my butt in classrooms and get to work. Hey, I was 21.

As I wrote earlier, one of the things I noticed after moving to WV from near Washington, D.C. is the way military service is respected much more here, in part because it has and continues to enable so many people to bootstrap themselves out of poverty. One of my nieces was able to get her degree on the cheap because at the time her husband was in the Coast Guard. That's good because there is no way my sister could afford to send her to more than a couple of years of community college.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:30 PM   #96
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Are you serious where is it written that you have to provide a debt free education to whatever college your child chooses. I'm scratching my head over your take on this.
Well if you are able to provide a debt free education to your kids why would you not?

I am guessing the OP realizes this and that's why he started the thread.

So basically all of his kids now have to take out student loans. That's dumb.

It's just another story of somebody who decided to retire early without the funds.

I am just agreeing with the OP. I would also feel guilty especially at Thanksgiving dinner.

We are only talking about the 0P personal situation.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #97
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The tradition in my family -- followed by my parents, my siblings and me, and my siblings' children -- is that once you are out of high school, you are on your own, which means actually moving out of the house and going to work, the military or whatever.
The tradition in my family -- followed by my parents, my siblings and me -- is that parents help their kids get a quality education and help them get started on their own independent lives as young adults. Each family can have their own traditions. The tradition isn't that parents impoverish themselves, nor that kids freeload. But to the extent that I am able, I do want to give my kids a good start in life and help them become independent adults. Different families, and different kids, may use different methods to achieve this.
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Old 10-15-2016, 05:50 PM   #98
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Well if you are able to provide a debt free education to your kids why would you not?

I am guessing the OP realizes this and that's why he started the thread.

So basically all of his kids now have to take out student loans. That's dumb.

It's just another story of somebody who decided to retire early without the funds.

I am just agreeing with the OP. I would also feel guilty especially at Thanksgiving dinner.

We are only talking about the 0P personal situation.
You sound like you're trolling now. Give me a break. You start writing blank checks for other people you'll never have enough funds. "just agreeing with OP....especially Thanksgiving dinner"? That's just a plain shitty thing to say to someone, even hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

No one is obligated to fund another adult's lifestyle, even their own child. Your words are obviously written to just take cheap shots at someone.
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:03 PM   #99
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Some interesting ideas here on raising children and getting them started in life. This is a subject that each family unit will manage in their own way. We did what we chose to do about college funding, and our daughter graced us with her academic achievements. In my opinion, that was our investment in our child and we were glad to do it.

I would ask the OP if he has any money set aside for Dear Daughter's Wedding ??
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Old 10-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #100
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You sound like you're trolling now. Give me a break. You start writing blank checks for other people you'll never have enough funds. "just agreeing with OP....especially Thanksgiving dinner"? That's just a plain shitty thing to say to someone, even hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

No one is obligated to fund another adult's lifestyle, even their own child. Your words are obviously written to just take cheap shots at someone.
We are not talking about funding lifestyles. We are talking college education.

One third of all millennial's live at home with mom and dad. We now have a college student loan debt crisis for the millennial generation.

So the millennial generation is getting killed with student loan payments and low-wage jobs.
So call me crazy but if a parent has the ability to work just a little bit longer and help the kids get their college debt-free I think that's a good idea in this economy of low-paying jobs.

Again. OP said he walked away from a great paying career and now feels guilty about it.

So no I'm not trolling. I would express this opinion to anybody's face.

The OP already stated that he Wrongly calculated the cost of college for his kids.
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